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RANDOM NCAA FOOTBALL THOUGHTS AFTER 2 WEEKS

I thought it would be interesting to go over some random thoughts about the college football world  now that we are 2 weeks into the season. What has been surprising? Disappointing? Unusual? Let’s take a look by conference.

SEC

  • I’m surprised that Kentucky has had as hard a time as they have in their first two games against Southern Miss & Eastern Kentucky. EKU gave the Wildcats all they could handle before Kentucky pulled away late, but so far Kentucky has outscored both of their opponents 51-33. Benny Snell has not run the ball well and Denzil Ward has not been nearly as dominant off the edge as I thought he’d be. Getting South Carolina this week on the road could expose Kentucky.
  • Missouri QB Drew Lock went from completing 62% of his passes for 521 yards & 7TD in Week 1 against Missouri St. to completing 44% of his passes for 245 yards & 1TD including 2 picks in Week 2 against South Carolina. Lock can be a very good QB, but we might want to pump the brakes on his Heisman candidacy. He learned quickly that Missouri St. doesn’t exactly play SEC style defense. With that said, Missouri could win 6 games and get to a bowl which should set up a monster 2018 season for the Tigers.
  • He’s not getting attention but Ole Miss’s Shea Patterson has had an incredible first two games. The QB has completed 77% of his passes for 918 yards including 9TDs to only 1 interceptions. Over 12 games that equates to 5,508 passing yards & 54TD. You have to allow for competition as the Rebels have beaten South Alabama & UT-Martin, but given the distractions around the program the last few months, Mississippi has to be thankful for this kind of start and seeing how good Patterson can be.
  • They aren’t ranked yet but South Carolina is a real threat to win the SEC East. Their first two wins over NC State and Missouri are impressive considering neither were home games & SC did a great job in each game. Against NC State the Gamecocks scored 30+ against one of the best D-Lines in the nation. Missouri was coming off a 70+ point scoring effort against Missouri St. and the SC defense held the Tigers to 13 points & made Drew Lock look bad. SC QB Jake Bentley is the best QB nobody is talking about.
  • It was very disappointing to see Arkansas have such a hard time running the ball effectively against TCU. They didn’t look all that explosive against Florida A&M in Week 1 either meaning this could be a long road ahead for the Razorbacks. Seeing Bobby Petrino take this program to the brink of playing for a national title has only hurt Bret Bielema. Arkansas has road games against Alabama, LSU & South Carolina. All are almost certain losses meaning AT BEST Arkansas can go 7-5, but that assumes they can beat Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn. Lose 2 of those 3 and Arkansas doesn’t make a bowl. Can Bielema survive?

BIG 10

  • The dominance of Michigan’s defense has to be an incredible surprise to many. You knew Michigan was going to be good but over their first two games, the defense is allowing just 1.4 yards per rush and opposing QBs are completing just 43.9% of their passes and have thrown for only a single TD while being picked off twice. The Wolverins are +4 in sack differential, +2 in tackles for loss differential, and +1 in TO margin. Those differentials show that Michigan could get even better.
  • I’m surprised at Iowa so far. The Hawkeyes did a good job of shutting down potential NFL 1st Rd. pick QB Josh Allen when the Hawkeyes opened up with a 24-7 win over Wyoming. There was every reason to think Iowa was going to lose their rivalry game against Iowa State, but the Hawkeyes pulled out a huge win in OT on the road to get to 2-0. Akrum Wadley is running well and QB Nate Stanley has been EXCEPTIONAL! He’s on pace for 50+TD passes which is amazing from an Iowa offense! LB Josey Jewell is playing out of his mind. He on pace for almost 140 tackles this season & is playing like a 1st Team All-American.
  • Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I’m surprised at Wisconsin and how dominant they’ve been. Granted they’ve only played Florida Atlantic and Utah State, but the defense has been outstanding. What surprises me most about the Badgers is how much they lost from last year’s team and the squad seemingly hasn’t missed a beat. Losing guys like TJ Watt, Vince Biegel, and Jack Cichy would impact the defense. I thought losing Corey Clement would be hard, but Wisconsin has absorbed these losses and looks even better than they did in 2016!
  • Completely surprised with Maryland! The Terrapins opened up on the road against Texas and beat the Longhorns in Austin 51-41 behind HUGE games from RB Ty Johnson, QB Tyrrell Pigrome and WR DJ Moore. Pigrome had to miss Week 2, but Maryland barely noticed as they took down Towson 63-17. I knew Johnson was a home run hitter at tailback but how could you see what was coming? Johnson is on pace to rush or over 1600 yards while averaging 15+ypc! Texas might stink and I’m sure the Terps are going to be tested more fiercely but right now the team is averaging 57PPG & you can be sure they won’t be intimidated in any situation after winning at Texas.
  • How good really is Ohio State? They lost the 1st half to Indiana in Week 1 by the score of 14-13 before blowing the Hoosiers out in the 2nd half. In Week 2, the Buckeyes hosted Oklahoma and had the doors blown off. If you look at quarters, Ohio St. has basically lost 6 of the 8 quarters they’ve played. JT Barrett doesn’t look good and you have to wonder how far Ohio St. can run this year. The Oklahoma loss doesn’t hurt too much if Ohio St. can run the table, but with Michigan progressing much faster than expected and Penn St. being Penn St., Ohio St. might have a very difficult road ahead.

