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2017 ACC PREVIEW AND PREDICTIONS

The ACC has made some headlines this off season in declaring they are the best conference in college football, taking over the title from the SEC. That seems odd given how dominant the SEC has been over the last 10-15 years, but do the ACC acolytes have a point? Consider last year’s records against the other Power-5 conferences along with Notre Dame and also their bowl record:

SEC: 10-4
BIG 10: 6-2
Notre Dame: 3-2
BIG XII: 1-1
PAC 12: 0-2
TOTAL: 20-11

BOWL GAMES: 9-3

The Big XII & Pac 12 didn’t have much by way of sample size. Miami-FL beat a then #14 ranked West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl 31-14 leaving no doubt that the Canes were by far superior to the Mountaineers. The other Big XII game came early in the 2016 season as Oklahoma St. beat Pittsburgh 45-38. Hardly inspiring considering it was a “close” loss for Pitt who finished 8-5 while Oklahoma St. finished 10-3 and had a chance to win the Big XII had they beating Oklahoma in Bedlam! last season.

The Pac 12 games were also decided in the ACC’s favor despite going 0-2 against them. North Carolina lost 25-23 to a Stanford team that finished in the top-12 with a 10-3 record. Beating UNC by 2 points is hardly dominant especially when Carolina wasn’t one of the 5 best teams in the ACC while Stanford was AT LEAST the 3rd best team in the Pac 12 by season’s end. The other Pac 12 game came early as Oregon beat Virginia 44-26 in Eugene. You can hardly extrapolate from that one as UVA was the ACC’s worst squad.

No conference had a better bowl record than the ACC who finished 9-3 and had a bowl record against the SEC of 4-1! Possibly even more important is that Clemson took down Alabama to win the National Championship. At least for 2016, the ACC’s best was better than the SEC’s best. And is it really THAT much of a jump to think Florida St. was better than Florida last season? No, because FSU actually beat the Gators 31-13! Is it hard to imagine Virginia Tech being better than LSU? Not in the least. Is it difficult to think Miami-FL was better than Auburn? Was Louisville better than Georgia? At the top at least you can certainly make an argument that the ACC truly did take over the moniker of “BEST CONFERENCE” in college football. The ACC has won 2 of the last 4 national championships and they can make an argument they should have won 3 of them.

Heading into this season, the ACC has 2 teams in the preseason top-25 rankings. The SEC has only Alabama. The SEC does get 6 teams in the preseason top-25 but the ACC gets 5 of their own. And what about talent? Here is how many players were drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft by rounds between the SEC and ACC:

1st Round
SEC: 12
ACC: 4

Rounds 1-2
SEC: 21
ACC: 7

Rounds 1-3
SEC: 30
ACC: 11

Rounds 1-4
SEC: 38
ACC: 17

8As you can see, from an NFL talent perspective, it’s not really that close, but doesn’t that make the case for the ACC having better “teams” that much more potent considering how well the ACC did against vastly superior talented SEC squads? What about moving forward with recruited talent? According to Phil Steele, The SEC has 4 teams have top-10 recruiting classes as compared to the ACC’s 2. The SEC had 9 programs rank in the top-25 while the ACC has 4. The SEC has 11 programs finish in the top-30 in 2017 recruiting classes. The ACC has just 5.

As far as NFL talent and recruiting talent is concerned, the ACC falls behind the SEC, but that is why we play the games. As much as it sounds odd to believe the ACC is now the class of college football, the on-field results support this conclusion. The question becomes whether or not the ACC has any staying power over the SEC and whether or not the Big 10 can start getting very consistent play from Michigan St., Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana & Iowa which could combine with Ohio State, Penn State & Michigan to potentially throw the Big 10 into the discussion in the near future? The question of whether or not the ACC is better than the SEC is very intriguing and one that is worth watching as the season unfolds.

# TEAM ATLANTIC
1 Computer Hope If Deshaun Watson were returning to Clemson for the 2017 season I think the Tigers would be the easy pick to repeat as national champions. The big question mark regarding Clemson is how new QB Kelly Bryant will handle the team. That’s a good question but to me what separates Clemson is their defense. DTs Dexter Lawrence & Christian Wilkins are 1st Rd. NFL picks. DE Clelin Ferrell is going to take over Carlos Watkins’ role from last season. Kendall Joseph is the best LB on the team & he returns. The secondary is FILTHY! Clemson gets Florida St. at home which decides the Atlantic. I think the defense gives Clemson the edge.
2 Computer Hope If there is an argument to be made for two teams out of the same conference getting to the playoffs, then the ACC can certainly make that case. FSU is the favorite in any other conference outside the SEC. I think what puts FSU a hair behind Clemson is that Dalvin Cook is a HUGE loss. Cook might be a top-5 NFL RB this season if that gives you any indication of how good he was last season. I also think losing DE DeMarcus Walker is tough although Brian Burns & Josh Sweat should be INCREDIBLE edge rushers. S Derwin James is arguably the best player in college football! The road game at Clemson is the big hurdle for the Noles.
3 Computer Hope Defense in the ACC Atlantic continues to be the key as NC State separates themselves with a NASTY D-Line led by All-American Bradley Chubb! At 6’4/280lbs, Chubb is a physical beast off the edge but DT BJ Hill, DT Justin Jones & DE Kentavius Street are also returning starters that are going to be exceptionally difficult to handle. Offensively QB Ryan Finley returns along with his top-4 receivers & 4 O-Linemen. Finley was a bit underrated last year having completed 60% of his passes for 3059yds with 18TD to just 8INT. The junior enters his 2nd year as QB1 & will get better. NC State can make noise getting Clemson & L’Ville at home.
4 Computer Hope How good is the ACC Atlantic? The defending Heisman Trophy winning QB is playing for a team I think will finish 4th in his own division! The Cardinals only return 4 starters on offense but have some very good weapons in RBs Jeremy Smith & Colin Wilson along with WR Jaylen Smith. QB Lamar Jackson is the show of course but he’s got plenty of weapons to help. Defensive Louisville returns 7 starters on a unit that allowed 23.8PPG. The unit loses some big time players though in Keith Kelsey, Devonte Fields, De’Angelo Brown & Josh Harvey-Clemons. Those are 4 big time players. NC State & FSU on the road pushes Louisville to 4th.
5 Computer Hope HC Dino Babers did a solid job in his first year at Syracuse. The Orange’s record didn’t regress from the previous year & Syracuse got wins over Virginia Tech & Boston College which were great for morale. The talent base here isn’t outstanding which is what you’d expect, but Syracuse returns 19 starters from last year’s squad and they all now have a year of playing under Babers systems which is going to help with experience. QB Eric Dungey can play as evidenced by his 65% completion rate last year & 2679yds. The defense returns 10 starters and if it can generate any kind of pass rush they’ll be a tough out. Getting BC & WF at home helps.
6 Computer Hope HC Steve Addazio is on the hot seat and he enters an interesting situation. I think BC is going to have a solid defense headlined by potential All-American DE Harold Landry, but Landry has quite a bit of help. DE Zach Allen is a load while LBs Connor Strachan & Ty Schwab can fill it up. BC also features a secondary made up of entirely upperclassmen with 3 returning starters. The defense has a shot to be good. Offensively BC hasn’t fared too well under Addazio. They are struggling but moving on from QB Patrick Towles might not be awful and BC returns 4 starters on the O-Line. With just 6 obvious losses, BC could get back to a bowl in ’17.
7 Computer Hope HC Dave Clawson did a FANTASTIC job last season in getting Wake Forest to their first bowl game since 2011 and getting their first bowl win since 2008! He also did this with a team that averaged just 20.4PPG & a QB that completed 56% of his passes with 9TD to 10INT! Clawson will need to do another fantastic coaching job should the Demon Deacons get back to a bowl. The offense returns 9 starters but the unit was dreadful last season. They’ll improve but by how much? Defense has been Wake’s calling card & DE Duke Ejiofor returns along with CB Amari Henderson, but Wake loses quite a bit too. The schedule didn’t do them favors!

