No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 1 2015

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Things were a little dicey for the Buckeyes when Hokie QB Michael Brewer was in the game. Ohio St. went up early 14-0 but Brewer led Virginia Tech to 17 unanswered points before halftime as Virginia Tech took a 17-14 lead. An Adolphus Washington broke Brewer’s collarbone early in the 3rd quarter & Ohio St. cruised from that point forward. Cardale Jones & Ezekiel Elliott looked unstoppable for the Buckeyes. LB Dillon Lee was everywhere. If you want to nitpick one little thing about Ohio St., it’s their lack of a coherent passing attack. It’s minor to be sure especially when they can run the ball like they did, but it’s a weakness that could be exploited later. A win in Blacksburg is solid as V-Tech is a good team.
#2 Computer Hope You get the feeling that Alabama & Nick Saban feel like they are being disrespected. Wisconsin is a good, solid football team yet it looked like the local high school team against their little league counterparts in their 35-17 win over the Badgers. Derrick Henry was a man among boys out there rushing for 147yds & 3TD on 13 carries. Kenyan Drake ran for 77yds a TD of his own on just 10 carries. QB Jake Coker looked solid & the Tide didn’t commit a turnover. There was a little chatter coming from LB Reggie Ragland this offseason about the Bama defense getting back to being dominant (back to being dominant? I don’t think they ever left) & he backed it up leading the team with 12 tackles & appearing everywhere in sight.
#3 Computer Hope The 38-17 win over Arizona State was OUTSTANDING! This is eerily similar to last season when A&M hammered South Carolina 52-28 to open the season & everyone was gushing about QB Kenny Hill being a Heisman candidate. The Aggies would get to 5-0 & #6 in the nation before the wheels came off, but I’m a believer this year. QB Kyle Allen is solid & I simply don’t think there is an answer for DE Myles Garrett. Even better is that DE Daeshon Hall can be incredibly dominant as well so if teams key in on Garrett, they lose anyway. In a week bereft of adequate pass rushing, the Aggies logged 9 sacks & 14 tackles for loss in an incredible performance. Hall had 4 sacks, Garrett had 2 & S Donovan Wilson had 2. I’m buying this defense!
#4 Computer Hope A tricky one for me. On the one hand Auburn looked outstanding getting out to a 24-0 lead over Louisville early in the 3rd quarter. At that point you really thought the Tigers were going to blow this open, win 38-0 & establish themselves as Ohio St.’s greatest threat to repeat as national champions. But then they fell to pieces. Louisville outscored them 24-7 the rest of the way & QB Jeremy Johnson looked terrible. Even the defense looked odd. Early on guys like Carl Lawson & Kris Frost looked dominant, but as the game wore on Louisville QB Lamar Jackson kept getting better. I really like this Auburn team & the 31-24 win over Louisville is going to keep getting better & better, but Johnson might be a problem at QB.
#5 Computer Hope Notre Dame’s 38-3 thrashing of Texas in South Bend was the most dominant football game I watched all weekend. There wasn’t a single aspect of the game that the Irish didn’t completely dominate. Granted, Texas isn’t Texas right now, but the Longhorns still have a tremendous amount of talent & they got hammered. Malik Zaire was almost perfect going 19/22 for 313yds & 3TD. True frosh RBs Dexter Williams & Josh Adams looked fantastic as did CJ Prosise. WR Will Fuller looked unstoppable with 7 catches for 142yds & 2TD! The Irish racked up 4 sacks & 7 tackles for loss. True frosh DT Jerry Tillery got his first sack. The Irish did lose RB Tarean Folston for the season which was the only negative. He was due for a HUGE year.
#6 Computer Hope TCU dropped in the rankings from #2 to #3 and I’ve dropped them from #2 to #6, but winning in Minnesota 23-17 is probably a bigger accomplishment than you would think. Minnesota HC Jerry Kill probably knows Gary Patterson better than anyone in the coaching fraternity & Kill is an OUSTANDING head coach himself. The Gophers might not attract the kind of talent Ohio St. or Alabama does, but they aren’t going to lay down either & they are going to put up a fight. TCU played well enough to win. QB Trevone Boykin & RB Aaron Greene moved the chains enough. True frosh LB Mike Freeze is a player. He’s been given the impossible task of replacing Paul Dawson (drafted by the Bengals) but he’s going to shine. Love the kid!
