Pac-12 Apostles Week 3 Preview and Picks

After Oregon’s massive win last week, and Stanford’s toppling of the Clay Helton regime, it’d be nice to get a week of uneventful Pac-12 wins against lesser competition- but there are a couple of serious opponents on the docket this week. ASU is trying to keep BYU from going 3-0 against the Pac-12 South, Colorado hopes to finish the task they weren’t able to last week vs Texas A&M, with the Buffaloes matching up against USC Head Coaching candidate P.J. Fleck and the Golden Gophers, while both Washington and Utah will try to bounce back against solid Group of 5 competition.

Make sure to check out this week’s Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, or just click play on the Spotify link below while you read the article below.

Minnesota at Colorado

Kickoff: 10AM Pacific

Broadcast: PAC-12 Network

Opening Odds: Colorado -2

What’s at stake: What’s at stake: Last week Colorado, behind the effort of a bunch of players from the state of Texas, nearly took down the mighty Texas A&M Aggies. Minnesota isn’t Texas A&M, but the Buffaloes don’t have a large portion of their roster from the Twin Cities who are out to prove they should have been recruited by the Golden Gophers. It’s going to be a difficult task for Karl Dorrell to get his team up emotionally for this game, but if he can do it, then it will prove that leading a top-5 team for 98% of the game was no fluke. Minnesota has shown that they’ll give up yards in the passing game if you’re good enough to attack their defensive backs- is Brendon Lewis ready to level up in his third ever start?

Our Picks: Ralph has Minnesota winning straight up, while George is taking Colorado to cover

Idaho at Oregon State

Kickoff: 12:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: Oregon State -28.5 (self made line)

What’s at stake: You have to beat Idaho. You just have to. Do the Vandals have some talented players? Oh yeah. There’s a good chance TE Hayden Hatten leaves the entire Beavers coaching staff wondering how they missed on his recruitment back when he was Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler’s #1 receiver. But still, anything less than a four-touchdown win is going to be an embarrassment. .

Our Picks: Ralph and George both have Oregon State covering 28.5

USC at Washington State

Kickoff: 12:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: FOX

Opening Odds: USC- 8.5

What’s at stake: After making waves by firing Clay Helton this week, USC is in a strange place in which Athletic Director Mike Bohn has essentially told the Trojan football team that they’re better off without their head coach. Interim Head Coach Donte Williams is walking a tightrope of perfection to even be considered as a candidate to take over permanently, and QB Kedon Slovis is fighting to restore his reputation as the next great USC QB. On Washington State’s end, this is the perfect opportunity to drown out some of the distractions of Nick Rolovich’s mysterious vaccination status and showcase his talented offense to a national audience.

Our Picks: Ralph and George are both on Washington State at home +8.5.

Sacramento State at California

Kickoff: 1:00PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Bay Area

Opening Odds: Cal -24 (self created)

What’s at stake: You can make the argument that Cal has coached their way to an 0-2 start. The Golden Bears had a late lead at home against Nevada, and special teams miscues kept them from claiming a victory at Texas Christian. Cal needs this game as much as any Pac-12 team needs a win. Sacramento State is coached by former Cal QB Troy Taylor, who amassed 8,126 career passing yards and 51 touchdowns during his time in Berkeley, is not someone you want to take lightly, or else you might be considering him as your next hire because you allowed him to shock the world.

Our Picks: Ralph and George have Cal -24.

Arkansas State at Washington

Kickoff: 1:15PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: Washington -16.5

What’s at stake: The Huskies, who many picked to win the Pac-12 North, have started 2021 by showcasing one of the worst offenses in all of college football. They’ve left Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant to wither on the bench despite the fact that the RB duo averaged 20 touches and 2 TDs per game in 2020. They’ve managed to earn unofficial visits from a few talented recruits on Saturday, and if those recruits see unhappy players, and a non-functioning offense, it’s going to severely handicap Jimmy Lake’s ability to infuse the roster with the talent they’ll need to keep pace with rival Oregon. Last week Arkansas State surrendered 55 to Memphis- if Washington can’t even get half of that, then it’s time to hit the panic button.

Our Picks: Ralph likes Washington to get back on track and cover, George has Arkansas State +16.5

Utah at San Diego State

Kickoff: 4PM Pacific

Broadcast: CBS Sports Network

Opening Odds: Utah -7.5

What’s at stake: What’s at stake: Utah QB Charlie Brewer has lost 8 consecutive games away from his home field dating back to last year at Baylor. San Diego State has bullied nearly half the Pac-12, including blowing out the team that gave BYU a better game than Utah did (Arizona). The Utes aren’t exactly at their best historically when visiting Southern California, either. This game has all the hallmarks of a Mountain West upset, so a win by Utah will probably be a pleasant surprise to the fan base, and conference as a whole.

Our Picks: Ralph likes the Utes, George is taking the Aztecs at home +7.5

Stony Brook at #4 Oregon

Kickoff: 4:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Networks

Opening Odds: Oregon -36 (self created)

What’s at stake: Oregon just can’t afford a let down of any kind. After winning at Ohio State, the lens the Ducks will be judged through for the rest of 2021 will be whether or not they’re worthy of College Football Playoff consideration. The best thing that can happen here is a 3-4 touchdown first quarter lead so that the young Ducks get some meaningful in-game experience.

