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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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL – BOWL SEASON PREVIEW!

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl seems fitting. You really can’t say enough about what a tremendous job Bob Davie has done for the Lobos. New Mexico was a combined 3-33 in the 3-years before Davie took over. How he has them at potentially a 9-4 season with back-to-back bowl games in his 5th year. As for the game, New Mexico has the nation’s best rush offense so UTSA will need to figure out a way to stop it if they’re to win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Las Vegas Bowl: Talk about a consolation bowl for early watching! The 9-3 Cougars take on the 10-3 Aztecs! Both of these teams were thought to win their respective conferences. Houston didn’t but SD State did get their revenge win over Wyoming to take the Mountain West. Tune in for Houston QB Gary Ward & DT Ed Oliver. Both guys have been outstanding this season. The Cougs won’t have Tom Herman but this is a fantastic early game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Camellia Bowl: Jason Candle did an outstanding job in his first year as HC of Toledo. The Rockets went 9-3 and won the MAC East. Their 3 losses came against W.Michigan, Ohio & BYU. Not bad at all. Appalachian St. has an outstanding defense. At 9-3 they have 2 losses to Tennessee and Miami-FL! It’ll be interesting to see if the Mountaineers can put a stop to Toledo’s Cody Thompson, Logan Woodside & Kareem Hunt. This game will be very compelling. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cure Bowl: Somewhat of a ho-hum bowl game as 6-6 UCF takes on 7-5 Arkansas State. UCF has a couple of tremendous corners in Shaquill Griffin and DJ Killings. They’ve been a terror to QBs all season long & that shouldn’t change. Helping them is OLB Shaquem Griffin who has totaled 11 sacks and 19 TFL on the season. Ark State is mostly a running team although they don’t do it particularly well. I’d tune in for the Knights defensive playmakers. Computer Hope
Computer Hope New Orleans Bowl: A couple of 6-6 teams going at it from CUSA and the Sun Belt conference. Obviously this is going to be one of those games that nobody is paying particular attention to but both teams feature a pretty good running back. Southern Miss’ Ito Smith ran for 1300+ yards & 15TD averaging 5.5ypc, while ULL’s Elijah McGuire ran for 1,028 yards & 7TD. This is HC Mark Hudspeth’s 5th bowl in 6 years as HC for the Ragin’ Cajuns. He’s done well. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Miami Beach Bowl: This game is played in Marlins Park which is the home of the Miami Marlins which is pretty cool. This is a bad matchup for C.Michigan. After a nice 3-0 start which saw them beat Oklahoma St., CMU went just 3-5 in MAC play & 3-6 in their final 9. Tulsa’s offense is prolific! They have a couple of thousand yard rushers, a thousand yard receiver & a three thousand yard passer. I think Tulsa scores 50+ in this game & dominates. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Boca Raton Bowl: Every time I hear the words Boca Raton I always think of Episode 9 of Season 1 of The Sopranos entitled Boca about Junior Soprano going down to Boca with one of his girlfriends, Bobbi Sanfillipo. The entire episode revolves around Junior’s amazing cunnilingus skills that eventually gets out. The part I always liked best is the end when Junior shoves Bobbi’s head in pie. Oh the game! Lots of scoring here with two good offenses. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Poinsettia Bowl: This is one of the underrated bowls I’m interested in. Wyoming HC Craig Bohl did a helluva job this year with the Cowboys. Nobody picked them to be this good, but Wyoming pulled off a coup to win the MW Mountain division & posted wins over Boise St. and San Diego State! BYU is tough. They went 8-4 but their 4 losses came by a total of 8 points! The Cougars are THIS CLOSE to being 12-0! Kalani Sitake did a GREAT job at BYU! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Idaho Potato Bowl: What a job Paul Petrino has done in Moscow! The Vandals were 3-21 the two years before Petrino took over and in his first two seasons they were even worse at 2-21. Last year they improved to 4-8 & in Petrino’s 4th season the Vandals are bowl bound at 7-5! They also went 6-1 in their last 7 games! They’ll have it tough with Colorado State. The Rams can score with a very balanced offense. Tough game for Idaho but great year. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Bahamas Bowl: If Old Dominion doesn’t lose on the road to W.Kentucky, the Monarchs finish 10-2 and undefeated in CUSA. The probably win the conference title and get to 11-2. HC Bobby Wilder has this program humming & I wouldn’t doubt if they become THE premier team in CUSA. A win here makes them 10-3 on the season & I expect them to take care of E.Michigan. EMU HC Chris Creighton was 3-21 his 1st 2 seasons. This year EMU went 7-5!! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Armed Forces Bowl: How is this for disappointing! If Navy blows out Temple in the AAC Championship game, they had an outside shot at jumping W.Michigan & getting to the Cotton Bowl to play Wisconsin. Instead the Middies are playing Louisiana Tech in the Armed Forces Bowl. The Bulldogs had a solid year but their defense is suspect & if Navy comes to play they should have no issues forcing the issue on offense. Win & Navy finishes at 10-4. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Dollar General Bowl: Frank Solich has done an outstanding job with the Bobcats. Western Michigan got all the publicity this season, and rightly so, but Ohio’s 8-5 record is a bit misleading. The Bobcats never lost a game by more than 9 points and 4 of those 5 losses were by 7 points or less. That 8-5 record is close to 12-1! Troy is exactly the same. The Trojans had a great 9-3 season but 2 losses were close so 9-3 could be 11-1. This should be a very good bowl. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Hawaii Bowl: And this is where we make the case for too many bowl games as the 6-7 Rainbows get in via exemption to play Middle Tennessee State. A lot of credit has to go to Hawaii 1st year HC Nick Rolovich for getting Hawaii into a bowl given that over the past 4 seasons the Rainbows have an 11-39 record. Hawaii’s last bowl game was in 2010 & their last bowl win was in 2006. Tune in for MTSU QB Brent Stockstill & RB I’Tavius Murray. They’re big! Computer Hope
Computer Hope St. Petersburg Bowl: LOVE THIS GAME! Talk about a wild season for Miami-OH! They lose their first 6 games, but win their final 6 to get bowl eligible! Some of that was schedule, but the switch to QB Gus Ragland made a HUGE difference. Ragland is 6-0 as a starter this season with 15TD to ZERO picks! Nobody picked Miami-OH to get to 6-6 & now they get an SEC team in a bowl! Outside of WMU/Wisconsin, this is the MAC bowl game to watch! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Quick Lane Bowl: Potentially a snoozer, Maryland and Boston College are a couple of high major squads coming off 6-6 regular seasons. These are a couple of teams still finding their way. Steve Addazio at BC is still figuring out his rushing attack without Andre Williams and Tyler Murphy. DJ Durkin obviously has a defensive reputation & the Terps improved defensively but still have a ways to go. The bowl is nice here but both teams actually need the reps. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Independence Bowl: The funny thing about Vanderbilt is that their 6-6 record could easily be 10-2. The Commodores have some excellent wins on the resume. They beat MTSU, WKU, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Georgia. Four of their 6 losses were close! Derek Mason has done an outstanding job! They’ll be competitive. I want to see which NC State shows up. The NC State against Clemons & Florida St? Or the NC State against Louisville? I hope the former. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Heart of Dallas Bowl: The Black Knights get to their first bowl since 2010! If you feel like you are having deja vu, don’t worry. These two teams actually played each other on October 22 when North Texas upended Army 35-18! Making matters worse? North Texas got to a bowl game by exemption given their 5-7 record. That’s too bad. Army deserves better. How amazing is it that the Knights have wins over both Temple & Navy? What are the odds? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Military Bowl: Temple wins the AAC so they get Wake Forest in the Military Bowl? No wonder Matt Rhule left out in a hurry for Baylor!! This feels like a huge slap in the face to the Owls. Temple is on a 7-game winning streak. They are 10-3 & a conference champion. Wake Forest is 6-6 & 2-6 in their last 8 games. They finished 5th in the ACC Atlantic with a 3-5 conference record. I get the conference tie ins but this is a huge opportunity lost for college football. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Holiday Bowl: This should be a pretty cool game regarding contrasts in styles. Minnesota wants to control the clock with their running game while Wazzou obviously wants to light up the scoreboard with their passing attack. What’s interesting here is the Gophers have a very good run D but a suspect pass D. I wonder if they’ll try to rush 3-4 and drop 7-8 and dare the Cougars to run the football? Teams have tried this and the Cougs have made them pay! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cactus Bowl: A couple of close road losses to Wyoming & Air Force prevented the Broncos from a 12-0 & potentially 13-0 season which would have robbed Western Michigan of the Cotton Bowl. WMU is a better story so I’m glad it worked out, but Boise has to be fairly happy it was able to keep Bryan Harsin. There was some rumor about a move to Oregon which would have been tough. A win here make Harsin 32-8 in his first 3 years on the blue turf. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Pinstripe Bowl: This is a pretty neat bowl game that will be played in Yankee Stadium. I thought the Panthers had a good shot at winning the Coastal this year but 3 close losses took them from 11-1 to 8-4. The same could be said for Northwestern. I thought the Wildcats became the team nobody wanted to face in the Big 10. A couple of odd losses early & a loss to Minnesota took a potential 9-3 & made it 6-6. Both teams are going to try & run the ball. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Russell Athletic Bowl: OLD SCHOOL BIG EAST!!! I love this game. Couple of interesting subplots here. Miami-FL isn’t great but the Mountaineers are still looking for some validation of their 10-2 record. A win here to get to 11-2 at least shows they can win outside the Big XII. For the Canes, they were 0-3 in close games so that 8-4 is VERY close to 11-1. They’ve won 4-straight & really want to go out on a high note. Brad Kaaya can improve his stock here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Foster Farms Bowl: Getting better by subtraction? Former Indiana HC Kevin Wilson led the Hoosiers to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in 25 seasons yet resigned over philosophical differences and DC Tom Allen takes over. I don’t think Hoosier Nation could be any happier with Allen as HC and some think it was a preemptive move to keep Allen from taking a different HC job. What a wild ride in Bloomington! GO HOOSIERS! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Texas Bowl: This is an intriguing game on paper given that both teams are 8-4, but this has the feel to me of a K-State blowout win potentially because I’m not sure a lot of the A&M players will feel like this one is worth playing. Guys like Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall have nothing really to gain here. On the other hand, would Texas A&M dare to make a move away from Kevin Sumlin should the Aggies get blown out and turn in another 8-5 season? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Birmingham Bowl: Outstanding season for the Bulls and former HC Willie Taggart. Unfortunately Taggart has taken his talents to Eugene Oregon as the next HC of the Ducks so a new era in USF football starts with Charlie Strong! I love the move for South Florida because I think Strong is an OUTSTANDING recruiter and putting him in Florida should put a lot of teams on notice. It would be pretty cool to see USF finish the season 11-2. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Belk Bowl: This should be a really fun game. In his first season at Virginia Tech, HC Justin Fuente has really done some solid things with the Hokies offense making more of a run-centric unit and that will pay massive dividends down the road given Bud Foster’s defensive prowess. It’s not unlike what Arkansas does under Bret Bielema. VT will utilize their pass a bit more, but you get the gist. I really hope VT gets that 10th win but Arkansas needs a W too. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Alamo Bowl: This is the first game you can really start looking at conference strengths. By all accounts, Oklahoma St. was the 2nd best team in the Big XII. I’d say the Buffaloes were the 3rd best team in the Pac 12 behind Washington & USC. Does a #3 Pac 12 team beat the #2 Big XII team? The big matchup here will be the UC secondary against Mason Rudolph. I don’t think the Cowboys are going to able to air it out & Coach Mac gets the Buffs to 11-3! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Liberty Bowl: I think some people are a bit disappointed in Kirby Smart’s first season as HC of the Bulldogs but Georgia’s 7-5 record includes 3 games that were lost by a total of 4 points. The ball bounces the other way & UGA is 10-2 & SEC East champs. They beat UNC & Auburn. I don’t think Nick Chubb was 100% all season & Jacob Eason was a true frosh QB. Leonard Floyd & Jordan Jenkins were huge losses. Win or lose here, Georgia did well. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sun Bowl: Not saying this was a wasted season because the Tar Heels could still get a bowl win & finish 9-4, but when you look at back at their season, the Tar Heels should be 11-1. That would have won the Coastal & given UNC a good shot at New Year’s 6 bowl even if they lost to Clemson. Don’t dismiss Stanford in this one. I think the Cardinal is looking for respect & getting to 10-3 could potentially put them in the final AP Top-15. Love this game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Music City Bowl: Games like this are sort of neat because both are historically great programs and if you look at the jerseys alone it’s cool to see them, but this isn’t the mid-1990s. Nebraska is Big 10 #6 going up against The Vols are are SEC #6/7. What could make this game interesting is a blowout win for the Huskers. Butch Jones is on thin ice as it is. Could a blowout win for Nebraska combined with the 49ers firing Chip Kelly lead Kelly to Tennessee? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Arizona Bowl: It’s pretty cool for South Alabama to get to a bowl game even if it is with a 6-6 record, but this is a massive mismatch that the Falcons should take advantage of. Air Force is 8-4 and on a roll having won 5 straight including wins over Colorado St. and Boise State. They have one of the most dominant rushing attacks in the nation & South Alabama is going to be overwhelmed when they see it. This opened with AF -15. They cover. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Orange Bowl: I’d expect Michigan to come out and dominate this game. Florida St. is better than their 9-3 record, and as talented as Dalvin Cook is at tailback, I have a hard time believing he’s going to get away with running against Michigan when Ohio State couldn’t. If Deondre Francois tries to air it out, it’s turnover season & the Wolverines really start blowing it out. This might be the sexiest game outside of the playoffs, but Michigan kills it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Citrus Bowl: Love the storylines here. For LSU this is a chance for Ed Orgeron to really put this program at 100% going forward. It’s also a chance for Lenoard Fournette to boost his draft status & for Derrius Guice to start a Heisman campaign in 2017. For Louisville it’s a chance to end the season on a high note & a chance for Lamar Jackson to prove what a great player he is by taking on and beating by far the best defense he’s seen all season. Can’t wait. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Taxslayer Bowl: Great bounce back season for Paul Johnson and the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech was 3-9 last year & has a shot at 9-4 this year with a win over Kentucky. It was also a solid year for the Wildcats who got to a bowl game for the first time under HC Mark Stoops and beat Louisville to finish the regular season. I think this is a big jump off game for the 2017 season as both teams return a lot of players & should be even better in 2017. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Peach Bowl: Chris Petersen is an exceptionally creative coach so the thing to watch here is how well the Huskies can play in the 1st quarter while Alabama could potentially be taken off guard. At some point in time talent is going to settle in and the Tide have a GIGANTIC advantage here, but if UW gets out to a 14 point lead, can they hold on for dear life? This is best case for Washington. Worst case is that they’ve never seen anything like Bama’s front-7 and lose by 30. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Fiesta Bowl: I’m not a fan of this game. I understand the reasoning behind putting Ohio St. in the playoffs but Penn St. beat them and won the Big 10 championship. I think the Nittany Lions got a raw deal which taints the playoff regardless. A lot of talk here about how this game is Deshaun Watson against JT Barrett, but I think Clemson’s defense is going to be tough & the Tigers have so many weapons on offense against a fairly young defense. Still should be a great game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Outback Bowl: This is a great game for Iowa to end the season on a high note. The Hawkeyes have won 3 straight games which includes wins over Michigan and Nebraska. Their 8-4 record is a lot closer to 11-1 given their close losses than people imagine & it’s easy to forget that some thought Iowa had the schedule this year to set up another 12-0 run. Finishing 9-4 is great albeit somewhat disappointing. As for the Gators, they really need to avoid another late season collapse. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cotton Bowl: ROW THE BOAT!!! The Western Michigan story is a fantastic one, but this is a situation for Wisconsin that is almost unwinnable. Lose and you lost to a MAC school. Win and all you did was beat a MAC school. It’s interesting to note that WMU is 2-0 against Big 10 schools this year having beat Illinois and Northwestern by a combined 25 points. The Badgers beat both by a combined 59 points. It would be so cool to see PJ Fleck pull of a 14-0 season! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Rose Bowl: Two teams couldn’t be any hotter coming into this one. Penn St. has won 9 straight games including wins over Ohio St. & Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship game. USC has won 8 straight games including wins over Colorado, Washington, Notre Dame & UCLA. I really think these teams are out to prove they should have been in the playoffs. USC beat both UW & Colorado. Penn St. beat Ohio State. This might be the best bowl outside of the national championship. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sugar Bowl: Love this game. If the season started tomorrow and the Tigers were healthy, knowing what we know now, I think they’d go 11-1. War Eagle has a top-5 defense that is massively underrated in my opinion. Their running game is also exceptional so Auburn can put a lot of pressure on Oklahoma. I think OU is playing for respect. A win over Auburn legitimizes them as a team that maybe should have been in the playoffs. A loss here hurts the Big XII quite a bit. Computer Hope