#7 Computer Hope QB Cody Kessler was on fire in USC’s 55-6 opening win over Arkansas State! The senior signal caller went for 236yds/4TD on 19 of 26 passing. Tre Madden & true frosh Ronald Jones combined to rush for 192yds/2TD on only 18 carries while WR JuJu Smith caught 4 balls for 89yds & a TD. Defensively it was an interesting game for the Trojans. They gave up over 400yds to Ark State but they also were +4 in TO margin. Su’a Cravens had a pick & true frosh LB Cameron Smith led the team in tackles with 7. DT Kenny Bigelow picked up a sack, the only one for USC on the night. The rush defense needs to get better as teams like UCLA, Arizona & Oregon are MUCH BETTER running the football than the Red Wolves.
#8 Computer Hope With 18 returning starters, the one big question facing UCLA this year was the development of true freshman QB Josh Rosen. Already touted as the best QB in the high school class of 2015, Rosen has essentially been given the keys to a Ferrari. How would he fare? Like a senior getting ready to be a top-5 pick in the NFL draft! Rosen completed 28 of 35 passes for 351yds & 3TD en route to leading UCLA to a 34-16 win over Virginia. The Bruins used 10 different receivers in their attack that led to 500+ total yards. Rosen wasn’t the only true frosh making waves. RB Soso Jamabo ran led the team in rushing with 79yds on just 9 carries. The bad news is UCLA lost DT Eddie Vanderdoes for the season. He’s a special player.
#9 Computer Hope With Arkansas you immediately think run because Jonathan Williams & Alex Collins each ran for over 1000yds last season, but Arkansas did it through the air against UTEP in a workman like 48-13 win over the Miners. QB Brandon Allen went 14 of 18 for 308yds & 4TD! With Williams missing the year due to injury, Collins shouldered the load up front & ran for 127yds/TD on just 12 carries. Rawleigh Williams ran for 45yds in trying to recreate Williams’ role. Allen was a solid QB last year throwing 20TD to just 5INT along with 2200+yds but his accuracy wasn’t hot at 56%. If his accuracy is improved then the Razorbacks are going to be brutal to play as they’ll have both air & ground attacks. I really like this team.
#10 Computer Hope The Bulldogs took UL-Monroe to the woodshed in Athens on Saturday jumping out to a 35-7 halftime lead before putting the game to bed with a 51-14 win. This game was actually called in the 4th quarter with about 10 minutes left due to the weather so Georgia could have easily gotten close to 70 points by the end! Georgia pretty much got this win on the ground. Nick Chubb ran for 120yds/2TD while Keith Marshall chipped in 73yds/2TD & Sony Michel ran for 41 & caught a TD pass. UGA QBs attempted just 14 passes but completed 10 of them for 192yds & 3TD! The Bulldog rush defense was stingy although ULM QB Garrett Smith had a decent game. Georgia is going to win a lot of games with that rushing attack.
#11 Computer Hope I thought Georgia Tech’s win was lopsided!!! Good grief! Ole Miss didn’t come out sluggish in the opener as they cruised to a 41-0 halftime lead over UT-Martin before finishing the game with a 76-3 victory! Yes it was only UT-Martin but everything seemingly worked for the Rebels offense. Ole Miss had 662 total yards & was incredibly balanced as they ran for 338 & passed for 324. Ole Miss used 3 QBs, 8 different players ran the ball & 11 different players caught passes. RB Jaylen Walton was the only Rebel with more than 1 TD as he ran for a couple. This was a dominant win but I would have liked to have seen a little better pass rush from Ole Miss. They managed just 1 sack against a team like UT-Martin. Come on!
#12 Computer Hope Good heavens! QB Justin Thomas only played the first quarter for the Yellow Jackets in their season opener against Alcorn St., but it was a quarter that saw Georgia Tech score 34 points! Thomas even got in a TD pass to Micheal Summers as he rushed for a TD himself. Backup Tim Byerly would handle the last 3 quarters as Georgia Tech cruised 69-6 over the Braves. Granted the competition wasn’t much but GT’s triple option attack looked unstoppable as it racked up 476 rushing yards & averaged 9.2ypc! Six different Yellow Jackets scored rushing TDs. True frosh Marcus Marshall ran for 184yds/2TD on just 8 carries. Patrick Skov chipped in 72yds/3TD. Georgia Tech did not commit a single penalty during the game.
