Join the conversation: CFB Saturday Live

UCLA 28, Virginia 20

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
4:17
PM ET
video
UCLA scored three defensive touchdowns en route to a 28-20 win over Virginia.

When kicks go bad: The butt punt

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
3:21
PM ET
Youngstown State's Joey Cejudo attempted a punt during Saturday's game at Illinois. It didn't go far. A lineman's butt got in the way.

video

Watch: Skydiver totally misses stadium

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
2:48
PM ET
You've seen it before. Skydiver floats in from the clouds and lands at midfield before a football game. Crowd cheers. Game begins.

Well, things didn't go quite as planned before Saturday's UCF-Penn State game in Dublin, Ireland.

Blake Sims will start at quarterback for Alabama when it kicks off the season against West Virginia, coach Nick Saban told ESPN’s Tom Luginbill.

Sims, a fifth-year senior, earned the start ahead of Jake Coker, a redshirt junior who transferred to Alabama this summer after getting his undergraduate degree at Florida State.

Sims
“Both guys have done really well in fall camp and there’s still a quarterback competition on our team, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” Saban said. “But we needed to get our team ready to play this game with the most knowledge and experience, which Blake Sims has been in the system longer, is a little more comfortable and plays with a little better rhythm.

“Jake is still sort of learning and growing.”

Saban said the plan is to start Sims and evaluate the position from there, though he didn’t commit to playing Coker.

“We’ll see how [Sims] does and make the decisions and judgements from there,” Saban said.

It’s important to note that, as Saban said, the competition is still ongoing. In all likelihood it will be something that plays out over the next three weeks. Alabama is a multi-touchdown favorite over West Virginia and will be a heavy favorite in Week 2 against Florida Atlantic and again Week 3 against Southern Miss.

In other words, there’s no rush. Alabama’s date with Florida is far enough away not to panic.

But for today at least, it’s the veteran Sims who gets the nod. And why not? He’s bided his time and should know the offense best. He has more friends in the locker room and deserves the chance to show what he can do with meaningful snaps.
Who needs offense?

Not UCLA. The seventh-ranked Bruins didn't do a whole lot on that side of the ball in the first half against heavy-underdog Virginia, but they did score three touchdowns on defense -- something no team has done in any one half against an FBS opponent since Cincinnati pulled it off against Akron in 2011, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

In the past decade, only two other teams besides UCLA and Cincinnati have done it versus an FBS team (2009 East Carolina vs Tulsa, 2005 FIU vs FAU). ECU is the only other team besides the Bruins to do it all in one quarter and UCLA is the only team to do it against a Power 5 program. Here's how it happened:

Ishmael Adams' 20-yard interception return...

video Randall Goforth's 75-yard fumble return...

video Eric Kendricks' 37-yard interception return...

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Video: College coaches read mean tweets

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
1:12
PM ET
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Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, Michigan Wolverines coach Brady Hoke, Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp and Mississippi State Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen read mean tweets about themselves for "College Gameday."

Lee Corso's pick: FSU vs. Oklahoma State

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
12:48
PM ET
video

Former WWE superstar "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Lee Corso make their predictions for Florida State Seminoles at Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Video: Sarkisian's remarks on accusation

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
12:35
PM ET
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USC Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian addresses the accusations made by senior running back Anthony Brown, calling Sarkisian a racist man after quitting the team.

Miami announces Olsen suspension

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
12:28
PM ET
Miami officially announced Sunday that quarterback Kevin Olsen has been suspended from the season opener against Louisville for a violation of team standards.

The suspension was one of the worst kept secrets in college football, initially reported by multiple news outlets in early August. Olsen was the projected starter headed into fall camp, but the suspension changed the quarterback competition. Miami coach Al Golden will start true freshman Brad Kaaya over transfer Jake Heaps.

Olsen is not scheduled to make the trip to Louisville. In addition, receiver Rashawn Scott is out for the game with a shoulder/clavicle injury. Interestingly, Miami did not list injured quarterback Ryan Williams (knee) on the injury report.

The teams play Monday night (8 ET, ESPN).

Video: Football playoff is simple ... right?

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
12:16
PM ET
video

Leaving behind the crystal of the BCS and bringing in the gold of a new era: Tom Rinaldi takes a look at the new solution: the College Football Playoff system -- simple ... right?

Video: Jameis Winston conversation

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
11:49
AM ET
video

Heisman Trophy winner and Florida State Seminoles QB Jameis Winston explains the ups and downs he's experienced in 2014 -- from winning the national championship to being cited for shoplifting -- and how he plans on helping the Seminoles repeat.

Video: Odd couple? Lane Kiffin, Nick Saban

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
10:59
AM ET
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"College GameDay" looks at the relationship between Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

Video: Melvin Gordon carrying the load

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
10:27
AM ET
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Melvin Gordon bypassed the NFL to return to the Wisconsin Badgers to become the feature running back. Scott Van Pelt talks with Gordon about this upcoming season.

Video: App. State upset, 7 years later

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
10:01
AM ET
video
Seven years later, we revisit one of the greatest upsets in college football history.
Tags:

Big Ten

Big Ten viewer's guide: Week 1

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
8:00
AM ET
Take a deep breath, Big Ten fans. The wait is over. Our first weekend of Big Ten football is finally here. And though we might be lacking in quality this weekend, at least there's quantity.

