USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for Week 14

On a weekend that was supposed to be the final one of the college football season, the schedule looks more like one you would see in September. There’s some quality games, but nothing that would appear to have much influence on the top teams. 

Clemson passes Ohio State in Amway Coaches Poll

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The biggest test for the College Football Playoff contenders sees No. 6 Texas A&M travel to Auburn. The Aggies need an impressive win to bolster their case with  the committee, but they struggled last week to put away LSU. The Tigers have the ability to making things difficult, especially if quarterback Bo Nix can put together four consistent quarters.



a group of football players playing a football game: Auburn wide receiver Seth Williams (18) is tackled by Texas A&M defensive back Demani Richardson during their 2019 game at Kyle Field.


© John Glaser, USA TODAY Sports
Auburn wide receiver Seth Williams (18) is tackled by Texas A&M defensive back Demani Richardson during their 2019 game at Kyle Field.

There’s a big game in the Big Ten with No. 11 Indiana still in contention to represent the East in the conference championship game. The Hoosiers, however, will face a challenge at No. 19 Wisconsin after losing quarterback Michael Penix Jr., the conference’s leader in passing yards, to a season-ending knee injury.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

WHAT TO WATCH: Five biggest questions for Week 14 in college football 

QB RANKINGS: Clemson’s Lawrence makes major move after return

ANALYSIS: Winners and losers from the College Football Playoff rankings

In the Group of Five, there’s a rare non-conference showdown of unbeatens that sees No. 8 Brigham Young travel to No. 14 Coastal Carolina. The game was put together on short notice after Liberty had to drop out of playing the Chanticleers due to COVID-19 issues. A win would provide a huge boost to the Cougars in their bid to play in the New Year’s Six. Costal Carolina has similar aspirations, but it would likely be as the Sun Belt champion if Cincinnati were to lose. A win Saturday would significantly help its case.





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2020 sports schedule: Four Top 25 college basketball games on deck; An updated look at this year’s calendar

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This year has been like any other due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and that includes the sports season. When the pandemic hit in March, sporting events around the world were canceled or postponed. Some leagues and tournaments were forced to cancel, others paused with the hope of restarting, but all had to adjust in some way.

As the world continues to navigate the pandemic, many sports leagues that paused in March have since created a plan to restart found a safe way to carry out their season. For instance, the NBA and NHL had “bubbles” for players to live in. In other sports, fans are not permitted at many events and new health protocols have been put in place.

Stay up to date with what games are on by checking out our daily schedule of sporting events.

Today’s sporting events:

Thursday, December 3

Men’s College Basketball

  • Western Illinois vs. #3 Iowa, 8 p.m.
  • Washburn vs. #7 Kansas, 8 p.m.
  • VMI vs. #16 Virginia Tech, 8 p.m.
  • #25 Arizona State vs. California, 10 p.m.

College Football

  • Louisiana Tech vs. North Texas, 6 p.m.
  • Air Force vs. Utah State, 9:30 p.m.

Here’s an overall look at the current 2020 sports calendar

U.S. Women’s Open: December 10 – 13, 2020

The USGA rescheduled the U.S. Women’s Open from the original June 4-7 date. It will be played over two courses due to less daylight in December.

2020 Summer Olympics: Summer 2021

The 2020 Summer Olympics were moved to 2021, but could still look a lot different when they are played. The IOC could decide to limit fans or have no fans at all at the games for health reasons.

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Competition that increases depth has been crucial for third-seeded University in Division II | High School Sports

No one questions the importance of competition in an LHSAA football playoff game. However, University High coach Andy Martin said competition within his own team is just as important.

Case in point? The return of the Cubs’ top rusher Derrick Graham to the lineup last week and what transpired before that.

Graham ran for 73 yards and two touchdowns in a 55-12 win over Evangel Christian to open the Division II select playoffs. Third-seeded U-High (7-1) hosts No. 6 Vandebilt Catholic (6-1) for a quarterfinal game set for 7 p.m. Friday.

If you did not notice Graham missed a few games with bruised chest/collar bone, including a District 7-3A showdown with Madison Prep, you are not alone. Brian Beck rushed for 339 yards and three TDs and now is the complement to Graham, who has 367 rushing yards and eight TDs.

