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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 | 4 Comments

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL – BOWL SEASON PREVIEW!

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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 10 – BIG GAMES

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Computer Hope It doesn’t get much better than this. I don’t expect LSU to keep this within 20 points. The Tigers are having a feel good story by going 3-0 since Les Miles was fired, but they haven’t played anyone. The trouble with playing Alabama is that they are going to take things away from you. Rueben Foster will see to it that Leonard Fournette is locked down meaning LSU is going to have to beat Alabama through the air, but Danny Etling simply isn’t good enough to give Alabama fits. ROLL DAMN TIDE! Computer Hope
Computer Hope So much on the line in this one. The loss in Madison last week stinks for Nebraska, but their season isn’t over quite yet. Beat Ohio State, win out and then beat Michigan in the Big 10 championship and the Cornhuskers are going to the playoffs. For Ohio State, the formula is just as simple. Beat Nebraska. Beat Michigan. Beat Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship and you are headed to the playoffs. The loss to Penn St. hurts but Texas A&M won’t stay in front of them if they win out at 12-1. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Now we know style points matter. The Huskies have to be seething now that the first playoff poll has come out & Washington at 8-0 ranks behind a Texas A&M team that is 7-1. Strength of Schedule I’m sure played a role, but Washington’s 31-24 win over Utah probably didn’t help matters as voters were looking for a reason to believe Washington was an ELITE team. It’ll be interesting to see how UW plays on the road against a bad Cal squad. My guess is the Huskies are going to run it up big. Computer Hope
Computer Hope NC State was reeling after back-to-back losses to both Louisville & Clemson, but Boston College going into Raleigh and defeating the Wolfpack raised more than a few eyebrows. I don’t suspect the Cardinals to have many problems on Chestnut Hill, but Louisville had issues last week against Virginia and rank behind Texas A&M and Ohio St. in the first playoff poll. They can’t control the Aggies & Buckeyes, but they can control their games by winning with tremendous style points. They need it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Northwestern has quickly become that team that nobody really wants to face. Since their first two weeks, Northwestern is 4-2 with their only losses coming to Nebraska & Ohio State, two games the Wildcats can argue they should have won. The Badgers are still looking for a Big 10 West title and despite beating Nebraska, they trail the Huskers in the standings. They need help from Ohio State which they are likely to get, but they cannot afford a let down themselves if they want to win the West. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This might not seem like a big game this week but consider that Kentucky is sitting in 2nd place in the SEC East and Tennessee just lost to South Carolina and Vols RB Jalen Hurd is transferring. Things are in disarray in Knoxville. Why is that important? Because if UK wins out and Florida manages to lose games to Arkansas & LSU (entirely feasible), it would mean Kentucky would finish as SEC East champions! UK will lose to Louisville, but finishing 8-4 as SEC East champions can happen! Computer Hope
Computer Hope You almost saw a bit of a let down last week when Penn St. struggled against Purdue in the first half before blowing the Boilermakers out. It was to be expected after the season defining win over Ohio St. the week prior, but this week the Hawkeyes are coming to town and this has the feel of a legitimate let down where Penn St. is on the verge of having a great season & it gets sidetracked with a loss to an Iowa team they probably should beat. I’m interesting to see how the PSU defense plays. Computer Hope
Computer Hope If Tennessee is real about their rivalry against Florida, then the ultimate revenge is to lay down against Kentucky in a couple of weeks after Florida blows it against Arkansas! This game matters a great deal to Florida because it is one of the two games left on the schedule they need to win to fend off Kentucky. A loss here to an Arkansas team, who will bounce back big after the loss to Auburn, will put tremendous pressure on the Gators to beat LSU. How incredible is the SEC East this season!? Computer Hope
Computer Hope This probably shouldn’t be that much of a game for Colorado especially because the Bruins are playing without QB Josh Rosen, but it’s not like UCLA doesn’t have some talent and that much talent can pull off upsets on any given night. I think this would be a big win for the Buffs. UCLA is 3-5, but their 5 losses have come by a combined 32 points or 6.4PPG. Lady Luck has been more cruel to UCLA than most so a 10+point win for Colorado would be another positive sign of Colorado’s validity. Computer Hope
Computer Hope You wouldn’t think this would be much of a game, but if Virginia Tech is vulnerable, it might be this week. The Hokies are 2-2 away from Blacksburg while Duke is hitting .500 at home in Durham. Duke has beaten both Army & Notre Dame. While those teams aren’t as good as the Hokies, Duke won’t be intimidated either & keep in mind that the Duke defense held Lamar Jackson & Louisville to 24 points. Like Wisconsin in Evanston, this is hardly a game Virginia Tech can overlook and still win. Computer Hope