Our Picks: Ralph and George are taking Oregon -36 in a line we completely made up.

Northern Arizona at Arizona

Kickoff: 7:00PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Arizona

Opening Odds: Arizona -21.5 (self created)

What’s at stake: Seeing online debates about whether or not University of Arizona fans should storm the field if they beat 0-2 FCS Northern Arizona at home to end their 14-game losing streak is a brand new level of depressing. For Arizona, the task is simple- taste success. They’ve switched to Will Plummer as their starting QB, a mobile athlete that is going to need to show accuracy and quick decision making on short to medium routes to secure the job leading into Pac-12 play.

Our Picks: We’re both on Arizona -21.5.

#19 Arizona State at #23 BYU

Kickoff: 7:15PM Pacific

Broadcast: ESPN

Opening Odds: ASU -3.5

What’s at stake: Arizona State fans are starting to wonder if QB Jayden Daniels has another gear beyond speedy game manager. Herm Edwards has long said that nothing travels better than defense and a running game, but the time has come for Arizona State’s third year gunslinger to prove that he’s special. BYU dominated Utah last week by getting an early lead, and then taking advantage of the opportunity to rush the passer. ASU can’t get down early if they want to avoid that trap, and they need to keep the Cougars out of the red zone and settling for field goal attempts, because the red zone is where the BYU offense is at its best.

Our Picks: Ralph likes ASU to win by a touchdown, George thinks ASU can win, but that BYU will cover the 3.5

Fresno State at #13 UCLA

Kickoff: 7:45PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: UCLA -11.5

What’s at stake: George thinks UCLA is worthy of top-10 consideration, and if they dominate Fresno State, they’ll probably get it. The Bruins had two weeks to prepare for a team that put a scare into Oregon, and for people to take the Pac-12 seriously, this and the ASU game are the two that are the most important, as you’d likely see three Pac-12 teams in the top 15 in the country.

Our Picks: Bruins -11.5, to the moon.

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Apostles: Clay Helton Fired, Interviews with Ryan Abraham and Mario Cristobal, Week 2 Recap, Week 3 Preview

Clay Helton Fired, Replacement Candidates

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get into the not-so-surprise announcement of Clay Helton’s firing, and Donte Williams’ elevation at USC following the Trojans home blowout loss to Stanford. George also interviews Ryan Abraham, publisher of the 247 USC affiliate site, USCFootball.com, as well as the co-host of the Podcast of Champions, to discuss the state of the Trojans. After recapping last week’s games, George interviews Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal, and the guys reconvene to preview and pick the upcoming week’s slate of games.

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 3 As it Should Be

College Football ranking week 3

Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 3 As it Should Be. Major shake ups in the rankings. We witnessed a heavyweight title fight in Columbus, a beatdown in Ames, and rock fight in Boulder that all impacted the rankings. Damn I love college football because we are reminded every weekend that the results on paper ≠ results on the field. For those of you new here, I created these rankings to give fans a real Top 10, free from media and conference bias. I’ll tell you the rules of the rankings next, but first we need to celebrate the amazing week 3 in college football. I pray that all you reading this stay healthy and enjoy this season. Now on the the rules.

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull College Football Rankings Week 3

There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 3. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.

I re-rank the top 10 every Sunday from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information. So make sure to come back every Sunday. For reference, you can check College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 2 .

Rankings should be fair and unbiased, but that’s not the world we live in when preseason polls ultimately affect the final rankings.

Top 10 College Football Rankings Week 3:

Next Up: Penn State, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Florida

10. Notre Dame (2-0)

Last Week: 32-29 (W) vs Toledo

This Notre Dame team feels a lot like the 2012-13 team that played against Alabama in the National Championship. They won so many games by the hairs on their chinny chin chin. At the end of the season they were 12-0 but everyone knew 1-loss Oregon was a better team. But the BCS computers chose the undefeated team. People better start hoping they lose otherwise we will see them in the top 4 again.

9. Clemson (1-1)

Last Week: 49-3 (W) vs South Carolina State

Dabo Swinney got his team to rebound after the Georgia loss. We still have questions about the development of DJ Uiagalelei at quarterback. If he can be a premiere QB the sky is the limit for the Clemson team. However, they need to root for UNC, Virginia Tech, and Miami to win out until they play.

8. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-1)

Last Week: 28-35 (W) vs Oregon

The Buckeyes have to get their defense figured out. The bad news is Oregon exposed a flaw in their red zone defense. The good news is that few teams will be able to score with CJ Stroud, Chris Olave, and company. They will still have a chance to compete for the B1G championship and get into the college football playoff.

7. Cincinnati (2-0)

Last Week: 42-7 (W) vs Murray State

The Bearcats have outscored their opponents 91-21 through two games. I spent the most time figuring out where to rank them. Their dominance is clear but their schedule is not impressive. As more teams get into the meat of their schedule it will be extremely hard for Cinci to stay ranked above them unless they blow everyone out and beat Notre Dame.

