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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 | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 13 – BIG GAMES

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope THE GAME. There are so many implications here, but what is most interesting to me about this game is that it might be more about who ISN’T playing than the two 10-1 teams that are. If Ohio St. wins then it’s really a HUGE win for Penn State. If Michigan wins without Wilton Speight, can the Wolverines beat Wisconsin in a rematch without their starting QB in the Big 10 Championship game!? This game should come down to trench warfare. I’ll go Ohio St.. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game had SO MUCH potential before Auburn let down against Georgia. It’s still the Iron Bowl so who knows what can happen especially with how well Auburn is playing and the fact that Kamryn Pettway might be able to play in the game. Alabama has the best rush defense in the nation. Auburn has the 5th best rushing offense. I think a big key for Auburn is getting Sean White healthy. It won’t be enough though. Alabama ROLLS to 12-0! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Pac 12 North Championship Game. Or the Apple Cup formally! Before I watched Wazzou play Colorado this past week I wouldn’t have given them a chance to beat the Huskies, but the Cougars are pretty fast, physical football team that I think can give Washington a bit of trouble. I think Washington wins because their D-Line is going to create quite a bit of pressure on Luke Falk, but Washington St. could hang around a lot longer than you think. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Colorado showed a lot of fortitude last week in beating Washington St., and they’ll need more of that and more against a Utah team that would like nothing better than to spoil Colorado’s dream season. In some odd way I’m hoping for Colorado to win this game only to lose the Pac 12 Championship game. Also for Wisconsin to lose but Nebraska to lose the Big 10 title game. Colorado/Nebraska Rose Bowl anyone!? I’ll take the Buffs here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sounds weird but Western Michigan could lose the MAC-West if they lose this game. The two best teams in the MAC outside of the Broncos are Toledo & Ohio. WMU gets Toledo this week and if Ohio can beat Akron then WMU gets the Bobcats in the MAC championship game. It certainly seems like 13-0 is a legitimate possibility for PJ Fleck and his crew. I’m rooting hard for it. Beating Ohio & Toledo is very important and it’ll result in a New York’s 6 bowl. Computer Hope
Computer Hope 1-8 in their last 9 games, the nightmare year for the Spartans continues. This is a dangerous game for Penn State. Ohio St. is favored to beat Michigan so if Penn St. takes care of business it can win the Big 10 East. A Big 10 title and they are in the playoffs! How’s that for insanity. The Spartans aren’t your typical 3-8 team. They’ve played Michigan & Ohio St. very tough lately so they won’t lay down. They’d love to play spoiler. I think Penn St. gets it done. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Does anyone realize that Minnesota is 8-3? The Gophers haven’t beaten anyone of note which is why they aren’t getting respect, but last week’s 29-12 win over Northwestern was impressive. The Gophers 3 losses have been close ones against Iowa, Penn St. and Nebraska so they are looking to break through with a signature win. They won’t get it. There is TOO much on the line for Wisconsin & they are playing in Madison. Wisconsin is thinking playoffs! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Huskers aren’t completely out of it yet. A win here combined with a Wisconsin loss thrusts Nebraska into the Big 10 championship game. If the Huskers face a Penn St. or depleted Michigan squad, there is a decent chance Nebraska wins the Big 10 championship and wind up in the playoffs! In this situation, Iowa is about the worst opponent you can think of. They are a perfect spoiler team. Go ask Michigan about Iowa potentially ruining seasons! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Playing for the Old Oaken Bucket! Not necessarily a huge game with national implications, but there are some broader implications with Indiana. A Hoosier victory would put Indiana in back-to-back bowl games for the first time since 1990-1991! That’s a quarter century ago! A bowl win could be IU’s first since 1991! If IU beats Purdue & win their bowl, I think it’ll be interesting to see what happens with HC Kevin Wilson. Does a higher profile team grab him? Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Irish are having a terrible year but this rivalry is OUTSTANDING so it’s hard not to include it as a big game. A couple of thoughts here. First, if the Irish get blown out and finish 4-8, does Brian Kelly survive? The other thought is a USC win puts the Trojans at 9-3 with 8 straight wins. A Colorado loss puts them in the Pac 12 Championship game. Does a 10-3 Pac 12 champion USC team with 9 straight wins crash the playoff party? Rose Bowl at worst. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The LSU win was big for Florida because their 8-2 is almost as soft as Minnesota’s 8-3. I think this game is important because I don’t think Florida wants a repeat of last season. Last year the Gators got to this game at 10-1 & then promptly dropped 3 straight. As SEC East champs that is a REAL possibility again. They get FSU on the road and then Alabama in the SEC Championship. The 8-2 could turn into 8-4 really fast. UF can’t repeat 2015. Computer Hope

November 21, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Auburn, Big Games, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Penn St., Purdue, Toledo, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington St., Week 13, Western Michigan, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 9 – BIG GAMES

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 5

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 4

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 4 – BIG GAMES

Week 4 will probably not be as good as Week 1 or Week 3, but it’s definitely a week where there should be quite a bit of separation. A lot of teams have the opportunity to consolidate and it’ll be interesting to see if they take advantage because it could catapult them towards a special season. It’s weird to think about, but we are a fourth of the way through the season for most teams. After this week a lot of teams will be a third of the way finished with their season. We just started!!!!