November 3, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Big Games, Boston College, California, Colorado, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio St, Penn St., UCLA, Virginia Tech, Washington, Week 10, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 12 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2015 NCAA WEEK 8 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope There aren’t any other games on the schedule that Utah can’t win, but this one looks odd. USC will have had some time to digest the loss of their HC & I still think Clay Helton has a legitimate case for being the permanent head coach. It’s not like the Trojans are getting blown out either. Two of their 3 losses have come by 10 points. The other was a 17-12 loss to Washington amidst the Sarkisian insanity. From a talent perspective USC is better & Cody Kessler is the type of QB that can win a game all by himself. Vegas has USC as 3.5pt favorites for a reason! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Third Saturday in October. What a great name to a rivalry! I was reading an article that was talking about how this rivalry wasn’t what it used to be, but when you look at this rivalry historically it’s nothing but runs. Alabama has won 8 straight but before that Tennessee had won 10 of 12. There is an argument to be made that recently Alabama’s run has been particularly heavy. In the last 8 meetings Alabama has won by an average score of 35-12. I think this one is closer. UT has a “best case” record of 6-0 & the East is still in play for them I think. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A lot of validation for both teams on the line here. The Sooners are so odd. They get beat by Texas in the Red River Rivalry 24-17 & then turn around & beat Kansas St. 55-0! That’s nuts. The Red Raiders are 5-2 with their only losses coming against Baylor & TCU, but haven’t really played anyone outside of Arkansas. A win over Oklahoma clearly makes Texas Tech the 3rd best team in the conference with a legit shot at an 11-2 record. A Sooners wins still allows OU to determine their own fate as they could still get to 11-1 with wins over TCU & Baylor. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Interesting game in that the stud Pac 12 QB of right now (Jared Goff) is going up against the stud Pac 12 QB of the future (Josh Rosen). California is still very much a part of the playoff race at 5-1. Their only loss is a 6pt affair on the road against Utah. The Bears schedule toughens up from this point forward, but I think it’s a great story of Sonny Dykes rebuilding this program and taking it to heights that Jeff Tedford couldn’t quite get to. UCLA seems like a snake bitten team getting ready for a HUGE run in 2016, but the talent is still incredible. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s going to be very interesting to see how Ole Miss plays the rest of the season out. The SEC could easily get squeezed out of the playoff picture should Ole Miss play well. They get Texas A&M & LSU at home & their road games are winnable. Even with the loss to Memphis, if Ole Miss finishes 10-2 & Alabama finishes 11-1, Ole Miss wins the SEC West. An Aggies win here puts those fears to bed & also keeps hope alive with Texas A&M in their quest to be considered the 2nd best team in the SEC West. Let’s see if Ole Miss can follow Bama’s blueprint. Computer Hope
Computer Hope You can’t help but think Texas beat Oklahoma 24-17 and then Oklahoma beat Kansas St. 55-0, so what is Texas going to do to Kansas State? The Wildcats are 3-3 & haven’t really beaten anyone but they came pretty close against TCU & Oklahoma St. before the blowout loss to Oklahoma. I think a lot more is on the line for Texas in this one. This should be a game they can win & it will reinforce the notion that UT is a lot better than people think & losses to California, Notre Dame, Oklahoma St. & TCU aren’t all that bad. A big win here gives UT a boost. Computer Hope
Computer Hope You look around & Florida St. is a top-10 team, but it feels off because despite being 6-0, FSU hasn’t beaten a good team convincingly that would give you the impression that they are a serious playoff threat. Clemson is getting that attention from the ACC at the moment. Then you look at how well Everett Golson is playing. RB Dalvin Cook should be a Heisman favorite. The defense is playing incredibly well. What is there not to like about this team!? GT has been disappointing but I still think they have a game or two in them that could surprise some people. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think this is an interesting SEC inter-divisional game. I think Mississippi St. has done a good job beating teams they should beat which has led them to a 5-2 record & just one win shy of bowl eligibility. Kentucky is a better team than you think. They are 4-2 but their 2 losses have come by a total of 8 points & the Wildcats lost to Florida by a 14-9 final score! Starkville isn’t an easy place to play, but I think Kentucky can make this a close game especially if Patrick Towles is on. The Bulldogs keep grinding though. They could get to 9-10 wins this season. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I don’t think Clemson is going to get this far only to lose to Miami-FL who has a HC that is essentially walking on thin ice every time he comes onto the field. On the other hand, Miami-FL probably isn’t as bad as we think. They have wins over Nebraska & Virginia Tech. Granted, they are wins in 2015 and not 2005 or 1995, but they were solid home wins. They also played Florida St. pretty tough in Tallahassee in a 29-24 loss. Outside of the meltdown in Cincinnati, THE U has been fairly decent & they get Clemson at home. There is upset potential here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope At this rate there is no team falling further than Northwestern. Even Ole Miss can justify a loss to Memphis given how well the Tigers are playing. Northwestern has gone from 5-0 & potentially a top-5 team to 5-2 & everyone wondering how in the world this team managed to beat Stanford & Duke! Northwestern can get back on track with a solid road win over a Nebraska team that is feeling quite jilted this season. The Cornhuskers are 3-4 but their “best case” record is 7-0! If Lady Luck turns around Nebraska could easily give the Wildcats their 3rd loss in as many games. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Owls got a lot of early season love with wins over Penn St. & Cincinnati to open up the season, but playing in the AAC isn’t difficult & Temple hasn’t played Memphis, Houston or Navy yet. East Carolina is no slouch either. The Pirates are 4-3 but their 3 losses have come to BYU, Navy & Florida with the Florida & BYU losses being close. All 3 losses were also on the road. Teams have done a good job running on ECU & Temple is run heavy. That’s a good thing but the Owls need to stay focused. With Notre Dame next week, they can’t overlook East Carolina. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Old school Big East match up & I love these kinds of games. Pittsburgh has quietly started the season 5-1 with their only loss being a 27-24 loss at Iowa. That’s getting it done. I wasn’t sure how well the Panthers would adjust after losing James Connor but Qadree Ollison has stepped up & QB Nate Peterman is having a fine season. The problem here is Pittsburgh proving themselves. They haven’t played all that difficult of a schedule & you could argue 4 wins have been close. The ACC Coastal is theirs for the taking but Syracuse is a tough team. They’ll show up. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A lot bigger game before the season began, these two teams are 2 of the more disappointing teams in the nation. Auburn comes into this game at 4-2 while Arkansas limps in at 2-4. I think this game could be an interesting jump off point for both teams. Arkansas can play with anyone. A win here could catapult them & a 7-5 season could definitely be in the works. For Auburn, it’s easy to forget their only losses are to LSU & Mississippi St.! This is a very talented team who gets Alabama at home. Would anyone be completely shocked if they finished the year 10-2? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Boston College ranks 4th in the NCAA in scoring defense. They rank #1 in rushing defense. They rank #5 in passing defense. They rank #1 in total defense. By all accounts you can easily make the case that Boston College has the best defense in the nation. Boston College is 3-4. Statistically speaking there isn’t a thing Boston College doesn’t do right. They’ve already played Clemson, Florida St. & Duke. All 3 were losses. If they can beat Louisville then there is 4 wins on the schedule to get them to 7-4 with a game against Notre Dame. It’s one of the more fascinating stories of 2015. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sort of like Texas, Virginia might be a lot better than you think, but their schedule has been so difficult it’s hard to see it through the losses. UVa has lost to UCLA, Notre Dame, Boise St. & Pittsburgh. That’s 0-4 for a lot of teams. Last week they beat Syracuse 44-38. Nothing great, but Virginia isn’t a bad team. North Carolina under Larry Fedora could potentially be turning a corner this year. The Tar Heels are 5-1 with a fluke loss to South Carolina to open the season. They get Duke at home & don’t draw Clemson or FSU. I think 11-1 is on the table & maybe 12-1? Computer Hope
Computer Hope MAC game of the week! Toledo is beating down everyone in their path & UMass is 1-5 so I don’t expect this game to be much different, but it is a road affair for the Rockets & UMass has shown signs of being decent in the past. They have a couple of close losses so 1-5 could easily be 3-3. They put up 38 on Bowling Green & played with Notre Dame for a half before getting blown out. Toledo’s defense is probably going to be overwhelming. It’s a legit top defense statistically & I don’t think there is a MAC team with their kind of ability. Hopefully they can get to 13-0. Computer Hope

