No Sleep Till Football

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NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 7 2015

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope The most even keeled team we’ve seen all season without a blemish on the record. Utah took care of business at home this past week against Arizona St. 34-18. The resume keeps getting better & better. The Michigan win looks great. The win over Utah St. looks amazing after the Aggies destroyed Boise State. They’ve beaten Arizona St., California & Oregon within the Pac 12. Keep an eye on Utah’s TO margin. The Utes dominate this category but it’s a category ripe for regression. It could play a huge role down the stretch.
#2 Computer Hope Forget the loss to Ole Miss. This is the best team in America right now and the only reason I have Utah #1 is because the Utes deserve the spot for being perfect. Alabama put away Texas A&M in textbook fashion 41-23. Texas A&M’s defense was built for speed rushing & Alabama’s O-Line held the Aggies to 1 sack while the Tide ran over A&M’s rush defense with Derrick Harvey going for 236yds & 2TD on 32 carries. Nick Saban is the best coach in college football. If you have a weakness, the man will exploit it & beat you!
#3 Computer Hope I think the 34-17 win over Boston College was especially impressive seeing how hard it was for Florida St. & Duke to put away the Eagles. It doesn’t look like a huge win, but BC has been a solid team this year with a couple of breaks going against them to keep them from 4-5 wins. The win over Notre Dame is going to keep looking better & better the more games the Irish win. The Tigers get Florida St. at home so there is nothing preventing this team from finishing the year 13-0 & getting the 4-team playoff. Time to finish!
#4 Computer Hope Baylor’s OOC schedule isn’t great but the Bears now have wins over Texas Tech & West Virginia so you have to take them seriously. West Virginia is a solid team with a great coach in Dana Holgorsen & Baylor put up 62 on them! In their first 5 games, WVU allowed on average 20PPG. Baylor more than tripled it. The Bears average 64PPG & I’m not sure anyone not named Alabama can stop them. QB Seth Russell has a legit shot at throwing 60TD while RB Shock Linwood could rush for 2000 yards with 20TD. Insanity!
#5 Computer Hope Iowa St. tried hard but TCU shut it down in the 2nd half outscoring the Cyclones 21-0 to beat Paul Rhoads’ squad 45-21. The Trevone Boykin v. Leonard Fournette Heisman race should heat up especially if TCU keeps winning & LSU drops a game. The 50-7 win over Texas looks good, but the Horned Frogs defense isn’t very good & the only good team they’ve really played so far is Texas Tech and they needed massive luck to win that one. The schedule starts to get stiff so TCU can more than prove their worthiness at #5.
#6 Computer Hope Effing Les Miles! Florida’s defense held the Bayou Bengals to nothing until Miles faked a field goal attempt in the 4th quarter which led to K Trent Domingue running for a 16yd TD to give LSU a 35-28 lead over the Gators which would end up being the final. Florida tried hard but Leonard Fournette racked up 180 yards & 2TD, adding to his formidable Heisman candidacy. Give credit to the LSU defense too. They held Florida to their worst rushing totals this season. LSU DE Lewis Neal posted 3 sacks which gives him 7.
#7 Computer Hope Very difficult to rank Florida lower than one spot below LSU. Florida had a rough first half going down 28-14 to LSU in Baton Rouge but the defense toughened up considerably holding LSU in check while tying the game at 28. Treon Harris did a good job filling in for the suspended Will Grier, but the Gators had trouble getting their ground game going. And well, sometimes the Mad Hatter is the Mad Hatter. The Gators still have a great chance to stay in the playoff chase. They might see LSU again in Atlanta!
#8 Computer Hope The Aggies, lost but losing to Alabama is hardly anything to be ashamed about. Alabama couldn’t keep Myles Garrett from a sack, but Garrett’s lone sack was A&M’s only one which was a significant win for the Tide. Jake Coker did a great job of managing the game & giving Derrick Henry the ability to beat A&M. If there is a weakness to the Aggies it’s their run defense. That probably won’t hurt them outside of their season finale at Baton Rouge when they take on Leonard Fournette. Even so, 10-2/11-1 is on the table.
#9 Computer Hope That was a beating! When Northwestern lost to Michigan 38-0 it was almost bizarre in a way with it being in Ann Arbor. When Iowa went into Evanston & HAMMERED Northwestern 40-10, that was a HUGE statement game for Iowa. Keep in mind that Iowa has now beaten both Northwestern & Wisconsin on the road. RB Akrum Wadley did a helluva job filling in for an injured Jordan Canzeri. Wadley ran for 204yds/4TD! The defense is on point & Wadley/Canzeri is a fantastic duo. No excuses. Iowa should go 12-0!
#10 Computer Hope You can make a good argument that if Clemson is #3 then the Irish should be #4. The 41-31 win over USC might not seem like much because the Trojans are 3-3 & their coaching situation is in tatters, but that was an immensely talented USC team that was in South Bend. Notre Dame got out early 24-10 & then took USC’s best shot with the men of Troy scoring 21 straight to go up 31-24 heading into the 4th quarter. The Irish answered & won 41-31! EVERYTHING is working on offense. If the defense comes around……..
#11 Computer Hope Forget the loss to Northwestern. Since that loss, Stanford has reeled off 5 straight wins by the average score of 45-23. There might not be a hotter team in the nation than the Cardinal right now & they are clearly the best team in the Pac 12. Since Northwestern QB Kevin Hogan is 69/100 (69%) for 1131yds with 12TD to 2INT! RB Christian McCaffery has been heating up as well. In his first 3 games, McCaffery had 58 rushes for 239yds (4.1ypc). In his last 3 he’s 72 rushes for 605yds (8.4ypc) with 5TD. Wow!
#12 Computer Hope At the end of the day, Michigan St. is 7-0 with wins over Michigan & Oregon. That counts for something. The Oregon win doesn’t mean as much as it once did. They needed a miracle from God Himself to beat Michigan in Ann Arbor, but at what point do all of these things add up to the point where we are calling Michigan St. a team of “destiny?” Sparty is +9 in turnover margin & they are 4-0 in close games. Regression to the mean is certainly in order, but that might not happen until next season & who cares at that point?
#13 Computer Hope Words simply can’t describe. While Michigan St. basks in luck, Michigan cries in the corner. Michigan St. is 4-0 in close games. Michigan is 0-2. In Michigan 2 losses, they’ve lost on average by a 25-20 score. In their 5 wins, Michigan has posted an average score of 32-3! Nobody had expected much from the Wolverines this year so the fact they’ve lost close games to two top-5 teams is incredible. They are the best 2-loss team in America and there is no way they don’t welcome the Buckeyes at 9-2. I wouldn’t to face this team.
#14 Computer Hope The evolution of Everett Golson is one storyline this season that isn’t being talked about enough. As a Notre Dame homer, I’m well aware of were Golson is and how he’s playing. To be blunt, it’s inconceivable to watch the player that seemingly always threw a pick at the wrong time now playing near flawless football for the Seminoles. Golson is completing 67% of his passes for 1449yds with 11TD & NOT A SINGLE PICK! He’s not on a Heisman pace, but he’s a Florida St. QB who is undefeated & playing perfect.
#15 Computer Hope Urban Meyer’s offense always seems to work a lot better when the QB can make plays with his feet. JT Barrett has been named the starting QB which is probably where Ohio St. should have been going all along, but with Cardale Jones winning a championship, it’s hard to push a 6’5/240lbs guy off the starting spot. I do think it’s crazy that people think Barrett is the obvious choice. He’s thrown exactly 9 passes in Ohio St.’s last 4 games, but his running ability is unparalleled & I’d expect Ohio St. to start blowing teams out.
#16 Computer Hope At this moment it’s difficult to rank Texas Tech lower. If you are going to rank TCU & Baylor as top-3 teams, I can’t understand how the AP or the Coaches polls don’t have the Red Raiders in the top-25. Since losing to the 2 big boys of the Big XII, Tech has hammered the two bottom feeders by a 96-51 margin. Now the schedule toughens up considerably so the Red Raiders will sink or swim. I’d love to see TT finish the season 10-2. I’m a big fan of Kingsbury & the offense, but that defense is woeful & the Big XII can score.
#17 Computer Hope California has a bye week this past week & will be on a short week as they travel to UCLA for a Thursday night game. California to this point has put together a pretty good resume. Their only loss is a 6pt affair at Utah which looks good as long as Utah is the #1 team in the nation. The win over Texas looks good. The win over Washington looks good as UW beat USC. The win over Wazzou looks good due to the Cougars win over Oregon. The Bears are going to get to 6 wins, but the question will be will they get more than 6?
#18 Computer Hope I was really impressed with USC’s fight in South Bend, losing to Notre Dame 41-31. Clay Helton is the right guy for that job & I hope he keeps it as I think USC would benefit immensely from making the hire permanent. Putting USC at #18 might seem high but I think the Irish might be a top-5 team & USC gave them all they could handle. I’d put Cody Kessler against any other QB in the nation & the skill players are ridiculous! The team has to focus, but there isn’t a game they can’t win. Don’t be surprised if they beat Utah.
#19 Computer Hope Arizona St. has losses to Texas A&M, Utah & USC when the Trojans were playing out of their minds. There are A LOT of teams in college football that would have chalked up 3 losses to those squads. The 34-16 loss to Utah was CRAZY. Arizona St. actually led 18-14 going into the 4th quarter before Devontae Booker took over & had 2TD en route to Utah scoring 20 unanswered. I think ASU is a solid team but when they’re on they’re on and when they’re off they’re off. The offense was brutal against Utah. Is that a trend?
#20 Computer Hope OSU is coming off a bye but the more I look at them the more hesitant I become of ranking them. It’s Oklahoma St. & they are 6-0 but their OOC was terribly easy & their average score against those teams was 42-12. The Cowboys have played 3 Big XII games, all wins mind you, but their average score is 33-29! All 3 wins were close. This is a different kind of Mike Gundy team. They are winning by putting tremendous pressure on opposing offenses. It’s interesting that OSU gets TCU, Baylor & Oklahoma all in Stillwater. Big games ahead.
#21 Computer Hope How is this for scheduling: The 6 teams Texas has played this season have a combined record of 32-6! The worst team they’ve played all season is Rice who is 3-3. The other 5 teams UT has played are all ranked in my power-25! The Cal & Oklahoma St. losses were close so UT could be 4-2 instead of 2-4. Their next 4 games are very winnable meaning they could get to 6-4 before facing Texas Tech & Baylor to close the season. Split those & Texas finishes 7-5. A bowl win gets them to 8-5. It’s not a championship, but a solid season.
#22 Computer Hope How odd is Oklahoma? They lose to Texas 24-17 a week ago & then go out and absolutely destroy a decent Kansas St. team 55-0! The Sooners showed what can happen when everything is clicking on offense. Baker Mayfield was near perfect as Joe Mixon & Samaje Perine ran the ball well. Defensively OU had 6 sacks, 3 picks & 11 tackles for loss. Kansas St.’s offense had practically no chance. The loss to Texas stinks but Oklahoma still controls its own destiny. Starting with a win over Texas Tech this weekend, OU could open some eyes.
#23 Computer Hope If you really wanted to get fancy & thought the SEC was so far out in front of the other conferences in terms of ability then Memphis’ win over Ole Miss could make them the #3 team in the nation! LSU beat Florida. Florida beat Ole Miss, Memphis beat Ole Miss. Ole Miss beat Alabama. You could argue LSU is #1 with Memphis & Florida debating on the #2 spot while Ole Miss slides in at #3 & Alabama ranks #4. This is a good story but Memphis doesn’t have it easy. They still have Navy & get back-to-back road games against Houston & Temple.
#24 Computer Hope The Alabama win can carry them only so far. The loss to Memphis in embarrassing no matter how good the Tigers may or may not be. You can be sure that a team like Alabama or LSU would not have lost to Memphis. Ole Miss still hasn’t elevated themselves to ELITE status among the SEC teams, but they could still make a move here. Mississippi can make a lot of people forget the Memphis loss if they come out & beat Texas A&M this week. The win over Bama is crucial because at this point Ole Miss could still win the SEC West!
#25 Computer Hope I have Alabama at #2 & Iowa at #9 so you could make an argument that Wisconsin could be #10 considering those are the 2 losses Wisconsin has suffered and the Iowa loss was by the score of 10-6! Having to replace Melvin Gordon was going to be hard enough but replacing him & Corey Clement is darn near impossible. With that said, Wisconsin’s defense has stepped up in a huge way. They’ve allowed on average 6.8PPG since giving up 35 to Alabama in the season opener. LB Joe Schobert is a monster with an outside shot at 20 sacks! 11-2 in on the table.

DROPPING OUT

NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS (previously #8): Northwestern has losses to Iowa & Michigan so you can still argue they are a top-15 squad and I probably wouldn’t have dropped them but their last 2 losses have come by the combined score of 78-10. The offense has been horrible & the defense has been worse than that. They need to win their next 3 to get to 8-2 before heading to Madison. A 10-2 record is on the table but they need Iowa to implode if they are to win the Big 10 West. A win in Lincoln this Saturday could cure a lot of ills.

MISSISSIPPI ST. BULLDOGS (previously #18): Like Northwestern, Mississippi St. has 2 losses, both to highly ranked teams so it makes sense they would be in the top-25. I can’t find a way to fit them in though. The last 2 weeks, MSU has played Troy & Louisiana Tech and those unimpressive wins have something to do with their fall. They still have Alabama on the schedule but the Bulldogs could finish 9-3 with a shot at 10-3 with a bowl win. That’s a helluva season considering Phil Steele predicted Mississippi St. to finish last in the SEC West.

TOLEDO ROCKETS (previously #23): The Rockets beat Eastern Michigan 63-20 last week so they didn’t do anything to deserve a drop in the rankings. On the other hand, I’d pick Toledo to lose if they played every other team in my top-25. They still have time though. Big games against UMass, N.Illinois & Bowling Green await.

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October 21, 2015 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Baylor, California, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., NCAA, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, USC, Utah, Week 7, Wisconsin

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