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope It’s nice to have the Big 10 back in the spotlight this week with the marquee game. Based on last week’s games, these two teams look far apart as the Badgers struggled with Georgia St. while the Spartans handled their business against Notre Dame on the road. The winner of this game gets a huge conference but will also have 2 great wins on the schedule. Wisconsin needs to figure out their QB situation quickly because Malik McDowell is coming!! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think this game is really interesting when looked at through the prism of open windows. Tennessee has had an open window for the SEC East when Will Muschamp was the HC at Florida because he wasn’t able to take Florida to the heights that Spurrier & Meyer did. I think Jim McElwain can get to those heights, but he’ll need a year or two. That’s an open window for the Vols specifically this year with their experience. Tennessee has to take advantage. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I love the contrasting styles of this game. Texas A&M’s front 7 is fairly dominant but that has a lot to do with their ability to get to the QB via Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall. Arkansas wants to run the football so if Garrett & Hall are getting up the field while Arkansas & Rawleigh Williams are running inside, it’s a big help for the Razorbacks. They control the clock and move the ball all while keeping the A&M offense & their receivers off the field. Great strategy game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think Auburn is getting a raw deal with Gus Malzahn being under the gun after losing to Clemson & Texas A&M to start the season. Auburn isn’t doing much different than what they’ve done in the past. Last year QB play was bad & the RBs didn’t really dominate. In 2014 they were 8-5 but not far from 10-3. In 2013 they were playing for a national championship. I think War Eagle gets somebody this year & that might be LSU this week which would be a big win for them. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Georgia has to be thrilled to be 3-0 when they could just as easily be 0-3 and completely demoralized! Navigating the SEC with a true freshman at QB isn’t going to be easy no matter how good Jacob Eason is and Ole Miss should be a HUGE test. For the Rebels, they’ve lost to Alabama & Florida St., but at times looked like the best team in the nation. If that is true then Ole Miss should handle UGA relatively easy. It would be nice to see Ole Miss put two halves together. Computer Hope
Computer Hope So far UCLA has a been a big disappointment. Losing to Texas A&M might not look bad as the weeks go by & the Aggies keep winning, but UCLA also struggled with BYU. They haven’t been able to run the ball well & Josh Rosen has looked terrible in his 2nd season under center. The Bruins can right a lot of wrongs with a big win over Stanford this weekend and reestablish themselves as the front runners for the Pac 12 South. Christian McCaffrey has other ideas. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Big XII is a complete mess at this point with Texas losing to Cal and Oklahoma already having two losses, but Baylor is still undefeated at 3-0 and a win at home over Oklahoma St. could give them a little more credit than they’ve had so far with a cupcake filled schedule. I’m interested to see how Oklahoma St. comes back after 2 emotional games. The bizarre ending to C.Michigan and the incredible win over Pittsburgh. They have something to prove. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m not saying Colorado is going to win anything this season, but you knew something was different about the Buffs when they blitzed Colorado St. 44-7 to open the season. Colorado blitzed Michigan last week in the first quarter & stunned the Wolverines before Michigan recovered for a win, but in years past Colorado wouldn’t have gotten off a punch. You can be sure they won’t be intimidated going into Oregon after going into Ann Arbor. This game will not be a blowout. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s worth remembering that Georgia Tech was 11-3 in 2014 & THIS CLOSE from turning in a perfect 14-0 record. That was an experienced squad under HC Paul Johnson. Last year the Yellow Jackets took a step back as they regrouped but now they are a lot more experienced. I don’t know if that predicts a win over Clemson, but it’ll be an EXTREMELY tough game for the Tigers regardless and remember that Clemson has Louisville the very next week. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Like Ole Miss, USC has gotten a tough schedule early & suffered losses to Stanford & Alabama. Like Ole Miss the Trojans get a good but not great team in Week 4 to show they really do belong as contenders for their conference. Utah has played well so far this season getting big plays from their receivers with a solid ground attack. Utah has done a good job replacing Travis Wilson & Devontae Booker from last season. Getting a win here would be huge moving forward. Computer Hope

September 20, 2016 Posted by | Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan St., Mississippi, Must See Games, NCAA, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Utah, Week 4, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 3

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 3 – BIG GAMES

I’m trying my best to stick to 10 games a week during the college season but I’m already breaking that rule for Week 3. I extended the important games out to 12 because I felt the storylines for the 12 games were enough to merit inclusion. Maybe a better rule will be a minimum of 10 games?

