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RANKING POWER-65 COLLEGE COACHES – #39 to #30

Here are the links for the first two installments:

#50 – #65
#49-#40

if you need to catch up. Today we hit the thirties and I think the rankings start to become quite a bit more interesting as we start to hit some pretty big names in the coaching world. Let’s get to it.

#39 – P.J. Fleck – Minnesota

Yeah I’m rowing the boat! It’s difficult to argue Fleck’s track record as a first time head coach at Western Michigan. In his first year he led the Broncos to an 1-11 season. By his 4th year, WMU finished with a perfect 13-0 season before losing to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl 24-16. Western finished 29-11 (20-4) in Fleck’s last 3 years as HC. Fleck brings an excitement to Minnesota that Gophers fans haven’t experienced since Murray Warmath led Minnesota to back-to-back Rose Bowls in 1960-1961! You probably don’t even remember those teams unless you were born in the 1940s or early 1950s! It’s hard to argue with his success, but Fleck faces a completely different animal in the Big 10. Iowa, Nebraska & Wisconsin aren’t Ball St., Kent St. and Bowling Green. It’ll be interesting to see if Fleck can raise the ceiling for Gopher football.

#38 – Tom Herman – Texas

The hottest coaching prospect last season who happened to have deep roots in Texas wound up as the new HC for the Longhorns after the university had had enough of Charlie Strong’s leadership. As with Fleck, it’s almost impossible to deny Herman’s track record. He was Urban Meyer’s OC at Ohio State before jumping to the head coaching job at Houston where in his first season, Herman led the Cougars to a 13-1 record and a final ranking inside the top-10! I think Herman is a better fit within the Texas culture than Strong was and he’ll do well. He’s a good solid coach that connects with players and it won’t be long before he’s tearing it up on the recruiting trail once he gets the foundation of the program built. As with Fleck, the road will be a bit tougher. Playing in the American isn’t the Big XII and instead of Tulane, East Carolina and Memphis, Herman will go up against Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., TCU, Baylor and Kansas State.

#37 – Willie Taggart – Oregon

Taggart was an interesting hire for Oregon, but once it was known that Chip Kelly wasn’t coming back to college football, the Ducks had to move on and all Taggart has done as his time as a college football coach is build winners. Taggart played prep ball in Florida and then played his college ball at Western Kentucky where he was an assistant for 8 years before taking the RB coaching job at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh. From there he came back to his alma mater to be HC. He inherited a WKU team that went 0-12 the year before Taggart arrived, but in Taggart’s 2nd year, he had WKU at 7-5. In his 3rd and final year he had WKU bowling. Taggart left WKU to return to his home state of Florida and coach USF where he took over a Bulls team that went 3-9 before he arrived. By year 4 the Bulls were 11-2. Now he is going to attempt to bring Oregon back to the heights reached by Chip Kelly. Unlike Herman & Fleck above, Taggart has hit the recruiting trail hard and it is paying off early. It’ll be interesting to see how Taggart does at an elite program with massive resources. His track record speaks for itself.

#36 – Bret Bielema – Arkansas

The decision to leave Wisconsin for Arkansas was an interesting one for Bielema a few years ago and after the Hogs 2016 campaign, the shine is off of Arkansas’s head coach. Bielema took over a program that was in pretty bad shape after a year of John Smith as HC coming off the Bobby Petrino scandal. Bielema’s first year wasn’t pretty as Arkansas went 3-9 without a win in conference play, but by year 3 (2015), Arkansas 8-5 (5-3) and poised to potentially step into the role of challenger to Alabama in the SEC West. It wasn’t meant to be as Arkansas regressed last season to 7-6 (3-5) with a bowl loss. The 7-6 isn’t completely awful, but the losses were terrible. Arkansas was blown out in all of their losses except a close loss to Missouri which itself was inexcusable. I’m not completely sold on Bielema’s style of offense working in the SEC West, and truth be told, the worst thing for Bielema is having to live up the incredible expectations Bobby Petrino set when he was in Fayetteville. LSU has been dealing with a similar situation after Nick Saban took the Tigers to top-5 status.

#35 – Gary Andersen – Oregon State

Andersen is one of my favorite head coaches in college football and Oregon St. is one of my favorite teams. The two coming together was great for me as I think college football is better when Oregon State is relevant. That’s probably just me, but so what! It’s interesting that I ended up with Bielema and Andersen together as both left Wisconsin for other jobs. Andersen is a helluva head coach. He turned Utah State into an 11-win team with a WAC championship in 4 season. He took Wisconsin to a Big 10 West title in his 2nd year. When Mike Riley left Oregon St. for Nebraska, their was quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the Beavers program. Andersen came in and struggled his first year going 2-10 (0-9) but in his 2nd season last year, the Beavers improved to 4-8 (3-6) with conference wins over California, Arizona and hated rival Oregon! The scoring defense and scoring offense were also improved by 7 points each. The Pac 12 North is getting scary good with Chris Petersen doing work at Washington, Mike Leach winning at Washington St. and Willie Taggart taking over at Oregon, but something tells me Andersen is going to make life hard for those guys.

#34 – Justin Fuente – Virginia Tech

Absolutely love what Fuente did with the Hokies last season. Fuente had a lot of success at Memphis before taking the Virginia Tech job, but he’s been nothing but spades since landing in Blacksburg. Keeping Bud Foster on staff as DC was a genius move and speaks volumes as to the kind of man Foster is. Fuente also brought a run heavy attack to Virginia Tech which I think works in their favor. The Hokies have always been known under Bud Foster for having a very intimidating, turnover causing, very fast defense that hits exceptionally hard. Keeping those guys fresh and healthy by dominating time of possession is outstanding strategy that Fuente used last year to win the ACC Coastal in his first season where VT finished the year 10-4 and ranked #16 in the AP. Fuente is making deep strides in recruiting already and once the talent is assembled, Virginia Tech is going to be extremely difficult to handle.

#33 – Hugh Freeze – Mississippi

Like Bielema, the shine has dulled a bit on Freeze’s tenure in Oxford. After improving by a win each year for 3 straight years after a 7-6 campaign in 2012, Freeze and the Rebels took a tremendous step back last season finishing 5-7 (2-6). The overall records can also be a bit misleading as Freeze’s 5-year record in SEC play is not even .500 at 19-21. The bigger problem is the controversy surrounding the Ole Miss program and the NCAA violations. Ole Miss has taken a hit in recruiting already and if recruiting dries up for the Rebels then that spells disaster in arguably the most competitive division in all of college football. There is no question that Freeze can make Ole Miss great. He proved that in 2015, but how he deals with a potential fall out from these mistakes will be telling. The best news for Freeze at this point is that he’s still head coach and that QB Shea Patterson decided to stick around. With no bowl eligibility this season, Ole Miss should be playing like a teach with a chip on their shoulder.

#32 – Mike MacInytre – Colorado

You knew it was only a matter of time before Coach Mac had Colorado on the cusp of greatness. When MacIntyre got his first job as a HC at San Jose State, he finished 1-12 (0-8) in his first season as the Spartans leader. In year 3, San Jose St. went 10-2 (5-1) and beat Bowling Green in the Military Bowl! MacIntyre used that success to grab the Colorado job and what he did in Year 4 in Boulder almost defies reality. The Colorado rebuild wasn’t going to be easy. Not by a long shot. MacIntyre’s first 3 years as HC witnessed Colorado post a combined record of 10-27 with a conference record of 2-25!!!! Those were 3 straight last place finishes in the Pac 12 South! Last season, MacIntyre broke though HUGE as Colorado went 10-4 (8-1), won the Pac 12 South and drew Oklahoma St. in the Alamo Bowl. The Buffs posted wins over Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Utah, and Washington State! It was a BANNER year that was dampened a bit by losing 41-10 to Washington in the Pac 12 championship and 38-8 to Oklahoma St. in the Alamo Bowl. Was the breakthrough real, or did Coach Mac take advantage of an unusually weak Pac 12? Oregon was way down. UCLA was down. Arizona St. & Arizona were down. They beat Stanford 10-5 in an ugly contest and drew Utah & Washington St. in Boulder. I’m betting on MacIntyre. I think Colorado is good, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Buffaloes regressed just a bit in 2017.

#31 – Larry Fedora – North Carolina

This feels low considering it was just two years ago that Fedora led the Tar Heels to an 11-3 (8-0) record that saw the UNC win the ACC Coastal relatively easy. A deeper look though and you come away disappointed just a bit. That 2015 season was smoke and mirrors as UNC finished the regular season 11-1 but didn’t play a ranked opponent all season. They lost to Clemson in the ACC Championship game and then lost to Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Last season, the Coastal was again ripe for the taking but UNC gags at home to NC State in the season finale 28-21 and loses to Duke in Durham two weeks before 28-27! That seems ridiculous when you consider just how much offensive firepower the Heels had last season. Fedora has had some good seasons in Chapel Hill but no great ones and that task is going to get tougher and tougher now that Virginia Tech is in seemingly good hands with Justin Fuente and Miami-FL now has one of the best coaches in all of college football in Mark Richt. I really like Fedora and believe he can climb the rankings, but at this point it seems as if UNC has missed a couple of opportunities.