Check out our Pac-12 Football Podcast, Pac-12 Apostles:

6. Oklahoma (2-0)

Last Week: 76-0 (W) vs Western Carolina

The Sooners rebounded nicely after a scare against Tulane. I still give some grace in that game because everything was thrown off. Tulane had to travel to Norman to play a game that was relocated because of the hurricane Ida. There were so many emotions and inspired play by the Green Wave that Oklahoma just had to weather the storm and they did.

5. Iowa (2-0)

Last Week: 27-17 (W) vs Iowa State

This was supposed to be the year Iowa State took the power from Iowa, but the Hawkeyes had other plans. They dominated and out executed a very well-coached football team. I am not sure if Iowa has the horses to be a legit contender, but we cannot discount their great play and quality wins through 2 games.

4. Georgia Bulldogs (2-0)

Last Week: 56-7 (W) vs UAB

Georgia took UAB behind the woodshed without JT Daniels. It is pretty easy for Kirby Smart to play the brand of football he likes against lesser competition. He went all conservative against Clemson. The Bulldogs did come away with the win, but until he goes full Bruce Arians “no risk it, no biscuit” there won’t be any championship banners hanging in Athens.

3. UCLA (2-0)

Last Week: IDLE

A week off didn’t change anything. They still have 2 dominating performances already this year. I can’t wait to see how they handle Fresno State this weekend. If they dominate it won’t be hard for the Bruins to continue to move up in the rankings.

2. Oregon Ducks (2-0)

Last Week: 35-28 (W) @ Ohio State

Oregon has put the nation on notice. They are back in the national championship conversation again after a 5 year absence .A lot of people outside of Oregon are calling their victory over Ohio State an upset. They were the better team and dominated the game. But… Ohio State is legit.

1. Alabama (2-0)

Last Week: 48-14 (W) vs Mercer

Where is Mercer located? I googled it so you didn’t have to. It is in Macon, Georgia. I had a tougher task locating Mercer than Bryce Young, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide had on the field this weekend. No schedule or quality wins points but the domination from the Miami game continued through week 2.

Check back next Sunday morning for the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 3.

Pac-12 Apostles Week 2 Preview and Picks

The Pac-12 North thoroughly embarrassed the conference last week, which has created a pressure-cooker for the entire conference heading into week 2- a slate of games that Jon Wilner has called “the biggest of the season.”

George Wrighster and I already went through and picked each game in this week’s Pac-12 Apostles Podcast (Spotify link below), as did our friends Bryant Conger and Rob Bowron over at 12Pac Radio. Here, I’ll list each game, our picks, and what’s at stake for each Pac-12 team.

#12 Oregon at #3 Ohio State

Kickoff: 9AM Pacific

Broadcast: FOX

Opening Odds: Ohio State -14.5

What’s at stake: This might be the Pac-12’s only chance to have a signature out-of-conference win in 2021. Yes, UCLA dominated LSU, but you can almost guarantee Ohio State finishes the season in the top 10, and the same can’t be said for Ed Orgeron’s Tigers. Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead made an interesting gamble when they decided Anthony Brown was going to be the guy at QB this year, and now Brown is going to be on the biggest stage he’s likely ever had as a starter, in front of two dozen NFL scouts. Perhaps the biggest thing at stake is the recruiting high ground, as Ohio State just beat Oregon for J.T. Tuimolaou, a consensus top-10 prospect in the class of 2021 out of the state of Washington.

Our Picks: Ralph, George, Bryant and Rob are all in on the Ducks to cover the original +14.5, but the line has moved to as low as +10.5.

California at Texas Christian

Kickoff: 12:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: ESPNU

Opening Odds: TCU -10.5

What’s at stake: Cal looked as if they were about to put Nevada away last week, but they abandoned the run game and found themselves on the wrong end of a 21-17 score. While this game would provide solid bragging rights, and relieve a little bit of the external pressure on head coach Justin Wilcox for five consecutive seasons of diminishing offensive output, a loss wouldn’t do much to affect the Golden Bears ability to compete within the Pac-12 North.

Our Picks: Ralph, George, Bryant and Rob are all in on Cal +10.5

#5 Texas A&M at Colorado

Kickoff: 12:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: FOX

Opening Odds: Texas A&M -17

What’s at stake: The reputation of Boulder, Colorado. I’m not sure anyone expects the Buffaloes to beat the Aggies, but after solid wins at home against UCLA last year, and Nebraska the year before, I feel like we’re on the precipice of respecting Boulder as one of the tougher environments to go into and come away with a win. Colorado also has continued to recruit Texas through their third straight coaching regime, and a respectable showing against a top 5 team out of the Lone Star state definitely wouldn’t hurt the progress and inroads they’ve made.

