LATEST STORIES FROM CRYSTAL BALL RUN

ACC Preview Week: Searching for the next Sammy Watkins

Eli Harold will look to make an impact in a hurry for Virginia. Is there another Sammy Watkins out there in the ACC? Another standout, super-versatile freshman ready to take the stage on the FBS level become the talk of college football's town? If you are looking for an offensive breakout candidate in the ACC, Stefon Diggs up in College Park could possibly fit the bill for...
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June 27, 2012  |  Discuss

Morning Playbook - Reactions to the college football playoff

Welcome to a new age in college football, whether you like it or not. Yesterday it was confirmed that a four-team playoff format will be the new way to determine a national champion in college football, with a selection committee choosing the teams and seeding them in a rotating bowl set of six games. Needless to say, the playoff format was a hot topic of conversation in the college...
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June 27, 2012  |  Discuss

UCLA offers a scholarship to Snoop Dogg's son

It’s not often we at Crystal Ball Run would make much of a fuss about a major college football program offering a scholarship to a soon to be high school sophomore. It happens every day, in every conference in college football. Nothing to see here, right? Not so fast my friends. We must remember that the devil is in the details, and the details of this scholarship-to-a-sophomore...
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June 26, 2012  |  Discuss

We Have a Playoff... We Really Do!

Progress in college football can be a slow developing thing and so that process continues as today the BCS Presidential Advisory Committee announced their support of a 4 team playoff to begin in the 2014 season. It's a giant first step in giving college football fans everywhere what they want: A National Champion determined by the play on the field and less by polls and computers...
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June 26, 2012  |  Discuss

The bond between Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin and his younger sister Carlye

Entering the 2012 season, excitement is at an all-time high around the Arkansas State football program. Arkansas native Gus Malzahn has taken over as head coach. The team returns 12 starters off a team that won 10 games and a Sun Belt title last year. And most importantly, three-year starter Ryan Aplin returns at quarterback, where the reigning conference Player of the Year already...
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June 26, 2012  |  Discuss

Five Big Questions: ACC

It’s ACC Week here at Crystal Ball Run, and with it, time to ask the biggest questions entering the 2012 season. Is this the year Florida State emerges? The year Virginia Tech takes a step back? Can anyone come out of the deep dark basement and surprise some folks? It’s time to take a look by digging into “Five Big Questions,” ACC style… 5. Can Anyone From The Bottom...
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June 26, 2012  |  Discuss

Morning Playbook - Getting ready for postseason changes

Before we get started, we recommend you get your day started with a well-balanced breakfast. This may or may not include a bowl of Cornhusker All Stars... Would love to see those trading cars if anyone has them. HT: Reddit Today is the day that could officially change college football postseason's future with the adoption of a four-team playoff model. The...
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June 26, 2012  |  Discuss

ACC Preview Week: A look back at seasons past

As we kick off our conference previews with an entire week dedicated to the ACC we also want to take a look back on the conference's history. Today is a brief retrospective of the ACC. Last Year in the ACC Conference Champion: Clemson (10-4, 6-2) We went in to last season with many expecting Florida State to be the team to beat but the Clemson Tigers were the team who got...
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June 25, 2012  |  Discuss

Case of the Mondays: Essential Smart Football really is essential

Let's make it hot. 1. Football junkies know Chris Brown as the pigskin savant behind the brilliant strategy site Smart Football and a columnist for Grantland. He added author to his lengthy resume last month with the release of The Essential Smart Football, a compendium of his greatest hits. (Full disclosure: I consider Chris a friend and was provided a complimentary copy...
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June 25, 2012  |  Discuss

Danny Sheridan reports Saban wouldn't give in to Nkemdiche's wishes

Dabo Swinney reportedly was willing to do something Nick Saban wasn’t to land the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Grayson (Ga.) defensive end Robert Nkemdiche. Emphasize reportedly, because polarizing USA Today handicapper Danny Sheridan is behind the report. Sheridan, of course, also claimed that the NCAA knew the name of the bagman that allegedly paid Cam Newton to come to Auburn...
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June 24, 2012  |  Discuss

Meeting of the Minds: Which of the big three falls short?

How close is Slick Nick from falling off a cliff in 2012? We've wrapped up our preseason top 10 countdown, as well as profiling a few teams that just barely missed the cut. Like many of the pundits and prognosticators, we arrived at a consensus triumvirate of LSU, Alabama and USC as the cream of the crop. Nothing in college football ever works according to plan, of course...
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June 23, 2012  |  Discuss

Crystal Ball Run Preseason Top 10: Next 5

Here at Crystal Ball Run we've provided an early look at our preseason Top 10 for the 2012 season. And the writers here gave you an outstanding look at: 10. West Virginia 9. Ohio State 8. Arkansas 7. Florida State 6. Oklahoma 5. Georgia 4. Oregon 3. LSU 2. Alabama 1. USC But we know you're wondering who missed the cut. Well, here's a quick look at the next...
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June 23, 2012  |  Discuss

Former Penn St. assistant Jerry Sandusky found guilt of sexual molestation

The criminal trial in the sexual abuse case that rocked Penn St. and the surrounding State College community drew to a close late Friday night with a guilty verdict in former Nittany Lions assistant Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse case. Sandusky was convicted on 45 of the 48 counts against him. Following the announcement of the verdict, news cameras captured a silent Sandusky...
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June 22, 2012  |  Discuss