October 22, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Big Games, Boston College, California, Clemson, East Carolina, Florida St., Georgia Tech, Kansas St., Kentucky, Louisville, Massachusetts, Miami-FL, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, UCLA, USC, Utah, Virginia, Week 8 | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 7 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope This game has the most potential to upend the rankings especially if Texas A&M comes away with a win. If the Aggies can win this game then they have a legitimate shot at being #1 when the dust settles as Utah plays Arizona St. & Florida plays LSU. Keep an eye on the trenches in this one. Texas A&M’s D-Line is one of the most aggressive in the country with Myles Garrett & Daeshon Hall, but the Aggies are suspect against the run. Expect big doses of Derrick Henry to try & neutralize the pass rush & avoid turnovers. Computer Hope
Computer Hope There isn’t a team in college football more on fire than Michigan is at the moment. The weird part about Michigan is that there was talent on the roster so it’s not completely surprising that Jim Harbaugh could come in and win some games. Statistically speaking Michigan is better in all phases of the game & they are playing at home. There is on thing to look for & it’s turnover margin. Michigan is -1 on the year while Michigan St. is +8. I’d expect a lot of ground & pound but Connor Cook could put Sparty on his back. Michigan St. needs it! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Losing Will Grier is brutal for the Gators. Florida finally found a leader in their QB for the first time since Tebowmania left Gainesville & now he’s gone. That means Treon Harris has to step up in a big way for Florida to be taken seriously as a playoff threat. A win in Baton Rouge could solidify Florida’s place in the national landscape but while their rush defense has been great, they haven’t faced a rushing offense featuring Leonard Fournette & Derrius Guice. Oddly enough both teams need this for validation. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is obviously a huge rivalry game, but USC couldn’t be facing the Irish at a more difficult time. I think it’ll be interesting to see who the Trojans respond with their backs against the wall on the road against a hated rival. Teams can do special things when they have that “us against the world” mentality so Notre Dame has to be careful as another loss could completely ruin what chance they may still have for a spot in the 4-team playoff. There is an awful lot of offensive talent on USC’s side so the Irish better be ready. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Iowa can wrap up the Big 10 West with a win in Evanston this weekend, but even a loss doesn’t prevent them losing the division as long as they can win the rest of their games & Northwestern slips up one more time (how about in Madison?). I don’t want to see the Hawkeyes back into this one though. This might be the best Iowa team we’ve seen in some time. The defense is very good & RB Jordan Canzeri could get some Heisman buzz should Iowa keep rolling. I think it would be nice for the Big 10 West to be clean. Iowa can do that. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Arizona St. could find themselves deserving of a very high ranking should they beat Utah in Salt Lake City, something Michigan & California couldn’t manage. Combine this win with a Texas A&M loss & you could make an argument that the Sun Devils are a top-5 team & the best team in the Pac 12. The USC loss would seem distant. The big question then becomes whether an 11-2 Arizona St. team could make the playoffs? A Utah win only reinforces what I already know. The Utes are the best team in college football at the moment. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It seems like it has been forever since UCLA last played, but despite their loss to Arizona St., the Bruins aren’t in that bad of a position. A win in Pao Alto cures a lot of ills, but it won’t be an easy task as Stanford finds themselves in almost the same position. I think UCLA is playing with house money at this point. Losing Myles Jack & Eddie Vanderdoes is brutal & I’m not sure how UCLA survives it. They also have a frosh QB. Should they expect to make the playoffs? Imagine if Hundley returned & the injuries didn’t happen? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Memphis can play a little bit. Last year the Tigers were 10-3 & 2 of those 3 losses were close so they could argue they should have been 12-1! Paxton Lynch has made big strides at QB & the Memphis receivers have done a great job at making big plays. Ole Miss’s offense should be able to carve the defense up pretty well but Memphis should be able to score & don’t forget about the Florida game. Lynch could have a game like Will Grier. If Ole Miss gets turnover happy then Memphis could win & the SEC West gets shaken a bit. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Since Florida St. has started conference play they’ve been somewhat living on the edge. The Seminoles haven’t looked particularly impressive beating Boston College, Wake Forest or Miami-FL over their last 3 games. Now comes Louisville who is coming off a bye & are the winners of 2 straight games. Lamar Jackson has a lot of work to do on his passing game, but he’s a big play threat with his feet & Louisville is THIS CLOSE to being 5-0. It’s a home game for FSU which helps but they are on upset alert. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is a solid game for Georgia to get back on their feet after losing back-to-back games to Alabama & Tennessee. Missouri isn’t awful but the game is in Athens & the Tigers will still be without their starting QB Maty Mauk. Georgia isn’t without losses either as star RB Nick Chubb is out with an ACL injury, but it’s not like Georgia won’t be able to run the ball with guys like Sony Michel & Keith Marshall. Georgia isn’t completely out of it considering the Will Grier situation, but they need to win out. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I still think Boston College is one of the most intriguing teams in college football & I can’t think of a non-contending team I’d want to play less than the Eagles. BC is coming off back-to-back heart breaking losses to Wake Forest & Duke & at some point a few breaks will go their way. Clemson is coming off 3 emotional wins over Louisville, Notre Dame & Georgia Tech. This is sort of a “perfect storm” scenario so Clemson has to watch. If BC had any type of QB confidence, an upset might not be much of an upset. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Since losing at BYU in Week 2, Boise St. has won 4 straight by the combined score of 203-24! If not for the BYU loss, Boise would be looking at a 13-0 season that might not be difficult to obtain. Their defense is the very definition of ball-hawking. Boise ranks #2 in TO margin at +10 & their 13 interceptions lead the nation. Offensively, the Broncos grind it out behind Jeremy McNichols who is on pace for 1,000yds/24TD! Utah St. is a good football team. If they can avoid mistakes, they’ll make of game of it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Oklahoma is coming off a stunning 24-17 loss to Texas & now travel to Manhattan to take on an Kansas St. team that always plays well at home & will be a very tough out for the Sooners. Oklahoma still has a legit shot at the playoffs if they win out, but that is going to be tougher than it looks. Kansas St. probably should have beaten Oklahoma St. & took TCU to the brink last week before losing 52-45. Kansas St. wants to grind out games so it’ll be interesting to see how Oklahoma defends & what they’ll do offensively. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Can you imagine having West Virginia’s schedule? Their week 5 through week 11 games are: @Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., @Baylor, bye, @TCU, Texas Tech & Texas. West Virginia could be a top-25 team & yet be 3-6 after 9 games. I really like West Virginia & Dana Holgorsen but this is a TALL TEST this week against the Bears. Games like this remind me of the old Big East and how much better it would be if we had that conference. Now teams like WVU, Cincinnati & Pittsburgh seem at a disadvantage. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This might be one of the best games of the week because of the implications. Before last season when GT went 11-3, won the Coastal & almost upset FSU in the ACC Championship game, the rumors of Paul Johnson’s demise were starting to heat up. After losing 4 straight this year, those rumors are starting to surface yet again. I can’t believe how bad GT has been this season. As for Pitt, a win is amazing. Consider that the only loss on Pittsburgh’s schedule came on the road at Iowa by 3 points. Computer Hope
Computer Hope After losing back-to-back games against UCLA & Michigan, BYU has bounced back with a couple of solid wins over Connecticut & East Carolina. Cincinnati is an interesting opponent. The Bearcats are 3-2 & coming off a bye & before that they beat Miami-FL. Cincinnati can score although their defense is rough so I’d expect BYU to win the game. This is likely BYU’s toughest test remaining on the schedule. A win here could propel BYU to 10-2 & a bowl win gives them 11, the most they’ve had since 2009. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Nebraska hasn’t been nationally relevant for close to 15 years. This game will be a pretty cool microcosm for a lot of details. The first is Nebraska moving to the Big 10 was a disaster. In the Big XII North they virtually had a cakewalk to the Big XII title gave every year. The second is that with a Gophers win you can say Nebraska is now behind Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota & Northwestern in the Big 10 West! The third is what coaching does. Minnesota got it right with Jerry Kill. NU got it wrong with Pelini & Callahan. Computer Hope
Computer Hope With a loss, Oregon can drop to 1-3 in the Pac 12 & 3-4 overall! It sounds wild but Washington still has a legit shot at winning the Pac 12 North. Their only loss is to California but the Bears lost last week to Utah so if Cal loses another, Washington would be ahead. UW’s schedule is nasty, but they could argue they should be 5-0 & Chris Petersen has found a special QB in Jake Browning. I love the juxtaposition of the two programs. Washington seems to be on the rise while Oregon is falling rather quickly. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Miami-FL still controls their own destiny. The Hurricanes season got off to a good start winning 3 straight including a big win over Nebraska, but Miami has lost their last 2 to Cincinnati & Florida State. The FSU loss isn’t huge & Miami can get back on track with a win over the Hokies. It’ll be interesting to see how Al Golden pulls it together (if he can) because I’m not sure he’s long for the job. It’s time to make a change in Coral Gables, but the real trick will finding the right fit. It hasn’t been easy for “THE U”! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Auburn is still Auburn but what makes this game interesting is what happens with a Kentucky win. The Wildcats are 4-1 with a couple of surprise wins over Missouri & South Carolina. With the SEC East sort of up in the air, UK has a decent shot if they can defend Lexington! If UK can defend their home turf, then a 9-3/10-2 season could be a real possibility & would 6-2 be good enough to win the SEC East? UK could wind up 11-3!!! A win over Auburn puts them closer & gives UK even more confidence. Computer Hope
Computer Hope My MAC special! Western Michigan isn’t a good football team, but the Broncos are coming off a 41-39 upset of Central Michigan. There isn’t much WMU does exceptionally well but they can throw behind QB Zach Terrell at times. Ohio is the interesting team here. The Bobcats are 5-1 with their only loss coming at Minnesota in a 27-24 loss to the Gophers. Ohio’s pass defense is great so we might end up with a blowout here. Ohio is a player in the MAC & could wind up with 9-10 wins. Big improvement from last year. Computer Hope

