CBS Sports makes a surprising pick for Charlotte game

Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports made his prediction for the Florida Gators game against Charlotte.

The Charlotte 49ers are paying a visit to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with plans to shock the world and take down the Florida Gators on Saturday night.

Las Vegas sports books set the spread to 28 points in Florida’s favor and experts at CBS Sports are looking for the 49ers to keep the final score close. College football analyst Barrett Sallee thinks the Gators are riding their high after an upset last week at home.

“The Gators dominated Tennessee last week in a game that showed the offensive line has progressed in a big way,” Sallee wrote. “That allowed the running game to flourish, quarterback Graham Mertz to shine like a star and this Gators team to look like a threat in the SEC East. Coach Billy Napier will take that knowledge, build off of it and then pull the starters earlier than expected. That will allow Charlotte to get the late cover.”

Even though Sallee is taking the cover, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s picking a Florida Gators loss. Sallee just believes the game won’t be an obliteration like the week two victory over McNeese State, 49-7.

The Florida Gators welcome the Charlotte 49ers at home on Saturday night and kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on SEC Network+.

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2023 Power Rankings Roundup, Week 2: Where Chargers stand after loss to Titans

Here is what the national media thinks of the Chargers after yet another disappointing loss.

The Chargers fell to the Titans in overtime, 27-24, in Week 2 of the 2023 season.

After the loss, here is what the national media thinks of the Bolts:

USA Today: 21 (Previous: 13)

“HC Brandon Staley claims “the men in that locker room are finishers,” yet the Bolts have lost four straight – going back to 2022 – by a total of nine points, including (yes, Coach Staley) last season’s wild-card implosion. They are the first team in the Super Bowl era to score at least 50 points while committing zero turnovers yet start 0-2.”

Touchdown Wire: 14 (Previous: 11)

“The Chargers got over 300 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions from Justin Herbert. They also held Derrick Henry under 100 yards rushing and sacked Ryan Tannehill five times- they still lost. It’s truly amazing how undisciplined this football team is, and just how often they load themselves in a cannon and fire. Speaking of fire, if they lose to the Vikings next week, heads need to roll, and that starts with Brandon Staley.”

NFL: 16 (Previous: 12)

“If you’ve watched either of the Chargers’ two losses, you might have noticed they really haven’t been a function of poor effort. It’s a matter of straight-up execution mistakes. Time and time again. Almost always at the worst possible moments. And while the offense isn’t completely off the hook (too many sacks and settling for short field goals), it’s really the defense that has been the bigger problem. At least the pass rush woke up (five sacks at Tennessee), but that doesn’t make up for the fact that the Bolts have been bombarded by deep passes. It’s a maddening storyline that won’t evaporate until the defense proves it can stop someone.”

CBS Sports: 22 (Previous: 15)

“This team is 0-2, and the heat is certainly on as they ready to play the Vikings on the road. The defense has been bad.”

ESPN: 17 (Previous: 10)

Player: RB Austin Ekeler
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

“In an offseason laden with running back contract drama, Ekeler was briefly at the center of it all. He requested a trade in March after the two sides couldn’t agree to a multiyear contract extension. In May, Ekeler eventually agreed to a revised contract that added $1.75 million in incentives. In the Chargers’ opening game of 2023, he led the backfield with 117 yards and a touchdown. With Ekeler out in Week 2 with an ankle injury, the running game stalled, as Chargers rushers totaled just 61 yards on the ground.”

Yahoo Sports: 21 (Previous: 14)

“The defensive issues the Chargers have are troubling. Brandon Staley was supposed to be a defensive guru. That’s how he was billed when he came over from the Rams. His defense struggling like it has is not a good look, to say the least.”

Sports Illustrated: 12

“While I am not going to get testy with a reporter about it, I do tend to agree with Brandon Staley that their team has exhibited enough to be considered a good football team despite some poor circumstances. The Titans’ comeback win this past week was a gut punch, and puts the third-year coach and his team on the ropes. However, the Chargers have been doing most of what they promised, save for their ability to avoid cosmically upsetting end-of-game losses. I would find it hard to unearth a good football mind who thinks this is a bad team, or even a particularly poorly coached team. Circumstantially, that sentiment is not reflected in the win column yet, but this is a group capable of going on a tear (which they will need to do).”

Where CBS Sports ranks Michigan football in latest power rankings

We’ll start to know more about this team starting this week. #GoBlue

After a ton of offseason hype starting with Big Ten media days and moving into fall camp, the No. 2 Michigan football team has not exactly impressed many media onlookers. Or fans, for that matter.

That’s despite having won by an average of 32 to 5.3 in each of the first three games.

The starting defense has only given up two field goals — both in the last game — but the offense hasn’t exactly rounded into full form as of yet. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy was electric in the first two weeks before having his worst game as a Wolverine in Week 3. Still, Michigan drove the field before McCarthy turned into an interception machine at the end of drives.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd isn’t particularly concerned over the seeming woes of the maize and blue. In his latest power rankings, Dodd still has Michigan football at No. 2, behind only Georgia.