BIG XII

  • Utterly shocked is the best way I can describe what is going on at Baylor. I’m sure when Matt Rhule left Temple for Waco, he didn’t imagine opening up the season with back to back losses to Liberty & UT-San Antonio, but the absolute worst case scenario has played out for the Bears and now they sit at 0-2 and that record could easily run to 0-8 before they get a road game against Kansas that might not be a victory at all. It would be insane to think Baylor could finish 0-12 and the odds are against it because going 0-12 isn’t easy, but it’s in play.
  • It’s one thing for Baker Mayfield to be a good QB. It’s completely another for the guy to be completing 84% of his passes and being on pace for 5,000 yards & 50TD. As good as Lamar Jackson has been for Louisville, if Mayfield completed 80% of his passes and the Sooners finish 13-0, then I don’t see how he’s not the Heisman Trophy winner. The Big XII has been incredible so far, but right now it looks as if Oklahoma is a notch ahead of anyone. They won’t face a defense as tough as Ohio State’s in conference play and the Sooners absolutely shredded the Buckeyes in Columbus.
  • Speaking of great QBs, Mason Rudolph of Oklahoma St. is completing 73% of his pass attempts and is on pace for 4,000 yards & 40TD. Rudolph might even be posting bigger stats through the passing game if it wasn’t for RBs Justice Hill and JD King who are running the ball extremely well. The Mayfield shadow is so big that Rudolph gets swallowed up by it, but the Oklahoma St. QB is a legit 1st Rd. NFL QB playing for a team that has a tremendous shot at getting to the playoffs. How in the world does a QB like this get overlooked!?
  • I’m not completely shocked by TCU’s 2-0 start but the Frogs absolutely dominated Arkansas in Fayetteville this past week. I think QB Kenny Hill has to play better for the Frogs to challenge either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, but TCU has a real shot at 10-2 and a possible 11-2 season with a bowl assuming they lose to both Oklahoma & Oklahoma State. Having those two games on the road is a schedule nightmare, but TCU’s defense has been unbelievable so far so who knows. TCU’s defense has been off the charts when it comes to statistics. They’ve only played Jackson St. & Arkansas but right now they look like the best defense in college football.
  • I’m really surprised at how good West Virginia has played. They shouldn’t have lost their opener to Virginia Tech and they followed that up by absolutely destroying East Carolina. QB Will Grier has been amazing and West Virginia can really run the football behind Justin Crawford & Kennedy McKoy. The Mountaineers need to play a bit better on defense, but that is a common theme among Big XII teams. It does seem though that WVU might be able to air it out with anyone if Grier can keep up this pace. Dana Holgorsen is an exceptional HC. I’m very curious to see if he ever gets a top-10 job because the guy can win national championships. Of course it would be awesome if he did so in Morgantown.
  • Overall I’m really impressed with how competitive the Big XII is. Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Kansas St., TCU and West Virginia are really good teams. Texas is super talented although the Maryland loss is a bit rough. Iowa St. probably should have beaten Iowa given they were playing at home & the Hawkeyes gave them plenty of chances. Baylor has had it extremely rough and we don’t really know too much about Texas Tech & Kansas yet, but the Big XII has the chance to go 6-7 deep possibly and that is a lot more than most other conferences.

PAC 12

  • How about the play of the two stud QBs in the Pac 12!? Josh Rosen is on fire. So far this season he’s led the Bruins to a 2-0 mark including an INCREDIBLE come from behind victory over Texas A&M! He’s thrown for 820yds/9TD without a pick while completing 68% of his passes! Rosen is on pace to throw for 5,330 yards with 59TD! Sam Darnold of USC has been pretty darn good too. Darnold had thrown for 605yds/4TD with 4 interceptions while completing 75% of his passes. Darnold shredded a great Stanford defense & re-established USC has a national title contender after a difficult outing against Western Michigan to open up the season. Darnold has been plagued by drop passes and bad routes as well so his numbers could be even better. There is a good shot these two guys are the first two taken in the 2018 NFL Draft. I’d say it’s even likely.
  • I’m pretty surprised at UCLA’s defense. The pass defense is allowing opposing QBs to complete just 47.8% of their passes and are allowing just 4.7 yards per pass attempt. The Bruins are +1 in sack differential and +4 in tackle for loss differential. They are -2 in TO margin which outlines a couple of tendencies with the defense. They don’t create a lot of turnovers and their rush defense is absolutely horrible giving up 6.3ypc! If UCLA can fix those issues then this team could compete with USC for the Pac 12 South.
  • I’m pretty surprised Arizona State has looked as bad as they have. They were able to open up the season with 2 home games against New Mexico State and San Diego State. They got by New Mexico State, but by only 6 points. They were dominated by San Diego St. for the most part losing 30-20. RB Kalen Ballage has had a tough time getting off rushing for only 3.7ypc without facing any real stud defenses. Todd Graham was on the hot seat coming into the season, but I don’t see how he survives it. The Sun Devil defense is atrocious and if Ballage has a rough time this year, I can’t see them winning many games. I think 0-10 is a real possibility before the finish the season up against Oregon State and Arizona. Wow!
  • I was shocked to see Stanford get destroyed by USC. I don’t know if that was a blip or just one of those game where everything goes wrong, but Stanford matches up well with the Trojans & yet were dominated. The loss doesn’t kill Stanford as they are more  than capable of winning out (They get Washington in Pao Alto) and meeting USC again in the Pac 12 championship but they have a couple of tricky games the next two weeks playing San Diego St. (who just thrashed Arizona St.) and UCLA who has proven extremely dangerous no matter the situation. I didn’t see any of this coming.
  • I think everyone has to be pleasantly surprised with the job Justin Wilcox has done so far at Cal. I don’t think anyone really expected Cal to go to Chapel Hill and beat North Carolina, but they did and then followed that up with a shaky win against Weber State. Carolina wasn’t awful against Louisville so if you extrapolate, California could be more competitive than we initially though. QB Ross Bowers is playing well. RB Patrick Laird was dominant against Weber St. and the Bears have a real talent at WR in Demetris Robertson. The Bears are also +3 in TO margin which certainly helps.
  • I do want to mention Oregon. I thought their 2nd half against Nebraska was a disaster but the Ducks were playing not to lose & barely held on to that one. If they can get consistent defensive play, Oregon is going to be factor in the Pac 12 North if anything because they’ll be hard games for Washington & Stanford, but QB Justin Herbert is for real and Royce Freeman can run the ball. I’m not sure I thought this team could win 10 games before the season began, but I think that win total is in play.

