No Sleep Till Football

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NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 4 2015

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope You knew there would be hangover after winning in Tuscaloosa, but I thought Ole Miss would handle Vandy at home a little better than 27-16! How do you hang 43 on Alabama but 27 on Vanderbilt? That said, the win over Alabama is still the most impressive in the nation which gives Ole Miss the #1 spot. The offense is playing exceedingly well with the Chad Kelly, Jaylen Walton & Laquon Treadwell trio being outstanding. The only knock I have on Ole Miss is the defense. I wish it generated a bit more pressure, but hard to argue with a 4-0 start.
#2 Computer Hope That wasn’t just a win. That was a massacre! To put Utah’s 62-20 win over Oregon in Autzen Stadium into context, the last time the Ducks were beaten that badly at home was back in 1977 when Washington came into Eugene & blasted Oregon 54-0! Utah QB Travis Wilson was outstanding throwing for 4TD and running for 100 yards! The Utah defense did a great job of keeping Oregon off the field, forcing 3 turnovers & recording 5 sacks. Oregon might not be a top-10 team this year but winning in Eugene by 42 points is almost unheard of! Amazing!
#3 Computer Hope Northwestern is quite the conundrum. They played down to their competition last weekend beating Ball St. 24-19, but they also killed themselves with penalties & turnovers. That is something they won’t get away with playing Iowa & Wisconsin. What’s interesting about Northwestern though is the wins over Duke & Stanford keep looking better & better. This weekend Duke took care of Georgia Tech & Stanford has won back-to-back road conference games over USC & Oregon St.! Ranking #3 is high but the resume certainly stands out.
#4 Computer Hope LSU left the Deep South to head up to Yankeetown & took care of business beating Syracuse 34-24 behind Lenoard Fournette’s 244 rushing yards! You might be wondering just how scary Fournette is! He’s rushed for 631yds in 3 games & against defenses that aren’t exactly easy. In his next 4 games, Fournette gets Eastern Michigan, Western Kentucky & South Carolina! There is a real possibility that Fournette is pushing 1600 rushing yards after only 7 games! It’s a tremendous recipe for success to be sure. How does Les Miles keep winning games!??
#5 Computer Hope The Tide rebounded from the Ole Miss loss with a 34-0 beating of UL-Monroe which is more of a tune up game for Alabama before they play Georgia in Athens. I think it’s interesting that so many people are talking about Alabama as a “fading” dynasty! The team won the SEC last year for crying out loud & were 7pts away from beating Ohio St., who won the national championship? How is that fading? I think the Tide are suffering after the departure of AJ McCarron. Incredible QBs like that don’t come around often. Even when you’re Alabama.
#6 Computer Hope After looking the part of a true freshman the past couple of weeks, UCLA QB Josh Rosen played well in Tuscon against the Wildcats in leading UCLA to a 56-30 win! I think we need to be prepared for the fact that Arizona & Arizona St. might not be so hot, but a 26pt road conference victory is nothing to sneeze at. The 30pts allowed is troubling although UCLA is now without both LB Myles Jack & DT Eddie Vanderdoes. Those were 2 potential All-Americans in the front-7! That’s a huge loss, and at some point you wonder if the injuries haunt them.
#7 Computer Hope TCU is hard to pin down. When you look at them you have to wonder why they are ranked #4 in the AP. They have 2 very close losses to Minnesota & Texas Tech. Neither of those teams were expected to do much this season & the only convincing wins TCU has on the resume came against SMU & Stephen F. Austin! I watched all of TCU/Texas Tech & came away with a couple of thoughts: 1)WR Josh Doctson is INCREDIBLE!!!!! and 2)I think TCU can score on anyone & that Texas Tech is a lot better than people give them credit for. Great win for TCU.
#8 Computer Hope Too high? I don’t think so. Texas Tech SHOULD have beaten TCU & unfortunately sometimes the magic happens for specific teams & TCU tapped into that magic against Texas Tech & stole a victory. The Red Raiders have a shot at revenge against Baylor this week which would make a lot of people believers if Tech left Arlington with a win. All I know is that Patrick Mahomes is going to be a household name at QB & DeAndre Washington is a legit rushing threat. I love Kliff Kingsbury as a coach! This is fast becoming my favorite team for 2015.
#9 Computer Hope The Oregon win doesn’t look nearly as good now as it did when Michigan St. beat the Ducks by 3 in East Lansing. Given what Utah did in Eugene, you can make an argument that Michigan St. isn’t even close to Utah! I think the Spartans problem more than anything is that they aren’t putting teams away. They beat W.Michigan by 13. They beat Air Force by 14. They just beat C.Michigan 30-10. The Spartans rank 77th in total defense. Last year they ranked 8th. Losing Pat Narduzzi to Pittsburgh might be having a huge impact on Michigan St.
#10 Computer Hope Stanford continued their offensive resurgence with a 42-24 win over Oregon St. in Corvallis. The Beavers aren’t great by any standard, but they are well coached with Gary Andersen & this was Stanford’s 3rd straight win & their 2nd of back-to-back conference games! Against Northwestern, Stanford QB Kevin Hogan was 20/35 (57%) for 155yds & 1INT. In his last 3 games, Hogan is 44/66 (67%) for 783yds with 7TD to 1INT. The Cardinal offense has averaged almost 40PPG over their last 3 games. I can’t hold the Northwestern loss against them.
#11 Computer Hope The Irish let UMass stick around a bit, leading the Minutemen 21-20 late in the 2nd quarter. From that point forward, Notre Dame would scored 41 unanswered points before giving up a garbage time TD to win 62-27. Five different Notre Dame players rushed for TDs. CJ Prosise & Josh Adams both ran for over 100 yards & even true frosh QB Brandon Wimbush got some run time! The Irish have looked really good so far this season but now the real test comes as Notre Dame travels to Clemson. A win there makes the Irish a playoff favorite.
#12 Computer Hope The Trojans went into Tempe to try & regroup from their home loss to Stanford & proceeded to open up a can of whoop ass on Arizona State! USC was up 35-0 at halftime and to be honest, this was somewhat of a sloppy game for USC. They committed 10 penalties & turned the ball over twice. Cody Kessler did throw 5TD passes but he wasn’t laser sharp like we’ve seen him in the past. USC also had a few problem on defense as the Sun Devils racked up 400+ total yards. This is an excellent football team with a couple of kinks to work out.