The preliminaries are over. The Jim Harbaugh-less Wolverines get through the Charmin soft nonconference slate and hit the Big Ten grind this week against … Rutgers. Defense has given up one touchdown in three games.

Our working theory? Without Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines and with the level of competition not exactly being one that anyone would get hyped up for, Michigan football is a little disinterested — and a little vanilla. The defense has been incredible, but the offense hasn’t exactly tried to open things up, save for a couple of tricky plays — such as the J.J. McCarthy touchdown pass to Cornelius Johnson in Week 3 off of a flea flicker.

With Jim Harbaugh returning this weekend, perhaps we’ll see a Michigan team more in line with what we’ve seen over the course of the past two seasons.

Gators destined for this bowl game, according to CBS Sports

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm predicts the Florida Gators will go Bowling in December.

The Florida Gators toppled the No. 20 Tennessee Volunteers, 29-16, at home last Saturday night, launching their stock for a bowl game trip in the 2023 postseason.

CBS Sports released a College Football Bowl Prediction list Monday and bowl expert Jerry Palm is booking the Gators to take another trip to the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa Bay.

Palm also predicts Florida’s opponent will be South Alabama (2-1), who just toppled Oklahoma State on the road, 33-7.

Palm also listed his top-four teams who will make the College Football Playoff, predicting Georgia to finish at No. 1, Michigan at No. 2, Texas at No. 3 and Florida State making the cut at No. 4.

Trailing behind at Nos. 5 and 6 are the Ohio State Buckeyes and USC Trojans, respectively, who would appear in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

The Florida Gators cracked the AP top 25 poll this week to slap the No. 25 next to their name and will look to keep the undefeated streak alive against the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday at home. The Game will kick off at 7 p.m. EDT and broadcast on ESPN+.

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CBS Sports’ top 100 NBA players: OKC Thunder represented with four entrants

Take a look at where the 4 OKC Thunder players rank in @CBSSports top 100 ranking:

The 2023-24 NBA season is a little more than a month away, so it’s an opportune time to preview the upcoming season.

CBS Sports used the downtime to create its annual top 100 NBA players list. Its NBA staff ranked the best 100 NBA players heading into the new season based on how they think they’ll perform.

How the rankings were formulated as explained below:

“Each of CBS Sports’ eight NBA staff writers — Brad Botkin, James Herbert, Jack Maloney, Sam Quinn, Bill Reiter, Ameer Tyree, Colin Ward-Henninger and Jasmyn Wimbish — submitted individual lists of their top 100 players in the NBA for the upcoming 2023-24 season, and results were calculated by assigning a point value to each player’s place on each writer’s list. A player ranked No. 1 received 100 points, while a player ranked No. 100 received one point, and the cumulative point totals were used to determine the order for this year’s edition of the CBS Sports NBA 100.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder have four players in the rankings, let’s look at where they rank and the justification for it.

WATCH: Josh Allen’s on-field, post-Raiders win interview

Josh Allen on the field, post win:

Bills quarterback Josh Allen was interviewed following his team’s win over the Raiders in Week 2.

Allen was 31-for-37 passing, with 274 yards and three touchdown passes. Most importantly, he did not turn the ball over. The final score was 38-10 in favor of the Bills.

Worthy numbers of a player that was interviewed on the field following a victory.

However, during his chat with the CBS Sports broadcast from Highmark Stadium, Allen wasn’t in the mood for taking credit. As we often see, Allen was touting the efforts of his teammates, both on offense and defense.

Allen’s full interview can be found in the clip below:

[lawrence-related id=122495,122424,122462]

CBS Sports’ expert picks nearly split on Gators-Vols game

Like many others, the CBS Sports crew is nearly split on Saturday night’s outcome between Florida and Tennessee.

Florida football kicks off its 2023 Southeastern Conference schedule on Saturday against the visiting Tennessee Volunteers for this year’s edition of the storied SEC East rivalry. While this will be the final chapter of the divisional era for the two schools, the game is still a premier matchup in Week 3.

Ahead of the game, the members of the CBS Sports college football crew submitted their predictions. Four of the seven picked the Vols while the other three went with the Gators. Chip Patterson, Barrett Sallee, Shehan Jeyarajah and Jerry Palm took the visitors. Dennis Dodd, Tom Fornelli and David Cobb chose the home team.

“These teams combined for 71 points last season as the Volunteers squeaked out a 38-33 victory in a game that featured nearly 1,200 yards of offense,” Cobb noted. “But both teams have since downgraded at quarterback and have questions to answer offensively. Tennessee’s critical downfield passing game is a work in progress, and Florida must prove that it can run the football better than it did during a Week 1 loss at Utah. With neither unit close to peak offensive capacity, the punters should stay busier this year.”

The crew’s composite pick took the under at 59 points.

The Gators host the Volunteers in the Swamp on Saturday, Sept. 16, for the SEC schedule opener between two historic rivals. The opening kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. EDT and the game can be watched on ESPN.

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One problem LSU must address in SEC play, according to CBS Sports

CBS Sports said that LSU needs to better utilize Harold Perkins moving forward.