ACC

  • Look we knew the Clemson defense was going to be good, but that defense is insane. The D-Line completely bottled up Auburn last week which has to be a harbinger for things to come. I honestly don’t think there is a team in the nation outside of Alabama & Oklahoma and I’m not sure that is going to be enough. I don’t want to minimize the the loss of Deshaun Watson because it was a huge loss, but Kelly Bryant looks more than up for the task. I’d be surprised at this point if Clemson doesn’t finish 13-0 especially with Deondre Francois out for the year at Florida State.
  • I’m not sure there has been any real thoughts on the ACC outside of Clemson’s incredible start defensively. We haven’t really gotten to see Florida St. or Miami-FL outside of their first games because of hurricane issues and neither team will play this week. UNC getting beat by Cal is a bit surprising but it’s a rebuild year in Chapel Hill. Louisville having a hard time against Purdue & North Carolina is a bit troubling but Lamar Jackson has been outstanding. Duke’s start is incredible but they haven’t played anyone yet. At best I think we can say we have an incomplete grade on the ACC thus far.
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September 13, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Arizona St., Arkansas, Baylor, Big 10, Big XII, California, Clemson, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Pac 12, SEC, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, UCLA, USC, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2017 COLLEGE FOOTBALL – WEEK 3 BIG GAMES

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope What happens when an unstoppable force comes up against an immovable object? We’re about to find out when Clemson’s D-Line goes up against Louisville QB Lamar Jackson! Louisville’s defense hasn’t been able to stop anyone so I think Clemson won’t have any issues scoring points & winning. What will be interesting is to see how Clemson stops Jackson. They dominated Auburn’s run game last week, what will that defense do this week? Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think whoever wins his game starts garnering a bit more attention. LSU is sniffing the top-10 while the Bulldogs have laid the wood against inferior competition in their first two weeks. Last year LSU beat Hail State 23-20 in Baton Rouge despite being 13-point favorites. I think Mississippi St. is better this year so a win is clearly possible. I’m guessing LSU DC Dave Aranda’s going to stop MSU’s run game so Nick Fitzgerald is going to have to throw. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Florida seems like a mess right now. They were humiliated by Michigan on national television in Week 1 & had to miss their 2nd game because of a hurricane. Instead of working out the kinks against N.Colorado, Florida will now host a 2-0 Tennessee team that gutted out a win over Georgia Tech & then dominated Indiana State. This is a huge confidence builder for the Vols, but an opportunity for Florida to right the ship & get back on track. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The last time these two squads met was the 2005 Rose Bowl where a Vince Young led Longhorns squad upset a Matt Leinart led Trjoans squad for the national championship. USC is going to win this game & they are going to win big. When you consider that Texas gave up 51 points to Maryland, USC might end up scoring 60 points. The key will be Texas not being embarrassed which I think will be difficult. Tough start for Tom Herman. Computer Hope
Computer Hope They aren’t beating Clemson & USC, but a win here by South Carolina will put the Gamecocks at 3-0 with a 2-0 record against SEC East teams & a win over a solid NC State squad. That’s a tremendous start to a season when a lot of teams are feasting on Sun Belt & FCS schools. Kentucky has been a bit surprising too. I’m not surprised they are 2-0 but I thought they would have dominated more. This is a big game for both programs. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Stanford has to be VERY careful here. The USC loss stings but this is still a very formidable football team that can win the Pac 12 North & get a rematch with USC in the Pac 12 championship game in which case a win probably means the playoffs. The Sun Devils are for real though. They are coming off a convincing road win over Arizona St. & RB Rashaad Penny is nothing short of outstanding. Stanford should be on upset alert. Computer Hope
Computer Hope BYU should be better than the 1-2 they’ve posted. The offense is downright dreadful & QB Tanner Magnum has been awful. I still think there is some value in this game because LSU beat the Cougars 27-0 & Utah just finished beating them 19-13. Wisconsin has looked outstanding in their first two games so it’ll be interesting where they fall on the spectrum established by LSU & Utah. A 28+ win for Wisconsin puts them with LSU. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Oregon St. hasn’t been able to stop anyone as their defense is allowing 46PPG! That doesn’t bode well in going up against a Mike Leach led offense! I still think this one is interesting though because Wazzou the last few years lets an early one go & I think Gary Andersen is a great head football coach. I’d love to see Washington St. get to 5-0 before hosting USC on September 29th, but they need to keep avoiding oddball upsets. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Ole Miss entered the season a disaster but so far the on-field results have been amazing. QB Shea Patterson has completed 77% of his passes for 918 yards & 9TD to only 1INT! He’s on pace to throw for over 5400 yards & 54TD. AJ Brown & DeMarkus Lodge have been ELITE. California, like Ole Miss, finds itself 2-0 after their upset win over UNC in Week 1. The winner here gets to 3-0 which I think is surprising for either program. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Week 3 isn’t the best slate of games, but I have Purdue/Missouri on here because it’ll be a chance for you to see QB insanity as David Blough and Drew Lock go head to head in what should be a “Defense Optional” backyard pick up game! Lock threw for over 500 yards with 7TD in Week 1 against Missouri State. Blough has the ability to throw for 700 yards whenever the mood strikes him. A meaningless game, but tons of fireworks! Computer Hope