#13 Computer Hope Texas A&M survived a trip to Fayetteville with a 28-21 victor in OT. Texas A&M needed a late TD and 2-pt conversion just to get to OT, but their season was preserved. Arkansas played the type of game they like to which is controlled tempo with plenty of running the ball down your throat. A&M didn’t fare so well as Arkansas had the ball twice as long as the Hogs, but Arkansas’s sloppy play (11 penalties/2 turnovers) did them in. This is a better win than it looks. Arkansas isn’t a 1-3 team & sometimes you need to survive games like this. A&M did that.
#14 Computer Hope Oklahoma was on a bye last week and they should have made good use of the time as they’ll welcome in West Virginia this week. The Mountaineers have done somewhat of an about face this year under Dana Holgorsen. An offensive guru, Holgorsen is actually leading the nation’s #1 ranked scoring defense! West Virginia is pretty interesting. They run that 3-3-5 defense (30 stack) to perfection & have the personnel to be dominant. WVU lead the nation in turnover margin & interceptions. If Baker Mayfield has a bad game then it could get ugly for OU!
#15 Computer Hope The Seminoles were on a bye last week so they keep their 3-0 record intact. Oddly enough there has been quite a bit of chatter about Florida St. despite them having not played. The talk concerns the likelihood of the ACC getting a playoff team given their lack of any viable options given strength of schedule. FSU’s toughest remaining game is a road game against Clemson, but if Clemson loses to Notre Dame this week, what else does the ACC really have? If ND beats Clemson & Clemson beats Florida State, how can a 12-1 ACC team reach the playoffs?
#16 Computer Hope Let’s face it. Ohio State simply hasn’t been impressive. I know they are #1 because they are the defending national champions but their “good” win has come against Virginia Tech who just got hammered by East Carolina. If you take out the 38-0 win over Hawaii, Ohio St. has beaten VA Tech, N.Illinois & W.Michigan by the combined score of 100-49. If Michael Brewer doesn’t get hurt then who knows what happens in Blacksburg & the Buckeyes should feel fortunate to have beaten N.Illinois. Does the #1 team feel fortunate to beat a MAC school?
#17 Computer Hope The 7pt loss at Utah now looks amazing & you could even make an argument that Michigan is a top-5 team if you believe Utah is in the top-2! BYU didn’t all of a sudden start sucking. Michigan put a beating on them 31-0 and now you have to wonder just how good the Wolverine defense really is? In their last 3 games the defense has give up 14 points in 3 straight wins. The competition hasn’t been super tough, but what Michigan has done under Jim Harbaugh has been nothing short of amazing. Could Michigan be a potential playoff team?
#18 Computer Hope The East Carolina win looks a lot better now that the Pirates beat Virginia Tech. I also think back-to-back wins over Tennessee & Kentucky make Florida the prohibitive favorite to be the #2 team in the SEC West behind Georgia. Florida isn’t blowing anyone away offensively but defensively they are showing out! The Gators rank 9th in the nation in tackles for loss & 6th in sacks. DT Jonathan Bullard is playing like a 1st team All-American while LB Jarrad Davis & DE Alex McCalister are also playing great. Defense can win you a lot of football games.
#19 Computer Hope Nobody has the DAWGS as low as I have them, but I’m trying to base these rankings on merit and right now Georgia is 4-0 with wins over UL-Monroe, Vanderbilt, South Carolina & Southern. I apologize for being underwhelmed! Georgia has had the tendency to throw up on themselves in the past. This year they should beat Alabama in Athens & nobody else on the schedule should beat them. For the most part Georgia should end the season at 13-0 as SEC Champions & favorites to win the National Championship. We’ll see how that pans out.
#20 Computer Hope Auburn isn’t nearly the team I’d thought they’d be coming into the season, but Mississippi St. went on the road and beat War Eagle 17-9 to improve to 3-1. The Bulldogs probably should have beaten LSU in Starkville when they had the chance. If you believe in LSU then you can hardly penalize MSU for losing to them by 2 points! By that logic having them at #19 is entirely too low. Dak Prescott has been perfect. They are running the ball well. The defense is there. A win in College Station this week establishes the Bulldogs as a top-10 team.
#21 Computer Hope You can hardly hammer Oregon for losing at Michigan St. & against Utah at home. If you believe those 2 squads are top-10 worthy, then you can make an argument that Oregon should at least be top-15 material. One thing that is for certain after watching the Tennessee Titans play this year is that Marcus Mariota was INCREDIBLY SPECIAL and even a school like Oregon with all their offense can’t suffer a loss like that and go unscathed. Oregon’s 2-2 start is a testament to just how good Mariota was and just how much Oregon misses him at QB.
#22 Computer Hope The Hawkeyes flexed a little bit this past weekend, beating North Texas 62-16! Iowa isn’t necessarily known for scoring points in bunches so the 62 was a surprise figure. The last time Iowa scored at least 60 points was 2002 when they beat Northwestern 62-10. That season Iowa would finish the year 11-2 & ranked #8 in the nation. What has really intrigued me about Iowa this year is that QB CJ Beathard is for real. Iowa can run the ball behind Jordan Canzeri & the defense is EXTREMELY GOOD! A win in Madison this weekend changes everything.
#23 Computer Hope Sort of like Oregon, it’s hard to be too hard on Tennessee when they have losses to Florida & Oklahoma on the season. What makes it even worse is those are two games that the Vols completely gave away. Instead of 2-2, Tennessee should be 4-0 getting ready to potentially be 5-0 when they host Georgia on October 10th! Tennessee outscored Florida & Oklahoma by a combined score of 34-10 in the first half! They’ve been outscored in the 2nd half by both teams 49-17! Tennessee needs to figure out a way to avoid halftime in big games.
#24 Computer Hope The Alabama loss is far enough removed for Wisconsin to start making headway back into the top-25. Since that opening week loss to the Tide, Wisconsin has won 3 straight, outscoring their opponents 114-3! It’s insanely impressive although those 3 opponents were Miami-OH, Hawaii & Troy so we can’t get too giddy. Wisconsin welcomes Iowa to Camp Randall this weekend in a game that should push the winner to the front of the Big 10 West to challenge Northwestern. Keep an eye on LB Joe Schobert. He’s been the best LB in American thus far.
#25 Computer Hope Clemson is coming off a bye which should help in their showdown with Notre Dame this Saturday. The 20-17 win over Louisville left a bad taste in my mouth considering just how pitiful the Cardinals have been this season. Clemson’s other wins have come against Wofford & Appalachian State. I think a couple of matchups are going to be interesting here. The first his how well QB Deshaun Watson plays against a great defense. The 2nd is DE Shaq Lawson going up against Irish LT Ronnie Staley. If Clemson wins those battles, they probably win.