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope Wow! This is definitely the game of the week. Louisville gets its first real test in the Seminoles, but with the way the Cardinals have played thus far, don’t think they aren’t believing they can compete for national championships. It’s amazing that Bobby Petrino is year 3 and if L’ville wins this game, they probably jump to top-3 in the polls. The football landscape definitely gets shaken with a Cardinal win & it can happen. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Clearly losing to Ole Miss doesn’t hamper Alabama’s championship aspirations. Last year Ole Miss beat Alabama 43-37 in Tuscaloosa & the Tide still won a national championship. In 2014, Ole Miss beat them 23-17 & the Tide still got to the playoffs. With that being said, I’m sure Nick Saban is not too happy with those losses and given how disappointed he was after beating WKU, he’s looking to take out frustrations. Computer Hope
Computer Hope There is a lot riding on this game for Oklahoma. If the Sooners lose to Ohio St., then they’ll fall to 1-2. They can argue they’ve lost to two of the top-3 teams in the country, but a 2-loss team isn’t getting into the playoffs. Their season will effectively be over outside of playing for a Big XII title. For the Buckeyes this is a statement game. They’ve played well to this point but a win here shows how effective Ohio St. can reload the roster. Computer Hope
Computer Hope These two teams haven’t played since 2013 & currently the Irish are on a 3-game winning streak. This will be a good barometer game for both squads. A Michigan St. win certainly gives Spartan Nation some hope at a 13-0 season considering they get both Michigan & Ohio St. at home. For the Irish, a playoff spot is still up for grabs as it would be hard to pass up an 11-1 Notre Dame as one of the final four playoff teams. Computer Hope
Computer Hope There is a lot going on here for both teams. I love how Auburn turned to Sean White as QB & ran the ball EXTREMELY well last week. Their defense is going to shine so if the offense works out then they are formidable. For Texas A&M, a win over Auburn puts them at 3-0 with wins over UCLA & on the road against Auburn. It’s entirely possible that when Texas A&M heads to Tuscaloosa, they could be playing for the SEC west. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Big opportunity here for USC to get back into the national picture with a win over a highly ranked Stanford squad. The Trojans might have been left for dead after the Alabama debacle in Dallas, but I still think USC is a supremely talented team that can play with the Cardinal. Stanford needs a solid win to keep up appearances. The opening week win over Kansas St. wasn’t inspiring and they were on their bye last week. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s fun to see Nebraska being relevant in a national game. The Huskers are an experienced team that has had little trouble hammering Fresno St. & Wyoming early on. Oregon will be a completely different animal for them, but a win puts Nebraska in the top-25. As for Oregon, QB Dakota Prukop looks incredibly good so a win over Nebraska in Lincoln gets us talking about the Ducks once again among the nation’s elite programs. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Greg Ward was cleared to play in this game and that’s great news for Houston fans as I think the Bearcats pose a tricky proposition for the Cougars. QB Hayden Moore has done a great job as Cincy QB & can get the Bearcats moving. The one issue I see here for Cincy is that last week Purdue put up 401 passing yards against their defense. Even with a hurt shoulder, the Houston receivers are so good, Greg Ward will find a way. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is going to be one helluva test for Michigan. A lot of people are overlooking Colorado but Mike MacIntyre has done a great job rebuilding this program. They are THIS close to coming through. Last year UC was 4-8 but 2-5 in close games but 7-5-1 against the spread. They have 18 returning starters back & are 2-0 with a point differential of +84. It’s Michigan in Ann Arbor so I don’t expect them to win, but they’ll play tough. Computer Hope
Computer Hope North Dakota St. has won 5 straight FCS championships and have won their last 5 games against FBS opponents! The Bison are actually on an incredible run these past 5 years posting a record of 71-5! Iowa is unlike any FBS team they’ve seen during that time period and I wouldn’t expect the Hawkeyes to let down, but I also don’t think North Dakota St. is going to get run over. This game might be tighter than we anticipate. Computer Hope
Computer Hope There is quite a bit on the line for Miami-FL in this game. As you could see in Week 1 when Appalachian St. nearly knocked off Tennessee in Knoxville, the Mountaineers are going to come to play & they are going to hit hard. On the other hand, if the Hurricanes can get a blow out win in Kidd Brewer Stadium, what does that say about Miami-FL as they relate to Tennessee? If App State wins, they don’t lose again and go 11-1. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Lots of talk in the ACC about Louisville, Florida St., Clemson and Miami-FL but not so much about Pitt. The Panthers are coming off a solid rivalry win over Penn State. They are an experienced team & Pat Narduzzi is a solid coach. They haven’t gotten much national attention but a win in Stillwater can change that. The Cowboys should be very charged up after the disaster last week that saw them fall to C. Michigan on a bad call. Computer Hope

September 13, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Appalachian St., Auburn, Big Games, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida St., Houston, Iowa, Louisville, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, North Dakota St, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Texas AM, USC, Week 3 | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 2

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Alabama cruised to a 38-10 home opening win over Western Kentucky, but what stood out to me in this game is the attitude of Nick Saban. The Tide were CRUSHING Western & at the end of the game Saban is still screaming at Lane Kiffin. In the presser after the game Saban said he couldn’t have been more disappointed after a win. This is a guy with 5 national titles & 4 in the last 7 years. I don’t think there is a coach in college football or in sports period that wants to win as much as Saban does. Alabama could go out tomorrow and beat Florida St. 74-0 and Saban would say they had work to do! The guy is amazing.
#2 Computer Hope The Greg Ward injury is a bit disconcerting given how early it is in the season & shoulder injuries are never pleasant, but at this point Houston has to be this high. The win over Oklahoma looks amazing especially so considering that the game wasn’t as close as the final. Despite the Ward injury & a lot of weather delays, Houston still came out and hammered Lamar 42-0 with 3 players going over the century mark in rushing yards. That was quite a different blue print for winning than what the Cougars showed Oklahoma, but it shows me that Houston has quite a few tricks up their sleeves when they need it.
#3 Computer Hope Florida St. got off to a much better start against Charleston Southern than they did Ole Miss last week, leading the Bucs 28-0 after the 1st quarter and 35-6 at the half. FSU DE Demarcus Walker was held relatively in check yesterday after having an incredible game against Ole Miss the week prior. Walker had 4.5 sacks in Week 1 but not much in Week 2. He still leads the NCAA in sacks right now & FSU has 9 sacks as a team. Over 14 games, Florida St. is on pace to record 126 sacks! There is a lot of talk about Dalvin Cook & Deondre Francois, but if FSU finishes the 126 sacks this year, that’s the story to talk about.
#4 Computer Hope UTEP isn’t Notre Dame but you can’t help but be impressed by Texas true freshman QB Shane Buechele. I think he has the best arm in college football right now & he improved upon his tremendous game against the Irish by going 22/27 for 244 yards & 4TD against the Miners in a 41-7 blowout. Former QB Jerrod Heard got in on the action with 2TD, his first 2 as a WR in his career in Austin. Dont’a Foreman didn’t even play & WR John Burt wasn’t targeted all that much. The Notre Dame win will look better & better. Outside of Alabama, I’m not sure there is a defense right now that can stop the Longhorn offense.
#5 Computer Hope There was no let down for Wisconsin after their big upset of LSU. The Badgers took Akron to the woodshed in a 54-10 stomping of the Zips in Camp-Randall. QB Bart Houston came back off a bad game against the Tigers to shred the Zips defense. Wisconsin also ran the ball exceedingly well which is what you’d expect from this team year after year. Corey Clement is staying healthy & the defense is salty. The Badgers get another home tune-up against Georgia St. before taking on a 5-game stretch that is nothing short of brutal. The LSU win keeps them this high but they will definitely earn it in the coming weeks.
#6 Computer Hope The wins are coming although they aren’t pretty. Clemson & Arkansas are playing a little bit alike in that the are winning ugly. People forget that Clemson had some off games last year too but those games were against Louisville, Notre Dame, Florida State & South Carolina. I wouldn’t expect the Tigers to have problems with Troy even if they had to trot out their 2nd string teams. The close win against Auburn in Auburn looks good & I think it’ll continue to look good as Auburn starts playing to their talent level, but the Troy game is worrisome. Clemson can’t afford to have a game like that against FSU.
#7 Computer Hope There was a weather delay, it rained all game, and Ohio St. needed a quarter to warm up, but after battling Tulsa to a 3-3 standoff in the 1st quarter, the Buckeyes outscored the Golden Hurricane 45-0 the rest of the way en route to a 48-3 win. I know it’s only Bowling Green & Tulsa and both games were in Columbus, but Ohio St. has outscored their opponents 125-13 to start the season! Everyone talks of JT Barrett being a Heisman candidate but don’t sleep on Curtis Samuel! The guy is on pace for 2800+ all purpose yards and 21TD. Ohio St. has one a tremendous job replacing Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield.
#8 Computer Hope DOMINANT. So far this season Michigan is beating their opponents by an average score of 57-9! Michigan went a lot more pass heavy against UCF this week and QB Wilton Speight responded going 25/37 for 312 yards & 4TD to 0INT! Hats off to Jim Harbaugh for making Speight the starter over John O’Korn. O’Korn came in with a lot more experience but I think strategically this set up well for the Wolverines because O’Korn is a senior while Speight is a junior. If Speight plays well then Michigan has a returning starter next season which is a huge bonus. That’s long term strategical thinking.
#9 Computer Hope If Lamar Jackson keeps up this pace for 13 games he’ll finish the season with 4531 passing yards with 45TD to 7INT. He’ll also rush for 2,067 yards & 39TD. That would be 84TD responsible for. The record is 63! The most Tim Tebow ever had in a season was 53 his sophomore year when he won the Heisman. I know the Cardinals have only beaten up on Charlotte & Clemson, but they are averaging 66PPG so far & I don’t see the offense slowing down. Jackson is a monster & I can’t wait for this weekend when the Cardinals host Florida State. Win that game and Louisville can start talking national championship.
#10 Computer Hope Maybe it took Tennessee 5 quarters of football to finally warm up? After going down to Virginia Tech 14-0 at the “Battle of Bristol”, the Vols turned it on & outscored the Hokies 45-10 en route to a convincing 45-24 win at the largest attended college football game in history! A crowd of 156,990 saw Josh Dobbs & Jalen Hurd turn it on after the first quarter while the Tennessee defense clamped down on VT QB Jerod Evans. I came away thinking Virginia Tech was a lot better than people think after watching the game. The win is a good one but I think it’ll be on that keeps getting better & better for Tennessee.
#11 Computer Hope Sure it was Prairie View but a 67-0 win is a 67-0 win. When you look at Texas A&M, it’s almost ridiculous how much talent the team has. That’s one of the reasons why the last couple of seasons have been so disappointing in College Station. There was some heat on Kevin Sumlin’s seat coming into the season & that heat has definitely lessened with a solid OT home win over a ranked UCLA team, but a 67-0 blowout at home also adds quite a bit of confidence to a team that could be very dangerous if it plays up to its talent level. Next up is a road trip to Auburn. Win that one & we can start to get really excited.
#12 Computer Hope Rutgers & Idaho aren’t great football teams, but Washington is getting a little lost in all the hype that has surrounded college football over the first two weeks. All they’ve done is be completely dominant in outscoring their opponents 107-27. The Huskies have outscored their opponents 69-3 in the first half showing they come to play early! QB Jake Browning is dicing up defenses. Against Idaho this past week he went 23/28 for 294yds & 5TD! Browning is on pace to pass for 52TD! Expect more of the same as Washington welcomes in Portland St. next week before Arizona.
#13 Computer Hope It took the Irish a quarter to warm up but it poured it on Nevada from the 2nd quarter on going up on the Wolfpack 32-0 late in the 3rd before Notre Dame started subbing heavily. Brian Kelly decided the Deshone Kizer is the man going forward & Kizer responded going 15/18 for 156 yards & 2TD while also rushing for 35 yards & a TD. The Irish ran the ball extremely well going for 259yds/3TD. Tarean Folston is the lead back but Josh Adams & Dexter Williams are outstanding. Equanimeous St. Brown is turning into a legit #1 WR & the defense tackled much better than against Texas. Big improvement.
#14 Computer Hope Forget the Houston loss. Oklahoma went back to Norman & throttled UL-Monroe 59-17. Baker Mayfield got his swag back and Joe Mixon looks like a 1st round NFL draft pick. Defensively the Sooners could tighten things up a bit. They actually gave up more yards per play to ULM than they did to Houston. If Houston keeps winning then the loss will keep looking better and better. If the Sooners can take care of business at home this week against Ohio State then all returns to normal and Oklahoma will be a top-5/top-1o team again with an early season loss to a top-ranked team. Lose to Ohio St. though?
#15 Computer Hope Ole Miss was very efficient in beating Wofford 38-13 in Oxford. Chad Kelly was pulled early after throwing for 219yds/3TD and the Rebels rushed for 174yds as a team. Mississippi is THIS close to being the #2 team in the nation after dominating Florida State in the 1st half of last week’s game which is arguably the best half of football played this year by any team. They couldn’t sustain that over a full game which resulted in a loss to the Seminoles, but the Rebels proved they can play with anyone. Like Oklahoma, if Ole Miss wins this week they’ll shoot up the poles. They’ve beaten Alabama the past 2 years.
#16 Computer Hope Auburn displayed what Auburn football can look like under Gus Malzahn this past weekend when the Tigers put the hammer down on Arkansas St. 51-14! Malzahn quit screwing around with the QB situation & went with Sean White which was a great move as White went 17/23 for 244yds/3TD! It doesn’t get much better than that. Auburn ran for 462 yards/3TD as Kamryn Pettway & Kerryon Johnson each went over the 100 yard mark. Auburn’s defense can be exceptionally good & if the running game keeps this up, they’ll be extremely difficult to handle. The Clemson loss isn’t a bad one.
#17 Computer Hope Josh Rosen didn’t look so hot against UNLV in a 42-21 win. The Bruins had a great 2nd quarter which put them far ahead of UNLV but the Rebels got close at 28-21 late in the 3rd quarter before UCLA pulled away. I could be overrated the Bruins at this point, but they still are probably the class of the Pac 12 South and the loss over Texas A&M is going to keep looking better. The next two weeks are important for UCLA. They have a couple of games against BYU & Stanford while Texas A&M plays Auburn & Arkansas. If the Bruins & Aggies escape with wins in both weeks, then UCLA’s ranking will be justified.
#18 Computer Hope They haven’t been pretty wins, but they’ve been wins. Arkansas took TCU to double OT and beat the Horned Frogs 41-38. The Hogs are 2-0 & have beaten TCU & Louisiana Tech by a combined score of 62-58! You could argue Arkansas should be 0-2 but this is different than the last couple of season. Last year Arkansas had early close losses to Toledo & Texas A&M. The year before they got bit by Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama. This year Arkansas won some early season close games which is important. Austin Allen is playing solid football & this is a pretty darn good football team with a lot of home games. Watch out.
#19 Computer Hope Leonard Fournette didn’t play. Brandon Harris was benched after two possessions. LSU came away with a 34-13 win over Jacksonville St., but this team is a critical loss away from implosion & Les Miles has to feel like one foot is already out the door. I like the Tigers moving forward at QB with Danny Etling, but Etling’s 2nd half was abysmal underscoring just how big the problems are in Baton Rouge with the QB position. RB Derrius Grice was more than ready to pick up for Fournette, rushing for 155yds/1TD on 19 carries. The defense is outstanding so maybe there is still a slight chance of playoffs hope.
#20 Computer Hope Georgia had problems with Nicholls which I thought was surprising but it was surprising in that Nick Chubb was only able to muster 80 yards on 20 carries after having gone for 222 yards on 32 carries against a North Carolina squad you’d assume would have a little more ability to stop the Georgia rusher. This underscores how good Jacob Eason has to be. Teams are going to key on Chubb and there are going to be games where he can’t get it going. At these times, Eason is going to have to keep teams honest by beating them with his arm. If Chubb is on, this team is hard to beat, but if he’s stopped, UGA is vulnerable.
#21 Computer Hope Stanford falls quite a bit due to inactivity. A lot of teams are showing fairly well while Stanford beat Kansas St. by 13 and then had a bye week. They’ll need it as the Cardinal’s next 5 games come against USC, at UCLA, at Washington, Washington St., and finally at Notre Dame. That’s a nasty 5-game stretch & it’ll be interesting to see how Stanford comes out. If they end that stretch with a 6-0 record, I think we can easily start talking about a possible Stanford/Alabama national championship game and Christian McCaffrey will have gone a long way towards cementing his place among Heisman front runners.
#22 Computer Hope Iowa St. didn’t put up much of a fight against their in-state rival as the Hawkeyes blasted the poor Cyclones 42-3! The 39-pt win for Iowa was the most lopsided game since Iowa beat ISU 63-20 back in 1997! It was the biggest margin of victory in the Kirk Ferentz era. This could be the best offensive team Ferentz has had at Iowa. CJ Beathard, Leshun Daniels, Akrum Wadley & Matt VandeBerg all had fantastic games and at times looked virtually unstoppable. Iowa could have scored 60-70 points if they wanted to. North Dakota St. presents an interesting challenge to Iowa next week and I think we’ll learn a lot.
#23 Computer Hope Granted they’ve both been home games and the opponents (Florida A&M and FAU) have hardly been awe inspiring, but the Hurricanes have taken care of business outscoring their opponents 108-13! The last time Miami-FL started the year 2-0 with a point differential of around +95 was back in 2001 when THE U opened up with wins over Penn St. & Rutgers by the combined score of 94-7 (+87). All the Canes did in 2001 was go 12-0 & win a national championship. Miami is doing an exceptional job running the football, but the defensive front is getting massive pressure! They are on pace for 130 sacks!
#24 Computer Hope Like Stanford, Michigan St. is coming off a bye. Their first week they put in a ho-hum effort against Furman and walked away with a 28-13 victory. That’s Michigan St. kind of football, but it doesn’t light up scoreboards & it certainly doesn’t convey style points to the Spartans. Also, like Stanford, the Spartans don’t have to wait around any longer to prove their credentials. This week they travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame before going back home to host Wisconsin. Come out of those games with a 3-0 record and I’m sure the Spartans will be right back in the top-10 along with rivals Michigan & Ohio St.
#25 Computer Hope The Alabama loss looks bad but USC did what they were supposed to do by regrouping and destroying a pretty good Utah St. 45-7. The defense looked a lot better this time around I continue to be impressed with Max Browne at QB. The game is certainly not too big for him and he had a good day completing 70+% of his passes with a couple of TDs. I think he’ll continue to get better as the season goes along. Like LSU, the Trojans are entirely too talented not to remain competitive & I think USC might be the best team in the Pac 12 South. Losing in week 1 to a team likely to go 14-0 should hardly be a concern.

