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TERRIFIC 20: TOP 20 EDGE RUSHERS FOR 2017 NCAA FOOTBALL

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

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

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

FIVE FRESHMAN WHO COULD MAKE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT IN 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

RANKING POWER-65 COLLEGE 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 | 3 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 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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 8

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Texas A&M took a 14-13 lead early in the 3rd quarter but the Tide scored 20 unanswered to route the Aggies 33-14 in convincing fashion. People keep looking for that game that Alabama barely pulls through en route to a championship because teams usually have one game where they need a little help from Lady Luck, but I’m not sure that is coming for Alabama. They are THAT MUCH better than everyone else. Their close call might have been the game against Ole Miss, but still. This is the best Alabama team I’ve seen.
#2 Computer Hope It’s hard to do comparisons but Michigan beat Penn St. 49-10 and Penn St. just finished beating Ohio State! If there is a team that could possibly stop Alabama, it’s the Wolverines and their defense which continues to be incredible. You know the standards are high when a 41-8 route of Illinois is almost seen as a disappointment. QB Wilton Speight doesn’t beat himself & this is a brutally punishing rushing offense. Michigan ran the ball 59 times against Illinois using 14 different players. I think Harbaugh ran it once!
#3 Computer Hope I’ve been trying to watch as much Washington football as I can and what is amazing about this team is the speed. Everyone is fast especially the defense & skill players. UW put a beating on Oregon St. 41-17 but you can see that Chris Petersen is resting the players now. The Huskies were up 31-0 at halftime and at this point it’s about keeping the team healthy. If there are any doubters left, Washington is going to put them to rest over their remaining five games. I’d expect Petersen to understand that style points will matter.
#4 Computer Hope Clemson had an interesting bye week. On the one hand the wins over Auburn & Louisville keep looking better and better. On the other hand, Auburn isn’t the same team Clemson beat opening week and Louisville just demolished an NC State team 54-13 that should have beaten Clemson the week prior. The Tigers got a week off before going down to Tallahassee to face Florida State. If they can convincingly beat the Noles, nothing really stands in their way from 12-0 and a shot at the ACC Championship. They keep winning.
#5 Computer Hope GOOD GRIEF! Louisville put the HAMMER down on NC State 54-13 and looked like the Cardinals team we thought we saw earlier in the year before losing to Clemson and barely getting by Duke. Louisville actually led 44-0 at halftime! Louisville held NC State to 9 first downs & 14 yards rushing while forcing 3 turnovers. It wasn’t a flawless game offensively for the Cardinals but the defense showed up in a big way. NC State might have been tired after playing Notre Dame & Clemson before, but this was an impressive win.
#6 Computer Hope The 33-14 final looks bad but A&M had quite a bit of momentum in the game until Alabama DL Jonathan Allen recovered a fumble and took it 30 yards to the house to put the Tide up 26-14. Giving Alabama that much momentum in their own stadium was too much for the Aggies to overcome so the dream season is likely over. The Aggies aren’t completely out of it yet though. They still get Ole Miss & LSU at home so 11-1 is still on the table. There are a lot worse things than losing to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. They’re alive.
#7 Computer Hope The blocked FG return TD in the 4th quarter that put Penn St. up 24-21 was brutal & the Buckeyes couldn’t find a way to win this time. Ohio St. is fantastic there is no denying that and I’m not trying to say the Big 10 East is equivalent to the SEC West, but I’m not sure it’s that far off either. If Penn St. really does elevate their game then the Big 10 East has Michigan, Michigan St., Penn St. & Ohio St. all playing well. Having to play in Madison the week before didn’t help matters & it’s hard to win 2 HUGE games consecutively.
#8 Computer Hope Gus Malzahn’s offense is beautiful to watch when clicking on all cylinders which is what happened this weekend against Arkansas as War Eagle to the Hogs to the woodshed & spanked them 56-3! Forget the fact that Auburn ran for almost 600yds & 7TD! How about the defensive effort by the Tigers in holding Arkansas to 25 rushing yards on 31 attempts! Before Auburn, Arkansas averaged 4.3ypc on 42 carries a game! Auburn completely dictated the pace of this game & they are proving to have an incredible defense.
#9 Computer Hope Iowa might not be last year’s version but it’s never easy to go into Iowa City and get a win. Wisconsin took care of business beating the Hawkeyes 17-9 in a game the Badgers controlled from the start. Wisconsin held the ball for 37+ minutes & didn’t commit a single penalty. The defense held Iowa to 83 yards rushing & 2 of 13 on 3rd down. The Badgers return home to take on Nebraska & it’s a MUST WIN for Wisconsin if it wants to win the Big 10 West. I think the Badgers win convincingly and head for a 10-2 finish.
#10 Computer Hope At what point does the national media have to start taking West Virginia seriously? They go into Lubbock and hold a Texas Tech team that was averaging 55+PPG to only 17. This is the same Texas Tech offense that dropped 59 on Oklahoma! This past week they welcome TCU into Morgantown and throttle the Frogs 34-10! West Virginia has done a good job defending the pass this season & when you look at the makeup of the secondary it makes sense. They are big & physical. Good pass defense equals a lot of wins in the Big XII.
#11 Computer Hope Welcome back Leonard Fournette! Fournette wasted no time in reminding everyone he’s the best RB in the nation by going for 284 yards & 3TD on only 16 carries against Ole Miss in a LSU 38-21 victory. Fournette went over 300 total yards by tacking on 25 receiving yards! The Bayou Bengals have been a different team under Ed Orgeron going 3-0 with an average victory of 42-13! The schedule stiffens considerably starting this week with Alabama, but note that if LSU wins out, they win the SEC West & likely the SEC!
#12 Computer Hope The Vols got a much deserved bye week after four straight games against Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama. Tennessee’s remaining five games should give them no pause to worry and a 10-2 regular season record is in the bag. What Tennessee has to be worried about is Florida figuring a way to win the rest of their games. It seems unlikely given that the Gators still have Arkansas, LSU & Georgia on the schedule, but if Florida wins out, Tennessee actually loses the SEC East to Florida despite beating them 38-28!
#13 Computer Hope The Trojans had a bye week after winning 3 straight games & improving to 4-3. USC has played a lot better since Sam Darnold has been inserted into the starting lineup as QB but the Trojan defense has gotten quite a bit saltier over the last 3 weeks than earlier in the season. USC gets a couple of home games against Oregon & California that should push them to 5-3 before trudging up to Seattle to take on Washington. That’s actually too bad because a loss there probably ends their slim hopes of winning the Pac 12 South.
#14 Computer Hope Sometimes you win ugly and Colorado did just that beating Stanford 10-5 in Pao Alto! If you want an indication of just how far coach Mike MacIntyre has taken this football team, consider that Colorado joined the Pac 10 in 2011 and since that time has played Stanford 3 times. They’ve lost all 3 by the combined score of 138-17! Last year Stanford beat UC 42-10 in Boulder. Now Colorado is winning! When was the last time Colorado beat Stanford? It was 1990 which also happened the be the year Colorado won a national title!
#15 Computer Hope It was an embarrassing loss to Auburn to be sure, but in a game like that the winner was going to be the one who could establish the run and dictate the time of possession. The Razorbacks tried to do this and succeeded at some level because they won the time of possession battle but turnovers & 3rd down conversions did them in. Auburn simply imposed their will & made too many big plays on defense. It happens. I can’t knock Arkansas too much. They have losses to Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama. What can you do?
#16 Computer Hope RB Joe Williams had a record setting day going for 332 yards & 4TD in Utah’s 52-45 win over UCLA, but the 45 points given up is the problem itself. Josh Rosen didn’t even suit for the Bruins in this one. UCLA rushed for 46 yards & committed 5 turnovers yet Utah squeaked it out by 7 points? A win is a win and 7-1 is 7-1, but Utah is living off a win over USC in Sam Darnold’s first start. This week they host Washington. A victory over the Huskies will get everyone’s attention, but right now the schedule seems like a lot of fluff.
#17 Computer Hope It feels like Florida has barely played this year given that they’ve had 2 off weeks in the last 3 given their bye week and then the rainout game against LSU that they’ll make up. Florida was on their bye week this past week. The schedule starts to get interesting this week with Georgia. Florida’s 5-1 but their 5 wins have come against Kentucky, UMass, North Texas, Vanderbilt & Missouri. It’s the softest 5-1 in the nation! At least Utah has a win over USC. The SEC East is starting to become a punchline and that’s a problem.
#18 Computer Hope Nebraska is being ranked the top-10 by the polls because they are 7-0 and they’re Nebraska, but the past two weeks have seen the Cornhuskers play those DOMINANT Big 10 teams Indiana & Purdue and come away beating both by the combined scored of 54-36. They barely escaped Bloomington with a win & when you look at the schedule, their best win to date might actually be the road win over the Hoosiers! Nebraska finally plays someone this weekend. Let’s see how they do when they walk into Camp Randall Stadium!
#19 Computer Hope Another week another win for the Cougars who took down Arizona St. 37-32 in Tempe which makes it Wazzou’s 5th straight win & improved their record to 5-2. How is this for an amazing statistic. Washington St. ran for -52 yards in the game. They were out rushed by the Sun Devils 113 to -52 yet won! The big news coming out of the game was Mike Leach accusing ASU of stealing signs, but the Cougs still got a win. Washington St. has a real shot at getting to 9-2 before hosting Washington to see who takes the Pac 12 North.
#20 Computer Hope If you like offense then you loved Oklahoma 66-59 win over Texas Tech. Baker Mayfield passed for 545 yards & 7TD while Joe Mixon ran for 263yds & 2TD. For the Red Raiders, Patrick Mahomes passed for 734 yards & 5TD & Texas Tech averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Big picture this was a terrible effort for Oklahoma considering that West Virginia came in the week prior and held Texas Tech to 17 points & 379 total yards. Oklahoma gave up 59 points & 854 total yards! Oklahoma almost gave up 1000 yards on defense! Awful.
#21 Computer Hope It’s really tough to figure out how Virginia Tech can beat North Carolina 34-3 one week. Follow that win with a 31-17 loss to Syracuse and then follow that loss with a 37-16 win over Miami-FL. The Hokies remind me of some of Frank Beamer’s great teams. They ground & pound on offense effectively. QB Jerod Evans is playing extremely well. They get after it on defense with a lot of pressure on the opposing offense. They really should win out and get to 10-2 which would be fantastic but they can’t have another Syracuse game.
#22 Computer Hope Baylor and Florida might as well be the same team. Neither team has beaten anyone and both teams have played once in the last 3 weeks. The Bears are 6-0 which I guess means something if Nebraska being 7-0 means something. The schedule gets quite a bit tougher for the Bears moving forward starting this week with a road trip to Austin. Baylor should start moving up the rankings with more wins under the belt and if they & West Virginia can hold serve, both could be 11-0 when they meet on December 3rd in Morgantown.
#23 Computer Hope The Tar Heels would be much higher if they didn’t have the huge blunder against Virginia Tech. North Carolina went into Charlottesville and hammered Virginia 34-16 behind great efforts from Mitch Trubisky, Elijah Hood and a good defensive effort. You have to wonder what sort of impact Hood would have had on the Virginia Tech outcome. He’s missed one game this season & it was against the Hokies. Carolina certainly has the talent to win out but they need another Va Tech loss to win the Coastal & get to Charlotte.
#24 Computer Hope What a year Ole Miss has had!? They are 3-4 with their losses coming to Florida St., Alabama, LSU & Arkansas. Three of those 4 games were on the road and the lone home game came against Alabama! It’s hard to believe that the 23 teams I have ahead of Ole Miss are actually better than the Rebels but this is life in the SEC West. It doesn’t get any easier either. This week the Rebels strap it up against Auburn, and they still have Texas A&M later in the year. A 6-6 season is a distinct possibility & that would be a disappointment.
#25 Computer Hope OK Penn State! You had no business winning that football game, but you got the signature win over Ohio State. Let’s see you run with it! Penn St. has a couple of landmines to dodge in Indiana & Iowa, but Michigan St. shouldn’t be a problem so the Nittany Lions have a legitimate shot at 10-2 & 2nd place in the Big 10 East. That’s a major win for James Franklin and the program & hopefully Franklin can use to his benefit on the recruiting trail & get Penn St. back on par with Michigan and Ohio State. I’m rooting hard for them!

DROPPING OUT

#20 BOISE ST.: The Broncos didn’t do anything to not be ranked, but the schedule is so soft. I would have liked to have seen a better performance against BYU. They are pretty much living off the Washington State win at this point although I’m not sure Boise could beat the Cougars if they played tomorrow. What’s even more sad is that this week’s game against Wyoming is being billed as a competitive game. Come on!

#21 HOUSTON: You can’t lose to SMU 38-16. Tom Herman’s star is fading just a bit after losses to both Navy & SMU! He better take that LSU job while he can!

#25 NC STATE: I don’t want to bang NC State too hard after getting crushed by Louisville. Just ask Florida State what that feels like. When Louisville is firing on all cylinders they are probably the 2nd or 3rd best team in the nation. NC State is still arguably the 3rd best team in the ACC and they can make a pretty good argument they are the 2nd best team behind only Louisville.

 

October 25, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise St., Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi, NC State, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Penn St., Power 25, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 8, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 7

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Tennessee is a good football team and Alabama went into Knoxville and proved the Vols to be nothing more than a  high school football team by comparison. The Tide ran for 400+ yards and had more than 600 yards of offense en route to a 49-10 route of UT. It’s worth pointing out that Alabama has wins over USC, Tennessee, Arkansas & Ole  Miss & none of those 4 quality victories came in Tuscaloosa. The gap between the Tide & the rest of college football is considerable. This might be Saban’s best ever Alabama team.
#2 Computer Hope Michigan had the week off but good things happened because their 14-7 win over Wisconsin looks pretty darn good now that Ohio St. needed OT to put the Badgers away. The one difference is that Ohio St. won in  Madison while the Wolverines got it done in Ann Arbor. That actually sort of gives the Buckeyes the advantage but at some point you start rewarding the team with the best player on the field and there isn’t a better player on the field than Jabrill Peppers. He’s the difference maker that can win close games.
#3 Computer Hope Wisconsin is no joke and going into Camp Randall and in that type of environment is a difficult proposition for any squad. That game could have went either way, but the Buckeyes found a way to win and that’s huge. In fact, the win over the Badgers in Madison might be the most impressive win of the season. Ohio St. has two road victories over Oklahoma & Wisconsin which is about as impressive as you can get. This is a young team that has grown up exceptionally fast. Now it all comes down to beating Michigan.
#4 Computer Hope With all due respect to Michigan and Ohio State, the national championship game that I’m rooting for is Alabama taking on Washington. The Huskies are a team that doesn’t beat itself and I’m not sure there is a QB playing better right now than QB Jake Browning. Given that Alabama prides itself on forcing other teams to make mistakes, it’ll be interesting to see them play a team that refuses to beat themselves. The Huskies rush defense would need to get better in the meantime. They couldn’t allow Alabama to run at will.
#5 Computer Hope Another team on bye! I’m sure the Aggies would have loved to have seen Tennessee put up a bigger fight against the Crimson Tide knowing they travel to Tuscaloosa next week. At least Texas A&M gets an extra week of rest in the meantime. Next week’s game should be interesting from a strategy perspective. The problem with playing Alabama is that they can load the box because the corners are so good. A&M has great receivers but they’ve been a running team this year. They’ll need to do both & I’m not sure they can.
#6 Computer Hope If Kyle Bambard has a decent day kicking the ball, Clemson is sitting at 6-1 hoping against hope they win out and 12-1 is enough to get back into the playoffs. Instead, the Clemson D came up big in OT with a Ryan Finley pick to preserve a 24-17 victory and keep them unbeaten at 7-0. The more I watch Clemson the more I think their defense is the reason they are 7-0. Wayne Gallman was knocked out of the game early & Clemson couldn’t find anyone to pick up the slack running the football. Offensively it wasn’t pretty.
#7 Computer Hope More methodical than impressive, Louisville has earned the right to go through the motions every now and then. The 24-14 win over Duke doesn’t look so hot, but it didn’t change anything. Lamar Jackson didn’t have a great day but still ran for 144yds/1TD and passed for 181yds/1TD. One interesting thing about this game is that Louisville ran one more play than the Blue Devils but Duke had the ball for 15 minutes more than the Cardinals. If time of possession was reversed, Louisville wins this game 39-9. Interesting.
#8 Computer Hope You can do a lot worse than go into Ann Arbor and lose by 7 points to Michigan and then host Ohio St. and lose by 7 points in an overtime game. Remember too that Wisconsin is doing all this with a freshman QB making it only more impressive. This is what’s impressive to me about Wisconsin: against both Michigan & Ohio St., the Badgers on average gave up 158 rushing yards on 45 carries (3.5ypc). Against their other opponents, Michigan & Ohio St. average 6.3ypc! The Badgers will win out & get a chance for revenge.
#9 Computer Hope Now THAT was Arkansas football! The Razorbacks had to hold on tight there at the end to get the 34-30 win over Ole Miss, but when you look at the blueprint, it was a masterful job by the Hogs. Austin Allen was good enough throwing for 229 yards & 3TD while the rushing attack carried the day running for 200 yards on 51 carries! Rawleigh Williams had 180yds on 27 carries! Arkansas had the ball for almost 41 minutes and that’s great because Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly was making plays. 10-2 is a real possibility now.
#10 Computer Hope Losing to Alabama 49-10 isn’t the prettiest thing especially when you are in Knoxville and Peyton Manning is in the house, but Alabama is Alabama so it isn’t completely surprising the Vols finally get blown out after living dangerously all season long. Tennessee’s final 5 games are a joke so finishing the season 10-2 should be an afterthought. More importantly is Florida losing another game to give the Vols the SEC East crown. Like Wisconsin, Tennessee should have a chance at the ultimate revenge by the end.
#11 Computer Hope If you love Arkansas then you love Auburn even more. War Eagle goes about their offensive system a little different than the Hogs do but with similar results. Auburn’s 2 losses came in the first 3 weeks against Clemson and Texas A&M, two teams with a combined record of 13-0! Since the loss to A&M, Auburn has won 3 straight by the combined score of 114-34! Sean White has been the answer at QB & the Tigers defense is solid. They host Arkansas this week which should determine who is the 3rd best in the SEC West.
#12 Computer Hope I love West Virginia football but have been hesitant to rank them thus far because I’m superstitious and didn’t want to jinx them! They’ve also had a 2 byes already and after a couple of close wins over BYU & Kansas St., I got the feeling that maybe they were more bark than bite, but not anymore. Beating Texas Tech isn’t amazing, but going into Lubbock and holding the Red Raiders to 17 points & less than 400 total yards!? The Big XII might finally have a team capable of playing defense! This team is for real.
#13 Computer Hope This isn’t the same USC team that started the season 1-3. While I don’t believe the outcome of the Alabama game would be any different, if the Trojans faced  Utah & Stanford again, I think USC comes out ahead by a considerable margin. Sam Darnold has been a revelation. In his last 3 starts, Darnold is completing 67% of his passes for 315yds/G with 11TD to 1INT! This has opened up the rushing attack and consequently the defense is playing even better. Talent has never been an issue, but now said talent is playing!
#14 Computer Hope QB Sefo Liufau was back in the starting lineup after having missed 3 games and didn’t disappoint completing 74% of his passes for 265 yards! He didn’t have to do too much as RB Phillip Lindsay got loose for 219yds/3TD in Colorado’s 40-16 win over Arizona State! It’s amazing to see the difference between the Buffs this year & last. Last year Colorado lost to ASU 48-23! That’s a 49-point swing! Colorado controls their own destiny now. If they win out, they are Pac 12 South champions regardless of what USC does.
#15 Computer Hope Close losses are the worst! Ole Miss can’t hang their heads too much after losing 34-30 to Arkansas in Fayetteville. In my opinion Arkansas is a top-10 team so no shame in losing but Ole Miss is going to have to start winning some of those big close games. This year their 3 losses are to Alabama, Florida St. and Arkansas. They lead by good margins against both the Noles & Tide. They let this one slip away. A telling stat is this: Ole Miss: 1.55pts/min; Arkansas: 0.84pts/min. If TOP is reversed, Ole Miss wins 63-16! Crazy!
#16 Computer Hope The 19-14 win over Oregon St. is a lot better than you think. We all know Gary Andersen can coach and after having got by California the week prior, the Beavers had to be brimming with confidence as they welcomed the Utes into Corvallis. Utah did what Utah does which is run the ball heavy & play good defense. The gameplan didn’t go exactly as planned because Oregon St. did a masterful job controlling the clock themselves with their running attack, but Utah was able to hold off a 2nd half comeback to win it.
#17 Computer Hope The Gators had to feel pretty happy after their 40-14 win over Missouri to see Tennessee get rolled up by Alabama. Now Florida controls their own destiny in the East although that road had away games against Arkansas & LSU that should prove to be more than a bit difficult. QB Luke Del Rio returned to action & looked rusty at best. The Gators did a great job running the ball behind Lamical Perine, Jordan Scarlett & Mark Thompson which took pressure off Del Rio. Florida needs to keep running the ball effectively.
#18 Computer Hope Nebraska has to feel pretty good escaping Bloomington with a 27-22 win over the Hoosiers as Indiana is fast becoming the Big 10 team nobody wants to face for fear of showing up a bit off and having Indiana take advantage en route to an upset victory. The Hoosiers had a disastrous first quarter which gave Nebraska a 17-0 lead, but from that point forward IU beat Nebraska 22-10! The Huskers get a week off before hosting Purdue and then it’s back-to-back road games against Wisconsin & Ohio State. Good luck!
#19 Computer Hope It took the Tigers a half to warm up, but LSU blew the barn doors off Southern Miss in the 2nd half outscoring the Eagles 35-0 in the final 2 quarters in route to a 45-10 win. Once again no Leonard Fournette proved to be a non-issue for LSU as Derrius Guice took the game over rushing for 162yds/2TD on just 10 carries! QB Danny Etling threw 3TD passes & Malachi Dupre & DJ Chark made big plays. The LSU defense also racked up 10 tackles for loss, a season high. It’ll be interesting if the Tigers start playing to their talent.
#20 Computer Hope Boise St. improved to 6-0 with their 28-23 win over Colorado State. I feel about Boise State much the same way I do about Utah. They don’t do anything that is going to make your jaw drop, but they play efficient football with solid defensive effort and that combination leads to victories. The Broncos hear this every season but they can only beat who is on the schedule. The Washington St. win is going to continue to get better and at this point Boise St. going 13-0 is pretty much a foregone conclusion & a major bowl bid.
#21 Computer Hope Beating Tulsa 38-31 doesn’t look like much but Houston did a lot of things right against the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa is a big ground and pound team yet Houston wasn’t affected as they held Tulsa to 94 yards & 35 rushing attempts. Tulsa racked up most of their yardage through the air but it took them 51 passing attempts to get to 365 yards. Houston won time of possession, but shot themselves in the foot with regards to turnovers & penalties. Greg Ward was just OK but Houston ran the ball well enough to get a close win.
#22 Computer Hope The 38-17 win was finally a convincing win for the Sooners after having close calls against TCU & Texas. Oklahoma is now 4-2 but more importantly 3-0 in the Big XII. They get an easy next 3 games which should allow them to run their record to 7-2 before hosting Baylor on November 12th. I wish I could get more excited about Oklahoma, but the Houston loss looks worse & worse now that the Cougars aren’t playing fantastic & the Sooners still don’t play much defense. It’s a dark time for the Big XII and that’s sad.
#23 Computer Hope How about Wazzou’s 27-21 win over UCLA! Talk about Jekyll & Hyde! Washington St. couldn’t get anything going on offense & Luke Falk didn’t have a passing TD for the first time in his career! It was also the first time Wazzou didn’t have a passing TD since Week 2 of 2013 when they beat USC 10-7! The Cougars couldn’t run the ball either so instead they played great defense & forced the Bruins into turnovers. The Cougars are undefeated in conference play & control their own destiny although the Huskies await!
#24 Computer Hope If you want to build up quite a bit hype by the middle of the season, make sure you schedule tremendous cupcakes early in the season to get 3-4 blow out wins. Then get lucky & play the weakest teams in your conference first so it looks like you are blowing everyone out. This is the 2016 Baylor recipe. Sure the Bears are 6-0 and they are winning by an average score of 44-17, but their best win so far is a road win over an Iowa St. team that should have beaten them! The schedule is considerably tougher from this point.
#25 Computer Hope The Wolfpack should have beaten Clemson yesterday & if that happened, how high does NC State climb? The week 2 33-30 road loss to East Carolina seems like a huge outlier at this point and if NC State could get that game back I’m sure they win it by 20-30 points. What was most impressive watching the game yesterday is how much more physical NC State was than Clemson. They beat the Tigers up & bruised them despite losing in OT. If they beat Louisville next week, we are looking at the 2nd best team in the ACC.

DROPPING OUT

#9 VIRGINIA TECH: Beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill 34-3 the week prior. This week lose to Syracuse? The ACC is a mess at this point. From what I can tell Louisville, Clemson & NC State are for real, but the rest of them? The Hokies only real win is against North Carolina. Their next best game might be the loss they took to Tennessee.

#14 GEORGIA: Lose at home to Vanderbilt!? GOOD GRIEF! Georgia can win out & still not deserve to be ranked!

#15 NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels have two losses on the season. The first to Georgia who just lost at home to Vanderbilt. The 2nd to Virginia Tech who just lost to Syracuse! Carolina has some decent wins over Florida St., Miami-FL & Pittsburgh, but FSU is 3-2 in their last 5 and 2 of those 3 wins (against Miami-FL & Wake Forest) are iffy at best. If there is a 4th team after Louiville, Clemson & NC State, it’s probably the Tar Heels but they need to put in some work.

#16 FLORIDA STATE: They were only able to beat Wake Forest 17-6? At home!? In 2013, FSU beat Wake 59-3. In 2014 they beat them 43-3! A win next week over Clemson would be redemptive but I don’t see it happening.

#19 MIAMI-FL: Bad luck is dooming the Hurricanes. They’ve dropped their last 2 games by a total of 8 points. Granted, it was to Florida St. & North Carolina so that’s a couple of losses for most team, but Miami has to be kicking themselves for missed opportunities.

#25 ARIZONA STATE:  They were barely hanging on anyway so the loss to Coloardo simply pushed them out of the top-25.

October 16, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise St., Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Mississippi, NC State, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Power 25, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 7, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 7 – BIG GAMES

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

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope Wisconsin did an outstanding job locking Michigan’s running attack down a couple of weeks ago in a 14-7 loss. The Wolverines ran for 130 yards but it took them 44 tries to get to that number. Ohio St. averages 51 rushing attempts per game so while Ohio St. & Michigan are run first teams, they are a little different in how they get there. This is a monster game at Camp-Randall & I don’t think it’ll be much different than the Michigan/Wisconsin game. Can the Badgers score enough? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Forget losing. Tennessee needs to show up and not completely embarrass themselves in this one. The Vols have played with fire all season long and finally their magic ran out against Texas A&M last week, but things could get ugly in Knoxville and here is why. The Tennessee rush defense is pitiful. Alabama is a PUNISHING running football team. Tennessee is the 4th worst team in turnovers committed. Alabama is 13th in turnovers gained. Put that together & Bama might win by 40! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sort of an under the radar SEC West game because both Alabama & Texas A&M are undefeated, but there are pretty cool implications here. Both teams have 2 losses so the loser here can’t win 10 regular season games which I think is a pretty big deal for both clubs. Arkansas wants to take the next step while Ole Miss needs 11 wins on the season to keep their 1-win per year improvement streak going. Another incentive for Ole Miss is that they can still finish 2nd in the SEC West. Solid game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Colorado suffered a heart breaking loss to USC last week in SoCal 21-17 but this week come back against Arizona St. with a chance to right the ship & stay atop the Pac 12 South standings. Arizona St. lost to USC 41-20 so maybe that is a harbinger of things to come for the Buffs. It’ll be an interesting game for Colorado because they’ve had a bit of a problem with teams who like to grind out games on the ground. ASU wants to run first so Colorado better come ready with their rush D. Computer Hope
Computer Hope If either of these teams want to win the ACC Coastal then the most important aspect of this game might be the remaining schedule for Virginia Tech. The Tar Heels have to win out and hope the Hokies lose two conference games. That isn’t going to happen so at best UNC can play spoiler to Miami-FL. The Hurricanes lost a brutal 20-19 gut check game in a Hurricane to Florida State! It’s not a season ender, but Miami-FL has to win this game & they have to beat VT just five days later! Wow! Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s interesting that the Cougars couldn’t beat E. Washington & Boise St., but can beat Oregon & Stanford in back to back weeks by the combined score of 93-49! While that might not be as impressive as Washington’s combined 114-27 over those 2 teams, there is no question that Wazzou could easily be 9-2 when they host the Huskies for the Apple Cup on November 25th! UCLA isn’t a bad team so this will be tough for Wazzou but it’s another opportunity for WSU to make a statement. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It can’t feel good for Houston to have to suit up for Tulsa after having lost to Navy. Tulsa runs the ball like they don’t know how to do anything else. The attack is different than Navy’s but Houston is in for another smash mouth football game. The Golden Hurricane defense isn’t the best, but their only loss has come to Ohio State & they’ve been racking up the points against everyone else. Houston can get right back on the horse with a win here, but I think this could be a very close game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The last time Indiana hosted a ranked team in Bloomington was……HEY it was two weeks ago!!! The Hoosiers took down a ranked Michigan St. team 24-21. This week Indiana welcomes Nebraska into Memorial Stadium in the hopes of beating 2 ranked teams in a 3-week span! For all intents & purposes, this looks like a Husker walk, but everyone thought that about Sparty too. If Indiana wins this game they are capable of getting to 9-3. A  bowl win and Indiana could finish 10-3! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Oregon St. finally caught somebody sleeping last week and beat Cal 47-44. The Bears play practically no defense so Oregon St. was able to gouge them for almost 500 rushing yards! The Beavers are going to face a MUCH tougher defense in Utah, but the game is in Corvallis and Gary Andersen is a helluva coach so he’ll have Oregon St. ready for the Utes. This is certainly a trap game for Utah who needs a win here before traveling to UCLA. They can’t over look Oregon St. or they’ll lose. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game could have some massive implications because I think Iowa St. HC Matt Campbell is throwing down the gauntlet in the Big XII. The Cyclones probably should have beaten both Baylor & Oklahoma St. these past two weeks which would have put them in the hunt for a Big XII title at this point! The Longhorns are reeling & you get the feeling ISU is going to catch somebody slipping. Charlie Strong is hanging by a thread but could he survive a home loss to Iowa St. & a 2-4 record? Computer Hope

October 10, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Big Games, Colorado, Houston, Indiana, Iowa St., Miami-FL, Mississippi, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oregon St., Tennessee, Texas, Tulsa, UCLA, Utah, Washington St., Week 7, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 6

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope How much of a difference does Damien Harris make? Harris didn’t get much run time against Kent St. & Kentucky because of health but when the sophomore gets at least 9 touches he averages 112 rushing yards per game and averages 9.2ypc! Forget about the 30 points Arkansas put up as a knock against the Bama defense. Arkansas is a running team and Alabama only gave them 73 rushing yards on 36 carries. The Tide completely took their offensive game plan away. A 35-17 score at halftime left no doubt.
#2 Computer Hope The Tigers clearly had no emotional letdown after a dramatic win over Louisville last week as they went up to Chestnut Hill and destroyed Boston College 56-10! Clemson averaged about 8.4 yards per play while Boston College averaged 3.5 yards per play. What’s interesting about this game though is that BC had the ball for 38+ minutes & ran the ball twice as much as they passed despite the deficit. I like that Steve Addazio kept to the game plan however misguided, but Clemson’s big play ability is outstanding.
#3 Computer Hope There is winning big and running up the score and then there is what Michigan did on the road at Rutgers on Saturday. Michigan DEMOLISHED the Scarlet Knights 78-0 but it could have been much worse. Had Ty Issac ran for one more yard, the Wolverines would have had 3 rushers go over 100 yards for the day. Michigan ran for 481 yards & 9TD! Jabrill Peppers even ran for 2TD in what is becoming an obvious Heisman winner. And I’d be remiss not to mention that Michigan has the #1 scoring defense in the nation!
#4 Computer Hope Indiana doesn’t have the best defense in the nation but you can’t help but be impressed by Ohio State’s running attack. JT Barrett didn’t have a great passing day but he ran for 137 yards & a TD. Curtis Samuel chipped in 82yds/1TD and Mike Weber ran for 71yds/2TD! As a team Ohio St. ran for 290 yards & 4TD! Beating the Hoosiers 38-17 doesn’t look great but it got the job done. The Buckeyes travel to Madison next week & that should be a doozy! It could also be a preview of the Big 10 championship!
#5 Computer Hope I said last week that in order to be the man you had to beat the man. Over the last two weeks Washington has beaten both Stanford & Oregon by the combined score of 114-27. The Huskies didn’t just beat the Cardinal & Ducks. They humiliated them on national television including a massacre of Oregon in Autzen Stadium by the score of 70-21! QB Jake Browning threw 6TD and ran for another 2. The Huskies rank #5 in my Power-25 at the moment but going by the eye test they might be the best team I’ve seen so far.
#6 Computer Hope The Aggies almost succumbed to Tennessee’s juju late in the game but a double OT interception of a Josh Dobbs errant pass preserved the Aggie’s 45-38 victory over the Vols. It’s hard to argue with Texas A&M’s resume. They are now 6-0 with wins over Tennessee, UCLA, Auburn & Arkansas! They have a week off before heading to Tuscaloosa in a game that should decide the SEC West. QB Trevor Knight has been a huge asset to this squad. He’s accounted for 18TD thus far & I think is a sleeper Heisman candidate.
#7 Computer Hope The Cardinals were on bye this week but things didn’t go so well for the Cardinals as Houston lost to Navy. That hurts Louisville a bit because now Houston can’t be undefeated when Louisville faces them. A win over an undefeated team looks a lot better than a win over a 1-loss team. On the other hand the Cardinals need some help in getting to the playoff and Houston loses pretty much eliminates any non Power-5 conference team from stealing a bid. They still need help but 11-1 should be in sight.
#8 Computer Hope You play with that much fire and eventually you are going to get burned. Tennessee once again came out flat in the first half, losing 21-7 after 30 minutes. Once again UT storms back in the 2nd half & beats A&M 28-14, but the Vols couldn’t get it down in OT and lost 45-38. The Vols dominated this game statistically but they committed 7 turnovers and 12 penalties for almost 100 yards. Tennessee is a very good football team, but you can’t turn the ball over against an equally good A&M squad and expect a road victory.
#9 Computer Hope The 34-3 win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill was eye-opening. If Virginia Tech was able to close out Tennessee in Week 2 then we might be talking about a 5-0 Hokies squad that is making a good case for being a top-5 team! The Hokies are starting to resemble vintage VA-Tech defense. Carolina coming into this game was averaging 40.4PPG and Bud Foster’s squad held them to just 3. This was the same Tar Heel team that put up 37 on an FSU defense that is filled with 4 and 5-star recruits. Keep a close on them!
#10 Computer Hope Wisconsin caught a nice break getting a bye week before welcoming Ohio State to Camp Randall! I think Wisconsin also got a bit lucky because Indiana isn’t awful so the Buckeyes had to play harder than maybe they would have in recent years. The game is also extremely important for the Badgers because they aren’t completely out of the playoff picture. The loss to Michigan stinks but it was just 14-7. If they were able to win out & get to 12-1 as Big 10 champions then it’s likely they grab one of the four spots.
#11 Computer Hope Mississippi St. isn’t the same Mississippi St. they’ve been recently when they had Dak Prescott under center, but this was a huge win for the Tigers! MSU plays well at home and Auburn beat the bricks off the Bulldogs taking a 35-0 into halftime! War Eagle ran the ball with abandon going for 228 yards on 56 carries! Kamryn Pettway ran for 169 yards & 3TD on 39 carries. QB Sean White was brutally efficient once again & let’s not discount the Auburn defense which is now allowing just 16PPG! Loving this team!
#12 Computer Hope So you lose to Alabama 49-30. It happens to the best of them. This is a solid football but they played right into the hands of Alabama. The Tide took the running game away and jumped out to a lead forcing Arkansas to throw the football. I’m a big Austin Allen guy and he had a good day throwing for 3TD but he also threw 3INT which once again is exactly what Alabama was hoping for. Arkansas has more than enough ability to win out and that is what they need to focus on. I’d love to see them finish the season at 10-2.
#13 Computer Hope The Rebels were on a bye this past week but a few things happened that helped their cause. Alabama beat Arkansas by 19 points and Ole Miss lost to the Tide by only 5 so you can argue the Rebels are ahead of Arkansas. Florida St. got back on the winning track by beating Miami-FL which is a solid win & makes Ole Miss’ loss to the Seminoles not as ugly as it has looked the past couple of weeks. Texas A&M beat Tennessee which means the Aggies keep winning & Ole Miss gets a shot at beating a better team late in the season.
#14 Computer Hope That is the kind of Georgia football I want to see!! I know it’s South Carolina but the Bulldogs ran wild on the Gamecocks with both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel going over the 100 yard mark. The win over North Carolina doesn’t smell as sweet now that the Tar Heels were throttled by Virginia Tech but UGA is 4-2 with their two losses coming to Ole Miss & Tennessee. It could be worse. They need a lot of help winning the SEC East but getting to 9-3/10-2 with a first year HC and a frosh QB? That’s a great season.
#15 Computer Hope Very sloppy play by North Carolina in a demoralizing 34-3 home loss to Virginia Tech. You can make a pretty good argument that Hokies might be a top-10 team, but losing 34-3 after wins over Florida St. & Pittsburgh? The Tar Heels were without RB Elijah Hood & TJ Logan couldn’t pick up the slack. Mitch Trubisky had a terrible game & the Heels shot themselves in the foot with 8 penalties and 4 turnovers. They can still win the Coastal, but I don’t think the Hokies have another loss on the schedule so they need help.
#16 Computer Hope Dalvin Cook got loose in brutal weather down in Miami rushing for 150 yards & receiving for 59 with a TD catch. Deondre Francois put in a solid game going 20/31 for 234yds & 2TD despite playing with a drenched ball and outshining his Miami-FL counterpart Brad Kaaya. It was a solid for FSU, but the North Carolina loss looks a lot worse now that UNC took a beating at the hands of Virginia Tech. FSU looks like a 10-3 team, but I’ve said this before in that you know FSU is back when 10-3 is a big disappointment.
#17 Computer Hope Florida’s game against LSU was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew which seems odd given how many games were played in terrible conditions yesterday. The Gators are barely hanging onto a spot in my Power-25. A win over LSU would have bolstered their resume quite a bit even if the Tigers are a bit down, but we are getting into the middle of the season and Florida’s best wins are over Vanderbilt & Kentucky. The 38-28 loss to Tennessee shows they belong, but can they please play someone of substance!?
#18 Computer Hope The Cornhuskers are a tough team to judge at this point. It’s Nebraska and they are 5-0 so it feels like we should be respecting them, but their best win is a 3-point home win over Oregon which looks terrible now that we are seeing Washington & Washington St. absolutely wax the Ducks! The Huskies just finished beaten Oregon by 49 points in Eugene! Nebraska could only manage a 3-point win in Lincoln! They have upcoming road games against Iowa, Wisconsin & Ohio St. so we should get a better feel for them.
#19 Computer Hope The weather in Miami was absolutely abysmal but the Seminoles had to play in the conditions as well and Miami couldn’t find a way to close out the game losing 20-19 to Florida St. after having led 13-3 at the half. This game shouldn’t concern the Miami faithful too much but the Hurricanes need to get back on the horse fast next week as they host a North Carolina team that was just brutalized by Virginia Tech. THE U can still win the Coastal no problem, but their rushing defense has me a bit concerned after this week.
#20 Computer Hope The dream season for the Cougars came to a screeching halt on Saturday as Houston fell on the road to Navy 46-40. Navy is a tough team to play against. Their rushing attack is hard to prepare for and nobody really runs it as well as they do. Houston lost the time of possession battle by a significant margin & were -3 in TO margin. Navy would beat a lot of teams with those advantages. The Oklahoma win looks a bit better now that the Sooners beat Texas, but I don’t have any confidence Houston can beat Louisville.
#21 Computer Hope I would have liked to have seen the Sooners get a better win than 45-40, but remember that some of this is perception. Texas is on the ropes so it would seem Oklahoma should get a bigger win, but Texas is a talented team. There isn’t much defense being played in the Big XII and the Sooners are dangerous when the running game behind Samaje Perine & Joe Mixon get going. Perine went for over 200 yards & Mixon put in 50 total yards. Only Baylor stands in the way of a Big XII title and a 10-2 season. Not bad.
#22 Computer Hope Beating Arizona 36-23 is a solid enough win and Utah might be the favorite to win the Pac 12 South at this point given that they’ve already beaten USC. This isn’t a sexy team. They play solid defense and do just enough on offense to win games. It’s a ball controlled offense that relies mostly on running. The one mark Utah has is a road loss to California, but the Bears are becoming one of those squads that is hard to figure so I can allow some grace there. At the end of the day Utah is 5-1 with a real shot at finishing 10-2. I’d take it.
#23 Computer Hope Beating Colorado 21-17 is a lot more impressive than it might seem. The problem with USC at this point is perception. There are questions surrounding head coach Clay Helton and even if it did happen in Week 1, there is perception that USC is still off because Alabama beat them 52-6 to open the season. Moving QB Sam Darnold into the starting lineup was a bold move for Helton & it has paid off. The talent here is undeniable and the Trojans still have a chance to be a player if they can keep the momentum going.
#24 Computer Hope Gut wrenching 21-17 loss to USC in the Coliseum on Saturday but as much as I’ve been rooting for Colorado this season, all is not lost for the 4-2 Buffaloes! With Stanford playing as badly as they’ve been, Colorado could conceivably win out as the schedule is good to them with Arizona St., UCLA, Utah & Washington St. all having to come to Boulder. At some point you knew it was going to catchup with Colorado. Steven Montez is a freshman QB and the Buffs defense couldn’t quite get a hold of all of USC’s talent.
#25 Computer Hope What an amazing turn around for the Sun Devils rush defense. The two previous weeks against USC & Cal, Arizona St. gave up 316 rushing yards, but yesterday against UCLA, ASU held the Bruins to -1 rushing yards en route to a 23-20 win. It’s interesting to see Arizona St. win more of a defensive struggle, but the Devils are now 5-1 with their only loss coming on the road to USC which isn’t too bad. The resume is pretty good too with wins over Texas Tech, California and now UCLA. The Pac 12 South is wide open.

DROPPING OUT

#22 BAYLOR: The Bears didn’t play but they didn’t do anything to drop out of the polls this week but they also didn’t do anything to stay either. Baylor is 5-0 but they barely got by Iowa St. and didn’t exactly dominate Oklahoma State. Their other wins have come against SMU, Rice & Northwestern State. Nothing really to brag about. It might be time to come to the realization that the Big XII is terrible. I still have Oklahoma ranked, but the Sooners only losses have come to Houston & Ohio State. The Houston loss doesn’t look great but I’m trying not to be too harsh on Houston just yet for the loss to Navy. The rest of the Big XII? It’s rough.

#24 LSU: The Florida game being postponed didn’t help the Tigers too much as they drop out of my rankings. LSU needs signature wins to show the program is still strong. I think they can get them, but it’ll be tough. I pointed out last week that the quirkiness of the Pac 12 prevented me from ranking a lot of those teams last week. That quirkiness is still apparent, but for the most part the week broke the way it would need to for a lot of those Pac 12 teams to deserve being ranked. LSU was a victim of that.

#25 STANFORD: Losing to Washington I can understand but losing to Washington State as well? The Cardinal lost to both Washington schools by the combined score of 86-22! That’s insane! If you believe in the Pac 12 you could make an argument that Washington, Washington St., Stanford, California, UCLA, USC, Arizona St., Colorado & Utah should be ranked. That’s 9 teams for crying out loud! I have five of them ranked and what’s interesting to me at this point is that the Pac 12 is definitely going to suffer some attrition because they’ll beat up on each other, but this conference is certainly one to watch for during bowl season to see just how good these teams really are.

October 9, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Mississippi, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Power 25, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas AM, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Week 6, Wisconsin | Leave a comment