 

# TEAM COASTAL
1 Computer Hope Miami-FL’s 9-4 record last season in HC Mark Richt’s first foray in Coral Cables was THIS CLOSE to being 12-1 as Miami-FL lost 3 games by a combined 11 points & never won a close game. Richt has done a fantastic job amassing talent in his short time at Miami and it’s already paying dividends. THE U has to break in a new QB with Brad Kaaya leaving for the NFL but the skill positions are STACKED & the O-line returns 4 starters. Defensively, Miami-FL is starting to look like the Miami of old. Shaq Quarterman is a beast. The entire Front-7 returns and the secondary has some salty big hitters. Miami-FL looks really really good!
2 Computer Hope I absolutely LOVE what Justin Fuente is doing in Blacksburg and the Hokies saw absolutely no dropoff after Frank Beamer’s retirement as Fuente took Beamer’s last squad that finished 7-6 and turned them into a 10-4 team that won the ACC Coastal! Replacing Jerod Evans at QB is a big fill although I think VT can handle it a bit due to Fuente’s offensive schemes. Still, a frosh QB in Josh Jackson will have a learning curve. The Hokies defense should be ELECTRIC as DC Bud Foster’s unit returns 8 of their top-10 tacklers including guys like Tremaine Edumunds, Mook Reynolds, & Andrew Motuapuaka. Nov. 4th is going to be nuts!
3 Computer Hope Losing Dedrick Mills earlier this year is a huge blow as GT’s leading rusher last season was dismissed from the team, but the Yellow Jackets are more scheme based than talent based so I don’t think it’ll matter too much. HC Paul Johnson gets the most out of his talent & Georgia Tech returns 16 starters from a team that went 9-4 a year ago. QB Matthew Jordan replaces QB Justin Thomas, but Jordan has been around awhile so I don’t think it’ll be a drop off. Georgia Tech’s defense should be just as good as it was last season. Getting Pittsburgh & North Carolina at home pushes the Ramblin’ Wreck up to 3rd and they should get 7-8 wins.
4 Computer Hope Duke is a tricky team because like Georgia Tech, the Blue Devils under HC David Cutcliffe are almost always going to exceed expectations and get the most out of their talent. Duke returns 7 starters on offense including QB Daniel Jones who as a freshman last season completed 63% of his passes for 2836yds & 16TD to 9INT. This for a Duke squad that finished 4-8. Under Cutcliffe’s guidance, Jones is going to get even better & the Blue Devils have enough help to push the offense forward. Defensively Duke returns 5 starters but the players returning such as LBs Joe Giles-Harris & Ben Humphreys are rock solid. Don’t sleep on Duke.
5 Computer Hope USC transfer QB Max Browne has been named the starter, but I think a lot of people don’t realize how good Nathan Peterman was last season. Peterman threw for almost 3,000 yards along with 27TD to 7INT. Browne is big at 6’5/230lbs and he has talent, but Peterman is going to be difficult to replace as will heart & soul RB James Conner. I really like Quadree Henderson & Qadree Ollison but how does this offense not regress? PITT returns 4 starters from a defense that yielded 35.2PPG! That’s a blessing & a curse. The D returns just 2 starters from their Front-7. Unless Rori Blair goes crazy there isn’t a pass rush. I’m not a believer here.
6 Computer Hope This seems WAY TOO LOW for Carolina under HC Larry Fedora, but wow did the Tar Heels lose a lot to the NFL. On offense they lost the #2 overall pick in QB Mitch Trubisky who passed for almost 4,000yds and 30TD! Brandon Harris is supposedly the new QB, but he couldn’t keep the LSU gig from a Purdue transfer! UNC also loses Elijah Hood, TJ Logan, Ryan Switzer, Bug Howard & Mack Hollins! Good grief! Also remember they lose C Lucas Crowley & RT Jon Heck, both 2-time All ACC performers! On D the Heels bring back 7 starters but lose Nazair Jones & Des Lawrence! Like Pitt, where is the pass rush? Looks like a transition year.
7 Computer Hope Virginia is trying to become respectable and this could be a coming out season for the Cavaliers. I’m very interested to see how the defense does after they gave up 33.8PPG a season ago. This unit should improve immensely given the talent on board. DE Andrew Brown is a monster on the edge if he can stay healthy & is a potential NFL 1st Rd. pick. LB Micah Kiser is an All-American & LB Jordan Mack was outstanding last year as a true frosh & he’ll get even better. S Quin Blanding is fantastic on the hunt & UVA’s corners are all 6’2 or better! The offense is just OK & I think RB Taquan Mizzell is a big loss but QB Kurt Benkert should improve.

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

ATLANTIC ACC CHAMPIONSHIP COASTAL
Computer Hope This might seem like another win for Clemson on their road to repeating as National Champions, but I like this game because Miami-FL’s real strength resides in their O-Line. I think Clemson is going to win the Atlantic because I don’t think anyone really has an answer for their Front-7 on defense, but Miami-FL has an offensive line that should be good enough to give the Hurricanes some time to utilize their skill position players. I don’t think it’ll be enough this year as Clemson wins their 3rd straight ACC title. Computer Hope
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August 27, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida St., Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami-FL, NC State, NCAA, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Predictions, Preseason, Previews, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest | Leave a comment

TERRIFIC 20: TOP 20 EDGE RUSHERS FOR 2017 NCAA FOOTBALL

EDGE RUSHERS!!!!! The most exciting position in football in my opinion! This position was tough because there were quite a few edge rushers who probably deserved to be included yet missed the cut since I limited my selections to the top-20. One thing that stood out is that the SEC & ACC have tremendous pass rushers this season. Catching those conference games almost ensures you’ll see a couple of elite pass rushers. What also stuck out is that you could make a decent argument that Ohio St. has 4 of the top-20 edge rushers in the nation! If there is going to be a single reason why the Buckeyes could potentially win a national championship, it’ll be because of the RELENTLESS pass rush their edge rushers can generate! It should be mind boggling.

A quick reminder, the 20 players are listed alphabetically by their team. As I’ve said before, I don’t try to actually rank the top-20 because I’m not entirely sure how much value added I’d receive by doing so. The margins are fairly thin between some of the players.