September 10, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Big 10, Big Games, Big XII, BYU, California, Clemson, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Missouri, Must See Games, NCAA, Oregon St., Pac 12, Purdue, San Diego St., SEC, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, USC, Washington St., Week 3, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2017 PAC 12 PREVIEW AND PREDICTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

 

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



PAC 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

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

August 23, 2017 Posted by | Arizona, Arizona St., California, Colorado, NCAA, Oregon, Oregon St., Pac 12, Predictions, Preseason, Previews, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington St. | Leave a comment

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

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

#65 – Chris Ash – Rutgers

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

#64 – David Beaty – Kansas

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

#63 – Barry Odom – Missouri

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

#62 – Bronco Mendenhall – Virginia

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

#61 – Lovie Smith – Illinois

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

#60 – Dino Babers – Syracuse

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

#59 – Justin Wilcox – California

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

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

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

#58 – Tom Allen – Indiana

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

#57 – D.J. Durkin – Maryland

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

#56 – Ed Orgeron – LSU

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

#55 – Matt Campbell – Iowa State

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

#54 – Matt Rhule – Baylor

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

#53 – Will Muschamp – South Carolina

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

#52 – Jeff Brohm – Purdue

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

#51 – Steve Addazio – Boston College

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

#50 – Rich Rodriguez – Arizona

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 12 – BIG GAMES

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Computer Hope This is the game of the week by a long shot because of all the implications. In my opinion the game is bigger for West Virginia. This is the game Dane Holgorsen and his staff have been preparing for since arriving in Morgantown. A win doesn’t guarantee a Big XII championship but it gets them VERY close. I think it also puts them into playoff contention if a couple of other conferences have 2-loss champions. A win here obviously is a big step for the Sooners to win the Big XII championship. Computer Hope
Computer Hope If you believe the big players in the Pac 12 this year are Colorado, Utah, USC, Washington & Washington St., then this is the Cougars first real challenge despite them being 8-2. The same can be said for Colorado who did have a test game against USC but lost which is keeping their credibility in check just a bit. It’s hard to pick against either. I’d love to see Mike Leach win out because Wazzou would be amazing in the playoffs, but I’ve been on Colorado’s bandwagon all year. Should be amazing! Computer Hope
Computer Hope If Tennessee doesn’t botch it up against Missouri or Vanderbilt, Florida is essentially playing for their lives here against LSU. The bigger question to me is whether or not Florida actually wants to win the SEC East? If they beat LSU then all that means is they’ll be facing Alabama. That game has 55-0 written all over it which begs the question of whether it’s worth it to win the East just so you can get murdered on national television? I don’t think it’ll matter though as LSU is destroying opponents. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Remember after Houston beat Oklahoma that everyone circled this date on their schedule as the game Houston had to win in order to get to 13-0 and make a push for making the playoffs? Two losses later and now this is a game Louisville needs not only to win but to dominate in order to push themselves higher in the playoff rankings in order for them to sneak in. Louisville needs bigger wins and they need them by bigger margins. This would accomplish both goals, but it shouldn’t be easy. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This might not seem like that big of a game, but the Demon Deacons are 4-1 in Winston-Salem and they’ve given Florida St. & Louisville all they could handle despite losing games. Wake almost pulled off a stunner last week in Louisville. Note also that while Clemson is on a different level, Wake went on the road to beat both Indiana & Duke. What does Clemson losing mean? It opens the door for Louisville as they would take the Atlantic and I can’t imagine them losing to Virginia Tech or North Carolina. Computer Hope
Computer Hope These one off games can be fun. It’s never easy going into Ft. Worth and pounding on the Frogs, but this is really the game that sets up THE GAME for Oklahoma St. assuming the Sooners beat West Virginia. The Cowboys can’t overlook TCU because they are playing for everything. Even if Oklahoma loses to West Virginia, OK-State can win the Big XII if they win out because they gave the Mountaineers their only conference loss. Oh, and by the way, TCU is playing for bowl eligibility! Cant’ wait! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Irish have been taking a lot of heat for being 4-6, but those 6 losses have come by a combined 29 points. That’s about 5PPG. The Irish are one of the few teams with a “best” care scenario record of 10-0 so while the 4-6 looks dreadful and Brian Kelly deserves the heat he’s gotten, remember that two wins & the Irish get to a bowl. Also keep in mind that Virginia Tech is coming off a loss to Georgia Tech, and teams that play teams like GT are very beat up the following week. This one is interesting. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The year hasn’t went anything like UCLA would have wanted, but remember they are in much the same situation as Notre Dame is in. At 4-6, the Bruins can win their last 2 games and get to a bowl which would be a minor victory. Their 6 losses have come by a combined 42 points. I don’t expect USC to have much trouble with the way they’ve been playing. The Trojans could still win the Pac 12 South so I don’t expect a letdown. This is the most beautiful game of the season with the jerseys. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game doesn’t have any national implications but I like the two teams involved. Minnesota has had a nice season. They haven’t beaten anyone of note, but they are 7-3 with their 3 losses coming to Nebraska, Iowa & Penn St. by 17 points. They might lose to Northwestern & Wisconsin to finish the season but if they are closes losses, it’s a helluva season to build on. Northwestern has become a dangerous team. If the team now started at the beginning, I think they finish 10-2 and maybe 11-1. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is a neat rivalry game and it should be a pretty cool contrast in styles. Stanford is going to run the ball behind Christian McCaffrey while the Bears are going to want to air it out behind Davis Webb. If Cal wins out they’ll finish 6-6 and get to a bowl, but I think Stanford has become the forgotten team nationally. They have a great shot at winning out which would mean 9-3. A bowl win gets the Cardinal to 10-3 which is a very good season. They can’t win the North so it seems they are forgotten. Computer Hope