#13 Computer Hope Yes Akron lost 41-3, but give the Zips defense some credit. Akron has the best defense in the MAC & their D-Line isn’t anything to sneeze at. Akron’s front-7 held Oklahoma to just 100 rushing yards on 33 carries which has to be considered a victory. Samaje Perine ran for 1713yds/21TD last year but managed just 33yds against the Zips front-7. Oklahoma tore it up through the air however with QB Baker Mayfield throwing for almost 400yds & 3TD. RB Joe Mixon carried the ball only 5 times for 27yds but did catch a 76yd TD from Mayfield. The Oklahoma defense was OK but nothing exceptional. I wish they would have gotten a bit more pass rush. It seems OU is a little undersized at their 3-4OLB positions.
#14 Computer Hope This might be a little too harsh for Baylor but I was a little disappointed that they led SMU 28-21 at halftime. We can get crazy with Baylor’s offensive statistics. They were there to be sure as the Bears racked up 700+ total yards and end up winning the game 56-21, but like Michigan State, I expected more from them defensively. Shawn Oakman didn’t play. The D-Line could only must 3 sacks against an overmatched SMU squad. As a team Baylor committed 13 penalties & only had 5 more 1st downs than SMU, 27-22. Seth Russell completed just 50% of his passes. Of course, the team ran for 8.1ypc which is going to be practically unstoppable but this was a sloppy game & Baylor might play 8 games before being tested.
#15 Computer Hope That was a bittersweet trip to Lincoln for the Cougars. On the one hand you lose your senior starting QB Taysom Hill in your very first game, but you also have freshman QB Tanner Mangum throw a Hail Mary at the end of the game to WR Mitch Matthews that gives you a 33-28 win in a raucous road environment. The issue for BYU now is how well Mangum can come in and run the offense. He actually played well in Hill’s absence & he’s also a run threat like Hill. What really helps is BYU’s receiving corps. Mitch Matthews, Nick Kurtz, Terenn Houk & Devon Blackmon are all huge & all upperclassmen. It’s a great crutch to lean on. BYU has a chance to have a very special year of Mangum can pick up the pieces. Great win.
#16 Computer Hope This may be an over reach for Utah but I liked the team that beat Michigan 24-17 on opening Thursday. The issue I have with Utah (and why I think I might have them a bit too high) is that like Louisville, I think if Michigan had another quarter, they might come back & beat the Utes. Michigan was driving in the 4th down 17-10 when Jake Ruddock through a pick that CB Justin Thomas ran back for a 55-yard TD that put Utah up 24-10 midway through the 4th quarter. I think this can go a couple of ways. The first is that Michigan is going to prove over time this season they are a very good football team & this is a great win for Utah. Or Michigan might suck & Utah squeaked out a win over a bad team at home. We’ll find out.
#17 Computer Hope Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson couldn’t have asked for a better debut at Florida State. The QB completed 19 of 25 passes for 302yds & 4TD. It’s easy to forget that Golson led Notre Dame to the national championship game in 2012 & came into Florida St. with an 18-6 record as a starter. He’s played on the biggest of stages. The big question for the Noles coming into 2015 was how Jameis Winston was going to be replaced, but remember that Winston last season passed for 3907yds with 25TD to 18INT. Golson threw for 3500yds/29TD/14INT last season with the Irish. Dalvin Cook & Mario Pender were unstoppable running the football & FSU used 13 different receivers in the 59-16 win over Texas St.! They’ll be fine.
#18 Computer Hope A little disappointed in Michigan State. I know they led 20-7 at the end of the 1st quarter but Western Michigan tied them 17-17 through the remaining 3. The Spartans come away with a 37-24 win, but it feels disjointed. QB Connor Cook didn’t complete 50% of his passes. The running game by LJ Scott, Madre London & Gerald Holmes was solid but not spectacular. Defensively they gave up too many yards through the air. The one good thing to come out of this was Michigan St.’s rush defense allowed only 18 rushing yards on 23 attempts! LB Riley Bullough was a machine out there racking up 3 sacks & 9 tackles. As a team Michigan St. recorded 7 sacks so they were getting pressure. They just gave up too many yards.
#19 Computer Hope I made it a point to watch the Stanford/Northwestern game. My main thought was that Northwestern was a solid team, but that Stanford was going to be a playoff contender so I thought the Wildcats would be a good test. Instead I came away believing Northwestern has a real shot at winning the Big 10 West. I think Clayton Thorson played great. He’s much more of a run threat that Trevor Siemian. If Thorson can get his accuracy up, he’s going to be very tough to handle. RB Justin Jackson tore Stanford up! Jackson ran for 1178yds last year but gashed the Cardinal for 134! Christian Jones also looked great after being out last season. The Wildcats defense looked fantastic. Anthony Walker & Ifeadi Odenigbo were great! Love Walker!