8:30 a.m. ET

Penn State vs. Central Florida (Dublin, Ireland), ESPN2: This overseas contest isn't the same without the O'Brien vs. O'Leary headline or the Hackenberg vs. Bortles undercard. But it could still be one of the more interesting games on tap, as it's James Franklin's debut as Penn State's head coach. The Nittany Lions are looking to once again shock the conference, and that will have to start with success from an inexperienced offensive line. The Nittany Lions have talent on offense -- Christian Hackenberg, Jesse James, Donovan Smith, Bill Belton, Zach Zwinak -- but a win won't come easy against a loaded Central Florida defense.

Noon ET

Indiana State at Indiana, ESPNews: If you haven't fallen asleep from waking up early for the Nittany Lions game, this one might cause you to fluff up that pillow. The Hoosiers upended the Sycamores 73-35 the past season and should once again put on an offensive clinic. Will Indiana's new defense be better? We probably won't find out based on this game.

Northern Iowa at Iowa, BTN: Kirk Ferentz's crew hasn't made quick work of its FCS opponents the past two seasons. Last year, Iowa edged out Missouri State 28-14 and the year before beat Northern Iowa 27-16. Northern Iowa is a middle-of-the-road FCS team this season, but those past two FCS games featured teams that finished below .500. It shouldn't be close, but then again, it shouldn't have been in 2012 or 2013 either.

Appalachian State at Michigan, ESPN2: Can history possibly repeat itself here? The 2007 game -- Mountaineers 34, Wolverines 32 -- was one of the greatest upsets in college football history. If you're a Big Ten fan, you should probably remember where you were when Julian Rauch nailed the field goal heard 'round the world to give App State a two-point lead with 26 seconds left in the game. No doubt the Wolverines will be more prepared this time around, but you can bet Appalachian State's confidence is pretty high, too.

Western Michigan at Purdue, ESPNU: Thankfully, it's not our job to tell you why you should watch these games. We're coming up relatively empty on this one. Purdue is just a nine-point favorite, which means this game should technically be closer than most of the others here. But the ratings for this game won't skyrocket based off that fact. Purdue's offense should be better, so if quarterback Danny Etling struggles in this game, it might already be time for Boilermakers fans to worry.

No. 5
Ohio State at Navy, CBS Sports Network:
Can Ohio State move on without Braxton Miller? Will Navy's triple-option fool this defensive line? How will J.T. Barrett fare in his first career start? The Midshipmen aren't a bad team, and plenty of questions are swirling around the Buckeyes' quarterback situation with the season-ending injury to Miller. All eyes will be on Barrett -- and how long a leash Urban Meyer gives him here.

12:05 ET

Youngstown State at Illinois, BTN: Tim Beckman could be on the hot seat this season, and if he loses to a team with a Penguin mascot, that seat will start heating up in no time. Wes Lunt could be in for a big season, but it'll be interesting to see who in the receiving corps can step up. Beckman is also counting on some juco players to plug roster holes, so we'll start to see how that's working out in this opener.

3:30 ET

James Madison at Maryland, BTN: First, Rutgers comes away with a win in its first game as a Big Ten member. Next, the Terrapins should follow suit. We should see offensive fireworks here, especially though the air, now that quarterback C.J. Brown is healthy, along with wideouts Stefon Diggs and Deon Long. James Madison is an average FCS team, though it nearly knocked off Akron the past season in a 35-33 loss.

Cal at Northwestern, ABC/ESPN2: No Venric Mark, no Christian Jones ... no problem? The Golden Bears are lousy, and the reins are now in the hands of Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian. The Wildcats are hoping to rebound from the past season with a bowl berth, and it'll have to get off on the right foot -- with a win over Cal -- to make that happen. Northwestern should start off 3-0 after a disappointing 5-7 finish in 2013.

Florida Atlantic at No. 22 Nebraska, BTN: It won't be the “Battle of the Pelinis” this season, as FAU coach Carl Pelini was fired the past season in the wake of drug allegations against his staff. The move wasn't without its controversy. We'll see if Bo Pelini is out to avenge his brother based on how ugly this game gets. If Ameer Abdullah wants to be a Heisman contender, he has to post crazy numbers in games like this.

9 ET

No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU (Houston), ESPN: Admit it. You're waiting all day for this Big Ten game. This could give the B1G respect on a national scale -- or, if it turns ugly, could give the rest of the Power 5 more ammunition to point a finger and label the conference weak. Melvin Gordon might be the best running back in the country, and he'll be facing a slightly above-average run defense. Is that enough to give the Badgers the win? LSU might have the advantage everywhere except at tailback and offensive line. This is the game to watch.

Weather

It looks as if the weather is pretty split this week -- nice and sunny in some places with chances of thunderstorms in others. First off, the good news: It'll be nice and clear for Penn State, Indiana, Ohio State, Illinois and Nebraska. Outside of Ireland, where it should be in the 60s, the temperature should vary between the 70s and 80s.

Elsewhere? Teams might not be so lucky. For Maryland and Wisconsin, thunderstorms could strike later in the games. For the other four teams -- Northwestern, Michigan, Purdue, Iowa -- thunderstorms could strike early but could clear up later.

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Season predictions | Weekly predictions | Fearless predictions | Bowl predictions

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Calhoun's dual role: hit 'em, make 'em smile

Terps' Leak, Brown draw from year off

Fast start would mean sunny days for B1G

In playoff era, will Rose stay as sweet?

B1G players in Week 1 spotlight

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Loaded backfields make it B1G's Year of the RB

Twitter: PSU sights & scenes from Ireland

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