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RANKING POWER-65 COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES – #19 to #11

Now we are inside the top-20! What’s interesting about these guys to me is that all of them could make moves that would land them inside the top-10 if they had a championship caliber season, which for most of them is the last hurdle they need to overcome to get into that very elite category. As I wrote previously picking from #19 to #11 is probably based more on preference, but if you keep reading, there are some very interesting story lines with these guys that could affect their rankings going forward. Every coach/team mentioned here definitely has a story line that will be scrutinized in 2017. If you need to catch up, here are the links the previous articles in this series:

#50-#65
#49-#40
#39-#30
#29-#20

#19 – Bill Snyder – Kansas State

Coach Snyder is a tough one to rank because on the one hand you can argue he’s one of the all time great coaches in college football history. He’s unique in that he got the Kansas State job and kept it for as long as he wanted. He even came back after leaving at the conclusion of the 2005 season. In today’s football world, a coach at a school like Kansas St. would have bolted for another opportunity if they had had the success that Snyder has had at KSU. From 1995-2000, Snyder posted a 63-12 record with a 39-8 mark in Big XII play which included 3 Big XII North titles. Any other coach would have bolted for Georgia or Clemson or Auburn or Miami-FL. What keeps Snyder a bit lower is that he hasn’t won a ton at Kansas St. nationally. He’s never won a national championship. He’s only won the Big XII twice in 25 years of coaching. He’s 8-10 in bowl games. That mostly speaks to the ceiling of Kansas St. football. Snyder came back to Manhattan because Ron Prince lowered the standards. Snyder raised them again, but he can’t quite get KSU to national prominence. His hope was that Prince could do it. His hope when he retires is that the Wildcats get it right the 2nd time.

#18 – Mike Gundy – Oklahoma State

Gundy might be underrated by a long shot. Remember that Gundy has to go up against Oklahoma within his own state and Texas in his own region. Those are two college football Goliaths that are almost impossible to beat on the recruiting trail yet Gundy over the last 7 seasons has failed to win at least 10 games only twice. Gundy is coming off back to back 10-3 seasons and has posted 10-3 seasons in 3 of the past 4 years. Gundy almost won a national championship in 2011. If the Cowboys don’t completely blow it late in the year against Iowa St., then they would have played LSU in the national championship game that year instead of Alabama. The Tide beat LSU 21-0 in a revenge game after LSU beat the Tide earlier 9-6 in Tuscaloosa, but you’d have to think Oklahoma St. would have had a good shot at upending the Bayou Bengals. Oklahoma St. finished #3 in the rankings, but you have to wonder where the program could have been catapulted to had they brought home a national championship. What sticks out about Gundy to me as well is that he almost accomplished what Jimmy Johnson thought was impossible with Oklahoma State, namely winning a title. Gundy is about as Oklahoma St. as you can possibly get. He’ll be there forever if he wants and I can’t see him leaving which makes him quite a bit like Bill Snyder. Because of 2011, I’m not sure there is a ceiling to OK State football, so it’ll be interesting to see if Gundy can get over the hump and win a title.

#17 – Gus Malzahn – Auburn

It’s easy to forget that Malzahn led War Eagle to a national championship game his first season as head coach of the Tigers. That was a tall order beating a Jameis Winston led Florida St. squad so you can’t exactly blame him for losing. Malzahn has caught quite a bit of heat the past couple of seasons because he hasn’t replicated the success of that 12-2 squad from 2013. Malzahn is an offensive savant, but people forget just how good Auburn’s defense was in 2013. They didn’t create a lot of turnovers but they got after the ball quite a bit with quite a few sacks and tackles for loss. The O-line was dominant giving Tre Mason & Nick Marshall plenty of room to run. The defense & O-Line took a step back in 2014 and in 2015 Malzahn really didn’t have a QB as Jeremy Johnson wasn’t the answer. He entered 2016 with the same problems and Auburn struggled early, but when Auburn finally settled on Sean White, they reeled off 6 straight wins and won 6 of 7 after starting 1-2. The season didn’t end well with losses to Alabama & Oklahoma, but losing to Alabama in Tuscaloosa is hardly cause for concern and by season’s end Oklahoma was a top-5 team. Malzahn recruits extremely well and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Auburn really take off. Malzahn has his system in place and there is loads of talent here. Sean White is the unquestioned starter now and I”m willing to bet that Auburn gets back to double digit wins. In the SEC West, that is an incredible coaching job.

