Clemson, USC survived as Minnesota, TN make big moves: Auerbach’s top 10 players

Every Saturday night throughout the college football season, I’ll rank the top 10 teams in the country. The ranking will fluctuate from week to week based on new results, player availability, and anything else affecting this chaotic sport. The last place each week will go to a team that may not actually be the 10th best in the country but still deserves a little sparkle. 1 – Georgia (4-0) Yes, Kent State put 22 points in front of the Georgia defense and had a single goal opportunity early in the…

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College football picks against spread: Bruce Feldman’s Week 4 picks

I had the worst week of picks I think since I was at The Athletic in Week 3, going 1-7 against the number, putting me in eighth for the junior season. So, I guess that means I’m due? The good: Pennsylvania’s choice to deal with Auburn on the road. The Bad: BYU’s choice to beat Oregon. The Ugly: Choosing Nebraska to Give Oklahoma a Game. Here are the guesses for this week. (All spreads come from BetMGM, click here For live odds, all kickoff times are Eastern.) Maryland at No.…

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USC Final Thoughts: Fast Starts, Offensive Efficiency, New Level of Accountability

LOS ANGELES – Three games into Lincoln Riley’s tenure, USC has three big wins. The seventh-seeded Trojans beat Fresno State away, 45-17, Saturday night. Some final thoughts on another comforting victory for USC. 1. You can hear a screeching sound from the sideline after the USC Reserves allowed a 32-yard catch and run on a play screen that kept Fresno State near the red in the final minutes of the game. “Clean up this matter,” was the exact quote directed at the defense. There was a lot of talk after…

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USC’s offensive versatility on display against Fresno State: Trojans . meals

LOS ANGELES – The first defender caught Travis Day but failed to corner him. A few yards later, a pair of Fresno State players converged and hit each other as Day ran through their attempts to interfere. Day worked his way out of a potential fourth player, stayed afloat, and ran through the five on his way to the end zone where he scored a 25-yard goal. Once he reached the end zone, he opened his arms wide, as if asking the 67,000-plus crowd inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum,…

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USC Takeaway: Landings, Turns Lead to Big Win – Lincoln Riley ‘Cheppy’

Palo Alto – Lincoln Riley wanted to make sure everyone looked at Saturday night’s result with a proper perspective. Sure, USC was overtaken by Stanford in the second half, the offense was sloppy the last two quarters and the defense was a bit leaky. But he didn’t want to downplay the Trojans’ 41-28 victory at The Farm – their first since 2014 – in a game that was nowhere near the suggested score. Riley confirmed that there are more pros than cons on Saturday night. “I’m happy with this victory.…

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Mandel’s Final Thoughts: Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Florida go the way of the Big Ten West

Three Sun Belt wins over Power 5 opponents, including two in the Top 10. The No. 1 team in the country very nearly loses to a 20-point underdog. Kansas is 2-0. Notre Dame is 0-2. Here are 23 Final Thoughts from a spectacularly upside-down Week 2. 1. Well, when I boarded the plane to Austin on Friday I was reasonably certain three things would happen on my trip: 1) I was going to eat barbecue at some point (check); 2) I was going to get to Torchy’s at some point…

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College football picks against spread: Bruce Feldman’s second week picks

I had 1 week average, going 5-5-1 against the spread. The Good: Pick Penn State to win at Purdue. The Bad: Choosing LSU to do business with FSU. The Ugly: Choosing Oregon to keep it close to Georgia. Here are the guesses for this week. (All spreads come from BetMGM, click here For live odds, all kickoff times are Eastern.) 1 Alabama (-20.5) in Texas, Saturday, noon (Fox) Steve Sarkissian has an inexperienced QB and doesn’t have enough athletes in defense to keep up with his old boss, Nick Saban.…

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USC Final Thoughts: Trojans sound in most stages…but it should be better

LOS ANGELES – The University of Southern California opened the Lincoln Riley era with a landslide 66-14 victory over Rice on Saturday night. Here are some final thoughts on the great opening game of the Trojan season. 1. Travis Day’s stats weren’t exactly eye-catching in his first game at USC. He had five passes for 20 yards, had three more passes for another 21 yards, and the other newcomers in the running group, Austin Jones and Ralick Brown, had more worthwhile plays, but I thought Dye had one of the…

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Challenges await USC’s NIL efforts with the new BLVD and Student Body Right collegiate

LOS ANGELES – A little over three years ago, Bryce Young was still committed to the USC program when he stood inside the ballroom at The Grand in Long Beach, California, on Trinity League Media Day. It was a tough morning for the Trojans’ recruiting efforts. USC was a finalist for Bejan Robinson, but the five-star winner in the back picked Texas over the Trojans and Ohio. The most shocking news came later when five-star Justin Floy, one of the best players to have come across Southern California in a…

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