#30 – Mike Riley – Nebraska

The problem with Nebraska is that haven’t found anyone that can take the program to the heights that Tom Osborne did. Frank Solich wasn’t horrible actually and had a few top-10 squads in Lincoln, but not enough big time wins against bit time teams. The hiring of Bill Callahan was a disaster and Bo Pelini couldn’t quite get Nebraska past the 9-4/10-4 mark. Now Mike Riley gets his chance. Riley did wonderful things at Oregon St., and I was a bit surprised that he took the Cornhuskers job, but Oregon St. isn’t Nebraska and Riley now has every resource available to him. In his first season Nebraska wasn’t great at 6-7 (3-5) but last year Riley improved to 9-4 (6-3) with a perfect 7-0 record at home. Nebraska was even ranked #7 in the nation at one point after starting 7-0! It wouldn’t last as Nebraska would go on to lose games to Iowa, Ohio St., Wisconsin & Tennessee, but the season was a win. Riley is making big strides in recruiting and I think he’s putting an emphasis on the Black Shirts which is getting back to Nebraska football.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Arkansas, Big 10, Big XII, Coaching, Colorado, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Oregon St., Pac 12, Rankings, SEC, Texas, Virginia Tech | 2 Comments

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL – BOWL SEASON PREVIEW!

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 13

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope The dismantling of Auburn in the Iron Bowl was complete as the Tide held an exceptionally strong Auburn running attack to 66 yards on 26 carries. I think I’ve finally figured out why this might be Alabama’s best team Saban’s ever had, and it’s the idea that Saban himself doesn’t think the team is very good. They are the only Big 5 team undefeated & they’ve destroyed every opponent, yet Saban still has doubts. The gulf between #1 and #2 seems miles apart. I think the Tide finish 15-0.
#2 Computer Hope The Buckeyes took advantage of Michigan mistakes and spotty officiating to defeat the Wolverines 30-27 in double overtime which ended up securing the Big 10 East for Penn State! JT Barrett and Curtis Samuel played really well down the stretch against a Michigan defense that looked tired, especially in the 2nd half/overtime. Now all the Buckeyes can do is wait for the playoff committee to decide on what to do. I think they are praying for Oklahoma, Washington & Clemson to lose.
#3 Computer Hope I thought Michigan was the better team on the field Saturday but a couple of turnovers led to 14 Ohio St. points and the Wolverines defense tired at the end when JT Barrett and Curtis Samuel had quite a bit left in the tank. Michigan’s playoff hopes are dashed, but they can still finish 11-2 which is a win better than last year’s 10-3. Harbaugh is going to win multiple championships in Ann Arbor. I would have loved to have seen Michigan play against Alabama, but it won’t be this season.
#4 Computer Hope Clemson made a statement in their regular season finale by DECIMATING in-state rival South Carolina 56-7! Deshaun Watson threw 6TD passes while Wayne Gallman ran for 100+ and a TD. South Carolina isn’t a horrible team so this was a solid win. I don’t think Watson can win the Heisman given his rushing numbers weren’t that dominant and he threw the 14 picks, but you never know really. If Clemson beats Virginia Tech they are going to the playoffs. It might be their toughest test.
#5 Computer Hope USC ended their regular season beating Notre Dame 45-27 but the game wasn’t really that close as the Trojans were in control from the jump and never let the Irish get close. The win was USC’s 8th straight victory & outside of Alabama, there isn’t a team playing better. Unfortunately for the Trojans, Colorado took care of business at home against Utah preventing USC from winning the Pac 12 South. In their 8 straight wins, the USC defense allowed on average 18.6PPG. That’s a big deal.
#6 Computer Hope Washington St. is a good team and the Huskies treated them like a low end FCS squad. I don’t understand why the Pac 12 isn’t getting much respect. If Washington wins the Pac 12 Championship, they deserve their shot. This is a very fast squad with an offense that is EXTREMELY difficult to contain. Forget the USC loss at this point. The Trojans might be the 2nd best team in nation right now. Does their resume look as good as Alabama’s? No, but the Pac 12 is a lot better than perception.
#7 Computer Hope So why drop Wisconsin from 4th to 7th despite the Badgers beating Minnesota 31-17? Here is the reason: Alabama-Jalen Hurts, Ohio St.-JT Barrett, Michigan-Wilton Speight, Clemson-Deshaun Watson, USC-Sam Darnold, Washington-Jake Browning, Wisconsin……..Bart Houston/Alex Hornibrook? The Badgers keep winning but I think their QB situation could keep them from being one of the ELITE teams in the nation. It’ll be really interesting to see what happens if they beat Penn State.
#8 Computer Hope What a game for Penn State!! I thought it was really interesting how Michigan St. sold out to stop the Penn St. ran and held the Nittany Lions to 77 rushing yards on 33 carries. The Spartans dared Trace McSorley to beat them through the air and he did just that throwing for 376 yards & 4TD going 17 of 23 without an interception. Penn St. has relied heavily this season on Saquon Barkley & McSorleyrunning the football, but McSorely must have gained a ton of confidence airing out against Michigan State.
#9 Computer Hope Oklahoma was on bye this past week but Saturday’s games didn’t fair that well for the Sooners. Ohio St. beating Michigan definitely worked in OU’s favor, but Washington & Clemson winning hurt the Sooners as it solidified both schools’ claim to playoff berths. They’ll get Oklahoma St. in Norman which should equal a win that would push OU to 10-2 and Big XII champs. It will be their 9th straight win. Oklahoma would be an interesting playoff team, but their defense has given up 30+PPG!? Ouch!
#10 Computer Hope Colorado came up with a BIG TIME play early in the 4th when they returned a Joe Williams fumble for a TD which took the Buffaloes 20-16 lead to 27-16 which essentially sealed the game for Colorado. The only two losses Colorado has suffered through are to USC & Michigan. I have both of those teams in my top-5 so Colorado could argue they belong at #6. Like Washington you can point to a weak schedule en route to a 10-2 record, but this is a well balanced team with a tremendous head coach.
#11 Computer Hope Is it OK to say out loud that Derrius Guice might be better than Leonard Fournette? Guice absolutely DESTROYED Texas A&M this past weekend going for 285 yards & 4TD on 37 carries. It brought Guice’s totals for the season to 1,249 rushing yards & 14TD! Over his career he’s averaging 8+ypc and he’s 5’11/225lbs which is IDEAL size for an NFL running back. Naming Ed Orgeron the head coach is a pretty nice move especially with Orgeron’s ties to Louisiana. All he needs to do is recruit! He can.
#12 Computer Hope Like I said with Oklahoma, the weekend didn’t do wonders for Oklahoma St.’s playoff chances, but I don’t even think it’s about getting the playoffs for the Cowboys. They lost earlier to Central Michigan which pretty much eliminates them regardless. Unfair? Absolutely but it is what it is. I think it’s more about OK-State winning the Big XII, getting to the Fiesta and finishing 11-2 with the prospect of having a huge 2017 season that could very well have them fighting for a playoff spot. I’m all in!
#13 Computer Hope No shame in losing to Alabama 30-12 in Tuscaloosa. Auburn was going to have trouble even if Sean White was able to go, but with their starting QB gone, their chances of pulling off a stunner were close to zero. I liked how the Tigers made the Tide work for it though. Sure Alabama ran for 203 yards but it took them 44 carries to get there. The Auburn defense also picked Jalen Hurts off twice. The Georgia loss was ridiculous & it’ll prevent a 10 win season, but 7-2 down the stretch was nice.
#14 Computer Hope You can’t really blame the Cougs for losing to Colorado & Washington in back-to-back weeks. Both those teams are playing for the Pac 12 Championship and are top-10 teams. Coming into their final two games, Wazzou had won 8 straight games and were the last undefeated team in the Pac 12. I actually thought Wazzou looked like the better football team when they played Colorado. The two early season gaffes prevented Mike Leach from having his first double-digit winning season in Pullman.
#15 Computer Hope The Hokies left NO DOUBT Saturday as they hosted in-state rival Virginia and promptly hammered the Cavaliers 52-10! Virginia Tech went up 38-0 before UVA even scored to make it 38-3. HC Justin Fuente wants to run the football and that’s a pretty good strategy if QB Jerod Evans can keep the chains moving against Clemson in the ACC Championship. Keep Clemson’s offense on the field. If the Hokies show up, they are going to make life difficult and I think they can pull off a stunner.
#16 Computer Hope If the best win of the year is Penn St. beating Ohio St., then the 2nd best win of the year is Pittsburgh beating Clemson. The Panthers & Syracuse decided defense was optional to finish the season as the Panthers came away with a 76-61 victory! It was the most points ever scored in an FBS football game and the 76 points allowed is the most in Syracuse football history! All in all the teams scored 20TD! INSANITY! Pittsburgh’s D is terrible, but they have wins over Penn St. & Clemson! Nuts!
#17 Computer Hope Losing to Kentucky? In Papa John’s Stadium? Are you serious Louisville? When Louisville is right and Lamar Jackson is playing well, they can probably beat anyone in the nation outside of Alabama. That said, losing to Houston & Kentucky to close out your season? That’s ridiculous. Louisville needs a bowl win to get to 10-3 which will be Petrino’s first double-digit winning season since returning to the Ville. Let’s hope that the Cardinals lacked for motivation after dropping the game to Houston.
#18 Computer Hope I have to rank the Seminoles behind Louisville because the Cardinals obliterated FSU 63-20 way back on September 17th, but from that point forward, it’s hard to argue the Seminoles haven’t had a great season. The record is sub-par at 9-3, but after the Louisville loss, Florida St.’s only other 2 losses came against North Carolina & Clemson by a combined 5 points. How is this for odd: If FSU beats Clemson & N.Carolina, it would have sent Louisville to the ACC title game despite FSU finishing 11-1!!
#19 Computer Hope Iowa finally played like Iowa over the last 3 weeks of the season. The Hawkeyes showed us why they started last season 12-0 against Nebraska in their season finale. CJ Beathard was brutally efficient while Akrum Wadley & LaShun Daniels ran all over the black shirts! Iowa’s defense smothered Nebraska all day allowing the Huskers just 217 total yards. The Hawkeyes beat Michigan, Illinois & Nebraska the last 3 weeks by the combined score of 82-23. When they were right in 2016, they were top-10.
#20 Computer Hope While Oklahoma & Oklahoma St. were taking the week off to get ready for the de facto Big XII championship game, West Virginia was putting in work against Iowa St., beating the Cyclones 49-19 to improve to 9-2 before taking on Baylor in the season finale. Iowa St. hung around for the first half before WVU dominated the last 30 minutes of the game. Skyler Howard had 300+yds/5TD while Martell Pettaway ran for 181yds/1TD. I hope WVU can close it out in Morgantown with a win for 10-2.
#21 Computer Hope Losing to Missouri 28-24 after taking a 24-7 lead into the half is almost unexplainable. The ranking is a gift obviously and Arkansas finishes 7-5, but in reality outside of the Missouri loss, this is still a team that has 4 losses to Alabama, Texas A&M (when they were rolling), Auburn & LSU (after Orgeron took over). You really think North Carolina or Nebraska deserves to be here over the Hogs? The disappointment is that at best Arkansas can finish 8-5 which is where they finished last season.
#22 Computer Hope The Cardinal might be the quietest 9-3 team in all of college football. After being routed by the Washington schools which effectively took them out of the Pac 12 North competition, Stanford went on to go 6-1 in their last 7 with the lone loss being a 10-5 loss against Colorado. And what about Christian McCaffrey? After Stanford’s bowl, he’s going to have over 2,000 total yards & close to 20TD! It won’t be last year’s Pac 12 championship season but finishing off the year 10-3 would be very sweet.
#23 Computer Hope Western Michigan completed the perfect regular season with a 55-35 win over Toledo to get to 12-0. The game wasn’t even that close as the Broncos took a 45-14 lead into the 4th quarter before the Rockets threw on some garbage time TDs. Ohio took care of business against Akron so the MAC Championship allows WMU to gain even more credibility. He can’t win it, but WMU QB Zach Terrell deserves an invite to NYC for the Heisman if WMU finish 13-0. He’s got 3000yds/30TD with 1INT! Nuts!
#24 Computer Hope If not for their loss to Temple, South Florida would be playing Navy in the AAC Championship game. HC Willie Taggart has done an amazing job with the Bulls taking over a team that was 3-9 in 2012 and improving that by at least 7 wins in just his 4th year in Tampa. The Bulls showcased one hell of an offense this year led by Quinton Flowers & Marlon Mack. They had an outstanding running game combined with big play passing ability. Now if only they had any idea on how to play defense!
#25 Computer Hope I consider the Middies to be 10-2 because I doubt that Army gives them much trouble when they face off in a couple of weeks. Like South Florida, Navy gives up quite a bit on the defensive side of the football, but the Midshipmen can score. How amazing has this year been? They lose Keenan Reynolds and still beat Houston, Memphis & Notre Dame. They also make it to the AAC Championship game, something they never did with Reynolds at QB. How amazing would it be if Navy finished 12-2?

