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Ranking the Best Position Units in College Football Early in 2020 | Bleacher Report

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    DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and John Metchie III

    DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and John Metchie IIIL.G. Patterson/Associated Press

    When a college football team is thriving, that success is always a product of multiple position groups playing well. But one particular unit usually deserves much of the praise.

    In the early stages of the 2020 season, several of these units have emerged. For this piece, “best” describes the most effective position groups on the most successful teams. So, yes, the highest-ranked programs are well represented.

    Additionally, the selections provide a snapshot of what has happened so far, not necessarily a projection of what’s to come.

    Quarterbacks are not included in the list; only positions with two-plus contributors were considered.

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    Emilee Chinn/Associated Press

    Two years ago, Appalachian State showcased an overwhelming secondary. That team surrendered 5.7 yards per pass attempt and a 56.5 completion percentage and logged 17 interceptions to eight touchdowns. This season’s secondary is statistically comparable.

    So far, the Mountaineers have surrendered just 491 passing yards in three games. Opponents have completed an FBS-worst 40.5 percent of their attempts with a meager 6.6 yards per throw.

    Shemar Jean-Charles leads App State with eight pass breakups, while Kaiden Smith has four and an interception. Shaun Jolly is a terrific corner, and Ryan Huff (pictured) has an interception too. That quartet is the foundation of a lockdown secondary.

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    While quarterback Zach Wilson is the star and the offensive line deserves a ton of credit, BYU’s running backs are excelling too.

    Tyler Allgeier (pictured) has scampered for 391 yards at a scorching 7.4-yard clip and scored four touchdowns in four games. Lopini Katoa has provided versatility with 215 rushing yards and eight catches for 78 yards, totaling four touchdowns.

    For good measure, Jackson McChesney added 56 yards and

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College Football Playoff Projections: Week 7 Rankings and Bowl Forecast | Bleacher Report

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Oklahoma State RB Chuba Hubbard

Oklahoma State RB Chuba HubbardBrody Schmidt/Associated Press

Here is the full breakdown of bowl projections, listed alphabetically by conference. New Year’s Six games have been italicized and underlined to help those of you who just scrolled to the bottom to find the marquee games.  

American (9 teams): Cincinnati (Peach Bowl), Houston (Armed Forces Bowl), Memphis (Fenway Bowl), Navy (Military Bowl), SMU (Birmingham Bowl), Temple (Boca Raton Bowl), Tulane (First Responder Bowl), Tulsa (Myrtle Beach Bowl), UCF (Gasparilla Bowl)

ACC (11 teams): Boston College (Fenway Bowl), Clemson (Sugar Bowl), Florida State (Military Bowl), Georgia Tech (Holiday Bowl), Miami (Gator Bowl), NC State (Duke’s Mayo Bowl), North Carolina (Cotton Bowl), Notre Dame (Orange Bowl), Pittsburgh (Pinstripe Bowl), Virginia (Sun Bowl), Virginia Tech (Cheez-It Bowl)

Big 12 (7 teams): Baylor (First Responder Bowl), Iowa State (Cheez-It Bowl), Kansas State (Cactus Bowl), Oklahoma (Alamo Bowl), Oklahoma State (Cotton Bowl), Texas (Texas Bowl), West Virginia (Liberty Bowl)

Big Ten (9 teams): Iowa (Cactus Bowl), Michigan (Citrus Bowl), Michigan State (Pinstripe Bowl), Minnesota (Duke’s Mayo Bowl), Nebraska (Music City Bowl), Ohio State (Rose Bowl), Penn State (Fiesta Bowl), Purdue (Quick Lane Bowl), Wisconsin (Outback Bowl)

Conference USA (5 teams): Florida Atlantic (Boca Raton Bowl), Louisiana Tech (Armed Forces Bowl), Marshall (New Orleans Bowl), UAB (New Mexico Bowl), UTSA (Frisco Bowl)

Independents (4 teams): Army (Independence Bowl), BYU (Peach Bowl), Liberty (Myrtle Beach Bowl)

Mid-American (6 teams): Ball State (Cure Bowl), Buffalo (Quick Lane Bowl), Central Michigan (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl), Miami-Ohio (Camellia Bowl), Ohio (LendingTree Bowl), Toledo (Arizona Bowl)

Mountain West (5 teams): Air Force (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl), Boise State (Los Angeles Bowl), Nevada (New Mexico Bowl), San Diego State (Arizona Bowl), Wyoming (Frisco Bowl)

Pac-12 (7 teams): Arizona State (Sun Bowl), California (Los Angeles Bowl),

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Le’Veon Bell’s Career Earnings After Early Release from Jets Contract | Bleacher Report

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New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Le’Veon Bell’s short stint with the New York Jets proved extremely lucrative, even if his production didn’t match his salary. 