October 15, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, Boise St., Boston College, BYU, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Kansas St., Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Utah, Utah St., Virginia Tech, Washington, Week 7, West Virginia, Western Michigan | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 6 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope This game has the most potential to impact the rankings in my opinion. Northwestern is ranked #13 in the AP Poll despite my having them as the #2 ranked team in the nation. What really can’t be debated is that a Northwestern win will give the Wildcats wins over Stanford, Michigan & Duke. If Northwestern wins by 10 then it outdoes Utah’s win by 7 in Utah. Utah is ranked #5 in the AP. Wouldn’t NW have to be a top-3 team then? If Michigan wins & Utah stays unbeaten how is Utah not #1 & Michigan not #2 at this point? Great game! Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s amazing that these two are the last 2 unbeaten teams in the Pac 12. There is a lot going on here. California is off to an incredible start, but they haven’t really played anyone & their schedule now gets considerably tougher starting with a trip to Salt Lake City. QB Jared Goff is getting tons of press & now he’ll be able to show what he can do this season against a top flight defense. It’s amazing that Utah hasn’t played since blasting Oregon 62-20. That seems like forever ago. It’ll be nice to see the Utes back in action! Can’t wait! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Irish haven’t lost to Navy since 2010 but the last 2 years, ND’s won tight games. Navy is always a tough game to play for Notre Dame it seems just from the injury report a lone. The Irish hammered Georgia Tech so the triple option Navy runs shouldn’t be an issue & if ND plays to talent this should be a 50-10 game like it was in 2012, but I’m very curious to see how Notre Dame comes back after a crushing loss at Clemson. The Middies are 4-0 coming into this game so I’m certain their mindset is coming into South Bend to upset ND! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The jerseys alone are worth watching this one. Miami-FL might be one of the most difficult places to coach. It takes a certain kind of coach to pull it off. Al Golden doesn’t seem to have it. Randy Shannon didn’t have. Butch Jones did. Jimmy Johnson did. There is enough talent on Miami’s roster to win this game which would certainly shake up the ACC, but after getting housed at Cincinnati, my faith in the Al Golden regime is non-existent. On the other hand, FSU hasn’t played all that well lately against Boston College & Wake Forest. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Like Florida St./Miami-FL, this one is cool because of the jerseys & the fact that it’s the RED RIVER RIVALRY! I guess you can sort of throw the records out with this one. Last year Oklahoma squeaked by with a 31-26 win whereas in 2013, the Longhorns upset OU 36-20! If OU plays right this should be a blow out which puts even more heat on Charlie Strong. Remember that Mack Brown was 9-4 in his 2nd year in Austin & he took over a worse situation than Strong inherited. Should it take that long to win at a program like Texas? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Before the season began, I would have thought this game could very well decide the SEC West. Instead, the Razorbacks have lost 3 games & Alabama is 4-1 with a loss to Ole Miss. It could still very well decide the SEC West should Arkansas win as it would most likely knock Alabama out of contention. If Alabama is on, then I don’t think they can be beat, but Arkansas is still a VERY good football & they’ll try to control the clock against the Tide. I’m not saying it’ll work, but Alabama won this game 14-13 last year. It could be very close. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Like Alabama/Arkansas in the West, this was the game I thought would decide the East, but Tennessee has already lost a couple of conference games & UGA was embarrassed by Alabama last week in Athens. Georgia still controls its destiny & it’ll be interesting to see how the Bulldogs rebound from losing to Alabama. Tennessee is no pushover team. You can easily argue they should have beaten Oklahoma, Arkansas & Florida so Georgia won’t be in for an easy game especially in Neyland. Chaos could continue with a Vols victory. Computer Hope
Computer Hope With Maty Mauk suspended for violation of team conduct policy, Mizzou QB Drew Lock got the start & had a helluva game going 21/28 for 136yds & 2TD in the 24-10 win over SOuth Carolina. Missouri essentially had no vertical game, but the offense was still effective. Florida is off to an amazing start but I wouldn’t count out HC Gary Pinkel and the Tigers playing upset special. Florida had 3 close wins before & emotional romp over Ole Miss last week in Gainesville. Now they play on the road so how big will the let down be if any? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Beating Wisconsin in Madison simply doesn’t rate anymore. Last week Iowa was ranked #22 in the AP & #23 in the Coaches poll. The Hawkeyes go on the road to Camp-Randall & pick up a 10-6 victory & they don’t move an inch in the polls! Yours truly bumped Iowa 8 spots from #22 to #14. Last week was the first time I got to see Iowa for a full game this season & I really liked what I saw. Canzeri’s a beast & Beathard is better than he showed last week. Iowa is at Northwestern next week so I hope they don’t overlook the Illini here! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I still like Georgia Tech as a team although the offense hasn’t clicked under Justin Thomas like I thought it would. Clemson needs to be on upset alert especially after the emotional win over Notre Dame last weekend. I would say I think GT could pull off the stunner but DeShone Kizer completed 70% of his passes for 242yds/TD. Thomas Sirk completed 68% of his passes & ran for 50+yds. Marquise Williams ran for 148yds/2TD last week. GT has a hard time with good QBs and unfortunately for them, DeShaun Watson is next in line. Computer Hope
Computer Hope With Iowa & Northwestern playing so well, this game has sort of taken a backseat, but it’s still fairly interesting. Wisconsin didn’t draw Michigan, Ohio St. or Michigan St. out of the East & they play N’Western at home so they could wind up 10-2 (7-1). Nebraska has lost to Illinois & get Michigan St. at home but the Spartans haven’t put fear into anyone so if the Huskers win out they could be 9-3 (7-1). Neither team looks like a player, but both could be & this is a great game to jump start a push towards relevance so it should be pivotal. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Kansas St. is coming off a brutal home loss to Oklahoma St. and now they get the Frogs coming to town. At first glance this seems like a game that might be worth watching. Kansas St. only has the one loss & the game is in Manhattan with TCU not being overly dominant this season. The last time they played here Kansas St. won 33-31! On the other hand, Oklahoma St. just passed for 441 yards on the K-State defense so that doesn’t bode well with Trevone Boykin coming to town. TCU is almost averaging 60PPG in their last 4 games! Computer Hope
Computer Hope You could definitely make an argument that if Nate Sudfeld & Jordan Howard don’t get hurt last week, the Hoosiers could very well be sitting at 5-0 with a win over Ohio State! Instead, Xander Diamont was atrocious from the pocket as usual & Ohio St. escaped. The trick here is seeing if Kevin Wilson has Indiana over the hump. If Indiana plays like they did against Ohio St. for the rest of the season then the Hoosiers should end up at worst 8-4. Is that enough to turn the tide? I’ve been skeptical of Wilson, but maybe he actually gets it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s really tough to get a gauge on how good Oklahoma St. is & this will be a good game to see if they are really deserving of being 5-0 or are they just pretending as WVU is actually a very solid team in my opinion. One thing that absolutely stands out about the Cowboys is their ability to get pressure on the QB. OK State leads the nation in sacks & tackles for loss. This is certainly a deviation of their usual narrative of being an offensive first football team. WVU hasn’t been great at pass protection so Skyler Howard could have a long day! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Oddball game between 2-3 Wake Forest & 3-2 Boston College but I think it could have meaning. You can make a strong case that BC should be 5-0 with wins over Florida St. & Duke. I REALLY like this team. Florida St. struggled with Wake so if BC blows them out it strengthens their case against Florida State. I think it also puts teams on upset alert. I’m not sure I want to be Clemson & Notre Dame getting a Boston College team with confidence and the ability to keep getting better. BC could make it very interesting in the Atlantic very soon! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Depending on how close you follow college football, you might not have noticed Middle Tennessee St., but they have had a pretty good run so far at 2-3. When they’ve won they’ve dominated & they almost beat Illinois & Vanderbilt so that 2-3 could easily be 4-1. rFR QB Brent Stockstill is having a tremendous season & the team has some athletes. WKU has QB Brandon Doughty. HE’S WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION! So far he’s completed 74% of his passes for 2000yds with 15TD/2INT. He’s a Heisman front-runner if not at WKU! Computer Hope
Computer Hope A fairly big MAC West game, both of these teams are chasing Toledo & the Cardinals already were whipped by the Rockets, but this is still the most interesting game in the MAC & I wanted to start including MAC games. I was surprised last week at NIU losing to Central Michigan after the Huskies came THIS CLOSE to beating both Ohio St. & Boston College. Maybe playing their 3rd road game in as many weeks took too much of a toll. Ball St. is a good team & they might be catching NIU as the wrong time, but this should be a good game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I wanted put in Hawaii this week because their year has been so weird. The Rainbows are 2-3 and in their wins they’ve outscored their opponents 75-47. That’s not that odd but in their losses they’ve been outscored 111-0! Every loss Hawaii has had this year has been a shutout! The other interesting part is that Hawaii is 2-0 at home but 0-3 on the road. They can’t score on the mainland! I think that trend ends with SDSU this week. I still really like the Aztecs. They’ve had a couple of close losses but could still the MW West division. Computer Hope

October 10, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Ball St., Big Games, Boston College, California, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas St., Miami-FL, Michigan, Middle Tennessee St., Missouri, Must See Games, N. Illinois, Navy, NCAA, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., San Diego St., TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wake Forest, Week 6, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 5 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2015 ACC PREVIEW and PREDICTIONS

