No Sleep Till Football

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NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 7

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Tennessee is a good football team and Alabama went into Knoxville and proved the Vols to be nothing more than a  high school football team by comparison. The Tide ran for 400+ yards and had more than 600 yards of offense en route to a 49-10 route of UT. It’s worth pointing out that Alabama has wins over USC, Tennessee, Arkansas & Ole  Miss & none of those 4 quality victories came in Tuscaloosa. The gap between the Tide & the rest of college football is considerable. This might be Saban’s best ever Alabama team.
#2 Computer Hope Michigan had the week off but good things happened because their 14-7 win over Wisconsin looks pretty darn good now that Ohio St. needed OT to put the Badgers away. The one difference is that Ohio St. won in  Madison while the Wolverines got it done in Ann Arbor. That actually sort of gives the Buckeyes the advantage but at some point you start rewarding the team with the best player on the field and there isn’t a better player on the field than Jabrill Peppers. He’s the difference maker that can win close games.
#3 Computer Hope Wisconsin is no joke and going into Camp Randall and in that type of environment is a difficult proposition for any squad. That game could have went either way, but the Buckeyes found a way to win and that’s huge. In fact, the win over the Badgers in Madison might be the most impressive win of the season. Ohio St. has two road victories over Oklahoma & Wisconsin which is about as impressive as you can get. This is a young team that has grown up exceptionally fast. Now it all comes down to beating Michigan.
#4 Computer Hope With all due respect to Michigan and Ohio State, the national championship game that I’m rooting for is Alabama taking on Washington. The Huskies are a team that doesn’t beat itself and I’m not sure there is a QB playing better right now than QB Jake Browning. Given that Alabama prides itself on forcing other teams to make mistakes, it’ll be interesting to see them play a team that refuses to beat themselves. The Huskies rush defense would need to get better in the meantime. They couldn’t allow Alabama to run at will.
#5 Computer Hope Another team on bye! I’m sure the Aggies would have loved to have seen Tennessee put up a bigger fight against the Crimson Tide knowing they travel to Tuscaloosa next week. At least Texas A&M gets an extra week of rest in the meantime. Next week’s game should be interesting from a strategy perspective. The problem with playing Alabama is that they can load the box because the corners are so good. A&M has great receivers but they’ve been a running team this year. They’ll need to do both & I’m not sure they can.
#6 Computer Hope If Kyle Bambard has a decent day kicking the ball, Clemson is sitting at 6-1 hoping against hope they win out and 12-1 is enough to get back into the playoffs. Instead, the Clemson D came up big in OT with a Ryan Finley pick to preserve a 24-17 victory and keep them unbeaten at 7-0. The more I watch Clemson the more I think their defense is the reason they are 7-0. Wayne Gallman was knocked out of the game early & Clemson couldn’t find anyone to pick up the slack running the football. Offensively it wasn’t pretty.
#7 Computer Hope More methodical than impressive, Louisville has earned the right to go through the motions every now and then. The 24-14 win over Duke doesn’t look so hot, but it didn’t change anything. Lamar Jackson didn’t have a great day but still ran for 144yds/1TD and passed for 181yds/1TD. One interesting thing about this game is that Louisville ran one more play than the Blue Devils but Duke had the ball for 15 minutes more than the Cardinals. If time of possession was reversed, Louisville wins this game 39-9. Interesting.
#8 Computer Hope You can do a lot worse than go into Ann Arbor and lose by 7 points to Michigan and then host Ohio St. and lose by 7 points in an overtime game. Remember too that Wisconsin is doing all this with a freshman QB making it only more impressive. This is what’s impressive to me about Wisconsin: against both Michigan & Ohio St., the Badgers on average gave up 158 rushing yards on 45 carries (3.5ypc). Against their other opponents, Michigan & Ohio St. average 6.3ypc! The Badgers will win out & get a chance for revenge.
#9 Computer Hope Now THAT was Arkansas football! The Razorbacks had to hold on tight there at the end to get the 34-30 win over Ole Miss, but when you look at the blueprint, it was a masterful job by the Hogs. Austin Allen was good enough throwing for 229 yards & 3TD while the rushing attack carried the day running for 200 yards on 51 carries! Rawleigh Williams had 180yds on 27 carries! Arkansas had the ball for almost 41 minutes and that’s great because Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly was making plays. 10-2 is a real possibility now.
#10 Computer Hope Losing to Alabama 49-10 isn’t the prettiest thing especially when you are in Knoxville and Peyton Manning is in the house, but Alabama is Alabama so it isn’t completely surprising the Vols finally get blown out after living dangerously all season long. Tennessee’s final 5 games are a joke so finishing the season 10-2 should be an afterthought. More importantly is Florida losing another game to give the Vols the SEC East crown. Like Wisconsin, Tennessee should have a chance at the ultimate revenge by the end.
#11 Computer Hope If you love Arkansas then you love Auburn even more. War Eagle goes about their offensive system a little different than the Hogs do but with similar results. Auburn’s 2 losses came in the first 3 weeks against Clemson and Texas A&M, two teams with a combined record of 13-0! Since the loss to A&M, Auburn has won 3 straight by the combined score of 114-34! Sean White has been the answer at QB & the Tigers defense is solid. They host Arkansas this week which should determine who is the 3rd best in the SEC West.
#12 Computer Hope I love West Virginia football but have been hesitant to rank them thus far because I’m superstitious and didn’t want to jinx them! They’ve also had a 2 byes already and after a couple of close wins over BYU & Kansas St., I got the feeling that maybe they were more bark than bite, but not anymore. Beating Texas Tech isn’t amazing, but going into Lubbock and holding the Red Raiders to 17 points & less than 400 total yards!? The Big XII might finally have a team capable of playing defense! This team is for real.
#13 Computer Hope This isn’t the same USC team that started the season 1-3. While I don’t believe the outcome of the Alabama game would be any different, if the Trojans faced  Utah & Stanford again, I think USC comes out ahead by a considerable margin. Sam Darnold has been a revelation. In his last 3 starts, Darnold is completing 67% of his passes for 315yds/G with 11TD to 1INT! This has opened up the rushing attack and consequently the defense is playing even better. Talent has never been an issue, but now said talent is playing!
#14 Computer Hope QB Sefo Liufau was back in the starting lineup after having missed 3 games and didn’t disappoint completing 74% of his passes for 265 yards! He didn’t have to do too much as RB Phillip Lindsay got loose for 219yds/3TD in Colorado’s 40-16 win over Arizona State! It’s amazing to see the difference between the Buffs this year & last. Last year Colorado lost to ASU 48-23! That’s a 49-point swing! Colorado controls their own destiny now. If they win out, they are Pac 12 South champions regardless of what USC does.
#15 Computer Hope Close losses are the worst! Ole Miss can’t hang their heads too much after losing 34-30 to Arkansas in Fayetteville. In my opinion Arkansas is a top-10 team so no shame in losing but Ole Miss is going to have to start winning some of those big close games. This year their 3 losses are to Alabama, Florida St. and Arkansas. They lead by good margins against both the Noles & Tide. They let this one slip away. A telling stat is this: Ole Miss: 1.55pts/min; Arkansas: 0.84pts/min. If TOP is reversed, Ole Miss wins 63-16! Crazy!
#16 Computer Hope The 19-14 win over Oregon St. is a lot better than you think. We all know Gary Andersen can coach and after having got by California the week prior, the Beavers had to be brimming with confidence as they welcomed the Utes into Corvallis. Utah did what Utah does which is run the ball heavy & play good defense. The gameplan didn’t go exactly as planned because Oregon St. did a masterful job controlling the clock themselves with their running attack, but Utah was able to hold off a 2nd half comeback to win it.
#17 Computer Hope The Gators had to feel pretty happy after their 40-14 win over Missouri to see Tennessee get rolled up by Alabama. Now Florida controls their own destiny in the East although that road had away games against Arkansas & LSU that should prove to be more than a bit difficult. QB Luke Del Rio returned to action & looked rusty at best. The Gators did a great job running the ball behind Lamical Perine, Jordan Scarlett & Mark Thompson which took pressure off Del Rio. Florida needs to keep running the ball effectively.
#18 Computer Hope Nebraska has to feel pretty good escaping Bloomington with a 27-22 win over the Hoosiers as Indiana is fast becoming the Big 10 team nobody wants to face for fear of showing up a bit off and having Indiana take advantage en route to an upset victory. The Hoosiers had a disastrous first quarter which gave Nebraska a 17-0 lead, but from that point forward IU beat Nebraska 22-10! The Huskers get a week off before hosting Purdue and then it’s back-to-back road games against Wisconsin & Ohio State. Good luck!
#19 Computer Hope It took the Tigers a half to warm up, but LSU blew the barn doors off Southern Miss in the 2nd half outscoring the Eagles 35-0 in the final 2 quarters in route to a 45-10 win. Once again no Leonard Fournette proved to be a non-issue for LSU as Derrius Guice took the game over rushing for 162yds/2TD on just 10 carries! QB Danny Etling threw 3TD passes & Malachi Dupre & DJ Chark made big plays. The LSU defense also racked up 10 tackles for loss, a season high. It’ll be interesting if the Tigers start playing to their talent.
#20 Computer Hope Boise St. improved to 6-0 with their 28-23 win over Colorado State. I feel about Boise State much the same way I do about Utah. They don’t do anything that is going to make your jaw drop, but they play efficient football with solid defensive effort and that combination leads to victories. The Broncos hear this every season but they can only beat who is on the schedule. The Washington St. win is going to continue to get better and at this point Boise St. going 13-0 is pretty much a foregone conclusion & a major bowl bid.
#21 Computer Hope Beating Tulsa 38-31 doesn’t look like much but Houston did a lot of things right against the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa is a big ground and pound team yet Houston wasn’t affected as they held Tulsa to 94 yards & 35 rushing attempts. Tulsa racked up most of their yardage through the air but it took them 51 passing attempts to get to 365 yards. Houston won time of possession, but shot themselves in the foot with regards to turnovers & penalties. Greg Ward was just OK but Houston ran the ball well enough to get a close win.
#22 Computer Hope The 38-17 win was finally a convincing win for the Sooners after having close calls against TCU & Texas. Oklahoma is now 4-2 but more importantly 3-0 in the Big XII. They get an easy next 3 games which should allow them to run their record to 7-2 before hosting Baylor on November 12th. I wish I could get more excited about Oklahoma, but the Houston loss looks worse & worse now that the Cougars aren’t playing fantastic & the Sooners still don’t play much defense. It’s a dark time for the Big XII and that’s sad.
#23 Computer Hope How about Wazzou’s 27-21 win over UCLA! Talk about Jekyll & Hyde! Washington St. couldn’t get anything going on offense & Luke Falk didn’t have a passing TD for the first time in his career! It was also the first time Wazzou didn’t have a passing TD since Week 2 of 2013 when they beat USC 10-7! The Cougars couldn’t run the ball either so instead they played great defense & forced the Bruins into turnovers. The Cougars are undefeated in conference play & control their own destiny although the Huskies await!
#24 Computer Hope If you want to build up quite a bit hype by the middle of the season, make sure you schedule tremendous cupcakes early in the season to get 3-4 blow out wins. Then get lucky & play the weakest teams in your conference first so it looks like you are blowing everyone out. This is the 2016 Baylor recipe. Sure the Bears are 6-0 and they are winning by an average score of 44-17, but their best win so far is a road win over an Iowa St. team that should have beaten them! The schedule is considerably tougher from this point.
#25 Computer Hope The Wolfpack should have beaten Clemson yesterday & if that happened, how high does NC State climb? The week 2 33-30 road loss to East Carolina seems like a huge outlier at this point and if NC State could get that game back I’m sure they win it by 20-30 points. What was most impressive watching the game yesterday is how much more physical NC State was than Clemson. They beat the Tigers up & bruised them despite losing in OT. If they beat Louisville next week, we are looking at the 2nd best team in the ACC.

DROPPING OUT

#9 VIRGINIA TECH: Beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill 34-3 the week prior. This week lose to Syracuse? The ACC is a mess at this point. From what I can tell Louisville, Clemson & NC State are for real, but the rest of them? The Hokies only real win is against North Carolina. Their next best game might be the loss they took to Tennessee.

#14 GEORGIA: Lose at home to Vanderbilt!? GOOD GRIEF! Georgia can win out & still not deserve to be ranked!

#15 NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels have two losses on the season. The first to Georgia who just lost at home to Vanderbilt. The 2nd to Virginia Tech who just lost to Syracuse! Carolina has some decent wins over Florida St., Miami-FL & Pittsburgh, but FSU is 3-2 in their last 5 and 2 of those 3 wins (against Miami-FL & Wake Forest) are iffy at best. If there is a 4th team after Louiville, Clemson & NC State, it’s probably the Tar Heels but they need to put in some work.

#16 FLORIDA STATE: They were only able to beat Wake Forest 17-6? At home!? In 2013, FSU beat Wake 59-3. In 2014 they beat them 43-3! A win next week over Clemson would be redemptive but I don’t see it happening.

#19 MIAMI-FL: Bad luck is dooming the Hurricanes. They’ve dropped their last 2 games by a total of 8 points. Granted, it was to Florida St. & North Carolina so that’s a couple of losses for most team, but Miami has to be kicking themselves for missed opportunities.

#25 ARIZONA STATE:  They were barely hanging on anyway so the loss to Coloardo simply pushed them out of the top-25.

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October 16, 2016 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise St., Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Mississippi, NC State, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Power 25, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 7, West Virginia, Wisconsin

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