#16 – Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern

What Fitzgerald has done at Northwestern is nothing short of amazing. Over this last 9 seasons, he’s lead the Wildcats to 7 bowl games. In the 114 seasons before Fitzgerald got to Evanston, Northwestern played in a total of 6 bowl games! It’s almost impossible for Northwestern to recruit on any major level unless some kids simply want to wind up in Evanston or have ties to Northwestern. While the Wildcats might not necessarily have it as bad as Vanderbilt because the Commodores play in the SEC, that might change given how good the coaching in the Big 10 is getting. I guess it could be worse and Northwestern could be in the Big 10 East, but Nebraska, Wisconsin & Iowa are pretty darn good. Lovie Smith is recruiting better to Illinois and Purdue & Minnesota just hired solid young coaches. It’ll be interesting to see how Fitzgerald adjusts to an influx of talent in the coaching ranks. He’s never gotten Northwestern to the Rose Bowl the way Gary Barnett was able to but he’s won 10 games in 2 of the past 5 years. Regardless of what happens around him, I have a feeling that Fitzgerald is going to keep winnings games. One thing I do want to mention about Fitzgerald and Northwestern is that if I had to pick any place for my son to go to college and play football, Northwestern would be in the discussion along with Michigan and Stanford. There really isn’t a better compliment to pay a head coach.

#15 – James Franklin – Penn State

From semi-mess to Rose Bowl in 3-years!? Franklin has more than earned ranking this high even if hadn’t took the Nittany Lions to a Big 10 championship in year 3. Franklin didn’t necessarily inherit the mess that descended upon Happy Valley in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but Bill O’Brien was never going to be a long term solution and bolted for the NFL the first chance he got. Franklin didn’t shy away from the task of making Penn St. nationally relevant again and in just 3 years he had the Lions playing the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2008 and ranked inside the top-10 in the final AP poll for the first time since 2009! Franklin recruited at a high level immediately when taking the job, but he’s been able to sustain that success despite having a couple of 7-6 seasons to start his tenure. That success would only seem to increase the more Franklin wins because as a football purist, there isn’t many places more special to play than at Penn State! The only wild thing about Frankin’s success will be his ability to keep it going. He’s ranked #15 on this list which is fantastic, but he’s just 4th among coaches in the Big 10 East. That division is without a doubt the most feared and difficult division in all off football with Penn St. emerging as a national threat. Michigan St. isn’t always going to have off years and it’ll be intriguing to see what Franklin can do once Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State are firing on all cylinders. I think Franklin can handle the difficulty.

#14 – Kyle Whittingham – Utah

Did you know that Whittingham is 10-1 in bowl games since taking for Urban Meyer as HC of Utah!? That’s downright amazing and if I’m not mistaken that is the best record of any FBS coach in bowl games that have coached at least 6 of them. All Whittingham does is win football games, but what is most impressive about him is the transition Utah made into the Pac 12. In their last 3 years in the Mountain West, Whittingham guided the Utes to a 33-6 record including their perfect 13-0 year in 2008 which saw Utah finished ranked #2 in the nation! The transition to the Pac 12 was never going to be easy and Utah took some lumps early going 9-18 in conference play in their first 3 seasons. Their next 3 seasons have seen a complete turnaround as Utah has posted a 28-11 record from 2014-2016 with a conference mark of 16-11, winning a share of the Pac 12 South in 2015. A by product of playing in a better conference and winning is that recruiting has massively improved for the Utes since 2014 and the program has a lot more talent on hand to compete with other Pac 12 schools. Last season Utah almost broke through expoentially. The Utes finished 9-4 with a bowl win over Indiana, but their 4 losses came by a total of 19 points! The year before (2015) Utah finished 10-3 with 2 of their losses coming by a combined 15 points. Utah & Whitingham win their fair share of close games as well, but winning a lot more of those games than you lose is a clear indicated of a great coach, which is exactly what Whittingham is.

#13 – Mark Richt – Miami-FL

Richt is another tricky coach because of perception versus reality. There is a lot of sentiment that Richt was somewhat of a disappointment at Georgia despite coaching in Athens for 15 years and averaging 10 wins a season while also averaging a 6-2 conference record during those 15 seasons! Did I mention Georgia plays in the SEC? That’s outstanding but at Georgia that’s only close. During those 15 seasons, Richt won just 2 outright SEC titles and hadn’t one one since 2005 when Georgia parted ways with him after the 2015 season. Richt is a tremendous coach and a tremendous recruiter. There can be no doubt about that, but what’s interesting about Richt’s time in college football is that he got to Georgia in 2001. Urban Meyer got to Florida in 2005. Richt won 2 SEC titles from 2001-2005 and 3 SEC East divisions. It’s also worth noting that Nick Saban was at LSU from 2000-2004 and then at Alabama from 2007 to present. Richt is fantastic. Everyone would agree, but Meyer & Saban and absolute Hall of Fame locks. Saban is arguably the greatest college football coach of all time and Meyer is easily in the top-5 if not #2 behind Saban. Richt’s only real crime is being born at the wrong time, between Saban (9-years later) and Meyer (4-years prior). Richt will do an outstanding job at Miami-FL. Recruiting will be fantastic. He already went 9-4 in his first season and came pretty close to winning the ACC Coastal. He’s not in the Atlantic with FSU & Clemson so the real story here is can Richt take Miami-FL a step further than he took Georgia? Do that and he leaps into the top-10 of these rankings. Stay 10-3 every year and Richt is a top-15 coach for sure, but not quite elite of the elite.