RANK ATLANTIC COMMENTS
#1 OFFENSE: Clemson is close to taking a big leap & it should come this year when the offensive cupboard comes back full. The Tigers are 42-11 the last 4 seasons. It’s time to get to the next level. QB Deshaun Watson returns after being DOMINANT in his first 6 games before suffering an injury. A QB with the ability to run, Watson could emerge as the league’s best QB if he stays healthy. Clemson also returns their top rusher in Wayne Gallman & their top-3 receivers including Mike Williams who had over 1000yds last season with an 18.1ypc average! Gallman ran for 769yds as a true frosh. WR Artavis Scott was a great possession receiver. He, Williams, Watson & Gallman all could be 1st team All-ACC! The one weakness of the offense could be the O-line which loses 3 starters, but the talent coming in is ridiculous & LT Isaiah Battle could be all-conference. Clemson will get back to scoreing 40+PPG this year. DEFENSE: The losses are IMMENSE! Clemson runs mostly out of a nickle package & runs a 4-2-5. The front-6 is gone & 4 of those 6 players were NFL Draft picks, 1 was a 1st team All-American & 3 were 1st team All-ACC! Most notably gone is Vic Beasley, but Grady Jarrett, Stephone Anthony Garry Peters & Tony Steward were also big time losses. The secondary returns 3 of 5 starters & there is some extreme talent in CB Mackensie Alexander & S Jayron Kearse. As with the offense, there is a lot of talent spread out here with the only question being production. The D-line averages 6’4/293lbs!!! DEs Kevin Dodd (6’5/275lbs) & Shaq Lawson (6’3/275lbs) will be fun to watch. The defense won’t be nearly as good, but they don’t have to be. SCHEDULE: Notre Dame & South Carolina in the OOC is tough but both at home. They also get GT & FSU at home! They avoid Virginia Tech. I think Clemson takes the next step. BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 5-7
#2 OFFENSE: It’s Florida St. so it’s not like they’ll fall off the map, but there was a special group of players in Tallahassee that was able to win 29 straight games including the 2013 National Championship. Gone from the offense this season is QB Jameis Winston, WR Rashad Greene & 4 starting O-Linemen. Also gone is all-world TE Nick O’Leary who was a tremendous difference maker. The Seminoles have some nice pieces returning including former ND QB Everett Golson but even Winston couldn’t replicate the magic of 2013 last year when FSU dropped from 51.6PPG to 33.7! The skill position players should also be outstanding with RB Dalvin Cook & WRs Travis Rudolph, Ermon Lane, George Campbell & Jesus Wilson. Cook could be a sneaky All-American candidate. Everyone here is talented but it’ll be a matter of how well this unit gels. DEFENSE: FSU brings back 7 starters on defense & 5 of their top-6 tacklers but the losses are enormous. DE Mario Edwards, DT Eddie Goldman, CB PJ Williams & CB Ronald Darby! These weren’t just 4 NFL Draft picks. They were 4 NFL Draft picks in the first 3 rounds! It’s worth noting that even with thse 4 playing last season, FSU still allowed 25.6PPG which was up from 12.1PPG in their championship season. Obviously there is talente everywhere & FSU has a couple of potential All-Americans in CB Jalen Ramsey & LB Terrance Smith. What Florida St. didn’t do a great job of last year is putting pressure on the QB. OLBs Chris Casher & Trey Marshall are going to have to edge rush. The interior D-line is going to have to get pressure too. I like the LBs so FSU just needs to gel. SCHEDULE: FSU avoids VA Tech from the Coastal, but has road games against Georgia Tech & Clemson. Outside of those 2 games, this schedule is ridiculously easy which portends well for a playoff run. BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 6-6
#3 OFFENSE: Give a lot of credit to HC Dave Doeren who in his 2nd season improved NC State’s offense by almost 8pts & took the Wolfpack from 3-9 to 8-5 & a bowl win. The offense returns 8 starters from a unit that averaged 30.2PPG & I love how the offense is doing it. NC State is a run first football team that is relying on QB Jacoby Brissett not to make errors. RBs Shadrach Thornton & Matt Dayes combined to rush for 1480yds/17TD while Brissett chipped in 500+ of his own! Brissett also took care of the football throwing just 5 picks to 23TD! The QB compelted just 60% of his passes, but if his accuracty gets better, the Wolfpack just get more dangerous. NC State returns 3 of their top-4 receivers & 4 O-Linemen from a line that blocked for runners who averaged 5.2ypc! That’s amazing. I really like what this team could do. DEFENSE: While the improvement wasn’t as big, NC State improved its defense by 3pts & return 8 starters! I think all 3 levels will be better this year. Six of the back-7 return including the entire secondary! CB Jack Tocho has some skills & could be all-conference as could LB Jerod Fernandez. Overall I like the secondary. Both corners are 6’0 or better & the safeties are 6’2. The D-Line has me excited. Mike Rose is a player at DE & can cause some disruption. That should allow the opposite DE some room and I think Bradley Chubb & Darian Roseboro can take advantage. BJ Hill & Kentavius Street are the DTs. A big key to NC State’s season will be the continued improvement from the defense. I like the players here as NC State keeps getting better & better. SCHEDULE: They do get Clemson at home although it won’t be easy. They also draw a road game against Virginia Tech out of the Coastal but that’s about it. This is an easy schedule with a lot of home games. The Wolfpack could get to 10 wins. BEST CASE: 9-3; WORST CASE: 6-6
#4 OFFENSE: It’s pretty amazing that HC Bobby Petrino can come in and lose a QB who compelted 70% of his passes & was close to QBing an NFL team to the playoffs and yet still get the offense to come in just 4pts short on average of what the team did the year prior under a different HC! Petrino might make some questionable decisions in his personal life, but the man can coach a football team! The Cardinals bring back just 5 starters but included in those 5 are QB Will Gardner, RB Brandon Radcliff & WR James Quick. That might be enough! There are defenitly some losses as WR DeVante Parker is a big loss, but Quick & Ja’Quay Savage & Jamari staples & Keith Towbridge are going to make a tremendous receiving corps! Gardner already makes good decision. The O-Line took on losses but I’m not sure it matters. This offense will be potent. Petrino guarantees it! DEFENSE: The D suffers some losses as only 4 starters return but 3 of those 4 starters were 3 of the top-4 tacklers from a season ago. The front-7 will have to figure out a way to get pressure in their 3-4 scheme. Losing OLBs Lorenzo Mauldin & Deiontrez Mount has to be overcome by Ketih Brown & Devonte Fields. DE Sheldon Rankins is an all-conference DE that can get pressure on the QB so he should provide some help there. LBs Keith Kelsey & James Burgess should clean up the messes. L’Ville loses their entire secondary & it’s troubling. Gerod Hollimon is a HUGE loss. CB Charles Gaines is a HUGE loss. There is a lot talent back there including UGA transfers Josh Harvey-Clemons & Shaq Wiggins. I’m bullish on the defense as I think it’ll come together. SCHEDULE: They draw NC State on the road & Petrino hasn’t put enough talent together yet for Florida St./Clemson. Auburn/Kentucky OOC won’t be easy but this schedule isn’t too bad really. This feels low. BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 6-6
#5 OFFENSE: HC Steve Addazio loves running the football & Boston College has used this strategy to some degree of success in his first 2 seasons as BC has posted a couple of 7-5 records although they are 0-2 in bowls. This year the Eagles return 4 starters, losing their starting QB, starting RB, leading receivers & their entire O-Line! That might spell disaster but remember last year that BC returned just 2 starters & lost All-American RB Andre Williams. That didn’t seem to matter as BC actually rushed for more yards per game than they did with Williams! Despite these losses, I think Addazio is so good with the offense that it might not matter. A couple of things need to happen though. Last year QB Tyler Murphy made too many mistakes. New QB Darius Wade needs to cut those down. Also RB Jon Hilliman needs to run better. Those things happen & BC will be fine. DEFENSE: Under Addazio the Eagles have been A LOT better at getting pressure on the QB. This year BC brings back their entire D-line & I’d expect DEs Kevin Kavalec & Mike Strizak to get even more pressure than they did last season. DTs Truman Gutapfel & Connor Wujciak are 6’3/300lbs DTs who get pressure as well giving BC arguably the best D-Line in the ACC. MLB Steven Daniels returns as well. BC loses their entire secondary except for S Justin Simmons who led the team in tackles a year ago. Josh Johnson & Isaac Yiadom will have to hold the edges down but with such a good D-line they shouldn’t feel a ton of pressure. I like the makeup of this defense a lot. SCHEDULE: You can win a lot of games by having a good running attack paired with a great pass rush! BC avoids the big boys out of the Coastal although they do get VA Tech. An OOC against Notre Dame won’t be easy either. They’d be a lot higher if they weren’t so inexperienced. BEST CASE: 8-4; WORST CASE: 3-9
#6 OFFENSE: I think what is unfortunate sometimes about teams is that they get locked into tough QB situations and really don’t know how to get out of them. This isn’t as pronounced in college football as it can be in the NFL due to contracts and what not, but you sort of find Syracuse in this predicatment with Terrell Hunt. Hunt is a pretty nice talent at at 6’3/234lbs definitely looks the part of a QB, but he’s never really been that good and Syracuse has never really had anyone better behind him to come & take his place. Last year Hunt went down & clearly Syracuse’s offense was dreadful as AJ Long & Austin Wilson tried to pick up the pieces, but neither QB was inspiring. The Orange averaged 17.1PPG last year & Hunt returns with 4 starting O-Linemen but he loses a bunch of skill players. Overall this just doesn’t look good for HC Scott Shafer. DEFENSE: Syracuse had been decent defensively the last few years, but this year the Orange return just 3 starters from a unit that allowed 24PPG & lose their top-5 tacklers and 7 of their top-8 top tacklers! DE Ron Thompson has some talent off the edge, but like the offense this is another work in progress for Shafer & his staff. The problem I’m seeing mostly with Syracuse is that physically they don’t match up well. The DEs seem a bit small, even Thompson. One of the DTs is 6’0 & they have a LB at 5’11 & a safety at 5’8. That’s all well and good if your LB is Chris Borland and your S is Bob Sanders, but that isn’t the case with Syracuse. It looks like this might be a tough year. SCHEDULE: Syracuse is tough because I think having them good at football is a positive, but it’s a positive when they are coming out of the Big East. It’s not as necessary if them being good prevents an historically good ACC team from being competitive. Syracuse is finding the road a bit tough in their conference: BEST CASE: 4-8; WORST CASE: 1-11
#7 OFFENSE: Most of the time you are beholden to your QB if you want to have success in football. Just look at the QBs who were in last year’s first ever college football playoffs? There were 2 Heisman winners! Last year QB John Wolford was the first QB in about 40 years to start his first game at Wake Forest. The results were predictable as Wolford completed 58% of his passes for 2037yds with 12TD to 14INT. The Demon Deacons’ offense was split 50/50 between rush & pass so HC Dave Clawson wasn’t exactly throwing Wolford to the wolves, but the young QB did have to make some plays. Wake averaged just 14.8PPG en route to a 3-9 record headlined by an incredible 6-3 OT victory over Virginia Tech! Wolford has some weapons returning this year & a year of experience. They aren’t going back to the Riley Skinner days just yet, but should score more than 14 per game! DEFENSE: Wake Forest has been pretty decent defensively the last couple of seasons & that should continue this year. Wake returns 6 of it’s front-7 including their top-3 tacklers. S Ryan Janvion, LB Brandon Chubb & LB Marquel Lee all posted 100+ tackles a season ago. Chubb, Lee & LB Hunter Williams could be all-conference giving Wake a dynamite LB corps. The Deacons also return 3 starters on the line including NT Tyler Harris who could be All-ACC. DEs Duke Ejiofor & Wendell Dunn have great size and while Wake loses both corners from a season ago, the front-7 should be able to take some pressure off the new starters. This is a solid defense so the offense needs to catch up. SCHEDULE: Tough break getting both Syracuse & Boston College on the road or else I probably would have had Wake at #5. OOC against Army, Indiana & Notre Dame is tough. Atlantic is top heavy & they draw UNC from the Coastal. BEST CASE: 6-6; WORST CASE: 1-11