DROPPING OUT

#17 UTAH UTES: The Utes were living all season on their early season win over USC. When you really break it down, they were 4-4 over their last 8 games. If not for three easy games early in the year combined with the USC win before the Trojans became what they are, Utah would essentially be a 6-6/5-7 team. Losing to California & Oregon were crucial. The Utes could still finish out the year 9-4 if they win their bowl game, but I think they’d have to feel pretty lucky to get there.

#18 TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS: Easily the most disappointing team in college football and it isn’t even remotely close. The Vols finished their last 7 games with a 3-4 record including losses to South Carolina and Vanderbilt! That’s ridiculous especially considering the Vols hammered Florida and the Gators wound up as SEC East champions. Losing to Alabama and Texas A&M? Fine. Finish 10-2 and at worst win your bowl game and end the season at 11-3. The fact that Tennessee finished 8-4 when every other SEC East team was in the toilet is telling. There is no way Butch Jones wins with this program.

#19 FLORIDA GATORS: If Tennessee sucks and you get waxed by Tennessee, how can you be in the top-25? Getting blasted by Florida St. was terrible and now Florida is 8-3 facing an Alabama team that should be favored by 50 points. To Jim McElwain’s credit, Florida’s defense the last two years has been exceptional and I shudder to think how good Florida could be should they ever find a legitimate QB to take over. I can’t rank  Florida in the top-25 because I’m not sure they deserve to be there, but McElwain is proving to be one of the elite coaches in the nation. Tennessee should take note. Their window is now closed.

#21 HOUSTON COUGARS: Beat Louisville and then turn around and lose to Memphis? If that wasn’t bad enough, HC Tom Herman took the job at Texas. When it rains it pours.

#22 BOISE ST. BRONCOS: That loss to Air Force was killer. It knocked the Broncos out of the MW championship game. Hard to knock a 10-2 squad but losses to Wyoming & Air Force hurt them. I couldn’t justify ranking Boise and not Wyoming and the Cowboys just lost to New Mexico.

#23 NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: Losing to Iowa 40-10 relegated Nebraska to 3rd place status in the Big 10 West. Do 6 teams from the Big 10 deserve to be ranked in the top-25? Maybe, but Nebraska down the stretch showed who they really were. They went 2-3 in their last 5 games and struggled in wins over Indiana & Minnesota. That isn’t a top-25 squad.

#24 TEXAS A&M AGGIES: The Trevor Knight injury was terrible but 2-4 in your last 6 including losses to Ole Miss and Mississippi State? Destroyed a season when this very well was at worst a top-12 or top-15 squad. The team has a legitimate shot at ending up 8-5. After starting 6-0, that is terrible.

November 28, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Boise St., Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Houston, Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Navy, NCAA, Nebraska, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Pittsburgh, Power 25, South Florida, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 13, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 12