Despite a season-opening loss to Florida State, LSU enters SEC play this weekend with all of its goals still in front of it. This team can still win the SEC, and it can even make the College Football Playoff.

But the margin for error has gotten considerably smaller. This team can’t afford any slipups in conference play, and it has some problems to address to avoid that happening.

CBS Sports broke down one issue that each SEC team must fix, and for LSU, it revolved around getting [autotag]Harold Perkins[/autotag] more involved on defense.

After beginning the year playing at inside linebacker, Perkins moved back to his old spot on the edge last week. Still, the production hasn’t matched what he was able to do last fall.

LSU — Free Harold Perkins: In theory, LSU’s plan to develop linebacker Harold Perkins by playing him off ball for longer stretches had some merit, especially with his more slender linebacker build. Two games into the season, it’s fair to call the move a wholesale disaster. Perkins went from one of the most feared defensive players in the SEC to essentially invisible. He was credited with 41 pressures and 7.5 sacks as a true freshman but now has just six total tackles through two games without any disruptive plays. LSU has suffered from a lack of playmaking with only one team sack through team games. Perkins can solve that.

Failure to put pressure on the quarterback was certainly an issue in the loss to Florida State, but if there’s one player on the roster who has the talent to be a game-changer in that regard, it’s Perkins.

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Follow Tyler to continue the conversation on Twitter: @TylerNettuno

One thing Florida football needs to fix, according to CBS Sports

CBS Sports analyst feels the Gators need to fix a certain aspect of its passing attack.

Before the SEC slate begins in the 2023 football season, CBS Sports released a list of things that teams need to fix before the schedule gets to the nitty gritty.

Sports analyst David Cobb of CBS Sports says the Gators need to improve on the passing game and create more plays on the perimeter.

“Say what you will about Graham Mertz, who was an uninspiring quarterback pickup for the Gators from Wisconsin, but he’s been fine through two games,” wrote Cobb. “The bigger concern is the absence of a playmaking wide receiver outside of Ricky Pearsall. With 14 receptions for 215 yards, Pearsall is the Gators’ top receiver and it’s not even close.”

“You have to combine the team’s next four pass-catchers to equal Pearsall’s yardage total. Speedy freshman Eugene Wilson III has shown some flashes with six grabs, but five of them have come at or behind the line of scrimmage. To succeed in the SEC, the Gators must facilitate more perimeter playmaking for players other than Pearsall.”

Cobb raises a great point.

The Gators were able to create space against the No. 12 Utah Utes, but not until it was too late.

In the contest against McNeese State, Mertz found Pearsall down the field for a 50-yard touchdown and connected with Wilson for a few screen plays.

Without a doubt, the passing game is dull, to say the least. The Gators need to spread the ball and find additional plays beyond the first down marker if the team wants to be a threat to teams like No. 1 Georgia and No. 14 LSU, who both have lockdown defenses.

The LSU Tigers showed flaws in its week one tilt with the Florida State Seminoles, but the FSU passing game spreads the ball to every corner of the field to take apart their opponents.

Whether the Gators fix the perimeter passing or not will be answered on Saturday when Florida hosts the No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The primetime matchup is set for 7 p.m. EDT and will air on ESPN.

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CBS Sports questions point spread in Gators-Vols matchup

The lines are a bit closer for the Gators-Vols game than Barrett Sallee would expect.

Florida football and the rest of the Gator Nation get their first taste of SEC action this fall on Saturday when the Tennessee Volunteers arrive in Gainesville for the 2023 conference schedule opener.

While the rivalry game has lost a great deal of luster over the past two decades, the matchup between the two SEC East division foes was must-see TV for football fans around the nation. While it has fallen from grace over the long term, the potential for an instant classic always lurks beneath the surface.

This fall, the Vols come in ranked just outside the top 10 and considered a contender for the conference crown while the Gators are simply looking to score their first winning season since the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. Despite the dichotomy of the two programs, the sports media is somewhat split on the outcome of the prime-time affair.

CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee took a look at the odds for the SEC’s slate of games this coming weekend and was dumbfounded by the numbers floating around for the Vols-Gators matchup. Under the heading, “Dessert: Tennessee is what?” he divulged his astonishment at the betting lines.

When Week 3 college football lines were released, I was shocked that Tennessee was only a 7-point favorite over Florida. I was even more shocked to see it drop to -6.5 shortly thereafter. Sure, it’s in Gainesville, but Florida’s offense isn’t exactly on par with USC or Florida State. That always makes me take a step back and wonder what I’m missing. After a few days of thought, it still doesn’t make sense. Florida’s offensive line hasn’t impressed, quarterback Graham Mertz is average, at best, and Tennessee is No. 2 in the nation in tackles for loss (25).

Is Tennessee’s offense a liability after what it showed (or didn’t show) last week? Maybe that’s the case. It would be great for the conference if this matchup is competitive, and oddsmakers certainly see that as a possibility.

The Gators host the Volunteers in the Swamp on Saturday, Sept. 16, for the SEC schedule opener between two historic rivals. The opening kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. EDT and the game can be watched on ESPN.

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