Our Picks: Ralph, George, and Rob have Colorado +17, Bryant has Texas A&M -17

Portland State at Washington State

Kickoff: 3:00PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: We invented a line of Wazzu -28.5

What’s at stake: The current narrative, and I believe it’s completely fair, is that Nick Rolovich actually interfered on behalf of Utah State last week and lost Washington State the game. Not only do the Cougars need to put Portland State away early, they need to pile it on just to hit the snooze button on the already growing mob of alumni calling for Rolovich’s head. This is also a good chance for Washington’s State’s staff to publicly acknowledge that RB Max Borghi is one of the best players in the conference, and is deserving of more than 12 touches.

Our Picks: Ralph and George have Washington State -28.5

Washington at Michigan

Kickoff: 5PM Pacific

Broadcast: ABC

Opening Odds: Michigan -6.5

What’s at stake: Jimmy Lake lost to an FCS at home team last week, kept several talented RBs on the bench, is bleeding recruits, and in the midst of all this struggle, he gets to lead the Huskies into one of the toughest environments in all of football. What’s at stake here is jobs- Maybe not Lake’s, but John Donovan has to do more than put together one scripted TD drive, and he’s going to have to do it with a QB in Dylan Morris who turned the ball over three times last week. Good luck.

Our Picks: Ralph and Bryant have Michigan -6.5, George and Rob have the Huskies +6.5

San Diego State at Arizona

Kickoff: 7PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: Arizona -1

What’s at stake: Jedd Fisch was laughed at when he was hired, and has spent the last several months turning the narrative about the naivete of his hire on its head, turning up the dial on recruiting, alumni relations, media accessibility, and fan relations. The fact remains, however, that Arizona hasn’t won a game in almost two years, and while this isn’t Rocky Long’s San Diego State, the Aztecs have never been an easy out for any Pac-12 team. Jedd Fisch literally went door to door this week recruiting students to fill out the “Zona Zoo” student section, and if those kids show up and witness a loss, he might not get them back. The Wildcats are in a must-win situation.

Our Picks: Ralph, George, Bryant and Rob are all in on Arizona -1

#21 Utah at BYU

Kickoff: 7:15PM Pacific

Broadcast: ESPN

Opening Odds: Utah -1

What’s at stake: Utah fans aren’t going to like this, because I know how much it means to them to have a stranglehold on this rivalry, but absolutely nothing is at stake. The Utes have built up enough respect and goodwill in the Holy War, and while they’d certainly be sore about leaving Provo with an L, no one is going to lose their job, nothing is going to change as far as their chances within the Pac-12 South, and it would have a negligible impact on recruiting. All that being said, the conference needs this win to keep the Utes in the Top 25.

Our Picks: Ralph and Bryant have Utah -7, and George and Rob are on BYU +7

UNLV at #23 Arizona State

Kickoff: 7:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: ESPN2

Opening Odds: Arizona State -32.5

What’s at stake: Generational trauma. There’s absolutely no way Arizona State loses to the Rebels, but because it happened in 2008 when the Sun Devils were looking ahead to a visit from Georgia, there’s a paranoia that exists within the Sun Devil fan base that only a blowout win will help exorcise. As far as on-field stakes, RB Rachaad White has an outside shot at national recognition and awards if he can stay healthy, and it would be nice to see ASU lean into that.

Our Picks: Ralph and Bryant are on ASU at -32.5, while Rob and George have UNLV covering the spread

Stanford at #14 USC

Kickoff: 7:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: FOX

Opening Odds: USC -17

What’s at stake: Stanford just took an ugly loss against Kansas State, and people are still completely unconvinced that Clay Helton can cover a 17-point spread. So much so, that the line has moved three whole points to 14 over the last few days. David Shaw’s uncharacteristic public optimism about this Stanford team heading into 2021 threw a lot of people off who thought that the drop in recruiting and increase in grad transfers were contributing to the demise of the Cardinal, but after last week’s loss, people are questioning if Shaw’s tenure in Palo Alto is reaching its twilight- especially since he seems unsure about the best way forward at the QB position. On the other side, no one believes Clay Helton is going to blow out Stanford, so all he has to do to maintain the same level of perpetual discontent that has existed amongst the Trojan fan base for the last 5 years is not lose the game.

Our Picks: All of us are on Stanford +17

Hawaii at Oregon State

Kickoff: 8PM Pacific

Broadcast: FS1

Opening Odds: Oregon State -11

What’s at stake: Jonathan Smith’s charm has seemed to make him immune to criticism from Pac-12 fans. No one expects Oregon State to win, as long as the offense continues to innovate and maximize lesser talent for our entertainment, we ignore the scoreboard. But Purdue seemed to have Smith’s number, and if Todd Graham, who has an awful history in Corvallis, comes in and frustrates the Beavers, public opinion might start to shift. Oregon State not only needs to defend homefield and get a win, they need to settle the quarterback question once and for all so they can rally behind someone ahead of conference play.

Our Picks: The Apostles take Oregon State (Ralph and George), 12Pac takes Hawai’i +11 (Bryant and Rob)

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Power Shift- The Rise of UCLA and the Fall of the North

In this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get into all of the action in week one, including a disastrous showing by the schools up north, though George thinks the Pac-12 at least outperformed the ACC. Who put on the worst coaching clinic- Justin Wilcox, Nick Rolovich, or Jimmy Lake? The guys get into their Pac-12 power rankings, and are unified at the top after UCLA’s dominant performance against LSU. Finally, Previews and picks for the upcoming week 2 slate of games.

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Make sure you like and subscribe to the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast with George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden on any podcasting app.

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 2 As it Should Be

College Football Rankings Week 2

Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 2 As it Should Be. For those of you new here, I created these rankings to give fans a real Top 10, free from media and conference bias. I’ll tell you the rules of the rankings next, but first we need to celebrate the amazing week 1 in college football. We got big name brand matchups, upsets, and some feel good stories. But that wasn’t the most exciting part. Having fans back in the stands brought an energy through the screen that we hadn’t seen since the 2019 season. I pray that all you reading this stay healthy and enjoy this season. Now on the the rules.

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull College Football Rankings Week 2

There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 2. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.

I re-rank the top 10 every Sunday from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information. So make sure to come back every Sunday. For reference, you can check College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 1.

Rankings should be fair and unbiased, but that’s not the world we live in when preseason polls ultimately affect the final rankings.

Top 10 College Football Rankings Week 2:

Next Up: Clemson, Iowa State, USC, Florida

10. Oregon Ducks (1-0)

Last Week: 31-24 (W) vs Fresno State

The Ducks had a great first and fourth quarter against Fresno State. But the middle two quarters left a lot to be desired from the Oregon offense. We will ultimately see what this team is made of this week as they head to Columbus to take on Ohio State.

9. Cincinnati (1-0)

Last Week: 49-14 (W) vs Miami (OH)

Desmond Ridder showed out against Miami (OH). Cincinnati’s schedule doesn’t allow for them to get very many quality win, so it will be hard for them to climb very high in the poll. But they were dominant last week and should be this week against Murray State as well.

8. Oklahoma (1-0)

Last Week: 40-35 (W) vs Tulane

The Sooners were real close to being a victim last weekend. Tulane recovered an onside kick with about 2 minutes left in the game down five but couldn’t get the win. The reason OU is ranked even in the top 10 after that game is because of the emotions and situation surrounding the game. It was moved to norman because Tulane was displaced because of the hurricane. There won’t be a scare this week against Western Carolina.

7. Texas A&M (1-0)

Last Week: 41-10 (W) vs Kent State

In my rankings, you do not get credit for quality wins or schedule when you beat a bad teams. However, you do receive points for dominance when you blow them out of the water. This week will be a step up in competition as the Aggies head to Boulder, CO to play the Buffaloes.

Check out our Pac-12 Football Podcast, Pac-12 Apostles:

6. Iowa (1-0)

Last Week: 34-6 (W) vs Indiana

I had to do a double take when I saw Iowa scored 34 points vs Indiana until I saw Riley Moss had two pick-six TDs. That was an extremely impressive performance by the Hawkeyes. Next up Iowa State.

5. Notre Dame (1-1)

Last Week: 41-38 (W) vs Florida State

FSU vs Notre Dame was the game of the year so far. The Irish offense looks more explosive than we have seen it in a long time. They have speed at key position and a physical defense. Playoffs again?

4. UCLA (2-0)

Last Week: 38-27 (W) vs LSU

There is no denying what this team has put on tape. Through 2 games, the Bruins defense and OL look physical and fast. Chip Kelly’s team harassed LSU all game on the way to a dominating performance.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0)

Last Week: 45-31 (W) @ Minnesota

It you want big plays, you showed up at the right place. The Buckeyes scored four TDs from 30+ against Minnesota. That sort of explosion keeps opposing coaches up at night. Huge matchup against Oregon this week.

2. Georgia Bulldogs (1-0)

Last Week: 10-3 (W) vs Clemson

We will have to wait until this weekend to see if the Bulldogs can score their first offensive touchdown. Their matchup against Clemson was an absolute rock fight offensively. However, the Georgia defense was fighting with a bazooka. They may be the fastest defense we saw in week 1.

1. Alabama (1-0)

Last Week: 44-13 (W) vs Miami

Alabama deserves the #1 spot of the College Football Top 10 Rankings As It Should Be. They dominated Miami in every way possible. Bryce Young is now the Crimson Tide QB and the offense looks just as good as when Mac Jones or Tua was QB.

Check back next Sunday morning for the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 2.

Cancellation of College Sports: Conference Executives’ Hasty Decision

Justin Fields Ohio State

Last week, the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences decided to postpone their next football season until the spring of 2021. This decision was made in concert with conference executives, medical advisors, and the universities themselves.

Regardless of one’s opinion on these decisions, it has become abundantly clear there needs to be an overhaul of how conferences and the NCAA as an entity make decisions when it comes to the welfare of their players.

Should there be more centralized leadership in the NCAA? Sure. However, players’ demands will probably not be granted by a corporation who upholds the archaic ideal of amateurism.

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Schools Will Be at Loss with Cancellation of College Sports

Patrick Rishe, the Sports Business Director at Washington University in St. Louis spoke on CNBC’s Power Lunch show on August 11. He stated that the cancellation of football would result in a four billion-dollar loss, which would amount to about 62 million dollars for each Power 5 school. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already made the decision to take this loss.

Colorado athletic director Rick George said despite the losses the school will endure because of the cancellation of fall sports and was adamant that CU is “not cutting sports.” He said that the budget for a potential 2020 season was already being allocated to account for little fans and a 10-game, conference-only, schedule. He said it will become necessary for furloughs and layoffs of employees, however.

On the bright side, George said that all CU sports could and would be able to take place in the Spring of 2021 if conditions allow. He also said that athletes should still be around their teams despite not playing in the fall, citing the need for coaches to connect and work with student-athletes.

League Executives Had Tough Decision, But Did Not Consider All Outside Factors With Cancellation of College Sports

As far as league executives go, making decisions to cancel seasons are hard. However, it seemed like players and coaches were not heard from by the executives making these decisions. Medical experts should be the number one source that executives listen to, but the medical experts were also the people telling players they had to follow protocol. The fact of the matter is that many teams followed the model they created to minimize spread of the virus.

Coaches from the Big Ten Conference expressed their dismay with the process. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh wrote a letter to the conference stating that the season could be played not because they wanted to, but because of the facts in how teams have minimized the spread of the virus. Of course, there are going to be cases that pop up throughout the season. That arguably makes a fall college sports season too risky in the eyes of some. However, when players and coaches are given strict protocols and they try to adhere for guidelines, there is going to be pushback from players when conference executives make final decisions without inquiring with the people taking part in the season.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has started a petition to advocate for the reinstatement of the conference-only Big Ten season this fall. Fields is looked at as one of the top prospects for the 2021 draft and may not be able to suit up for the Buckeyes if a Spring 2021 football season takes place. The players want to play and have been using social media as an avenue to express this desire.

This Whole Episode Shows NCAA May Not Be Able to Uphold Ideal of Amateurism

The NCAA prides itself on helping student-athletes achieve their goals on the field and in the classroom. However, the NCAA is a multi-billion-dollar industry. The players are the ones who contribute the most to the NCAA being able to make all this money. Some could argue that the point of going to college is to get an education or develop skills to help with a profession, but athletes are still being exploited.

The decisions made by the Pac-12 and Big Ten were made in part because the players wanted medical benefits and what could be considered salary this season, in the case of the Pac-12. As an institution, the NCAA should be scared about the power that players have had. They want these leagues to take care of players better and show a commitment to causes that the players champion, such as the #WeAreUnited initiative. NCAA executives cannot stand idly by and must acknowledge that the ideal of amateurism has become archaic in a sense.

Players will get more avenues by which they can make money off their name, image, and likeness. No one league has picked up enough steam yet, but the XFL was even experimenting with letting players play before they were drafted into the NFL. In the future, it is inevitable that more opportunities like this will arise, and football players between the ages of 18-22 will be able to provide for themselves through playing the game of football. It will be up to the NCAA if they want to stand by and defend an archaic ideal, or if they will adjust to the times and be able to keep a monopoly on watching 18-22-year-old players play football.

2020 Colorado Buffaloes Season: Tough Start to a Conference-Only Schedule

colorado buffaloes recruiting

The expectations for the 2020 CU Buffs football season are not very high from the outside looking in. Now that the Pac-12 has decided to play a conference-only schedule, the Buffaloes may not be talked about as a legitimate contender. However, there are reasons to think that the Buffaloes may be able to be competitive in a Pac-12 only schedule.

First Four Games of 2020 Season a Tough Outlook In Dorrell’s First Year As CU Buffs Coach

Karl Dorrell Colorado Head Football Coach

There are teams within the Pac-12 that the Buffaloes simply do not have as much talent as. The Colorado Buffaloes have to open up the season on the road against Oregon on September 26. It is not a stretch to say the Ducks are the best team in the conference. The Buffaloes had arguably their most impressive win of the past decade at Autzen Stadium in 2016 but have generally struggled against the Ducks.

This game was originally scheduled in Boulder for the 2020 season, but the conference decided to switch the venue. As a fan, this is frustrating from the standpoint that the Buffaloes had to play in Eugene last year also. The Buffaloes lost that game, 45-3. If there are no future schedule changes due to the schedule changes this season, the Buffaloes will be in year two of a three-year stretch where they have to play AT Oregon every season.

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After playing Oregon, the Buffs will have their home opener against their natural conference rival, the Utah Utes. Utah also made the Pac-12 championship. After playing the Utes, CU will have to travel on the road against Arizona and USC. An optimistic Buffaloes fan may have the team at 2-2 after these games, but CU was not given any favors for their first four games. The Buffaloes most assuredly will not be favored in any of these games. It is very frustrating that the team has to start the season playing against the best teams in the conference. They could possibly be starting a freshman quarterback in Brendon Lewis. Colorado will be forced to find their best football very early in the season if they want to win any games.

CU Buffs’ 2020 Season Becomes Somewhat Easier After Bye Week

The Buffaloes will face Arizona State at home after their bye week on October 31. Recently, the Buffaloes have had their best games against the Sun Devils. In 2018, CU beat ASU 28-21 to improve to 5-0. Last season, the Buffaloes had possibly their best win of Mel Tucker’s one-year tenure in Boulder as they won on the road against the Sun Devils 34-31. Having more time to prepare for this game, along with the confidence of playing a team they know they can beat, should help the Buffs in this game.

The second half of the season for the Buffaloes also includes road trips against Washington and Stanford, and home tilts against UCLA, Oregon State, and Washington State to close out the season. The Buffaloes went 2-2 against these teams last season, as they had home wins against the Huskies and Cardinal in November. The Buffaloes should be able to compete in their home games even though they may not be favored in them. It may not be a stretch to say that the Buffaloes will be able to win the majority of the last six games on their schedule. Having road games against Washington and Stanford is tough, but the team will also have the confidence boost of having beat both those teams in 2019.

Getting to .500 May Be a Stretch for the 2020 Colorado Buffaloes Season, But It Could Be Done

From the outsider’s perspective, Colorado is not on any national radar this season. However, the confidence gained from how the team played down the stretch last season may help them in being able to be competitive early in the season. The Buffaloes will probably have to win one of their first four games to have a realistic shot at getting to .500 this season. Out of all the early games, the most winnable game for them in the early going is probably the road game against Arizona, even though Khalil Tate has posed major problems for the Buffaloes the past few seasons. It will be interesting to see how Karl Dorrell’s footprint on the team affects how they compete against the top teams in the conference early in the season. Even though having a winning record may not be in the cards for the Buffaloes this season, they should be able to build a strong foundation for Dorrell to help this team possibly achieve winning seasons in 2021 and beyond.

WOW: July 8 CFB Doomsday, Trump NASCAR Bubba Wallace Tweet, NFL has MLB Problems

Donald Trump vs Bubba Wallace, NFL Problems

Donal Trump vs Bubba Wallace and NASCAR

Am I Wrighster or am I wrong? We are going to find out if NASCAR is serious about defending Bubba Wallace and their desire to change their culture. Donald Trump sent a tweet about Wallace despite all the facts showing there was a noose and threats against Wallace after the confederate flags were banned at NASCAR tracks.

College football is more likely to happen in the spring than in the fall. The Ivy League is set to make an announcement about sports on July 8. CFB commissioners are already making contingency plans.

The NFL has MLB sized problems brewing under the surface that may hinder a timely start with coronavirus concerned looming.

Leave a comment with your thoughts on Bubba Wallace and Donald Trump, CFB, of the NFL restart. Or shoot me an email with comments or guest ideas: GWpodcast@unafraidshow.com.

Wrighster or Wrong?

Am I Wrighster or Am I Wrong? The intersection where sports, business, society, and pop culture meet. Daily Fire… FACTS ONLY… Check Your feelings at the door. This ain’t the place for the left, right, snowflakes, SJW. No BS. Keep it 100.

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The George Wrighster podcast features great interviews where you get to know great people discussing faith, family, fatherhood, food, and sports. We get to know and learn from the personalities that entertain us outside of what they are famous for. Shoot me an email with comments or guest ideas: GWpodcast@unafraidshow.com. Please be sure to share the podcast with a friend, subscribe, and leave a 5* rating.

Who is George Wrighster?

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and veteran NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, writer, speaker, and analyst, he is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has also found success in the business world as an entrepreneur and investor. George is a lifelong learner who loves having conversations that educate and uplift. He has also covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014.

Undrafted College Football Players Should Be Allowed to Return to CFB

College football players undrafted Hunter Bryant Washington Hawaii

The 2020 NFL Draft was definitely one to remember. It was completely virtual due to the Coronavirus. Potential draft picks watched at home. They awaited a phone call informing them that they were selected by an NFL team. Elite players, like Joe Burrow and Chase Young, accomplished their goal of being a first-round NFL Draft pick. However, many NFL Draft hopefuls did not realize their dream of being selected in the NFL Draft. Unfortunately, for many of those players, their football career as players may be over. It is true that many of them will attempt to earn a spot on a team as an undrafted free agent. Entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent is not easy and will not happen for all of them. This realization is especially unfortunate for draftees who left college early to enter the NFL Draft.

Every year, some college football players decide to forego their remaining college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. NFL rules require draft entrants to be out of high school for three years and to have used all of their college eligibility before the start of the next college football season. However, college players with remaining eligibility request league approval to enter the NFL Draft early. 99 players were granted special eligibility for the 2020 draft. This means that 99 players who had remaining college eligibility gave up their remaining eligibility for a shot at the NFL. Despite the fact that only 1.5 percent of college football players go pro, 99 players still thought it was best to enter the draft. Why do college football players make the decision to forego their remaining eligibility given the odds of making it to the NFL?

Reasons College Football Players Leave College Early to Enter the NFL Draft

There are many reasons college football players forego their remaining college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. There are two reasons that stick out the most. One reason is due to the unrealistic sense that many college football players have about their prospects of being drafted. Many college football players prematurely forego their remaining college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft, even though they are not ready. Another reason college football players forego the remaining college eligibility because some from disadvantaged backgrounds and need to make money. College sports is a billion-dollar business but the players’ only compensation is a cost-of-attendance scholarship. While a scholarship is valuable that does not mean that players should be limited to only that.

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College Football Players who Come From Disadvangeted Backgrounds Would Greatly Benefit from Getting into the NFL as Quickly as Possible

Roughly 86 percent of African-American college athletes come from families that live below the poverty line. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, the inequities that many college athletes face have become even more visible. For example, Sam Williams, a University of Mississippi linebacker, tweeted about the hardships he is facing since being unexpectedly home from school. Specifically, Williams tweeted:

We worked so hard to get out of the hood but forced to go back to the hood…Still gotta pay rent so all of our money gone and I can’t swipe my ID nowhere in Alabama. Then if we get help it’s a ‘violation’. I just don’t understand.”

Williams highlighted a problem that may college athletes are facing. A study conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice prior to the pandemic highlights many of the issues that college athletes face. 452 Division I athletes were surveyed. 24 percent of them suffered from food insecurity in the 30 days prior. Food insecurity is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. The survey sheds light on the issue of food scarcity amongst college athletes across all the divisions. Williams’ tweet and the survey’s findings further demonstrate the needs of many college athletes, particularly those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Everybody Gets Rich Except the Players

Furthermore, Williams’s tweet and the survey certainly make it clear why a college football player would leave college football eligibility on the table for a shot at the NFL. Due to the NCAA’s asinine amateurism rules, college football players are precluded from sharing in the billions they generate outside of a cost-of-attendance scholarship. While coaches, athletic directors, and other sports administration personnel make millions, the players are capped to a scholarship.

As Williams tweeted, college athletes cannot receive any assistance that is not first approved by the NCAA. If an athlete does, he will be subject to an NCAA violation, just ask Chase Young. Why would an athlete remain apart of a system that stops them from earning their true worth and risk injury, while everyone else makes millions?

The Good News is that the NCAA Can Fix Both of These Problems and Retain College Football Players

The NCAA can fix these problems and retain college football players if they would simply amend their rules. One way the NCAA can fix this problem is by allowing college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). After mounting pressure, the NCAA is finally on the track to allow that to happen. If the NCAA does this, it could take the pressure off of players to go pro to make money. Last month, the NCAA announced that they are moving toward allowing college athletes to profit from their NIL. However, only time will tell how much the NCAA will amend their current rules to actually help the athletes.

Currently, college football players cannot return to college football after they enter and go through the NFL Draft even if they have remaining eligibility. Why is this the case? How does this benefit the football players? How does it benefit college football? The truth is that these rules do not benefit the players nor college football. This is another way the NCAA can fix their problems. The NCAA should change its rules to allow players who are not drafted to return to college football. It is time for things in college football to change. Change is more than possible, just look at recent changes in college basketball.

Recent Changes in College Basketball

Sweeping changes have come to college basketball during the last four years. In 2017, a scandal was exposed in college basketball. Soon after, the NCAA amended college basketball rules. The NCAA began to allow NBA Draft entrants with remaining eligibility to return to college. Prior to entering the NBA draft, the player must seek an evaluation from the National Basketball Association’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee. If the player intends to return to college, he must remove his name from the draft list and declare his intent to return to college within 10 days of the conclusion of the NBA Draft combine. These types of rule changes are exactly what the NCAA should adopt in college football.

The NCAA Should Allow College Football NFL Draft Entrants to Return If Undrafted

Two former NFL Players who entered the league as undrafted free agents agree that college football players could benefit if the NCAA made changes to their rules. Patrick Cobbs entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He believes that college football players could benefit from being able to return to college after entering the NFL Draft. Cobbs, a running back, led the nation in rushing in 2003. As a junior, Cobbs was projected to be a second or third-round draft pick. He stated that if he had the option to try his chances at the NFL Draft and return to college if undrafted he would have taken advantage of it.

Greg Camarillo also entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He also believes that college football players could benefit from being allowed to return to college football after the NFL Draft. Both Cobbs and Camarillo believe that an advisory committee should be created for potential draft entrants. Camarillo stated that the committee should create a program to give the players a realistic sense of their chances in the draft. Potential draft entrants should be required to consult the committee before entering the draft.

Both Cobbs and Camarillo do not think that agents should be a part of the committee due to potential bias. They suggest that the committee be made up of former NFL scouts, former coaches, and former NFL and college players. Camarillo suggests that the advisory committee’s evaluations take place immediately after the college football post-season.

The NCAA Should Be Proactive in Making These Changes in College Football

If the NCAA adopted these changes it could greatly change the landscape of college football for the betterment of the players. A player should not be forced to forego his remaining college eligibility just because he entered the draft. The idea of college football players being able to return to college if undrafted is gaining traction amongst prominent college coaches. Recently, the University of Michigan coach, Jim Harbaugh, released a proposal in support of this issue. He suggested that undrafted players be allowed to return to college. The NCAA needs to take note and make changes before they are forced to like they were with basketball.