TEAM COMMENTS
Computer Hope Harold Landry/6’3/250lbs/SR: Landry didn’t play much as a freshman, but flashed quite a bit as a sophomore as he tied with LB Matt Milano for the BC lead in tackles for loss in 2015 with 11. That was a harbinger for things to come as Landry exploded last year racking up 16.5 sacks which led all of college football! While a 4-3DE for Boston College, Landry projects as a 34OLB at the NFL level. Regardless, the Eagles are going to get back to a bowl this year & Landry will have an incredible season.
Computer Hope Clelin Ferrell/6’5/265lbs/rSO: It was easy not to concentrate so much on Ferrell last year during Clemson’s run to a championship because the defense had guys like Ben Boulware, Kendall Joseph, Carlos Watkins, Cordrea Tankersley, Dexter Lawrence & Christian Wilkins, but Ferrell was a huge part of the success racking up 6 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss and a team leading 9 QB hurries. Oh by the way he was only a rFR! He returns with a ton of supporting players. He’ll go double digit sacks.
Computer Hope Jabari Zuniga/6’3/245lbs/rSO: Like Ferrell, Zuniga was another redshirt freshman having a helluva year. Zuniga finished the season for the Gators with a team leading 5 sacks, which also happened to be the most sacks by a freshman since 1987! Zuniga wasn’t highly thought of coming out of high school, but he proved to be an incredible get. In limited time last season he still managed the 5 sacks and an astonishing 11 QB hurries. If those hurries turn into sacks, Zuniga becomes an All-American.
Computer Hope Brian Burns/6’5/218lbs/SO: Burns has perfect height to be a 4-3 DE at the next level, but he’s a little light at 218lbs so it’ll be something to watch moving forward. While he might not have ideal bulk at the moment, it’s impossible to overlook the numbers the true frosh put up last season. In limited time, Burns recorded 9.5 sacks which was 2nd on the team to DeMarcus Walker’s 16. With Josh Sweat on the opposite end, Burns should be in for another huge year in what should be a playoff run for Florida State.
Computer Hope Josh Sweat/6’5/250lbs/JR:Opposing teams are screwed with FSU’s edge rushers because Burns and Josh Sweat make the list. Sweat is more of a complete package seeing that he’s 250lbs although his ceiling might not be as high as Burns. Sweat really came on down the stretch in FSU’s last 3 games against Syracuse, Florida & Michigan. In those 3 games, Sweat had 4.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. If Sweat keeps that momentum going in 2017 and improves from his ’16 campaign, then look out!
Computer Hope Davin Bellamy/6’5/240lbs/rSR: Bellamy is almost the ideal size for an NFL 4-3 DE. At 6’5 and almost 250lbs, Bellamy has elite physical size, but one thing that he hasn’t been able to do is transform his QB hurries into sacks. In 2015 Bellamy had 9 QB hurries yet only 3 sacks. Last season he recorded a ridiculous 17 QB hurries but manged only 5 sacks! Those numbers should be reversed! Georgia is a big time threat to win the SEC East and you’d have to think Bellamy could be a deciding factor in the SEC East.
Computer Hope Lorenzo Carter/6’6/242lbs/SR: Everything I wrote above about Bellamy is somewhat true about Carter as well. Despite his IDEAL size for a 4-3 DE, Carter has had trouble converting QB hurries to sacks. In 2015 he had 6 QB hurries but no sacks. Last year he recorded 13 QB hurries but just 5 sacks. Neither Carter or Bellamy show up on first round mock drafts for 2018 so something is up. I’m betting on both of them. The upside is simply too strong there for me to ignore them. I think they both dominate.
Computer Hope Dorance Armstrong/6’4/256lbs/JR: There wasn’t a lot to be excited about regarding Kansas football last year but along with the win over Texas, Dorance Armstrong was a HUGE bright spot for the Jayhawks campaign. Armstrong wasn’t fantastic in 2015, but he exploded last season with 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss! Armstrong was consistent all season & he put up big numbers against some very tough offensive lines. He could be KU’s 1st first team All-American since CB Aquib Talib back in 2007.
Computer Hope Jaylon Ferguson/6’5/255lbs/rJR: Guys like Ferguson are always interesting because you wonder who exactly they got to where they are. Ferguson is from St. Francisville, LA which is about 30 or so miles north of Baton Rouge. How in the world did this guy NOT grow up an LSU fan, and how in the world did LSU NOT want to recruit the guy? It doesn’t look like LSU even offered the guy so maybe it was never on the table. Ferguson exploded last year with 14.5 sacks! He’s an All-American candidate for 2017.
Computer Hope Arden Key/6’6/255lbs/JR: Speaking of Ferguson to LSU, could you imagine the LSU defensive line if it has Ferguson and Key coming off the edge!? Good grief! How in the world would opposing QBs not get killed!? Key is a MONSTER! HC Ed Orgeron is already saying can be as good if not better than former Texas A&M, and #1 overall NFL draft pick, Myles Garrett! Those are lofty words, but Key is fully formed & is an outstanding pass rusher. Coming off shoulder surgery, let’s hope it doesn’t hinder him.
Computer Hope Joe Jackson/6’5/258lbs/SO: I wavered on throwing Jackson on this list because he’s not even projected to be a starter for THE U at DE. The Canes have seniors looking to start in Chad Thomas & Trent Harris. Both are solid players, but it’s hard to ignore what Jackson did last season as a true freshman. He led Miami in sacks with 8.5 and recorded 11.5 tackles for loss which also led the team. Jackson has incredible size at 6’5/260lbs. I’d be shocked if Jackson doesn’t get a ton of reps & net double digit sacks.
Computer Hope Marquis Haynes/6’3/222lbs/SR: Haynes doesn’t have ideal size as a 4-3 DE, but he fits the position well and has a ton of natural pass rushing ability. It’s hard to ignore his production. As a sophomore Haynes posted 10 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. Last year as a junior Haynes had 7 sacks & 11 tackles for loss but also had 8 QB hurries. It was somewhat of a surprise to see him come back for his senior season, but Haynes has the ability to post numbers that could make him an All-American candidate.
Computer Hope Marcell Frazier/6’5/265lbs/rSR: Incredible size for a DE, Frazier could think about gaining 25lbs and becoming a 3-4 DE who could provide pocket pressure off the edge. He’ll have no problem taking over for the departed Charles Harris who the Miami Dolphins took in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Frazier might be one of the most important players in college football this season because if he provides significant pressure, Missouri has a chance to shock a lot of people given their schedule.
Computer Hope Bradley Chubb/6’4/275lbs/SR: Chubb flashed enormous potential for the Wolfpack as a sophomore netting 5.5 sacks & 12 tackles for loss. Those numbers are gigantic but Chubb ranked 2nd on the team in tackles which is amazing for an edge rusher. Last year Chubb flashed for real, racking up 10.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss along with 7 QB hurries. Chubb has tremendous bulk at 275lbs, but he’s got a lot of speed for that size. There are a lot of very good edge rushers in the ACC, but Chubb is the best.
Computer Hope Sam Hubbard/6’5/265lbs/rJR: Hubbard didn’t go nuts last year with his stats with only 3.5 sacks and 8 tackles for loss, but he’s roundly considered a first round draft pick and if you watch Ohio St. for very long, it’s not hard to see why Hubbard has as much hype surrounding him as anyone. What could prevent Hubbard from having a huge statistical season is Ohio St. having so much depth on the edge. This will be true for Tyquan Lewis as well but Nick Bosa & Jalyn Holmes are going to need reps too!
Computer Hope Tyquan Lewis/6’4/265lbs/rSR: Lewis has always been an elite pass rusher but playing in the shadow of Joey Bosa, it isn’t easy to get noticed for you own play. In his first season without Bosa, Lewis led the Buckeyes in sacks with 8, in tackles for loss with 10.5 and in QB hurries with 5. He didn’t get to come out of the Bosa family shadow for long though as little brother Nick came in and had a fantastic true frosh season. Like Hubbard, Lewis is a 1st round NFL DE, but his reps won’t be as high because of depth.
Computer Hope Breckyn Hager/6’3/227lbs/JR: KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THIS GUY! Hager had an outstanding sophomore campaign for the Longhorns despite only making 5 starts. Hager made the most of his opportunities finishing 2nd on the team in tackles, 1st in sacks and first in tackles for loss. He has a relentless motor and is constantly on the move regardless of play/position. Hager is a little light but Texas is moving to a 3-4 base defense which forces Hager to a 3-4 OLB spot which he’s more suited for. Scary!
Computer Hope Porter Gustin/6’5/260lbs/JR: Gustin didn’t get a ton of run time as a true frosh back in 2015, but he flashed hard last season for the Trojans picking up 5.5 sacks and a team leading 13 tackles for loss. Gustin is an edge rusher with incredible size at 6’5/260lbs, but he’s quick off the line and he does a great job holding the edge and containing the running game. He’s not a one trick pony to be sure. USC is this close to being back to the glory years under Pete Carroll. Gustin is a big part of that as the defense is solid.
Computer Hope Tremaine Edmunds/6’5/236lbs/JR: A 3rd team All-American last season, Edmunds is a scary sight off the edge down in Blacksburg. Giving Bud Foster an ELITE edge rusher is a thing of beauty. The last time VT had an edge rusher the caliber of Edmunds was back when Jason Worilds was playing in 2008-2009, but Worilds isn’t as good as Edmunds, wasn’t as big or have near the upside. Edmunds only had 4.5 sacks last year but 18.5 tackles for loss! He has the potential to reverse those numbers.
Computer Hope Duke Ejiofor/6’4/275lbs/rSR: Ejiofor was a big part of Wake Forest getting to a bowl game last year for the first time since 2011 and winning a bowl game for the first time since 2008. The 2008 season was also the last time Wake had a winning season before the 2016 campaign. Ejiofor got spot duty his first couple of seasons after redshirting but flashed last year when he became the starter. He led the team in sacks with 10.5 and recorded 17 tackles for loss. The ACC has a lot of outstanding edge rushers.

FIVE FRESHMAN WHO COULD MAKE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT IN 2017

Jaelan Phillips/UCLA/6’6/250lbs: A consensus 5-star defensive end out of Redlands, CA, Phillips is a man-child at 6’6/250lbs which is already IDEAL size as a 4-3 edge rusher. Phillips enrolled early at UCLA and was on campus for spring practice. The Bruins hardly have anything coming back as far as pass rush is concerned so Phillips could get some run time early getting a chance to show the coaching staff that he can be an impact player right away. The only downside to Phillips potentially is his size. The kid is already 6’6/250lbs and UCLA runs a 4-3 defense. If he gains 25-30 pounds then Phillips will be a prototypical 34DE at 6’6/280lbs! There isn’t much by way of production last season in front of Phillips and opportunity is half the battle for these newcomers. I think Phillips gets a chance to shine as a true freshman.

A.J. Epenesa/Iowa/6’5/270lbs: I wanted to mention Espnesa because he is the most highly decorated recruit that committed to Iowa that I can remember. Typically the Hawkeyes don’t nail down too many no doubt 5-star studs, especially on the defensive line, but the Illinois native signed with the Iowa and Kirk Ferentz couldn’t be happier. I think opportunity is what is key for freshman contribution and that isn’t easy to see with Epenesa in Iowa City this year. Iowa already has a solid 3-man rotation at edge rusher featuring Parker Hesse, Matt Nelson and Anthony Nelson. What makes it so intriguing however, is that the Hawkeyes could easily make that a 4-man rotation by adding Epenesa  making their D-Line deeper and even more talented. It would also be incredibly BIG! Matt Nelson is 6’8/285lbs. His younger brother Anthony Nelson is 6’7/260lbs. Hesse is 6’3/260lbs and Epenesa is already 6’5/270lbs! Pass rush counts for a lot in football and because of this 4-man rotation, Iowa has a shot at the Big 10 West. I think Epenesa gets a chance to help Iowa.

Jake Lawler/North Carolina/6’3/220lbs: Lawler is a little light for an edge rusher but he’s a true freshman so you’d have to think the weight will come at some point. That being said, Lawler looks like a prime candidate to redshirt, but as I’ve said repeated times, opportunity is a good sign a freshman might have an impact and Lawler might have a shot to get solid reps. The Tar Heels have Malik Carney returning who will be their primary pass rusher, but UNC is a little thin on the opposite side which is where Lawler could come into play. You could make an argument that Lawler is the most talented edge rusher on the squad so that might garner him some opportunities. Admittedly this might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s worth noting because Lawler enrolled early and Carolina needs the help on the edge.