The Jets released Bell on Tuesday, less than two years into the four-year, $52.5 million contract he signed in March 2019. The $28 million he earned in 17 games with New York is nearly double the $16.2 million he earned as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers over five seasons.

Bell was a key cog in the Steelers’ offense from 2013-2017, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2014 and 2017 while tallying more than 1,200 yards rushing three times. After his second All-Pro season, Bell sat out the entire 2018 campaign due to a contract dispute with Pittsburgh. 

The Steelers handed off to Bell a career-high 321 times in 2017, and the tailback was looking to sign an extension before becoming a free agent following the 2018 season. When Pittsburgh instead franchise-tagged him, Bell elected to remain on the sidelines rather than risk his health in a contract year. 

From a financial standpoint, there’s no question the decision made sense. The Jets gave Bell a four-year, $52.5 million contract with $35 million guaranteed and a maximum value of $61 million overall, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

He didn’t come close to justifying that contract, though. Across the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Bell carried the ball 264 times for 863 yards and three touchdowns to go with 500 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Spotrac.com puts Bell’s career estimated earnings at nearly $44.1 million. That number could jump up again in the near future if Bell signs elsewhere as a free agent. 

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College Football Rankings 2020: Week 7 Polls, Schedule and Standings Predictions | Bleacher Report

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Alabama quarterback Mac Jones looks for a receiver against Michigan during the second half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

John Raoux/Associated Press

One of the most anticipated games of the college football season will give us an insight into which team may be the best College Football Playoff contender out of the SEC.

No. 2 Alabama hosts No. 3 Georgia Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium in a game that should take over the national spotlight. This will also be the first time the the two teams have met in the regular season since 2015. 

The winner of the SEC showdown will be viewed as the top contender to Clemson in the Top 25 rankings and will gain a massive advantage in the playoff discussion. 

Although no other ranked programs face each other in the upcoming week, seven Top 25 sides have to go on the road, and some may have tougher challenges on their hands than expected. 

          

Week 7 Schedule

All Times ET.

Wednesday, October 14

Coastal Carolina at No. 21 Louisiana (7:30 p.m., ESPN)

       

Friday, October 16

No. 17 SMU at Tulane (6 p.m., ESPN)

No. 15 BYU at Houston (9 p.m., ESPN)

     

Saturday, October 17

No. 1 Clemson at Georgia Tech (Noon, ABC)

No. 8 Cincinnati at Tulsa (Noon, ESPN2)

Pittsburgh at No. 13 Miami (Noon, ACC Network)

No. 14 Auburn at South Carolina (Noon, ESPN)

Louisville at No. 4 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m., NBC)

LSU at No. 10 Florida (3:30 p.m., ESPN)

No. 11 Texas A&M at Mississippi State (4 p.m., SEC Network)

No. 5 North Carolina at Florida State (7 p.m., ESPN)

No. 3 Georgia at No. 2 Alabama (8 p.m., CBS)

Boston College at No. 23 Virginia Tech (8 p.m., ACC Network)

            

Predictions

Alabama Handles Georgia At Home, Tests Clemson For No. 1 Spot

L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

Since the two best teams in the SEC last met in regular-season play, Alabama have taken wins

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College Football Stars Putting Up Absurd Numbers in 2020 | Bleacher Report

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Several weeks into the college football season, the stars of 2020 are separating themselves from the rest of the pack, just like the championship contenders.

    With the Big Ten and Pac-12 set to join the fray soon, other big names will begin to surge to the top of the stat sheets. But for now, it’s an early season dominated by SEC, Big 12 and ACC playmakers.

    In some cases, like for Clemson quarterback and Heisman Trophy front-runner Trevor Lawrence, it’s expected. Other surprises are playing their way into superstardom, and some elite players are still having big seasons for teams off to subpar starts.

    A few sets of teammates are on here, too, but that’s just the way the stats are shaking out so far this season.

    With eligibility essentially out the door this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s going to be exciting to see which guys play their way into the top end of the conversation for the NFL draft. For others, it’s about building their reputation on the college gridiron. Plenty of guys on this list have national championship hopes remaining this year, as well.

    Let’s take a look at some college football stars putting up ridiculous numbers in the early season.

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    L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

    Georgia is the nation’s top defensive unit, full of difference-making playmakers who don’t pile up the stats but just embarrass opponents in the box scores. Alabama has a slew of former elite prospects all over its defense. LSU and Florida are off to awful starts but are known as mass producers of defensive talent.

    But the best defensive player in the SEC hails from unheralded Missouri.

    That would be hard-hitting linebacker Nick Bolton, who was a first-team All-SEC selection a year ago

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