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2017 PAC 12 PREVIEW AND PREDICTIONS

When I think of the Pac 12 this season the word that I can’t escape is “TRANSITION”. When you take a look at the Pac 12 South, you find that 3 of the coaches find themselves on the hot seat. UCLA HC Jim Mora has done an excellent job of recruiting talent for the Bruins, but last year UCLA finished 4-8 in a year that saw star QB Josh Rosen miss time due to injury. The year prior, UCLA finished 8-5 meaning the Bruins are 12-13 over the last two seasons which is far below their expectation given the amount of talent walking on campus. Arizona HC Rich Rodriguez looked to have Arizona headed in the right direction after starting with back to back 8-5 seasons before improving to 10-4 with a Pac 12 South division title in 2014. The last two seasons have seen the Wildcats regress to 10-15 including last year’s 3-9 disaster. It’s also trending down for Arizona St. HC Todd Graham who was saddled with injuries all season long as Arizona St. just missed out on a bowl and finished 5-7 but was humiliated by a terrible Arizona squad in the season finale.

On the flip side, Colorado’s HC Mike MacIntyre massive overachieved with the Buffaloes last season netting Colorado a Pac 12 South title and a double digit win season at 10-4. USC also transitioned heavily during the season. After starting 1-3, the Trojans put Sam Darnold in as the starting QB and ripped off 9 straight wins including an incredible 52-49 win over Penn St. in the Rose Bowl. USC finished 10-3 and ranked #3 in the nation! USC hitting stride this early can only mean dire consequences for the rest of the Pac 12 because as we’ve seen recently in the Pete Carroll days, when USC is going well, they are practically an unbeatable college football program.

The Pac 12 North is a little more stable, but there is also quite a bit of transitioning happening in that division as well. Both California and Oregon have new coaches & both squads have track records of success when things are going well, especially in Oregon’s case as the Ducks feature a football program that have proven good enough to win national championships. Oregon St. is still transitioning under HC Gary Andersen who enters his 2nd year with the Beavers. Andersen has a proven track record of success so it only seems like a matter of time before Oregon St. become a factor in the North. In certain ways both Washington & Washington State have been transitioning. It’s easy to forget but Chris Petersen is entering just his 4th year with the Huskies and let’s not forget that UW was a combined 15-12 in Petersen’s first two years before last year’s 12-2 breakout that resulted in Washington getting to the playoffs yet losing to Alabama 24-7 in the Peach Bowl. Mike Leach enters his 6th year in Pullman, but Leach is starting to hit his stride as the Cougars are 17-9 over the last 2 seasons as compared to their 12-25 record over Leach’s first 3. Some of that is due to Luke Falk I’m sure, but more is probably due to Leach finally having implemented his brand & culture of football.

Stanford of course is the mainstay. David Shaw consistently turns out winners and this year will be no different for Shaw and the Cardinal, but if you are looking for great story lines in the Pac 12, look for the transitions of the teams and how each program is progressing on their paths. These stories are a bit more subtle in nature, but very interesting. The Pac 12 is an interesting conference that probably should get more media scrutiny but is hurt because of their time zones. It could look much different in 2018 than it does right now in 2017 and that is the exciting part heading into the season.

# TEAM PAC 12 SOUTH
1 Computer Hope USC isn’t back to their Pete Carroll/Matt Leinart/Reggie Bush days but they are a lot closer than they’ve been coming off a Rose Bowl win over Penn St. & finishing 2016 ranked #3! QB Sam Darnold returns & is arguably the best QB in college football. So does RB Ronald Jones. USC needs to break in a lot of starters on the O-Line & at receiver, but the talent is there. On the defensive side of the football, USC returns 7 starters led by DE Porter Gustin, LB Cameron Smith & CB Iman Marshall, all guys who could be All-Americans. The Trojans are legitimate championship contenders & they get Stanford at the Coliseum!
2 Computer Hope The schedule makers didn’t do UCLA any favors this season giving them road games against Stanford, Washington, Utah & USC while also getting a home game against Oregon! HC Jim Mora has done an incredible job recruiting for the Bruins so talent shouldn’t be an issue. QB Josh Rosen is healthy & is playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder which could be a scary proposition. Defensively UCLA has some big shoes to fill as Tak McKinley & Eddie Vanderdoes are now playing on Sunday, but the secondary should be a strength & talent is plentiful. The catch for UCLA is turning all that talent into productive victories.
3 Computer Hope There might not be a better looking team coming off the bus than Arizona St,. but HC Todd Graham & the Sun Devils haven’t been able to do much the last couple of seasons as ASU has gone 11-14 in that span. This year ASU should be explosive on offense with QB Manny Wilkins returning along with skill players Demario Richard, Kalen Ballage & N’Keal Harry. The O-Line returns 3 starters so points will be scored. Defensively I love Arizona St. because they are so aggressive & blitz heavy. It can get you beat, but it’s NASTY when working. I think Jojo Wicker has a huge year. The schedule isn’t easy, but ASU gets back to winning.
4 Computer Hope On the one hand, Colorado had a MASSIVE year last season finishing 10-4 with a Pac 12 South title. On the other, Colorado got exposed against Michigan, Washington, USC & Oklahoma State, the best 3 teams they faced all season. A 10-5 win at Stanford really cemented Colorado’s year & they came close to winning at USC but against ELITE talent, Colorado was outscored 145-63! The Buffaloes return 9 starters on an offense that averaged 31.1PPG last year so I think they get better. The problem is that UC returns just 3 starters on defense losing 8 of their top 11 tacklers. The defense will be key for Colorado to keep trending up.
5 Computer Hope It’s so difficult to call for Utah to have a down year because it seems like no matter what happens from year to year, HC Kyle Whittingham gets the Utes to 9-10 wins. I think this year resembles more of 2012-2013 as Utah returns just 9 total starters & loses RB Joe Williams. They do return QB Troy Williams, but I think he’s a limited QB having completed just 53% of his passes last year with a 15:8 TD:INT ratio. Utah also has 4 new starters on the O-Line. Defensively Lowell Lotulelei returns, but the losses are HEAVY including Hunter Dimick, Marcus Williams & Pasoni Tasini. It feels like Utah is going into transition mode.
6 Computer Hope Arizona returns 14 starters from a 3-9 squad including QB Brandon Dawkins. On some level I think the Wildcats should be in for an improved season, but that 3-9 is very troubling. Arizona wasn’t even competitive outside of their first 4 games. Yes they beat Arizona State, but the Sun Devils were so injury depleted at the time that Arizona was essentially beating the 2nd team & they still allowed ASU to score 35pts. Take that game out & you have an Arizona squad with wins over Grambling & Hawaii! That’s it. HC Rich Rodriguez isn’t recruiting that well & you have to wonder if he can survive another season with 3-4 wins?

 

# TEAM PAC 12 NORTH
1 Computer Hope A lot of people have Washington winning the North but I’m going with Stanford. The Cardinal return a truckload on offense. I think QB Keller Chryst has a great year given his returning weapons: WR Trenton Irwin, WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside & TE Dalton Schultz. I think RB Bryce Love picks up where Christian McCaffery left off & the OL returns 4 starters. Defensively the Cardinal returns DT Harrison Phillips who could be a 1st Team All-American & a 1st Rd. NFL draft pick. They also return 8 of their top-10 tacklers including the entire LB corps led by OLB Peter Kalambayi. Stanford gets UW at home which gives them the North.
2 Computer Hope Almost impossible to pick against Washington & HC Chris Petersen but the road date against Stanford is the game that hurts UW’s playoff hopes. Offensively the Huskies should be just as good as last season despite losing WR John Ross. QB Jake Browning, RB Myles Gaskin, WR Dante Pettis & LT Trey Adams all return & all are outstanding with Browning be a legit Heisman contender Defensively UW returns 6 starters but will also get a full year from LB Azeem Victor who is one of the best LB in the nation. The corners are raw & Washington needs to figure out their pass rush, but this is a helluva football team.
3 Computer Hope QB Luke Falk surprised some people when he decided to return to Pullman for his senior season after having a 2016 year that saw him pass for almost 4500 yards, complete 70% of his pass & throw 38TD to just 11INT. Wazzou can score. They can score a lot & they’ll continue to do so as they have a solid rushing attack behind James Williams & Jamal Morrow long with a solid O-line. What puts the Cougars over the top for me is they return 9 starters on a defense that allowed 26PPG last year. They’ll need to replace Shalom Luani but the defense gets better. Beat Stanford & Wazzou could be playing for a playoff spot against UW!
4 Computer Hope Oregon gets Washington St. at home so it might be folly for me to have Oregon in 4th instead of 3rd, but I think the new transition to HC Willie Taggart costs them a game & pushes them behind the Cougars. The cupboards are certainly not bare in Eugene. The Ducks return 17 starters from a HORRIBLY underachieving 4-8 team from 2016. The Ducks return QB Justin Herbert who is going to be outstanding along with 5 starters on the O-Line, their top-2 receivers & RB Royce Freeman! Defensively Oregon returns 9 starters from a terrible unit but new DC Jim Leavitt is outstanding so the D should improve.
5 Computer Hope HC Gary Andersen is one of the best HCs in college football so it’s easy to see how he could take a middling Oregon St. program & have them on the rise. Andersen went 2-10 in his first year Corvallis and improved that to 4-8 last year in his 2nd season. It’s not inconceivable to think the Beavers could get to 7 wins this year although the schedule isn’t easy & they’ll have to win a couple of tough road dates. Offensively Oregon St. improved by 7.2PPG from 2015 to 2016 and the defense improved by 6.5PPG. If that happens again in 2017, Oregon St. would average 33.4PPG on offense & allows just 24.0PPG on defense. Nice!
6 Computer Hope New HC Justin Wilcox takes over a Bears program that hasn’t been that relevant since 2008. Phil Steele ranks California’s schedule as the 2nd most difficult in the nation this year which means Wilcox & his staff need to brace for a tough go. Cal does have an ELITE WR in Demetris Robertson but the Bears will need to put something around him to keep defenses from honing in on him on every down. Wilcox came up as a defensive coach & he’ll be sorely needed as Cal allowed 42.6PPG a year ago! There is some talent in different spots but Wilcox simply needs to find ways his players can succeed & keep building the roster.



PAC 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

NORTH PAC 12 CHAMPIONSHIP SOUTH
Computer Hope This one is going to be amazing! Interestingly enough, Stanford travels to USC on September 9th so by the time this game comes around the two teams should be significantly different in execution and rhythm considering it’ll almost be 3 months since they played. The key here will be how USC transitions through the year. Right now I’d give the edge to Stanford because on paper I think the Cardinal are better, but USC has Sam Darnold & if the offense & defense gel, then the Trojans are SO TALENTED. I still say Stanford finds a way to win. Computer Hope
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August 23, 2017 Posted by | Arizona, Arizona St., California, Colorado, NCAA, Oregon, Oregon St., Pac 12, Predictions, Preseason, Previews, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington St. | Leave a comment

RANKING POWER-65 COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES – #50 to #65

Let’s get back into action with some college football talk. This marks the beginning of my ranking the 65 Power college football coaches in the nation. I looked all the head coaches from the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, ACC and Notre Dame. I took the last 5 years and looked at their records, conference records, history, recruiting efforts, bowl records and the overall trends of their team over these past 5 seasons. I’ll go in reverse order starting at the bottom and working my way up by 10 spots. This beginning post will start with the bottom 15. Here we go!

#65 – Chris Ash – Rutgers

Ash didn’t exactly walk into the best situation given the Kyle Flood controversy but in his first year in New Brunswick, the former Ohio St. DC finished 2-10 with a conference record of 0-9. His 2016 recruiting class also ranked #78 according to Rivals meaning talent isn’t pouring into New Jersey either. Most of Rutgers games weren’t even that competitive. In their games against Ohio St., Michigan, Michigan St. and Penn St., the Scarlet Knights were outscored 224-0! The Big 10 East isn’t the easiest division to play in, but good grief Rutgers can’t get HAMMERED like that. Ash probably has a little more rope but another 2-10 (0-9) season might spell disaster.

#64 – David Beaty – Kansas

Beatty has gone 2-22 in his first two seasons in Lawrence with a Big 12 record of 1-17. There has been improvement. Beatty went 0-12 his first season at the helm and improved by 2 games last season to 2-10. He also improved his conference record from 0-9 to 1-8. The powers that be at KU thought enough of that improvement to give Beaty a contract extension through 2021! Beaty did lead Kansas to their first win over Texas since 1938 and they came pretty close to beating Iowa St. and TCU! Recruiting it up a bit and Beaty has a chance to improve this ranking quite a bit. Sure Kansas only won 2 games, but in 2015, their average margin of defeat was 30.8 PPG. In 2016 it was 17.0!

#63 – Barry Odom – Missouri

Almost impossible to replace a HC like Gary Pinkel who had tremendous success at Missouri, but if there is anyone that knows Pinkel it’s Odom. Another positive about Odom is that there can’t possibly be a more dyed in the wool Mizzou Tiger than Odom himself. There will never be a lack of passion for Missouri football coming from the head coach! Odom’s first year as HC wasn’t a great one as the Tigers went 4-8 (2-6). That was the worst record the Tigers have had since 2000 when Missouri went 3-8 the year before Gary Pinkel was hired. Pinkel’s worst record in 15 years was 4-7. Odom has his work cut out for him and he needs to recruit better, but Pinkel did more with less so maybe he can too.