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope It took Alabama a little while to get started playing Chattanooga, but the final ended up being another blowout with the Tide winning 31-3. The only thing left for Alabama to do is take care of business in the Iron Bowl and they guaranteed their spot as the #1 seed in the college football playoff as I don’t suspect Florida will pose much of a theat. In 9 of Alabama’s 11 wins, the Tide defense has give up 14 or fewer points. Alabama is giving up 1.18TD/game defensively. Only LSU is better.
#2 Computer Hope The Buckeyes were a special teams play away from losing to Michigan St. which would have been a disaster! The past month has proven to be a doubtful month for Ohio State. Sure they have the 62-3 win over Nebraska, but how good is Nebraska really? Also in that month is the loss to Penn St., a 1-point win over Michigan St., a 4-point win over Northwestern and a 7-point win over Wisconsin. The playoff committee wants Ohio St. in. You can see it, but they have to beat Michigan.
#3 Computer Hope The 20-10 win over Indiana in the Big House isn’t as bad as it looks. Michigan still looked fantastic on defense holding IU QB Richard Lagow in check along with Indiana’s running game. Offensively John O’Korn didn’t look good at all, but Michigan stayed with the program and ran the ball 50 times for 225yds/2TD. De’Veon Smith 158 himself. They’ll need to play A LOT better next week in Columbus if they want to win the Big 10 East & finish 11-1. Losing Wilton Speight hurts.
#4 Computer Hope While Michigan & Ohio St. were struggling, Wisconsin was in West Lafayette giving Purdue a 49-20 thrashing. Like Alabama, the Badgers had a little trouble waking up but exploded for 35 points in the 2nd quarter to take a 35-10 lead into the half. Wisconsin dominated time of possession holding onto the ball for almost 39 minutes. They played Wisconsin football running it 56 times with Corey Clement going for 112yds. Beat Minnesota this week and you are Big 10 West champs.
#5 Computer Hope There was some thought that Wake Forest could make things interesting against the Tigers, but Clemson scored 21 first quarter points to set the tone en route to a convincing 35-13 road win. RB Wayne Gallman has his biggest game of the season rushing for 161yds/2TD. That gives Gallman 831yds for the season and I thought for sure he’d be over 1,000 but this actually just his 4th game over the 100 mark. With potentially 4 games to go, the junior from Georgia should reach 1,000 yards!
#6 Computer Hope The 36-14 win over UCLA gave USC their 7th straight victory. In those 7 games the Trojans are +140 in point differential. Alabama is also 7-0 in their last 7 with their point differential at +191. In those 7 wins, USC QB Sam Darnold is 162/236 (69%) for 2,039yds (291yds/G) with 22TD/7INT. Right now, Darnold is playing like a Heisman candidate and the Trojans are arguably the #2 team in the nation. If Utah beats Colorado they are the Pac 12 South champions. Outstanding season.
#7 Computer Hope How do you get over a loss to USC? You hammer Arizona State 44-18! QB Jake Browning didn’t have his best game against the Sun Devils, but Myles Gaskin got loose and the Huskies defense did a fantastic job shutting down the ASU running attack while also wrecking ASU QB Manny Wilkins for 6 sacks and a pick. When UW’s pass rush can get off like this they are nearly unstoppable. They’ll need a big effort next week against Washington St. with the Pac 12 North title up for grabs.
#8 Computer Hope Rutgers stinks and you can make an argument they aren’t even really a Big 10 team, but going on the road within the conference and hammering an opponent 39-0 is impressive. Saquon Barkely, but Penn St. is winning because the defense is playing with tremendous swag. The Nittany Lions have an opportunity to create history here. If they don’t let down against Michigan St., they likely win the Big 10 East. If they can upend Wisconsin they can win the Big 10 and get to the playoffs!
#9 Computer Hope The 38-24 win over Washington St. sealed the deal for me. I’ve been pulling for Colorado and Coach MacIntyre all season, but on the field Saturday it really looked like Wazzou was bigger, stronger & faster. It didn’t matter. Colorado pulled away when it mattered most and ended up with a 38-24 win and control of their own destiny. Beat Utah and the Buffs finish 10-2 as Pac 12 South champs. Can they beat Washington? Yes I think so. I think they’ll be brimming with confidence by then.
#10 Computer Hope West Virginia was at home with everything to play for. It didn’t matter. Oklahoma walked into Morgantown and went up 34-0 before the Mountaineers even had time to blink en route to a 56-28 victory. It might be time to forget the losses to Ohio St. & Houston early in the season. The Sooners have won 8 straight and are the only Big XII team left undefeated in conference play. Beat Oklahoma St. and Oklahoma will be Big XII champions with a 9-game winning streak. Is it enough?
#11 Computer Hope I’m not completely willing to jump ship on Louisville just because they were blown out by Houston. Lamar Jackson is still arguably the most dynamic QB in college football and even with the loss he should still be the favorite to win the Heisman. Sometimes you have bad games and remember that Louisville is still 9-2. The playoffs are gone but beat Kentucky & win your bowl game. That would put Louisville at 11-2 with incredible momentum for 2017 because Jackson will return in ’17.
#12 Computer Hope War Eagle had no hangovers from their loss to Georgia last week, pasting Alabama A&M 55-0 behind Kam Martin’s 176 rushing yards & Kerryon Johnson’s 108 rushing yards. Auburn can’t win the SEC West even if they upset Alabama in Tuscaloosa next week, but the season has to feel extremely good considering the way it started. Auburn started off the year 1-2 but then went 7-1 in their next 8. Maybe they can’t win the Iron Bowl, but a bowl win would give Auburn a 9-4 record to end.
#13 Computer Hope It’s not your older brother’s TCU team, but walking into Ft. Worth and destroying the Frogs 31-6 is impressive nonetheless! Justin Hill and Chris Carson combined to rush for 300 yards on 33 carries, completely steamrolling the TCU defense which is something we aren’t used to seeing under Gary Patterson. Now BEDLAM! I think Oklahoma St. makes things interesting with a win especially if a couple of the other conference champions wind up having a couple of losses. It could change.
#14 Computer Hope Essentially LSU was done in by a defensive brain cramp that led to a 98-yard TD pass from Austin Appleby to Tyrie Cleveland. Without that play LSU doesn’t lost 16-10 but wins 10-9. Theoretically. I can’t hammer the Tigers too much. Lenoard Fournette wasn’t 100% for this game & he probably makes a difference too. LSU has arguably the best or 2nd best defense in the nation, but they have issues offensively. If they can score 20 points, I’d venture to say they are unbeatable. Tough loss.
#15 Computer Hope The Razorobacks did everything they could to give the game to Mississippi St., but Arkansas held on and beat the Bulldogs 58-42! It was the highest scoring output against the MSU defense all season! Austin Allen had an outstanding game tossing for 303yds/2TD. RB Rawleigh Williams had a career game going for 205yds/4TD on only 16 carries! It was the most yards & TDs Williams has ever had in a game. When the Hogs are on, they are arguably the 2nd best team in the nation.
#16 Computer Hope I acutally thought Washington St. looked bigger, more physical and faster than Colorado on Saturday night, but the Buffaloes were able to turn it on late & leave Wazzou in the dust 38-24. To be honest, it doesn’t matter. Washington St. was going to have to beat Washington regardless of the outcome with Colorado if they wanted to win the Pac 12 North. That doesn’t change. I will say this however, after watching the Cougs play Colorado, I think they have a shot at beating Washington.
#17 Computer Hope The 30-28 loss to Oregon hurts. The Ducks eliminated Utah from any hope of winning the Pac 12 championship. Even if the Utes manage to beat Colorado in Boulder next week, they can’t leap USC in the Pac 12 South standings. Utah feels like the Kansas City Chiefs of college football. They’ve done a good job winning the turnover margin & playing their kind of football which controls the ball and runs it. It’s not sexy but it wins games. Unfortunately for Utah, it didn’t win them enough.
#18 Computer Hope QB Josh Dobbs is playing out of his mind the last 3 games and offensively the Volunteers are averaging 56PPG over their last three games, all wins. The problem is that Tennessee gave up 36 points to Kentucky a week ago and 37 points to Missouri this past Saturday! Where in the world has the defense gone? With Florida beating LSU, the Vols can’t win the East, but they can still get to 10-3 if they beat Vandy to end the season & win the bowl game. Somehow, 10-3 feels disappointing.
#19 Computer Hope Lost in all the talk about Alabama and the SEC West is the job Jim McElwain has done at Florida. With Florida’s 16-10 win over LSU in Baton Rouge no less, Florida clinched the SEC East for the 2nd straight time. All McElwain does is win SEC East championships! In his 2 seasons, McElwain is 18-6 overall and 13-3 in SEC play! Even more impressive is that he’s done this with essentially no QB and a very good defense. Can you imagine how good the Gators will be with a decent offense?
#20 Computer Hope Notre Dame is a lot better football team than their 4-7 record would indicate so I don’t think you can understate what a great win it was for Virginia Tech to go into South Bend and get a come from behind 34-31 victory over the Irish. If nothing else the team has to be riding high on confidence. The Hokies still have to take care of business against Virginia to lock down the ACC Coastal, but if they can beat the Wahoos, they’ll get a shot at Clemson. I think Virginia Tech could stun.
#21 Computer Hope Houston beat the brakes off Louisville 35-10 in a defensive effort for the ages. The Cougars defense held Louisville QB Lamar Jackson to 33 yarsd rushing on 25 carries! They also sacked him 11 times and recorded 9 QB hurries. True frosh DT Ed Oliver had a herculean type game and Oliver has to be in the running to be a 1st Team All-American has a freshman! When Houston is firing on defense that are INCREDIBLY tough to beat. Beat Memphis and the Cougars can finish 10-2.
#22 Computer Hope It’s Boise St. and the Broncos are 10-1 so you have to rank them right? Boise St. hammered UNLV this past week 42-25 behind RB Jeremy McNichols and his 206 rushing yards & 4TD. Boise St. has a pretty darn good set of triplets. McNichols has rushed for 1575yds/22TD while QB Brett Rypien has passed for 3025yds/22TD. WR Thomas Sperbeck has 1070 receiving yards & 9TD of his own. Oddly enough, Boise cannot win the Mountain West unless Wyoming loses to New Mexico.
#23 Computer Hope Maryland isn’t great so Nebraska’s 28-7 win shouldn’t raise any eyebrows but I think the Cornhuskers have to be fairly pleased with the play of QB Ryker Fyfe. The senior completed 60+% of his passes against Maryland which is something Nebraska fans rarely see with Tommy Armstrong under center. Nebraska is a solid team with Armstrong at QB but sometimes a team gets stuck with a QB that can’t take them to that next level. Armstrong as been that way for the Cornhuskers.
#24 Computer Hope UTSA is likely to become bowl eligible next week so A&M’s 23-10 win over the Roadrunners isn’t that bad. This is simply a different team without Trevor Knight under center. It’ll be hard to keep Texas A&M in the top-25 next week if they fall to LSU which is likely. It wasn’t that long ago that Texas A&M was 6-0 getting ready for Alabama in a game many thought was the de facto SEC West championship. Then injuries hit & the Aggies have suffered. I hope 8-3 doesn’t finish with 8-5.
#25 Computer Hope The Broncos took care of business against Buffalo this past week blasting the Bulls 38-0 behind QB Zach Terrell’s 445 passing yards & 4TD. WMU improved to 11-0 with their biggest tests on tap. You can make a great case that the two best teams in the MAC outside of WMU are Ohio & Toledo. Western gets Toledo this week & Ohio in the MAC Championship if the Bobcats beat Akron. I think beating Ohio & Toledo adds more credence to Western’s eventual 13-0 record.

DROPPING OUT

#18 WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS: West Virginia had everything to play for against Oklahoma and were playing Morgantown! That should have made a difference. Instead the Mountaineers laid an egg and have been beaten by both Oklahoma St. and Oklahoma. You can certainly make an argument that the only two teams in the Big XII worth a darn are both Oklahoma schools so WVU not being able to beat either is a black mark against them. West Virginia can easily win their final two and wind up 10-2 but the Big XII championship is lost. Getting 10 wins would be a tremendous season, giving WVU a lot of momentum for 2017.

#22 SAN DIEGO ST. AZTECS: Wyoming was able to beat Boise St. as well so the Aztecs falling to the Cowboys shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Just when I have the guts to rank SD State, they let me down with a loss. First to South Alabama. Now to Wyoming. San Diego St. will get a shot at a rematch assuming Wyoming can beat New Mexico next week. The Aztecs already have the Mountain West West locked up and a Wyoming win next week would give the Cowboys the Mountain West East.

November 21, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Boise St., Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, NCAA, Nebraska, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Power 25, San Diego St., Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 12, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Wisconsin | 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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25- 2016 WEEK 11

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Mississippi St. beat Texas A&M a week ago this week Alabama beats the Bulldogs like an untrained pup 51-3! Jalen Hurts was unstoppable throwing for 347 yards & 4TD while also rushing for 100 yards and a TD. Damien Harris barely played. What’s scary about Alabama is that they are likely to win the national championship this season but Jalen Hurts is around for at least two more seasons! If he sticks around all four years, could he win a national championship in all 4 seasons?
#2 Computer Hope The Buckeyes had no problems destroying Maryland 62-3 to run their record to 9-1, but in the irony of all ironies, the Michigan loss to Iowa puts the screws to Ohio St. in the worst way. If Penn St. wins out and Ohio St. beats Michigan, then Penn St. wins the Big 10 East by virtue of having beaten Ohio State! The Buckeyes could easily be 11-1 to end the season coming off a huge win over Michigan and miss out on both the playoffs & the Big 10 championship game. Every week a season!
#3 Computer Hope My power rankings reflect how I feel about the teams right now. At this point LSU is the #3 team in the nation. Arkansas is a legit top-12 team that a week ago treated Florida like they were Valdosta State. LSU then took Arkansas to the woodshed. Derrius Guice ran for 252 yards & 2TD on 21 carries. Leonard Founette ran for 98yds/3TD on 17 carries. As a team LSU ran for 390 yards in a 38-10 win. They gave Alabama ALL the Tide could handle & Bama is by far the #1 team in the nation.
#4 Computer Hope Losing to Iowa hurts but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter. So you lost on the road 14-13? Big deal. Michigan is still 9-1 and they were going to have to beat Ohio St. anyway if they wanted to win the Big 10. That doesn’t change things here. Win out and you are 12-1 and likely the #2 seed in the playoffs. You can be sure Jim Harbaugh is going to use this game for motivation for the rest of the season. You never want to lose, but if Michigan had to, it’s good it came against Iowa.
#5 Computer Hope This is where the insanity begins. The biggest winner from Iowa’s upset over Michigan is Wisconsin! The Badgers are likely the Big 10 West champions barring they lose to either Purdue or Minnesota, and the crazy part is that they’ll likely take on Penn St. in the Big 10 championship game! If that happens I think Wisconsin wins making the 11-2 Badgers Big 10 champions and likely a playoff team! It would feel hollow with losses to Michigan & Ohio St., but I’m sure Wisconsin won’t mind!
#6 Computer Hope Clemson can’t fall much further than #6. I understand you want the ball in Dashaun Watson’s hands but teams don’t win football games when they pass the ball 70 times! The loss to Pittsburgh hurts, but like Michigan, it doesn’t much matter. As long as Clemson beats Wake Forest next week, they’ll win the Atlantic and likely the ACC Championship making them 12-1 and a lock for a playoff spot. Clemson has lived on the edge for awhile now. You knew it would catch up at some point.
#7 Computer Hope Clemson’s loss to Pittsburgh almost destroys any chance Louisville had of getting into the playoff picture. Now the Cardinals need a tremendous amount of help to somehow get into the thick of things. Wake has to beat Clemson which would push Louisville into the ACC Championship game. A 12-1 Redbird team would be hard to keep out although the resume is surely lacking. Louisville’s only good win came against FSU a lifetime ago and this past week had difficult time with Wake.
#8 Computer Hope It’s like this is a completely different team now that Sam Darnold took over at QB, and the amazing part is that the defense has responded more than the offense. Washington has an DYNAMIC offense and the Trojans tossed them around like they were a solid high school team. Over the past 6-7 weeks, this might be the best team in the nation not named Alabama. Can they win the Pac 12 South? They need Washington St. to beat Colorado and for Colorado to beat Utah. It’s very possible.
#9 Computer Hope As with Michigan and Clemson, the loss to USC doesn’t necessarily mean anything. If Washington takes care of business against Arizona St. & Washington St. then the Huskies emerge as Pac 12 North Champions at 11-1. Unless things fall right they are also in a spot not unlike Wisconsin where they won’t face the opposing division’s best team. Unless things fall right for USC, the Huskies will likely get Utah or Colorado, a couple of teams they should beat. A 12-1 UW is playoff bound.
#10 Computer Hope What a renaissance for the Big 10! I have 4 of their teams in my Power-25 while the SEC has just two! Penn St. escaped Bloomington with a 45-31 win over Indiana that wasn’t as impressive as I had hoped from a defensive perspective, but nice nonetheless because Kevin Wilson is doing a great job with Indiana. As long as Penn St. beats Rutgers and Michigan St. to end the season, they win the Big 10 East if Ohio St. beats Michigan. A win over Wisconsin could mean a playoff berth!
#11 Computer Hope Utah has absolutely no problem with Arizona St. this past weekend hammering the Sun Devils 49-26 despite going down 13-0 early. Utah would outscore ASU 49-13 over the final 3 quarters as Joe Williams and Troy Williams were on FIRE! The defense needs to get a lot better as the Utes have given up 28PPG over their last 7 games, but the simple math is win and get in. The early season win over USC is gold right now. Beat Colorado and the Utes get a show at the Pac 12 title.
#12 Computer Hope The dream season continues for the Buffs as they took care of Arizona and ran their record to 8-2 with a 49-24 win. The Buffaloes couldn’t be in a better position than they are right now. Defensively they are playing extremely well and they finish the season with two home games against Washington St. & Utah. Win both & they win the Pac 12 South with a shot at the Pac 12 championship. The question will be whether an 11-2 Pac 12 Champion Colorado squad can crash the playoffs.
#13 Computer Hope Auburn kept it together for six straight wins but at some point you sort of knew a game like this would happen. Staring RB Kamryn Pettway didn’t play because of injury. QB Sean White is beaten up. The O-Line has a few injuries. The defense actually played well not allowing a TD by the Bulldogs but a couple of 4th quarter FGs sealed the deal. Auburn could still get to 10 wins if they win out, but even if they were to beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl, they can’t win the SEC West crown.
#14 Computer Hope Arkansas certainly got taken to the woodshed by LSU but this is still a 6-4 team with losses to LSU, Auburn, Alabama and Texas A&M (when Texas A&M had a healthy Trevor Knight!). The Hogs should beat Mississippi St. and Missouri to end the season 8-4 despite both games being on the road and a bowl win puts them at 9-4 which would be the best record they’ve posted in the Bret Bielema era. They are the best 6-4 team in the nation & are on the cusp of hitting that 10-11 win mark.
#15 Computer Hope Washington St. put away Cal like it was nothing, beating the Bears 56-21 and doing a pretty good job of limiting Cal’s scoring ability. The Bears had averaged 40PPG coming into this contest and the Cougars held Cal to their lowest point total of the year. Wazzou’s defense has actually been pretty good this season allowing only 24.5PPG. WSU is the last remaining team in the Pac 12 with an undefeated conference record. Their two biggest tests: Colorado & Washington are up next!
#16 Computer Hope Starting 1-2 to open the season seems like ages ago and all Oklahoma has done is win 7 straight to get to 8-2 with a real shot at 10-2 and a conference championship. The Ohio St. loss looks more than reasonable at this point, but for those wondering if a Big XII champion Oklahoma team could make the playoffs, look no further to the fact Ohio St. might not even win the Big 10 East! Still, if OU hammers West Virginia & Oklahoma St. to end the season, they’ll make it quite interesting.
#17 Computer Hope It wasn’t pretty but Oklahoma St. survived Texas Tech 45-44 despite not having the ball for all that much of the afternoon. The last two weeks have been close, but they’ve been wins and keep in mind that Oklahoma St. is the only team to have beaten West Virginia! If the Cowboys win out they’ll win the Big XII and that complicates things because the loss to Central Michigan would loom LARGE over the season. For now they have to beat TCU & Oklahoma. Both coming on the road!
#18 Computer Hope The Mountaineers are the one team that could make it very interesting in the Big XII. If the Mountaineers can get by Oklahoma this week and the Sooners take care of business against Oklahoma St. in BEDLAM, then West Virginia would be an 11-1 conference champion with their only loss coming on the road to a solid Oklahoma St. team. They’d also have wins over Oklahoma, TCU, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, BYU & Kansas State. That isn’t a bad resume, but WVU needs to win.
#19 Computer Hope Texas A&M is just a different team without Trevor Knight. It doesn’t make up for the complete meltdown in the 4th quarter against Ole Miss this past week, but the dream season is over. The Aggies still can win out and get to 9-3 which means 10 wins is on the table. Getting to double digit wins would have to feel fairly redemptive for Kevin Sumlin given the mass exodus he had at the QB position heading into the season. They’re better than this, but sometimes the injury bug hits us.
#20 Computer Hope You have to really respect Nebraska with their 24-17 win over Minnesota. The Gophers probably shouldn’t have been in the game, but Minny went up early 7-0 and then stretched the lead to 17-10 at halftime. The Cornhuskers were coming off back-to-back losses to both Wisconsin & Ohio State so some let down could have been expected. Keep this in mind though. If Wisky wins out some think they’ll get to the playoffs at 11-2. If the Badgers lose & Nebraska wins out, they’d be 11-2 also!
#21 Computer Hope The Vols keep their hopes and dreams for winning the SEC East title alive by beating Kentucky 49-36 on Saturday. On the one hand you can look at the offensive output and marvel that Tennessee had almost 3 players go over 100 yards rushing! On the other hand you can look in horror as a Vols fan and see that your defense gave up 36 points to Kentucky & 443 rushing yards! Did I say they played Kentucky? UT should win out & get to 9-3, but even that feels disappointing.
#22 Computer Hope The Aztecs hammered Nevada this past week 46-16 and would actually rank much higher in these rankings if not for the slip up against South Alabama back on October 1st. In hindsight that loss doesn’t make much sense but SD State will definitely get to make up for it if they win out and finish 12-1. It’ll be difficult for them to wind up in the New Year’s 6 if Western Michigan wins out, but SD State is a fun rushing team to watch. They’ll run it down your throats regardless if you stack.
#23 Computer Hope Boise St. is on a collision course with San Diego State in the MWC championship game. Boise’s one slip up came on the road to Wyoming in a 30-28 loss, but they’ve righted the ship including a 52-16 blowout win over Hawaii this past weekend. Boise St. could be the one team to shake up the playoff race. They have a win over Washington State. What if Wazzou wins the Pac 12 and the Big XII champion has two losses while Boise St. wins out and finishes 12-1? Can you keep them out?
#24 Computer Hope ROW THE BOAT!!! Western Michigan’s 37-21 win over Kent St. last week put them at 10-0, a record only matched by Alabama! What’s interesting about Western Michigan at this point is that the two most difficult teams in the MAC for them are probably Ohio & Toledo. They’ll get Toledo in the season finale and Ohio in the MAC Championship but if WMU gets to 13-0 they’ll get in the New Year’s Six. If it happens I hope they draw Louisville, Michigan or Ohio State. Let them play!
#25 Computer Hope I’m not completely willing to cut bait on Virginia Tech just yet. Sure the 30-20 loss to Georgia Tech is a tough one, but the Yellow Jackets are a system team and sometimes that system beats you. Virginia Tech will still in the Coastal as long as they don’t lose to Virginia in the season finale. At the end of the day, the Hokies still have wins over North Carolina, Miami-FL, Pittsburgh & Duke. If you want to put Florida or Florida State here I wouldn’t argue, but I’ll stick with VA Tech.

DROPPING OUT

#18 NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS: Seriously? Lose to Duke 28-27? Carolina has way too much talent to lose to the Blue Devils. The loss stings even more so now that Virginia Tech lost to Georgia Tech which would have opened the door for UNC to get to the ACC title game. Now the Heels have to hope that Virginia Tech loses to Virginia in the Hokies’ season finale. Ten wins is still on the table for UNC but they have to win their final 2 games and their bowl to get to 10-3.

#20 FLORIDA ST. SEMINOLES: I guess it’s cool to beat the pants off Boston College, but the Golden Eagles were 1-5 in conference play heading into this game and it was played at Doak Walker. Isn’t this the sort of game Florida St. should win 45-7? The resume for FSU is fairly weak. Sure their 3 losses have come against UNC, Clemson & Louisville, but the Louisville loss was humiliating and their best win is….Ole Miss way back in Week 1? Let’s see them hammer Syracuse & Florida to end the season and we’ll talk.

#25 FLORIDA GATORS: Florida can’t even look good when they are beating South Carolina 20-7. Florida 7-2 but they’ve played exactly 2 teams worth their salt and the Gators were blown out in both games. Florida ends their regular season with back to back road games against LSU and Florida State. Win both games convincingly and Florida will not only garner a lot more respect, but they’ll also find themselves back in the SEC Championship game as SEC East champions. Last year the Gators ended the season on a 3-game losing streak. I’m sure they’d like to avoid a repeat performance.

November 13, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Boise St., Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Louisville, LSU, Michigan, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Power 25, San Diego St., Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 11, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 11 – BIG GAMES

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 10

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope That the best defense the Tide has seen all year & they still rolled up 300+ total yards & dominated time of possession. The big problem for opposing teams is beating Alabama in the trenches. The Tide ran for 216 yards on 51 carries but it limited LSU to just 33 rushing yards on 27 carries. That’s domination up front at the point of attack and is the main reason why there is Alabama and there is everyone else. I still think Auburn could pose a challenge but it would be a long shot at best. This is a great team.
#2 Computer Hope The Wolverines did to Maryland what they’ve been doing all season which is brutalize teams with their running attack combined with suffocating defense. Michigan ran for 273 yards & 5TD as De’Veon Smith got loose for 114yds/3TD. The Blue & Maize were up 35-0 at the half before finishing it 59-3. If there is a team that is playing close to Alabama it’s Michigan. They play the same type of trench football that has been extremely effective for both teams. They seem to be on a collision course.
#3 Computer Hope Beating Syracuse 54-0 is a lot more impressive than at first glance. This is the same Syracuse team that was on a 2-game winning streak with sky high confidence. It’s the same Syracuse team that beat Virginia Tech 31-17! That same Hokies team that Clemson is likely to see in the ACC Championship game. The wins over Auburn and Louisville keep looking better and better & if Auburn beats Alabama, Clemson likely can avoid playing either Alabama or Michigan in the playoff semifinals it would seem.
#4 Computer Hope What more can the Huskies do to garner a bit more respect? Overlooked in the first playoff poll, Washington went on the road to Cal and HAMMERED the Bears 66-27! QB Jake Browning threw for 378yds/6TD. Lavon Coleman ran for 108. WR John Ross put up 208yds/3TD while WR Dante Pettis added 104yds/3TD. UW put up over 700 yards of total offense! The defense forced Cal into 3 turnovers and held the Bears to 1 of 14 on 3rd down! Browning is now on pace to throw 53TD! This team is underrated.
#5 Computer Hope We all knew going into Columbus to face Ohio St. after playing in Madison was going to be difficult but 62-3!? That isn’t a typo. Ohio St. beat Nebraska 62-3 when the Huskers had everything to play for! After an OK 3-week stretch, Ohio St. EXPLODED when it needed to most cementing themselves as the best 1-loss team in the nation. It’s hard to imagine Ohio St. losing when they play football like this. They utterly dominated every phase of the game. Will they be able to do this against Michigan?
#6 Computer Hope The Cardinals realized they needed some style points so they went into Boston College and buried the Eagles 52-7. The Redbirds were up 38-0 at halftime as Lamar Jackson put on a show rushing for 185yds/3TD and passing for 231yds/4TD. At this point it seems obvious that Louisville is going 11-1 and that Jackson is going to win the Heisman, but the real questions surrounding Louisville have to do with their ability to make the playoffs as a 1-loss squad. I think they need Ohio St. & Washington to lose.
#7 Computer Hope It cannot be overstated how important Sean White is to the Auburn football team. White wasn’t supposed to play in the game against Vanderbilt, but Gus Malzahn summoned him to the field with the Tigers down 13-10. White responded and Auburn outscored the Commodores 13-3 to finish with a 23-16 too close for comfort win over Vandy. Auburn is going to run you to death with Kerryon Johnson & Kamryn Pettway but White is the glue that holds the team together. He’s their hope of beating Bama.
#8 Computer Hope I said last week that Northwestern is the team in the Big 10 nobody really wants to play so Wisconsin going into Evanston and beating the Wildcats 21-7 speaks volume about their play. The Badgers did it their way too by pounding the ball relentlessly and wearing down an overmatched Northwestern defense. Wisconsin held the ball for 40+ minutes and ran the football 57 times. They didn’t commit a turnover and was penalized just once. With Nebraska losing Wisconsin should win the Big 10 West.
#9 Computer Hope Forget the 10-0 loss to Alabama for a second. The Tigers gave the Crimson Tide all they could handle and it was locked in a 0-0 tie for 3 quarters. If LSU plays this kind of football the rest of the way, I don’t think they lose again which means a potential 10-3 record in a season that many considered lost. Remember too that LSU has 3 losses by a combined 17 points to Alabama, Auburn & Wisconsin. LSU needs to figure out their QB situation because Derrius Guice is a beast & LSU could be just as good in 2017.
#10 Computer Hope Starkville can be a scary place to play at times and A&M fell victim to the cowbells as Trevon Knight went down to injury & the Aggies couldn’t quite mount the comeback falling to Mississippi St. 35-28. It’s hard to underscore just how important Knight is to the offense because of his ability to run & losing that ability was killer. On the other hand, A&M’s defense was deplorable giving up 365 rushing yards to the Bulldogs! It was MSU’s biggest rushing game this season and largest total they’ve had since 2010!
#11 Computer Hope That was a curb-stomping! Arkansas welcomed Florida into Fayetteville & then beat the brakes off them 31-10! Arkansas was relentless in their running game going for 223 yards on 49 carries. Arkansas’ rush defense was equally as good holding Florida’s ground game to 12 yards on 14 carries. That is what getting killed in the trenches looks like. The Hogs could win out but they’ve got LSU coming up in Arkansas followed by a trip to Starkville, which is dangerous as Texas A&M just found out. A lot to decide still.
#12 Computer Hope Utah was the one team in my Power-25 that was on bye this past week! Utah is being hurt a bit by the Pac 12 not being that great of a conference. Just ask Washington! The win over USC looks better and better as the Trojans keep winning, but outside of Colorado, Washington & Washington St., there isn’t much. Stanford is down. Arizona is down. Oregon is way down. Arizona St. is down. UCLA is down. A lot of teams that most thought would do well haven’t panned out. It certainly hurts the Utes.
#13 Computer Hope Another week another win for Sam Darnold and company. This past weekend the Trojans rolled up Oregon 45-20 which probably isn’t as impressive as it normally would be with the Ducks sitting at 3-6. USC has now won 5-straight games and in those 5 games Darnold has gone 114/167 (68%) for 1,485 yards & 18TD/3INT. USC has an average winning score of 40-19! They’ll get a chance to flex in their last 3 games as they play Washington, UCLA and Notre Dame. At a minimum they should finish 8-4.
#14 Computer Hope Penn St. dominated Iowa 41-14 to improve to 7-2 in what is becoming an historic season for the Nittany Lions. They should have no issues winning which at 10-2 would probably mean a New Year’s Bowl with a shot at 11-2 which would be incredible. You can’t say enough about Saquon Barkley running the ball, but Penn St.’s renaissance begins & ends with their defense. It has stiffened considerably & it’s playing with a swag we haven’t seen in some time. If the D keeps it up, they are not losing again.
#15 Computer Hope It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch, but Colorado battled hard to beat UCLA 20-10. The Buffaloes were down 10-7 at the half & played a terrible game, yet the defense came up big time after time to give Colorado an edge. Sometimes you have to win games like this to prove your metal and I think Colorado passed. The Bruins aren’t fantastic and Josh Rosen wasn’t playing but UC held UCLA to 25 yards rushing and dominated time of possession. Colorado has a significant coaching advantage with MacIntyre.
#16 Computer Hope Nothing helps better than getting a little Tennessee Tech on the schedule when you are feeling down! The Vols had no problems with TN Tech, hammering the Golden Eagles 55-0 in Neyland Stadium. With Florida losing to Arkansas and Kentucky losing to Georgia, the path to the SEC East title is still in Tennessee’s sights. Florida has to lose one more SEC game which seems likely with LSU on the schedule while UT has to beat Kentucky, Vandy & Mizzou. Their reward? A rematch against Alabama!
#17 Computer Hope I wrote that Virgina Tech was going to struggle with Duke in Durham and that is exactly what happened. The Hokies got out to a 21-7 halftime lead but the Blue Devils fought hard in the 2nd half to keep in close before eventually falling 24-21. I would have liked to have seen Tech handle the Duke rushing game a little better but this was a let down game for certain. It was the 2nd of 2 consecutive home games and Virginia Tech had played Miami-FL and Pittsburgh the two games prior. It happens.
#18 Computer Hope North Carolina could do absolutely nothing to stop Georgia Tech’s rushing attack, but the Yellow Jackets had no answer for Mitch Trubisky, Elijah Hood or Bug Howard as UNC cruised to a 48-20 victory over the Rambling Wreck! North Carolina took advantage of a couple of GT turnovers & turned them into 14 points which sealed the game in the 2nd half. The Heels still have a road game against Duke & their season finale at home against NC State so the finish won’t be easy although 10-2 is in sight.
#19 Computer Hope Nobody is going to argue that Arizona isn’t a bottom feeder Pac 12 school this year but Wazzou hammered them 69-7! That’s insane and it might end up costing Rich Rodriguez his job in Tucson! Luke Falk & Tyler Hilinski combined to go 47 of 52 (90.4%) for 474 yards & 6TD without an interception. That isn’t a typo. Those guys completed 90+% of their passes. Against an actual defense! WSU commits too many penalties & the D is suspect but note they are +10 in TO margin & 3-2 in close games.
#20 Computer Hope The Seminoles have lived on the edge a bit with their wins over Miami-FL, Wake Forest and now NC State, but they are 6-3 with losses to North Carolina, Clemson & Louisville. The problem with FSU is that they haven’t beaten anyone. I love the NC State win but the Wolfpack are 4-5 with 4 straight losses. The Week 1 win over Ole Miss looks average at best. With BC, Syracuse & Florida left, the Seminoles should get to 9-3 with a chance at 10 wins with the bowl. Florida St. is definitely poised for 2017!
#21 Computer Hope How about the play of RB Dimitri Flowers? Neither Joe Mixon or Samaje Perine didn’t run the ball against Iowa St., so Flowers stepped in and ran for 115 yards on 22 carries and also chipped in 3 catches for 34 yards and a TD! What a day for the Flowers family! The win over the Cyclones was OU’s 6th straight and they’ve ran their record to 7-2. West Virginia, Baylor & Oklahoma St. await so we’ll see how well the Sooners finish the season, but their 1-2 start could end up 11-2 and Big XII Champions.
#22 Computer Hope Big XII games are never dull that is for sure. The Cowboys needed two late 4th quarter TDs to overcome Kansas St. in Manhattan and keep their Big XII championship hopes alive. WR James Washington put up another HUGE game catching 7 balls for 117yds & 2TD. Washington is on pace to finish with 72 receptions for 1,407 yards & 12TD. He’s not getting nearly enough national media despite his biggest games coming against top opponents such as K-State, West Virginia & Pittsburgh. That’s 5 straight for OK-State.
#23 Computer Hope West Virginia rebounded nicely from the Oklahoma St. loss last week to hammer Kansas 48-21 in Morgantown. The Mountaineers were up 31-0 at the half and cruised from that point forward. The Big XII is pretty interesting coming down to the wire with WVU, Oklahoma & Oklahoma St., but the problem always remains that we don’t know how good these teams actually are. WVU’s best non-con win? BYU. Oklahoma St. best non-con win? Pitt. Oklahoma’s? UL-Monroe! To me that is why the Big XII falls off.
#24 Computer Hope Your sort of have to hope that Nebraska is more the team that took Wisconsin into OT in Madison than the team that just got OBLITERATED by Ohio St. 62-3! The other positive to take away from that is Ohio St. probably played the best football they’ve played this year & maybe the best they’ve played in the last two seasons! The bad news is that Nebraska just lost the Big 10 West unless Wisconsin loses at Purdue, but they are a road win over Iowa away from 10-2. A bowl win likely puts them in the top-12.
#25 Computer Hope That was a……BEATING! In Florida’s defense, they haven’t seen a team like Arkansas all season so the Razorback rushing offense had to be overwhelming. Losing 31-10 though? This isn’t your older brother’s Florida squad! I still like Florida’s defense, but the Gators have issues on offense. Luke Del Rio looked poor yet again and I’m not sure how much upside he really has for the rest of the season. Florida can still win the SEC East, but if they keep playing like this, I don’t see a way for them to beat a good LSU!

November 10, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Louisville, LSU, Michigan, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Power 25, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 10, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 10 – BIG GAMES

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 9

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope If it was possible for Alabama to look better by not playing a game then it happened this weekend as Michigan, Clemson, Washington, Louisville & Ohio State all had tough times despite all five teams pulling out victories. One important development while the Tide was resting is the Auburn 11-point win over Ole Miss in Oxford. Auburn isn’t going away and is getting better week by week. All of a sudden, Alabama looks like it has its two toughest tests of the year still to come when they take on LSU and an excellent Auburn team.
#2 Computer Hope For the first time all season a RB got off against Michigan as Spartans RB LJ Scott got loose for 139 yards & a TD on 22 carries. Michigan has been dominant on the ground all season long but the Michigan St. front-7 did a good job containing the Wolverines running attack. Anytime you can go into East Lansing & pull of a 9-point win you have to be pleased. This is Michigan’s first win against Sparty in 4-years with Michigan being 2-7 in their last 9. This was Michigan St.’s 6th straight loss! Good grief what has happened?
#3 Computer Hope There is a lot of talk about Clemson making this huge rally, but the Tigers were never that far out of the lead against Florida State. It looks big because the Tigers outscored the Noles 17-6 in the 4th quarter, but it was 28-20 FSU going into the 4th. Since 2012, Dabo Swinney is 14-2 in games decided by 7-point or less! That’s an incredible statistic when you think about how regression should take hold. At some point it doesn’t point to luck but rather that Swinney is a tremendous coach. Nick Saban’s record in that time: 9-5.
#4 Computer Hope Going into Utah & getting a 31-24 win is a huge get for the Huskies unless you believe that Utah isn’t a good team & Washington should have won by more than 7. Frankly, I don’t know where I stand on this one. Utah is 7-2 which is solid & losing by 7 to UW is impressive to me. On the other hand, who has Utah beat? UCLA without Josh Rosen? Beating USC before they figured things out? Beating BYU? I like the punishing way Utah plays football so I think it’s a solid win but when you look at resumes, UW needed a bit more.
#5 Computer Hope Speaking of resumes, Louisville needed Lamar Jackson to turn into Superman to escape Charlottesville with a 32-25 win over a Virginia team that currently sits at 2-6! The Cardinals need to be really careful from this point because they need a lot of style points to potentially make the playoffs as an 11-1 team. All I’m seeing now is a team that is living off a win over Florida State, but who has struggled against Virginia & Duke! Louisville should win out, but they need to beat teams by 25-40 points a game instead of seven!
#6 Computer Hope Beating New Mexico State 52-10 was a mere formality for the Aggies. Given the way Louisville & Ohio State has been playing recently, you’d have to think that Texas A&M is the likely 1-loss team to gain admission to the 4-team playoff given their only loss is a road loss to Alabama. The win over Auburn looks better and better while beating Arkansas by 21 points is signficant. When everyone is healthy & things are falling right on defense, this is arguably the 2nd best team in the nation at the moment. They shouldn’t lose again.
#7 Computer Hope Kamryn Pettway had his best game of the season, torching the Rebels defense for 236 rushing yards and a score on 30 carries. In Auburn’s last 3 games, Pettway has rushed for 597yds/6TD (6.2ypc) all of them being victories. Beating Ole Miss 40-29 was Auburn’s last big hurdle before traveling to Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl. Keep in mind that if Texas A&M loses to LSU and Auburn beats Alabama, then Auburn would win the SEC West! I’m not sure that happens, but there isn’t a team hotter than War Eagle at the moment.
#8 Computer Hope Northwestern is proving to be an exceptionally feisty team, but 24-20 in Columbus? The Buckeyes have to do better than that. Nothing really stands out to be honest. You have to be impressed with the Wildcats here who have come a long way from the beginning of the season when they opened with back-to-back losses against Western Michigan and Illinois State. The Buckeyes aren’t out of the woods either. This week they have Nebraska with Michigan St. and Michigan still waiting. They need to figure things out quickly.
#9 Computer Hope The Badgers had to withstand a furious Nebraska comeback and take the game into OT, but the Badgers defense was able to stiffen up resulting in a 23-17 win over an undefeated Nebraska squad. Wisconsin still needs Nebraska to lose another game in order to win the Big 10 West, but the Cornhuskers travel to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes which should get the job done. The Badgers can’t overlook Northwestern next week in Evanston. The Wildcats have suddenly become a difficult team to manage so game faces on!
#10 Computer Hope Like Alabama, LSU was on a bye before the enormous SEC showdown. I think it’s really interesting that Nick Saban has referred to LSU as an undefeated team considering the Tigers haven’t lost since Ed Orgeron took over for Les Miles. To be fair, Orgeron has played in Baton Rouge for 3 games against Missouri, Southern Miss & Ole Miss, but 3-0 is better than 0-3! LSU can still win the SEC West if they win out. It’s amazing that despite all the hype around Alabama, there are still 4 teams in the West that could win it!
#11 Computer Hope THEY CAME THIS CLOSE!!! Right now Nebraska has to forget the 23-17 loss to Wisconsin and move on to Ohio State. It’s not going to get easier in Ohio Stadium, but I think the Cornhuskers proved they can stay with anyone in the Big 10. Nebraska still has a shot for a fantastic season. If they beat Ohio State they should be able to win out & get to 11-1. That mean they are likely facing an 11-1/12-0 Michigan team in the Big 10 championship. A win there & it’s playoff time. A loss and they still probably go to the Rose Bowl.
#12 Computer Hope I think there are a few ways to read the Utah/Washington game, but I think Washington is an ELITE team and Utah did a good job playing its game and imposing their will on a Huskies squad that has been utterly dominant all year long. The Utes will probably get a shot at revenge if they can walk into Boulder and beat Colorado in their season finale. At this point I don’t think Utah can crash the playoff party but they could play HUGE spoiler by winning the Pac 12. It would take UW out of the playoffs & out of the Rose Bowl.
#13 Computer Hope The Trojans have really started to figure things out. The 45-24 win last Thursday over California wasn’t insignificant. The Bears have played spoiler a couple of times this year & can put up quite a few points. USC gave Cal their first blowout loss of the season & held the Bears to their lowest scoring output of 2016. Sam Darnold once again was outstanding at QB with 5TD passes giving him 16 in his last 4 games! USC could still win the Pac 12 South. They need Colorado & Utah to each lose another game but it’s possible.
#14 Computer Hope A completely gift of a ranking considering Tennessee just lost to South Carolina. Hard to rank the Vols lower considering they beat Florida fairly easily early on in the season but that win is going to mean less and less as time passes. It has to be brutal in Knoxville right now. If Butch Jones can’t win with the current roster then it’s very difficult to see him getting it done in the next few years. Maybe 4 years isn’t enough but Tennessee at worst this season should have won the SEC East and that is all but a lost possibility now.
#15 Computer Hope QB Luke Del Rio played better against Georgia than he did against Missouri which is a good sign going forward for the Gators, but Florida’s defense is becoming downright disgusting! Florida held Georgia to 21 yards rushing on 19 carries. UGA managed just 8 first downs and less than 150 total yards in UF’s 24-10 victory. Florida now ranks 2nd in scoring defense, 9th in rush defense, 2nd in pass defense & 2nd in total defense. They’ll win the SEC East and then get murdered for the 2nd straight year by the Crimson Tide.
#16 Computer Hope Colorado finally had a bye week this past Saturday after 8 straight weekends where they ended 6-2. Even the most fervent Colorado fan might not have seen the breakout the Buffs are having this season under Coach Mac. With 3 homes games left in the next 4 and their lone road game coming against a terrible Arizona team, Colorado should have their sights set on 10-2 and a Pac 12 South championship. The playoffs are probably out of the picture but if Colorado could see the Rose Bowl if Washington goes undefeated.
#17 Computer Hope The Hogs were on a bye this past week which gave them time to lick their wounds after a soul crushing 56-3 hammering at the hands of Auburn. I’m not going to get too critical of Arkansas for the loss. Auburn might very well wind up in the playoffs. The Razorbacks have losses to Auburn, Alabama and Texas A&M. So would probably 110 other teams who play FBS football. At this point I think a 10-win season would do wonders for HC Bielema & his staff. They’ll have to win out & win the bowl, but they have the schedule to do it.
#18 Computer Hope You really can’t say enough about how much 1st year HC Justin Fuente has improved the Hokies offense. Virginia Tech sits at 6-2 after a FANTASTIC 39-36 win at PITT this past week & offensively they are averaging 36.3PPG. It sounds absurd but the Hokies haven’t averaged that many points per game since 2000 when they finished 11-1 & ranked #6 in the final poll. VT is probably better than #18 but the loss to Syracuse & Tennessee look rough. They should win out & get to 10-2. Then the fun starts when they play Clemson.
#19 Computer Hope The Tar Heels are coming off a by sitting at 6-2 with a schedule they should win out with. Unfortunately for North Carolina, their one loss came to Virginia Tech meaning they wouldn’t win the ACC Coastal unless Va Tech lost again which doesn’t look likely. At this point UNC could get another 11 wins season assuming they win out & get a bowl win. That would be back-to-back 11-win seasons for Larry Fedora and the Tar Heels have a lot coming back next season especially if Mitch Trubisky & Elijah Hood stick around.
#20 Computer Hope Dalvin Cook tried his best but even he wasn’t good enough to beat Clemson by himself as FSU fell to the Tigers 37-34. Florida St. isn’t completely out of the woods just yet. They still have road games against NC State & Syracuse combined with a season finale against Florida who has a defense that should be rowdy. Hard to complain about the Noles at this point. They have losses to Louisville, Clemson & North Carolina. There is no more room for error though. A season in which FSU didn’t win 10 games would be disappointing.
#21 Computer Hope The Cougars showed incredible resiliency against Oregon St. last week as they came back from being down 24-6 at halftime on the road to finishing the game with a 35-31 win which gave Wazzou their 6th straight win & their 3rd straight road win. QB Luke Falk was outstanding throwing for 415yds/5TD. Washington St. now gets back-to-back home games against Arizona & California meaning they should be 8-2 when traveling to Colorado. They are winning close but they are winning and that is all that matters right now.
#22 Computer Hope The good news is that Oklahoma finally looked like Oklahoma in a 56-3 win this past weekend. The bad news is that they did it against Kansas so it’s like it never really happened. With Baylor & West Virginia losing games, Oklahoma is the last undefeated team in conference play. It seems like a disappointing season because of the early losses to Ohio St. & Houston, but if Oklahoma wins out they’ll finish 11-2 as Big XII Champions, on a 10-game winning streak and likely top-5/top-7 ranking. That’s nothing to be ashamed of!
#23 Computer Hope It took Penn St. a half to get it going against Purdue, but the Nittany Lions poured it on the Boilermakers, outscoring them 45-7 in the 2nd half en route to a 62-24 victory. RB Saquon Barkley was unstoppable leading PSU with 207 yards rushing and also receiving with 70 yards. QB Trace McSorley looked very efficient and the Penn St. defense looked loose. They held Purdue to 46 rushing yards & forced 4 turnovers. The difference to me is Penn St.’s defense the last couple of weeks. The Lions should win out & get to 10-2.
#24 Computer Hope The 37-20 win over West Virginia was impressive and it’s good to remember that if the refs would have screwed OK State against Central Michigan, the Cowboys would be sitting at 7-1 with their only loss coming at Baylor by 11 points. Keep in mind that Oklahoma St. isn’t beating cupcakes either. They have wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Texas. The schedule is rough over the next 4 weeks including a road finale in Norman that could very well be for the Big XII championship. This team is a lot better than most think.
#25 Computer Hope West Virginia has won this year by defending the pass exceptionally well in a pass happy league & avoiding bad turnover margins. In their 37-20 loss to Oklahoma St., Cowboys QB Mason Rudolph went 26/36 for 273yds/3TD. WR James Washington was a big play machine & WVU committed 3 turnovers while getting ZERO take aways. It’s extremely hard to win in Stillwater playing like that. WVU can still finish 11-1 and win the Big XII but they need Oklahoma St. to lose another game. Is 11-1 enough for playoff discussion?

DROPPING OUT

#22 BAYLOR: Even if it was by just one point, losing at Texas pretty much finishes Baylor’s season. I suppose the Bears could still finish 11-1 and win the Big XII outright, but they could also lose out and finish 6-6 and I wouldn’t be surprised.

#24 MISSISSIPPI: It’s hard for me to rank Ole Miss when the Rebels are 3-5. Not only that but they’ve lost 3 straight games and 4 of their last 6. On the other hand, their 5 losses have come against Florida State, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU & Auburn. Ole Miss still has Texas A&M on the schedule so they could be looking at a 6-6 regular season, but if you add A&M to the list of losses, how many teams could do better than 6-6 with the schedule they’ve played? The big letdown in Oxford is the defense. Last year Ole Miss allowed 22.6PPG. This season that number has catapulted to 32.5! Giving up an extra 10PPG will cause quite a few more losses.

November 3, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Power 25, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 9, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment