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Switzer on Manziel

Johhny Manziel is a polarizing figure, as is Barry Switzer. So when you get Switzer sharing his opinions on Mr. Manziel, you should expect some fireworks. He started by totally :

But true to Swtizer form, you get the other side as well, as he goes on to say, "He's the best I've seen. I've never seen a quarterback in college football take control of a game like he does and put up the numbers he does. It's fantastic what he's done against good competition. Game after game after game the numbers he puts up are staggering" SWitzer addresses all of the on-field magic that Manziel is able to create.

So in his own way, Switzer sums up the big arguments around Manziel. There are personal concerns, and then there's the performance on the field. He finishes by saying, "He's the most dominant, most dynamic college quarterback I've ever seen."

But that still begs the question of how good he can be in the NFL. There are tons of great college quarterbacks who don't translate to the NFL. The key with Manziel is his ability to make qick decisions and throws in the pockets, and his ability to improvise. They other key is that in the NFL he'll have to pull back on the running, as he can get crushed out there. Predicting what he will do in the NFL is about as easy as predicting the outcome of an or as he has so much talent but now will be facing much tougher defenses.

One key will be where he goes. We've seen coaches and the system have a big impact on the success of a quarterback. If you get a coach that can harness his quick decision-making and convince him to be careful in how often he runs with the ball as opposed to scrambling, we might have a superstar on our hands.

UCF stuns Baylor

Michigan State overpowers Stanford

All year long we had to listen to media experts insist that no Big Ten team could play with a physical Stanford team that won the allegedly far superior PAC 12. Well, Stanford and its vaunted running game ran into a green wall of reality last night as Michigan State out-muscled them over and over again in the trenches.

Say what you want about the Big Ten and its recent troubles, but the better Big Ten teams know how to play physical football, unlike most Pac 12 teams. Watching Stanford run through defenses like Oregon tells you nothing about how they will fare against Michigan State's top-ranked defense.

Of course, it didn't help that alleged "genius" David Shaw showed zero immagination with his play calls. Running Tyler Gaffney up the middle on fourth and three against this defense was just silly, as everyone knew what was comming and the Spartans slammed him for a three yard loss.

Meanwhile, Sparty and Mark Dantonio did the best immitation of Tresselball we've seen in years. They were tough on defense and resiliant on offense. This team also didn't give up after a brutal pick-six before the half and responded with a quick touchdown to stay in the game.

It was a great win for Michigan State and the Big Ten, so perhaps we can be spared some of the smack talk about the PAC 12 for at least a year.

Who will be the new Texas Longhorns coach?

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Both Missouri and Auburn were predicted to finish near the bottom of their respective divisions in the SEC and yet both shocked the masses by meeting in the SEC title game. Even though this is an even matchup, all anyone can talk about is Auburn after the Tigers pulled off the upset over Alabama last Saturday. A very underrated Mizzou team isn't getting the attention it deserves. Dorial Green-Beckham and L'Damian Washington create mismatch problems against Auburn's smaller defensive backs, and Mizzou owns one of the most balanced offenses in the nation led by proficient QB James Franklin. On the other side, Auburn's rushing attack has been a headache for opponents all season, which includes Alabama and its stout front seven last weekend. That said, Mizzou has an athletic front seven capable of stretching out Auburn's ground attack and at least limiting its effect. Mizzou won't be able to contain Auburn because nobody has. But if it can build a lead with its passing game and force Auburn to be somewhat one-dimensional, Mizzou will win this game. Mizzou is 4-0 against the spread in its last four conference games, 13-3-1 ATS in its last 17 games overall, and 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine games following an ATS win.

Based on Michigan State's vastly underrated defense, many expect this game to be low-scoring. But Ohio State struggled with Michigan's offense last week despite Devin Gardner's regression all season. Yes, you can throw out the records when Ohio State and Michigan meet. Thus, it wasn't shocking that the Wolverines hung with the Buckeyes on their home turf last week. But what was surprising is that Gardner put on a show and a Michigan offense that hadn't been firing on all cylinders in over a month racked up 41 points on the Buckeyes. Despite Michigan State's success this season defensively, Braxton Miller and that Ohio State offense will get theirs in the end. Granted, the Big Ten has only held two championship games in its existence. But both games sailed over the total as Wisconsin edged Michigan State 42-39 in 2011 and the Badgers thumped Nebraska 70-31 last year. Look for more fireworks on Saturday night at Lucas Oil.

The only reason this contest could wind up being close is because its a rivalry game and the Sooners' defense should keep things interesting, at least at the start. But Oklahoma's offense has been punchless in big games this season, unless you consider its 38-point outburst over an overrated Texas Tech team back in October. The Sooners could only muster 12 points versus Baylor in early November and scored 20 in a 36-20 loss to Texas in mid-October. If Oklahoma State's offense is firing on all cylinders, this one should get ugly in the second half. The Cowboys are 6-0 against the spread in their last six conference games and 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. Look for OK State to roll.

The Saints were embarrassed in Seattle on Monday night so look for Sean Payton's squad to come out fired up with first place in the NFC South up for grabs on Sunday night. Carolina's defense is criminally underrated but New Orleans' offense operates at another level at home compared to on the road. Payton is a more aggressive play-caller, Drew Brees is a more accurate passer, and the skill position players are usually unstoppable in their one-on-one matchups. The Saints are 21-6 against the spread in their last 27 home games and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games versus a team with a winning road record. The only reason the spread has been set as low as it has is because New Orleans played so poorly on a national stage last Monday. The Saints represent value.

The best and worst of college football

Baylor, Oregon and Florida suffer embarrassing losses

Where are all of the so-called "experts" who said Baylor would "crush" teams like Ohio State? We've seen this before with Oregon. Running up the score against weak competition just because you run a no-huddle offense through the whole game means nothing when you're facing better teams. It's particularly true when you face more physical defenses.

Baylor was embarrassed last night by Oklahoma State. After this game they shouldn't even be in the top ten, let alone in the discussion for the BCS.

Meanwhile, the arrogant Oregon Ducks got embarrassed as well by RichRod's Arizona team after several Oregon players said that the Rose Bowl was beneath them. Where will they go now? The Tangerine Bowl?

Finally, the once-mighty Florida Gators managed to lose at home to an FCS team in Georgia Southern.

Which team should be most embarrassed today?

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Texas loses running back Jonathan Gray for rest of season

I interviewed Jonathan Gray last year as he accepted the award for the Gatorade High School Player of the Year. He was a great kid and based on his high school career Texas fans had every reason to be excited. He exploded this year in his sophomore season with 790 yards and a 4.9 YPC average. His running helped Mack Brown and Texas salvage a season that looked like a potential disaster.

Unfortunately, Gray suffered a right Achilles injury that will require surgery and he is lost for the season. Texas also lost defensive tackle Chris Whaley for the season as well. Hopefully both players will recover fully for next season.

Can Brady Hoke bring Michigan back to elite status?

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This shouldn't be the typical LSU-Alabama defensive slugfest for four quarters. The Tigers have had communication issues in their defensive backfield all season, which has led to some big plays for the opposition, and their pass rush has been inconsistent as well. On the other side, the Tide's secondary is thin and the defense as a whole hasn't looked as dominant as it has in recent years. But perhaps the biggest difference in this year's matchup compared to recent meetings is that LSU finally has a quarterback capable of making plays down the field. Zach Mettenberger has given the Tigers a true vertical passing game and with that, scoring shouldn't be an issue in this one.

Despite being 7-0 and 4-0 in conference play, Houston has received no love from oddsmakers. That's been great for bettors, however, as the Cougars have covered the number in all but one game this season (last week versus South Florida when they won but failed to cover as a 19-point favorite). Houston is 5-0 against the spread in its last five road games and 4-0 ATS in its last four games following a bye week. The Cougars are also 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall, 6-2 ATS in their last eight games in November and 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win. Take the points.

When teams are able to generate pressure from the interior of their defensive line and push the pocket into Drew Brees' face, he struggles. That's what happened last week when the Jets shocked the Saints in East Rutherford. That said, the Cowboys don't employ Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson or Quinton Coples on their defensive line, so Brees and the Saints should have a bounce back game on Sunday night. New Orleans is 20-6 against the spread in its last 26 home games, 5-2 ATS in its last seven games versus NFC opponents and 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games in Week 10. The Saints are simply a different team at home and should win this one by a touchdown-plus.

Let's see, neither of these teams can run the ball with much success and both defenses have been downright brutal this season - smells like an over to me. The Raiders allowed Nick Foles to throw for seven touchdown passes last week and while Eli Manning is in the midst of another down season, he should pick apart Oakland's ragtag secondary. The over is 4-1 in the Giants' last five home games and 5-2 in the Raiders' last seven games in November. This one should sail over.

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Upset Saturday

We're finally getting some upsets to shake up college football. #5 Stanford traveled to Utah and was stunned by the Utes who made an impressive goal line stand at the end of the game for a final score of 27-21. Check out the parody video above that makes fun of Stanford fans.

#25 Missouri improved to 6-0 with an upset of #7 Georgia on the road. Georgia had a ton of injuries but losses like this have been all too common for the Bulldogs in recent years.

In another huge shocker, much-maligned Texas took care of #12 Oklahoma 36-20 in this classic rivalry game. With the win Mack Brown can breath a little easier, while Bob Stoops is yet another year removed from that last National Championship that happened oh so long ago.

Meanwhile, #18 Michigan managed to lose to Penn State in an overtime thriller, though this one is hardly a surprise. The undefeated Wolverines have been barely escaping with wins against mediocre teams all season. It finally caught up to them.

For a while it looked like Boston College might upset #3 Clemson, but everything fell apart for them in the fourth quarter.

The top 25 will change quite a bit tomorrow, and we're looking at a potential battle between 4 sets of teams to play in the National Championship game: Alabama (or possibly a one-loss SEC winner other than Alabama), Oregon (or UCLA if they win out), the ACC winner (Clemson, Florida State or Miami) and Ohio State (no other Big Ten team has a chance).

Of course, if everyone starts losing, even teams like an undefeated Louisville or Baylor could have a shot, but chances are the game will be played between two of the teams mentioned above.

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Zach Mettenberger joined the Heisman race with his stellar performance last Saturday versus Georgia. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the Tigers, the defense was downright brutal trying to defend Aaron Murray and the UGA offense. LSU has issues in its defensive backfield and it uncharacteristically didn't generate any pressure with its front four last weekend. The Tigers are 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four conference games, while the Bulldogs are 5-1 against the number in their last six home games and 5-1 ATS in their last six home games versus a team with a winning road record. Take the value with the home dog.

While Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix remain some of the best defenders in the country, Notre Dame's defense hasn't been nearly as impressive this season as it was a season ago. Meanwhile, junior quarterback Taylor Kelly has thrown for more than 300 yards in each of Arizona State's first four games and junior transfer Jaelen Strong has racked up 433 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Fighting Irish could have a difficult time keeping up on the fast track of Cowboys Stadium and their offense isn't nearly consistent enough to keep pace. Brian Kelly's squad is 0-5-1 against the spread in its last six games overall and 0-3-1 ATS in its last four games versus a team with a winning record. Lay the points with ASU.

The Lions are coming off a statement game against the Bears but they've always struggled in Green Bay. They're 0-4 against the spread in their last four games versus the Packers and 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 trips to Lambeau Field. Detroit has also had trouble over the years away from Ford Field, and is 1-4 against the number in its lat five road games. Green Bay should be well rested coming off the bye and is well aware that it can't fall further behind in the NFC North. Expect Aaron Rodgers' best effort and for the Pack to win in a rout.

The Saints are firing on all cylinders offensively, while Rob Ryan has made an immediate impact for their defense. Despite injuries, Ryan is getting the most out of his players and is generate consistent pressure on a weekly basis. That said, the Saints are coming off a short week of practice and had to leave a day early for Chicago because of inclement weather. Not only has their routine been affected, but they're also taking on a Bears team that will be plenty pissed off after their ugly performance a week ago in Detroit. The Bears are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game, while the home team is 4-0-2 ATS in the last six meetings between these two teams.

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