#12 – Gary Patterson – Texas Christian

It took Patterson a couple of years to figure out the Big XII, but once he did, the Horned Frogs started dominating in much the same fashion that destroyed the competition in the Mountain West. From 2014-2015, TCU posted a 23-3 record with a couple of top-10 finishes and a share of the Big XII title in 2014. The 2014 season stung a bit as TCU dropped a 3 points game in Waco to Baylor which nailed their coffin for a shot at the college football playoffs. Florida St. was going to be in as they were 13-0 and defending champions. Alabama was 12-1 and SEC Champs. They weren’t being left out regardless. Ohio St. is Ohio State. At 12-1 they weren’t going to be left out. They had won 11 straight games and was coming off a 59-0 beating of Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship. The one team TCU could have argued against is Oregon, but Baylor might have had a better argument as Baylor beat TCU, but the Bears also lost to West Virginia. The thought was that if TCU can’t win the Big XII outright, should they be in the playoffs? I don’t know who they bump out and I don’t know how TCU would have fared, but that was a tremendous team and Patterson showed that he could take TCU from the Big XII and make them legitimate national title contenders. Last year was a bump in the road for Patterson and the Frogs and you could sense some let down after the Trevone Boykin/Aaron Green/Josh Doctson era ended on offense. TCU has a lot coming back in 2017 and my guess is Patterson jumps back into the top-10 of these rankings.

#11 – Mark Dantonio – Michigan State

I think we can all agree that Dantonio is a helluva football coach and is deserving of this ranking and maybe #11 is too low, but I do think there is a trend here that needs to be looked at because it involved Dantonio going forward. Dantonio really started to up his value as a HC starting in 2010 when he led the Spartans to an 11-2 record with a share of the Big 10 title. From 2010 to 2015, Michigan St. went 65-16 (39-9) with 3 Big 10 titles and 3 Big 10 division titles. Sparty won the Rose Bowl in 2013 and finished ranked in the top-14 in five of the 6 seasons and in the top-6 from 2013 to 2015! The 2010 to 2014 era is significant because of what was going on at Michigan during this time. From 2010-2014, the Wolverines were 38-26 (21-19). Michigan wasn’t Michigan in those 5 seasons and historically speaking, Michigan St. took on the role of Michigan while Michigan took on the role of Michigan State. What happened in 2015? Jim Harbaugh showed up in Ann Arbor! You could argue that the 2015 season showed that Dantonio could handle both Ohio State and Michigan, but that is tough because Michigan St. won a road game over Michigan when the Wolverines game it away. They also beat Ohio St. in Columbus in a game they shouldn’t have and then beat Iowa in the Big 10 championship in a game Iowa should have won. The playoffs exposed Michigan St. a bit when Alabama beat them 38-0, but maybe the Tide would have beat Ohio St. and Michigan by 40 points too! The proof might have come in 2016 when Michigan St. fell off considerably and finished 3-9 with a 1-8 mark in Big 10 play which included losses to Indiana, Northwestern, Maryland and Illinois. Winning those games would have pushed MSU to 7-5 potentially which would have gotten them bowl eligible at least with a shot at 8-5.  Maybe Connor Cook was that important!? Recruiting was down in 2017 for the Spartans while Michigan dominated. The trick with Dantonio is staying relevant while Michigan starts to dominate under Harbaugh. I think geography plays a role here. Auburn and Alabama can coexist as superpowers because they are in Alabama and the southeast. Florida and Florida St. can exist because they reside in Florida. The state of Michigan can’t resemble that type if relationship between it’s two football powers. Is Dantonio an outstanding head coach who can weather a bad year and get right back to the top of the Big 10 East or is he merely a solid head coach who took advantage of Michigan being down?

May 20, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Auburn, Big 10, Big XII, Coaching, Kansas St., Miami-FL, Michigan St., Northwestern, Oklahoma St., Pac 12, Penn St., Rankings, SEC, TCU, Utah | 1 Comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL – BOWL SEASON PREVIEW!

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 8 – BIG GAMES

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope Settle in because up to this point this is the most important game of the season. The Aggies got a week of rest while the Tide were in Knoxville destroying Tennessee 49-10. The task here is to try and figure out a way for Texas A&M to win on the road. I think more than anything QB Trevor Knight cannot turn the ball over and DEs Myles Garrett & Daeshon Hall have to have big games getting pressure on Tide QB Jalen Hurts. This is essentially the de facto SEC Championship game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It was interesting to watch the Wolfpack defense defend Deshaun Watson last week in a game NC State should have won & gotten themselves on the national map. They’ll get another chance this weekend in Louisville which shouldn’t be as difficult a place to play. Watson couldn’t get loose against NC State’s defense & I think his draft stock went down a bit because of it. I’m curious to see how Lamar Jackson plays against the Wolfpack & if he can keep his Heisman campaign going. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A white out in Beaver Stadium is  a beautiful sight to behold so there will definitely be pressure on Ohio St. to get it done in yet another road game on the heels of their OT win over Wisconsin in Madison. I don’t think the atmosphere will be insane as it was in Camp Randall, but it might not matter because JT Barrett seems impervious to pressure! Keep in mind though that this is a huge game for James Franklin & the Lions. They need to start proving they belong with Ohio St. and Michigan. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This could turn into the most interesting game of the weekend. Wisconsin is in the middle of brutal stretch of their schedule but they are coming off a home game against Ohio St. and next week they are at home against Nebraska. In the middle is a road game against Iowa against a Hawkeyes team who is starting to play a lot better. Wisconsin’s win over LSU seems like a lifetime ago so they need to start building up some wins. A win here is one step closer to the Big 10 title game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Both teams come in with 2 losses but while Arkansas had a rough game at home against Ole Miss, the Tigers of Auburn had the week off. I think this is a really cool game because either team has the chops to finish 10-2 which would be a huge win for both programs and huge confidence boosters for the teams & coaches. Auburn is likely to lose to Alabama to end the season so a win here allows the possibility for a 10 win season. Same goes for Arkansas with a win. Both teams need it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Lost in all the uproar over the Les Miles firing is that the Tigers still control their own destiny despite the losses to Wisconsin & Arkansas. If LSU wins out, they win the SEC West. Win the SEC championship game & make it to the playoffs! It sounds odd, but this is still a very talented & experienced team. Danny Etling gives them a better chance to win over Brandon Harris & Derrius Guice has proven to be a monster. A big win over Ole Miss will start to get people discussing their chances. Computer Hope
Computer Hope While Charlie Strong might not get fired after this game, coaches are now starting to drop. Les Miles was first and now Darrell Hazell from Purdue was let go. Kansas St. isn’t a bad team and a loss here could definitely be the difference between a bowl for Texas. At 3-3, the Longhorns aren’t in any danger of winning the Big XII, but the job is a huge one & everything Strong does is going to be under the microscope which almost makes every week a must watch affair. Another must win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The loss to North Carolina last week all but killed Miami-FL’s chances at winning the ACC Coastal, but Virginia Tech still controls their own destiny even after the road loss at Syracuse this past week. The Coastal is a complete mess at this point and it’s hard to see if anyone is really good considering their out of conference opponents haven’t been so hot. VT lost to Tennessee. UNC lost to Georgia. If Virginia Tech wants to win the Coastal, they need to win this game & beat Pitt next week. Computer Hope
Computer Hope TCU’s defense hasn’t been what it has been known for under Gary Patterson so West Virginia should be able to score some points, but this will be the biggest win to date for WVU if they can get the W in Morgantown. TCU is 4-2 & flying a bit under the radar but both losses were close ones against Oklahoma & Arkansas which is more than understandable. Holding Texas Tech to 17 points in Lubbock was a statement for the Mountaineers. Beating TCU & getting to 6-0 will be another. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Last week against UCLA, Wazzou QB Luke Falk was held without a passing TD for the first time in his career & the Cougars were held without a passing TD for the first time since 2013! Don’t expect a repeat against a Sun Devils defense that currently ranks as the worst pass defense in college football! This is one of those tricky games because ASU can score points too & they’re 5-2. Washington St. is coming off 3 GREAT wins over Oregon, Stanford & UCLA. I hope they don’t let down here. Computer Hope

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Big Games, Iowa, Kansas St., Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Mississippi, Must See Games, NC State, NCAA, Ohio St, Penn St., TCU, Texas, Texas AM, Virginia Tech, Washington St., Week 8, West Virginia, 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 8 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2015 NCAA WEEK 7 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2015 NCAA WEEK 6 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2015 NCAA WEEK 5 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2015 BIG XII PREVIEWS and PREDICTIONS

RANK BIG 12 COMMENTS
#1 OFFENSE: Devastating. TCU averaged 47PPG last season and return 10 starters including Heisman candidate QB Trevone Boykin. The only loss offensively was LT Tayo Fabuluje, but Halapoulvaati Vaitai steps in after being an All-Big XII performer at RT last season. Nine of the projected 11 starters could be all-conference making this offense absolutely ridiculous. Boykin & WR Josh Doctson could be 1st Team All-Americans! RB Aaron Greene also returns after averaging 7.1ypc & rushing for 922yds/9TD in 2014. There simply isn’t a weakness to the offense that I can see. You can make an argument for both Baylor & Ohio St, but in my opinion this will be the most explosive offense in the nation. You knew HC Gary Patterson wasn’t going to come into the Big XII and not win. TCU has arrived & they’ll play with a huge chip after not making the playoffs in 2014. DEFENSE: The Frogs bring back just 5 starters but don’t let that fool you. The D-Line should be outstanding with DEs James McFarland & Terrell Lathan along with DT Davion Pierson. Lathan is a matchup nightmare at 6’5/280lbs while Pierson is a rare DT who can get great pressure on the QB. The LBs take a HUGE hit with losing Paul Dawson & Marcus Mallet. Dawson was a 1st Team All-American & racked up 136 tackles! The secondary also takes on some huge hits with losing S Sam Carter, CB Kevin White & S Chris Hackett! Overall TCU loses 6 of their top-7 tacklers! LB Mike Freeze, S Derrick Kindred & CB Ranthony Texada have some awesome potential & will need to play to it to overcome the defensive losses. It’s Gary Patterson though so you know the defense is going to play well. SCHEDULE: Tougher than it appears. Road games against Minnesota, Texas Tech, Kansas St., Oklahoma St. & Oklahoma! Baylor does have to come to Ft. Worth though. This is a team on a mission. BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 9-3
#2 OFFENSE: The offense is INSANE. Baylor returns 9 starters from an offense that scored 48PPG last season! RB Shock Linwood ran for 1252yds/12TD! Backup Johnny Jefferson ran for over 500! WRs Corey Coleman & KD Cannon combined for 122rec/2149yds/19TD! Both return & both averaged more than 17ypc! WR Jay Lee also returns giving Baylor a big guy at 6’3! More devastating? The entire O-line returns intact including 4 senior starters! Coleman & LT Spencer Drango are potential All-Americans. Drango was a 1st Team All-American last season! Amazingly, 10 of Baylor’s projected 11 starters on offense could be 1st Team All-Big XII! The one question on offense is QB. Bryce Petty is with the Jets now so Seth Russell takes over. Russell can play & in Art Briles system, he’ll put up huge numbers. It’s crazy to think Baylor could score 50PPG but they did it in 2013! If Russell catches on fast then look out. DEFENSE: Better than you think. The last 2 seasons Baylor has allowed 24PPG & this is their best defense yet with 9 returning starters! Baylor has 6 players who should be considered for All-Big 12 honors while DT Andrew Billings & DE Shawn Oakman could be All-Americans. At 6’9/290lbs, Oakman could be the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft! DT Beau Blakshear & DE Jamal Palmer also return giving the Bears arguably the best D-Line in college football. The secondary returns all 4 starters as well. S Orion Stewart & CB Xavien Howard are the stars here & Howard is huge for a CB at 6’2. LB Taylor Young racked up 92 tackles last year but Baylor does lose LB Bryce Hager who led the team in tackles. This defense is the best Briles has had. SCHEDULE: OOC is a joke. Baylor gets Texas, Oklahoma & West Virginia at home! They do go on the road to TCU which should be a battle for the conference title. This team is fantastic. BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 9-3
#3 OFFENSE: As explosive as TCU’s & Baylor’s offenses might be, Oklahoma’s offense might be the most interesting. New OC Lincoln Riley is a proponent of the “Air Raid” offense that Mike Leach ran at Texas Tech. Riley coached with Leach for quite a while in Lubbock so expect the fireworks to be aplenty. New QB Baker Mayfield went to Texas Tech in 2013 & played under Leach disciple Kliff Kingsbury before transferring into Oklahoma. With confidence to burn, Mayfield is already controlling the offense to an incredibly high level. Now throw in the fact that Oklahoma returns RB Samaje Perine (1713yds/21TD in ’14) & their top-4 receivers including Sterling Shepard (19.0ypc/5TD) & you can begin to see just how crazy the Sooners offense might be in 2015! The Sooners do lose 3 outstanding O-Linemen, but the projected starters have 4 seniors & a junior. Seven guys could be all conference with Shepard & Perine being potential All-Americans! DEFENSE: The unit returns 6 starters after allowing an uncharacteristic 26PPG last year. The Sooners return their top-4 tacklers & 5 of their top-7. There is some incredible talent coming back. CB Zach Sanchez could be an All-American. LBs Dominque Alexander & Eric Striker are as good as they come. LB Jordan Evans & S Ahmad Thomas should also play key roles. Keep an eye on the D-Line. OU suffered some losses & will need NT Jordan Wade & DE DJ Ward to step into holes left by departing players. Seven guys are legit all-Big XII players & OU runs a 3-4. Only West Virginia runs a 3-4 so it’s unusual to see. SCHEDULE: Oklahoma is tricky being #3 here because they have the most talent in the conference. OOC at Tennessee is brutal. They also have road games against Baylor & Oklahoma St.! They get TCU at home but a 10-0 start is very possible with TCU/Baylor to end the season! BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 5-7
#4 OFFENSE: West Virginia brings back 6 starters from an offense that scored 34PPG in 2014. This is somewhat of a mixed bag but I really Dana Holgorsen as a HC & believe in what he’s doing in Morgantown. Gone is QB Clint Trickett, but Trickett’s decision making could be questionable at times. Skyler Howard is the new starter & the smaller stature QB gives the Mountaineers a more cerebral QB who can also be a running threat. WVU also brings back Rushel Shell & Wendell Smallwood as RBs. They do have to replace WRs Kevin White & Mario Alford. Those 2 are huge losses but WVU runs 4 wide & Jordan Thompson & Daikiel Shorts looks good. The O-Line returns 3 starters, but new LT Sylvester Townes could be dynamic. I think Holgorsen is still finding his way, but Rich Rodriguez showed WVU could be a national player & I expect Holgorsen to do the same. DEFENSE: WVU brings back 9 starters including 9 of their top-10 tacklers. DT Shaquille Riddick & LB Wes Tonkery are fairly big losses, but I think OLBs Nick Kwiatkoski & KJ Dillon are primed for big years. WVU’s secondary returns intact. S Karl Joseph is arguably the best safety in football & gives WVU a legit All-American candidate. Dravon Henry is a solid safety as well, while CB Daryl Worley is 6’2! The one question for WVU will be the D-line. They run a 3-4 so the big guys up front will have to pick it up. JUCO transfer Larry Jefferson could be an interesting 3-4DE who can get to the QB. WVU allowed 28PPG last year but should be better which will go along way if they knock that number down to 22-23! SCHEDULE: OOC is weak & they get winnable games at home against OK State, Texas Tech, Texas & Maryland. So what they get TCU, Baylor & Oklahoma on the road!? I think they can win the other Big XII games & finish 4th! I think the defense comes through. BEST CASE: 9-3; WORST CASE: 4-8
#5 OFFENSE: The Red Raiders return 9 starters from an offense that averaged 31PPG last season. This group is probably the most talented & experienced HC Kliff Kingsbury has had to date. QB Patrick Mahomes was solid last year as a true frosh passing for 1500+yds with 16TD to 4INT. His accuracy needs to improve but there is a lot to like. RB DeAndre Jordan also returns. He ran for 1100+yds last season & is also a threat in the passing game. Tech also returns 6 of their top-7 receivers including WRs Jakeem Grant & Devin Lauderdale. Lauderdale averaged 19.0ypc last year! The O-Line returns 4 starters with 3 seniors who could be all-conference & LT Le’Raven Clark could be an All-American. Watch out for frosh JF Thomas who gives Mahomes a huge target at 6’4. I think Texas Tech gets back to scoring massive amount of points & should be closer to 40PPG than 30PPG. DEFENSE: Remember that the defense was solid in 2008-2009 when Tech was 20-6! Those 2 teams averaged 24PPG allowed so in this type of offensive system, the defense doesn’t necessarily have to be like Alabama’s. Tech returns 8 starters from a unit that allowed 41PPG but there is some talent here. DE Pete Robertson is an all-conference player as is CB Justis Nelson. LB Mike Mitchell is a uber-prospect that transferred in from Ohio St. & is 6’3/230lbs at MLB! DE Braden Jackson is also a solid body up front at 6’4/270lbs! True frosh DT Breiden Fehoko was one of the top DL recruits in the nation. The defense is getting better and the move to a 4-3 defense fits their personnel much much better. Expect big improvement. SCHEDULE: OOC at Arkansas is brutal. The Big XII is tough so no easy games. They draw Kansas on the road which is solid, but they also get Oklahoma St. & Kansas St. at home which I think are must win games for them. I love Kingsbury here. BEST CASE: 8-4, WORST CASE 3-9
#6 OFFENSE: QB Mason Rudolph was impressive in his 3 starts last year beating Oklahoma & then beating Washington in the bowl game. The Cowboys bring back 8 starters from a disappointing offense that averaged a VERY uncharacteristic 27.6PPG a season ago, but Rudolph starting the year under center could be the tonic that turns it around. OSU returns their top-3 receivers as well along with 4 O-Linemen. The problem with OSU last season very much stemmed from inept QB play. JW Walsh was injured & Daxx Garman just wasn’t that good. The RB situation wasn’t great either as Desmond Roladn rushed for 3.8ypc! James Washington & Brandon Sheperd are big time receivers. I think new RB Chris Carson will be a huge upgrade & the O-Line is improved. Rudolph is the big player here, but if plays like he did against Oklahoma & Washington last year, OSU will be flying high. DEFENSE: OSU returns 8 starters from a unit that allowed 31+PPG but I think they’ll show big time improvement this season. DE Emmanuel Ogbah returns along with his team-leading 11 sacks a year ago. The entire secondary returns including leading tackler S Jordan Sterns. LBs Seth Jacobs & Ryan Simmons also return. The D-Line should be solid this year. I like Ogbah but DTs Motekiai Maile & Vincent Taylor are big bodies to clog up the middle & DE Jimmy Bean is a load at 6’5/250lbs. Seven of the projected 11 could be all-conference players while Ogbah will get All-American consideration! Expect a huge improvement from a year ago. SCHEDULE: The OOC is a joke & I feel bad ranking Oklahoma St. 6th but they have road games against both West Virginia & Texas Tech so I have them here which is too low. On the other hand the upside here is INCREDIBLE as they draw TCU, Baylor & Oklahoma all in Stillwater. This is a dark horse playoff team! BEST CASE: 12-0; WORST CASE: 5-7
#7 OFFENSE: Texas brings back 7 starters from an offense that was terrible, averaging 21.4PPG, but I think there is reason to be excited. QB Tyrone Swoopes returns after spending his sophomore season as a starter. Swoopes wasn’t great completing 58% of his passes for 2409yds along with a 13:11 TD to INT ration but the 6’4/250lbs behemoth looks the part & I think will get better. Texas also returns their entire O-Line. RB Jonathan Gray steps in as the starting RB & I think the rushing game will be a bit stronger. UT does lose their top 2 receivers but this is Texas. There is talent everywhere. Have Swoopes improve will go a long way for Texas this season. They’ll be better. DEFENSE: Texas suffers massive losses as the Longhorns lose 6 of their top-7 tacklers. LBs Jordan Hicks & Steve Edmond are HUGE losses. They also lose DT Malcolm Brown who was a 1st Rd. NFL Draft pick & DE Cedric Reed. CB Quandre Diggs is also a big loss. It’s a lot but on the other hand there are a lot of positives. Charlie Strong is a helluva defensive coach & Texas has quite a bit back along the D-Line & the secondary. Dylan Haines & Dylan Thomas are solid DBs while Hassan Ridgeway, Nassan Hughes & Shiro Davis will be solid up front. Strong’s top-5 recruits were all on the defensive side of the ball including #1 LB Malik Jefferson who should start immediately. I think the defense will ultimately come together. SCHEDULE: Strong did an outstanding job at Louisville & I’d expect the same in Austin. There is a lot of talent here. Strong made a HUGE jump at L’Ville in year 3. This is just Year 2, but the road isn’t getting any easier for him. The OOC is brutal with Cal & Notre Dame. UT also has road games against TCU, Baylor & West Virginia. Texas also has Oklahoma in Dallas. I think Strong will improve but Year 2 will be rough & still rebuilding. BEST CASE: 8-4. WORST CASE: 2-10!
#8 OFFENSE: A transition year for the Wildcats offensively. Last year KSU averaged 36PPG en route to a 9-4 season & a top-20 finish but QB Jake Waters (3501yds/66%/22TD) is gone along with WRs Tyler Lockett & Curry Sexton who combined to catch 185 balls for 2574yds & 16TD! TE Zach Trujilo who averaged 20.5ypc is also gone. That’s a lot of talent at the skill position to overcome & RB Charles Jones wasn’t a dominant force on the ground although he did score 13TD. QB Jesse Ertz looks to be the starter & he hasn’t attempted a pass at this level. Jones does return at RB & the Wildcats do return 4 starting O-Linemen. If Ertz can acclimate fast & Jones step up his game, the Wildcats can be decent. FB Glenn Gronkowski (of the Gronkowskis!) is fun to watch. He’s a bulldozer back there. KSU hasn’t averaged fewer than 30PPG since 2009. They might do that this year. DEFENSE: Like the offense, the defense returns 6 starters but loses 5 of their top-8 tacklers from last season including LB Jonathan Truman who led the team with 128 tackles. Other big losses are DE Ryan Mueller & NB Randall Evans. Given their positional importance, those are some big losses but there are also some key pieces returning. KSU returns both corners & Danzel McDaniel is an all-conference cover guy & big at 6’1. I think KSU can get pressure too with DEs Jordan Willis & Marquel Bryant along with LB Elijah Lee. S Dante Barnett was 2nd on the team in tackles last season & DT Travis Britz is an interior linemen who can get pressure. KSU runs the nickle package primarily which is almost required in the pass happy Big XII & despite some losses, I like what they are going here. SCHEDULE: Bill Snyder is an OUSTANDING HC so this feels low but the Big XII is stacked & KSU is in transition. A few winnable games are on the road so this year looks tough. BEST CASE: 7-5; WORST CASE: 4-8
#9 OFFENSE: The Cyclones bring back 8 starters from an offense that scored just 23PPG in 2014. ISU hasn’t had a winning record since 2009, but Paul Rhoads is a helluva coach in my opinion and I think the offense is trending up. Sam Richardson returns at QB & I like what’s he’s doing. He needs to improve his accuracy but Richardson passed for almost 2700yds last season with 18TD. He’s got 4 returning O-Linemen in front of him & some HUGE receivers in 6’6 D’Vario Montgomery, 6’5 Allen Lazard & 6’2 Quenton Bundrage. TE Ben Boesen is 6’5 so teams trying to cover ISU’s passing attack are going to find themselves in trouble especially if Montgomery hits his stride. RB Tyler Brown should be an upgrad too. Lazard has insane amounts of talent & should be a top NFL Draft pick when he comes out in 2017 or 2018. I’d expect some fireworks especially in OC Mark Mangino’s 2nd year. DEFENSE: The D has lost it’s way after having a pretty good run  from 2009-2012. The Cyclones return 6 starters including 4 of their top-6 tacklers to a defense that allowed 39PPG! DE Chris Morrissey is a big loss as is S TJ Mutcherson, but this should be a defense that is improved at every level. ISU’s secondary should be really strong with CBs Sam Richardson, Nigel Tribune & S Kamari Cotton-Moya could be all-conference players. LB Luke Knott was 3rd on the team in tackles & he returns. I’m also excited about the D-Line. DTs Bobby Leath & Demond Tucker are both juco transfers & DE Trent Taylor returns & is a solid talent. This is a lot more like the ISU teams of 2009-2012 where Iowa St. went to 3 bowls in 4 years. SCHEDULE: It’s a tough schedule. They always get Iowa OOC but they also have road games against TX Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, K-State & WVU! They get Kansas & Texas at home which could be wins, but could surprise. BEST CASE: 7-5; WORST CASE: 2-10
#10 I’ve been keeping up the trend of looking at a team holistically rather than just breaking it down, and with the Big XII, I want to tackle Kansas, the worst program in the conference. What’s interesting about Kansas is what Mark Mangino was able to accomplish in Lawrence. Mangino was 2-10 in his first year at Kansas but had the Jayhawks in a bowl game in year 2 and had Kansas at 12-1 with an Orange Bowl win in Year 6! It’s possible a lot of that had to do with QB Todd Reesing as KU dropped to 13-12 (5-11) after that high water mark of 2007, but it is at least indicative (as in Colorado’s case as well) that Kansas can play competitive football. The Jayhawks might not be able to sustain a top-10 caliber team, but having a program that went to 4 bowls in 6 years is something I think Kansas fans could be happy with. When Mangino had his issues that ultimately got him fired, Kansas was left with a void they haven’t been able to fill. Turner Gil couldn’t figure it out. Neither could Charlie Weis. Now David Beaty is going to give it a shot, but has a HUGE uphill climb as Kansas returns just 7 starters total & the Big XII is as stacked as it’s ever been. What’s interesting here is how immediate anyone can expect a Kansas turnaround. Gil got 2 years which seems ridiculous in retrospect given the state of the program when he took it over. Weis got 3 years although he didn’t fare any better. The big question will be how long Beaty gets as the HC? If it’s 1-2 years then he’s not going to make it because Kansas is looking at a 2-10/3-9 year AT BEST this season and I’m not sure the team takes a big leap in Year 2 or even Year 3. You simply can’t give a coach a 10-year contract and hope for the best (I’m looking at you Indiana), but there needs to be some legitimate signs of improvement. Beaty must recruit like a demon to get this program back on track. BEST CASE: 3-9; WORST CASE: 1-11

 

BIG 12 OVERALL OUTLOOK: This truly is an amazing conference. I think the top-8 teams here really have something to play for & Iowa St. could be a lot better than most people think. Really this is a 3-team race between TCU, Baylor & Oklahoma. I can’t see Oklahoma winning although Kirk Herbstreit has the Sooners winning the Big XII & getting the playoffs! That would be incredible, but to be honest, from a talent standpoint it wouldn’t be all that surprising. That in and of itself is what makes this conference so nuts. Texas & Oklahoma are the two teams that seem head & shoulders above everyone when it comes to talent, but neither team has won an outright Big XII championship since 2010! I think that shows just how good the conference can be. Adding TCU was amazing & you can see how fast Gary Patterson was able to get the Horned Frogs to the top of the conference. What will probably be the most interesting aspect to watch for in the Big XII is what happens with the playoff picture. TCU & Baylor were left out last year and you at least can make an AMAZING argument that TCU was more qualified to get in than Ohio St. who eventually won the championship! This year if a Big XII team finishes 11-1 and gets left out, you can be sure that conference expansion will be a huge discussion as the Big XII will surely have been put on notice that they are being penalized for not having a conference championship game. The big question then will be who joins the conference? There just aren’t that many big time programs that are available. BYU comes to mind, but I’m not sure Boise State is the other option although there isn’t any other choices really when you look at it unless you go UCF or South Florida. Either way, the Big XII is going to have a million storylines this year. It’ll be really interesting to see how the results on the field trigger discussions about the conference off the field. In any case, the conference is going to be incredible to watch in 2015!

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Baylor, Big XII, Iowa St., Kansas, Kansas St., Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Predictions, Previews, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia | Leave a comment