November 15, 2016 Posted by | Big Games, California, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Minnesota, Must See Games, NCAA, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Stanford, TCU, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington St., Week 12, West Virginia | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 11 – BIG GAMES

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Computer Hope This is a huge game for the Huskies as it’ll give them more credibility as one of the ELITE playoff teams. I’m a huge fan of Washington’s team so I definitely have them in, but when you think about their resume, I guess you could argue it’s lacking. Their best non-conference win is over Rutgers & the Pac 12 is down. USC has played like a top-10 team since QB Sam Darnold took over so expect the Trojans to put up a fight. I think Washington will ultimately be too tough to handle. They are for real. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Ed Orgeron’s first road game as LSU’s head coach. This game doesn’t necessarily have any implications nationally, but both teams are incredibly good and a win by either is important for the programs. For Arkansas a win means a 10-win season in on the table which is a program milestone under Bret Bielema. It also would mean Arkansas is likely a top-15 team. For LSU it adds to their legitimacy. The Tigers proved last week they might be the #2 team in the nation right now. A win here helps. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Here is a weird stat for you, this is Georgia’s 10th game of the season yet it will only be their 4th in Athens! War Eagle had some trouble with Vanderbilt last week until QB Sean White came in and dominated the 2nd half. Georgia is 2-4 in their last 6 & had issues with Kentucky last week. The Bulldogs haven’t faced ANYONE like Auburn this season and I think it’ll show. I think this is another opportunity for Auburn to solidify itself on their road to the true SEC Championship game at Alabama! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Don’t blink in this one! Wazzou QB Luke Falk currently ranks 3rd in the NCAA in passing yards with 3,237. He completes 74.1% of his passes and has 28TD to 5INT. Cal QB Davis Webb currently ranks 4th in the NCAA in passing yards with 3,176. He completes 61.0% of his passes and has 30TD to 11INT. Both teams are top-5 in passing offense! The O/U is 82.5! Strategically it’s a great win for WSU. Cal isn’t a great team but they’ve beat a couple of good teams so it’ll look good for the Cougs. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Gophers are 7-2 and I don’t think anyone in the nation has noticed. That’s partly due to the Gophers’ biggest win coming against….Illinois? Regardless, Minnesota is in play to win the Big 10 West believe it or not! If they win out, they go to the Big 10 championship game! Their two losses have come against Iowa & Penn St. by a combined 10 points. Nebraska is coming off 2 losses to Wisconsin & Ohio St. so opportunity could be there. I think it’s a long shot, but this one has implications. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I cannot wait to watch this one. Penn St. is showing out and while you can get all hot and bothered over Saquon Barkley & Trace McSorley, the real protagonist of the Penn St. football team is the defense. The Hoosiers haven’t been as prolific offensively as they’ve been in recent years but IU can score & they are looking for bowl eligibility at 5-4. Penn St. is rolling SO WELL right now that I keep waiting for the let down, but who knows? I want to see the Penn St. defense dominate Indiana today. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Texas RB D’Onta Freeman is on pace to finish the season with 2,169 rushing yards & 20TD while averaging 7+ypc! I know it’s going to be impossible for him to jump Lamar Jackson or Jake Browning in the Heisman race, but he needs to be invited to NYC for the ceremony. He’s been the most physically dominant RB I’ve seen all season. WVU’s Big 12 chances are still there but Texas & Charlie Strong NEED this win. They could win out & get to 9-4 & that’s huge improvement in Year 3 for Strong. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is OK-State’s last home game before finishing up with back-to-back road games against TCU and Oklahoma. If they can beat Texas Tech & TCU then playing Oklahoma would be a defacto Big XII championship game assuming the Sooners take care of their own business. This should be a good game because Texas Tech plays pretty hard & forces teams into shootouts where anything can happen. Tech HC Kliff Kingsbury needs to figure out a way to recruit elite defensive players to Lubbock. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Iowa isn’t THAT much different than last season except for a couple of things. In 2015 the Hawkeyes got a few more turnovers and the breaks seemingly went their way in close games which led to a 12-2 mark and a top-10 ranking. The hurricane known as Michigan is coming to Iowa City & I don’t expect it to be close AT ALL, but Iowa has pride so they’ll play fairly hard. Iowa is always going to skate a fine line. Sometimes it results in 2009 or 2015 seasons. Sometimes it results in 2011 & 2016. Computer Hope
Computer Hope After starting the season 5-1 with wins over Texas Tech, Cal & UCLA, the Sun Devils have lost 4 straight games & are now fighting for bowl eligibility. This is an interesting game to me because ASU plays well at home and Utah’s resume is a little bit suspect. The Utes are coming off a loss to Washington & really are fighting for respect as they are living off an early season win over USC. ASU’s defense is SO BAD I’d expect Utah to handle them easily, but if ASU could make it interesting if they play well. Computer Hope

November 12, 2016 Posted by | Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Big Games, California, Georgia, Indiana, LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Texas, Texas Tech, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington St., Week 11, West Virginia | 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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 5 – BIG GAMES

Week 5 already!! This is crazy! I hate how fast the college football goes by. After this week there will be some teams that are one win away from bowl eligibility. That sounds crazy but it’s true. Let’s get to this week best 10 games.