Crystal Ball Run Preseason Top 10: No. 1 USC

It’s been a long Top 10 Week here at Crystal Ball Run, but finally we’ve made it to No. 1. And with that we’ve got a surprise for you… Ok, who are we kidding, it’s USC. Lane Kiffin’s club enters 2012 off as everybody’s No. 1, with a Heisman Trophy favorite, talented defense and more skill position talent than half the teams in the NFL. At the same time, the Trojans...
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June 22, 2012  |  Discuss

NFL Draft Profile: The symbiotic relationship of Tyler Wilson and Cobi Hamilton

Playing quarterback in college football is no easy task. Playing in the SEC as a college quarterback can sometimes be harder than playing against some NFL defenses. On that alone, Tyler Wilson of Arkansas will have his hands full leading the Razorbacks against LSU and Alabama in the SEC West. But Wilson will have far more obstacles to overcome for his senior season. Last year'...
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June 22, 2012  |  Discuss

Crystal Ball Run Preseason Top 10: No. 2 Alabama

 Nick Saban and Les Milles will meet at midfield in November. Maybe. No. 2 -- Alabama Crimson Tide Alabama in a Word: Elite Las Vegas oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman estimated Southern Cal would be a three-point favorite over Alabama on a neutral field in a fantasy Week 1 matchup. That’s got to irk Tide fans, and likely SEC fans overall. Nick Saban, as most expected, has taken Alabama...
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June 22, 2012  |  Discuss

Morning Playbook - Coach Butch Jones is witness to LeBron's first championship

LeBron James has finally silenced (some of) his critics by helping the Miami Heat capture an NBA championship last night. Cincinnati BearCats head coach Butch Jones had a front row seat for all of last night's action in Miami. But really, now that the NBA season is finally over, it is one less distraction from getting ready for college football, and that's what really matters...
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June 22, 2012  |  Discuss

Texas Tech ups the ante against divisive Longhorn Network

Texas Tech detests the Longhorn Network so much that the Red Raiders would rather not play at all than play a game on it. At least, that's one way to read Thursday night's report from Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com that Tech is mulling the cancellation of its Sept. 8 game at Texas St., which may be broadcast on the LHN. Aside from playing just an 11-game season, that...
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June 22, 2012  |  Discuss

Crystal Ball Run Preseason Top 10: No. 3 LSU

We are getting down to the nitty gritty and the coveted top two spots in Crystal Ball Run's preseason top ten. You might think this team deserves a spot in either of those positions, and by the time the season ends they could very well be there, but our number three team this preseason is none other than last year's runner-up, LSU. To rundown our Top Ten so far... ...
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June 21, 2012  |  Discuss

Gazing into the Crystal Ball: Week Three

The camaraderie and fellowship remain in full effect in the halls of the Crystal Ball Run, and the fun we have never ceases to amaze me. With our magical crystal ball lost in transit one of our fearless leaders, Aaron Torres, stepped up big. Actually, he just used FedEx and overnighted the beauty my way for a look at the third week of the college football season. Aaron just reviewed...
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June 21, 2012  |  Discuss

Crystal Ball Run Preseason Top 10: No. 4 Oregon

Here at Crystal Ball Run, we’ve spent this entire week previewing our Preseason Top 10 headed into 2012. You’ve seen profiles on West Virginia, Ohio State, Arkansas, Florida State, Oklahoma and Georgia. Now though, it’s time to talk some big-boy football, with one of the smallest (in stature, anyway) teams in FBS football: The Oregon Ducks. Chip Kelly has turned the program...
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June 21, 2012  |  Discuss

Morning Playbook - We're talking playoffs, and not kidding you!

The era of the four-team playoff is just about here after developments last night. The commissioners of each FBS conference (and Notre Dame Athletics director Jack Swarbrick) announced that they were unanimous in their support for a seeded four-team playoff model. Here is what we know at this point. A selection committee is preferred by the commissioners, although the size of...
Via Crystal Ball Run
June 21, 2012  |  Discuss

Big 12 expansion: Everybody wins, except the ACC

The conference realignment rumor birds started tweeting again Wednesday morning with talk that Notre Dame was closing in on a deal to park its so called Olympic sports in the Big 12. The talk intensified when everyone's favorite realignment rumormonger Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reported that the ND-Big 12 union was on track. While Brown suggested that the move could spark...
Via Crystal Ball Run
June 21, 2012  |  Discuss

It's official: College football will have a four-team playoff starting in 2014!

The news that college football fans have been waiting for arrived late Wednesday afternoon: The sport we love so dearly is getting a playoff. With approval from the BCS presidential oversight committee (which will meet June 26 in Washington D.C.), the four best teams in the sport will meet on the field to determine a title starting in the 2014. Most of the key details have already...
Via Crystal Ball Run
June 20, 2012  |  Discuss

Crystal Ball Run Preseason Top 10: No.5 Georgia

All this week, Crystal Ball Run will be counting down what our writers consider to be the preseason top 10 teams in college football. The rankings are based on ballots submitted by our writers in which they were asked to rank their top 10 based on pure team strength. In other words, the team that is ranked No. 1 would be favored over every other team on a neutral field, the team...
Via Crystal Ball Run
June 20, 2012  |  Discuss
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