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Air Force, Alabama, Appalachian St., Arkansas, Arkansas St., Army, Auburn, Baylor, Boise St., Boston College, Bowl Season, BYU, Central Michigan, Clemson, Colorado, Colorado St., Eastern Michigan, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Houston, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas St., Kentucky, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Memphis, Miami-FL, Miami-OH, Michigan, Middle Tennessee St., Minnesota, Mississippi St., Navy, NC State, NCAA, NCAA Playoffs, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Ohio, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Old Dominion, Penn St., Pittsburgh, San Diego St., South Alabama, South Carolina, South Florida, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, Texas AM, Toledo, Troy, Tulsa, UCF, USC, Utah, UTSA, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington, Washington St., West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan, Wisconsin, Wyoming | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 14 – BIG GAMES

With it being conference championship weekend, there wasn’t 10 games worth mentioning so I settled for eight. It should be an amazing weekend if nothing else because Michigan & Ohio St. (and even Oklahoma to a certain extent) are HUGE names that significantly factor into the playoff race yet aren’t playing. College football is nothing if not insanely interesting! There are massive implications for almost all of these games so let’s get to it.

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope The Pac 12 was going to be significantly upgraded with Mike MacIntyre & Chris Petersen took over programs and it’s already showing. Coach Petersen is in his 3rd year while Coach Mac is in his 4th leading the biggest program turnaround in Pac 12 history. I think if Washington wins they are in, but another interesting point is if Colorado loses, they can’t fall behind USC or else they risk losing out on the Rose Bowl. I think the Huskies win and win big. Computer Hope
Computer Hope So here is where it gets tricky. Western Michigan is the highest ranked team from the pack of 5 non-BCS conference. The highest ranked team out of that group of conferences plays in a New Year’s 6 bowl. We all thought it would be Houston this season. Turns out it’s Western Michigan. But is it? Navy ranks 19th so if the Broncos lose or if they win big & Navy blows out Temple, there is a shot that the Middies could usurp a 13-0 team. WMU needs a blow out! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Speaking of Navy….The Middies are 8-2 entering the AAC championship against the Owls who are a tremendous team in their own right. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that Navy beats Army meaning they are playing for 10-2. They can’t overlook Temple. The Owls have won 6 straight, are looking for their 10th win and over their last 4 games have allowed 5.8PPG. Matt Rhule is an OUTSTANDING head coach so Temple is more than able to win the AAC. Computer Hope
Computer Hope BEDLAM! This should be a great game and I can see Oklahoma St. keeping this close for a bit, but the Sooners should pull away and win by 20 or so points. Oklahoma has been destroying everyone in their path while winning 8 straight games. The Cowboys are playing well too but OU has a lot on the line. They need a blowout for possible playoff considerations, but apparently WR Dede Westbrook could very well be playing for the Heisman Trophy! Computer Hope
Computer Hope On the field Alabama is going to destroy Florida worse than they did last year when they took the Gators down 29-15. What’s more interesting is the rumors that Gators HC Jim McElwain could bolt to Oregon! Does it make sense? Yeah I think it does. McElwain is a West Coast guy born in Montana & an E.Washington grad. Florida is a PREMIER job but what makes it for me is that the recruiting pressure at Oregon isn’t nearly what it is at Florida. It matters. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’ve seen a lot of commentators say they think Clemson is going to blow the barn doors off of Virginia Tech, but I’m not so sure that is a possibility. This actually might be the most strategic of the conference championship games. The Hokies have become a power running team under Justin Fuente in his 1st year. If they can keep Deshaun Watson off the field & control clock, VT should keep it close. Will it be enough to pull off the upset? Too hard to tell. Computer Hope
Computer Hope And here is where all the implications reside! I think the playoff committee having Ohio St. #2 really gums things up but it could get resolved rather quickly. If Wisconsin wins I can see Ohio St. making the playoffs despite not being Big 10 champs because they beat the Badgers. If Penn St. wins it gets tougher because PSU beat Ohio State. Dream scenario for Big 10? Clemson, Washington & Oklahoma lose putting 3 Big 10 teams in with Alabama! Nutty! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The one game on the list that isn’t a championship game or a de facto championship game, I wanted to note it because a West Virginia win would give the Mountaineers a 10-2 regular season record with a shot at 11-2 with a bowl win. It would be WVU’s best finish since 2007 when they ended the year 11-2 & ranked #6. I don’t know if they could climb that high but top-12 and maybe top-10 is a possibility. College football is much better when WVU is relevant. Computer Hope

December 3, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Baylor, Big Games, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Must See Games, Navy, NCAA, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Temple, Virginia Tech, Washington, Week 14, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 9