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Computer Hope Clemson’s win over Georgia Tech last week was nice & the Tigers defense came out to play, but playing against an offense like Tech’s is inherently difficult because of the blocking scheme employed by those triple option types of offenses. We’ll really see how Clemson does this week after playing the Jackets last week. Lamar Jackson has to be licking his chops at this one. Louisville has destroyed everything in their path but this is the first real road test for the Ville! Computer Hope
Computer Hope If Wisconsin walks into Ann Arbor and does to the Wolverines what they did the Spartans last week, how are they not the #1 team in the nation with wins over LSU, Michigan and Michigan St. with NONE of them coming in Camp Randall!? I’d like to say Wisconsin hasn’t seen a rushing attack quite like Michigan’s yet, but they locked up Leonard Fournette for crying out loud. Michigan is averaging 52PPG. They aren’t going to come close to that even if they win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Huge game for both teams and probably the game that will decide the Pac 12 North. Washington was almost caught sleeping last week down in Arizona as they needed OT to pull out a win over the Wildcats because they were looking ahead to Stanford. Stanford on the other hand hasn’t been that great. Sure they’ve won all their games, but those wins haven’t exactly moved the meter. There’s no dominance to this Cardinal team. A win by either vaults them in the rankings. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It would be great if Tennessee could put together two halves of a football game so we could see how dominant the Vols can be. We were somewhat saying the same thing about Ole Miss last week before Georgia came into Oxford. Ole Miss didn’t disappoint taking Georgia to the woodshed early & often. Tennessee has the same opportunity this week & Nick Chubb might not be playing. Beat Georgia and there really isn’t anyone left in the East to challenge Tennessee. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Isn’t it amazing that TCU is ranked despite beating South Dakota St., SMU & Iowa St. but losing to Arkansas? This is a good game for Oklahoma to get back on track. The Frogs do a few things well, but defensively this is not one of Gary Patterson’s best units. Oklahoma should be able to exploit that and flex a bit on the TCU defense. I don’t think Oklahoma can tank the season simply because they have 2 losses. They still could win the Big XII & hope for a miracle. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Nobody is really talking about Memphis, but the Tigers beat Ole Miss last year 37-24 en route to starting the season 8-0 & being ranked #15. You’d think Memphis would be down a bit after losing their HC (Justin Fuente) & QB (Paxton Lynch), but new HC Mike Norvell has this team humming. In their first 3 games, the Tigers have outscored their opponents 155-27! QB Riley Ferguson is playing well, Memphis runs the ball well & the defense is great! Very interesting. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This should be a great game not many people will see. Utah has a window in the Pac 12 South that could catapult them into national contention if they keep winning. Cal has shown an ability to get loose at home with wins over Texas and Hawaii. If the Bears can allow Davis Webb to play within himself the Bears could win this thing. Cal hasn’t faced a defense as staunch as Utah’s though. If Utah can win this one they could be 8-0 before hosting Washington on 10/29! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cool opportunity for the Hurricanes to once again show they are better than the team that just beat their opponent. Earlier in the year Tennessee needed OT to beat Appalachian St. in Knoxville. Miami went into Boone & hammered the Mounties 45-10. Last week Clemson went into Atlanta & beat GT 26-7. This week Miami-FL will follow & it’ll be interesting to see if “THE U” can win by a more convincing score. We’re still in wait & see mode with Miami at this point. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Texas had an extra week to stew over their road loss to California, but I’m excited to see what the Longhorns can do against Oklahoma St. in Stillwater. Last week the Cowboys went on the road to Baylor & played the Bears pretty tough despite losing. The win over Notre Dame doesn’t look so hot but it’s still hard to deny the talent on Texas’ roster & how exciting the offense & defense could be. Like Oklahoma, Texas still has a shot at winning the Big XII championship. Computer Hope
Computer Hope How cool is it that Navy and Air Force are 3-0 and facing off! This will be a great game if you like rushing offense, but I’m excited for this because of Air Force. Navy has Houston, Memphis & Notre Dame on the schedule, but if the Falcons can get a win here, they could be 11-0 when they host Boise St. on November 25th. Get by Boise St. and they’d get San Diego St. in the MW championship game. There is a lot going on outside the Power 5 with a few teams. Computer Hope

September 27, 2016 Posted by | Air Force, Big Games, California, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Memphis, Miami-FL, Michigan, Mississippi, Must See Games, Navy, NCAA, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Week 5, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 4