“No matter how good you are, competition makes you better,” Martin said. “When Derrick got hurt, Brian Beck came on and played well. Now they push each other in practice every day and for us, I think that is a good thing.

“Really, guys stepping in to play when another player goes down has been a big part of this season for us. We have had guys step into starting roles or on special teams who have responded when they are called on.”

Martin said his team did two things that impressed him last week. First, they played through a stormy night instead of being played by the elements. Most importantly, they found ways to improve while winning their seventh straight game.

“I tell them every week, I want to be able to turn in the film and see that we got better as a team,” Martin said. “Even though we pulled our starters early, I saw that.”

Broncos can extend streak

Third-seeded Zachary hosts No. 14 New Iberia (7-2) at 7 p.m. Friday with a notable streak on the line. A win would put the Broncos in the Class 5A quarterfinals for the eighth straight season.

Zachary advanced to the quarterfinals in 2013 under Neil Weiner, now the head coach at Dunham. David Brewerton took over in 2014 and has coached the Broncos to three Class 5A titles and to six consecutive semifinal berths.

Johnson’s big-game numbers

Eighth-seeded Donaldsonville showed no letdown coming off two weeks of COVID-19 quarantine in last week’s 46-0 win over Loranger in large part to running back Rae’land Johnson.

Johnson, who ran for 246 yards and three TDs, has 439 yards and six TDs in the Class 3A Tigers’ most significant games this season. He rushed for 193 yards and three TDs in a 50-28 victory over St. James earlier in the season. The Tigers (5-2) host No. 9 Madison Prep (6-2) Friday night.

Other numbers

Passing numbers can be deceptive, but St. James’ Marquell Bergeron (1,379 yards in nine games) and Zachary’s Eli Holstein (1,262 yards in six games) have been impressive in an abbreviated season.

Though his team is

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College football games on CBS Sports Network — Watch Louisiana Tech vs. North Texas live stream, TV channel

Buffalo jumped into the driver’s seat in the MAC’s East division with a 70-41 win over Kent State last week and will look to stay there on Saturday when the Bulls play at Ohio in one of six games on CBS Sports Network this weekend. But the 2-1 Bobcats should have a pretty good idea of how to slow Buffalo down, because it’s a recipe that has worked for them the past two seasons. It’s all about stopping Jaret Patterson.

A junior running back coming off a 1,799-yard season, Patterson made his name known around the country last week when he tied an FBS record with eight rushing touchdowns against Kent State. In all, he finished with 409 yards on the ground, falling just short of another FBS record. But in two career games against Ohio, Patterson has run for just 75 yards on 21 carries.

The Bobcats will be looking to replicate that success against Patterson and get back into contention for the league title. With a 2-1 record, Ohio is just a three-point loss to Central Michigan away from being 3-0, and beating a Buffalo team that is enjoying the national spotlight would make quite a statement. That matchup is just one of the storylines that will be at play on CBS Sports Network during week 14 of the college football season.

North Texas vs. Louisiana Tech

Date: Thursday, Dec. 3 | Time: 6 p.m. ET
Location: Apogee Stadium — Denton, Texas
TV: CBS Sports Network [Channel finder] 
Live stream: CBSSports.com | Mobile: CBS Sports App

Storylines: After playing seven straight weeks to open the season, Louisiana Tech (4-3) has been off since Oct. 31. The hiatus has cost them two key playmakers, as leading receiver Adrian Hardy and veteran Justen Henderson have opted out of the season’s final stretch. The Mean Green (3-4) dealt with a three-week break of their own and are 1-1 since.

Air Force vs. Utah State

Date: Thursday, Dec. 3 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: Maverik Stadium — Logan, Utah
TV: CBS Sports Network [Channel finder] 
Live stream: CBSSports.com | Mobile: CBS Sports App

Storylines: Both teams beat New Mexico in their most recent game, so they should be able to use film from those games to get a reasonable gauge of what to expect. For Utah State, it was the first win in a season that’s already featured a coaching change. Co-defensive coordinator Frank Maile is two games into his stint as interim coach following Gary Andersen’s departure. Things have been a bit more stable at Air Force, where the Falcons are 2-2, including a huge 40-7 win over rival Navy in the opener.

UNLV vs. Boise State

Date: Friday, Dec. 4 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium — Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: CBS Sports Network [Channel finder] 
Live stream: CBSSports.com | Mobile: CBS Sports App

Storylines: The Broncos are 4-1 with their only loss coming to BYU when they were without their top two quarterbacks. So, in essence,

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Sports on TV, November 30-December 6: NFL, MLS playoffs, college football and basketball, golf, soccer and more

The following is a glance at sports on TV, including channels, radio listings and game times for local games and national sporting events for November 30-December 6, 2020. Frequent TV channel numbers are listed at the bottom of the page. Schedule subject to change and/or blackouts. All times Pacific.

Note: Check back often for updates throughout the week. For a complete list of sports on the air posts, bookmark topics.oregonlive.com/tag/sports%20on%20the%20air/

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30

NFL

5:15 p.m.

ESPN — Seattle at Philadelphia, KXTG (750), KFXX (1080), KGON (92.3)

SOCCER

9:30 a.m.

NBCSN — Premier League: Fulham at Leicester

Noon

NBCSN — Premier League: Aston Villa at West Ham

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

9 a.m.

ESPN2 — Texas vs. Davidson

11:30 a.m.

ESPN2 — Indiana vs. Providence

3 p.m.

ESPNU — St. John’s vs. Boston College

4 p.m.

ESPN2 — North Carolina vs. UNLV

FS1 — Eastern Kentucky at Xavier

ACCN — William & Mary at NC State

4:30 p.m.

Pac-12 — Nicholls State at California

5 p.m.

ESPNU — Kansas City at Kansas State

BTN — Loyola Marymount at Minnesota

SECN — Texas State at Mississippi State

6 p.m.

FS1 — Iona at Seton Hall

6:30 p.m.

ESPN2 — Stanford vs. Alabama

Pac-12 — Long Beach State at UCLA

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

6 p.m.

Carroll at Oregon State

Simpson at Portland State

8 p.m.

NBCSNW — Oregon at Portland, KMTT (910)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1

NFL

5 p.m.

NBC — Baltimore at Pittsburgh, KXTG (750)

SOCCER

Noon

NBCSN — Premier League: teams TBD

6:30 p.m.

FS1 — MLS playoffs: Dallas at Seattle

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

7:30 a.m.

CBSSN — Western Kentucky at Charlotte

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

10:30 a.m.

ESPN — Maui Invitational semifinal

11:30 a.m.

ESPN2 — BYU vs. USC

1 p.m.

ESPN — Maui Invitational semifinal

2 p.m.

ESPN2 — Vanderbilt vs. Connecticut

FS1 — Nebraska-Omaha at Creighton

4 p.m.

ESPN2 — Maui Invitational consolation semifinal

FS1 — Oklahoma State at Marquette

4:30 p.m.

ESPN — Michigan State at Duke

6:30 p.m.

ESPN — Kentucky vs. Kansas

ESPN2 — Maui Invitational consolation semifinal

GOLF

Midnight

Golf — European: Dubai Championship

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2

SOCCER

Noon

NBCSN — Premier League: teams TBD

6 p.m.

FS1 — MLS playoffs: Minnesota at Kansas City

AMERICAN FOOTBALL

1 p.m.

FS1 — Spring League final

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

9:30 a.m.

ESPN2 — teams TBD

10:30 a.m.

ESPN — Maui Invitational third-place

Noon

ESPN2 — teams TBD

1 p.m.

ESPN — Maui Invitational final

2 p.m.

ESPN2 — Florida at Oklahoma

4 p.m.

Root — Western Michigan at Notre Dame

ESPN — Gonzaga vs. West Virginia

ESPN2 — Maui Invitational fifth-place

FS1 — Tennessee Tech at Xavier

6:30 p.m.

ESPN2 — Maui Invitational seventh-place

7 p.m.

ESPN — Illinois vs. Baylor

Pac-12 — Oregon State at Washington State, KPOJ (620)/KEX (1190)

GOLF

1 p.m.

Golf — LPGA: Volunteers of America Classic Charity Challenge

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3

NFL

5:20 p.m.

Fox, NFLN — Dallas at Baltimore, KXTG (750)

SOCCER

Noon

NBCSN — Premier League: teams TBD

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

6:30

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College football rankings: Oklahoma works its way into top 10 of new CBS Sports 127

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CBS Sports graphic

While the top eight spots remain unchanged after Week 13, some shake up in the middle of the rankings has opened the door for Oklahoma to make it back into the top 10 of the CBS Sports 127, our comprehensive ranking of every active FBS team, for the first time since late September. 

The Sooners have run the table since dropping back-to-back games to Kansas State and Iowa State. With every victory, they have slowly worked their way a little bit higher up the rankings. Saturday’s game against West Virginia wasn’t played, but losses by Northwestern and Oregon have opened the door for Oklahoma to make its return to that top 10 status that we’re used to seeing from Lincoln Riley’s program. 

There’s still work left to be done, but if Oklahoma can close out the regular season in similar fashion, it will set up a rematch against Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Cyclones moved up three spots to No. 13 after beating Texas, which was one of our biggest movers of the week with its drop out of the top 25 to No. 30. For more on the biggest one-week adjustments, check out the Mover’s Report below. 

Elsewhere in the rankings, we see Northwestern’s fall limited by its win against Wisconsin while Oregon nearly dropped out of the top 25 after losing to Oregon State. The CBS Sports 127 voters also showed some apparent influence from the College Football Playoff Selection Committee with a major adjustment on the ranking of Iowa, a team that was not in the top 25 in the polls or our rankings heading into the week but then showed up at No. 24 in the College Football Playoff Rankings last Tuesday. The Hawkeyes did their part to hold on to that top-30 status with a victory against Nebraska that makes four straight wins after starting the season 0-2. 

College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-127 on our rankings page.

Biggest movers 

  • No. 25 Colorado (+15): The Buffaloes were not able to play USC this week but quickly adjusted. Colorado not only got San Diego State on the schedule but won the game to improve to 3-0 in year one with Karl Dorrell. 
  • No. 32 Buffalo (+15): Stop sleeping on the Bulls! It took a historic performance by Jaret Patterson to get a little buzz going behind a Buffalo team that is dominating everyone in its way in the MAC. Saturday’s game against Kent State was for the lead in the East, and there was never a doubt who would come out victorious once Patterson got rolling in the first half. 
  • No. 24 Iowa (+14): Our voters were quick to penalize Iowa for its 0-2 start and slower to return to the Hawkeyes to their top 25 status, but four straight wins have them surging in the
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Axe: An unforgettable weekend for Syracuse University sports

Syracuse, N.Y. —The great philosopher Ferris Bueller once opined that “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

We need to apply that to a weekend of mind-blowing things that happened to Syracuse University football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

I know 2020 has played a constant game of “hold my beer,” but let us take a moment to reflect on a few extraordinary events:

-Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim admitted that his team should have never been on the floor on Friday night at the Dome.

Boeheim, one of the fiercest competitors to ever reside in the Milky Way Galaxy, saying his Orange were better off not playing a game it won?

Whoa.

I mean, the phrase “it took a pandemic” has been overused in 2020, but it took a pandemic for Boeheim to admit maybe his team wasn’t ready to play against Bryant after being shutdown by COVID-19 protocols for 12 days prior to Friday’s game.

Boeheim called the choice of playing or potentially postponing “100 percent my fault.”

“The medical doctors make (the decision) that they’re healthy to play,” Boeheim said. “I make the decision on whether it’s smart to play the game. When you don’t play for 14 days, it’s not smart.”

-The Syracuse football team had a chance to win a game but lost when its quarterback inexplicably spiked the football on 4th down and goal.

Let’s break down that sentence a little more closely.

The Syracuse football team had a chance to win.

It did! No kidding. Syracuse trailed NC State by a score of 36-29 with :24 seconds remaining and had the ball on the 7-yard line with a chance to score.

Quarterback Rex Culpepper made a big mistake when he scrambled on third down and did not get rid of the football, resulting in a sack.

Culpepper, once sidelined by testicular cancer, had a chance to be a conquering hero on 4th down and goal just before the clock was set to expire.

Instead, well, the second part of that sentence above happened.

But lost when its quarterback inexplicably spiked the football on 4th down and goal.

Wait …what?

Yup.

Spiked. The. Ball. On. Fourth. Down.

-We can’t let it slide that earlier in the same game, NC State quarterback Bailey Hockman committed what may be the strangest safety recorded at the Carrier Dome in its 40-year history.

Under pressure in the end zone, Hockman chucked the ball backwards, resulting in two points for the Syracuse defense.

You don’t see that everyday.

-On Sunday night, Syracuse women’s basketball began the 2020-21 season with a 50-39 win over Stony Brook.

Syracuse guard Tiana Mangakahia played in a competitive basketball game Sunday afternoon for the first time in 615 days.

Mangakahia, who sat out last season while being treated for breast cancer, scored 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists.

“I’m just so grateful that she has the opportunity

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Guerin-teed it was quite a week: College football coaches can’t descend into child’s play at a time like this | OU Sports Extra

I understand the pandemic has stressed out everyone, college football coaches included. Now that we’ve reached December and it appears we’re headed for a postseason, the coaches aren’t just trying to keep their team together, they’re jockeying for playoff/bowl/conference championship position. So that’s another layer of tension.

And yet this does not justify adults acting like children.

Remember August, when we decided to proceed with the season? We entrusted the coaches to live up to their role-model responsibilities, to take extra care of their players by being extra mature in the face of difficulties we all knew were coming.

The coaches have gotten a lot of those responsibilities right since then. That helps explain why so much of the season has been played.

There are no free passes, however, when silly gamesmanship causes bad behavior. Coaches can’t lose their way just because it’s late in the season and championships and postseason appearances are at stake.

They are still at stake for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa, but Lincoln Riley, Mike Gundy and Philip Montgomery can’t lose their way. There’s too much riding on them, and no I’m not talking about contract bonuses or bowl game payouts.

They have to be adults, every second of every day, so their kids can meet the challenges of this season unlike any other, and everyone can make it through.

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Watch Now: OSU vs. Texas Tech notebook: Dezmon Jackson has career day; Boone Pickens statue unveiled | OSU Sports Extra

“He changed how we felt about our university,” athletic director Mike Holder said during the ceremony. “He changed giving to an unprecedented level. In essence, he changed our university forever. And for those reasons he was and he will always be the greatest Cowboy of them all.”

The statue is located on the west side of Boone Pickens Stadium and it was announced Saturday that a Barry Sanders statue is also expected to arrive on campus soon.

First kickoff return TD in six years

Oklahoma State had 12 kickoffs returned for a touchdown in Gundy’s first eight seasons, from 2005-2013. But the Cowboys hadn’t returned a kick for a score since Tyreek Hill in 2014. Jason Taylor ended the drought with a 48-yard kickoff return on an onside kick attempt in the third quarter.

Safety Tre Sterling returned an interception for 65 yards to give OSU two non-offensive touchdowns. It was the first time OSU has had two non-offensive TDs since Madre Harper and Ramon Richards returned fumbles against Southeastern Louisiana in 2016.

Wallace with another 100-yard game

Tylan Wallace continues to show why he is considered one of the best wide receivers in the country. He finished with seven catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. It was Wallace’s 14th career 100-yard receiving game, which is the fifth-most in OSU history.

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OSU vs. Texas Tech notebook: Dezmon Jackson has career day; Boone Pickens statue unveiled | OSU Sports Extra

His $165 million donation to OSU in 2005 was the largest single donation to an athletics program in NCAA history. Pickens was honored a couple of hours before the game with the unveiling of his statue, sculpted out of bronze.

“He changed how we felt about our university,” athletic director Mike Holder said during the ceremony. “He changed giving to an unprecedented level. In essence, he changed our university forever. And for those reasons he was and he will always be the greatest Cowboy of them all.”

The statue is located on the west side of Boone Pickens Stadium and it was announced Saturday that a Barry Sanders statue is also expected to arrive on campus soon.

First kickoff return TD in six years

Oklahoma State had 12 kickoffs returned for a touchdown in Gundy’s first eight seasons, from 2005-2013. But the Cowboys hadn’t returned a kick for a score since Tyreek Hill in 2014. Jason Taylor ended the drought with a 48-yard kickoff return on an onside kick attempt in the third quarter.

Safety Tre Sterling returned an interception for 65 yards to give OSU two non-offensive touchdowns. It was the first time OSU has had two non-offensive TDs since Madre Harper and Ramon Richards returned fumbles against Southeastern Louisiana in 2016.

Wallace with another 100-yard game

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