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope If it was possible for Alabama to look better by not playing a game then it happened this weekend as Michigan, Clemson, Washington, Louisville & Ohio State all had tough times despite all five teams pulling out victories. One important development while the Tide was resting is the Auburn 11-point win over Ole Miss in Oxford. Auburn isn’t going away and is getting better week by week. All of a sudden, Alabama looks like it has its two toughest tests of the year still to come when they take on LSU and an excellent Auburn team.
#2 Computer Hope For the first time all season a RB got off against Michigan as Spartans RB LJ Scott got loose for 139 yards & a TD on 22 carries. Michigan has been dominant on the ground all season long but the Michigan St. front-7 did a good job containing the Wolverines running attack. Anytime you can go into East Lansing & pull of a 9-point win you have to be pleased. This is Michigan’s first win against Sparty in 4-years with Michigan being 2-7 in their last 9. This was Michigan St.’s 6th straight loss! Good grief what has happened?
#3 Computer Hope There is a lot of talk about Clemson making this huge rally, but the Tigers were never that far out of the lead against Florida State. It looks big because the Tigers outscored the Noles 17-6 in the 4th quarter, but it was 28-20 FSU going into the 4th. Since 2012, Dabo Swinney is 14-2 in games decided by 7-point or less! That’s an incredible statistic when you think about how regression should take hold. At some point it doesn’t point to luck but rather that Swinney is a tremendous coach. Nick Saban’s record in that time: 9-5.
#4 Computer Hope Going into Utah & getting a 31-24 win is a huge get for the Huskies unless you believe that Utah isn’t a good team & Washington should have won by more than 7. Frankly, I don’t know where I stand on this one. Utah is 7-2 which is solid & losing by 7 to UW is impressive to me. On the other hand, who has Utah beat? UCLA without Josh Rosen? Beating USC before they figured things out? Beating BYU? I like the punishing way Utah plays football so I think it’s a solid win but when you look at resumes, UW needed a bit more.
#5 Computer Hope Speaking of resumes, Louisville needed Lamar Jackson to turn into Superman to escape Charlottesville with a 32-25 win over a Virginia team that currently sits at 2-6! The Cardinals need to be really careful from this point because they need a lot of style points to potentially make the playoffs as an 11-1 team. All I’m seeing now is a team that is living off a win over Florida State, but who has struggled against Virginia & Duke! Louisville should win out, but they need to beat teams by 25-40 points a game instead of seven!
#6 Computer Hope Beating New Mexico State 52-10 was a mere formality for the Aggies. Given the way Louisville & Ohio State has been playing recently, you’d have to think that Texas A&M is the likely 1-loss team to gain admission to the 4-team playoff given their only loss is a road loss to Alabama. The win over Auburn looks better and better while beating Arkansas by 21 points is signficant. When everyone is healthy & things are falling right on defense, this is arguably the 2nd best team in the nation at the moment. They shouldn’t lose again.
#7 Computer Hope Kamryn Pettway had his best game of the season, torching the Rebels defense for 236 rushing yards and a score on 30 carries. In Auburn’s last 3 games, Pettway has rushed for 597yds/6TD (6.2ypc) all of them being victories. Beating Ole Miss 40-29 was Auburn’s last big hurdle before traveling to Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl. Keep in mind that if Texas A&M loses to LSU and Auburn beats Alabama, then Auburn would win the SEC West! I’m not sure that happens, but there isn’t a team hotter than War Eagle at the moment.
#8 Computer Hope Northwestern is proving to be an exceptionally feisty team, but 24-20 in Columbus? The Buckeyes have to do better than that. Nothing really stands out to be honest. You have to be impressed with the Wildcats here who have come a long way from the beginning of the season when they opened with back-to-back losses against Western Michigan and Illinois State. The Buckeyes aren’t out of the woods either. This week they have Nebraska with Michigan St. and Michigan still waiting. They need to figure things out quickly.
#9 Computer Hope The Badgers had to withstand a furious Nebraska comeback and take the game into OT, but the Badgers defense was able to stiffen up resulting in a 23-17 win over an undefeated Nebraska squad. Wisconsin still needs Nebraska to lose another game in order to win the Big 10 West, but the Cornhuskers travel to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes which should get the job done. The Badgers can’t overlook Northwestern next week in Evanston. The Wildcats have suddenly become a difficult team to manage so game faces on!
#10 Computer Hope Like Alabama, LSU was on a bye before the enormous SEC showdown. I think it’s really interesting that Nick Saban has referred to LSU as an undefeated team considering the Tigers haven’t lost since Ed Orgeron took over for Les Miles. To be fair, Orgeron has played in Baton Rouge for 3 games against Missouri, Southern Miss & Ole Miss, but 3-0 is better than 0-3! LSU can still win the SEC West if they win out. It’s amazing that despite all the hype around Alabama, there are still 4 teams in the West that could win it!
#11 Computer Hope THEY CAME THIS CLOSE!!! Right now Nebraska has to forget the 23-17 loss to Wisconsin and move on to Ohio State. It’s not going to get easier in Ohio Stadium, but I think the Cornhuskers proved they can stay with anyone in the Big 10. Nebraska still has a shot for a fantastic season. If they beat Ohio State they should be able to win out & get to 11-1. That mean they are likely facing an 11-1/12-0 Michigan team in the Big 10 championship. A win there & it’s playoff time. A loss and they still probably go to the Rose Bowl.
#12 Computer Hope I think there are a few ways to read the Utah/Washington game, but I think Washington is an ELITE team and Utah did a good job playing its game and imposing their will on a Huskies squad that has been utterly dominant all year long. The Utes will probably get a shot at revenge if they can walk into Boulder and beat Colorado in their season finale. At this point I don’t think Utah can crash the playoff party but they could play HUGE spoiler by winning the Pac 12. It would take UW out of the playoffs & out of the Rose Bowl.
#13 Computer Hope The Trojans have really started to figure things out. The 45-24 win last Thursday over California wasn’t insignificant. The Bears have played spoiler a couple of times this year & can put up quite a few points. USC gave Cal their first blowout loss of the season & held the Bears to their lowest scoring output of 2016. Sam Darnold once again was outstanding at QB with 5TD passes giving him 16 in his last 4 games! USC could still win the Pac 12 South. They need Colorado & Utah to each lose another game but it’s possible.
#14 Computer Hope A completely gift of a ranking considering Tennessee just lost to South Carolina. Hard to rank the Vols lower considering they beat Florida fairly easily early on in the season but that win is going to mean less and less as time passes. It has to be brutal in Knoxville right now. If Butch Jones can’t win with the current roster then it’s very difficult to see him getting it done in the next few years. Maybe 4 years isn’t enough but Tennessee at worst this season should have won the SEC East and that is all but a lost possibility now.
#15 Computer Hope QB Luke Del Rio played better against Georgia than he did against Missouri which is a good sign going forward for the Gators, but Florida’s defense is becoming downright disgusting! Florida held Georgia to 21 yards rushing on 19 carries. UGA managed just 8 first downs and less than 150 total yards in UF’s 24-10 victory. Florida now ranks 2nd in scoring defense, 9th in rush defense, 2nd in pass defense & 2nd in total defense. They’ll win the SEC East and then get murdered for the 2nd straight year by the Crimson Tide.
#16 Computer Hope Colorado finally had a bye week this past Saturday after 8 straight weekends where they ended 6-2. Even the most fervent Colorado fan might not have seen the breakout the Buffs are having this season under Coach Mac. With 3 homes games left in the next 4 and their lone road game coming against a terrible Arizona team, Colorado should have their sights set on 10-2 and a Pac 12 South championship. The playoffs are probably out of the picture but if Colorado could see the Rose Bowl if Washington goes undefeated.
#17 Computer Hope The Hogs were on a bye this past week which gave them time to lick their wounds after a soul crushing 56-3 hammering at the hands of Auburn. I’m not going to get too critical of Arkansas for the loss. Auburn might very well wind up in the playoffs. The Razorbacks have losses to Auburn, Alabama and Texas A&M. So would probably 110 other teams who play FBS football. At this point I think a 10-win season would do wonders for HC Bielema & his staff. They’ll have to win out & win the bowl, but they have the schedule to do it.
#18 Computer Hope You really can’t say enough about how much 1st year HC Justin Fuente has improved the Hokies offense. Virginia Tech sits at 6-2 after a FANTASTIC 39-36 win at PITT this past week & offensively they are averaging 36.3PPG. It sounds absurd but the Hokies haven’t averaged that many points per game since 2000 when they finished 11-1 & ranked #6 in the final poll. VT is probably better than #18 but the loss to Syracuse & Tennessee look rough. They should win out & get to 10-2. Then the fun starts when they play Clemson.
#19 Computer Hope The Tar Heels are coming off a by sitting at 6-2 with a schedule they should win out with. Unfortunately for North Carolina, their one loss came to Virginia Tech meaning they wouldn’t win the ACC Coastal unless Va Tech lost again which doesn’t look likely. At this point UNC could get another 11 wins season assuming they win out & get a bowl win. That would be back-to-back 11-win seasons for Larry Fedora and the Tar Heels have a lot coming back next season especially if Mitch Trubisky & Elijah Hood stick around.
#20 Computer Hope Dalvin Cook tried his best but even he wasn’t good enough to beat Clemson by himself as FSU fell to the Tigers 37-34. Florida St. isn’t completely out of the woods just yet. They still have road games against NC State & Syracuse combined with a season finale against Florida who has a defense that should be rowdy. Hard to complain about the Noles at this point. They have losses to Louisville, Clemson & North Carolina. There is no more room for error though. A season in which FSU didn’t win 10 games would be disappointing.
#21 Computer Hope The Cougars showed incredible resiliency against Oregon St. last week as they came back from being down 24-6 at halftime on the road to finishing the game with a 35-31 win which gave Wazzou their 6th straight win & their 3rd straight road win. QB Luke Falk was outstanding throwing for 415yds/5TD. Washington St. now gets back-to-back home games against Arizona & California meaning they should be 8-2 when traveling to Colorado. They are winning close but they are winning and that is all that matters right now.
#22 Computer Hope The good news is that Oklahoma finally looked like Oklahoma in a 56-3 win this past weekend. The bad news is that they did it against Kansas so it’s like it never really happened. With Baylor & West Virginia losing games, Oklahoma is the last undefeated team in conference play. It seems like a disappointing season because of the early losses to Ohio St. & Houston, but if Oklahoma wins out they’ll finish 11-2 as Big XII Champions, on a 10-game winning streak and likely top-5/top-7 ranking. That’s nothing to be ashamed of!
#23 Computer Hope It took Penn St. a half to get it going against Purdue, but the Nittany Lions poured it on the Boilermakers, outscoring them 45-7 in the 2nd half en route to a 62-24 victory. RB Saquon Barkley was unstoppable leading PSU with 207 yards rushing and also receiving with 70 yards. QB Trace McSorley looked very efficient and the Penn St. defense looked loose. They held Purdue to 46 rushing yards & forced 4 turnovers. The difference to me is Penn St.’s defense the last couple of weeks. The Lions should win out & get to 10-2.
#24 Computer Hope The 37-20 win over West Virginia was impressive and it’s good to remember that if the refs would have screwed OK State against Central Michigan, the Cowboys would be sitting at 7-1 with their only loss coming at Baylor by 11 points. Keep in mind that Oklahoma St. isn’t beating cupcakes either. They have wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Texas. The schedule is rough over the next 4 weeks including a road finale in Norman that could very well be for the Big XII championship. This team is a lot better than most think.
#25 Computer Hope West Virginia has won this year by defending the pass exceptionally well in a pass happy league & avoiding bad turnover margins. In their 37-20 loss to Oklahoma St., Cowboys QB Mason Rudolph went 26/36 for 273yds/3TD. WR James Washington was a big play machine & WVU committed 3 turnovers while getting ZERO take aways. It’s extremely hard to win in Stillwater playing like that. WVU can still finish 11-1 and win the Big XII but they need Oklahoma St. to lose another game. Is 11-1 enough for playoff discussion?

DROPPING OUT

#22 BAYLOR: Even if it was by just one point, losing at Texas pretty much finishes Baylor’s season. I suppose the Bears could still finish 11-1 and win the Big XII outright, but they could also lose out and finish 6-6 and I wouldn’t be surprised.

#24 MISSISSIPPI: It’s hard for me to rank Ole Miss when the Rebels are 3-5. Not only that but they’ve lost 3 straight games and 4 of their last 6. On the other hand, their 5 losses have come against Florida State, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU & Auburn. Ole Miss still has Texas A&M on the schedule so they could be looking at a 6-6 regular season, but if you add A&M to the list of losses, how many teams could do better than 6-6 with the schedule they’ve played? The big letdown in Oxford is the defense. Last year Ole Miss allowed 22.6PPG. This season that number has catapulted to 32.5! Giving up an extra 10PPG will cause quite a few more losses.

November 3, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Power 25, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 9, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 9 – BIG GAMES

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope This might be our first legitimate game that will determine a playoff team. If Clemson can get by Florida St. this weekend then the Tigers have an easy road ahead which should portend to a 12-0 season & I don’t expect them to have trouble in the ACC Championship. A loss for the Seminoles has consequences too. It would mean a possible 9-4 season is a possibility meaning FSU’s last 4 seasons could be: 14-0, 13-1, 10-3 and now 9-4. I don’t think that’s a trend Jimbo Fisher wants to keep seeing. Computer Hope
Computer Hope To be honest I don’t think Utah has ANY IDEA what is in store for them this weekend when the Huskies come to town. If recent trends are any indication then the Utes might lose by 30+. Last week Washington beat Oregon St. 41-17. Two weeks ago Utah beat Oregon St. 19-14. Last week Utah gave up over 500 total yards & 45 points to UCLA. Washington’s offense can run circles around what the Bruins can do. Utah certainly needs the respect a win here would give them, but I think the task is too tough. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This should be a great Big 10 West game with a lot on the line for Nebraska. The once proud & storied program has definitely not seen the heights it achieved in the 1990s which is 20 years ago. A win in Madison could not only drive the Cornhuskers to 8-0, but it would certainly legitimize the team especially if they beat the Badgers by more than 7 which is by how many points both Michigan and Ohio St. beat Wisconsin. It would also set up a tremendous game between Nebraska & Ohio St. next week! Computer Hope
Computer Hope West Virginia has been proving how good they are the last couple of weeks with a dominant defensive win in Lubbock over Texas Tech & then last week’s romp of TCU, but there is still something impressive about going into Stillwater & getting a win. Keep this in mind if you are hoping WVU can get into the playoffs. Earlier in the year Central Michigan went into Stillwater and beat the Cowboys. If West Virginia is for real, this game shouldn’t be anything other than a minor speed bump to 12-0. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s not Alabama and it’s not even in Athens, but finally Florida plays AND finally they play someone of merit! The Gators are really hoping Luke Del Rio plays better in his 2nd game back from injury because last week against Missouri he was awful. Florida’s defense is outstanding & the running game did a great job against Mizzou last week, but Del Rio can’t throw 3 picks and expect to beat LSU. Florida can probably get by UGA, but they need avoid that 2nd SEC loss if they want to win the SEC East. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Ole Miss’ season is turning into a dumpster fire although you can hardly blame them given the schedule they’ve played, but this is a huge opportunity for the Rebels to get a win over a quality opponent. Unfortunately I’m not sure it is going to happen. Auburn is playing as well as anyone in the country! If you had to rank the SEC teams on how they are playing right now, I’d have War Eagle at #2 behind Alabama. Speaking of which, the Iron Bowl is going to be amazing if Auburn keeps winning! Computer Hope
Computer Hope You can certainly make an argument that you can throw out the records when it comes to a rivalry game, but in this case you can certainly keep them in! Michigan St. is having a terrible season while Michigan is making a good case for being the best team in the nation. Throw in the revenge factor for the Wolverines after losing in Ann Arbor last season & you have a recipe for a 59-3 blowout for the Maize and Blue. A bigger question might be what in the world has happened to Michigan St.!? Computer Hope
Computer Hope I really like this game. On the one hand I think it’s a good opportunity for Texas to get a solid road win & the Longhorns have been playing better in Austin than on the road. It probably doesn’t matter at this point but Charlie Strong needs all the help he can get. On the other hand this is a good opportunity for Baylor to bolster its resume a bit. No, Texas isn’t a top-20 team, but they do play physical football and it’ll be a good test for Baylor and a chance to get a valuable conference road win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Virginia Tech can lose this game and still win the ACC Coastal by virtue of having beaten North Carolina, but the even better question might be is whether or not Pittsburgh can win the Coastal if they manage to upset the Hokies!? The answer to that question is probably not because Virginia Tech and North Carolina have easy ACC schedules from this point forward while Pittsburgh has road games against Miami-FL and Clemson after they play VA Tech. Pittsburgh is better than their record. Tough year. Computer Hope
Computer Hope CATHOLICS v. CONVICTS…..well….not really. This is hardly the 1980s when this matchup would have been bananas! Notre Dame is coming into this one 2-5 without a meaningful win to speak of and really no football identity. Miami-FL has lost 3 straight including last week’s 37-16 humiliation in Blacksburg! Jimmy Johnson would have allowed for that when he was in Coral Gables! That said, this is still a cool rivalry game that is fun to watch if only because you are cheering the jerseys! Both need wins badly! Computer Hope

October 28, 2016 Posted by | Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma St., Pittsburgh, Texas, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Week 9, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 8

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Texas A&M took a 14-13 lead early in the 3rd quarter but the Tide scored 20 unanswered to route the Aggies 33-14 in convincing fashion. People keep looking for that game that Alabama barely pulls through en route to a championship because teams usually have one game where they need a little help from Lady Luck, but I’m not sure that is coming for Alabama. They are THAT MUCH better than everyone else. Their close call might have been the game against Ole Miss, but still. This is the best Alabama team I’ve seen.
#2 Computer Hope It’s hard to do comparisons but Michigan beat Penn St. 49-10 and Penn St. just finished beating Ohio State! If there is a team that could possibly stop Alabama, it’s the Wolverines and their defense which continues to be incredible. You know the standards are high when a 41-8 route of Illinois is almost seen as a disappointment. QB Wilton Speight doesn’t beat himself & this is a brutally punishing rushing offense. Michigan ran the ball 59 times against Illinois using 14 different players. I think Harbaugh ran it once!
#3 Computer Hope I’ve been trying to watch as much Washington football as I can and what is amazing about this team is the speed. Everyone is fast especially the defense & skill players. UW put a beating on Oregon St. 41-17 but you can see that Chris Petersen is resting the players now. The Huskies were up 31-0 at halftime and at this point it’s about keeping the team healthy. If there are any doubters left, Washington is going to put them to rest over their remaining five games. I’d expect Petersen to understand that style points will matter.
#4 Computer Hope Clemson had an interesting bye week. On the one hand the wins over Auburn & Louisville keep looking better and better. On the other hand, Auburn isn’t the same team Clemson beat opening week and Louisville just demolished an NC State team 54-13 that should have beaten Clemson the week prior. The Tigers got a week off before going down to Tallahassee to face Florida State. If they can convincingly beat the Noles, nothing really stands in their way from 12-0 and a shot at the ACC Championship. They keep winning.
#5 Computer Hope GOOD GRIEF! Louisville put the HAMMER down on NC State 54-13 and looked like the Cardinals team we thought we saw earlier in the year before losing to Clemson and barely getting by Duke. Louisville actually led 44-0 at halftime! Louisville held NC State to 9 first downs & 14 yards rushing while forcing 3 turnovers. It wasn’t a flawless game offensively for the Cardinals but the defense showed up in a big way. NC State might have been tired after playing Notre Dame & Clemson before, but this was an impressive win.
#6 Computer Hope The 33-14 final looks bad but A&M had quite a bit of momentum in the game until Alabama DL Jonathan Allen recovered a fumble and took it 30 yards to the house to put the Tide up 26-14. Giving Alabama that much momentum in their own stadium was too much for the Aggies to overcome so the dream season is likely over. The Aggies aren’t completely out of it yet though. They still get Ole Miss & LSU at home so 11-1 is still on the table. There are a lot worse things than losing to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. They’re alive.
#7 Computer Hope The blocked FG return TD in the 4th quarter that put Penn St. up 24-21 was brutal & the Buckeyes couldn’t find a way to win this time. Ohio St. is fantastic there is no denying that and I’m not trying to say the Big 10 East is equivalent to the SEC West, but I’m not sure it’s that far off either. If Penn St. really does elevate their game then the Big 10 East has Michigan, Michigan St., Penn St. & Ohio St. all playing well. Having to play in Madison the week before didn’t help matters & it’s hard to win 2 HUGE games consecutively.
#8 Computer Hope Gus Malzahn’s offense is beautiful to watch when clicking on all cylinders which is what happened this weekend against Arkansas as War Eagle to the Hogs to the woodshed & spanked them 56-3! Forget the fact that Auburn ran for almost 600yds & 7TD! How about the defensive effort by the Tigers in holding Arkansas to 25 rushing yards on 31 attempts! Before Auburn, Arkansas averaged 4.3ypc on 42 carries a game! Auburn completely dictated the pace of this game & they are proving to have an incredible defense.
#9 Computer Hope Iowa might not be last year’s version but it’s never easy to go into Iowa City and get a win. Wisconsin took care of business beating the Hawkeyes 17-9 in a game the Badgers controlled from the start. Wisconsin held the ball for 37+ minutes & didn’t commit a single penalty. The defense held Iowa to 83 yards rushing & 2 of 13 on 3rd down. The Badgers return home to take on Nebraska & it’s a MUST WIN for Wisconsin if it wants to win the Big 10 West. I think the Badgers win convincingly and head for a 10-2 finish.
#10 Computer Hope At what point does the national media have to start taking West Virginia seriously? They go into Lubbock and hold a Texas Tech team that was averaging 55+PPG to only 17. This is the same Texas Tech offense that dropped 59 on Oklahoma! This past week they welcome TCU into Morgantown and throttle the Frogs 34-10! West Virginia has done a good job defending the pass this season & when you look at the makeup of the secondary it makes sense. They are big & physical. Good pass defense equals a lot of wins in the Big XII.
#11 Computer Hope Welcome back Leonard Fournette! Fournette wasted no time in reminding everyone he’s the best RB in the nation by going for 284 yards & 3TD on only 16 carries against Ole Miss in a LSU 38-21 victory. Fournette went over 300 total yards by tacking on 25 receiving yards! The Bayou Bengals have been a different team under Ed Orgeron going 3-0 with an average victory of 42-13! The schedule stiffens considerably starting this week with Alabama, but note that if LSU wins out, they win the SEC West & likely the SEC!
#12 Computer Hope The Vols got a much deserved bye week after four straight games against Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama. Tennessee’s remaining five games should give them no pause to worry and a 10-2 regular season record is in the bag. What Tennessee has to be worried about is Florida figuring a way to win the rest of their games. It seems unlikely given that the Gators still have Arkansas, LSU & Georgia on the schedule, but if Florida wins out, Tennessee actually loses the SEC East to Florida despite beating them 38-28!
#13 Computer Hope The Trojans had a bye week after winning 3 straight games & improving to 4-3. USC has played a lot better since Sam Darnold has been inserted into the starting lineup as QB but the Trojan defense has gotten quite a bit saltier over the last 3 weeks than earlier in the season. USC gets a couple of home games against Oregon & California that should push them to 5-3 before trudging up to Seattle to take on Washington. That’s actually too bad because a loss there probably ends their slim hopes of winning the Pac 12 South.
#14 Computer Hope Sometimes you win ugly and Colorado did just that beating Stanford 10-5 in Pao Alto! If you want an indication of just how far coach Mike MacIntyre has taken this football team, consider that Colorado joined the Pac 10 in 2011 and since that time has played Stanford 3 times. They’ve lost all 3 by the combined score of 138-17! Last year Stanford beat UC 42-10 in Boulder. Now Colorado is winning! When was the last time Colorado beat Stanford? It was 1990 which also happened the be the year Colorado won a national title!
#15 Computer Hope It was an embarrassing loss to Auburn to be sure, but in a game like that the winner was going to be the one who could establish the run and dictate the time of possession. The Razorbacks tried to do this and succeeded at some level because they won the time of possession battle but turnovers & 3rd down conversions did them in. Auburn simply imposed their will & made too many big plays on defense. It happens. I can’t knock Arkansas too much. They have losses to Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama. What can you do?
#16 Computer Hope RB Joe Williams had a record setting day going for 332 yards & 4TD in Utah’s 52-45 win over UCLA, but the 45 points given up is the problem itself. Josh Rosen didn’t even suit for the Bruins in this one. UCLA rushed for 46 yards & committed 5 turnovers yet Utah squeaked it out by 7 points? A win is a win and 7-1 is 7-1, but Utah is living off a win over USC in Sam Darnold’s first start. This week they host Washington. A victory over the Huskies will get everyone’s attention, but right now the schedule seems like a lot of fluff.
#17 Computer Hope It feels like Florida has barely played this year given that they’ve had 2 off weeks in the last 3 given their bye week and then the rainout game against LSU that they’ll make up. Florida was on their bye week this past week. The schedule starts to get interesting this week with Georgia. Florida’s 5-1 but their 5 wins have come against Kentucky, UMass, North Texas, Vanderbilt & Missouri. It’s the softest 5-1 in the nation! At least Utah has a win over USC. The SEC East is starting to become a punchline and that’s a problem.
#18 Computer Hope Nebraska is being ranked the top-10 by the polls because they are 7-0 and they’re Nebraska, but the past two weeks have seen the Cornhuskers play those DOMINANT Big 10 teams Indiana & Purdue and come away beating both by the combined scored of 54-36. They barely escaped Bloomington with a win & when you look at the schedule, their best win to date might actually be the road win over the Hoosiers! Nebraska finally plays someone this weekend. Let’s see how they do when they walk into Camp Randall Stadium!
#19 Computer Hope Another week another win for the Cougars who took down Arizona St. 37-32 in Tempe which makes it Wazzou’s 5th straight win & improved their record to 5-2. How is this for an amazing statistic. Washington St. ran for -52 yards in the game. They were out rushed by the Sun Devils 113 to -52 yet won! The big news coming out of the game was Mike Leach accusing ASU of stealing signs, but the Cougs still got a win. Washington St. has a real shot at getting to 9-2 before hosting Washington to see who takes the Pac 12 North.
#20 Computer Hope If you like offense then you loved Oklahoma 66-59 win over Texas Tech. Baker Mayfield passed for 545 yards & 7TD while Joe Mixon ran for 263yds & 2TD. For the Red Raiders, Patrick Mahomes passed for 734 yards & 5TD & Texas Tech averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Big picture this was a terrible effort for Oklahoma considering that West Virginia came in the week prior and held Texas Tech to 17 points & 379 total yards. Oklahoma gave up 59 points & 854 total yards! Oklahoma almost gave up 1000 yards on defense! Awful.
#21 Computer Hope It’s really tough to figure out how Virginia Tech can beat North Carolina 34-3 one week. Follow that win with a 31-17 loss to Syracuse and then follow that loss with a 37-16 win over Miami-FL. The Hokies remind me of some of Frank Beamer’s great teams. They ground & pound on offense effectively. QB Jerod Evans is playing extremely well. They get after it on defense with a lot of pressure on the opposing offense. They really should win out and get to 10-2 which would be fantastic but they can’t have another Syracuse game.
#22 Computer Hope Baylor and Florida might as well be the same team. Neither team has beaten anyone and both teams have played once in the last 3 weeks. The Bears are 6-0 which I guess means something if Nebraska being 7-0 means something. The schedule gets quite a bit tougher for the Bears moving forward starting this week with a road trip to Austin. Baylor should start moving up the rankings with more wins under the belt and if they & West Virginia can hold serve, both could be 11-0 when they meet on December 3rd in Morgantown.
#23 Computer Hope The Tar Heels would be much higher if they didn’t have the huge blunder against Virginia Tech. North Carolina went into Charlottesville and hammered Virginia 34-16 behind great efforts from Mitch Trubisky, Elijah Hood and a good defensive effort. You have to wonder what sort of impact Hood would have had on the Virginia Tech outcome. He’s missed one game this season & it was against the Hokies. Carolina certainly has the talent to win out but they need another Va Tech loss to win the Coastal & get to Charlotte.
#24 Computer Hope What a year Ole Miss has had!? They are 3-4 with their losses coming to Florida St., Alabama, LSU & Arkansas. Three of those 4 games were on the road and the lone home game came against Alabama! It’s hard to believe that the 23 teams I have ahead of Ole Miss are actually better than the Rebels but this is life in the SEC West. It doesn’t get any easier either. This week the Rebels strap it up against Auburn, and they still have Texas A&M later in the year. A 6-6 season is a distinct possibility & that would be a disappointment.
#25 Computer Hope OK Penn State! You had no business winning that football game, but you got the signature win over Ohio State. Let’s see you run with it! Penn St. has a couple of landmines to dodge in Indiana & Iowa, but Michigan St. shouldn’t be a problem so the Nittany Lions have a legitimate shot at 10-2 & 2nd place in the Big 10 East. That’s a major win for James Franklin and the program & hopefully Franklin can use to his benefit on the recruiting trail & get Penn St. back on par with Michigan and Ohio State. I’m rooting hard for them!

DROPPING OUT

#20 BOISE ST.: The Broncos didn’t do anything to not be ranked, but the schedule is so soft. I would have liked to have seen a better performance against BYU. They are pretty much living off the Washington State win at this point although I’m not sure Boise could beat the Cougars if they played tomorrow. What’s even more sad is that this week’s game against Wyoming is being billed as a competitive game. Come on!

#21 HOUSTON: You can’t lose to SMU 38-16. Tom Herman’s star is fading just a bit after losses to both Navy & SMU! He better take that LSU job while he can!

#25 NC STATE: I don’t want to bang NC State too hard after getting crushed by Louisville. Just ask Florida State what that feels like. When Louisville is firing on all cylinders they are probably the 2nd or 3rd best team in the nation. NC State is still arguably the 3rd best team in the ACC and they can make a pretty good argument they are the 2nd best team behind only Louisville.

 

October 25, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise St., Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi, NC State, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Penn St., Power 25, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 8, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 7

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 6

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope How much of a difference does Damien Harris make? Harris didn’t get much run time against Kent St. & Kentucky because of health but when the sophomore gets at least 9 touches he averages 112 rushing yards per game and averages 9.2ypc! Forget about the 30 points Arkansas put up as a knock against the Bama defense. Arkansas is a running team and Alabama only gave them 73 rushing yards on 36 carries. The Tide completely took their offensive game plan away. A 35-17 score at halftime left no doubt.
#2 Computer Hope The Tigers clearly had no emotional letdown after a dramatic win over Louisville last week as they went up to Chestnut Hill and destroyed Boston College 56-10! Clemson averaged about 8.4 yards per play while Boston College averaged 3.5 yards per play. What’s interesting about this game though is that BC had the ball for 38+ minutes & ran the ball twice as much as they passed despite the deficit. I like that Steve Addazio kept to the game plan however misguided, but Clemson’s big play ability is outstanding.
#3 Computer Hope There is winning big and running up the score and then there is what Michigan did on the road at Rutgers on Saturday. Michigan DEMOLISHED the Scarlet Knights 78-0 but it could have been much worse. Had Ty Issac ran for one more yard, the Wolverines would have had 3 rushers go over 100 yards for the day. Michigan ran for 481 yards & 9TD! Jabrill Peppers even ran for 2TD in what is becoming an obvious Heisman winner. And I’d be remiss not to mention that Michigan has the #1 scoring defense in the nation!
#4 Computer Hope Indiana doesn’t have the best defense in the nation but you can’t help but be impressed by Ohio State’s running attack. JT Barrett didn’t have a great passing day but he ran for 137 yards & a TD. Curtis Samuel chipped in 82yds/1TD and Mike Weber ran for 71yds/2TD! As a team Ohio St. ran for 290 yards & 4TD! Beating the Hoosiers 38-17 doesn’t look great but it got the job done. The Buckeyes travel to Madison next week & that should be a doozy! It could also be a preview of the Big 10 championship!
#5 Computer Hope I said last week that in order to be the man you had to beat the man. Over the last two weeks Washington has beaten both Stanford & Oregon by the combined score of 114-27. The Huskies didn’t just beat the Cardinal & Ducks. They humiliated them on national television including a massacre of Oregon in Autzen Stadium by the score of 70-21! QB Jake Browning threw 6TD and ran for another 2. The Huskies rank #5 in my Power-25 at the moment but going by the eye test they might be the best team I’ve seen so far.
#6 Computer Hope The Aggies almost succumbed to Tennessee’s juju late in the game but a double OT interception of a Josh Dobbs errant pass preserved the Aggie’s 45-38 victory over the Vols. It’s hard to argue with Texas A&M’s resume. They are now 6-0 with wins over Tennessee, UCLA, Auburn & Arkansas! They have a week off before heading to Tuscaloosa in a game that should decide the SEC West. QB Trevor Knight has been a huge asset to this squad. He’s accounted for 18TD thus far & I think is a sleeper Heisman candidate.
#7 Computer Hope The Cardinals were on bye this week but things didn’t go so well for the Cardinals as Houston lost to Navy. That hurts Louisville a bit because now Houston can’t be undefeated when Louisville faces them. A win over an undefeated team looks a lot better than a win over a 1-loss team. On the other hand the Cardinals need some help in getting to the playoff and Houston loses pretty much eliminates any non Power-5 conference team from stealing a bid. They still need help but 11-1 should be in sight.
#8 Computer Hope You play with that much fire and eventually you are going to get burned. Tennessee once again came out flat in the first half, losing 21-7 after 30 minutes. Once again UT storms back in the 2nd half & beats A&M 28-14, but the Vols couldn’t get it down in OT and lost 45-38. The Vols dominated this game statistically but they committed 7 turnovers and 12 penalties for almost 100 yards. Tennessee is a very good football team, but you can’t turn the ball over against an equally good A&M squad and expect a road victory.
#9 Computer Hope The 34-3 win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill was eye-opening. If Virginia Tech was able to close out Tennessee in Week 2 then we might be talking about a 5-0 Hokies squad that is making a good case for being a top-5 team! The Hokies are starting to resemble vintage VA-Tech defense. Carolina coming into this game was averaging 40.4PPG and Bud Foster’s squad held them to just 3. This was the same Tar Heel team that put up 37 on an FSU defense that is filled with 4 and 5-star recruits. Keep a close on them!
#10 Computer Hope Wisconsin caught a nice break getting a bye week before welcoming Ohio State to Camp Randall! I think Wisconsin also got a bit lucky because Indiana isn’t awful so the Buckeyes had to play harder than maybe they would have in recent years. The game is also extremely important for the Badgers because they aren’t completely out of the playoff picture. The loss to Michigan stinks but it was just 14-7. If they were able to win out & get to 12-1 as Big 10 champions then it’s likely they grab one of the four spots.
#11 Computer Hope Mississippi St. isn’t the same Mississippi St. they’ve been recently when they had Dak Prescott under center, but this was a huge win for the Tigers! MSU plays well at home and Auburn beat the bricks off the Bulldogs taking a 35-0 into halftime! War Eagle ran the ball with abandon going for 228 yards on 56 carries! Kamryn Pettway ran for 169 yards & 3TD on 39 carries. QB Sean White was brutally efficient once again & let’s not discount the Auburn defense which is now allowing just 16PPG! Loving this team!
#12 Computer Hope So you lose to Alabama 49-30. It happens to the best of them. This is a solid football but they played right into the hands of Alabama. The Tide took the running game away and jumped out to a lead forcing Arkansas to throw the football. I’m a big Austin Allen guy and he had a good day throwing for 3TD but he also threw 3INT which once again is exactly what Alabama was hoping for. Arkansas has more than enough ability to win out and that is what they need to focus on. I’d love to see them finish the season at 10-2.
#13 Computer Hope The Rebels were on a bye this past week but a few things happened that helped their cause. Alabama beat Arkansas by 19 points and Ole Miss lost to the Tide by only 5 so you can argue the Rebels are ahead of Arkansas. Florida St. got back on the winning track by beating Miami-FL which is a solid win & makes Ole Miss’ loss to the Seminoles not as ugly as it has looked the past couple of weeks. Texas A&M beat Tennessee which means the Aggies keep winning & Ole Miss gets a shot at beating a better team late in the season.
#14 Computer Hope That is the kind of Georgia football I want to see!! I know it’s South Carolina but the Bulldogs ran wild on the Gamecocks with both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel going over the 100 yard mark. The win over North Carolina doesn’t smell as sweet now that the Tar Heels were throttled by Virginia Tech but UGA is 4-2 with their two losses coming to Ole Miss & Tennessee. It could be worse. They need a lot of help winning the SEC East but getting to 9-3/10-2 with a first year HC and a frosh QB? That’s a great season.
#15 Computer Hope Very sloppy play by North Carolina in a demoralizing 34-3 home loss to Virginia Tech. You can make a pretty good argument that Hokies might be a top-10 team, but losing 34-3 after wins over Florida St. & Pittsburgh? The Tar Heels were without RB Elijah Hood & TJ Logan couldn’t pick up the slack. Mitch Trubisky had a terrible game & the Heels shot themselves in the foot with 8 penalties and 4 turnovers. They can still win the Coastal, but I don’t think the Hokies have another loss on the schedule so they need help.
#16 Computer Hope Dalvin Cook got loose in brutal weather down in Miami rushing for 150 yards & receiving for 59 with a TD catch. Deondre Francois put in a solid game going 20/31 for 234yds & 2TD despite playing with a drenched ball and outshining his Miami-FL counterpart Brad Kaaya. It was a solid for FSU, but the North Carolina loss looks a lot worse now that UNC took a beating at the hands of Virginia Tech. FSU looks like a 10-3 team, but I’ve said this before in that you know FSU is back when 10-3 is a big disappointment.
#17 Computer Hope Florida’s game against LSU was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew which seems odd given how many games were played in terrible conditions yesterday. The Gators are barely hanging onto a spot in my Power-25. A win over LSU would have bolstered their resume quite a bit even if the Tigers are a bit down, but we are getting into the middle of the season and Florida’s best wins are over Vanderbilt & Kentucky. The 38-28 loss to Tennessee shows they belong, but can they please play someone of substance!?
#18 Computer Hope The Cornhuskers are a tough team to judge at this point. It’s Nebraska and they are 5-0 so it feels like we should be respecting them, but their best win is a 3-point home win over Oregon which looks terrible now that we are seeing Washington & Washington St. absolutely wax the Ducks! The Huskies just finished beaten Oregon by 49 points in Eugene! Nebraska could only manage a 3-point win in Lincoln! They have upcoming road games against Iowa, Wisconsin & Ohio St. so we should get a better feel for them.
#19 Computer Hope The weather in Miami was absolutely abysmal but the Seminoles had to play in the conditions as well and Miami couldn’t find a way to close out the game losing 20-19 to Florida St. after having led 13-3 at the half. This game shouldn’t concern the Miami faithful too much but the Hurricanes need to get back on the horse fast next week as they host a North Carolina team that was just brutalized by Virginia Tech. THE U can still win the Coastal no problem, but their rushing defense has me a bit concerned after this week.
#20 Computer Hope The dream season for the Cougars came to a screeching halt on Saturday as Houston fell on the road to Navy 46-40. Navy is a tough team to play against. Their rushing attack is hard to prepare for and nobody really runs it as well as they do. Houston lost the time of possession battle by a significant margin & were -3 in TO margin. Navy would beat a lot of teams with those advantages. The Oklahoma win looks a bit better now that the Sooners beat Texas, but I don’t have any confidence Houston can beat Louisville.
#21 Computer Hope I would have liked to have seen the Sooners get a better win than 45-40, but remember that some of this is perception. Texas is on the ropes so it would seem Oklahoma should get a bigger win, but Texas is a talented team. There isn’t much defense being played in the Big XII and the Sooners are dangerous when the running game behind Samaje Perine & Joe Mixon get going. Perine went for over 200 yards & Mixon put in 50 total yards. Only Baylor stands in the way of a Big XII title and a 10-2 season. Not bad.
#22 Computer Hope Beating Arizona 36-23 is a solid enough win and Utah might be the favorite to win the Pac 12 South at this point given that they’ve already beaten USC. This isn’t a sexy team. They play solid defense and do just enough on offense to win games. It’s a ball controlled offense that relies mostly on running. The one mark Utah has is a road loss to California, but the Bears are becoming one of those squads that is hard to figure so I can allow some grace there. At the end of the day Utah is 5-1 with a real shot at finishing 10-2. I’d take it.
#23 Computer Hope Beating Colorado 21-17 is a lot more impressive than it might seem. The problem with USC at this point is perception. There are questions surrounding head coach Clay Helton and even if it did happen in Week 1, there is perception that USC is still off because Alabama beat them 52-6 to open the season. Moving QB Sam Darnold into the starting lineup was a bold move for Helton & it has paid off. The talent here is undeniable and the Trojans still have a chance to be a player if they can keep the momentum going.
#24 Computer Hope Gut wrenching 21-17 loss to USC in the Coliseum on Saturday but as much as I’ve been rooting for Colorado this season, all is not lost for the 4-2 Buffaloes! With Stanford playing as badly as they’ve been, Colorado could conceivably win out as the schedule is good to them with Arizona St., UCLA, Utah & Washington St. all having to come to Boulder. At some point you knew it was going to catchup with Colorado. Steven Montez is a freshman QB and the Buffs defense couldn’t quite get a hold of all of USC’s talent.
#25 Computer Hope What an amazing turn around for the Sun Devils rush defense. The two previous weeks against USC & Cal, Arizona St. gave up 316 rushing yards, but yesterday against UCLA, ASU held the Bruins to -1 rushing yards en route to a 23-20 win. It’s interesting to see Arizona St. win more of a defensive struggle, but the Devils are now 5-1 with their only loss coming on the road to USC which isn’t too bad. The resume is pretty good too with wins over Texas Tech, California and now UCLA. The Pac 12 South is wide open.

DROPPING OUT

#22 BAYLOR: The Bears didn’t play but they didn’t do anything to drop out of the polls this week but they also didn’t do anything to stay either. Baylor is 5-0 but they barely got by Iowa St. and didn’t exactly dominate Oklahoma State. Their other wins have come against SMU, Rice & Northwestern State. Nothing really to brag about. It might be time to come to the realization that the Big XII is terrible. I still have Oklahoma ranked, but the Sooners only losses have come to Houston & Ohio State. The Houston loss doesn’t look great but I’m trying not to be too harsh on Houston just yet for the loss to Navy. The rest of the Big XII? It’s rough.

#24 LSU: The Florida game being postponed didn’t help the Tigers too much as they drop out of my rankings. LSU needs signature wins to show the program is still strong. I think they can get them, but it’ll be tough. I pointed out last week that the quirkiness of the Pac 12 prevented me from ranking a lot of those teams last week. That quirkiness is still apparent, but for the most part the week broke the way it would need to for a lot of those Pac 12 teams to deserve being ranked. LSU was a victim of that.

#25 STANFORD: Losing to Washington I can understand but losing to Washington State as well? The Cardinal lost to both Washington schools by the combined score of 86-22! That’s insane! If you believe in the Pac 12 you could make an argument that Washington, Washington St., Stanford, California, UCLA, USC, Arizona St., Colorado & Utah should be ranked. That’s 9 teams for crying out loud! I have five of them ranked and what’s interesting to me at this point is that the Pac 12 is definitely going to suffer some attrition because they’ll beat up on each other, but this conference is certainly one to watch for during bowl season to see just how good these teams really are.

October 9, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Mississippi, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Power 25, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Week 6, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 5

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope There is nothing Alabama has done to hurt their ability to be the #1 team. In fact, you can make a case for the Tide, Ohio St. or Clemson & it would be hard to think any of them aren’t deserving. One thing that Alabama isn’t doing over the last two weeks is putting the hammer down on their opponents. Over the last two weeks Alabama has beaten Kent St. 48-0 and Kentucky 34-6. Those are beatings to be sure, but I think we are all waiting for Alabama to beat those teams 63-0. A bit more style from Alabama please!
#2 Computer Hope Clemson needed a late 4th quarter TD drive to beat Louisville 42-36, but the Tigers got a HUGE win over a Louisville team that can certainly make a case for being the best team in the nation. QB Deshaun Watson had an incredible game but to me the story of the game was Clemson’s D-Line. The Tigers sacked Louisville QB Lamar Jackson 5 times, picked him off once, had 10 tackles for loss and 9 QB hurries! If Clemson’s D-Line continues to play like that for the rest of the season, they have the ability to win a championship!
#3 Computer Hope Right now it’s hard to argue Ohio St. isn’t the hottest team in the country. They aren’t simply beating teams. They are destroying teams. There was a lot of talk this weekend about how much difference Ohio St. is this year than last because of how bad they are beating teams. Last year Ohio St. won their first 4 and were +89 in point differential. This year through their first 4 games the Buckeyes are +191 so there is some validity for that argument. At the same time, the schedule has been about as soft as Charmin.
#4 Computer Hope Going on the road to Clemson and losing 42-36 is hardly anything the hang your head over. I think Louisville came out a little flat in the first half & gave up a few too many big plays. It took Lamar Jackson a couple of series to really get warmed up and the defense gave up a couple of big plays. It happens. Louisville didn’t do anything to diminish their playoff resume in my opinion. The Cardinals need Clemson to go 13-0, to hammer Houston, &  hope there aren’t 4 undefeated teams from Power-5 conferences.
#5 Computer Hope If Michigan doesn’t miss 3 field goals then they beat the Badgers 23-7 instead of 14-7. I really liked Michigan’s dedication to the run despite not being terribly successful with it. Wisconsin’s defense is no joke & the Wolverines were able to make big plays at times. A lot of credit goes to Michigan’s defense. They all but shut down Wisconsin’s running game and picked off QB Alex Hornibrook three times. Michigan St. losing to Indiana throws the Big 10 into a bit of turmoil. It’s not entirely clear how good team are.
#6 Computer Hope Michigan looks like a playoff caliber team and Wisconsin went into the Big House with a rookie QB and almost pulled off a stunning victory. It’s almost IMPOSSIBLE for a team to beat 3 top-10 teams in the same season especially with those 3 games away from home. The fact that Wisconsin was able to pull off wins over LSU & Michigan St. speaks volumes for the team. Like Louisville, Wisconsin didn’t do anything to damage their playoff chances. They get a bye week before Ohio State. Win that one & everything changes.
#7 Computer Hope The 44-6 win over Stanford was the type of win Washington needed to establish the program as a national power once again. It’s debatable as to how good  Stanford is, but after watching this game I feel as if Washington might be the most complete team in the nation. Jake Browning is a QB that isn’t going to make mistakes. Myles Gaskin is a tremendous RB but Lavon Coleman stole the show for me. The D-Line is relentless & the receivers are blazing fast especially John Ross. The have to win at Oregon.
#8 Computer Hope Beating South Carolina 24-13 was a little too close for my liking but the Aggies were without DE Myles Garrett, WR Ricky Seals-Jones and WR Speedy Noil. WRs Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds were still around but obviously A&M wasn’t at full strength. Trevor Knight continues to do a tremendous job running & throwing the football. Along with Trayveon Williams, A&M’s rushing attack is as lethal as any in the nation. Their next two games come against Alabama  & Tennessee. That should tell us quite a bit.
#9 Computer Hope Houston is entirely too good for the American Athletic Conference. This week the Cougars hammered UConn 42-14 as Greg Ward passed for 389 yards & 3TD while also running for 65 yards & 2TD. Houston’s rush defense was also tremendous. The Oklahoma win is going to look better & better especially if the Sooners wind up winning the Big XII, but what  Houston needs to focus on is getting to Louisville. If Houston can get a win over the Cardinals & win the AAC, then the playoffs are in play.
#10 Computer Hope Don’t be shocked if Memphis is 10-1 when they host Houston on November 25th. It’ll be for the AAC-West title with the Tigers likely having a chance to derail Houston’s dream season assuming the Cougars defeat Louisville. With that said, Ole Miss ripped through Memphis like it was nothing en route to a 48-28 win in Oxford. Chad Kelly threw for almost 400 yards and the Ole Miss running attack almost went for 300! The defense could have been a bit tighter but did force 4 turnovers. This was a solid win.
#11 Computer Hope GOOD GRIEF THEY DID IT AGAIN!!! Tennessee is sort of becoming reminiscent of Auburn when the Tigers won the national championship in 2010 or Clemson last year when they got to the title game. The Vols looked like they were in for their first loss between the hedges when Josh Dobbs hit the Hail Mary to Jauan Jennings for a 43-yard game winning TD. Never mind the fact that Jacob Eason hit Riley Ridley for a 47-yard TD with 10 seconds left to give Georgia a 31-28 lead. UT just keeps winning.
#12 Computer Hope Auburn played Auburn football Saturday & blitzed UL-Monroe 58-7 behind 410 rushing yards & 5 rushing TDs! Gus Malzahn probably didn’t handle the QB situation that great in Week 1 against Clemson, but Sean White has been the starter ever since & in his 4 starts he’s gone 68/93 (73%) for 843 yards & 5TD without throwing an interception. In those 4 games the Tigers are averaging 5.5ypc. War Eagle isn’t getting a lot of love but they’ve only lost to A&M and Clemson and both were close losses. This team is dangerous.
#13 Computer Hope As I said last week when Clemson faced Georgia Tech, road wins over the Yellow Jackets aren’t easy. Miami-FL’s defense wasn’t as disciplined as Clemson and had a hard time stopping the GT running attack, but Miami did enough on offense and forced GT into 3 turnovers which was enough for Miami-FL to get a 35-21 win. I love that Miami-FL is playing well because I think they are good it’s good for college football but THE U gets FSU, UNC, VT, Notre Dame & Pittsburgh in their next 5 games! Good grief!
#14 Computer Hope I knew something was different about Colorado when they hammered Colorado St. to open the season 44-7. Since then they’ve done nothing to dispel that notion. This week’s 47-6 win over Oregon St. is exactly the kind of performance you’d expect from a contending team. Freshman QB Steven Montez was a bit sharper & UC’s running attack is nothing if not punishing. The Buffs led 37-6 at halftime! Colorado’s only loss is a road loss to Michigan. They get USC next week. They’ll move up with a win there.
#15 Computer Hope Georgia is a tough team to rank right now because they’ve lost two straight games, but the losses have come against Tennessee & Ole Miss so how bad can the Dawgs be? The opening week win over North Carolina looks amazing now that the Tar Heels beat Florida St. this past weekend. Georgia can make a strong argument they should have beaten Tennessee, but you have to remember that Georgia got pretty lucky taking the lead with 10 seconds left. If UGA can beat Florida, they could finish 10-2.
#16 Computer Hope That was a huge win for North Carolina and even though the final was 37-35, it’s worth remembering that the Tar Heels took a 28-14 lead into the 4th quarter. It’s even more amazing that UNC got a win with Dalvin Cook rushing for 140 yards & 3TD and totaling 106 receiving yards! The Heels lost their first game to South Carolina last year before winning 11 straight & winning the ACC Coastal. With no Clemson or Louisville on the schedule, the same could happen again this year which is an amazing run for the Heels.
#17 Computer Hope Not ready to give up on Florida St. just yet but the defense is a serious problem. Against FBS teams, FSU is allowing 42.3 points per game. That would rank as the 6th worst defense among FBS teams thus far. With the sort of talent Florida St. has on that side of the ball, giving up 40+PPG is criminal. We saw what happened at Notre Dame when the defense was garbage. I don’t know if DC Charles Kelly is in danger, but he’s got to get the defense turned around. They can’t score 35 points and lose games.
#18 Computer Hope Oklahoma had a solid attack in a 52-46 road win over TCU. It’s the Big XII so we can sort of expect that defense is optional at this point, but QB Baker Mayfield was very efficient and the rushing attack behind Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine ran extremely well. To be fair to Oklahoma, their only losses are to Ohio State and Houston, two undefeated teams. It’s entirely possible those teams finish 13-0. If the Sooners win out they are 10-2. They are probably out of playoff contention but can win the Big XII & a bowl.
#19 Computer Hope Arkansas got busy Saturday against Alcorn St. in a 52-10 win that saw the Razorbacks rush for 353 yards & 3TD while averaging 9.3ypc! Arkansas is a solid team, but like the days under Bobby Petrino, they need to start making a splash in the SEC West. Being 4-1 is nice but they can make big gains over the next two weeks as Alabama & Ole Miss come to Fayetteville. The remaining schedule is about as nasty as you can imagine so it’ll be interesting to see if Arkansas can stay in some low scoring affairs.
#20 Computer Hope Beating Vanderbilt 13-6? Color me unimpressed. The Gators couldn’t get loose on the ground and Austin Appleby couldn’t find the endzone. If Vanderbilt doesn’t turn the ball over 3 times the Gators might have been up against their 2nd straight loss to a team from the Volunteer state. At some point Florida is going to have to score some points which is odd to say considering Jim McElwain is an offensive guy. At this point Florida’s defense is carrying the team, but they’ll face much tougher teams than Vandy!
#21 Computer Hope Eeek. It took Nebraska 3 quarters to wake up against Illinois but managed to score 21 points in the 4th quarter to defeat the Illini 31-16 and get to 5-0! The Oregon win doesn’t look nearly as good now that the Ducks are completely in the tank and have lost to both Colorado and Washington State. I love how the Huskers are playing ball. Tommy Armstrong has never looked better while Terrell Newby & Devine Ozigbo keep running wild. Indiana & Purdue should be wins but Ohio St. & Wisconsin come calling.
#22 Computer Hope On the one hand you can argue that Baylor didn’t really deserve to win that game. On the other hand, you can argue that Iowa St. should have never really bee in the game given that the Bears rushed for 469 yards & 5TD while averaging 7.6ypc! Baylor is going to keep winning but the Big XII is so damaged that even if they go 12-0, could you argue the Bears should be a playoff team over an 11-1 Louisville squad? I guess they need to keep winning games, but the Big XII is a disaster. They need to fix the conference.
#23 Computer Hope The Hokies are coming off a bye week and although they haven’t really beaten anyone yet, the loss to Tennessee keeps looking pretty good especially when you consider that Virginia Tech beat Tennessee for a half. Their schedule isn’t exactly easy but the Hokies do avoid Clemson, Florida State and Louisville. A win in Chapel Hill could catapult Virginia Tech into the national discussion. I don’t think they can win the ACC but finishing 11-2 with a Coastal title is nothing to cry about. It’s a huge step for this program.
#24 Computer Hope Missouri isn’t a very good team, but LSU played the kind of football it can play & still win out. They might need some luck to beat Alabama, but they get the Tide in Death Valley so who knows. Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams are outstanding and if Leonard Fournette comes back, the Tigers have a RB capable of taking it to the house on every single down with almost no chance of anyone getting tired. If Danny Etling can manage games & the defense gets loose, why can’t LSU finish 10-2 or 9-3?
#25 Computer Hope Let’s just say Stanford caught Washington at a really bad time combined with the Cardinal having a really bad game. On the bright side Stanford still has wins over UCLA & USC which look pretty good and should continue to look better as those two squads are actually good football teams albeit not ELITE ones. Stanford can right the ship over the next three weeks with win over Washington St., Colorado & Notre Dame. That would make them 6-1 and an 11-1 season isn’t out of the qustion for the Cardinal.

DROPPING OUT

#21 MICHIGAN STATE: Losing to Wisconsin is one thing. Losing to Indiana? That’s unacceptable. The win over Notre Dame is garbage now given that the Irish lost a home game to Duke. I don’t know what Michigan St. does from here. They still get Ohio St. & Michigan which means 8-4 is the best they can hope for. Just a brutal 24-21OT loss to the Hoosiers that effectively kills their season.

#23 SAN DIEGO STATE: A loss to South Alabama? That went south fast for the Aztecs.

#24 UTAH: The loss at California isn’t that big of a deal I suppose but the Pac 12 gets quirky. Utah loses to Cal but Cal lost to Arizona St. who just got blown out by USC. Either the Pac 12 has a lot of teams that should be ranked or it has a lot of teams that are just OK with one really potentially great team in Washington. Who knows? Utah still has a shot to win the South, but every week seems to be confusion for most of the Pac 12.

#25 ARIZONA STATE: Losing to USC isn’t the end of the world, but what a mess the Pac 12 South is. It’s crazy to think the Sun Devils defense is this bad.

October 2, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Power 25, San Diego St., Stanford, Tennessee, Texas AM, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Week 5, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 4

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope The 59-28 win over Marshall was much more lopsided than it looked. Louisville was up 35-7 at halftime and 52-7 after 3 quarters. Marshall scored 3 garbage time TDs in the 4th quarter to pull within…..31!!! Marshall isn’t completely awful and the Cardinals put them away with relative ease. Lamar Jackson accounted for 7 TDs in this game (5 passing, 2 rushing), but let Brandon Radcliff to the heavy lifting through the run game. The Cards defense was brilliant again with a dominant performance.
#2 Computer Hope Nick Saban turned in a 48-0 nothing game against his alma mater which is about what you’d expect. The Crimson Tide led 41-0 at halftime & just clock managed in the 2nd half. The only negative was seeing Damien Harris get hurt but Alabama has plenty of depth at RB. They’ll survive. The pass defense got a nice game after Chad Kelly torched them the week prior. It happens. Kentucky’s up next before Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU & Texas A&M come calling in consecutive weeks. Only gets harder now.
#3 Computer Hope The Buckeyes had a bye week this past week, but we had better get used to them hanging around the top of the standings. Ohio State gets a couple of tune up games at home against Rutgers & Indiana before traveling to Wisconsin on October 15th. The Badgers will be coming off a bye week so they should be rested & prepared. It might be a preview of the eventual Big 10 championship game & could get an incredible matchup of Wisconsin’s defense going up against the best offense in the Big 10.
#4 Computer Hope The Wolverines wasted no time getting off on Penn St. taking a 28-0 lead to the locker room at halftime & improving that to 35-3 after 3 quarters. Penn St. looked completely outmatched at times which has to be hard for the pround program to swallow. A lot is being made over Michigan’s running attack which is relentless but defensively Michigan looks incredible led by LB Jabril Peppers. Peppers is on pace to have over 30 tackles for loss, 110 tackles & close to 10 sacks. Possible Heisman winner?
#5 Computer Hope I thought Trevor Knight would have a good season with the Aggies, but he’s making huge difference in outcomes with his feet. Arkansas had no answers for Knight when he would take off rushing for 157yards/2TD on only 10 carries. Throw in Trayveon Williams’ 153yards along with mixing in some Keith Ford & it’s difficult to stop this running attack. The wild thing is that the receivers are the strength of the team. With wins over UCLA, Auburn & Arkansas, Texas A&M can easily make a case for #1.
#6 Computer Hope Wisconsin put on a defensive masterclass against Michigan St. in East Lansing on Saturday. The Badgers punished Spartans QB Tyler O’Connor all game long picking him off 3 times, sacking him 4 times, forcing 7 QB hurries and allowing him to complete just 47% of his passes on 38 attempts. The Badgers did a good job of bottling up LJ Scott while the Michigan St. receivers could not get loose. LB TJ Watt is on pace for 16 sacks and 20 tackles for loss! A road game at Michigan next week is crazy!
#7 Computer Hope The 26-7 win over Georgia Tech was IMPRESSIVE even if it doesn’t get the national recognition it probably deserves. Even more spectacular is Clemson taking a 23-0 lead into the half. The Yellow Jackets are a dangerous option team & Clemson could not have played more disciplined defense holding Tech to 95 yards rushing & 1TD on 38 carries! The last time GT had that many carries and didn’t get to 100 yards was last year when Clemson held them to 71 yards on 42 carries. Great win for Clemson.
#8 Computer Hope It has to be a little disconcerting that FSU’s defense is getting mauled. This is Florida State. Not Indiana. If you look at their games against FBS opponents this year then Florida St. is giving up 44 points per game! Notre Dame is giving up 33.5PPG and just fired their defensive coordinator! I get that Chad Kelly & Lamar Jackson are going to put up some points on you but South Florida? That’s a tough one & FSU still has Clemson on the schedule. The defense has to get better fast with their schedule.
#9 Computer Hope Georgia might not be very good but Ole Miss put the hammer down in the 1st half going up on the Bulldogs 31-0 and finishing them off 45-14 without the 2nd half let downs we saw when the Rebels took on Alabama & Florida State. Chad Kelly was outstanding yet again in what is turning into a fantastic senior campaign. The Rebels defense finally got loose making Jacob Eason look terrible under center & knocking Nick Chubb out of the game. When they’re on, Ole Miss can hang with anyone.
#10 Computer Hope Yes it was Texas State, but the Cougars got back to looking like they did when they destroyed Oklahoma in the season opener. QB Greg Ward was brutally efficient and the team didn’t commit a single turnover, but the story for me is the Houston defense. They held Texas St. to 8 first downs, 2 of 15 on 3rd down & 142 total yards while dominating time of possession 36 minutes to 24. Steve Taylor & Ed Oliver are having All-American type seasons to this point. This again looks like a 13-0 playoff team.
#11 Computer Hope The game was sloppy and Washington might have dodged a huge bullet by getting out of Tucson with a 35-28 OT win over Arizona, but it’s possible that Washington was overlooking the Huskies given that Stanford was coming to Seattle the next week. What you have to like is Jake Browning being efficient with the football and the Huskies running game churning out 352 yards rushing and dominating time of possession. The rush defense needs to tighten up a lot with McCaffrey coming.
#12 Computer Hope Maybe it really does take Tennessee a half to warm up. The Vols have been outscored 61-43 in the first half of their 4 games, but have outscored their opponents 88-23 in the 2nd half! Tennessee has done a good job taking punches from Virginia Tech & Florida and being able to absorb them & punch back with a vengeance. I think they are easily a 10-2 team, but I’m not sure they can give up a half to Texas A&M and Alabama who they play in the next two weeks. They’ll need all 4 quarters with them.
#13 Computer Hope I don’t care they are 2-2. I don’t care if people don’t think the LSU win means anything. Auburn played Clemson and Texas A&M very tough. They beat LSU. The War Eagle defense is allowing just 18.8PPG and Malzahn is not going away from his rushing attack. The Tigers aren’t a perfect team but they get ULM and a game at Mississippi St. in their next two. If they get to 4-2 with some of the offensive kinks worked out, they’ll be formidable. A lot of teams would have lost to Clemson and Texas A&M.
#14 Computer Hope I don’t get all the Stanford love yet. Sure they have wins over UCLA, USC & Kansas State, but those aren’t incredible wins and the Cardinal didn’t look overly dominant in any of them. The QB situation is just OK. Christian McCaffrey is playing well but he’s not playing like Superman. The receivers aren’t explosive. Defensive Stanford looks solid but they haven’t played any really tough offensive teams. They travel to Washington this week where a win would go a long way to cement their top-10 status.
#15 Computer Hope The Hurricanes are coming off a bye week and they’ll need it as play time is over. Their next 6 games come against Georgia Tech, Florida St., North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame & Pittsburgh! They should be able to get by Georgia Tech as the Jackets had all kinds of problems with Clemson last week. Miami should be able to stay disciplined defensively to slow down GT’s running game. Most importantly, the Canes need to stick with their run game. Ground & pound and they should be fine.
#16 Computer Hope Let’s remember that Colorado the week before last led Michigan 28-24 in the Big House early in the 3rd quarter. The follow that up with a road game against Oregon & finish the job defeating the Ducks 41-38 in Autzen Stadium! Even more amazing is that Colorado did this with their backup QB Steven Montez who passed for 333yds & 3TD in his first ever start. The Buffs beat Oregon. They were close with Michigan. The defense is playing well & they run the ball well. This team could win the Pac 12 South.
#17 Computer Hope A solid 35-24 win over Oklahoma State finally gets the Bears into my Power-25. QB Seth Russell had a field day with Oklahoma St.’s secondary passing for 387 yards & 4TD. The Cowboys DBs gave up some huge plays downfield that really burned them & Baylor never really let up. The Bears get a game at Iowa St. before going on bye. They then get Kansas before another bye so 6-0 should be no problem. After their 2nd by they get Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, K-State, TX Tech & WVU in consecutive weeks.
#18 Computer Hope At the end of the day the Gators took a backup QB that really couldn’t make it at Purdue, threw him into Knoxville in a HEATED rivalry and they were almost able to pull out a win & extend their streak over the Vols to 12 straight wins. Things should get really interesting for Florida if they can keep focus. Tennessee plays games against Texas A&M and Alabama. If the Vols lose those 2 games & the Gators win out in conference, Florida will end up SEC East champions. This defense can be outstanding.
#19 Computer Hope At the end of the day Oklahoma hasn’t played well and QB Baker Mayfield might not be an NFL QB, but he can dominate the Big XII conference & Oklahoma has yet to play a conference game. The Sooners on talent should win the conference if they regroup and focus. They still get Baylor at home which is a huge plus. They are coming off a bye week and are playing at TCU this weekend. A win here sort of rights the ship going forward, but a loss puts pressure on Stoops & his seat could get a bit warm.
#20 Computer Hope Beating Northwestern 24-13 doesn’t look super impressive but I’m willing to give the Huskers a bit of a pass since they had to go on the road after an emotional home win over Oregon the week prior. The win over Oregon loses a bit of lustre due to the Colorado beating the Ducks, but it’s still a solid win & Nebraska dominated Northwestern in their follow up. The Cornhuskers defense allowed NW QB Clayton Thorson to play a little too well, but the Huskers ran for 310yards and totaled 556 yards.
#21 Computer Hope It’s not often you see Michigan St. get boat raced, but that’s exactly what happened as Wisconsin came into East Lansing and took Sparty to the woodshed in a 30-6 pounding! The last time Michigan St. lost by at least 24 in the regular season was back in 2010 when Iowa beat them 37-6 in Iowa City. Michigan St. had a lot of turnovers and some brutal gaffes in the game, but Wisconsin’s defense played a big part in that. With Notre Dame losing to Duke it’s fair to ask if Michigan St. really is a good team?
#22 Computer Hope Disappointing loss for Arkansas, but a lot of teams are going to lose to Texas A&M this year so I can’t knock the Hogs too much. Arkansas couldn’t figure out a way to stop the Texas A&M running game. For the most part the Hogs played a great game. They ran the ball 40 times. They dominated time of possession 40 minutes to 20, but they couldn’t quite figure out how to stop the Aggie offense. Arkansas is going to win A LOT of games keeping the ball for 40 minutes & rushing the ball 40 times.
#23 Computer Hope San Diego’s St. hold on a top-25 spot took a hit when California lost to Arizona State. That win doesn’t look so hot although Cal still has that win over Texas, but even that has turned disappointing because Texas’ signature win was beating Notre Dame who just lost a home game to Duke! Strength of Schedule is going to be murder on SD State at this point. N.Illinois is 0-4. If Cal doesn’t go bowling they might play one bowl team in the regular season which is Utah State! They need to win BIG!
#24 Computer Hope USC might completely suck but the Utes got the job done and are now sitting at 4-0 with wins over BYU and USC. It could be worse. Utah’s done a good job replacing stars on offense like Devontae Booker & Travis Wilson, but the defense has really stood out. It’s an interesting time for Utah because we see USC & UCLA not as good as advertised. There could be a window where Utah can grab the Pac 12 South title, but what might kill them is road games against Arizona St. and Colorado late in the year.
#25 Computer Hope The Sun Devils got a nice 51-41 win over Cal who beat Texas who beat Notre Dame. The Irish might suck & Texas could turn into a 7-5 team really fast so maybe that line of logic isn’t the greatest, but the Sun Devils are sitting at 4-0 with wins over Cal & Texas Tech. The trouble with UT-San Antonio a couple of weeks ago doesn’t make much sense but it could have been an aberration. The ASU defense has gotten progressively worse under HC Todd Graham. Maybe they don’t need to play much defense?

DROPPING OUT

#17 LSU: I wrote about Les Miles earlier and that explains what I believe happened to Les Miles and why he was let go by the university. As far as the team goes for this season, LSU might be finished. It’s possible the team could rally but LSU still has road games against Florida, Texas A&M, and Arkansas with home dates against Alabama & Ole Miss. Their current 2-2 record could easily wind up 5-7 by year’s end. Whoever takes over for LSU will have a tough job, but it’s LSU. Who doesn’t want to coach there? Something to keep in mind is that LSU still only has one conference loss despite the 2-2 record. Win out & the Tigers are likely SEC West champions. They have the talent, but can they execute?

#23 CALIFORNIA: The Bears failed to cash in on the opportunity afforded them by beating Texas as they traveled to Arizona State and lost 51-41. The Bears need to stay in their lane with Davis Webb at QB. Webb is on pace to complete 62% of his passes for 5,970 yards with 59TD passes! That’s nuts. He passed a lot less and was in control a bit more in Cal’s win over Texas. He got a little ragged against San Diego St. & Arizona State. Another problem is that the Cal defense can’t give up 31 points in the 4th quarter. That’s egregious and a big reason why you can’t take Cal seriously as a team. The defense is putrid.

#24 TEXAS: The win over Notre Dame is practically meaningless now. Not only did the Irish lose at home to Duke for crying out loud, but Wisconsin went into East Lansing and hammered a Michigan St. team who hammered the Irish in South Bend. Throw in Cal losing to Arizona State and Texas is right back where they started at the beginning of the year. Charlie Strong’s seat could get CRAZY hot very soon. Playing in Stillwater won’t be easy next week & Oklahoma will be ready knowing they can still win the Big XII. And does anyone really think Texas is going to beat Baylor or TCU? That’s 5 losses not counting West Virginia and a road date against Kansas State! The ND win doesn’t carry water any longer.

#25 NOTRE DAME: The team is nothing short of a disaster. The 134 points allowed over the first 4 games is the worst start for an Irish defense IN HISTORY!!!! I bet ol’ DC Brian VanGorder doesn’t like that on the ol’ resume! The Irish need to be careful that the season doesn’t completely get away from them. I don’t think it is far fetched to believe they might not get to a bowl game. That’s how bad they are playing and the schedule isn’t kind despite it not being brutal. VanGorder has to be fired soon doesn’t he? And Brian Kelly? I really like him, but I don’t see it. If the Irish are going to win a national championship, it won’t be under him. He’s in his 7th season and the Irish are losing home games to Duke. What else is there to say?

September 27, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, California, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Houston, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, NCAA, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Power 25, San Diego St., Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas AM, Utah, Washington, Week 4, Wisconsin | Leave a comment