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 3

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Yes Lamar Jackson is incredible and he’s by far and away leading any type of early Heisman voting but the game against Florida St. was a revelation for the Louisville defense. The Cardinals defenders made Deondre Francois look terrible & confused while RB Dalvin Cook couldn’t get off at all. It was 35-10 at halftime. It was 49-10 after 3 quarters! At this rate Jackson is on pace for pass for 4,260 yards & rush for 2,165 yards with a combined TD total of 84 rushing and passing. That’s nuts.
#2 Computer Hope The defense gave up 43 points and that hasn’t happened since…..Ole Miss scored 43 on the Tide last season! I think Alabama will take the 48-43 win from the Rebels in Oxford considering Ole Miss has beaten the Tide the last 2 seasons. Jalen Hurts didn’t look good in the passing game, but let’s be honest. Alabama wasn’t sure of their passing game coming into the season. They had USC & Ole Miss up & they’ve survived both. Hurts needs a couple of cupcakes. Kent St. & Kentucky are up next.
#3 Computer Hope Let’s assume for a second that the Buckeyes get to the national championship game. If that happens they’ll be playing in their 15th game. Assuming 15 games, JT Barrett is on pace to pass for 3250 yards with 50TD to 5INT while rushing for 795 yards & 15TD. Mike Weber is on pace to rush for 1,755 yards & 5TD. Curtis Samuel is on pace to combine for 2,595 yards & 20TD while WR Noah Brown is on pace to catch 25TD passes. Is it possible that this is Urban Meyer’s best team ever?
#4 Computer Hope It took the Wolverines a quarter to get going but once they did, Colorado didn’t stand a chance. The Buffaloes got out to a 21-7 lead after the first quarter which had to have taken Michigan by surprise, but from that point forward, the Maize & Blue outscored Colorado 35-7. QB Wilton Speight didn’t have his best game but didn’t beat himself and the Michigan rushing offense took control. Colorado is a quality opponent. I think they are going to surprise some people and get close to a bowl game.
#5 Computer Hope The competition hasn’t been that stuff but I’m still buying the Huskies. Chris Petersen is a tremendous coach & Washington looks like they are firing on all cylinders. The Huskies have barely gotten to play a full game this season. They’ve outscored their opponents 97-3 in the 1st half! The starters are in street clothes before the halftime speech is half over! This team is exceptionally balanced on offense & the defense gets after it. It’s time to start playing big boys & see what we have in Seattle.
#6 Computer Hope I don’t know if Michigan St. can beat Michigan or Ohio State, but this is a helluva football team that went into South Bend & blew the doors off Notre Dame before the Irish made it close late in the game. It starts with HC Mark Dantonio is one of the 4 best HCs in the country along with Saban, Meyer & Harbaugh. The blueprint Michigan St. is using with O’Connor (a 5th year senior QB) along with Scott, McDowell, Bullough & Reschke is one I wonder if teams won’t pick up on and try to emulate.
#7 Computer Hope Cincinnati hung around way too long for my liking. The Cougars were locked up 10-10 at the half and after the 3rd quarter they held only a 2-pt lead at 12-10. Houston did open it up in the 4th quarter which led to the eventual 40-16 win, but Greg Ward was decisively off which has to have Cougars fans concerned. The win over Oklahoma still looks good but the shine is a bit tarnished after Ohio St. went into Norman and beat the Sooners. Houston needs to start racking up style points.
#8 Computer Hope I don’t see how Texas A&M is not in the top-10? If you like Clemson then you have to like the Aggies as they handled Auburn a bit easier than Clemson did in their opener. Beating UCLA & Auburn isn’t a couple of wins over top-5 teams, but it’s a very nice start to a solid resume. I’m not entirely sure there is a way to stop the Aggies offense. Trayveon Williams has some in & done a remarkable job as the RB. That opens up the passing attack with A&M’s fleet of receivers! They can get better.
#9 Computer Hope After a couple of close calls against Auburn & Troy to open up the season, Clemson needed a game like this week where they crushed South Carolina St. 59-0 & dominated in all phases of the game. I wouldn’t get too comfy if I was Clemson. They have to travel to Atlanta on a short week to take on a Georgia Tech squad that looks pretty good with all the experience they have returning on offense. Clemson also can’t afford to overlook GT just because they get Louisville the week after.
#10 Computer Hope The 63-20 ass-kicking at the hands of Louisville was humiliating, but the Seminoles need to forget about it and move on. It’s entirely possible that Louisville is the best team in the nation & that Lamar Jackson is the best college football player we’ve seen since Tim Tebow. It’s also possible Louisville’s defense is one of the best 2-3 defenses in the nation and nobody ever accused Bobby Petrino of not being a tremendous football coach. The goal now is 11-1 & hope for a playoff opening.
#11 Computer Hope At one point Ole Miss was leading Alabama 24-3 but ended up losing 48-43. At one point Ole Miss was leading Florida St. 28-6 but would wind up losing 45-34. If the Rebels win both of those games they are 3-0 with wins over Florida St. & Alabama. They’d not only be the #1 team in the country but it wouldn’t even be close no matter how well Michigan, Ohio St. & Louisville are playing. If Ole Miss is for real then they should be able to handle their business against Georgia this week.
#12 Computer Hope You say the Badgers needed a 4th quarter comeback against….Georgia State. Well that Nick Chubb guy is a pretty good runner and…not the University of Georgia, Georgia State University! The Badgers do this seemingly every year. Get a great win & then follow it up with ho-hum play. Now they might not be settled at QB with Alex Hornibrook relieving Bart Houston last Saturday. That isn’t great news when you have Michigan St. & Michigan on the road in back-to-back weeks.
#13 Computer Hope I like Stanford and I like Christian McCaffrey but this formula isn’t going to work long term. A team like Alabama is going to take away your running attack and I’m not sure Stanford is good enough to win when you make them a one-dimensional passing team. The 27-10 win over USC was solid but Alabama DESTROYED the Trojans & this at least to a small degree shows how far away the Cardinal is from Alabama. Then again, if Stanford plays Alabama, it’ll be for the title.
#14 Computer Hope Tennessee needed OT to beat Appalachian St. 20-13 in Knoxville. Miami-FL went into Boone & hammered the Mountaineers 45-10! I think you have to make something of that and at least rank Miami-FL ahead of Tennessee. What I do know is that not nearly as many people are talking about Mark Walton & Joseph Yearby as they should. The competition hasn’t been great but “THE U”‘s running attack is special & QB Brad Kaaya is getting it done. Miami should win the Coastal.
#15 Computer Hope At the end of the day Houston & Ohio State could very well wind up 13-0 by the time the season is over & both be in the playoffs. If that happens & Oklahoma runs the table, they’d be 10-2 as Big XII Champions with their two losses coming to teams with a combined record of 26-0! That isn’t awful. Even if Houston loses to Louisville, the combined record would be 25-1! The real trick will be seeing if Oklahoma can beat up the Big XII. They get TCU & Texas next. A couple of wins will help.
#16 Computer Hope The Volunteers are struggling entirely too much. The win over Appalachian St. doesn’t look so great now that Miami-FL put a beating on the Mounties. They had a hard time getting started against Virginia Tech & this week beat Ohio 28-19! UT has too much offense to average only 31PPG against their first 3 opponents. Beating Florida will help their reputation but they got a gift with Luke Del Rio getting injured. Will Tennessee score enough on a very stingy Gators defense? I don’t know.
#17 Computer Hope Leonard Fournette was back in the lineup crushing people, running for 147yds/2TD on 28 carries, but the Bayou Bengals needed everything they had to hold off  Mississippi St. in a 23-20 victory. Fournette is a game changer & I’m hoping that he along with Danny Etling can get this offense going because playing at Auburn this next week won’t be easy. How about the play of Arden Key? The true sophomore has 5 sacks already this season putting him on pace for 20! He’s #2 in the nation.
#18 Computer Hope After a couple of close calls to start the season, Arkansas got an over-matched Texas St. squad in Fayetteville and dropped the hammer beating the Bobcats 42-3. The Hogs were up 35-0 at halftime & cruised in the 2nd half. The win last week over TCU had to be a big confidence builder but this week we are about to see how good Arkansas can be when they take on Texas A&M. This should be a great matchup as Arkansas’ willingness to run the football could counter A&M’s big edge rushers.
#19 Computer Hope I’m not willing to give up on Auburn just yet. Like Oklahoma they’ve lost 2 of their first 3 games, but those losses have come to Texas A&M & Clemson. It’s entirely possible that Clemson runs the table in the ACC. The Aggies will have a much harder time running the SEC, but if they play to their talent level it’s a possibility which makes the two losses look great. I still think Auburn is going to catch someone sleeping. Auburn welcomes in LSU this week and this might be the week Auburn gets a win.
#20 Computer Hope The Aztecs are 3-0. They beat Cal. Cal beat Texas. Texas beat Notre Dame. There is certainly a lot of talk about Houston but SD State should be in the conversation as the best team not in the Big 5. They should go 12-0 given that Boise St. isn’t on the slate & a win over the Broncos in the Mountain West championship game would give them a perfect 13-0 record. Rocky Long is doing a helluva job & RB Donnell Pumphrey is on pace to rush for 2,795 yards with 33TD! Sleeper Heisman candidate?
#21 Computer Hope The competition has been atrocious so far, but the Gators have outscored their opponents 101-14 in their first 3 games including last week’s 32-0 blanking of North Texas. The bad news for Gators fans is the injury of QB Luke Del Rio. It isn’t clear when Del Rio will return but he won’t play against Tennessee. Austin Appleby, a Purdue transfer takes over. It might not be a horrible situation. Appleby has starting experience & Florida is a team who likes to run & defend. They can beat the Vols.
#22 Computer Hope The win over Oregon in Lincoln could be program changing for the Cornhuskers. Nebraska hasn’t been nationally relevant for a long time now but with Iowa losing to North Dakota St., Nebraska could be in line to win the Big 10 West if they can get by Wisconsin. The confidence level has to be high as they came from behind twice. Tommy Armstrong is doing a great job leading this team. Now the Huskers need to keep winning. They should be 7-0 when traveling to Madison on October 29th.
#23 Computer Hope Sonny Dykes can coach. Let’s not forget that in his first year at Cal in 2013, the Bears were 1-11 & 0-9 in Pac 10 play. Last year they were 8-5 (4-5) and won a bowl game by 19 points. The win over Texas is HUGE considering that the Longhorns beat Notre Dame earlier. The 45-40 loss to San Diego St. is forgivable especially if you consider the Aztecs could easily be 13-0 by season’s end. QB Davis Webb is lighting it up. The Bears are going to hand with anyone if Webb doesn’t throw picks.
#24 Computer Hope The problem with a guy like Shane Buechele, if he has one, is that he’s listed around 6’1/185lbs which means he’s probably 5’11-6’0 and 175lbs dripping wet. Buechele got injured in the Cal game which clearly affected his play and that might have been a huge factor in Texas’ loss although the defense giving up 50pts is the immediate problem. Little guys like Buechele are prone to injuries at time and that is a tough one to swallow. The Longhorns could still win the Big XII and finish 11-1.
#25 Computer Hope The Texas loss doesn’t look so hot now that the Longhorns lost to Texas. Losing to Michigan State isn’t the end of the world if Michigan St. keeps winning. If the Spartans lose to Wisconsin, Michigan & Ohio St. then they become a 3rd place team in the Big 10 East with a 9-3 record. The Irish should have no problems getting to 4-2 with Duke, Syracuse & NC State up, but their defense is a big problem. They could have 4-5 more losses. If that happens then VanGorder is gone & Kelly’s seat is hot again.

DROPPING OUT

#17 UCLA: The 17-14 win over BYU wasn’t inspiring enough for me to keep them in the power-25 although Utah only beat BYU by 1 point. The Cougars are an interested team. They opened up the season with a win over Arizona by 2 points. Then lost to Utah by 1 and then UCLA by 3. I’m not exactly sure what we have in the Pac 12. UCLA gets Stanford at home this week. A win here vaults them way up in the standings considering their only loss came to Texas A&M who could be 4-0 by week’s end.

#20 GEORGIA: Needed everything they had to escape Columbia with a 28-27 win over Missouri. Nick Chubb & Sony Michel were held in check while the Missouri offense played fairly well. If UGA didn’t pick Drew Lock off 3 times then Georgia probably loses their first game of the season. They get Ole Miss this week. A win in Oxford puts the Dawgs back in the power-25.

#22 IOWA: MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT. The problem with Iowa is that they still have a schedule to run the table and get to 11-1. It’s unlikely get win the Big 10 championship game no matter who they get from the East, but what a waste of an opportunity. Anything can happen in one game & if Iowa finishes 12-1, they still don’t make the playoffs with a loss to an FCS school no matter how many championships that school has won.

#25 USC: The two losses have come against Stanford & Alabama. If the loss to Alabama didn’t look so bad I think you can justify having the Trojans still in the Power-25 seeing how solid those two squads are. USC gets a road trip to Utah this week and a win over a ranked Utes team will definitely have me rethinking putting the Trojans back in the top-25.

September 20, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, California, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, NCAA, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Power 25, San Diego St., Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Washington, Week 3, Wisconsin | Leave a comment