DROPPING OUT

BYU COUGARS (previously #11): The magic had to run out at some point. I still think BYU makes a great argument for being in the top-25 as their losses have come against UCLA & Michigan. There isn’t a loss remaining on the schedule in my opinion & with a bowl win, the Cougars could get to 11-2 & be a borderline top-10 team depending on how UCLA & Michigan finish.

BAYLOR BEARS (previously #14): Baylor drops for me because this is a joke of a schedule. We are 4 weeks in and Baylor has already had a bye week & their 3 wins have come against SMU, Lamar & Rice. They’ve not even left the state of Texas! This week they play Texas Tech in Arlington. FINALLY an opponent. If Baylor walks all over the Red Raiders in this one then they’ll be ranked higher than both TCU & Texas Tech. We’ll see.

GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (previously #20): Losing to Notre Dame by 8 in South Bend is completely respectable given how the Irish are playing. Going to Durham & getting beat by 14 at the hands of the Blue Devils? Duke is a lot better these last couple of years, but this Georgia Tech team is horribly disappointing to date.

CALIFORNIA BEARS (previously #24): Really no reason to drop California but right now we have enough to sort of assign some credit being a third of the way in. Cal is doing a great job getting to 4-0 but they barely escaped Texas & Washington with wins. QB Jared Goff is playing his way into the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft so there is a lot of buzz around the Bears, but we’ll know a lot more in 2 weeks when Cal has a 4-game span of: @Utah, @UCLA, v. USC and @Oregon. Cal could be 5-4 after 9 games & still be a top-25 team!

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October 2, 2015 - Posted by | Alabama, Baylor, BYU, California, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., NCAA, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oregon, Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Utah, Week 4, Wisconsin

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