Erick Smith on Muck Rack

Erick Smith

Senior Digital Producer — USA Today
As seen in: USA Today, Greenville News

Senior digital producer @USATODAYsports helping with coverage of college football and other sports. On two wheels in my free time.

The five best non-conference matchups in college football — The advent of the College Football Playoff has brought greater emphasis to strength of schedule and has rewarded teams that have been willing to accept challenging games outside of their conferences. This push toward the Power Five conferences facing each other has brought better quality matchups to the early season.

Five key quarterback battles going deep into fall camp — Nothing creates more uncertainty for an offense in college football than have an unresolved quarterback battle heading into the season. With an experienced starter, the coaching staff and players know what they have at the most important position on the field.

Five teams getting too much of a bowl bounce — You don't have a second chance at first impressions, but in the world of college football it is often the last impression that shapes the perspective the upcoming season. Pundits, fans and even players can get caught up living in the afterglow of an impressive bowl win in the eight months before the start of the next season.

USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for every bowl game — Clemson. Alabama. Michigan State. Oklahoma. One of these four teams will be the 2015 national champions. But beyond the three contests that will comprise the second College Football Playoff field, there's 38 other bowl games to keep track of this postseason. Here's our picks for the postseason.

Bowl projections: Playoff field set, but did Michigan State jump Oklahoma? — All the games are complete. The decision on the College Football Playoff field is in the hands of the committee. There appears to be little drama about which four teams will make the field. There may be a question about their seed order. Clemson and Alabama seem secure in the No.

Bowl projections: Oklahoma solidifies playoff spot; three others still in play — There's one thing we know about the College Football Playoff: Oklahoma will be one of the four teams. The Sooners secured their place with their dominating win Nov. 28 at Oklahoma State. The other three spots remain unresolved.

Bowl projections: Michigan State, Oklahoma crash playoff party — There were always going to be upsets and inevitable chaos, because the final weeks of the college football season are always unpredictable. After last week's losses, both Ohio State and Oklahoma State fall out of the College Football Playoff field. In jump Michigan State and Oklahoma.

Filling the Field: The biggest games for teams fighting to be bowl-eligible — Much of the college football world focuses on the teams in contention for the College Football Playoff. There's also significant drama at the bottom of the postseason. The expansion to 40 bowl games this season means 80 spots are open to teams with six or more wins.

Bowl projections: Four spots in College Football Playoff stay same — A lot happened in college football last weekend. Nothing changed in the College Football Playoff projection. Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama and Oklahoma State all won to remain in control of their destiny by winning out. Oklahoma, Iowa and Notre Dame are on the outside looking in right now.

Five critical matchups in Week 11's biggest college football games — The College Football Playoff picture is starting to gain clarity. And two matchups today will provide more definition about which teams will be left standing when the field of four is decided on Dec. 6. The games should have very different feels. Baylor hosts Oklahoma in a meeting of teams that ranked first and third in scoring, respectively.
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Aug 29, 2016

Hard enough for most actors to find one iconic role. Gene Wilder did it several times (Willy Wonka, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein).

Aug 29, 2016

Three days until the first college football weekend starts. Here's the best five non-conference games this season. 

Aug 27, 2016

@hokihowi @SteveAGardner You'd think a fantasy editor would have more sense to do a draft before the third preseason game. But guess not. :)

Aug 23, 2016

@RealErickSmith almost as mad at jim as my parents for giving me the goofy spelling of my name.

Aug 23, 2016

Less than two weeks before season, five contenders have unresolved quarterback situations. A look at each one: 

Aug 21, 2016

Lead pack in men's marathon at 12 with about seven miles left. Galen Rupp of USA in there in only his second career marathon.

Aug 21, 2016

Love to see runners sharing water during marathon. A sport of competition and shared struggle.

Aug 20, 2016

Nice moment between Geno and Taurasi at end of gold medal game. Could be last time he coaches her.

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