Drew Jordan/Duke/6’2/255lbs: Staying on Tobacco Road, Jordan as a true freshman immediately steps into the starting role for Duke and is easily the most talented edge rusher the Blue Devils have heading into 2017. Typically a team like Duke (or Vanderbilt or Indiana or Northwestern) can sometimes get a solid blue chip recruit along the O-Line or at QB. Even LB, but getting a blue chipper as an edge rusher is a rare thing, yet HC David Cutcliffe managed to pull this off with Jordan, a Georgia native. Jordan has ready make bulk at the collegiate level at 255lbs and to be honest, he’ll need to figure out a way to keep his weight under control unless he shoots up to 6’4-6’5. One thing I like about the impact Jordan could have is that it improves Duke’s pass rush from the edge because the Blue Devils do a pretty good job getting QB pressure from their LBs. Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys get after it a big and a solid edge rusher like Jordan could open up lanes for the LBs to swarm a little bit better. If Jordan gets a lot of reps and his numbers don’t look great, but Giles-Harris & Humphreys get big bumps, it’ll be because Jordan freed them up a bit.

Bryan Jones/Houston/6’5/245lbs: It’s a different coaching staff at Houston with Tom Herman going to Texas, but what sticks out to me about Jones is the presence of Ed Oliver. Jones is a fully formed 43DE at 6’5/245lbs and he was a highly recruited DE. Oliver as a true frosh last season was a 1st team all-american and he’ll be clogging up the middle while Jones is on the edge. Jones is the most talented edge rusher on the Cougars team and it’s not even close. He should get opportunities and Houston’s front-7 is good enough that Jones should see a lot of one-on-one matchups on the edge which could lead to some big plays. Given how well Oliver did as a freshman, I wonder if Jones can come in and have a similar impact especially with Oliver coming back for his sophomore season. Houston lost both of their starting edge rushers from a season ago so competition should be wide open.

July 13, 2017 Posted by | Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Edge Rushers, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, LSU, Miami-FL, Mississippi, Missouri, NC State, North Carolina, Ohio St, Predictions, Preseason, Previews, Terrific 20, Texas, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest | Leave a comment

RANKING POWER-65 COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES – #29 to #20

We are now over half way done with the rankings with 36 college coaches in the books. You can probably say this with some certainty about any particular range of coaches ranked thus far, but I especially thought at this point that putting a coach here or there was especially difficult because it probably comes down to preference. I thought this was interesting in terms of recruiting because at this point in the rankings from #16 or #17 to #29 or #30, it probably comes down to a recruit’s willingness to buy into the system and his potential relationship with the coaching staff. At this point we aren’t talking about a recruit choosing between Alabama & Rutgers. It’s more choosing between Iowa and Mississippi State. There probably isn’t a wrong answer. To get you caught up, here are the links from the coaches ranked lower than #29:

#65-#50
#49-#40
#39-#30

Now let’s kick off with #29!

#29 – Kirby Smart – Georgia

Some might think this is a little too high for Smart given that he just came off his first year as a HC in Athens where the Georgia Bulldogs finished a pedestrian 8-5 with a 4-4 SEC record in an SEC East that was far from stellar, but I’d take the opposite approach and say Smart accomplished a tremendous amount in Year 1. Georgia did drop 3 home games it shouldn’t have (Tennessee, Vanderbilt & Georgia Tech), but those 3 losses turn to wins and UGA is 11-2 and not 8-5. That’s a rough argument because it cuts both ways, but I don’t think Georgia is going to have problems winning home games moving forward. The team played extremely well on the road even with Smart instituting his new defensive schemes with an offense that never really had a settled QB position. Throw in Nick Chubb coming back from injury and 8-5 doesn’t look too bad for a first year guy heading up one of college football’s elite blue bloods.

#28 – Clay Helton – USC

Helton may not have been the obvious pick to take the reigns in Troy, but he’s the right pick. It’s difficult to get a feel for Helton, but how can you argue with the results thus far? USC by year’s end was arguably one of the three best teams in football along with Alabama & Clemson. The Trojans ended the year on a 9-game winning streak that saw them finish the season with a 52-49 win over Penn St. in the Rose Bowl. Washington was fortunate that USC lost out on the Pac 12 South because I thought USC would have beat them in the Pac 12 championship game. All Helton has done over the last 2 seasons is go 15-7 with a conference record of 12-3! USC is also back to full scholarship strength for the most part and Helton is making no bones about cashing in. He’s recruiting at an exceptionally high level. High level recruiting. High level coaching. We are about ready to see some incredible wars between USC & Washington. The Pac 12 is bananas and Helton will climb this list by leaps and bounds after 2017.

#27 – Paul Johnson – Georgia Tech

I feel like this is too low for Johnson because he’s an incredible coach but he has a couple of things working against him. He’s a system guy because he runs that triple option on offense and that is going to have a tendency to play poorly when a new crop of players come in. This is essentially what happened in 2015 when GT finished 3-9. QB Justin Thomas returned, but their two leading RBs were freshman. That changed in 2016 when Marcus Marshall & Clinton Lynch returned, but RB Dedrick Mills turned out to be outstanding which gave Johnson quite a bit to work with. That improved the team and GT went 9-4 with a 6-1 record in their last 7 games including road wins over Virginia Tech & Georgia. Johnson doesn’t recruit the kinds of players that a lot of other schools are able to. He’s still won two ACC Coastal division championships in the last 5 years and the Yellow Jackets are a team nobody wants to face.

#26 – Kirk Ferentz – Iowa

Ferentz is probably underrated here, but you can’t help but be a little disappointed in Iowa every time they look like they are going to turn a corner. In 2015, Iowa had a tremendous year finishing with a perfect regular season but lost the Big 10 championship game to Michigan St. and the Rose Bowl to Stanford to put a black mark on an otherwise outstanding season. They followed that up last year with an 8-5 campaign that should have been 10-3. But we’ve seen this before from Ferentz. Iowa was 31-7 from 2002-2004 but followed those 3-years with a 3-year record of 19-18 from 2005-2007! The Hawkeyes finished 11-2 in 2009 but followed that up with an 8-5 season. Iowa has spurts of greatness but they are never sustained. Given the talent disparity between an Iowa and say a Michigan/Ohio State, what Ferentz has done in Iowa City is spectacular, but for some reason it always seems a bit disappointing. Iowa should win 10 games a year.

#25 – Paul Chryst – Wisconsin

The jury is still out on Chryst at this point, but the early returns are nothing short of incredible. Chyrst took over for Gary Andersen once Andersen bolted for Oregon State and the Badgers haven’t missed a beat. In his two seasons in Madison, Chryst is 21-6 with a Big 10 record of 13-4 with a Big 10 West division title in 2016. Chryst hasn’t had the most stable offensive game plan the last couple of seasons. In 2015 he had to deal with the loss of RB Corey Clement. Last he had to break in a new starting QB when Joel Stave graduated. What has been constant for Chryst is having a TREMENDOUS defense led by great coordinators. Dave Aranda was DC for Chryst in 2015 before bolting for LSU in 2016. In 2016, Chyrst hired Justin Wilcox to be DC, but Wilcox is now the HC for Cal. This year, former Badger Jim Leonard, takes over after having studied under both Aranda & Wilcox. If Chryst turns in another 11-win season, he’ll shoot up these rankings.

#24 – Dana Holgorsen – West Virginia

I’m a big fan of Holgorsen and he has the Mountaineers trending in the right direction. In 2014 WVU went 7-6. They improved to 8-5 a year later before having somewhat of a coming out party last season when they finished 10-3 (7-2) which was the best record West Virginia has had in the Big XII under Holgorsen. The interesting thing to see with Holgorsen is if he can continue the trend. Recruiting has dropped just a bit the last couple of years and it won’t be easy with the Mountaineers losing their starting QB along with a couple of their best defenders. It’s always going to be hard to compete with Oklahoma & Texas in conference play, but Holgorsen should have WVU set up enough that if one of the powers slip up, West Virginia should be right there to take advantage. That’s the key at this point. When does WVU get home games against Oklahoma & Texas in the same year and can they be primed to beat both of them?

#23 – David Cutcliffe – Duke

Last year’s 4-8 (1-7) team was disappointing but the 4-years prior to 2016 saw Duke finish 33-20, win the ACC Coastal once and get to 4-straight bowl games culminating in 2015 with their first bowl win since 1960! Before Cutcliffe came along the Blue Devils had never made it to a bowl game in back-to-back years. Cutcliffe did in back-to-back-to-back-to-back! He’s also been able to sell the football program as Duke has climbed out of the 50s and 60s recruiting rankings into the 30s and 40s. Duke is never going to out-talent anybody and the football team will always play second fiddle to the basketball team, but you can’t dismiss Cutcliffe’s coaching chops at all. Putting this guy at a place like Oregon or Florida would be scary given the resources he’d have to run the program. The ACC is getting tougher, but keep in mind Duke was a bit young last year. Cutcliffe is going to have more experience in 2017 and he’ll get the most out of it.