#20 Computer Hope Clemson jumped out to a 35-0 lead with over 5 minutes left in the 2nd quarter & HC Dabo Swinney considered the rest of the game garbage time as the Tigers rolled to a 49-10 win over Wofford. Deshaun Watson was sharp going 18/22 for 194yds/2TD. Wayne Gallman & Zac Brooks combined to rush for 146yds/3TD on 21 carries. It’s hard to read too much into this game because the starters didn’t play so much but Clemson was -2 in TO margin & they committed more penalties than Wofford. It’s nitpicking to be sure, but things I’m sure the Clemson staff will clear up before next week’s game against Appalachian State. Another oddity is Clemson haven’t just 1 sack. They need to get a lot more pass rush than that.
#21 Computer Hope Absolutely love the offense. QB Josh Dobbs was outstanding going 15/22 for 205yds/2TD & also rushing for 89yds & a TD! The Vols broke out a 2-headed BEAST at RB as Jalen Hurd & Alvin Kamara looked unstoppable. Hurd ran for 123yds/3TD while Kamara went nuts with 144yds/2TD on just 15 carries! TE Ethan Wolf caught both of Dobbs’ TD passes. While the offense was humming, UT was giving up 557 total yards & 30 points to Bowling Green in the 59-30 victory! Bowling Green QB Matt Johnson threw for 424yds/2TD! Bowling Green might be the best team in the MAC so they weren’t going to lay down, but I expected more out of a UT defense that returned 8 starters. They can’t play like this against Oklahoma.
#22 Computer Hope I don’t think South Carolina’s 17-13 win over North Carolina in Charlotte went as planned but something has to be said about a team with ball hawking ability on defense & their ability to win games. North Carolina dominated this game statistically yet Spurrier & Co. ended up 1-0! Skai Moore was the MVP of this game coming up big time with 2 interceptions. If not for those turnovers, SC loses this one & starts 0-1 with a real chance to start the season 0-3 & potentially 2-5! The win doesn’t necessarily mean a ton, but now you just sort of feel SC might start 5-2. The Gamecocks have problems at QB as Connor Mitch was hardly inspiring, but the Heels are a good team & a win is nice. SC deserves to be in the top-25…..for now.
#23 Computer Hope Maybe Wisconsin keeps it a little closer against Alabama if RB Corey Clement had been 100% but that is unlikely. Still, it was a solid effort for the Badgers as they went down to the Tide 35-17. This game was only 14-7 at halftime before Alabama dominated the 3rd quarter 14-3. The Badgers deserve some credit for keeping it close as Alabama’s rushing game looked unstoppable. I thought this was actually a decent game for QB Joel Stave. Stave struggled last year completing just 53.4% of his passes. Against a vaunted Alabama defense, Stave completed 67%! I thought OLB Joe Schobert had a solid game too. In Wisconsin’s 3-4 base, Schobert had 10 tackles, 2 sacks & 4 tackles for loss. He looks really good early.
#24 Computer Hope QB Dak Prescott was on display in Hattiesburg as Mississippi St. took down Southern Miss 34-16. Prescott passed for 237yds/2TD while rushing for 72yds/1TD. Prescott wasn’t overly sharp but he was good enough. WR Fred Ross had a big game & at 6’2/205lbs could be a pretty big go to weapon for Prescott as the season goes along. That would be helpful as it would take some pressure off the running game that is trying to cope with the loss of RB Josh Robinson. LB Richie Brown & DE AJ Jefferson had big games. The Bulldog defense probably gave up a bit too much through the air but did get a couple of picks. Southern Miss has been down in recent years, but the program is headed back in the right direction.
#25 Computer Hope If Louisville would have had one more quarter, I think they would have come from behind & gotten the win over Auburn in Atlanta. Auburn led the Cardinals 17-0 at halftime but Louisville outscored War Eagle 24-14 in the 2nd half leading to the 31-24 loss. HC Bobby Petrino didn’t waste any time going to true frosh QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson was a little rough at first but he was able to run for 106yds & a TD while RB Brandon Radcliff chipped in 76yds/2TD. S Josh Harvey-Clemson was EVERYWHERE! He ended up with 14 tackles & 2 interceptions! The Georgia transfer is a monster at 6’5/230lbs playing the safety position! If Jackson can settle in, Louisville is A LOT better than anyone thinks.

DROPPING OUT

OREGON DUCKS (previously #7): They won’t stay out of the top-25 for long especially if they go into East Lansing & beat Michigan State, but giving up 42 points & 549 total yards to Eastern Washington? Where in the world was the defense? If they get exposed by Michigan State, then all of a sudden things look worrisome in Eugene.

VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (previosuly #14): I would have ranked them in the top-25 even if they did lose to Ohio St., but the loss of QB Michael Brewer was devastating. Brewer had VT up 17-14 at halftime over the defending national champions. When he went down, Brenden Motley looked lost out there as the Buckeyes put the hammer down in the 2nd half.

STANFORD CARDINAL (previously #17): The biggest disappointment of Week 1, I picked Stanford to win the Pac 12 North & be a surprise playoff contender. I suppose that could still happen but losing to Northwestern 16-6!? The offense looked absolutely horrendous. They could be looking at 2-4 after 6 games!

ARIZONA ST. SUN DEVILS (previously #21): I’m not overly shocked they lost to Texas A&M, but they were dominated which was surprising. One thing to keep in mind about Arizona is they play USC & UCLA back-to-back in Weeks 4 & 5. They could easily start the season 2-3 with road games against Utah & California to come not to mention the game against Arizona.

BOISE ST. BRONCOS (previously #22): Boise didn’t do anything wrong in beating Washington 16-13 in Chris Petersen’s homecoming but the game was close & non-eventful while other teams made statements in their victories (see: Northwestern, BYU, Utah & Mississippi State). Boise St. plays BYU this week & a win gets them back up in the rankings.

LSU TIGERS (previously #23): LSU gets a hurt a bit by getting their game against McNeese State canceled. It also doesn’t help that teams like Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M & Mississippi St. looked fantastic. We’ll know an awful lot about them in the next 2 weeks as they play at Mississippi State & Auburn! How is that for your first two games?

PITTSBURGH PANTHERS (previously #24): I really like Pittsburgh but I probably would have dropped them out due to their defensive performance against Youngstown State. The Panthers won 45-37 but they were -3 in TO margin & they lost RB James Conner for the year. That’s a huge red flag but rFR Oadree Ollison stepped in & ran for 207yds/1TD on 16 carries! Chris James ran well too. I still bullish on Pittsburgh. If Ollison can keep this up they’ll be right back in the top-25. Brutal schedule though.

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September 11, 2015 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise St., BYU, Clemson, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville, LSU, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Power 25, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Week 1, Wisconsin

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