DROPPING OUT

#20 BAYLOR: Baylor didn’t do anything to drop out and my guess is that they’ll be in the top-25 soon enough. They put up a solid 40-13 win over an SMU team that had a lot to play for in this game. The Bears should go fairly untested to get to 6-0 before traveling to Austin to take on the Longhorns on October 29th.

#24 FLORIDA: The Gators blasted Kentucky 45-7. Again, Florida didn’t do necessarily anything to drop out of the top-25. In fact, I think Florida will keep getting better and better. The defense is solid and so far Luke Del Rio has been great at QB. It’ll be interesting to see what Florida does in Knoxville, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they won. Jim McElwain is the real deal and I think Florida is the team to watch in the SEC East.

#25 OREGON: On the one hand you score 44 points on Virginia. On the other hand, it’s Virginia and you only beat the Cavaliers by 18 points. QB Dakota Prukop has been phenomenal in his first two games. Oregon needs to tighten up the defense a bit though if they are going to  go toe-to-toe with Washington and Stanford. We’ll learn a bit from them this week when they had to Lincoln to take on Nebraska.

September 13, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, NCAA, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oregon, Power 25, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Washington, Week 2, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 1

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope The 52-6 win over USC was the most dominant win I can remember seeing in college football. It’s scary to think that this might be the best defense Nick Saban has ever had as the head coach of Alabama. Jalen Hurts played like a veteran and it’s not inconceivable to think he could win 3-4 national championship in a row. Another scary thought? OJ Howard & Calvin Ridley combined for 5 catches & 48 yards with zero TDs. Alabama scored 52 points getting virtually nothing from 2 All-Americans! The O-Line is going to get better. Hurts is going to get better. The defense will actually get better. There isn’t a team remotely close to Alabama at this point.
#2 Computer Hope It took the Seminoles a half to figure things out but they came out BLAZING in the 2nd half against Ole Miss, outscoring the Rebels 32-6 in the 2nd half including a 23-0 3rd quarter! Dalvin Cook accounted for 192 yards. The big story here was redshirt freshman Deondre Francois making his first start and throwing for 419yards & 2TD while rushing for 59 on 9 carries. Defensively the Seminoles did a good job picking Chad Kelly off 3 times and I thought the secondary did a good job containing the Ole Miss receivers. Evan Engram had a big game, but edge receivers who could get vertical were pretty much held in check. The 45-34 final probably wasn’t that close.
#3 Computer Hope Bowling Green actually took an early lead 7-0 before the Buckeyes outscored the Falcons 77-3 the rest of the way. It’s not like Bowling Green is horrible. Sure they are a MAC team but they are favored to win the MAC East so it wasn’t like Ohio St. hammered away at Ball St. or Eastern Michigan. BG were MAC champions last season. There isn’t much you can say about a 77-10 beating. Ohio St. might not be as experienced as they were last year, but the talent they have on the roster is better than anyone’s save Alabama. QB JT Barrett accounted for 7TD (school record)! Curtis Samuel & Mike Weber ensured that nobody was missing Ezekiel Elliott.
#4 Computer Hope This ranking might not last given what Wisconsin has coming up, but the Badgers defense is for real which is going to keep them in a lot of games if the offense doesn’t blow it. QB Bart Houston didn’t look all that impressive and while a team can catch lightning in a bottle for a single game, it’ll be hard for the Badgers to sustain this type of play for extended periods of time. The Badgers get home games against Akron & Georgia St. the next 2 weeks but their 5 games after that are: at Michigan St., at Michigan, Ohio State, at Iowa and Nebraska. Not counting Wisconsin, those 5 are arguably the best 5 teams in the Big 10. The defense is for real.
#5 Computer Hope The Cougars destroyed Oklahoma in Week 1 solidifying themselves as a legit playoff threat after a 13-1 season last year that saw Houston ranked in the top-10 to finish the season. The final score had Houston beating the Sooners 33-23 but that score probably should have been 40-17 meaning this wasn’t even a contest. QB Greg Ward is one of the best in the game & I think people are severely underrated. Isaiah Johnson, Chance Allen, Steven Dunbar & Linell Bonner are all big time targets that are very difficult to cover as evidenced by Oklahoma’s inability to cover them. Houston did an outstanding job getting pressure on Baker Mayfield.
#6 Computer Hope The Wolverines got off to a tremendous start beating Hawaii 63-3 in their opener in Ann Arbor. It was the most points Michigan has scored in an opener since 1905! Michigan’s defense was utterly dominant with Jabrill Peppers looking like an All-American LB. I don’t think Hawaii had positive net yardage until the 2nd half! I loved the way Michigan played. RB Chris Evans was OUTSTANDING. I was a bit surprised that Wilton Speight beat John O’Korn out for the starting job at QB but Speight was great as Michigan really used the run to set up the pass which is textbook Jim Harbaugh football. The Wolverines have an air attack & they didn’t even use it while scoring 63 points!
#7 Computer Hope A little lost in arguably the greatest opening weekend in college football history was Washington’s complete dominance over Rutgers. Granted the Scarlet Knights aren’t a good team, but they were also a Power-5 conference team bringing back 16 starters with bowl aspirations. The Huskies had them down 34-3 at the end of the first half! QB Jake Browning looked great completing 18/27 for 287yds & 3TD. If Browning keeps this up he’ll finish the year completing 67% of his passes for 3700+ yards & 39-40TD to about 13INT. That’s a huge improvement from 63%/2955yds/16TD/10INT he had as a true freshman last season. Keep an eye on UW.
#8 Computer Hope Auburn couldn’t figure out a way to contain Mike Williams on the outside, but for the most part the Auburn defense bottled up Deshaun Watson & Wayne Gallman despite losing to Clemson 19-13. I’m not sure what to make of this game for Clemson. The Tigers didn’t look over good offensively and it seemed as Auburn was doing everything in their power to lose this game yet Auburn had opportunities to win the game late. This certainly could be a blip. I don’t want to make too much out of it. Auburn’s defense is for real. If it had any semblance of an offense, War Eagle probably wins this game but that is more telling of the talent at Auburn than a problem with Clemson.
#9 Computer Hope The Cardinal ended Week 1 with a workman like defeat of Kansas State 26-13. Christian McCaffery ran for 126 yards & 2TD while also catching 7 balls for 40 yards. Stanford was up 17-3 at halftime and the game was never really in doubt. I thought it was pretty interesting that HC David Shaw went with Ryan Burns as the starting QB over Keller Chryst. Chryst was the presumed starter but Burns ended up beating him out played well against KSU. Burns was 14/18 for 156yds/1TD without an interception. Stanford gets a week off next week before getting 5 straight games against USC, UCLA, Washington, Washington St., and Notre Dame! That’s brutal.
#10 Computer Hope Tennessee did not look like a team ready to challenge Alabama for an SEC championship in December as it needed overtime to defeat Appalachian St. 20-13 in Knoxville! While not quite as disappointing as LSU, this has to be the 2nd most disappointing team in Week 1. I thought the offensive strategy was poor in this game to be honest. Tennessee ran the ball 43 times to passing just 29. I thought the numbers probably should have been reversed. The Mountaineers did a good job taking away the run & instead of going pass to set up the run, the Volunteers seemed to sell out even more to the run which caused the offense to stall. It’s just one game though.
#11 Computer Hope It’s only one game, but if LSU wants to consider itself a national championship contender, it might seriously want to consider the fact that Les Miles is not the coach for them going forward. Yes he won a championship in 2007 but that was 10 years ago. You can’t live off that forever. The crazy part is that LSU really is an outstanding football team. If they hold on to home field advantage I think they could actually finish the season 10-2. If they win the bowl game then the Tigers end the year 11-2 which would be their best year since 2011 & they’d probably be ranked in the top-5 or very close. Is it really a failure to finish 11-2 & ranked #5?
#12 Computer Hope Ole Miss led Florida State 28-13 at the end of the 1st half! If Ole Miss doesn’t get blitzed in the 2nd half we could be talking about the Rebels as the #2 team in the nation right now with everyone salivating at the September 17th matchup against Alabama in Tuscaloosa! QB Chad Kelly passed for 313 yards & 4TD on a pretty stellar FSU secondary. Kelly is legitimate & will keep Ole Miss in a lot of games this year. Ole Miss needs to run the ball better and the defense can’t have letdowns in the 2nd half but if you are looking at 1st half alone, the Rebels are one of the 5 best teams in the country. They seemingly have Alabama’s number so they are far from dead.
#13 Computer Hope I know it was Charlotte but Louisville hammered them 70-14 and keep in mind that the Cardinals were up 56-0 at halftime! There was so much talk about JT Barrett opening game against Bowling Green, but what about Louisville QB Lamar Jackson!? This guy is a true sophomore and all he did was pass for 286 yards & 6TD while rushing for 119 yards & 2 more TDs! Say what you want about Bobby Petrino, but the guy is an outstanding college football coach. Louisville is being overlooked a bit because they are in the same division at Florida St. & Clemson, but the Cardinals get FSU, Clemson & Houston later in the year. They’ll get at least one win in those 3.
#14 Computer Hope With Nick Chubb being 100%, Georgia takes on an entirely different identity for 2016 season. What was most impressive about Chubb on Saturday isn’t that he ran for 222 yards & 2TD but that Georgia gave him the ball 32 times and he answered the call all 32 times. That’s an incredibly heavy workload for a guy coming back from a significant knee injury & Chubb didn’t hesitate for a single second. North Carolina is a good football team and Chubb carved them up in a 33-24 win. It was also a good sign for the UGA defense under new HC Kirby Smart. The Heels can light up a scoreboard so holding them to 24 has to be considered a huge win.
#15 Computer Hope A walk-on QB gets arrested for cocaine possession. A couple of defensive players get dismissed from the team for improper relationships with a car rental agency. THE U goes out Saturday & beats the tar out of Florida A&M 70-3! It feels like old times in Coral Gables! Miami physically dominated this game as Mark Walton, Gus Edwards & Joseph Yearby all rushed for over 100 yards as the Canes racked up 373 rushing yards & 5 rushing TDs! QB Brad Kaaya did his part throwing for 4 more! Miami actually outscored Florida A&M 42-0 in the 3rd quarter! That was a serious beating. Maybe Mark Richt needed a change of scenery from Athens to Miami.
#16 Computer Hope Outstanding win for Charlie Strong who really needed that win going into the 2016 season as his seat is heating up quite a bit in Austin. The Longhorns needed two overtimes but they got a 50-47 win over a helluva Notre Dame team. They will not face a QB nearly as good as Deshone Kizer the rest of the way. This Texas team is outstanding and I think ranking them 16th might be a bit too low. True frosh QB Shane Buechele is INCREDIBLE and the power running game Texas is using with D’Onta Foreman & Tyrone Swoopes is practically unstoppable. LB Malik Jefferson is a game changer in every way. I know it’s one game but Texas could finish 12-0.
#17 Computer Hope Expectations are a crazy thing. At LSU & Oklahoma you are expected to compete for national championships and win one every so often. That makes sense. The reason a guy like Kirk Ferentz is on pace to coach at Iowa for 30 years is because Iowa doesn’t have the expectation to win national titles every 5-6 years. College football is MUCH better when Iowa matters. No question but the expectations aren’t the same at Iowa as they are at Oklahoma or LSU. Georgia finally had to part ways with Mark Richt. I don’t see how Les Miles survives and I get the feeling that Bob Stoops might never get OU back to the heights that the program expects it to be.
#18 Computer Hope It was a good weekend for teams in Texas as Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, TCU, Houston, SMU, Texas Tech, UTEP, UT-San Antonio & Texas State all won games! The Aggies put up a great performance against UCLA in a 31-24 OT win. Like Charlie Strong, Kevin Sumlin needed this win as his seat is starting to warm in College Station. I think this is a solid A&M team that could get a lot better. The more Trevor Knight settles in the more the offense is going to roll as there aren’t many weaknesses. The defense is outstanding behind Myles Garrett & Daeshon Hall. I don’t think A&M can get by Alabama but they get LSU & Ole Miss at home. Is 11-1 possible?
#19 Computer Hope On the one hand Texas might be A LOT better than we thought and the Longhorns needed OT and a lot of luck to beat the Irish 50-47. On the other, Notre Dame’s defense gave up 50 points to an offense starting a true freshman QB. That’s unacceptable by any standard. DeShone Kizer is FOR REAL that is for sure. The Irish get their hard games at home this season and their one difficult game on the road is against a USC squad that got hammered this past weekend. The Irish could finish 11-1 and everyone would be happy. That’s the best spin you can put on the game. It’ll be interesting to see how the Irish do against Michigan St. in a couple of weeks.
#20 Computer Hope You can’t get too excited about beating Northwestern State 55-7 but the Bears were up 24-0 after the 1st quarter & 48-0 at halftime. The cheerleaders got in a lot of work in the 2nd half or else the Bears might have been able to hang 100 points on the Demons. It’s easy to get caught up in Seth Russell & Shock Linwood but how about the Baylor defense on Saturday! The Bears allowed just 9 first downs, 78 total yards & held Northwestern State to 1 of 15 on 3rd down conversions! Oddly enough, Baylor didn’t force a single turnover & the Bears were a little sloppy committing 12 penalties. Not a bad way to start the post-Art Briles era in Waco.
#21 Computer Hope The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter & coasted the rest of the way as they beat Miami-OH 45-21. Akrum Wadley & Leshun Daniels did a great job running the football taking over for Jordan Canzeri as Iowa racked up 212 yards rushing as a team along with 5 rushing TDs. QB CJ Beathard completed 65% of his passes for almost 200 yards & a score. Iowa’s defense played well early. Iowa is going to be interesting to watch because they essentially get 7 warm up games before the real season starts. After their first 7 they get Wisconsin, Michigan & Nebraska but all are in Iowa City. Iowa could post back-to-back 12-0 regular seasons.
#22 Computer Hope Vintage Michigan State football on Saturday as the Spartans opened up at home against Furman and took the Paladins down 28-13. In games like this you’d expect Michigan St. to win 56-0 or 49-3 but instead the Spartans played incredible consistent football scoring 7 points in each quarter & grinding their opponents down by running the football 70% of the time. To be fair, what else would you expect from a Mark Dantonio coached team? LJ Scott ran for 100+ yards. Tyler O’Connor was brutally efficient at QB. Michigan St. has a tricky road soon. They are one a bye next week but then it’s at Notre Dame, Wisconsin, at Indiana & BYU.
#23 Computer Hope USC was completely and utterly destroyed by an Alabama team that is head & shoulders above every other team in the nation. With that said, I wouldn’t count USC out just yet. This is still a supremely talented football program and the game didn’t look too big for QBs Max Browne & Sam Darnold. This team still has Ronald Jones & Justin Davis running the football. It still has JuJu Smith as a receiver. It still has Adoree’ Jackson as a playmaker & it’s still a team that returns 10 starters on offense & 5 on defense that are as talented as anyone. Given how UCLA played against Texas A&M, this is a USC team that could still wind up as Pac 12 South champs.
#24 Computer Hope Florida didn’t do anything fancy in a 24-7 win over Massachusetts but I thought new QB Luke Del Rio’s play was promising as he went 29/44 (66%) for 256 yards & 2TD without interceptions. Over 13 games, Del Rio at this pace would pass for 3,328 yards & 26TD which would be a SIGNIFICANTimprovement over the QB numbers the Gators got last year from the combination of Will Grier & Treon Harris. Keep in mind that Florida won 10 games & the SEC East last season with that type of QB production. Florida had problems running the football but they played well defensively. Next week against Kentucky should be a little more interesting.
#25 Computer Hope QB Dakota Prukop looked outstanding in his Oregon debut passing for 271 yards & 3TD as the Ducks took care of business against UC-Davis 53-28. This was vintage Oregon in recent years in that the team will score 50 points while giving up 30 and piling up the wins. RB Royce Freeman ran for 87 yards & 2TD on only 11 carries. I always wonder why Freeman doesn’t get more publicity as a runner. Last year he ran for almost 2000 yards with 17TD and averaged 6.5ypc. He’s 5’11/230lbs so he’s got tremendous size as an NFL prospect. Oregon was better than 9-4 last year so they are somewhat under the radar. They could open up 5-0 before UW comes to Eugene.

DROPPING OUT

#13 UCLA: I know it was a road game but I expected so much more out of UCLA than I got. If you look at the SEC, you can make an argument that Texas A&M might be the 7th best team in the conference. Josh Rosen didn’t look particularly good either. I know it was a close game that went into OT so maybe dropping the Bruins completely out is an overreaction but they were disappointing.

#21 AUBURN: I don’t know what Gus Malzahn was doing with that offense, but if the Tigers get any sort of offensive production then they probably open up the season with a win over Clemson and a likely top-10 ranking after Week 1. Auburn’s defense is really good but if they can’t figure out how to score points, they’ll have problems all year long. Very disappointed in Malzahn.

#23 NORTH CAROLINA: Losing to Georgia when Nick Chubb is on fire isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Remember that last year the Tar Heels lost their opener to South Carolina and the proceeded to win 11 straight games & climb to #8 in the rankings before losing to Clemson in the ACC Championship game. I don’t think North Carolina would mind a repeat performance.

#24 PITTSBURGH: Solid 28-7 win to open up the season. Villanova is a pretty solid FCS school & the Panthers had little to no trouble. Granted they didn’t hammer them 63-0 but that isn’t Pittsburgh’s game necessarily. James Conner coming back and playing well was a tremendous feel good story. I’m still high on the Panthers & they’ll have opportunity to jump right back into the top-25 as they get Penn St., Oklahoma St. & North Carolina in the next 3 weeks.

#25 BOISE STATE: Like Pittsburgh, Boise didn’t do anything to drop out of the top-25 after dominating Louisiana-Lafayette 45-10. The Broncos were up 35-3 at halftime & coasted the rest of the way. Next week is going to be interesting for Boise St. as Washington State comes to town. Wazzou dropped their season opener to Eastern Washington which would seem alarming but the Cougars lost their season opener last year to Portland State & still managed a 9-4 season including a bowl win over Miami-FL. Throw in the fact that Washington State has never lost on the blue turf & we could be in for an entertaining one in Boise!

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Boise St., Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, NCAA, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Power 25, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Washington, Week 1, Wisconsin | Leave a comment