#22 – Mike Leach – Washington State

The Cougars were a completely mess under Bill Doba and Paul Wulff before the PIRATE took over. All Leach has done is get Wazzou back to a bowl game in his 2nd year and then come within a win over Washington of winning the Pac 12 North in year 5 last season. We shouldn’t be surprised. Leach spent 10 years in Lubbock at Texas Tech where he never posted a losing season and won 8-9 games per season. It took him 3 years to get Washington St. headed in the right direction, but over the last two seasons the team is 17-9 with a conference record of 13-5! Imagine if Leach wasn’t giving away games each season to FCS opponents!? Leach is still having trouble selling Pullman to potential recruits, but he never recruited exceptionally at Texas Tech either and it didn’t seem to matter. You can make a legitimate argument Leach should be much higher. Are there really 21 other coaches you’d rather have than the PIRATE himself?

#21 – Dan Mullen – Mississippi State

I’m only looking at the last 5 years of data for each coach, but it’s impossible ignore what Mullen has done over his team at Mississippi State. His only losing regular season was his first and he’s guided the Bulldogs to 7 straight bowl games. It was amazing how good Dak Prescott ended up for the Cowboys this past season, but what might have been even more impressive is Mullen getting the MSU to a bowl game in the year after Prescott left! Those were enormous shoes to fill and Mullen was still able to get MSU to 6 wins. While he’s never really had Hail State close to competing for a national championship, there have been glimpses. The Bulldogs started the 2012 season off 7-0 and reached #13 before faltering. In 2014, Mississippi St. started the season 9-0 and was ranked #1 before losing at Alabama 25-20. He’s never outrecruited anyone in the SEC West, but MS State keeps winning. There is a reason his name ALWAYS comes up when there is a big time coaching vacancy.

#2o – Brian Kelly – Notre Dame

One thing that stands out about Kelly against his recent predecessors in South Bend was his ability to avoid the bad season. Charlie Weis went 3-9 in 2007. Ty Willingham went 5-7 in 2003. Bob Davie 5-6 in 2001, his last season. But then it happened. Kelly turned in a 4-8 performance last year with HORRIFIC losses to Texas, Duke, NC State, Navy and Virginia Tech. All games the Irish should have won which would have made that 4-8 season a 9-3 season with the potential to get a solid bowl win to finish 10-3. Kelly has to be feeling tremendous heat as HC of the Irish. He’s recruited well, but the on-field results haven’t been good. Notre Dame really hasn’t beaten anyone of note and the championship game they played in against Alabama was a complete and total embarrassment! If Kelly can defend Notre Dame Stadium this fall, the Irish have a real shot at 11-1. Kelly needs it or else ND could be looking elsewhere for a head coach.

May 19, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Big 10, Big XII, Coaching, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Mississippi St., Notre Dame, Pac 12, Rankings, SEC, USC, Washington St., West Virginia, Wisconsin | 2 Comments

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 10 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2015 NCAA BOWL GAMES PREVIEW

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

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

2015 NCAA WEEK 10 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2015 NCAA WEEK 9 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope A good game in theory because the Irish are ranked 9th while the Owls come in at #21 & are playing at home. The problem however is that Temple hasn’t seen a team like Notre Dame & they are susceptible to the pass which the Irish will have problems taking advantage of. Will Fuller is averaging 22ypc. Chris Brown & Corey Robinson are big targets. That should open up the running game for CJ Prosise. All of this adds up to a huge blowout win for the Notre Dame. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Georgia is still looking for any type of validation that they are a competitive football team. They were blown out at home by Bama. Went on the road & lost to Tennessee. Then beat Missouri 9-6? Amazingly enough, UGA could still win the East & potentially the SEC Championship. A win here puts them in 1st & they should win out. This becomes the de facto SEC East championship game. It’s a huge game to be sure, but I don’t know if Georgia can withstand a bad loss here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Duke will have something to say about the ACC Coastal, but for the most part, this game will decide who wins the Coastal division. I think it’s amazing nobody is talking about UNC or Pittsburgh. Both are 1-loss teams who avoid Clemson & Florida St.! If they get lucky in the ACC Championship game, it’s possible one of these teams is 12-1. All the Panthers do is win close games while the Tar Heels tend to blow teams out. A little under the radar but a great game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Really cool Pac 12 game with a couple of neat story lines. For Cal, this is a chance to beat a legitimate opponent. The Bears feasted on their early schedule to start 5-0 but a couple of weeks ago got Utah & lost. The Trojans are coming off a HUGE win over Utah & they almost beat Notre Dame in South Bend despite the insanity they were going through with the Steve Sarkisian ordeal. The Trojans can still win the Pac 12. They need Utah to lose but it can happen. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Oklahoma St. comes into game undefeated, but the Red Raiders have only lost to TCU, Baylor & Oklahoma. I still think you can make an argument that Tech should be a top-25 team & beating Oklahoma St. will lend even further proof to that assertion. This is a chance for Texas Tech to say they are a top-4 team in the Big XII. For the Cowboys, this is a HUGE test to see if the undefeated record is more substance that taking advantage of an early soft schedule. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Don’t look now but Washington St. is 5-2 with both losses being by 7pts or less. They have won 3 straight games & have averaged close to 50PPG in those 3 wins. QB Luke Falk has really turned it on the last 3 games & the Cougars are getting great run support. Wazzou can’t play a lick of defense, but they are at home where crazy things can happen. Stanford had better come to play because if they overlook Washington St., they could easily leave Pullman with a loss. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I can’t wait to see how Michigan plays after having a week off to stew about the Michigan St. loss. The Gophers can put up a fight if they are inclined & Jerry Kill is a tremendous coach so you know Minnesota will come prepared. The big question is whether it will matter? My guess is that it won’t. The Michigan defense is going to come out with guns blazing & overwhelm the Gophers offense. I wouldn’t be shocked if this game was 14-0 or 58-0. Depends on the offense. Computer Hope
Computer Hope There hasn’t been a team more unlucky than Tennessee this season. The Vols are 3-4 but their 4 losses have come by a total of 17 points! Tennessee is 1-4 in close games & their “best case” record is 7-0. Kentucky had shown to be a very difficult out until last week when Mississippi St. gave them a pounding in Starkville. I’m interested to see how the Vols finish. They should win out to get to 8-4, but I think Tennessee needs style points to make up for the 4 close losses. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Auburn has been a disaster from start to finish this season. From Jeremy Johnson not getting it done at QB to the defense being terrible to stud WR D’haquille Williams being thrown off the team, this one of those seasons I’m sure Gus Malzahn could start over. That said, it’s still Auburn & Ole Miss has known to slip (hello Memphis!) in the past. It’s worth noting that if Ole Miss wins out they’ll be SEC West champs. What if Ole Miss goes 11-2 & Memphis goes 13-0? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Starting over doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Just look at USC & the Miami Dolphins! The Al Golden era finally came to a merciful end & now we’ll get to see how the Hurricanes react. It’s really amazing how good Duke is despite the Coastal containing Virginia Tech & Miami-FL. The Pitt/UNC game is huge of course but Duke could be in line to win their 2nd ACC Coastal division title in 3 years! Crazy. THE U could end that of course if they play like THE U plays. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is sort of interesting because West Virginia is a pretty good team & TCU hasn’t been destroying all comers, but it’s in Fort Worth so you can pretty much guess the Frogs are going to score 50-60 points & it won’t matter what WVU does on offense. I really like the Mountaineers and Dana Holgorsen but where is this team going in the Big XII? Trevone Boykin will add to his Heisman resume & then sit back & look on to see if Leonard Fournette matches. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It seems like this should be a bigger game than what it is, but both teams enter this bout with a 4-3 record. I think this is an interesting test for Arizona State. So far the Sun Devils have only lost to Texas A&M, USC & Utah. You can make an argument from those losses they are still a top-20 type of team & the road win over UCLA is more than solid. Still, a win here would further legitimize the team & give them a chance to win out. ASU could still have a 10-3 season. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Navy’s first year in the AAC has been an interesting one. Memphis, Houston & Temple have gotten all the attention but the Middies are 5-1 with their only loss coming against Notre Dame. USF isn’t fantastic but they are a solid football team. Navy has a unique system & they’ve handled Air Force, ECU & UConn. Navy gets both Memphis & Houston on the road, but the defense has been outstanding & Keenan Reynolds is amazing so be on the lookout for Navy! Computer Hope
Computer Hope San Diego St. is another one of those intriguing teams. It’s easy to discount the Aztecs because of their early loss to South Alabama which doesn’t make sense, but they’ve won their first 4 MWC games & destroyed Utah State who destroyed Boise St.! Colorado St. will be another good test especially in Ft. Collins. Many people think this is the best team HC Rocky Long has ever had. They should win out & should get to 10-3 with a MW championship. Watch the defense! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m going FCS with the IVY LEAGUES!!! Dartmouth & Harvard get together in a battle of unbeatens as both teams come into the game 6-0. Harvard is ranked 16th & Dartmouth 22nd. The Big Green haven’t won an Ivy League championship since 1985 while Harvard has won the last 2. Harvard is actually on a 20-game winning streak. They haven’t lost since October 26, 2013 when Princeton came out victorious 51-48 in triple OT! Harvard won last year 23-12. Computer Hope

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Arizona St., Auburn, Big Games, California, Colorado St., Dartmouth, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Kentucky, Miami-FL, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Must See Games, Navy, NCAA, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Pittsburgh, San Diego St., South Florida, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, Texas Tech, USC, Washington St., Week 9, West Virginia | Leave a comment

NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 6 2015

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Beating Cal 30-24 wasn’t awe inspiring but the Utes kept winning & the Michigan win keeps looking better & better as the Wolverine steamroll everyone in their path. Give credit to the Utah defense. It forced Cal QB Jared Goff to throw 5 picks & sacked him 5 times! Utah is now +10 in TO margin for the season which means a special season is very much in play. Also, it’s time for some Heisman love for RB Devontae Booker. Booker ran for 222 yards against Cal & is on pace for 1800+ with 17TD for an undefeated team.
#2 Computer Hope In their previous 5 games, Northwestern’s defense held their opponents to a total of 35 points en route to a 5-0 start. Last week against Michigan, Northwestern allowed 38 without their offense being able to score a single point!!! Michigan has tossed shutout in their past 3 games beating their opponents by a combined score of 97-0! They haven’t given up a TD in about a month! I think if they played today, the Wolverines would beat Utah pushing Michigan to 6-0. Jim Harbaugh is the coach of year! This is crazy!
#3 Computer Hope Another week another win for the Gators as Florida took down Missouri 21-3 in Columbia. The game of course is now overshadowed by QB Will Grier’s suspension over taking a banned substance. That’s a tough break & I wonder how the Gators will handle it. Grier is having a good season, but Florida is run heavy & Grier functions to make plays when he can but basically he needs to avoid mistakes. Now Treon Harris takes over & he’s throw into the fire pretty quick as Florida’s next two games are LSU & Georgia.
#4 Computer Hope The Rebels very much benefit from having beaten Alabama. It’s by far the best win in the nation especially considering it game in Tuscaloosa. The Tide looks like the best team in the nation but Alabama at this point can’t be ranked ahead of Ole Miss & Ole Miss can’t get ahead of Florida after the Gators hammered them 38-10. This past week Ole Miss hammered New Mexico St. 52-3. Chad Kelly had another great game & the rushing attack average 7.8ypc but they need to play somebody. Their final 6 is straight dirty!
#5 Computer Hope After going down 7-3 to Arkansas, Alabama scored 24 unanswered points to go up 27-7 before a garbage time TD left Alabama with a 27-14 win over the Razorbacks. The Alabama defense held Arkansas’s rushing attack to 1.8ypc! That’s the lowest rushing mark for Arkansas in 3 years! The last time Arkansas was shut down that badly was 9/15/12 when they ran for 1.6ypc in a 52-0 loss to…..Alabama! Arkansas is a tough team so this is a huge win. Alabama looks like the best team in the nation thus far even with the loss.
#6 Computer Hope The Aggies took their 5-0 record into a bye week this past week & now look forward to welcoming in Alabama this week. Texas A&M could make a huge splash with a win. I have them at #6 but beating Alabama would give them wins over Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas & Mississippi State! That’s a solid record that makes a persuasive case for being the #1 team in the nation. Keep an eye on the trenches. The battle between the Texas A&M D-Line and the Alabama O-Line could be the deciding factor on Saturday.
#7 Computer Hope Clemson is making a believer out of me. I thought they’d lose to Notre Dame but they won 24-22. I thought this past week Georgia Tech might give them trouble, but the Tigers beat them 43-24 and it wasn’t that close as Clemson led 26-3 early in the 2nd quarter & 40-10 late in the 3rd. Clemson’s defense allowed the Yellow Jackets just 1.7ypc which is INSANE considering Paul Johnson’s offense. The last time that happened was back in 2008 when GT averaged 1.7ypc in a 10-7 win over Gardner Webb. Love this defense.
#8 Computer Hope Losing to Michigan isn’t anything to hang your head over, but I sure do wish Northwestern would have shown a little better than getting waxed 38-0! Sometimes you need a mulligan & I’m sure Pat Fitzgerald & company would love to get another crazy at Michigan in the Big 10 championship game! I can’t drop Northwestern too far. I have Michigan #2 so losing to them isn’t crushing. Also I don’t think you can ignore the wins over Stanford & Duke. Those are high quality. All is forgiven with a win over Iowa.
#9 Computer Hope Stanford had a bye this past week to get ready for a short week due to their Thursday game with UCLA. The Cardinal have been doing work since losing 19-9 at Northwestern to start the year. The Northwestern loss looks a little worse no that they got blistered by Michigan, but still not that bad. Stanford has gone on the road to beat Oregon St. & USC while hammering Arizona on the road. If Stanford beats UCLA their schedule really opens up. If they defend home field then there isn’t any reason they can’t finish 11-1.
#10 Computer Hope You can’t help but be impressed with Baylor. The offense is ridiculous but I’m trying to keep the rankings based on on field performance so I can’t rank the Bears that high. Soon the games will be too interconnected & resume will mean a bit less so Baylor should move up provided they keep winning. How is this for a stat: Baylor QB Seth Russell has thrown 22TD in his 83 completions. That’s 26.5%. The closest player to him with at least 100 attempts is Appalachian St.’s Taylor Lamb who sits at 21.1%. That’s wild.
#11 Computer Hope Navy is a tough out for ANYBODY so the 41-24 win the Irish posted over the Middies is significant. The big take away for the Irish is that they remained injury free after playing Navy which is something that typically doesn’t happen. I also think it’s another opportunity for the squad to gain confidence. The Irish came off a very emotional loss to Clemson & was able to put that behind them & beat an undefeated Navy team with a highly decorated QB. If you believe in Clemson, you must believe in the Irish.
#12 Computer Hope You have to give TCU respect for winning on the road. They are 3-0 in road games with their most recent being this past weekend with a 52-45 win over Kansas St. in Manhattan. The Frogs are barely escaping as they barely left Lubbock & Minneapolis with road wins but here they are at 6-0. Gary Patterson has to be pulling his hair out. TCU’s defense is dreadful allowing almost 30PPG! If TCU keeps going it’s getting harder & harder to think anyone is going to win the Heisman besides Trevone Boykin.
#13 Computer Hope I think Iowa St. is better than people give them credit for so the Red Raiders stomping them 66-31 is significant to me. I don’t see how people don’t rank Texas Tech. Their win over Arkansas is better than anything Baylor has done all year. Tech has lost two games against TCU & Baylor. If those teams are top-3 teams as they are in the AP Poll, then shouldn’t Texas Tech be at least top-10? They almost beat TCU for crying out loud. They can’t win the Big XII, but anything less than 9-3/10-2 will be disappointing. GUNS UP!
#14 Computer Hope If you believe in Utah then you have to believe in California. Jared Goff threw 5 interceptions on the road in Salt Lake City & the Bears nearly pulled off an upset losing by just 6, 30-24. California is one of the more odd teams you’ll see. Their defensive numbers don’t look all that good but this is a team that gets tremendous pressure on the QB & it is a fairly ball hawking defense as well, ranking #3 in interceptions & +5 in TO margin. So what gives? The O-Line play is a little raggedy. That needs to improve.
#15 Computer Hope Does LSU have a RB controversy on their hands? True freshman Derrius Guice decided to announce his presence with authority against South Carolina this past week rushing the ball 16 times for 161 yards & a TD! Guice actually out gained Leonard Fournette by 3 yards despite 4 fewer carries. How ridiculous is LSU’s RB situation? Both Fournette & Guice are guys capable of 200 rushing yards a game! LSU hasn’t had much of a resume thus far but that can change this week with a win over a 6-0 Florida Gators squad.
#16 Computer Hope Illinois had absolutely no answer for Iowa RB Jordan Canzeri who ran for 256 yards & 2TD against the Illini en route to a 29-20 win & improving Iowa’s record 6-0. Canzeri is having a great senior season. The runner is on pace to get close to 1500yds/20TD & Iowa keeps winning. The thing with Iowa is that they can’t have a game where they take off. This week at Northwestern is a huge game as the Wildcats got pasted 38-0 by Michigan. A win here & Iowa should run the table with a shot at making the playoffs!
#17 Computer Hope The Cowboys needed OT in Morgantown to get a win over West Virginia but they got it and the 33-26 win preserved their now 6-0 record. There are quite a few mental jumping jacks you have to perform in looking at Oklahoma State. They won their past 3 games by a combined 12 points & needed OT in their last one. On the other hand, they beat Texas, Kansas St. & West Virginia. Texas just got done beating Oklahoma & Kansas St. almost beat TCU. The Big XII could be jumbled, but OK State keeps winning.
#18 Computer Hope It’s really difficult to punish a team for losing to LSU by 2 and then losing to Texas A&M by 13 in College Station. If you believe those 2 squads are top-10 teams then the Bulldogs can’t be far behind. Losing Josh Robinson early to the NFL really hurt Mississippi St. & Dak Prescott has basically become a 1-man show. The defense has played extremely well & Prescott has been near perfect under center, but what if Robinson had stayed? The Bulldogs have a great chance to be 7-2 when Alabama comes calling.
#19 Computer Hope Maryland played with Ohio St. for about 3 quarters before the Buckeyes took over. That’s not good news for Ohio St., a team that doesn’t look the part of a #1 team. Maryland was tied with the Buckeyes 21-21 midway through the 3rd quarter! This is arguably the worst team in the Big 10 with a head coach was was hours away from being fired. The QB situation is a mess & the defense isn’t as dominant as was expected. Maybe Ohio St. is sandbagging the rest of college football, but they hardly look like a contender.
#20 Computer Hope Too high for a 2-4 squad? There are a lot of gymnastics to go through here but every team Texas has lost to (TCU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma St. & California) are ranked here. Texas lost to OK State & Cal by a combined 4 points. If Texas is 4-2 with road losses to TCU & Notre Dame, they’d be getting a lot more love & Charlie Strong’s seat would be nearly as hot or warm as it has been. The win over Oklahoma is impressive & a 7-5 season is a real possibility now. That’s not good enough in Austin but it’s not a disaster.
#21 Computer Hope Maybe Oklahoma doesn’t take Texas seriously? The Sooners have lost 2 of the past 3 games against Texas. Two games they should have probably won. Sometimes I don’t understand game planning. Texas’s rush defense wasn’t playing all that great coming into this game, but Bob Stoops didn’t play the run game all that much. You would have thought Oklahoma would play more ball control with Samaje Perine & Joe Mixon but QB Baker Mayfield threw it almost 30 times. Texas’ D played well but still.
#22 Computer Hope The Oregon win means almost nothing now that Washington St. beat the Ducks. Michigan St. was for the most part living off that resume builder but the game actually looks worse now that you have to wonder what’s wrong with Sparty because they only beat Oregon by 3! Close games against Rutgers & Purdue is inexcusable. Maybe Michigan St. is sandbagging like Ohio St.? I love the blueprint here, but where is the execution? Sparty can silence a lot of critics this week by leaving Ann Arbor with a 7-0 record.
#23 Computer Hope It’s time to start putting Toledo in my Power-25. The Rockets have wins over Arkansas, Iowa St. & Arkansas State. They basically wear shirts with the state outline of Arkansas on them with the caption “WE RUN THIS!” Toledo has started the season 5-0 due to an hellacious defense combined with a strong rushing attack via a 4-headed monster. I’m always surprised more teams don’t adopt this line of strategy. Toledo’s toughest game is a road test at Bowling Green but an undefeated season is in play.
#24 Computer Hope Florida St. is a lot like Michigan St. & Ohio State. They simply haven’t done much yet. Beating Miam-FL 29-24 is OK but this isn’t your father’s Hurricane team. Cincinnati waxed “THE U” by more than 5. The win over Boston College looks terrible now that BC couldn’t beat Wake & Wake couldn’t beat Syracuse or Indiana. With the ACC imploding & FSU drawing Georgia Tech & Miami-FL from the Coastal, their only 2 real games come on the road against Clemson & Florida. The Noles need to schedule better.
#25 Computer Hope The Badgers escaped Lincoln with a big 23-21 victory that ensures they stay in the race for the Big 10 West. The Badgers lost to Iowa but if Northwestern beats Iowa & Wisconsin beats Northwestern, then we are close to being back where we started. Joel Stave still isn’t the answer at QB but Wisconsin’s 2 losses have come against Alabama & Iowa. How bad can the team really be? The defense is playing out of their minds & Wisconsin is 4-0 when they win the TO battle. Avoiding mistakes could lead to a 10-2 finish.

DROPPING OUT

USC TROJANS (previously #15): Losing to Washington at home didn’t look good & now they lose their HC to rehab. It doesn’t get any better as the Trojans travel to South Bend this week. There still a lot of talent here & Cody Kessler is fantastic, but the program is in disarray.

ARIZONA ST. SUN DEVILS (previously #21): Arizona St. didn’t do anything to drop but I felt like the other 25 teams I listed were a bit more worthy due to record. To be honest ASU has better wins on their schedule than Baylor, Ohio St., Michigan St. & Flordia State! Arizona St. could upset the apple cart with a win over Utah this week.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (previously #24): Georgia has lost to Alabama & Tennessee. They’ve beaten UL-Monroe, Vanderbilt, Southern & South Carolina. What does that tell you? They host Missouri this weekend.

DUKE BLUE DEVILS (previously #25): Like Arizona St., the Blue Devils didn’t do anything to drop. The 44-3 whipping of Army was the biggest lost Army has suffered this season. The Coastal probably comes down to Duke/North Carolina. David Cutcliffe is doing an amazing job.

October 13, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Baylor, California, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., NCAA, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, USC, Utah, Week 6, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 5 2015

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope In a weekend that went crazy, the Utes were on a bye & now find themselves the #1 team in the nation! Their hold on the top spot is precarious though as the Oregon win doesn’t look as good as it did when they pasted the Ducks 62-20. In fact you can argue that their win over Michigan is more impressive. Utah has a couple of home games coming up against California & Arizona State. If the good times keep rolling then I’d expect Utah to keep the #1 spot. Given the precariuos nature of the ranking, I’d be on guard.
#2 Computer Hope If you want to argue Northwestern being the best team in the nation then I wouldn’t disagree. The win 27-0 win over Minnesota looks amazing in light of how close the Gophers played TCU. The win over Stanford looks downright fabulous at this point and don’t forget the road win over Duke! The Blue Devils have beaten Boston College & Georgia Tech in back to back weeks & look like the ACC Coastal favorite! The Wildcats struggled a bit against Ball St., but the Cardinals might be the 3rd/4th best team in the MAC.
#3 Computer Hope The SEC is tricky with rankings. After this week it’s very hard to imagine Alabama not being the best team in the conference (and really the nation!) but the Tide were upset at home by Ole Miss & we just saw the Gators destroy Ole Miss in Gainesville so how can the SEC not be 1)Florida 2)Ole Miss 3)Alabama at this point if you are ranking solely on merit of the regular season games? Florida is getting exceptionally good defensive play at this point & QB Will Grier has been outstanding. That wins a lot of games.
#4 Computer Hope The Rebels might be long for a top spot in the rankings. When you look at the overall schedule you see a good albeit not great team. Sure they beat Alabama, but they were +5 in TO margin against the Tide & still won by just 6. Look what happened to Georgia when the Tide didn’t give the ball away! Beyond that win, Ole Miss has beat a couple of scrub teams, struggled against Vanderbilt & was blown out by Florida. Ole Miss gets a couple of non-conference games now but beware of Memphis. That’s not automatic.
#5 Computer Hope This is the best team in the nation & only the loss to Ole Miss is holding them back from the top spot. The 38-10 wasting of Georgia in Athens is the most impressive win of the college football season & shows you just how incredible Alabama can be when it’s firing on all cylinders. The Tide defense did a great job on Nick Chubb holding him to 63yds on 19 carries (3.3ypc) before the 83yd TD run late in the 4th. I was also impressed with WRs Calvin Ridley & Richard Mullaney. Jake Coker came into his own! Be afraid!
#6 Computer Hope A perfect weekend for Texas A&M. The Aggies got a huge boost with Arizona St. beating UCLA. That win looks fantastic now. Also Arkansas beating Tennessee helped out the SOS as well. A&M also got it done on the field beating Mississippi St. 30-17 in impressive fashion. Kyle Allen & Tra Carson had big games & I’m not sure there is a way to slow down A&M’s receivers. Josh Reynolds, Christian Kirk & Ricky Seals-Jones look like the best receiving unit in the nation. The A&M defense had a big game too.
#7 Computer Hope A win is a win is a win, but the one caveat I’ll note in Clemson’s 24-22 win over Notre Dame on Saturday night is that the Tigers came out guns blazing & went up 14-0 in the first 6 minutes of the game. For the next 51 minutes, Notre Dame beat Clemson 22-10. Give Clemson some credit though. The win was massive & despite the monsoon like conditions, the Tigers were able to hold onto the ball & run effectively while the Irish lost 3 fumbles & were locked up. Anything short of 13-0 is a disappointment.
#8 Computer Hope Another week another blow out win for the Cardinal, this time hammering Arizona 55-17! As a team Stanford rushed for 314yds/4TD with Christian McCaffrey leading the way with 156yds on only 19 carries. QB Kevin Hogan was darn near perfect going 17/19 for 217yds/2TD! Since losing to Northwestern 16-6, Stanford has won 4 straight & is averaging 42.3PPG! Anu Solomon didn’t play for Arizona due to a concussion, but it’s hard seeing the outcome being any different. Stanford is playing well.
#9 Computer Hope Baylor is here to stay in my power rankings but the Big XII is almost their own worst enemy. From an eye test I believe in TCU & Texas Tech and Baylor is playing better than both. QB Seth Russell is on pace to throw 62TD & for almost 4200yds! RB Shock Linwood is on pace for 1900yds rushing & 20TD! WR Corey Coleman is on pace for 1800yds & 36TD! The offensive numbers are mind blowing, but where are the wins outside the Big XII? Oklahoma’s win over Tennessee doesn’t look so hot anymore.
#10 Computer Hope Another week another win for LSU who cruised to a 44-22 win over Eastern Michigan this past week. Leonard Fournette continued his assault on the nation rushing for 233yds/3TD! Darrel Williams chipped in 89 yards himself on just 11 carries. QB Brandon Harris had a bad game though going 4/15 for 80yds & a pick. That’s not a good sign. Fournette is on pace for 2600 rushing yards & 33TD. He’s tough to stop but so is Nick Chubb. LSU travels to Alabama later & Brandon Harris will have to play well.
#11 Computer Hope Gary Patterson & the Frogs did their part in keeping the heat on Charlie Strong as TCU WAXED Texas 50-7 & it wasn’t even that close! TCU led 50-0 late in the 4th quarter until Texas scored a garbage TD to prevent the shutout. I made this comment in the Baylor section, but you almost get the feeling that you can’t believe in the Big XII until they finally make it. The non-conference schedules are just so soft. In a way I get it with the 9 conference games, but TCU & Baylor need to schedule better in the future.
#12 Computer Hope The loss to Clemson will keep looking better & better as I don’t think the Tigers lose a game. You can’t very well fault Notre Dame for losing 24-22 in a tropical storm on the road to a potential 13-0 squad! As I said before, ND outscored Clemson 22-10 for the final 52 minutes. Close isn’t good enough for the Irish, but if there was a moral victory to be had, I think it was obvious who the better team was. There is absolutely no reason for Notre Dame not to be 10-1 when they head to Stanford in the season finale.
#13 Computer Hope If you believe Utah is the #1 team in the nation then you can make a legit argument that Michigan is #2. Since losing to the Utes 24-17 to open the season, Michigan has won 4 straight by the combined score of 122-14! Michigan has thrown shutouts in back to back weeks & the defense hasn’t allowed a TD since September 19th! Jim Harbaugh is doing an excellent job with game planning. Michigan is playing outstanding defense & controlling the clock. I’m surprised more teams don’t stick to this blueprint. It works.
#14 Computer Hope The 10-6 win over Wisconsin wasn’t pretty but games that include Wisconsin seldom are. This was the first loss for Wisconsin in Camp-Randall since 2013. Iowa starts 5-0 for the first time since 2009 when Iowa finished 11-2 & ranked #7 in the nation. The question now is how far Iowa can take this? I really like CJ Beathead at QB & I came away really impressed with Jordan Canzeri running the ball. The defense is VERY good. If Iowa can win at Northwestern, there is no reason they can’t go 12-0!
#15 Computer Hope Like Utah, the Trojans were on a bye week & also like Utah they benefited. The win over Arizona St. looks even better now that the Sun Devils tore up UCLA. The loss to Stanford looks better with another dominating Cardinal win. On paper this is a ridiculously talented team that is waiting for other teams to lose to move up. USC has a chance to make a huge push. Their next 4 games are: Washington, @Notre Dame, Utah and @California. If there is one weakness here it’s defensive pressure. Keep an eye on it.
#16 Computer Hope 24-21 over Purdue? In East Lansing? You beat Purdue 24-21 at home despite having a +3 TO margin? The win over Oregon is keeping Michigan St. this high but how uninspiring of a football team is this at the moment? As long as Michigan St. keeps winning, everything else will work out but the play should be better. On the other hand, running behind LJ Scott & Madre London while Connor Cook plays mistake free football isn’t a bad play. The Spartans travel to Ann Arbor in 2 weeks. They can make a statement.
#17 Computer Hope Texas Tech had no answer for Baylor RB Shock Linwood who ran for 221yds/2TD on just 20 carries, but the real problem for the Red Raiders was early in the 2nd quarter when they had back to back drives end in a turnover which Baylor turned into TDs. Baylor probably still wins the game, but Tech was -3 in TO margin & racked up 17 penalties for 142 yards! You don’t win games like that. I still really like Texas Tech. I think they can win out & finish 10-2 in a tough Big XII but the play cannot be this sloppy.
#18 Computer Hope Great win for Oklahoma beating West Virginia 44-24. Oklahoma has a couple of good wins over the Mountaineers & Tennessee. Wins over Tulsa & Akron aren’t bad either. We are getting closer & closer to saying Baker Mayfield’s game against Tennessee is the exception rather than the rule. Against the Vols, Mayfield was 19/39 (49%) for 187 yards with 3TD:2INT. In OU’s other 3 wins, Mayfield is 56/96 (58%) for 1195 yards with 10TD:1INT. The defense could stand to be a little better but so far so good for the Sooners.
#19 Computer Hope It’s hard to ignore the Cowboys now that they are 5-0, but I’m not sure how much I believe in the team. Texas completely sucks & Oklahoma St. barely beat them 30-27. They are coming off back-to-back wins by a combined 5 points so while the record says 5-0 it could just as easy be 3-2. What is most impressive about this team is their defensive prowess. The Cowboys currently lead the nation in sacks & tackles for loss. DE Emmanuel Ogbah is having a great season & OK State could reach 8-0 before TCU.
#20 Computer Hope As with Oklahoma St., it’s hard to argue a 5-0 record but California has won their last 3 games by a combined 13 points & those games have come against Texas, Washington & Washington State. Cal’s next 7 games are absolutely nasty starting this week on the road against Utah. QB Jared Goff has been outstanding thus far but he’s now in for a real test. Goff is completing 70.2% of his passes & is on pace to throw for 4,238 yards & 39TD. The offense gets a lot of attention but the Cal defense has been great at ball hawking.
#21 Computer Hope Arizona St. went into SoCal as an underdog against a top-10 team & came away with a 38-23 win over previously unbeaten UCLA. At this point how bad can Arizona St. be? They just got a road win over a top-10 team & their only losses have come against Texas A&M & USC. There is an awful lot of talent on this football team & with USC & UCLA already out of the way & Stanford not being on the schedule, would anyone really be surprised to see the Sun Devils at 10-2 when the dust settles? Good looking team!
#22 Computer Hope Like Michigan St. & Ohio St., Florida St. keeps winning games but they are wholly unimpressive when doing so. This past week the Noles took down Wake Forest but did so 24-16. Wake Forest had more total yards, passing yards, rushing yards & first downs than Florida State. You can make an argument that if Wake wasn’t -2 in TO margin they might have pulled off a stunner. The defense has been on point but at the same time you averaged 19PPG against Wake Forest & Boston College. That doesn’t look so hot.
#23 Computer Hope How in the blue hell is this the #1 team in the nation? The Virginia Tech wins looks terrible now that VT can’t beat anyone. Northern Illinois just got waxed by Central Michigan. Western Michigan completely sucks. Hawaii just got beat by Boise St. 55-0! And then there is Indiana. The Buckeyes barely escaped Bloomington with a 34-27 win & that was a game Ohio St. probably should have lost. Beat Michigan & Michigan St. & nobody will remember the struggles but right now this doesn’t look like the #1 team.
#24 Computer Hope That’s what happens when Alabama is playing at optimal levels. I’m not sure the 38-10 loss at the hands of the Tide is a horrible thing or means that much. From a talent perspective, UGA should win out get to 11-1 & hopefully get a rematch with the Tide. A revenge win & the 12-1 Bulldogs are playing for a national championship. On the other hand, what do we really know about Georgia? They haven’t beaten anyone & the one real team the played crushed them in their own backyard. Georgia has a lot to prove.
#25 Computer Hope The 19-10 loss to Northwestern looks better & better as time passes & Northwestern keeps winning. The win over Georgia Tech doesn’t look as good now that the Yellow Jackets are crashing & burning, but I love the gritty 9-7 win over Boston College. BC is an extremely tough team. They could be 5-0 at this point. QB Thomas Sirk is doing a good job so far & S Jeremy Cash is playing like an All-American. Given the state of the ACC Coastal, I think the Blue Devils have a great shot at winning the division. Wild.

DROPPING OUT

UCLA BRUINS (previously #6): A huge drop for the Bruins but really it was a matter of circumstance. Arizona St. fit in as the #21 team in my rankings & I couldn’t justify ranking UCLA ahead of them. I couldn’t rank them ahead of Florida St. or Ohio St. either & I think Georgia is better & Duke has shown well. UCLA has a bye before playing Stanford on a Thursday night. They can bounce back.

MISSISSIPPI ST. BULLDOGS (previously #20): This is what life is like in the SEC West. The Bulldogs are 3-2 with losses to LSU & Texas A&M. You could argue this is still a top-15 squad.

OREGON DUCKS (previously #21): Struggling against Colorado? This isn’t your older brother’s Oregon Ducks!

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (previously #23): Arguably the most unlucky team in college football right now. The Vols are 2-3 but have losses to Florida, Oklahoma & Arkansas by a combined 12 points! If UT wins those games they are 5-0 & making a GREAT argument for being the #1 team in the nation!

WISCONSIN BADGERS (previously #24): Joel Stave just isn’t the answer.

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Baylor, California, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., NCAA, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas AM, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, Week 5 | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 5 – BIG GAMES

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

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