#62 – Bronco Mendenhall – Virginia

Mendenhall is a tough one to evaluate. His first year in Charlottesville was a disaster as the Cavaliers went 2-10 with a 1-7 conference record. I don’t think much was expected of Virginia in Mendenhall’s first season, but Virginia should have been at least comparable to their 2015 version which went 4-8. Instead, they regressed. Sometimes seasons can go sideways and that seems to be the case with Virginia. They shouldn’t have lost to FCS Richmond to open the season. They let road games at UConn and Wake Forest get away from them as well. Those 3 games turning to wins would have at least allowed UVA to get to 5-7. There is a lot of room to move up this season for Mendenhall.

#61 – Lovie Smith – Illinois

Before last season, the last time Lovie Smith coached in the college ranks was 1995 when he was DB coach for Ohio State. He was the head coach for the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 11 years leading the Bears to a Super Bowl in 2006, so it was quite an odd move that Smith would leave the NFL for collegiate football and all the headaches involved with recruiting 16 and 17 year old boys. Smith got a rude awakening his first season. The Illini finished 3-9 (2-7) with one of their wins coming against Murray State. The games weren’t even that competitive and Smith didn’t exactly tear it up on the recruiting trail. With Jeff Brohm and PJ Fleck joining the Big 10 West, it’s not getting any easier.

#60 – Dino Babers – Syracuse

Babers was an assistant coach for almost 30 years before he finally got his shot at Eastern Illinois and made the most of it. He went 19-7 with EIU winning back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference championships. He parlayed that job into the head coaching gig at Bowling Green and did well there too. Babers posted an 18-9 record with the Falcons, winning the MAC East in both years and the MAC championship in 2015. He traded that job for a Power-5 conference job with Syracuse. Unfortunately for Babers, he didn’t do as well at Syracuse as he did with EIU and BG. A 4-8 (2-6) record wasn’t fantastic and Babers didn’t kill it on the recruiting trail either. He still has plenty of time left.

#59 – Justin Wilcox – California

Wilcox has never been a head coach but for the last 11 years he’s been the defensive coordinator for Boise St., Tennessee, Washington, USC & Wisconsin. In those seasons here is how his defenses ranked in scoring defense:

2006: #20 (Boise St.)
2007: #26 (Boise St.)
2008: #3 (Boise St.)
2009: #13 (Boise St.)
2010: #56 (Tennessee)
2011: #36 (Tennessee)
2012: #39 (Washington)
2013: #29 (Washington)
2014: #46 (USC)
2015: #50 (USC)
2016: #4 (Wisconsin)

Clearly Wilcox has a track record of success which is good for Cal because the Bears haven’t had anything resembling a decent defense these past 5 seasons. Losing QB Davis Webb will be tough, but Wilcox will do a good job if he can keep Cal from giving up 40PPG.

#58 – Tom Allen – Indiana

Allen did a stellar job as a defensive coach at Ole Miss and South Florida before coming onto Kevin Wilson’s staff last season as the defensive coordinator. Allen didn’t disappoint, improving the Hoosiers’ scoring defense by 10PPG! That’s good news for Indiana as their problem has always been on the defensive side of the football. Allen has never been a head coach and his ascension to the throne was somewhat odd in light of the dismissal of former HC Kevin Wilson, but I think Indiana is in a much better place with Allen leading the charge than with Wilson, even if Wilson guided the Hoosiers to back-to-back bowl appearances. It doesn’t get any worse than the Big 10 East, but Allen has started recruiting well which is a good beginning.

#57 – D.J. Durkin – Maryland

Durkin’s first year in Maryland doesn’t look horrible when you consider the Terps were 6-6 during the regular season and getting bowl eligible before losing the bowl game to finish 6-7. A deeper look is a little more rough as Maryland started the season 4-0 against garbage competition and then finished 2-6 in their final 8 with wins over Rutgers & Michigan State, two team who combined for a 1-17 conference record. That’s hardly awe inspiring. Maryland also lost to Ohio St., Michigan and Nebraska by a combined score of 149-13. That’s not Rutgers territory, but it’s not great either. Durkin is recruiting well in College Park and he’s in a fertile recruiting ground which makes it easier. Still a lot of room to make up on Ohio St., Michigan & Penn State.

#56 – Ed Orgeron – LSU

I get the pull of Orgeron being a Louisiana native and who in their right mind isn’t in love with the guy, but I wonder if LSU made the right call in bringing their native son back home to head up the Bayou Bengals? For Orgeron, this is a shot at redemption. There is no question that Orgeron can recruit with the best of them and he’s in a prime spot to bring in a top-5 class annually. There is also no question that Orgeron is a helluva defensive coach as well and the Tigers will most certainly have his fingerprints all over their defensive identity. The question will be whether or not Orgeron can pull it all together. He’ll need a strong staff around him, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Orgeron will get it done.

#55 – Matt Campbell – Iowa State

It wasn’t a banner year in Matt Campbell’s first year in Ames has head coach of the Cyclones, but the 3-9 record hid some exciting trends. The Cyclones let a close to Northern Iowa get away from them but they also played Oklahoma, Kansas St., Oklahoma St., and Baylor very close. ISU picked up conference wins over Kansas & Texas Tech, even beating the Red Raiders 66-10 which was Iowa St., most lopsided win since the Cyclones beat Colorado St. 69-0 back in 1980! Campbell is young and energetic. He had tremendous success at Toledo and he has recruiting trending the right direction. There is no reason to believe that Iowa St. can’t be a bowl eligible team on a yearly basis under his watch.

#54 – Matt Rhule – Baylor

Hard to argue with Rhule’s bonafides. His first year at Temple was 2-10. His 3rd year the Owls were 10-4 and AAC East champions. His 4th year they were 10-3 and AAC Champions! The only thing that was tough to argue about Rhule was his taking the Baylor job to begin with. Rhule is a Penn St. graduate and all of his experience is just not east, but east of Ohio! Now he’s smack in the middle of Texas against some HEAVY HITTERS in Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. That’s not easy, and I’m not even mentioning the inroads that places like Notre Dame, Alabama and LSU have made the Lone Star State. Rhule will definitely have the Bears playing outstanding defense early.

#53 – Will Muschamp – South Carolina

I’m probably being a little hard on Muschamp here seeing how in his first season he took the Gamecocks to bowl eligibility when nobody except the most dedicated Gamecocks fans though SC would do anything but finish in the basement of the SEC East. My only caveat is that South Carolina and Muschamp worked the schedule which allowed SC to finish 6-6 and get to a bowl. Their non-conference wins included those against East Carolina, UMass and Western Carolina. Missouri was in the tank last year and Vanderbilt wasn’t great so there is 5 wins there. An upset win, which they got over Tennessee, was all SC needed. Muschamp will recruit well enough. Let’s see how his 2nd stint through the SEC East goes.

#52 – Jeff Brohm – Purdue

Brohm wasted little time building off of what Willie Taggart and Bobby Petrino did before him at Western Kentucky. Brohm finished his time in Bowling Green with a 30-10 record with a 19-5 mark in Conference USA play. In his last two seasons at WKU, Brohm led the Hilltoppers to a 22-5 mark including 2 bowl wins and a CUSA record of 15-1 which led to back-to-back conference championships. Brohm had Western Kentucky’s offense flying and the Hilltoppers actually led all of FBS in scoring offense in 2016. Brohm inherits a mess at Purdue, but he’ll get the offense rolling and if the defense follows suit, the Boilermakers could definitely start making noise in the Big 10 West.

#51 – Steve Addazio – Boston College

Addazio’s a tough one to figure out. I think what you have to wonder is what kind of ceiling does a program like Boston College really have? Addazio has went 7-6 in 3 of his 4 years on Chestnut Hill and is 1-2 in bowl games. That’s isn’t terrible when you consider that BC plays in the same division as Clemson, Florida St., and Louisville. In reality, BC is probably looking at a ceiling like 8-4/9-3 and Addazio is pretty close to having the Eagles at this mark with some aspect of sustainability. I think he could recruit better to be sure. Boston College should be able to get better players than what they have. Matt Ryan & Doug Flutie showed how good BC can be when they get elite level talent on the roster.

#50 – Rich Rodriguez – Arizona

Rodriguez is better than this but his teams certainly aren’t playing like it. Rodriguez had somewhat of a breakthrough in 2014 when the Wildcats went 10-4 and won the Pac 12 North, but it was colored a bit by a 51-13 loss to Oregon in the Pac 12 Championship game followed up by a 38-30 loss to Boise St. in the Fiesta Bowl. In 2015 the Wildcats dropped to 7-6 and last year Arizona completely collapsed finishing 3-9 with a 1-8 mark in conference play! Arizona’s conference record over the past two seasons is 4-14 and Rodriguez’s recruiting classes have been trending downward. USC seems to be stabilizing under Clay Helton. Colorado is emerging. That doesn’t play well for RichRod in the Pac 12 South.

May 14, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Arizona, Baylor, Big 10, Big XII, Boston College, California, Coaching, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa St., Kansas, LSU, Maryland, Missouri, Pac 12, Purdue, Rankings, Rutgers, SEC, South Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia | 5 Comments