 

ACC ATLANTIC OVERALL OUTLOOK: This is probably the most top heavy division in college football. You have Clemson & Florida St. who dominate this division in recruiting & then there are the other 5 teams. This division essentially comes down to the Noles & Tigers, but something to watch for this year if you want to go a little deeper into the conference is how the other teams are trying to adapt without having the superstar talent that Clemson & Florida State do. With Lousville you obviously have a superior coach that loves to run that spread offense. With NC State & Boston College, you definitely have a couple of teams that like to ground & pound while controlling the clock. I think Syracuse & Wake Forest are still finding an identity, but it is intersting to see how the other 5 will combat the dominance of the other 2. I think Louisville will join them shortly. Petrino is too good and he’s already shown he can take a program to the top. Remember what he was doing at Arkansas before he was let go. That is him getting it done in the SEC West for crying out loud! I also think NC State & Boston College are good programs with some history behind them. It’ll be Clemson & Florida State once again this year, but the others are coming.

 

RANK COASAL COMMENTS
#1 I want to look at Georgia Tech holistically rather than breaking them down. Before last season there was some talk of HC Paul Johnson being the hot seat and that maybe the best solution was for him to take his triple option offense & move on. Then stemmed primarily from what happened to GT from 2010 to 2013. That was a 4-year period where GT had records of 6-7, 8-5, 7-7 & 7-6. Not great. But in that 4 year span Georgia Tech was 7-15 in close games. Obviously this cuts both ways, but if GT wins their close games in those 4 seasons, their records would have been 10-3, 10-3, 10-4, and 10-3. That isn’t national title worthy but if you add those records to GT’s 11-3 in 2014 then you’d have 51 wins in 5 years. The only other BCS teams to do that are: Alabama, LSU, Ohio St., Michigan St., Stanford, Oregon, Oklahoma & Florida State! That’s ELITE company! Don’t forget either that GT won the Coastal in 2012 & 2014 and lost both ACC Championship games to FLorida St. by a combined 8 points despite being a combined 18-point dog! Of course you can’t look at it that way, but I think GT gave us a glimpse of what happens when you have an ELITE QB like Justin Thomas running the triple option & the Yellow Jackets catch a couple of breaks. What’s scary this year is Thomas returns & the GT O-Line returns 4 starters! Even better is that the defense returns 8 starters including 8 of their top-10 tacklers & 15 of their top-18! LB Quayshawn Nealy is a big loss but I think GT can overcome that. The bad news for the ACC is that Thomas is just a junior. The schedule is brutal for GT in that they have Georgia & Notre Dame OOC and also draw Florida St. & Clemson from the Atlantic! They do host Virginia Tech but play at Miami-FL. I’m not sure it matters. This is the kind of team you simply DO NOT want to face in a playoff game! BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 6-6
#2 OFFENSE: Virginia Tech hasn’t had an offense this good since Tyrod Taylor’s final year in 2011 when the Hokies won the ACC & finished with an 11-3 record. Tech returns 8 starters from a unit that averaged 24.1PPG, but I’d expect those numbers to rise significantly in 2015. QB Michael Brewer comes into his 2nd season as a starter after throwing for almost 2700yds & 18TD. He’s got to get better with his accuracy (59%) & his decision making (18TD/15INT), but he’d got quite a bit of help. RBs Marshawn Williams & JC Coleman give the Hokies some “thunder & lightning” flavor. Isaiah Ford, Cam Phillips. Buckye Hodges & Ryan Malleck all return to form a solid & big recieving corps. The O-Line returns 3 starters with LT Jonthan McLaughlin having All-ACC potential. They need to get better in pass protection, but I think they will. This is a good offense with upside. DEFENSE: The D returns 8 starters from a unit that allowed 20.2PPG including the entire D-Line which has to be a scary thought given that DC Bud Foster is arguably the best DC in the nation! DEs Dadi Nicolas & Ken Ekanem are monsters. DTs Corey Marshall & Luther Maddy can collapse a pocket & get pressure from the inside. This is the best D-line in the ACC & arguably the best D-Line in the nation! The Hokies were #4 in the nation in sacks with 48! Expect more of the same. The secondary is SCARY. Kendall Fuller is an All-American at CB. Brandon Facyson was a 1st Team Frosh All-American last year & is a 6’2 CB! S Chuck Clark was beast! Arguably the best secondary in the nation & this might be the best defense in the nation. Look out! SCHEDULE: At GT makes me put VT in 2nd. They draw Ohio St. OOC which will be tough but avoid Florida St. & Clemson. Only other difficult road game is in Coral Gables. This team is excellent! BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 9-3 (they are that good!)
#3 Like Georgia Tech, I’m not going to break down the Panthers according to script. In fact I think publications would be ranking them a lot higher if not for new HC Pat Narduzzi getting his first taste of leading a program & even then it might not matter. I would not sleep on this team. RB James Conner is an All-American RB & rushed for 1765yds/29TD last season! WR Tyler Boyd racked up 1261yds/8TD as the go to receiver & QB Chad Voytik will not be a veteran starter instead of a 1st timer. The O-line returns 3 starters & averages 6’5/318lbs! Boyd & Conner could be 1st Team All-Americans! Defensively the Panthers return 7 starters. I think they’ll improve at every level outside of LB where they lose Anthony Gonzalez & Todd Thomas who were their 2 leading tacklers. There are no obvious standout players but I’d watch CB Avonte Maddox & S Patric Amara. DT Tyrique Jarrett & LB Mat Galambos could also make qutie a bit of noise. It’s easy to forget that Pittsburgh is a traditional power in college football. I think the move to the ACC was an interesting one & I think their situation is somewhat comparable to Syracuse in that I love it when Pittsburgh is good & I think PITT being good is good for college football but there are only so many spots at the big table & when you get these giant conferences, some schools get edged out. I think this is inherently what happened with the Big East. The Big East was an amazing conference and I hate that it isn’t around any longer. For the season I wouldn’t sleep on the Panthers. I don’t think they’ll be quite as good as either Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech, but they can make noise especially getting UNC & Miami-FL at home. The OOC is rough with Iowa & Notre Dame and they also draw Louisville from the Atlantic, but their toughest road games are VaTech & GaTech. This should be a good year. BEST CASE: 10-2; WORST CASE: 5-7
#4 OFFENSE: The Tar Heels have to be feeling FANTASTIC this season returning 10 starters on offense! Their only loss was TE Jack Tabb who wasn’t much of a factor. QB Marquise WIliams after having a solid season last year completing 63% of his passes for 3068yds & 21TD. He also led the team in rushing but the combo of Elijah Hood & TJ Logan  should really give the Heels multiple options to carry the ball. UNC returns their top-4 receivers including Ryan Switzer who led the team in passing but also Mack Hollins (6’4) & Quinshad Davis (6’4)! Switzer is the ultimate slot receiver between those two giants. The O-line returns intact & had 3 potential 1st Team All-ACC players with G Landon Turner being an All-American candidate. The O-Line should be amazing this season & one of the best in the ACC. UNC averaged 33.2PPG last year. That should get close to 40 in 2015. DEFENSE: The HUGE problem! Carolina returns 7 starters from a unit that allowed 39PPG last season! EEK! DT Ethan Farmer could be a decent sized loss but for the most part this was just a terrible defense. Carolina can recruit football so there is talent here. Jalen Dalton is a 6’6/260lbs DE who could make an immediate impact. I think Dajaun Drennon (6’4/250lbs) would be good at the other DE now that he isn’t a frosh. CB Brian Walker as skills & the entire secondar returns intact. DT Nazair Jones & LB Jeff Schoettmer could be all-ACC players. Carolina is interesting because everything seems to work. The D-Line is big in the right places. The LBs are big & talented. The secondary is experienced. There should be a marked improvement. SCHEDULE: They draw Wake & NC State from the Atlantic & get Miami-FL at home. They do have to travel to GT & VT which is a huge disadvantage, but if not this year then when? Ten wins is definitely possible. BEST CASE: 10-2; WORST CASE: 5-7
#5 OFFENSE: Miami returns 5 starters from an offense that averaged 29.2PPG. There are some significant injuries here with RB Duke Johnson, WR Phillip Dorsett, TE Clive Walford, C Shanke McDermott & LT Ereck Flowers. Four of the 5 players were All-ACC a year ago so their loss will be felt. On the other hand, Miami gets QB Brad Kaaya back  for his sophomore season. Kaaya did OK for a frosh throwing for 3200yds/26TD. Like a lot of young guys in college he can improve his decision making & accuracy but he’s light years of where he was last season. Joe Yearby takes over for Johnson & Yearby is solid. Stacy Coley, Herb Waters, Malcolm Lewis & Braxton Berrios return at WR. The O-Line has just 2 starters returning but they are all big & talented. The O-Line is a big question mark but “THE U” has plenty at the skill positions. I think they’ll be fine. DEFENSE: What makes the Hurricanes “THE U” is the defense. Sure the offense has produced some amazing football players, but when I think Hurricanes football I think big time defense. The Canes bring back 6 to a unit tht allowed 24.3PPG which isn’t horrible but not exactly Miami standards either. The losses of Anthony Chickillo, Denzel Perryman & Ledarius Gunter are going to be felt but there is some talent returning. The LBs are strong with Raphael Kirby, Jermaine Grace & Tyriq McCord. That should be the strongest level of the defense, but I wouldn’t count out the D-Line either. DEs Chad Thomas & Al-Quadin Muhammad could be exceptional. The secondary returns both safeties with Deon Bush being possible All-ACC. There is immense talent here to be sure & now we just need to see how it gels. SCHEDULE: They draw Clemson & FSU out of the Coastal! They also play at UNC & Pitt. GT & VaTech come to Coral Gables. OOC against Nebraska & Cincinnati. It’s tough! BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 3-9
#6 OFFENSE: Duke hasn’t scored less than 30PPG since 2011! The Blue Devils bring back 6 starters on offense & lose their QB & top-2 WRs but I’m not sure it’ll be that big of a deal. Duke returns RBs duo Shaquille Powell & Shaun Wilson who combed to rush for over 1200yds & 7TD last year. They run a little lightning & thunder act that is effective if not spectacular. Duke also returns 3 O-Linemen but 4 of the 5 starters are upper-classmen who I think will work out fine. They do lose QB Anthony Boone but I’m not so sure that isn’t a bad thing. Boone completed just 56% of his passes with 19TD to 8INT. Thomas Sirk steps in to take his place. Sirk is a kid who can run but has a big arm that get the ball down the field. The 3 returning starters on offense could be all-ACC type players so Sirk should be protected. David Cutcliffe’s resume speaks for itself. Duke will find a way to score. DEFENSE: Duke returned 5 starters in 2014 & allowed a spectacular 21.4PPG! This year they return 7 starters including 7 of their top-10 tacklers. LB David Helton is a HUGE loss at MLB but Kelby Brown was a 1st Team ALL ACC player in 2013 before missing all of last season with an injury & he’ll replace Helton so the loss might not be as bad. LB DeVon Edwards racked up 133 tackles himself so the LB unit is outstanding! Another important factor in Duke’s defense is that their entire secondary is back! Ohio St. transfer Jeremy Cash wa an all-ACC player lasst year leading this veteran unit. The D-Line might not be as good as the back-7 but are are some upside guys here although they aren’t overly. Duke is 19-8 over the last 2 seasons! WOW. SCHEDULE: OOC is a joke outside of Northwestern. They draw Wake & BC out of the Atlantic whic is a HUGE bonus & get Pitt & Miami-FL at home. It’s really a schedule that Duke can take advantage of & go bowling. BEST CASE: 8-4; WORST CASE: 3-9
#7 OFFENSE: The Cavaliers return 5 starters from an offense that scored 25.8PPG last season. It’s sort of a mixed bag really. The good news is that UVA didn’t lose anyone in particular that could be considered a big loss. The bad news is that Virginia didn’t have anyone that really performed all that great to being with. Matt Johns looks to be the starting QB but if last year is any indication, Johns needs to improve his decision making & accuracy. The skill players do have some talent. RB Taquan Mizzell looks decent and the Wahoos have some decent receivers in UNC transfer TJ Thorpe, Canaan Severin & Keeon Johnson. The O-Line had 5 returning starters & if they remain healthy should probably be the best unit on offense. I think we’ve been waiting awhile for things to click under HC Mike London but he’s so far been unsuccessful with his offense. DEFENSE: Virginia’s defense was solid last year giving up 24.1PPG but the problem is that they lose 5 of their top-6 tacklers & 7 of their top-11. DE Eli Harold is a big loss as is LBs Henry Coley, Daquan Romero & Max Valles who combined for 217 tackles! S Anthony Harris is also gone & he had 108 tackles! UVA also lost both corners. The good news is that the D-Line could be decent. DT Andrew Brown has some talent while Kwontie Moore & Mike Moore have great size at the DE. S Quin Blanding was a freshman All-American as a true frosh last year & led the team in tackles with 123! Blanding, Brown, DT David Dean & S Maruice Canady could all be all-ACC type players so there is some legit potential here. The corners & LBs will need to come through though and both are talented albeit youthful. SCHEDULE: It’s not or never for Mike London who might be coaching for his job. It’s the wrong time though as the top-5 in the Coastal are peaking & Notre Dame, UCLA & Boise St. are OOC! BEST CASE: 3-9; WORST CASE: 1-11

 

ACC COASTAL OVERALL OUTLOOK: From 1-6 this is a fantastic division. It’s not on par with the SEC West, Pac 12 North or Pac 12 South, but it’s not bad either with 6 of these teams probably going to be bowl eligible. I think the main focus in this division will be playing to the highest level. I think any of my first 5 teams could win the division so parity is through the roof. The coaches might be the most intriguing of this bunch. What separates the the SEC or Pac 12 division from this one is the coach. Narduzzi is new at Pittsburgh. You have to think Fedora (UNC), Goldon (Miami-FL) & London (Virginia) are on short leashes. Also Johnson (GT), Cutcliffe (Duke) & Beamer (VT) are all sort of getting up there in age and they are probably at their destination jobs although I could see Johnson coach if GT had decided to make a change. How well the old guard does is also interesting. The other thing to look for here is upside. We know GT & VT are going to be great, but it’ll be intersting to see if Pitt, UNC or Miami-FL can make a leap this year & join the top-2. One things is for certain, you can’t really go wrong with this division. I really like it, but I’m still saying Georgia Tech takes down the crown!

September 2, 2015 Posted by | ACC, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida St., Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami-FL, NC State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Predictions, Previews, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest | Leave a comment

2014 NCAA WEEK 13 – GAMES OF THE WEEK

ROAD WHY IT IS MUST SEE! HOME
Huge game for both squads! I really hope we get USC wearing their red jerseys while UCLA wears their blue jerseys! I don’t think there is a prettier scene in college football than when those 2 face off in their colored jerseys! Both the Trojans & Bruins are still in the hunt for the P12 South division. The road is clearer for UCLA. If they win out they win the South. For USC, they’ll need a little help. This is their last conference game, but a win here puts the Trojans at 7-2. The only way they wouldn’t be able to win their division is if Arizona St. won out as well. The Sun Devils beat the Trojans earlier this season so if both teams finish 7-2 in conference play, the tiebreaker would go to Arizona St.
The next stop on the Melvin Gordon Heisman tour is Iowa City where the Badgers will strap it on to take on an Iowa team that is always playing somewhat of a Jekyl & Hyde role. Iowa is a really tough football team to beat at home so Wisconsin could have their hands full. The Badgers aren’t completely out of the woods just yet. Their final 2 games won’t be easy against Iowa & Minnesota, but the B1G West is theirs if they can win both games. That would set them up at 10-2 to face Ohio State. Can an 11-2 Wisconsin team make the playoffs? Iowa has plenty to play for. If they win out & Minnesota loses just one of their final 2 games, the Hawkeyes would win the B1G West.
The SEC slate takes a beather in Week 13, but it goes to show the quality of the conference when I can say this is an off week for the SEC & we still get a game like Ole Miss/Arkansas. Huge game here for the Rebels. Arkansas got a taste of what it was like winning in the SEC with last week’s 17-0 win over LSU. Remember that LSU beat Ole Miss & this game is in Arkansas so the Hogs could have a really good shot at picking up their 2nd win in SEC play in as many weeks! For Ole Miss, they can still win the West. They needed Alabama to beat Mississippi St. which happened, but now they need to beat Arkansas & Mississippi St. & hope Auburn plays out of its mind in 2 weeks in Tuscaloosa.
After losing a home game to Indiana, I didn’t think Missouri would win at South Carolina. They did. After getting shutout by Georgia, I didn’t think Missouri would go on the road & beat Florida. They did. After Texas A&M beat Auburn at Auburn, I didn’t think Missouri would go into College Station & beat the Aggies. They did. Missouri is primed to win the SEC East but their final 2 games could be their toughest. A road game in Knoxville won’t be easy & their season finale at home comes against a very dangerous Arkansas squad. Even so, the odds are VERY GOOD Missouri wins out, finishes 10-2 (7-1) & wins their 2nd consecutive SEC East title! If Mizzou wins the SEC, do they get in?
At 5-5, the Wolverines need to win one of their last 2 to get bowl eligible. Next week they play Ohio St. in Columbus which is a most certain slaughter so that means this week is MUST WIN if Michigan wants to get bowl eligible. Maryland won’t be the easiest of foes although they are coming off a blowout loss to Michigan State. There hasn’t been a ton of talk coming out of Ann Arbor about the potential firing of Brady Hoke. We know now that Will Muschamp will not be back with the Gators next season & if that is the case then I can’t see Hoke surviving. If Maryland wins Michigan ends the season 5-7 which is brutal. Two HUGE jobs are opening up with Michigan & Flordia!
Speaking of job openings…..after losing at home 43-40 in OT to a terrible Northwestern team, the heat under Brian Kelly’s seat in South Bend has to be warming up just a bit. The Irish started the season 6-0 but have lost 3 of their last 4! Finishing up the season against Louisville & USC could mean the Irish finish the year 7-5, losing 4 straight & 5 of their last 6 games. That would give ND bowl eligibility but almost ZERO momentum going into the offseason. The Irish have big problems. The defense is terrible & Everett Golson can’t stop turning the ball over. The worst part is that you can argue ND should have lost to North Carolina, Stanford, and maybe Navy. Is this really a 4-7 team masquerading?
A pretty cool game. Kansas St. is still in the Big XII race believe it or not. They would need to win out & have TCU lose to either Texas or Iowa St., but if those things happened, then Kansas St. could win the Big XII & finish 10-2. I can’t see any way they’d make the playoffs, but a conference title is worth a lot. I still think West Virginia should be in the conversation as best team in the Big XII. They beat Baylor & TCU needed a last second FG to beat the Mountaineers. I would lose to see West Virginia beat up K-State in Morgantown & at least make an argument they are the 3rd best team in the Big XII. If you had season tickets in Morgantown this year you’ve been able to watch some amazing football.
Both teams have a tremendous amount to play for. Minnesota gets Nebraska & Wisconsin to finish the season & even with the Ohio St. loss last week, if the Gophers win out they’ll win the B1G West. The Cornhuskers are coming off a humiliating defeat to the Badgers, but they can win the division too. If Wisconsin can lose a game while Nebraska wins out, then Nebraska would be B1G West champions and get a date with Ohio State. A subplot to this game is Ameer Abdullah running against David Cobb. It’s not Abdullah/Gordon but Cobb has been a beast for Minnesota this year & if Nebraska’s rush defense last week is any indication, Cobb could be in for a huge day with a Minny victory!
Amazingly enough, the Utes still have a shot to win the P12 South. If they can win out while Arizona St. loses their last 2 games then the opportunity is there provided USC loses to UCLA & UCLA loses to Stanford. There are so many moving parts in the P12 South that anything could happen, but major kudos to Kyle Whittingham & his staff for making Utah relevant in the Pac 12. It took him a couple of years to get to this point, but moving forward Utah should pick up more momentum which isn’t great news for the rest of the Pac 12. Of course Arizona is in the thick of things as well & while the P12 South isn’t the SEC West just yet, it’s not hard to envision them being there in a year or 2.
While this isn’t the hardwood, there is always some type of rivalry between Duke & North Carolina. It’s even made more abundant now that the Blue Devils are actually pretty good at football behind HC David Cutcliffe. Duke actually has quite a bit to play for. Georgia Tech’s conference season is over with the Yellow Jackets finishing 6-2. Duke is currently 4-2 with UNC & Wake Forest coming to Durham. If Duke loses one of those games then GT wins the Coastal & will face Florida State. If not then we get back-to-back years where Florida St. & Duke play for the ACC Championship. I’m pulling for the Tar Heels in this one because I think Georgia Tech’s gimmicky offense could be tricky for FSU.
This would seem like a blowout game for the Seminoles, but Boston College has actually been pretty good this year. If the Eagles can get RBs Tyler Murphy, Jon Hilliman & Myles Willis going, they could dominate time of possession & make it difficult for Jameis Winston to beat them because he’ll never be on the field. Note too that BC has some significant wins. Beating USC shouldn’t be overlooked & what is interesting about BC is that they actually play better on the road. They are 4-0 on the road this year yet just 2-4 at home which is another mark in their favor. I say all this only to see Florida St. beat BC 55-10, but at least there are some decent trends to show this might be a good game. Maybe the Noles luck runs out.
Both teams come into this game 5-5, but I’m rooting for Sonny Dykes & the Bears. Dykes has California exceeding expectations this year & if 2014 is any sign of what is to come out of Berkeley then the P12 North might be getting just as strong as the South with Oregon, Cal, Stanford & Washington. This game actually has bowl implications as well. Both teams need another win to get bowl eligible. After this game Stanford is on the road to UCLA while Cal hosts BYU. It would seem that this might be Stanford’s last chance to get bowl eligible. With Cal play so well they should be able to upend BYU, but that isn’t a guaranteed game so a lot is on the line & this is a huge rivalry. Underrated game.
Another one of those interesting type of games with teams on the bowl bubble. The Nittany Lions are already bowl eligible at 6-4, but if they want to avoid a 6-6 season then they need to beat Illinois as their season finale comes against Michigan State. Illinois is sitting at 4-6 with their last two games being this one at home & then a road game at Northwestern which in some ways is like a home game for the Illinois contingent. From a big picture standpoint it would be great to see Tim Beckman get a win here & get the Illini a step closer to a bowl game. He’s in his 3rd year & if he can get to 6-6 it would show some steady improvement & buy him more time with the program. It would be cool to see Illinois good again.

November 17, 2014 Posted by | Arizona, Arkansas, Big Games, Boston College, California, Duke, Florida St., Illinois, Iowa, Kansas St., Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Must See Games, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Penn St., Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Utah, Week 13, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment