No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

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

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

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

Now let’s kick off with #29!

#29 – Kirby Smart – Georgia

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

#28 – Clay Helton – USC

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

#27 – Paul Johnson – Georgia Tech

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

#26 – Kirk Ferentz – Iowa

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

#25 – Paul Chryst – Wisconsin

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

#24 – Dana Holgorsen – West Virginia

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

#23 – David Cutcliffe – Duke

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

#22 – Mike Leach – Washington State

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

#21 – Dan Mullen – Mississippi State

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

#2o – Brian Kelly – Notre Dame

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

May 19, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Big 10, Big XII, Coaching, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Mississippi St., Notre Dame, Pac 12, Rankings, SEC, USC, Washington St., West Virginia, Wisconsin | 1 Comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 13 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 12 – BIG GAMES

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope This is the game of the week by a long shot because of all the implications. In my opinion the game is bigger for West Virginia. This is the game Dane Holgorsen and his staff have been preparing for since arriving in Morgantown. A win doesn’t guarantee a Big XII championship but it gets them VERY close. I think it also puts them into playoff contention if a couple of other conferences have 2-loss champions. A win here obviously is a big step for the Sooners to win the Big XII championship. Computer Hope
Computer Hope If you believe the big players in the Pac 12 this year are Colorado, Utah, USC, Washington & Washington St., then this is the Cougars first real challenge despite them being 8-2. The same can be said for Colorado who did have a test game against USC but lost which is keeping their credibility in check just a bit. It’s hard to pick against either. I’d love to see Mike Leach win out because Wazzou would be amazing in the playoffs, but I’ve been on Colorado’s bandwagon all year. Should be amazing! Computer Hope
Computer Hope If Tennessee doesn’t botch it up against Missouri or Vanderbilt, Florida is essentially playing for their lives here against LSU. The bigger question to me is whether or not Florida actually wants to win the SEC East? If they beat LSU then all that means is they’ll be facing Alabama. That game has 55-0 written all over it which begs the question of whether it’s worth it to win the East just so you can get murdered on national television? I don’t think it’ll matter though as LSU is destroying opponents. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Remember after Houston beat Oklahoma that everyone circled this date on their schedule as the game Houston had to win in order to get to 13-0 and make a push for making the playoffs? Two losses later and now this is a game Louisville needs not only to win but to dominate in order to push themselves higher in the playoff rankings in order for them to sneak in. Louisville needs bigger wins and they need them by bigger margins. This would accomplish both goals, but it shouldn’t be easy. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This might not seem like that big of a game, but the Demon Deacons are 4-1 in Winston-Salem and they’ve given Florida St. & Louisville all they could handle despite losing games. Wake almost pulled off a stunner last week in Louisville. Note also that while Clemson is on a different level, Wake went on the road to beat both Indiana & Duke. What does Clemson losing mean? It opens the door for Louisville as they would take the Atlantic and I can’t imagine them losing to Virginia Tech or North Carolina. Computer Hope
Computer Hope These one off games can be fun. It’s never easy going into Ft. Worth and pounding on the Frogs, but this is really the game that sets up THE GAME for Oklahoma St. assuming the Sooners beat West Virginia. The Cowboys can’t overlook TCU because they are playing for everything. Even if Oklahoma loses to West Virginia, OK-State can win the Big XII if they win out because they gave the Mountaineers their only conference loss. Oh, and by the way, TCU is playing for bowl eligibility! Cant’ wait! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Irish have been taking a lot of heat for being 4-6, but those 6 losses have come by a combined 29 points. That’s about 5PPG. The Irish are one of the few teams with a “best” care scenario record of 10-0 so while the 4-6 looks dreadful and Brian Kelly deserves the heat he’s gotten, remember that two wins & the Irish get to a bowl. Also keep in mind that Virginia Tech is coming off a loss to Georgia Tech, and teams that play teams like GT are very beat up the following week. This one is interesting. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The year hasn’t went anything like UCLA would have wanted, but remember they are in much the same situation as Notre Dame is in. At 4-6, the Bruins can win their last 2 games and get to a bowl which would be a minor victory. Their 6 losses have come by a combined 42 points. I don’t expect USC to have much trouble with the way they’ve been playing. The Trojans could still win the Pac 12 South so I don’t expect a letdown. This is the most beautiful game of the season with the jerseys. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game doesn’t have any national implications but I like the two teams involved. Minnesota has had a nice season. They haven’t beaten anyone of note, but they are 7-3 with their 3 losses coming to Nebraska, Iowa & Penn St. by 17 points. They might lose to Northwestern & Wisconsin to finish the season but if they are closes losses, it’s a helluva season to build on. Northwestern has become a dangerous team. If the team now started at the beginning, I think they finish 10-2 and maybe 11-1. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is a neat rivalry game and it should be a pretty cool contrast in styles. Stanford is going to run the ball behind Christian McCaffrey while the Bears are going to want to air it out behind Davis Webb. If Cal wins out they’ll finish 6-6 and get to a bowl, but I think Stanford has become the forgotten team nationally. They have a great shot at winning out which would mean 9-3. A bowl win gets the Cardinal to 10-3 which is a very good season. They can’t win the North so it seems they are forgotten. Computer Hope

November 15, 2016 Posted by | Big Games, California, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Minnesota, Must See Games, NCAA, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Stanford, TCU, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington St., Week 12, West Virginia | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 9 – BIG GAMES

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

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

COLLEGE FOOTBALL HOT SEATS!

With so much talk about coaches potentially being fired, I thought it would be a good idea to go over the coaches that could be/are on the hot seat at this point. The college football season is entering Week 6 while the NFL is at the quarter mark for all teams but two (Philly & Green Bay). I’ll get to the NFL in a later post but for now let’s evaluate what is going on at the collegiate level at the Power 5 conferences and Notre Dame.

Les Miles/Ed Orgeron-LSU

Miles has already been fired and the seat didn’t cool simply because Orgeron took over as the interim head coach. LSU has a Nick Saban problem more than they do a coaching problem. That said, the Tigers are entirely TOO TALENTED to lose the games they’ve been losing. Sure Wisconsin & Auburn are better teams than people expected heading into the season, but LSU still should have been able to win those games. In fact, with the way LSU recruits, it’s hard to believe LSU would lose any games other than road dates to Alabama. That might have not been the historical norm, but Nick Saban showed LSU Nation would could be in Baton Rouge and now that is the standard. LSU could lose 3-4 more games this season but Phil Steele in his 2016 annual noted that LSU was the 3rd most talented team in college football. That shouldn’t equate to a 6-6/5-7 season. In 2015 Steele ranked them 10th and the Tigers finished 9-3. In 2014 Steele ranked them 14th and they finished 8-5. If anything, LSU should expect their head coach to get the most out of their talent. That hasn’t happened and I seriously doubt Orgeron winds up with the HC job after this season.

Gus Malzahn-Auburn

I think the notion of Malzahn being on the hot seat is absurd but he did take Auburn to the BCS Championship game in his first year in 2013 and finished 12-2. He’s declined every year since going 8-5 in 2014 and 7-6 in 2014. I like Auburn this year more than most but like LSU they have a Nick Saban problem and an SEC West problem. Auburn could wind up 8-4 and have an excellent year, just not a national championship year. The fanbase gets a little spoiled an impatient when you take the program to 2 national championship games in a 4-year span and Malzahn is dealing with that fallout. Gene Chizik won a national championship in 2010 and was fired two years later for crying out loud! The heat is on Malzahn to be sure but I think he could probably survive another 7-5 season although at that point 2017 would be make or break for him.

Mark Stoops-Kentucky

Stoops is feeling a little heat after a couple of 5-7 seasons but Kentucky isn’t playing awful. I thought they could be a surprise team in the SEC East this year but when they opened up the season with a loss to Southern Miss, I think it took a lot of air out of their expectations. The Wildcats did get a win over South Carolina and they have their next 2 games at home against Vanderbilt & Mississippi State. Win those games and UK is 4-3 with a game against Austin Peay on the schedule which would give them 5 wins & needing just one more to get to a bowl game. That game might have to come on the road against Missouri or at home against Georgia. If Stoops falls short again then Kentucky might make a change, but Stoops is close to the Rich Brooks formula that worked so well. Maybe another year & he’ll have it down although playing Louisville every season isn’t going to do them any favors considering that is practically an automatic loss as long as Bobby Petrino heads the Cardinals.

James Franklin-Penn State

It might be a bit premature for Franklin to be on the hot seat in just his 3rd year, but I think the problems are mounting. They lost a road game against in-state rival Pittsburgh. They were humiliated on the road against Michigan and they needed OT to get a home win over Minnesota. They needed OT to beat the Golden Gophers in Beaver Stadium! Let that sink in for a second. Penn St. might have more of a Jim Harbaugh/Urban Meyer/Mark Dantonio problem than they do a coaching problem, but if the Nittany Lions as a program want to be mentioned in the same breath as Ohio St. and Michigan, then they need to figure out FAST if Franklin is the guy because if he’s not they might be missing out on pretty big opportunities by being slow and measured. It’s an odd type of situation to be in but it’s closing in on a decade since Penn St. has been nationally relevant and that doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon under Franklin.

Darrell Hazell-Purdue

I don’t see a conference win for the Boilermakers this year unless they can get a home win over Northwestern, but the Wildcats just took it to Iowa so that even seems like a stretch. Regardless of outcomes this year, Hazell right now is 8-32 in 40 games as Purdue HC. In Big 10 play he’s 2-23 to this point and coming off a 50-7 road loss to Maryland! Recruiting is taking a big beating for Purdue as well and Phil Steele noted they had the worst recruiting class of any program in the Big 10 in 2016, and it was by a decent margin. Danny Hope wasn’t very good in West Lafayette, but at this point he’s looking like Vince Lombardi compared to Hazell. The Boilermakers are a long way away from the Joe Tiller era and if Purdue turns in another 2-10 season, it’s hard to imagine they won’t make a change.

Mark Helfrich-Oregon

Oregon went 46-7 from 2009-2012 under Chip Kelly before Kelly left Eugene to coach the Philadelphia Eagles. Mark Helfrich came in and went 11-2 his first season and then led Oregon to a national championship game that ended up a 42-20 loss to Ohio State although Oregon finished the season 13-2. Last year the Ducks went 9-4 and this year they are 2-3 with going through a 3-game losing streak with losses to teams such as Washington St., Colorado and Nebraska. This isn’t your older brother’s Oregon Ducks team and Helfrich is feeling the heat. When you look at the remaining schedule, I think it’s certainly possible that the Ducks miss a bowl game! Helfrich gets judged a little harshly with the 9-4 season a year ago. That was a lot closer to 12-1. The loss to Michigan St. probably should have been a win. It took Wazzou 2OT to beat Oregon and the bowl loss to TCU was a 47-41 affair that went into triple OT! Oregon needs to figure the defense out fast. They’ll score points in spades but a big difference the last years under Helfrich is that the defense is giving up 35+PPG! Brady Hoke is the new DC here & he needs time. Hopefully that time doesn’t cost Helfrich his job.

Clay Helton-USC

I don’t know what to make of this situation. Last year everyone seemed very pleased that Helton got the job and there was a lot of chatter from the players that they were very happy Helton was getting the gig. Fast forward to this season & it looks like Helton has long control of the football team and he & players are coming to physical altercations! Who knows what to think at this point. I don’t think losing to Alabama to open the season or follow up losses to Stanford & Utah on the road are killer although you wouldn’t have seen that under Pete Carroll. With that said, there has to be some rebuilding aspect to this program & the Trojans came out and looked great in beating Arizona St. 41-20. A win this week over Colorado could have the Trojans back on track & it looked like a great move to insert QB Sam Darnold into the starting lineup. The schedule is absolutely NASTY so I could see it going either way but an 8-4 season with a bowl win gets USC to 9-4 and sets them up for a BIG 2017. Helton probably survives if they get to 9-4. If they fall apart and wind up 4-8 or 3-9 then he’s gone.

Charlie Strong-Texas

Strong is feeling heat after dropping 2 straight to California and Oklahoma State, but I still wonder if anything will happen in Austin. Beating Oklahoma would definitely cool his critics but even a loss to the Sooners doesn’t completely end the season. A loss does probably destroy their chances at a Big XII title, but their toughest games remaining would be against TCU & Baylor, two games that will be played in Austin. Lose to Oklahoma but win out and get a bowl win and the Longhorns are looking at a 10-3 season after being 13-14 in Strong’s first two seasons! Do you can the guy after a 10-3 season which is a 5 win improvement!? Seems doubtful. On the other hand, Texas’ defense is downright terrible and the Big XII does nothing but put up points. Let’s assume they can’t beat Baylor & TCU. That’s 2 losses right there, but they have road games against Kansas State & Texas Tech! Can they win a shootout game against the Red Raiders in Lubbock? I think at a minimum Strong has to win 8-9 games. Otherwise where is the program going?

Mike Gundy-Oklahoma St.

It’s ridiculous to list Gundy. The Cowboys are 3-2 at the moment. One loss came on the road against a ranked Baylor team that is still undefeated. It happens. The other loss was on a brutal call by an official that screwed Oklahoma St. out of a win over Central Michigan. You could certainly argue that OK-State should have never been in a close game with Central Michigan and I wouldn’t disagree, but the Cowboys should be 4-1. To be fair, Oklahoma St. should win out until their final 2 games when they play TCU & Oklahoma on the road. That means they’d be 8-2 going into the last 2 weeks of the season. A coach at 8-2 is on the hot seat? T. Boone Pickens might be getting a bit senile. If not for his inane comments about Gundy, I wouldn’t even have dreamed of putting Gundy on any hot seat list. OK State should be happy he hasn’t gone to greener pastures like Jimmy Johnson & Les Miles did.

Brian Kelly-Notre Dame

I’m not sure Kelly is on a hot seat per se but he’s in Year 7 of his tenure in South Bend and he’s losing home games to Duke and has a defense that is utterly atrocious despite recruiting at a high level since the day the man stepped on campus. With the home loss to Duke, the Irish open themselves up to potential losses each week for the rest of the season. Maybe they don’t have to worry too much about beating Army but they still have NC State, Stanford, Miami-FL, Navy, Virginia Tech & USC on the ledger! Since Kelly got lucky in 2012 & led the Irish to the national championship where they got HAMMERED 42-14 by Alabama, the Irish have gone a combined 27-12 over the last 3 seasons and this year they are going to be SUPER LUCKY to get to 8-4. If they were to lose the bowl and finish 7-5 then over the past 4 seasons Kelly would be 34-17. That’s 8.5 wins per season. That’s not going to cut it at Notre Dame.

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Auburn, Coaching, Kentucky, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Penn St., Purdue, Texas, USC | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 4

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 3

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 3 – BIG GAMES

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 2

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 2 – BIG GAMES

Week 2 is notoriously bad for college football and 2016 is no exception. Picking out the top-10 games were a bit rough, but these are the ten games I thought were most interesting for this week. To be honest, this is the one Saturday where, barring any major upsets, if you missed I don’t think you’d even notice. With that said, I do think there are some intriguing rivalry games and of course Tennessee & Virginia Tech will will play in an historic game because of an attendance record at “The Battle of Bristol.” Just be warned, this week’s action won’t come close to the tremendous week 1 we had.

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope The Holy War!! This is as great rivalry game as you get the sense these two teams really hate each other. It had taken a couple of years off although last season in the Las Vegas Bowl we got the game due to bowl matchups which Utah won 35-28. The last time we played in Salt Lake City, the Utes won 24-21. Utah is 10-3 over the last 13 meetings & have won 5 straight. These are two solid teams. Remember last year Utah was 10-3 while BYU was 9-4. I’m excited to see what BYU QB Taysom Hill & RB Jamaal Williams can do against the Utah defense. BYU had a solid win over Arizona to start the year so their confidence should be high although their schedule is NASTY! I think college football as a whole is better when BYU is more relevant. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Tennessee had massive issues last week with Appalachian St., so this week should be interesting with the Hokies at QB Jerod Evans coming to town. Evans had an amazing debut last week against Liberty passing for 221yds & 4TD while rushing for 46yds. The Hokies are underrated. They have 15 returning starters from a year ago & this is a team that probably should have beaten Ohio St. last year if Michael Brewer doesn’t get hurt. VT’s “best” case record last year was 11-2 & they avoid both Clemson & Florida State. The Vols of course need to get on track. Needing OT at home to beat App State is ridiculous so they need to come out and prove they are worthy of being in the national title discussion. This game is about the Vols. Computer Hope
Computer Hope An OUTSTANDING rivalry that we haven’t seen since 2000 which is WAY TOO LONG! A lot is going on in this one as I think James Franklin could be feeling tremendous heat if he flubs up early. The Lions weren’t overly dominant over Kent St. last week and they now have 3 straight games against Pittsburgh, Temple & Michigan. If Penn St. emerges 1-3 from their first 4 then I doubt Franklin is around considering he’d still have games against Ohio St., Iowa, Indiana & Michigan St. with a team short on confidence. That could turn into a 5-7 season at best. I think Pittsburgh is a big time sleeper team in the ACC. Pat Narduzzi has 16 starters returning although the schedule isn’t kind to them. Pitt has more than enough to get by Penn St. though. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Last season Washington St. opened up with a 24-17 loss to Portland St. and then went 5-1 in their next 6 and 8-2 in their next 10 climbing to #20 in the nation. After the opening home loss to Portland St., the Cougars went on the road to Rutgers and beat the Scarlet Knights 37-34. This season Wazzou once again goes on the road after a home opening loss to an FCS team, but this time it’s Boise State which is a completely different animal than Rutgers, but the parallels between the situations are striking. Like most Mike Leach teams, Wazzou airs it out with the best of them & that’s about all they do. What makes this interesting is that Boise has a real shot at 12-0 & Washington St. might be the toughest game they have on the schedule. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Baby steps. Last week SMU opened the season with a 34-21 win over North Texas. That seems inconsequential but it was the first season opening win the Mustangs have had since the 2000 season where SMU beat Kansas 31-17. I think the hiring of Chad Morris was a helluva move by the administration at SMU. Morris is a born & raised Texan & has made recruiting the state his priority almost the point of recruiting ONLY the state of Texas. It’s what he should do. Last year SMU was only 2-10 but that was a 1-game improvement from where they were in 2014 & Morris has 16 returning starters. I don’t think they have any shot at beating Baylor in Waco, but I think they’ll play extremely tough & if Baylor beats themselves, SMU wins. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Both teams are coming off uninspiring opening weekends. Arkansas needed everything they had to beat Louisiana Tech 21-20 while TCU had all it could handle from South Dakota St. before pulling away with a 59-41 win. Still, it’s extremely hard to imagine a Gary Patterson led defense giving up 41 points to an FCS squad! The last 5 years have seen TCU’s defense get worse & worse. Through 1 game, that trend doesn’t appear to be changing. QB Kenny Hill did a great job for the Frogs last week and TCU was great at running the football. It’ll be interesting though with Arkansas because the Hogs will play a ball-control type rushing offense which should slow TCU down. If Arkansas can keep TCU out of the endzone early, this one will be interesting. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Tar Heels probably get a win over Georgia last week if they had run the ball a bit more. This would have served a couple of purposes. One, it keeps UNC’s defense off the field & allows them to rest. Two, it keeps Nick Chubb off the field running over your tired defense! On paper this isn’t much of a game. The Tar Heels are a legit national team while Illinois is trying to become average in the Big 10. On the other hand, the game is in Urbana-Champaign and you couldn’t help but feel the tangible excitement about the program last week in HC Lovie Smith’s debut! The Illini trashed Murray St. 52-3 & everyone was drinking the orange Kool-Aid! UNC is a different animal but Illinois could ride emotion at home to making this into a game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The bottom line is that last week USC was embarrassed on national television in primetime by an Alabama squad that showed everyone just how far away the Trojans are from being a serious national title contender. The bottom line also says that USC has as much talent as anyone in the nation. Utah State isn’t a bad program, but this is also the type of team that USC would beat 59-3 in the Pete Carroll era. If the Trojans come back this week in the Coliseum and completely dominate Utah St., then I think we can consider USC a top-20 team again & possibly better hoping that the Alabama game was simply one of those games that everything went wrong. If USC struggles here, then I think the season won’t be what we expected from the Men of Troy. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Battle for the Cyhawk Trophy! Like Colorado/Colorado State, the Iowa/Iowa State intra-state rivalry is one of my favorites. Matt Campbell did a great job at Toledo amassing a 35-15 & a couple of bowl wins. I was surprised that he took the Iowa St. job considering his star was on the rise. The Cyclones are in an almost unwinnable position in the Big 12. It’s impossible to recruit with Oklahoma or Texas, and Iowa is the state program & plays in the Big 10. The 2016 season didn’t start well as the Cyclones opened up with a 25-20 home loss to Northern Iowa. At best ISU can go 2-10/1-11 this season. That’s a tough road to hoe. In rivalry games you can throw out the records, but Iowa is playing extremely well so I think a blowout is coming. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This should be an interesting game for Notre Dame. Brian Kelly & DC Brian VanGorder are taking TREMENDOUS heat over last week’s defensive effort that yielded 50 points to Texas. Granted, the Longhorns might be a lot better on offense that I at first imagined, but the Irish were a potential national title contender & gave up 50 points in the opener. that’s inexcusable. Nevada has 10 returning starters on offense including their top-4 receivers, their QB & RB James Butler who ran for 1,342 yards last season & 10TD. Butler doesn’t have the same build as Texas RB D’Onta Foreman or QB Tyrone Swoopes who ND had enough problems stopping, but he’s effective. Like USC, Notre Dame needs a blowout in rather convincing fashion. Computer Hope

September 10, 2016 Posted by | Arkansas, Baylor, Big Games, Boise St., BYU, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa St., Must See Games, NCAA, Nevada, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Penn St., Pittsburgh, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, USC, Utah, Utah St., Virginia Tech, Washington St., Week 2 | Leave a comment