2015 NCAA BOWL GAMES PREVIEW

TEAM QUICK THOUGHTS TEAM
Computer Hope Las Vegas Bowl: The people in Vegas couldn’t have gotten a better bowl game than the HOLY WAR! After the 2013 season, this game was supposed to be on hiatus until 2016 due to Utah joining the Pac 12 & BYU going independent, but it’s awesome we get this rivalry back! Given how each team started, I think both are probably a bit disappointed to be here. I’d expect Utah to win. They are better & BYU is dealing with the loss of their HC, Bronco Mendenhall. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Camellia Bowl: This is a cool matchup between two extremely run heavy offenses. App St.’s Marcus Cox has had a tremendous year rushing for over 1200 yards while Jalin Moore has also chipped in over 600 as his backup! AJ Ouellette & Daz’Mond Patterson aren’t quite as dominant for the Bobcats, but Ohio is a run first squad behind that duo. Expect lots of running & I’d expect a Mountaineer win which would take Appalachian St. to 11-2! A great year! Computer Hope
Computer Hope New Orleans Bowl: Sun Belt champion Arkansas St. draws CUSA-West division runner up Louisiana Tech. The Red Wolves actually come into this bowl on an 8-game winning streak having gone perfect through conference play, but this is a bad draw. While both sport prolific offenses, Arkansas St.’s defense leaves much to be desired & LA Tech can hammer you in a myriad of ways. Tune in to watch former Florida QB Jeff Driskel light it up for the Bulldogs. Computer Hope
Computer Hope New Mexico Bowl: One of the more interesting teams this season, the Lobos of New Mexico have some convincing wins over the likes of Air Force, Boise St., & Utah State but a couple of close losses to the likes of Colorado St. & San Jose St. potentially kep the Lobos from a MWC championship. New Mexico is VERY run heavy which could cause some problems, but now that the questions surrounding Rich Rodriguez have halted, I think Arizona pulls it out. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cure Bowl: Does anyone really care about this game at all? San Jose St. is 5-7 while Georgia St. is 6-6. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to have a postseason bowl featuring 2 teams that are a combined 11-13! A couple of interesting points though. This is Georgia St.’s first ever bowl game & San Jose St.’s 10th so this is history for GA State, but did you know SJSU is 6-3 in their previous bowls? I wouldn’t have thought that. Will anyone bother to show up? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Miami Beach Bowl: Solid matchup here. It took a while for the Bulls to get going, but South Florida turned it on and went 7-1 down the stretch & finished the season as arguably the 2nd best team in the AAC behind Houston. The Hilltoppers are 11-2 & coming in as CUSA champions. WKU has a helluva program & QB Brandon Doughty has been EXCEPTIONAL this season as has WR Taywan Taylor. USF’s defense has been stingy & watch Bulls RB Marlon Mack! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Idaho Potato Bowl: Interesting matchup between the MWC & the MAC. Akron is coming on a 4-game winning streak while Utah St. has struggled to end the season going 2-4 in their last 6. Neither of these teams does anything particularly well obviously as Akron is 7-5 & Utah St. is 6-6. It will be the last game that Utah St. QB Chuckie Keeton will play in. The 41-year old 17th-year senior will finally lace them up with 3 of his grandchildren in the stands. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Boca Raton Bowl: This is only the Boca Raton’s 2nd year as a bowl, but this bowl so far has been excellent. Last year in its inaugural season, the bowl featured MAC Champion N.Illinois going up against CUSA Champion Marshall! Both teams were 11-1 & Marshall prevailed 52-23. This year Temple (10-3) plays Toledo (9-2) which is an OUTSTANDING game between two teams some thought could have been in a Big Six bowl by year’s end. Home run pairing. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Poinsettia Bowl: Bad memories for the Broncos here! The only other time Boise St. has played in the Poinsettia Bowl was back in 2008 when they came in 12-0 to play an Andy Dalton led TCU squad. Boise St. would take a 13-0 lead over the 10-2 Horned Frogs but would lose 17-16! This one won’t be as exciting as both teams come in with 8 wins, but still cool when you consider that both of these teams are 2 of the most winningest teams over the past 5 seasons. Computer Hope
Computer Hope GoDaddy Bowl: GA Southern has arguably the most prolific RB in college football. Matt Breida has ran for 1540yds/16TD this year while averaging 8.2ypc! Even more amazing is backup RB LA Ramsby ran for 700+/12TD! The MAC Champions have quite a bit of offense as well. QB Matt Johnson threw for 4700yds/43TD while WR Roger Lewis (1476yds/15TD) & RB Travis Greene (1220yds/14TD) are as explosive as they come. Lots of points here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Bahamas Bowl: Last year C.Michigan came back from a 49-14 deficit after 3 quarters to pull to within 1 but came up short 49-48 to W.Kentucky! Nothing fancy here as both teams come in at 7-5 with balanced offenses and suspect defenses. I think WMU HC PJ Fleck is an interesting case. Western Michigan went to great lengths to keep him in Kalamazoo & his star is definitely on the rise. His 1st year the Broncos were 1-11 & now he’s got them to B2B bowls. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Hawaii Bowl: Wow! Going to Hawaii is nice and all but the Mountain West champion deserves better than the AAC’s 6th best team! Cincinnati’s rush defense is terrible while SD State’s rushing attack is ridiculously lethal behind Donnel Pumphrey & Chase Price. Throw in a top-10 defense by the 10-3 Aztecs & you have the makings of a blowout. It took SD State a bit to get warmed up, but they come in on a 9-game winning streak & should improve to 11-3. Computer Hope
Computer Hope St. Petersburg Bowl: Bob Diaco has done a great job turning around the UConn program. Last year the Huskies were 2-10 in his first year & Diaco now has them bowl bound at 6-6 including a huge win over Houston which ended the Cougars perfect season. It’s not surprising that the Huskies like to pound the ball & play nasty defense as Diaco is a defense guy. Marshall is a good matchup for UConn as they’ll have trouble scoring & stopping the run. UConn wins. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sun Bowl: Our first Big 5 conference matchup pits the ACC against the Pac 12. This looks like ACC #5 v. Pac 12 #5. This one could get ugly. Miami-FL is going through a coaching transition as it is with Mark Richt set to take over for Al Golden but the bigger issues is Wazzou QB Luke Falk being cleared to play. The two closest offenses to Wazzou that the Canes have faced are Clemson & UNC & Miami gave up 58 & 59 to those teams respectively. The Pirate wins! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Heart of Dallas Bowl: Southern Miss had a nice season but Washington had the best defense in the Pac 12 & I think towards the end of the season the Huskies really started figuring things out. UW was 3-2 in their last 5 games & all 3 wins were HUGE blowouts. If Chris Petersen has the Huskies focused then this bowl is going to get out of hand. Southern Miss won’t have an answer for dynamic freshman duo Myles Gaskin or Jake Browning. Tune in for those two! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Pinstripe Bowl: ACC #7 v. Big 10 #9. Neither team is amazing as IU comes in at 6-6 while Duke is 7-5, but to me this game is more about Indiana’s imposition of will via their offense. Indiana can argue they almost beat Michigan, Ohio St., Michigan St. & Iowa! Those are 4 AMAZING teams. Duke shouldn’t be difficult at all by comparison which puts pressure on the Hoosiers to win this game, but Duke is solid in their own right. A sneaky good football game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Indepedence Bowl: Frank Beamer’s last stand! Both teams are 6-6 but Tulsa gives up almost 40 points a game so I think the Hokies should be able to send Frank Beamer out a winner. It has been interesting to watch the Hokies since Michael Brewer has come back as QB. He started the last 5 games of the season & Tech went 3-2 but those 2 losses were by a combined 5 points to Duke & UNC. If Brewer is healthy you almost wonder if Tech would have gone 11-1. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Foster Farms Bowl: In case you were wondering this used to be the Fight Hunger Bowl which used to be the Emerald Bowl which used to be the San Francisco Bowl. This is one of those bowl games that is better off dead than living. Nebraska doesn’t even have a winning record & these two teams met in 2013. I guess it’s a chance to watch Josh Rosen, but at the same time, UCLA is in a no win situation. They are playing a 5-7 team. A very unexciting bowl. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Military Bowl: This is the 8th installment of the Military Bowl & only twice before has one of the service academies been in the game & both times they lost! If the Notre Dame commonality means anything this should be a FANTASTIC bowl game. I think the Panthers have been underrated all season & this will also be Navy QB Keenan Reynolds’ last game. I’d love to see the Middies win & finish the season 11-2. What an amazing season for Navy. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Quick Lane Bowl: I think this is one of 3 games played in baseball stadiums. The Pinstripe Bowl is played in Yankee Stadium & the Alamo Bowl is played on Chase Field home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. This another bowl featuring a sub-.500 team in the Gophers who are 5-7 taking on Central Michigan at 7-5. Sort of a no win for the Big 10. If they win they should, but if they lose it’s embarrassing. The Gophers are a tough crew so I think they’ll pull this one out. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Armed Forces Bowl: This used to be the Ft. Worth Bowl! This an interesting game to watch as far as contrast in styles is concerned. Air Force is a run heavy team with their spread option attack & they should see some success as Cal’s defense is very porous. QB Jared Goff, on the other hand, should have no trouble moving Cal’s offense up & down the field. This might be one of those games where defenses don’t really matter & whoever has the ball last wins. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Russell Athletic Bowl: The first big game of the bowl season pits 9-3 Baylor up against 11-2 North Carolina. I’d be a lot more excited about this game if I knew that Seth Russell & Corey Coleman were suiting up for the Bears, but they aren’t. Even Jarrett Stidham is on the sidelines so we are only seeing a shadow of what Baylor really is. That said, Baylor still should move the ball but I think the Tar Heels prevail in this one & get to 12-2 & an incredible finish. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Arizona Bowl: The first non-championship bowl game to feature teams from the same conference since the 1979 Orange Bowl which featured Oklahoma & Nebraska. This is the worst bowl of them all this year. Two teams from the Mountain West? Even worse is that neither team is any good. Theoretically this game should be MW v. CUSA or MW v. Sun Belt, but neither conference could come up with a team so we get MW v. MW. What in the world went wrong? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Texas Bowl: How lucky is the Mad Hatter? Les Miles goes from essentially being fired to beating Texas A&M & then getting a bowl game against a team that Lenoard Fournette might actually rush for 300 yards against! Texas Tech throws the ball entirely too much for a defense like LSU! The Tigers are likely to come up with 2-3 interceptions to go along with Fournette’s dominance while spells blowout city for LSU. As always, Texas Tech really needs a defense. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Birmingham Bowl: Memphis let down at the end of the season. The Tigers started 8-0 but went 1-3 in their last 4 to finish 9-3 & 3rd in the AAC  West. For that they were rewarded with a bowl game against the SEC West last place team! Auburn is a big name of course, but it feels like Memphis deserved better than a 6-6 team if only to see how Paxton Lynch performs against at top shelf defense from one of the Big 5 conferences. Conversely, Auburn could win! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Belk Bowl: This is sort of an interesting game as both teams have decent records but you could certainly argue that both teams beat up on the dregs of their conference along with some non-conference cupcakes to get where they are. I love Mississippi St. & like where NC State is going, but both teams need to take that next step. The Wolfpack don’t have much to stop Dak Prescott who will be making his last start as a MS State QB. He’s had an amazing career! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Music City Bowl: Obviously the storyline here is Kevin Sumlin & his fate with Texas A&M. Kyle Allen & Kyler Murray are transferring. Last year Kenny Hill transferred meaning Sumlin has lost 3 ELITE QBs to transfer in the last 2 seasons. Sumlin needs the win here to take a little bit of the heat off, but I don’t see them getting it. Louisville is a solid football team & Bobby Petrino has time to prepare against a 3rd string QB. The SEC West is no joke my friends! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Holiday Bowl: I’ve read rumors that a lot of big money donors at USC did not want Clay Helton to be the next HC & that a lot of boosters preferred USC to make a splash & go hard after a candidate like Nick Saban! That seems crazy but it also points to the heat being on Helton to produce quick or face a fast exit. A win over Wisconsin would definitely buy some time but the Badgers could use this game to prove they are among the nation’s elite football teams. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Peach Bowl: A brutal draw for Florida State. Some big 5 conference team was going to draw Houston & it’s a no-win situation. Beat Houston & who cares? It’s Houston. Lose to Houston & catch flack for losing to a non-Big 5 conference opponent. Houston is a good squad but they haven’t seen ANYTHING close to Dalvin Cook! No team has average more than 4ypc on Houston’s D this year but Cook averages 7.9ypc & ran for 7+ypc on a nasty Florida D-line. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Orange Bowl: ACC champ versus Big XII champ! Clemson comes in at 13-0 while the Sooners have won 7 straight games. I have the sneaking suspicion that Oklahoma is going to roll Clemson pretty hard in this game. The Sooners have played the like the best team in football for the past 7 weeks & I don’t see that offense being stopped. The scary part is how good the Sooners defense has been as well. I think OU wins big & the ACC is exposed as very inferior. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cotton Bowl: SEC champ versus Big 10 champ. It’s worth noting that Tide QB Jake Coker is averaging 191 yards per game. That might not mean much, but this game is going to come down to how well Michigan St. can defend Derrick Henry in the Alabama running game. If they can limit Henry then it forces Coker to try & win the game & that is something he hasn’t had to do. I think Alabama wins, but if the Spartans defense of the last 4 weeks shows up…… Computer Hope
Computer Hope Outback Bowl: Touch matchup for Northwestern & this is a bowl I’m really looking forward to. At 10-2, you’d think the Wildcats would have an advantage over the 8-4 Vols, but I think by year’s end Tennessee was playing like the SEC’s second best squad so I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see UT’s superior talent & athleticism overwhelm Northwestern. Then again, Northwestern has been ugly all season & figures out ways to still get wins. Should be a great game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Citrus Bowl: The Gators got some horrible news this past week when it learned of Will Grier’s intent to transfer! That’s awful news but somehow I don’t think it’ll mess up what Jim McElwain is going to do down in Gainesville. Florida didn’t draw well anyway & I think the Gators are in for a curb stomping at the hands of Jim Harbaugh & the Wolverines who definitely want to get that 10th victory. Although they’ll lose, Florida ends with an impressive 10 wins. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Fiesta Bowl: A playoff game that isn’t, Ohio St. at 11-1 & Notre Dame at 10-2 are likely the first two teams taken if the playoffs were to expand from 4 to 8. Ohio St. is the best team in the nation if it plays like it did against Michigan & I don’t see the Irish beating them. Then again, the Buckeyes sometimes don’t show up. They will against the Irish so I think ND needs to keep it close & see what happens. The worst case scenario for ND is shades of 2012 v. Alabama. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Rose Bowl: Like ND/Ohio St., it’s hard not to see this game as an extension of the playoffs as these 2 would have certainly been the other 2 if the field had expanded to 8. I’m in the tank for Iowa so I’m rooting hard for the Hawkeyes to win & finish 13-1! Iowa will also have their eyes on Michigan State. If the Spartans end up winning the national championship then Iowa has a legit claim to be the #2 team in the nation & probably should be so. Go Hawks! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sugar Bowl: Unfortunately we won’t get to see DT/DE Robert Nkemdiche. The 6’4/295lbs potential #1 overall draft pick is suspended. I love this game in that it’s a good test of overall conference strength. OK State is probably the 4th best team in the Big XII while Ole Miss is likely the 2nd/3rd best in the SEC. Should be a layup for the Rebels & that is what I’d expect. The closest defense OK State has seen to Ole Miss is Oklahoma’s and that was ugly! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Taxslayer Bowl: This is an exciting matchup when you look at the jerseys only as both programs are historically great, but right now neither is very good. These teams are a combined 0-7 against AP Top-25 teams which is an amazing stat considering. The Dawgs are probably the 7th-8th best team in the SEC while Penn St. is probably the 7th best team in the Big 10. It’s a good test to determine the overall depth of the conferences, but it won’t live up to the names. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Liberty Bowl: Brutal draw for Kansas St. as they don’t defend the run all that well & Arkansas is an ELITE rushing offense. Arkansas really turned their play on at the end of the season & if they didn’t struggle early on they probably would have been the 2nd place team in the West. I think Bret Bielema also wants to build which means the 7-5 Razorbacks need a win to get to 8-5 which is a game better than last year’s 7-6 team. K-State isn’t very good. Hogs roll. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Alamo Bowl: OUTSTANDING BOWL MATCH-UP! There were more than a few people before the season began that entertained thoughts that this game would be for the national championship. The good news is that TCU QB Trevone Boykin will play & maybe even WR Josh Doctson could get in on the action. The bad news is Oregon right now is a top-5 team & TCU’s defense is still atrocious. Both teams score but Oregon might score 60! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cactus Bowl: This is an important game for the Big XII. Arizona St. might be the 9th best team in the Pac 12 this year & I think the Big XII has a shot to lose quite a few bowl games. A win by the Mountaineers could at least add some credence to the depth of the conference. A loss here though could mean a clean sweep of the Big XII outside of Oklahoma, but given the state of college football right now, it seems like the ACC & Big XII are severely lacking. Computer Hope

December 22, 2015 Posted by | Air Force, Akron, Alabama, Appalachian St., Arizona, Arizona St., Arkansas, Arkansas St., Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, Boise St., Bowl Season, Bowling Green, BYU, California, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado St., Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia St., Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas St., Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Marshall, Memphis, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Middle Tennessee St., Minnesota, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Must See Games, N. Illinois, Navy, NC State, NCAA, NCAA Playoffs, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Penn St., Pittsburgh, Playoffs, San Diego St., San Jose St., South Florida, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Utah, Utah St., Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 12 – BIG GAMES

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Computer Hope More separation in store for the Big XII. I think this is the biggest game of the week because I’m still not sold on Oklahoma State. They struggled last week against Iowa St., and maybe TCU isn’t as good as we think. The Cowboys non-conference schedule was terrible so this game will go a long way to proving some legitimacy for them. The Big XII’s best hope for a playoff spot is Oklahoma or Oklahoma St., so the conference is certainly hoping for a Cowboys victory. Computer Hope
Computer Hope TCU barely got by Kansas last week 23-17 & Trevone Boykin is beat up. WR Josh Doctson is hurting as well so the Frogs are at a severe disadvantage. Making matters worse is that Oklahoma might be the hottest team in football & is playing better than anyone in the nation not named Alabama. I’m on board with the Sooners & I think nothing could potentially be better than an Alabama/Oklahoma national championship. I think the Sooners roll! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m really excited to see how Michigan St.’s defense attacks Ohio St. & JT Barrett. I love Spartan LB Riley Bullough. LBs Darien Harris & Jon Reschke are going to be responsible for shutting down Ezekiel Elliott & keeping Barrett contained. Michigan St. will pressure with Malik McDowell & Shilique Calhoun off the edges. Elliott & Barrett wore the Spartans out last year in Ohio St.’s 49-37 win in East Lansing. I hope Michigan St. puts up a better fight in 2015. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Penn St. suffers from what Mississippi St. suffers. They look like a solid football team at 7-3. Penn St.’s losses have come on the road against Temple, Ohio St. & Northwestern. It’s all acceptable, but then you look at the wins. Their best win might be San Diego St. or Indiana. Michigan can’t overlook Penn St. though. The Lions can get after it on defense, they are playing at home & Michigan has struggled quite a bit lately against Minnesota & Indiana. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game doesn’t have the national appeal as the above games do, but it’s a tremendous game & I can’t wait to see it. USC has won 4 straight & has a chance to win the Pac 12 South if they win out. They’ve been playing MUCH better now that the coaching drama is behind them. Oregon has won 4 straight games & is looking like the best team in the Pac 12 with a healthy Vernon Adams. If the Ducks win out & Stanford loses to Cal, Oregon wins the Pac 12 North. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is a tough one. Both teams enter the game at 8-2 with their 2 losses being against highly ranked teams. Both lost to Iowa. Northwestern also lost to Michigan while Wisconsin also lost to Alabama. Corey Clement is questionable, but if he plays then I think this game is almost impossible for Northwestern to win. If he doesn’t then the Wildcats could win another ugly game. This game ultimately determines who is the 2nd best team in the Big 10 West. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A win over Mississippi St. this week would give Arkansas their 5th straight win & their 6th win in their last 7 games. Those wins include contests at Tennessee, v. Auburn, at Ole Miss, at LSU and then v. Mississippi State! The one loss? In Tuscaloosa against the Tide! Like last year, Arkansas has needed time to warm up, but if they could start the season on fire, we might be talking playoffs. At this minute Arkansas could be the 3rd best team in the nation! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Both teams need this win badly. LSU is coming off 2 straight losses. There is quiet talk the Tigers have been overrated all season long & too much credence given to their 7-point win over Florida. Ole Miss needs the win to keep the possibility of finishing the year with 10 wins. Les Miles might have the most to lose here. Lose this game & it’s a real possibility LSU finishes 8-4 after starting 8-0! I get the bizarre feeling that Miles’ seat could get extremely hot. Computer Hope
Computer Hope On the surface I don’t think North Carolina should be all that worried about Virginia Tech. The Hokies are having a down year and at 5-5, they don’t look so hot. On the other hand, this the final home game for outgoing HC Frank Beamer who has made Virginia Tech football what it is. It’s also an opportunity for the Hokies to get bowl eligible in Beamer’s last season. There will be TREMENDOUS emotion in Lane Stadium & Blacksburg is never an easy place to win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Stanford has won The Big Game for the past 5 seasons. I don’t expect that to change this season, but you never know. The Bears aren’t awful & this is a must win for Stanford if it wants to win the Pac 12 North. Remember a Stanford loss combined with an Oregon win gives the Ducks the keys to the North. The loss to Oregon last week was lethal for the Cardinal, but keep in mind that this team still has the opportunity to finish with a 12-2 record if it wins out. Computer Hope
Computer Hope After starting the season 6-0 with great wins over Michigan & Oregon, the Utes have come back down to earth going 2-2 in their last 4. Amazingly enough, they need help to win the Pac 12 North as they do not own the tiebreaker with USC. The good news is that USC plays Oregon in Eugene this week so if Utah doesn’t let down, they could/should win the South. Like Stanford last week, Utah’s loss destroyed any hope for a playoff appearance but they could still win 12. Computer Hope
Computer Hope How is this for AAC drama!? This is actually a must win for Temple. The Owls losing to South Florida last week opens up the AAC East as another Temple loss would force them into a tie with USF who holds the tirebreaker over Temple! Temple’s amazing season wouldn’t even result in a division title! Memphis on the other hand is playing spoiler. They can’t win the AAC West, but they can do their part to ensure Temple doesn’t win the East. Very interesting. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Last week’s 28-7 win over Wake Forest was dominant, but the Big XII is moving in fast on the Irish in the college football playoff poll, so now more than ever the Irish need some style points. Unfortunately I don’t think there will be many to be had in Fenway as the Irish probably beat BC but it’ll be close. The Eagles can play defense so the Irish cannot overlook them to next week’s game against Stanford. Notre Dame needs a little help to make the playoffs. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Purdue is 0-4 on the road & 2-8 overall so you might think Iowa doesn’t have too much to worry about this weekend, but I’d be cautious. The Boilermakers can put a scare into you & they can catch lightning in a bottle (ask Nebraska). The Boilermakers have played Wisconsin, Michigan St. & Northwestern tough on the road. Iowa is no different so they’ll need to be ready in case Lady Luck decides to shine on Purdue. Iowa should win but this could be close. Computer Hope
Computer Hope HUGE TRAP game for Houston. The Cougars come into this game at 10-0 & next week they play their season finale at home against Navy which will decide the AAC-West. Last week Houston barely escaped Memphis 35-34 & the week prior they barely escaped Cincinnati 33-30. Oddly enough, UConn might be the best defensive team Houston has played so far & HC Bob Diaco will have the boys fired up. UConn was on bye last week too. Upset alert!!!!!! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Duel in the Desert! I love intrastate rivalry games like this. I think both of these teams are disappointed in their seasons. For the Sun Devils they need one more win to get bowl eligible & this is their last home game. Arizona is bowl eligible at 6-5 but a 7-5/6-6 season has to be disappointing & if Rich Rodriguez bolts for Miami-FL or Virginia Tech, the program will likely be set back a few years. I hope RichRod sticks around. He makes the Pac 12 stronger. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The MAC SPECIAL! Bowling Green at 8-2 cannot lose the MAC East. They are 6-0 in conference. On the other hand, Toledo is fighting for their lives to win the MAC West. A win here gives the Rockets a 6-1 record but the loss to Northern Illinois is killer as they lose the tiebreaker! What’s crazy about Toledo is that the NIU loss is likely to cost them the MAC West, but it also cost them a perfect season. Tough to go 11-1 & have nothing to show for it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I have the Vols ranked #14 in my latest power poll. This week’s game against Missouri should be a good test of that ranking. If my ranking is legit, then UT shouldn’t have any issues rolling over a Mizzou squad that is 1-5 in the SEC. On the other hand, Columbia is an extremely volatile place right now with the racial narrative that is taking place. I think Tennessee is a really good football team. I’d love to see them put in work and finish the season 9-4. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Both Maryland & Indiana are 0-6 in the Big 10 this season. This isn’t a game that will get a lot of buzz but I still like it. For Maryland it’s their last chance to get a home win. That’s not great but it’s something to build on. For the Hoosiers, it might be their best chance to get that elusive 6th win to become bowl eligible. If Indiana doesn’t get it this week then they’ll need a road win over rival Purdue which seems unlikely. A loss here definitely warms up Kevin Wilson’s seat. Computer Hope

November 19, 2015 Posted by | Arizona, Arizona St., Arkansas, Baylor, Big Games, Boston College, Bowling Green, California, Connecticut, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, LSU, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., Missouri, Must See Games, NCAA, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Penn St., Purdue, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, Toledo, UCLA, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Week 12, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 11 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope Alabama gets Charleston next week before playing at Auburn, but their 6 games before that will have been against: Georgia, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU & Mississippi State! A win this week gives them 6 straight against that schedule! GOOD GRIEF! The plan this week won’t vary too much from what they did against LSU. The Crimson Tide defense will take away Bulldog QB Dak Prescott & force Mississippi St. to beat them a different way. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think this game is even bigger than last week’s game between TCU & Oklahoma State. From the eye test Oklahoma has the best offense in the Big XII now that Baylor is without Seth Russell. I think the Sooners defense also has the most upside which gives me the sneaking suspicion that Bob Stoops’ bunch could be the best in the Big XII. Baylor of course is undefeated & trying to get into that playoff top-4. A win here would go a long way towards that. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m not going to say the Ducks have figured it out, but they have been playing better recently, having won 3 straight by a combined score of 131-103. Oregon isn’t very good defensively. We know that, but they can score & they’ve played well on the road. Oregon can still actually win the Pac 12 North. If they win out & Stanford loses to both the Ducks & Cal, Oregon would win the North if Washington St. lose once more. Throw in the rivalry & this is awesome! Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game was on its way to being more epic before Keenan Reynolds & the Middies destroyed Memphis’ dreams of a perfect season! The Tigers have been running over teams with high-powered offense guided by QB Paxton Lynch but unlike Houston, Navy & Temple, Memphis is the one top AAC team that doesn’t play great defense. We saw what happened last week when Memphis ran into a great defense. Will history repeat itself this weekend against the Cougars? Computer Hope
Computer Hope I don’t expect Miami-FL to win this game but “THE U” is 6-3 which isn’t as bad as you would think given the scrutiny surrounding the program. Al Golden is gone so the team should be in disarray but they’ve recent beat Duke in Durham & they’ve had a couple of other good wins against Virginia Tech & Nebraska. Miami-FL also played Florida St. tough in Tallahassee. Carolina should role as Larry Fedora has something special going on, but it could be close. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Arkansas is the most dangerous team in the nation right now given their ability to spoil seasons. LSU is hanging on to their playoff hopes by a thread! While it seems nearly impossible for the Tigers to get to the playoffs as it stands now, it could potentially make a case if it blows everyone out & gets to 11-1 while Alabama destroys their remaining competition & gets to 12-1 with an SEC championship. I don’t want that pressure facing Arkansas. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Indiana isn’t an easy team to face. Just ask Iowa, Ohio St., Rutgers, & Michigan State. Sure the Hoosiers are 4-5, but they can put up some points & make you nervous with their ability to score quickly. Michigan is still playing for a chance to win the Big 10. Remember, the Wolverines win the East if they win out & Ohio St. beats Michigan State! I love it. I don’t see IU winning this game but they’ve been close to beating a top team all year. Could it happen here? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Notre Dame got a huge boost this week when WR Will Fuller decided to return to South Bend for his senior season. It looks like Fuller wants to go out as the most decorated Irish receiver in history! Not a bad goal to have! The win last week propelled the Irish into the top-4 in the playoff poll, but they can’t rest on their laurels. With Wake Forest & Boston College coming up, Notre Dame needs to accumulate serious style points as the Big XII creeps closer & closer. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Iowa should have no issues here with the Gophers, but that’s precisely why I think a game like this is dangerous. The Gophers have to be mentally exhausted this season. After they lost their HC Jerry Kill, the Gophers played their hearts out in losses against Michigan & Ohio State. I’m not sure how much they have left in the tank, but that is why the Hawkeyes can’t over look them. At #5 in the playoff rankings, Iowa is getting serious love. A national championship is a possibility! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Back in 2011, the Buckeyes went into West Lafayette to play an overmatched Purdue team, but came out with a 26-23 loss to the Boilermakers that completely derailed their season. This Ohio St. team is massively better than the 2011 version but the Buckeyes have been playing off kilter all season & Michigan St. showed us what could happen when you play with fire. JT Barrett returns so tOSU should role, but Illinois could put up quite a fight & that’s dangerous. Computer Hope
Computer Hope At 5-5 Arizona is in a desperate place. They need one more win to get bowl eligible but they have Utah this week at home & next week they play Arizona St. in Tempe. There are also massive rumors about Rich Rodriguez moving on after this season. It’s hard to get a feel when you back a team into a corner & Utah has to be on upset alert for this very reason. If the Utes win out, they’ll have a strong case at 12-1 for making the playoffs, but a loss here kills that dream. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A LOT MORE going on in this game that meets the eye. Wazzou can’t win the North as they lost a nail biter at home to Stanford which knocked them out. UCLA can still win the South if they win out as their last two games come against USC & Utah. At best, the Cougars can play spoiler but don’t think the opportunity to win 10 games is lost on Mike Leach. If Wazzou wins out & wins their bowl, they’ll finish with a 10-3 record. Plus, Josh Rosen v. Luke Falk! Can’t beat it! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Mark Richt never seems to be completely on the hot seat, but the Bulldogs have been disappointing and now all of a sudden they are going on the road to play an Auburn squad that just beat Texas A&M in College Station. Makes you wonder if the Bulldogs can pull this one out. On the other hand, it truly is a spectacle to see. Georgia should win out to get to 9-3 & a bowl win gets them to 10-3. It’s almost like Richt is a magician. He disappoints but still wins 10-11 a year! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m not sure the heat is on Charlie Strong in the way it was before the Okahoma win, but it’s extremely hard to justify beating the Sooners 24-17 in Dallas and then dropping a game to Iowa St. 24-0 in Ames! The Longhorns hadn’t been shutout all season but the Cyclones manage that? I think Dana Holgorsen is coaching for his life at WVU & the Mountaineers can prove a point by finishing the season 8-4. That means Texas might finish 4-8. That’s heat Charlie! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Games like this are interesting because in a way you can get caught up in records. FSU is 7-2 & they seem down because they lost to Clemson & Georgia Tech. One reason you know FSU is back is because 2 losses feels like an utter disaster! NC State is 6-3 & have outscored their opponents by 134 points. Sounds good until you realize they are 2-3 in the ACC & haven’t beaten anyone of note. NC State lost to Clemson by 15 so there is hope here, but we’ll see. Computer Hope
Computer Hope My MAC Special!!!! Toledo’s loss to Northern Illinois a couple of weeks ago muddies up the MAC West quite a bit. A dogfight between Toledo, NIU, Central Michigan & Western Michigan is in full force! The Rockets can get back some semblance of control with a win over CMU this week, but CMU can nail down the East with a win here as they’ve already beaten N.Illinois! Toledo still has to play Bowling Green & W.Michigan. This really is the Wild West! Computer Hope

November 14, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Miami-FL, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi St., Must See Games, NC State, NCAA, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, Texas, Toledo, UCLA, Utah, Wake Forest, Washington St., Week 11, West Virginia | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 10 – BIG GAMES

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Computer Hope This is the game of the year to this point although the LSU/Alabama game each year is becoming almost the de facto game of the year! LSU continues to surprise me year in & year out. I think each year is going to be the year they falter & it never seems to happen. To me this game comes down to Brandon Harris & the LSU defense. Bama will take Fournette out of the game so can Harris win it? Can the LSU defense stop Henry? Computer Hope
Computer Hope I don’t think Florida St. can win this game, but if Everett Golson & Dalvin Cook don’t play then they certainly won’t win. It’s easy to forget that FSU still controls its destiny even with the loss to Georgia Tech as they’d own the tiebreaker with Clemson. The Tigers are too tough though. Deshaun Watson will make a case for the Heisman & Shaq Lawson has been unblockable all season long. Death Valley is becoming just that for the opposition. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Amazingly enough, Oklahoma St., Oklahoma, TCU & Baylor have managed to avoid one another…..until now. Finally we’ll get some type of separation in the Big XII as one team will endure their first loss of the season. Something tells me that giving up 53 points to Texas Tech doesn’t bode well for the Cowboys when facing Trevone Boykin. OSU’s front-7 is finally going to get a significant test. It’ll be interesting to see if they handle it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Navy is one the most overlooked teams in college football & while they don’t have the athletic talent to stay with Memphis’ high octane passing offense guided by Paxton Lynch, the Middies can run on anyone & Keenan Reynolds is as good as they come running the triple option. If Navy’s running attack can grind time of possession, Navy could give Memphis their first loss. Remember, Navy is 6-1 with their only loss at Notre Dame! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Texas Tech is 5-4 with loss to Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma St. & Oklahoma! West Virginia is 3-4 with losses to Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma St. & Oklahoma. The winner of this game establishes themselves as the 5th best team in the Big XII. That might not seem like much at face value, but given who the top-4 teams are, WVU or Texas Tech could make a pretty convincing argument they are a top-15 team in a tremendous conference! Computer Hope
Computer Hope With the way Indiana has shot themselves in the foot against teams like Ohio St., Rutgers & Michigan St., you’d think the Hawkeyes don’t have much to worry about, but the fact that Indiana can stick with the Buckeyes & Sparty should show some cause for concern. Iowa should destroy the Hoosiers, but Indiana has proved it can score on anyone. The problem will be IU’s defense stopping Akrum Wadley from running wild. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game was a lot more interesting before Pittsburgh dropped a home game to North Carolina last week. Following that loss up with hosting Notre Dame can’t be good for the soul! I really liked this Pitt team coming into the year. I still like them, but maybe the James Conner loss is bigger than I thought. It seems now that Pittsburgh is a solid team, but one that can’t be superior opponents. Pitt has to be careful not to finish 6-6. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Duke has to be smarting over the disaster last week which resulted in the Blue Devils losing 30-27 to Miami-FL! I think there would be even more outrage if it cost Duke an opportunity to win the Coastal. Luckily it didn’t & Duke controls its own destiny. Win out & Duke goes back to the ACC title game. Lose, and it’s an uphill battle. On the other side, UNC has a chance for a really special season if they can win out & win the Coastal. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Looking at the evidence, you can argue that Kansas St. is arguably the 2nd worst team in the Big XII, ahead of only Kansas. On the other hand, Bill Snyder is a helluva coach & K-State is playing at home against a Baylor team that just lost their starting QB. All Jarrett Stidham has done this year in relief is complete 86% of his passes for 331yds & 6TD! That’s insane, but Stidham is now the man with his first start on the road. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Don’t look now but Penn St. is 7-2 & undefeated at home. Let’s say the Nittany Lions pull off a miracle next week & beat Michigan. Let’s also say they beat Northwestern this week. That puts PSU at 9-2 going to East Lansing! The 38-10 loss to Ohio St. is somewhat exposing & a loss in Evanston will show that Penn St. isn’t ready for Ohio St., Michigan St. & Michigan just yet, but they are closer than they have been. A win here proves a lot. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Since coming back from injury, Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel has completed 41 of 50 (82%) passes for 646 yards & 7TD in wins over UCF & UConn. That’s hardly the competition they’ll face when Houston throws Greg Ward & Kenneth Farrow at them, but Kiel was once thought to be a future starting NFL QB with a huge arm. The Bearcats will have to play tremendous defense, but Kiel could make it interesting if he’s on his A-game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It turns out that Arizona isn’t very good so this is more of an opportunity for USC to showcase their ability & get another big division win to improve their record to 6-3 & put themselves a step closer to getting to the Pac 12 championship game. Remember, the Trojans could end the season 11-3! With the RichRod rumors to Miami-FL/Virginia Tech heating up, there has to be a lot of distractions around the UA program. Terrible timing. Computer Hope
Computer Hope If he keeps his pace up, Oregon RB Royce Freeman is going to rush for 1700yds/17TD! I think Oregon deserves more attention than they are getting but being inconsistent will do that to you. California started the season 5-0 but have lost 3 straight now that they are playing real football teams. A road game at Oregon is a chance for the Bears to right the ship or fall further away proving Sonny Dykes has a little more work to do at UC. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game is probably too low on my importance list. Ole Miss needs to be ready for this one. The Rebels control their own destiny in the West, but last year Arkansas was 4-4 before going 3-1 in their last 4 including a 30-0 win over Ole Miss who was 8-2 at the time. The Hogs have won 2 straight & 3 of their last 4. Alex Collins is heating up so would it be shocking to see Arkansas go 3-1 in their last 4 this year & ruin Ole Miss’ season? Computer Hope
Computer Hope This doesn’t look like much of a game. Michigan St. comes in 8-0 & ranked in the top-10 while Nebraska is 3-6 coming off a road loss to Purdue! NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS! Sure Nebraska is 3-6 & you can’t always argue in “What ifs?” but Nebraska’s best case record is 8-1 & if you say the Purdue game was an anomaly then Nebraska can at least make an argument for being close to a 9-0 squad. Michigan St. hasn’t looked sharp so???? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Another tricky game for a team fighting for playoff spots. Washington is 4-4 but you can see the product Chris Petersen is building in Seattle. Jake Browning & Myles Gaskin make for a terrific QB/RB combination & both are freshman. Washington’s defense is underrated especially after what they lost to the NFL Draft. The Huskies might not make huge waves this season, but they are definitely a team I don’t want to play. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s really hard to hold an emotional response for consecutive weeks, but if the Gophers come out & play Ohio St. with the same intensity they played Michigan, then the Minny might really be able to send Jerry Kill a present he won’t soon forget! Kill was an outstanding program builder who had the Minnesota program on the right track. While not as dramatic as Terry Hoeppner’s departure from Indiana, the effects could be similar. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Given how bad Auburn is, this game doesn’t have much flex, but it is worth mentioning as Auburn’s talent is incredible so you never know what could happen. Texas A&M has a couple of losses so their playoff hopes are dead, but the two losses have come against Ole Miss & Alabama. The Aggies should be 9-2 when they travel to Baton Rouge on Nov. 28th! Still a lot of season to play for with Texas A&M. They could finish 11-2. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I thought this game had a lot more juice before Washington St. blew it last week against Stanford. If Wazzou wins that game, then the Cougars would be 6-2 with wins over Oregon & Stanford & not USC or Utah remaining on the schedule! How amazing would it have been if WSU went 10-2 with a possible chance at winning the Pac 12!? Arizona St. provides a good test to see if Wazzou gets back on the horse & starts dominating. Computer Hope
Computer Hope My MAC special!!!! Don’t be surprised if Northern Illinois gets a win here. Toledo has been an incredible story getting to 7-0 with wins over Arkansas & Iowa St., but NIU has been king of the MAC for a VERY long time & I don’t think they are giving up the crown all that soon. The 5-3 record doesn’t seem great but close road losses to Ohio St. & Boston College? It’s forgivable! The one issue is the loss to C.Michigan. What happened there? Computer Hope

November 5, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, California, Cincinnati, Clemson, Duke, Florida St., Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas St., LSU, Memphis, Michigan St., Minnesota, Mississippi, Must See Games, N. Illinois, Navy, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Penn St., Pittsburgh, TCU, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington St., Week 10, West Virginia | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 5 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope HUGE GAME!!!! The last time Alabama was completely out of the national championship picture was 2010 when they were 7-2 after 9 games. The Tide could be 3-2 after 5 this year if they lose to the Bulldogs! How amazing is that? I think the key to this game will be UGA QB Greyson Lambert. Georgia leans heavily on RB Nick Chubb (rightfully so) & it’ll be interesting to see if Lambert can carry the team with Alabama & Nick Saban take away part of the offense & force the Bulldogs to go through the air. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is such an important game for both squads. The Georgia Tech win looks a lot worse now that they’ve lost to Duke and this is really the only tough road game the Irish will have until the season finale at Stanford. The schedule is even more dire for Clemson who really doesn’t have a tough contest outside of ND & Florida St., both home games. Both teams are respected to be sure. The Irish are #6 while Clemson is #12, but as the season wears on, SOS plays a role which means this game is vital to both squads. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’ve been saying it for the past couple of weeks, Texas Tech is for real. They should have won last week against TCU & now they get an opportunity to salve those wounds with a road win over Baylor! I’d expect this game to be a lot like Texas Tech/TCU so get ready for some fireworks! I think a huge part of this game will be pressure because of Baylor’s defensive line. The Bears rank 32nd in the nation in sacks while Texas Tech ranks 3rd in the nation in sacks allowed. If those rankings hold then look out. The Big XII is nuts! Computer Hope
Computer Hope With so much talk about Northwestern, Michigan St., Michigan & Ohio St., these 2 teams are flying somewhat under the radar but Wisconsin is 3-0 since losing to Alabama having outscored their opponents 114-3! Iowa has quietly put together a 4-0 start with 2 impressive wins over Iowa St. & Pittsburgh. These teams are practically mirror images statistically. A couple of things to watch is the QB battle between Joel Stave & CJ Beathard & the DE/OLB battle between Joe Schobert & Nate Meier. Those are key. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Big XII has to be really careful here because last season they ended up missing the playoffs because you could argue the conference was too good with a couple of teams at the top that deserved to be there. West Virginia has been playing like their polar opposite with an amazing defense! There isn’t a weak team in the Big XII at this point outside of Kansas, but the key here is that whoever wins needs to keep carrying that momentum. Baker Mayfield is key in this game. If he has a bad game, OU is done. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I thought Jim McElwain would make an impact in Gainesville, but the coach has already exceeded expectations with two key divisional wins on the road at Kentucky & then at home against Tennessee. Ole Miss should come away with an easy win here despite historical trends, but a couple of interesting things to watch. Ole Miss didn’t handle being the hunted all that well last season & that Vandy win was uninspiring. Florida so far is 3-0 in close games. Regression is coming possibly but good teams get lucky. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Great matchup between an incredible D-Line in Texas A&M going up against a veteran SEC starter in Dak Prescott! Prescott is a Heisman candidate that can pad his resume with a big road win against the Aggies. A&M on the other hand rank #2 in the nation in sacks & #4 in the nation in tackles for loss. Last year Mississippi St. came away with a 48-31 win, but in Starkville. This is a tremendous game being overshadowed a bit by UGA/Bama, but the winner here probably moves into the top-10 nationally. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Gophers have gone 3-0 since losing the opener to TCU. On one hand that is great because Minnesota lost that opener by 7 & most people have TCU in the top-5 so how good is Minnesota? On the other hand, those 3 wins have come by a combined 9 points against Colorado St., Ohio & Kent St.! How good is Minnesota?! Regardless, this will be a tough game for Northwestern as Jerry Kill is an OUTSTANDING HC & will have the Gophers ready. I think Northwestern rebounds big after the tough Ball St. victory. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m not sure Butch Jones deserves to be on the hot seat, but the storm clouds are aligning in such a manner that Arkansas looks primed to get a victory in Neyland on Saturday. UT is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Florida while Arkansas came THIS CLOSE to beating Texas A&M. The Razorbacks are nowhere near a 1-3 team in my opinion. I think they were a dark horse pick to win the SEC before the season began so that is the talent you are looking at, but UT starting 2-3 with UGA up next? UT needs this one bad! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Maryland sucks so maybe this isn’t an ideal game to be looking at, but it’s far more intriguing for a couple of reasons than at first glance. The first is that Michigan isn’t sneaking up on anyone now. The 7pt loss to Utah looks amazing & the Wolverines just pasted a BYU team 31-0 that UCLA beat by just a single point. The 2nd reason is watching how Michigan handles being the hunted. With the way the season is playing out, Michigan could be 10-1 when Ohio St. comes to town. Can you imagine Harbaugh in that game!? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Arizona got waxed by UCLA last week, but this game could be instructive if we wind up with a UCLA/Stanford Pac 12 championship game which seems likely at the moment. Stanford has really turned it on after losing to Northwestern, but their defense has shown the ability to give up some points which could work in Arizona’s favor. Also worth noting is the play of Stanford’s offense. If they show up like they did in Evanston, then this is a game Arizona could easily come away with a win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope So far Texas stinks. They are 1-3 with their only win coming against Rice. They’ve even lost back-to-back home games against Oklahoma St. & California! However, this game could get interesting. Texas still has more talent than any team in the Big XII. At some point that talent has to show up. Texas BARELY lost to Cal & OK State so if you believe in those teams then maybe the Horns aren’t that bad. Note also that TCU’s defense has been putrid this season & maybe, just maybe Texas could find some magic here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Boston College is a helluva team & HC Steve Addazio is fantastic! I’m not sure why Addazio isn’t at a bigger school but he’s going to make waves on Chestnut Hill. I think BC’s 14-0 loss to Florida St. was a warning shot. This team can play. They are gritty. They run the ball & they play outstanding defense. Duke has played extremely well but if BC can get a win here, their toughest game remaining is at Clemson. I think BC could be a player in the Atlantic & they potentially have the team to make a run at 10-2/9-3. Computer Hope
Computer Hope These games haven’t been blow outs. In 2011, Ohio St. won 34-20. In 2012 it was 52-49. Two years ago it was 42-14 & last year it was 42-27. Granted, Indiana hasn’t beaten Ohio St. since 1988, but the Hoosiers are better this year than they’ve been in a very long time. Nate Sudfeld is healthy & Jordan Howard is running the ball like Tevin Coleman never left. The Buckeyes have been less than inspiring this season & the game is in Bloomington. It would be foolish to call for an IU victory but this one could be close. Computer Hope
Computer Hope So far the season has been somewhat disappointing for Arizona State, but you can argue for ASU the same as you can argue for Tennessee. The Sun Devils have lost to Texas A&M & USC & if you believe those teams could potentially be top-10 programs, then how bad can ASU be? The problem with Arizona St. to this point is giving up big passing plays on defense. They are getting after it defensively. If they can force Josh Rosen into a bad game & Mike Bercovici plays well, then ASU could easily get a win here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Pittsburgh was a sleeper team for me at the beginning of the season so them losing at Iowa a couple of weeks ago hurt although that loss looks pretty darn good if the Hawkeyes win in Madison this weekend! The James Connor loss hurts but Qadree Ollison has been outstanding. This is still the same PITT team at the beginning of the year & the ACC Coastal is wide open. Brenden Motley has been great for the Hokie since Ohio St., but the Panthers can get after the QB. This is HUGE game in the ACC Coastal. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The problem with the ACC is that the Coastal teams simply don’t play up to expectation. There is no reason why North Carolina, Miami-FL, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech & Virginia Tech shouldn’t be top-25 schools, but instead we are stuck with Duke for crying out loud! It makes no sense. UNC/GT is a legitimate game but GT is on a 2-game losing streak & North Carolina lost to a putrid South Carolina squad on opening weekend. Given their schedule UNC is a huge threat to win the Coastal, but can they beat the Jackets? Computer Hope
Computer Hope If you were to ask me which two teams I follow the least among the Big 5, I’d definitely say Kansas St. would be one of them and potentially Oklahoma St. would be up there. The Wildcats are 3-0 & the Cowboys are 4-0 so this game is probably a bigger deal than I’m giving it credit for here, but to be honest, I still think Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor & West Virginia are ahead of them. This just goes to show you the depth of the Big XII. Everyone is talking SEC & Pac 12 as the best conference, but maybe not. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think it’s cool when the service academies get together & play! Air Force is coming into the game 2-1 coming off a loss at Michigan St. that was closer than expected in my opinion. Navy is 3-0 with Keenan Reynolds & Chris Swain running out of their minds. This should be an amazing game if you like option/running football. Air Force ranks #2 in the nation in rushing offense while Navy ranks #3! If anything, tune in for Keenan Reynolds. The guy is a special talent & if you haven’t seen him, it’s worth the 3 hours. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m going to try to start adding a MAC game per week because the MAC is AWESOME! This week it’s Toledo/Ball State! Toledo simply doesn’t give a rip! Arkansas? Check! Iowa St.? Check! I think the Rockets are applying to join the Big 10 this week! Ball St. took Northwestern to the brink last week & has a road game against Texas A&M under their belt! They’ve faced some stiff competition. I’d expect the Rockets to win here but if Ball St. RB Darian Green gets going, he might be impossible to stop! Computer Hope

October 3, 2015 Posted by | Air Force, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona St., Arkansas, Ball St., Baylor, Big Games, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas St., Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Must See Games, Navy, NCAA, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Pittsburgh, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Week 5, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 4 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope Pac 12 play opens for both of these schools in the best game of the week in my opinion. Utah has played great so far this year but a win over Oregon would garner national attention which is something Utah needs. Oregon definitely has issues on defense but Utah doesn’t necessarily have a high powered offense that can exploit Oregon’s weaknesses. Then again, Utah could ball control the Ducks. This won’t be an easy game for either team I suspect, but whoever dictates style will likely come out as the winner. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Pac 12 South is far from decided but with Arizona St. & USC already suffering losses, Arizona & UCLA are the last teams standing (I didn’t forget about you Utah!). I can’t wait to see this game because Josh Rosen finally goes into enemy territory in the Pac 12. Arizona’s pass defense has been effective in creating turnovers which could come back to haunt the true freshman who is looking the part in UCLA’s last couple of games. Anu Solomon & Nick Wilson are having fantastic years & UCLA should be on upset alert. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m a huge fan of Kliff Kingsbury because I think he gets it. He’s bringing some serious swag to Texas Tech & while the Red Raiders were down a little bit last year, they are picking it back up this season starting with their demolishing of Arkansas & then Kingsbury talking smack to Arkansas HC Bret Bielema. At the beginning of the year I would have thought TCU would roll in this one but Tech QB Patrick Mahomes is playing well & the TCU defense hasn’t played up to their usual standards. This one is gonna be great! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Early season games can be hard on teams. USC took a loss from Stanford last week & Arizona St. was handed a season opening loss at the hands of Texas A&M. It looks like the season has went off the rails but in reality that’s hardly the case. In USC’s case the Stanford loss didn’t drop them out of the top-20 & for the most part they are still viable. Arizona St. essentially dropped off the map despite winning their next 2 games. These are both solid football teams but remember that a loss by USC means 2 in conference. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Tennessee should win this game. They are clearly the better team & if not for a let down agaisnt Oklahoma, the Vols would be a top-10 team at 3-0 heading into Gainesville against a Florida team that looked a little iffy against both East Carolina & Kentucky. The Vols have to have revenge on their minds as Florida upset UT 10-9 in Knoxville last season & Tennessee has quite a bit riding on this game. Then again, I’m not betting against Jim McElwain having the Gators ready in a pivotal SEC East game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I love the scenarios with this game. If BYU wins they improve to 3-1 & their only really tough game remaining is a neutral site game against Missouri. If they run the table, then BYU goes 11-1 & makes a STRONG case for the playoffs IF UCLA can run the table. If Michigan wins & Utah beats Oregon, then the Wolverines look pretty darn amazing as they’re only loss will have come on the road to Utah by 7 points. You can’t really lose with either outcome, but it would be cool to see BYU push the playoff envelope! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Missouri is 3-0 but it’s a suspect 3-0. They barely held on to beat UConn last week 9-6 & the week before they got a close win over Arkansas St. 27-20. QB Maty Mauk hasn’t been good this year & Mizzou doesn’t really have any weapons around him right now. This is another opportunity for Kentucky to climb the ladder in the SEC East. The loss to Florida might hurt but I think UK still has a legit shot at being 3rd in the division with a win here. Then again, Gary Pinkel is an OUTSTANDING football coach. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Somewhat like Michigan/BYU, the scenarios here are pretty amazing but with the added bonus that both of these teams play in the ACC Coastal division. Georgia Tech’s only loss has  come on the road to Notre Dame. That’s hardly laughable. Duke’s only loss came at home at the hands of Northwestern, the team that beat Stanford who just beat USC. I think the Coastal has opened up a bit with Michael Brewer going down for Virginia Tech. I think it’ll be very interesting to see how Georgia Tech bounces back. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Every football coach in Texas is lining up to take their shots at Arkansas & HC Bret Bielema after what Bielema said about Texas HS football coaches. The Aggies are no different. After taking a beating & catching flack from Texas Tech & Kliff Kingsbury, the Razorbacks now have to welcome in the Aggies who should be A LOT tougher to handle. After the loss to Toledo, Bielema seemed relieved it wasn’t a conference game. Neither was the loss to Texas Tech, but a loss here definitely counts ni conference! Computer Hope
Computer Hope After their 16-13 road loss to Boise St., Washington has quietly put together a couple of solid wins over Sacramento St. & Utah State. Freshman Jake Browning has stepped up quite a bit & has Chris Petersen’s squad looking better. While they aren’t Oregon or Stanford, I still think this is a huge opporunity for California! The Bears are on the rise & a solid road win over Washington would help out the Bears. QB Jared Goff keeps making a Heisman push & this will be a solid game to add to his resume. I’m loving Cal. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The heat under Charlie Strong’s seat can’t seemingly get hotter but if Texas loses this game, then the Longhorns have TCU & Oklahoma up next meaning Texas could easily start the season 1-5 and even then it doesn’t get easy as they’d host Kansas State in Game #7! The Cowboys are ranked and the defense has been playing well despite the lack of competition in their first 3 games. It’s really interesting to see the fall off of Texas after Mack Brown was sort of forced out. A loss here could be deafening in Austin! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I have to admit I’m pulling for Mississippi State here. The Bulldogs almost beat LSU a couple of weeks ago & rebounded with a blowout win over Northwestern State. Now they travel to Auburn against a Tigers team that has to be reeling after getting blown out against LSU. It’ll be interesting to see if Gus Malzahn can right the ship for Auburn. I had War Eagle winning the SEC before the season began so the talent is definitely there. A win over MSU would not only be meaningfull but could put Auburn back on the right track. Computer Hope

September 25, 2015 Posted by | Arizona, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Big Games, BYU, California, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi St., Missouri, Must See Games, NCAA, Oklahoma St., Oregon, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Week 4 | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 2 BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope A rematch of last year’s game that saw the Ducks take down Michigan St. in Eugene 46-27! The score last year is misleading as Michigan St. led 27-18 late into the 3rd quarter before completely falling apart & giving up 28 unanswered points! The first week was odd for both of these teams. Michigan St. couldn’t quite do away with W.Michigan while Oregon gave up 42pts & 550yds to a D2 school! The matchup here is Michigan St.’s rush defense against Oregon’s rushing attack. Those units looked outstanding in the first week. The winner of this game will emerge with the year’s biggest win to date. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I really like Tennessee this year but last week the Vols got TORCHED through the air against Bowling Green. It might go a bit unnoticed because UT still ended up beating the Falcons 59-20, but Oklahoma’s defense is going to be a little stiffer and their offense is going to be vastly superior to what Tennessee saw in Week 1. You put those together & it looks tragic for Tennessee. Tennessee is good we know that. A blow out win by Oklahoma on the road could reestablish the Sooners as one of the nation’s elite. I hope Tennessee puts up a fight but looking at the first week doesn’t bode well for the Vols. Computer Hope
Computer Hope LSU caught a really tough break having their opening game canceled against McNeese State. There is a lot of coaches who believe teams make the biggest jumps in improvement from Week 1 to Week 2 because you can see what you do well & what still needs work. LSU didn’t get this opportunity & now they travel to Mississippi St. to take on a Bulldogs team who has a Heisman candidate at QB in Dak Prescott. MS State beat LSU last year 34-29 in Baton Rouge so LSU is looking for revenge, but the Bulldogs looked pretty good on the road last week beating Souther Miss 34-16. Huge SEC West game! Computer Hope
Computer Hope UL-Lafayette is a pretty good Sun Belt team, but I was expected more from Kentucky than winning 40-33! That’s too many to give up. South Carolina on the other hands surprised me by taking on North Carolina in Charlotte & coming away with a hard fought victory. I really like this game but I like it a lot more from Kentucky’s angle. A win here is huge for the Wildcats because it’ll be an SEC road win over an East Power. It’s unlikely, and if SC ends up winning it’ll look like business as usual, but a 2-0 start by the Gamecocks with wins over UNC & UK is impressive leading up to SC traveling to Athens! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m not sure this game ends up being as big as it is if Boise St. doesn’t beat Washington and BYU doesn’t pull off the Hail Mary in Lincoln to upset Nebraska. Now all of a sudden things get really interesting for both teams. With the football playoffs, I think it impossible for either team to crach the party but a win by Boise St. really opens up the possibility of the Broncos running the table & finishing 13-0. BYU’s road is a lot tougher as they travel to UCLA next week & Michigan the following, but a win here could mean 11-1/10-2! It’s too bad QB Taysum Hill will miss it which is why Boise should win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Virginia stinks but this game has implications in my opinon for a couple of reasons. The first is that last week Virginia went on the road to UCLA and lost 34-16. With Josh Rosen looking as good as he did & with UCLA being as stacked as they are, the 34-16 win is a benchmark for the Irish. If ND plays like they did last week against Texas, then the Irish should leave Charlottesville with a 55-10 or 52-3 win. This would elevate them higher than UCLA based on the comparison game. It’s important for ND in light of 2012. No matter what happens, nobody is going to believe Notre Dame can win it until they do. Computer Hope
Computer Hope One of the best intra-state rivalry games in the nation. Last week Iowa beat Illinois St. 31-14 while Iowa St. dispatehed Northern Iowa 31-7. I thought the Iowa St. win was impressive given how Northern Iowa is always a tough out for both the Hawkeyes & Cyclones. I think Iowa St. has a QB in Sam Richardson that can lead them to some victories & it’s fortuitious that Iowa St. draws the Hawkeye in Ames because they need all the breaks they can get to get to an elusive bowl. Iowa ran well against Illinois St. & Iowa St. didn’t look amazing against the run. It’s something to wach that will be key to the outcome. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sure it was Weber St. but true frosh QB Sth Collins looked OUTSTANDING for the Beavers passing for 92yds/2TD while rushing for 152yds on 17 carries. I don’t think Oregon St. can live that way & be successful but Michigan will have their hands full. Oregon St. HC Gary Andersen is familiar with the Big 10 having just left Wisconsin so he won’t be overly intimidated walking into Ann Arbor. Oregon St. will be well-coached & up for the game. Michigan probably should win given how they played against Utah, but this game should be interesting to watch because it would be crazy for the Harbaugh era to start 0-2! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Battle of the Brothers! The big rivalry everyone knows with Utah is The Holy War between the Utes & BYU, but Utah St. & Utah played every year from 1944-2009! They took 2 years off in 2010-2011 before Utah St. won in 2012 & Utah won in 2013. Last year they didn’t play & this year’s game between the 2 schools is the only one scheduled. With Utah St. really emerging as a football school, this is becoming a GREAT game. Utah is one of those teams with a couple of awesome rivalries in Utah St. & BYU but with 3 non-conference games, it really limits their OOC schedule & subsequent exposure. Computer Hope
Computer Hope UC-Davis did a pretty good job passing the ball on Nevada last week which could mean trouble for the Wolfpack against an Arizona team led by QB Anu Solomon who passed for 229yds/4TD last week against UT-San Antonio. On the other hand, this should be a pretty good matchup for Arizona because the Wildcats struggled defensively against UT-San Antonio & Nevada ran the ball extremely well with Don Jackson last week. Nevada has a good team & Brian Polian is doing a good job in Reno. I think Arizona should win this game going away, but it’ll be a solid road win for Arizona. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sure it was Grambling St., but California racked up 73 points in the week 1 opener! They produced almost 700 total yards & almost 500 total passing yards! California is another under the radar team in my opinion & QB Jared Goff could be a Heisman candidate by the time the year is through. With Oregon’s defense looking awful & Stanford completely tanking against Northwestern, it’s not unreasonable to think California can’t win the Pac 12 North. Enter San Diego St.! Rocky Long is a helluva coach & the Aztecs have a solid defense. This will be a solid test for the Bears & a win here is bigger than at first glance. GREAT GAME! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Nick Stevens WORKED Savannah St. in a 66-13 win over Savannah State. The sophomore QB passed for 289yds & 5TD as Colorado St. took their season opener. This is an interesting game because the Rams aren’t bad & TCU is coming off a tight loss at home to TCU. Jerry Kill is so good its ridiculous so I think Minnesota can go on the road & get a victory. I’m rooting for the Gophers because I like Kill so much. Given how Nebraska & Wisconsin played, why can’t Minnesota sneak up & win the Big 10 West? This one will be interesting to see how Minnesota bounces back as CSU isn’t a pushover. Computer Hope

September 10, 2015 Posted by | Arizona, Big Games, Boise St., BYU, California, Colorado St., Iowa, Iowa St., Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, Mississippi St., Nevada, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon St., San Diego St., South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Utah St., Virginia, Week 2 | Leave a comment

2015 PAC 12 PREVIEWS and PREDICTIONS

RANK PAC 12 NORTH COMMENTS
#1 OFFENSE: The offense had a down year last season averaging 27.2PPG, the fewest the Cardinal has scored since 2008, but Stanford returns 9 starters on offense including QB Kevin Hogan along with a couple of sophomore skill players who could be very exciting. RB Christian McCaffrey didn’t get a ton of run time as a true frosh but averaged 7.1ypc! TE Austin Hooper made & immediate impact as a true frosh as a 2nd team All-Pac 12 selection. WRs Devon Cajuste & Michael Rector are big targets with some electric play making ability. The O-Line returns 4 starters with LG Josh Garnett being a potential All-American & C Graham Shuler & LT Kyle Murphy being potential 1st Team All-Pac 12. Hogan is elite at 6’4/230lbs & the O-Line is going to give him & McCaffrey plenty of room to operate. I don’t know if Stanford goes back to the Andrew Luck days but they’ll be at 30+PPG. DEFENSE: LB Blake Martinez returns & he led the team in tackles in ’14, but the losses here are severe as Stanford returns just 4 starters & loses 7 of their top-10 tacklers. Martinez has enormous upside & LB Kevin Anderson returns but the entire D-Line is gone & 5 of the front-7 is missing. DE Henry Anderson, NT David Parry & DE Blake Lueders will be extremely hard to replace. LB AJ Tarpley is another tough loss as is CB Alex Carter & S Jordan Richards & S Kyle Olugbode. Four of last year’s starters were NFL Draft picks! There is a lot of talent here but I’d be very wary of the D-Line. Stanford plays a 3-4, but the team doesn’t really have a legit 3-4NT. Could hurt them this season. SCHEDULE: OOC against Notre Dame & Northwestern is nasty. Plays at USC but draws Oregon, Arizona, UCLA, Washington & Cal at home! Getting USC & UCLA out of the South is tough but avoid Arizona State. Very difficult schedule although it’s home turf heavy. BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 5-7
#2 OFFENSE: It’s difficult to think the Ducks offense won’t be down a bit losing a Heisman Trophy winner & 1st Team All-American at QB, but it seems like Oregon just picks up the pieces wherever they fall and score 45PPG! This year Oregon brings back their top-5 receivers and RB Royce Freeman who rushed for 1365yds/18TD! The receivers are the best in the nation! Byron Marshall at over 1000yds last year. Dwayne Stanford is a huge target at 6’5. Darren Carrington averaged 19.0ypc last year as a frosh & keep an eye on true frosh Alex Ofodile who is 6’3. The O-Line returns 4 starters & LT Tyler Johnstone is a potential All-American! The big question is the QB who should be Vernon Adams. All Adams did the last 2 seasons is pass for over 8,000yds & throw 90TD at E.Washington! Given the scheme & personnel, it seems ridiculous to think Oregon won’t put up 40PPG again. DEFENSE: Oregon’s front-7 is going to be fine. DE DeForest Buckner can be an All-American & LBs Rodney Hardrick & Joe Walker are special players. Newcomer DE canton Kaumatule is also going to be really exciting. The problem for the Ducks is their secondary where the losses were MASSIVE! Gone are CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (1st Team All-American), CB Troy Hill (2nd Team Pac 12) & S Erick Dargan (2nd Team Pac 12)! Oregon’s secondary was extremely difficult to pass against so this unit definitely looks to be problematic. Another thing to consider is that LB Tony Washington was Oregon’s most effective pass rusher & he doesn’t return either putting more pressure on the secondary. SCHEDULE: OOC at Michigan St. is tough & they do play on the road against Stanford, but USC, Cal, Utah & Washington St. come to Eugene. The Ducks do avoid UCLA & Arizona out of the South. As always, Oregon is going to be a fantastic team. BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 7-5
#3 OFFENSE: The improvements HC Sonny Dykes made on offense in his 2nd season were incredible. California increased their PPG from 23 to 38.3! They went from 1-11 to 5-7 and this year they return 8 starters including QB Jared Goff who completed 62% of his passes last year with 35TD to 7INT! RB Daniel Lasco also returns after running for 1115yds/12TD last season while WRs Kenny Lawler & Stephen Anderson are a couple of 6’3 targets that are extremely difficult matchups! The O-Line returns 3 starters and all are upperclassmen with talent. Goff, Lasco, Lawler, Anderson, WR Bryce Treggs & LG Chris Borrayo all could be 1st team All-Pac 12 making this one of the best offense in the nation! I’d expect Cal to average more than 40PPG & for Goff to get into the All-American conversation! This should be a bowl bound team with a great offense. DEFENSE: Cal’s defense is a huge weak spot. While Dykes did improve the unit in his 2nd year, the improvement wasn’t as dramatic & the Bears went from 46PPG allowed to 40! This year Cal brings back 9 starters on defense & 12 of their top-13 tacklers. The only loss is S Mike Lowe. There is actually quite a bit of talent on the defensive side of the football. LB Michael Barton should be an all-conference player as should CB Darius White & S Stevan McClure. Every projected starter is an upperclassman including 6 seniors. Keep an eye on the D-line. JUCO DeVante Wilson should be effective off the edge while DT Mustafa Jalil & DE Todd Barr have the talent to be really good, but need to live up to their athleticism. SCHEDULE: Dykes improved by 4 wins last year. Repeating that trend would put Cal at 9-3! That probably won’t happen as the schedule is MURDER. Road games against Texas, Utah, UCLA, Oregon & Stanford! They also draw USC & Arizona State! Good grief! BEST CASE: 8-4; WORST CASE: 3-9
#4 OFFENSE: QB Luke Falk was the backup QB last year as a freshman but still passed for alost 2000yds with 13TD! You would think there might be some let down from QB Connor Halliday, but this is Mike Leach’s Air Raid scheme so expect there to be plenty of fireworks offensively! Also gone are WRs Vince Mayle & Isiah Myers who combined for 184rec/2455yds/21TD. That would seem like a ton but River Cracraft & Dom Williams also return & they combined for 109rec/1427yds/17TD! RB Jamal Morrow returns as well. Wazzou isn’t going to run a ton but Morrow did average 4.0ypc & make 60 catches! What is most interesting for me is that the entire O-Line returns & it’ll be the best O-Line since Leach came to Pullman. If Falk improves his decision making & the O-line plays to their ability then Washington St. is going to have a tremendous offense. What else would you expect!? DEFENSE: While not exactly a priority on Leach coached teams, Wazzou has interesting pieces returning in DE Kache Palacio, DE Ivan McLennan & LB Jeremiah Allison. Those guys can pressure the QB. The secondary is also interesting with CBs Treshon Broughton coming in from the juco ranks joining CB Charleston White & S Taylor Taliulu. The one areas where Washington St. could hurt is the interior D-Line. They lost Xavier Cooper who was a 3rd round draft pick of the Browns and their 2 projected starting DTs average 6’2/270lbs! The Cougars also want to go to more 3-4 looks but they simply don’t have the size to pull that off. There is some potential in the back-8 of the 3-4 look. We’ll see. SCHEDULE: Wazzou is all about bowl eligiblity & that is a possibility. The OOC games are easy with the hardest being at Rutgers. They also get Colorado & Oregon St. at home. They need to get another win for 6 but Washington is down so maybe. BEST CASE: 6-6; WORST CASE: 2-10
#5 OFFENSE: This could be a rough season for 2nd year HC Chris Petersen who can’t be used to losing after having spent 8 seasons at Boise St.! The offense returns just 5 starters from a team that averaged 30.2PPG. They have massive uncertaintly at QB with the seeming starter being junior Jeff Lindquist, but that is sitll up in the air. The O-line had massive losses from a year ago & brings back just 1 starter. I also think the loss of WR/KR John Ross this spring will be a huge loss. The Huskies do have quite a bit returning at their skill positions though. WR Jaydon Mickens caught 60 balls last season & RB Dwayne Washington runa for 697yds/9TD. The good news is that Petersen is recruiting well & the talent level is increasing for the Huskies. They might not be great in 2015, but this is definitely a season that will be a building block. DEFENSE: HUGE LOSSES! NT Danny Shelton & DE Hau’oli Kikaha were 1st Team All-Americans! DT Evan Hudson & DE Andrew Hudson are both gone too leaving UW with on returning D-Line! OLB Shaq Thompson is also gone which was UW’s 3rd 1st Team All-American! LB John Timu was 3rd Team All-Pac 12! He’s gone too! Washington returns just 4 starters, 3 of which are in the secondary! Luckily for the defense, UW does have a stud safety in Budda Baker who could potentially be an All-American despite just being a true sophomore. Ezekiel Turner is a juco transfer joining him at safety. CBs Kevin King & Sidney Jones are 6’3 & 6’0 respectively so UW has great size in the secondary. The losses are so huge it’s hard not think there will be some growing pains: SCHEDULE: Nasty. Road dates agaisnt Boise St., USC, Stanford, and Arizona St.! They also pick up Utah & Arizona fromt he South but avoid UCLA. They get Oregon/Cal at home & also Washington St. for the Apple Cup! BEST CASE: 6-6; WORST CASE: 1-11!
#6 OFFENSE: Despite losing HC Mike Reilly & QB Sean Mannion, I think Oregon St.’s offense will actually improve under new HC Gary Andersen. Andersen is an OUTSTANDING HC and the Beavers return 8 starters on offense including 4 of 5 O-Linemen, their leading rusher & their top-2 leading receivers. TE Caleb Smith also returns. The one question is at QB where it looks to be a battle between true frosh Seth Collins and rFR Marcus McMaryion. I think Oregon St. wins either way as the eventual starting QB will have plenty of weapons to lean on. RB Storm Woods & WR Victor Bolden could be all-Pac 12 along with 3 of the O-Linemen. Andersen is going to recruit well & if the QB situation works out, the Beavers offense should be fine. DEFENSE: This is where things get crazy with Oregon State. The Beavers return just 2 starters & lose their top-6 tacklers and 9 of their top-11! CB Larry Scott & DE Jaswha James are the only returners. The D-Line will get some help from a healthy Jalen Grimble at DT & incoming frosh Elu Aydon is 6’3/335lbs! DT Lavanote Barnett led the team in sacks a year ago & he’s back. The LB corps is a mess with no returning starters & not much talent. True frosh Christian Folau is 6’1/240lbs and is worth keeping an eye on. Scott & Barnett are solid players but the defense needs to get a massive upgrade in talent across the board. SCHEDULE: OOC includes road game against Michigan! OSU avoids Arizona St. & USC from the South which is a huge break but get home games against UCLA & Stanford which are practically unwinnable. It’s amazing that Gary Andersen would leave Wisconsin for Oregon St., but I’ve always believed that college football is a lot better when Oregon St. is good. Andersen is going to do better than just good. This season could be bumpy but Oregon St. is on the rise. BEST CASE: 4-8; WORST CASE: 1-11

 

PAC 12 NORTH OVERALL OUTLOOK: All of a sudden the Pac 12 North looks like a monster division. The coaching changes have been tremendous as Washington was somehow able to lure Chris Petersen away from Boise State. Oregon State hit the lottery when Gary Andersen decided to leave Wisconsin for the Beavers. Sonny Dykes is doing an amazing job rebuilding the Cal program & Mike Leach is doing the same with Washington State. All the while Stanford & Oregon keep plugging away as Top-10 programs! What’s interesting here to me is that the division is still Oregon’s & Stanford’s, but the shift in power will start to happen this season. It will probably be subtle, but it will be there nonetheless with potentially 5 of the 6 teams getting bowl eligible. While not quite the SEC West in stature, the Pac 12 North is ascending to that level. The coaching is simply too good & the stars have aligned to make this the 2nd best division in college football. It’s comparative to the Big 10 East with guys like James Franklin, Randy Edsall, Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh joining Mark Dantonio. The difference is that the Big 10 East is going to be dragged down by Indiana & Rutgers although even those programs have seen flashes under Kevin Wilson & Kyle Flood. I don’t expect Cal, Wazzou, Washington or Oregon St. to win a division title, but I think there won’t be any easy games on the schedule. Even though Washington & Oregon St. seem to be a rebuild, I don’t think they’ll be rolled over by anyone. This division is fantastic.

 

RANK PAC 12 SOUTH COMMENTS
#1 OFFENSE: USC just might be back to being the USC of the Pete Carroll years. Offensively the Trojans averaged 36PPG under HC Steve Sarkisian in his 1st season & that number is likely to go up this season. QB Cody Kessler returns after a season in which he completed 70% of his passes for 3826yds/39TD to 5INT! He’s arguably the best QB in the nation & if USC is 12-0 at season’s end, he’ll take home a Heisman. The entire O-Line returns. C Max Turek is an All-American & 4 of the 5 guys are potential 1st team All-Pac 12 players! The big losses are WR Nelson Agholor & RB Buck Allen, but the Trojans have IMMENSE talent so those losses might not be huge. WR JuJu Smith is outstanding while RB Justin Davis will be 2 years removed from an Achilles issue he had in 2013. Also keep an eye on WR De’Quan Hampton, a 6’4/220lbs juco transfer. USC can argue for having the best QB & the best O-Line. That’s a dangerous combination. DEFENSE: The big loss is DT Leonard Williams and DE JR Tavai is a loss too but USC has 2 all-american candidates in LB Su’a Cravens & CB Adoree Jackson! Five other players could be All-Conference so 7/11 starters are great here. I’m excited to see DE Claude Pelon who is unusual at 6’4/300lbs playing a 4-3DE spot. USC also gets quite a bit of reinforcements on the line with DE Greg Townsend, DT Kenny Bigelow & DE Jabari Ruffin coming off of injury. With Cravens moving to LB to join Anthony Sarao & Lamar Dawson, this is a tremendous LB unit that could be the best in the nation. The defense should be nasty! SCHEDULE: OOC at Notre Dame is tough. USC also has road games against Arizona St., Cal & Oregon. USC also draws Stanford out of the North and they still have to play Arizona, UCLA & Utah! It’s a tough schedule to be sure, but USC is arguably the best team in the nation. BEST CASE 12-0. WORST CASE 6-6
#2 OFFENSE: UCLA returns 10 starters on offense which is insane, but the one loss is 3-year starting QB Brett Hundley who leaves UCLA as the Bruins #2 all time passer. In his 3 years as starter, UCLA went 29-11 including 2 bowl wins & a Pac 12 South division title. Losing that type of production is almost impossible to replace, but HC Jim Mora has made UCLA a destination place so the talent is in abundance. RB Paul Perkins is a potential All-American as is WR Jordan Payton. Perkins ran for almost 1600yds last year while Payton had 7TD & almost 1000yds! WRs Devin Fuller, Eldridge Massington & Kenneth Walker return along with TE Thomas Duarte who had 19.3ypc last season! The QB comes down to all-world recruit Josh Rosen or junior Jerry Neuheisel. This is the one determining factor of why I picked USC ahead of UCLA. Regardless, the QB has a plethora of weapons & the entire O-Line returning! They’ll score. DEFENSE: The Bruins return 8 starters but lose a couple of big time players in LB Eric Kendricks & DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, but otherwise the Bruins are stacked! The D-Line returns NT Kenny Clark & DE Eddie Vanderdoes & both potential All-Americans.  Deon Hollins led the team in sacks last year & he returns. LB Myles Jack could find himself in All-American contention. The entire secondary returns as well! CBs Fabian Moreau & Priest Willis have great size. S Randall Goforth is healthy & S Jaleel Wadood has a year of experience. This is the best defense of the Jim Mora era with ELITE playmakers at all 3 levels. Keep an eye on Vanderdoes. He’s special. SCHEDULE: OOC not bad. Toughest road games are against Stanford, Arizona & Utah. The Bruins manage to avoid Oregon and get Cal, Arizona St. & BYU at home. It’s not the easiest schedule to navigate & the road slate is heavy, but this is also a talented squad. BEST CASE 12-0; WORST CASE: 6-6
#3 OFFENSE: Since taking over in Tempe, HC Todd Graham has had ASU averaging about 38PPG which is fantastic. This year the Sun Devils return 7 starters on offense but will have to deal with the loss of QB Taylor Kelly. The one good thing about this is that Kelly did struggle a bit with injury last year which gave returning QB Mike Bercovici some playing time & he acquitted himself well, completing 62% of his passes with a 12:4 TD to INT ratio. ASU is also doing some interesting things offensively. RB DJ Foster is moving to WR full time & RB Demario Richard is going to be the starter. Richard averaged 5.7ypc last year so he’s solid & Foster caught 62 passes! The other big loss is WR Jalen Strong. Foster will try to mitigate that loss along with WR Cameron Smith & WR Gary Chambers but it’s a tough loss to deal with. The O-Line returns 3 starters but 4 seniors are projected to start. 3 of them have All Pac 12 potential. DEFENSE: ASU returns 9 starters & 14 of their top-16 tacklers! This is the best defense of the Todd Graham era so expect ASU to give up around 20PPG instead of around 27! Seven of the projected starters will get all conference consideration. S Damarious Randall & DE Marcus Hardison are pretty big losses & both were NFL Draft picks, but ASU has talented players everywhere. NT Mo Latu is 6’2/397lbs while DE Edmond Boateng is 6’3/260lbs! S Jordan Simone picked up 100 tackles last year while LB Antonio Longino had 94 himself. DT Deonte Reynolds logs in at 325lbs giving ASU some incredible size in their interior defensive line. I can’t wait to see it. SCHEDULE: OOC against Texas A&M, but the Sun Devils only have 4 true road games in conference! They also avoid Stanford from the North & get USC, Oregon & Arizona at home! UCLA & Cal on the road won’t be easy but this schedule is very manageable. BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 4-8
#4 OFFENSE: It’s almost criminal to put Arizona here given how good HC Rich Rodriguez is. Arizona returns a truckload offensively from a unit that averaged 35PPG! QB Anu Solomon threw for 3800yds/28TD as a freshman last season! He completed just 58% of his passes, but threw just 9 picks. He’ll get better which is a scary thought in RichRod’s offense. RB Nick Wilson ran for 1375yds/16TD as a freshman! If Solomon & Wilson keep these paces they’ll leave Arizona as the school’s all time leaders in passing & rushing! WRs Cayleb Jones & Samajie Grant combined for 118rec/1737yds/15TD! They both return. The UA O-Line returns 2 starters but 4 upperclassmen & LT Freddie Tagaloa was a starter for Cal before he transferred. There is an awful lot to like about this offense. I’d keep a special eye on Jones. He’s got a chance to be really special & should approach All-American status. DEFENSE: It would look like the Wildcats took a step back defensively, but if you compare it to RichRod’s 1st season, UA is still improving defensively. LB Scooby Wright was a 1st team All-American last year racking up 163 tackles & 14 sacks! Rodriguez sort of plays a 3-3-5 defense & 4 of his front-6 return. DB Will Parks & LB Cody Ippolito did a decent job of getting pressure on opposing QBs & they both return. DE Reggie Gilbert should have a big year. You need to be big up front to run this sort of defense as it mimics a 3-4 front to a certain degree. Rodriguez obviously knows this so it’ll be interesting to see how it works. It could be Rodriguez’s best defense yet at Arizona. SCHEDULE: Odddly enough Arizona doesn’t have a bye week & play 12 straight. OOC isn’t bad, but do have 5 road games against Stanford, Colorado. Washington, USC & Arizona St.! That’s tough considering they get Oregon St. & Utah at home. Games they could have won on the road. BEST CASE: 10-2; WORST CASE: 3-9
#5 OFFENSE: Utah will have one of the more interesting offenses in the Pac 12 for what they’ll try to do. RB Devontae Booker is a fireplug at 5’11/215lbs. He’s a potential All-American candidate who rushed for 1512yds/10TD last year with a 5.2ypc. That’s not superstar status but it’ll grind football games down to a halt & put Utah in position to dominate time of possession. The rest of the Pac 12 is more high-flying. They want to have fast possessions but Utah doesn’t work that way. They want to run the ball 40-50x per game & see what happens. It’s not surprise that a lot of their wins last year were relatively low scoring affairs. Utah returns 4 starters to the O-Line which is a big help, but they also return WR Kenneth Scott who could take some pressure off the run game. There is somewhat of a QB debate between Travis Wilson & Kendal Thompson, but Utah is going to run & they can win this way. DEFENSE: DE Nate Orchard is a huge loss as he led the team with 18.5 sacks & was a 2nd round draft pick but the Utes return 7 starters on the defense & look strong. DE Hunter Dimick is a beast & new DE Kylie Fitts is 6’4/270lbs & a transfer from UCLA! The DTs are big up front. LB Jared Norris racked up 116 tackles last season & should be an all-conference player this season. LB Jason Whittingham returns from injury to strengthen a good LB corps. The secondary took a big hit losing CB Eric Rowe who is playing for the Eagles now, but there is some talent still there with ability. Keep an eye on DT Lowell Lotulelei. The big man could have a big year. SCHEDULE: It won’t be easy. OOC against Michigan, Utah St. & Fresno St. is very difficult. They also get road games against Oregon, USC & Arizona! They also draw California out of the North. The 9-4 record last year was a breakthrough last year & the Utes are looking to take another step. BEST CASE: 10-2; WORST CASE: 3-9
#6 Colorado is the one team from the Pac 12 that I wanted to forget about breaking down and talk in a more macro way of viewing the program. It’s very odd to think of this team as a national champion but this is precisely what the Buffaloes were in 1990 when Bill McCartney led Colorado to a 10-9 win over Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl.  I’ve mentioned this before, but Colorado had somewhat of a golden era between 1989-1996 and some think this is because Colorado was a de facto school of choice for recruits during a period where Texas & USC weren’t that great. It’s not a bad thought. During this 8-year period, Colorado was 78-15-4 with 5 Top-10 finishes & a Top-20 finish in all 8 seasons. Texas was 57-35-3 with 2 Top-20 finishes. USC was 57-35-5 with 4 Top-20 finishes & 1 Top-10 finish. Clearly Colorado was a superior program at the time. Soon after this period, Pete Carroll would arrive in USC & Mack Brown would come to Texas. You probably know the end result. There is some validity to this line of thinking, but it must also be mentioned that Bill McCartney left the UC program after the 1994 season. It took McCartney 6 seasons to build Colorado into a power. Could he have sustained it despite Carroll & Brown becoming factors? What it does show to a degree is that Colorado can be a power with the right coach/salesman at the helm. Gary Barnett, Dan Hawkins & Jon Embree tried & failed. Mike MacIntyre is trying, he’s going to have to figure out a way to attract more talent to Boulder. A defensive coach. He had to get better in year #3. BEST CASE: 6-7; WORST CASE: 2-11

 

PAC 12 SOUTH OVERALL OUTLOOK: This division really looks like it will come down to a November 28th meeting between USC & UCLA! The two LA based schools look poised to make legitimate runs to the playoffs & if UCLA can get good QB play from their potential starters then the rest of the division should be looking up at both squads. That isn’t to say there won’t be some difficulty. Arizona St. is going to be A LOT better than people think with QB Mike Bercovici and you simply cannot count Arizona out with Rich Rodriguez at the helm with that program running on all cylinders. As much as I love the Pac 12 North, you can easily make an argument that the South is even better. The first 5 teams are legitimate double digit win squads who should all be bowl eligible. Colorado has a better team than you think coming back & I wouldn’t be shocked to see them pull off 5-7 wins despite playing a brutal schedule with zero byes in 13 consecutive weeks! I think at this point you can point to the Pac 12 and put it on par with the SEC. You simply can’t go wrong with any SEC West game you tune into this upcoming season, but I think the same can be said of the Pac 12 South. There is simply too much talent & too much parity to take a week off. A fantastic division that I believe USC manages to take down.

August 29, 2015 Posted by | Arizona, Arizona St., California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon St., Pac 12, Predictions, Previews, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington St. | Leave a comment