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RANKING POWER-65 COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES – #49 to #40

If you missed the rankings for the coaches ranked #65 to #50, you can find it here or just keep scrolling and it’s the post directly after this one. We left off with Arizona HC Rich Rodriguez at #50 so let’s take a look at the coaches landing in the forties.

#49 – Kliff Kingsbury – Texas Tech

I’m not as down on Kingsbury as some people are. He’s heading into 2017 on the hot seat to be certain, but I don’t think it’s been all bad. Texas Tech isn’t the easiest place to win and so far in his 4 years in Lubbock, Kingsbury is 24-26 overall and 13-23 in conference play. Those aren’t tremendous numbers, but if you look at the league historically, the Red Raiders are following Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma St., TCU, Kansas St. and West Virginia. That makes them 7th in the league and a good coach at Baylor puts Tech 8th. Kingsbury has yet to record a winning record in conference play, but he recruits fairly well and I think he’s good for the university and the program. If trends hold, he should be in for a 7-9 win season in 2017.

#48 – Dave Doeren – North Carolina State

Doeren didn’t walk into a great situation given how NC State AD Debbie Yow dismissed his predecessor Tom O’Brien. Yow essentially cited lack of enthusiasm for the football program as justification for canning O’Brien, but in O’Brien’s last 3 seasons, NC State went 24-14 (13-11). In Doeren’s last 3 seasons as HC, the Wolfpack have went 22-17 (9-15). Yow wanted a football coach who could bring in Top-25 classes. Doeren hasn’t done that either. With that said, Doeren has been consistently 7-6/8-5 in his last 3 years, but he’s also went 3-5 in conference play those same three seasons. I think a coach can win at NC State & Doeren is doing just that, but he needs a breakthrough season with 9-10 wins.

#47 – Todd Graham – Arizona State

A lot of what I wrote about Rich Rodriguez can be written about Todd Graham as well. Graham is better than this but the Sun Devils have been regressing for a couple of year now. In 2013-2014, the Sun Devils posted a 20-7 record. The last two years that total has dropped to 11-14. Graham has been better than Rodriguez in conference play, but only marginally so. ASU went 8-1 in the Pac 12 South in 2013 and won the division. Just 3 years later they finished 2-7 and this is with USC still somewhat regrouping. Graham has recruited top-25 level classes to Tempe and Sun Devil Stadium can be a bear to play in for opposing teams. ASU was pretty young last year and I think 2017 will see a much improve Sun Devils squad.

#46 – Kevin Sumlin – Texas A&M

Sumlin’s star could have been any brighter after the 2012 season when he took the Aggies to an 11-2 record and a final ranking in the top-5. A&M would beat a #1 ranked Alabama team that year and then go on to humiliate a solid Oklahoma team in the Cotton Bowl. QB Johnnie Manziel wasn’t quite as spectacular in 2013 and the Aggies dropped to 9-4. Life after Manziel hasn’t been promising either as Sumlin has turned in 3 consecutive 8-5 seasons with a slew of QB transfers that can’t help morale down in College Station. Making matters worse is that Texas A&M is 15-17 in SEC play over the last 4 years & Alabama isn’t going away. Life in the SEC West isn’t easy and Sumlin probably enters 2017 on a seat that is heating up.

#45 – Derek Mason – Vanderbilt

Mason has to deal with some of the difficulties of being a HC at a school like Vanderbilt in much the same way that Northwestern, Duke, Stanford and even possibly Virginia has to deal with. Stanford is somewhat of an exception, but Vanderbilt is the only one of those schools playing the SEC which makes their ceiling quite a bit lower. You can’t help but be impressed with Mason so far in taking over for James Franklin. Mason cut his teeth under Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw at Stanford so he knows the drill. His first year in Nashville saw Vandy post a 3-9 (0-8) record. Last year, Mason’s 3rd, Vandy improved to 6-7 (3-5) with a bowl appearance. The rebuild wasn’t as fast as James Franklin coming in, but the Commodores are in good hands.

#44 – Mark Stoops – Kentucky

Like Mason, you can’t help but be impressed by the work Stoops is doing in Lexington. Stoops took over a disaster of a program left behind by Joker Phillips and turned them into a bowl team 4 years later. In Stoops’s first year (2013), UK was terrible going 2-10 (0-8) but last year the Wildcats jumped to 7-6 (4-4) and got a rivalry win over Louisville! Stoops has shown the ability to recruit top-25 level classes to Kentucky which is borderline amazing considering they are surrounded by football blue bloods which is another feather in Stoops’ cap. UK was smart to stick with their HC despite back-to-back 5-7 (2-6) seasons. It paid off in spades last year with UK having their best season since 2009. The talent is there for UK to be even better in 2017.

#43 – Dave Clawson – Wake Forest

Wake Forest hasn’t been relevant since the days of Riley Skinner and Aaron Curry. When Clawson took over in 2014, the Demon Deacons hasn’t had a winning season since 2008 nor had they had a bowl win since 2008. Winning in Winston-Salem isn’t exactly easy which is why it was so amazing what Jim Grobe was able to accomplish with Wake. He couldn’t sustain that and eventually Wake ended up being a sub-.500 team which led to Clawson’s hire. Clawson had to do some rebuilding his first two seasons which saw WF finish with back-to-back 3-9 (1-7) seasons, but the Deacons broke through last year finishing 7-6 (3-5) including a bowl win over a very good Temple squad. That’s solid progress for this program.

#42 – Butch Jones – Tennessee

This is probably too low for Jones. I’m of the opinion that the Vols should have never fired Fulmer, but I’m also not sure Fulmer was going to get Tennessee another national title which should always be the goal in Knoxville. Tennessee made a couple of bad hires in Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley and Jones was hired to clean up the mess. In his first season UT went 5-7. In his 2nd the Vols went 7-6 followed up by back to back 9-4 seasons. That’s progress, but to a degree Jones’s tenure at Tennessee has been marked by disappointment. In and SEC East where Missouri won a couple of division titles, Tennessee has come up empty despite SC not being very good and Florida being in a holding pattern until McElwain showed up. Is that a missed opportunity? It sure seems like it. Throw in the fact that UT is 14-18 in SEC play during Jones’s stay and he doesn’t look so good.

#41 – Jim Mora – UCLA

Like Jones, I think Mora is somewhat disappointing which is why he’s ranked in the 40s instead of the 20s. Last season was depressing with expectations that weren’t close to being met. The Bruins entered the 2016 season as the odds on favorite to win the Pac 12 South. With Washington thought to still be a year away, with USC still in rebuilding mode and with Oregon headed towards disaster, the conference and potential playoff spot was ripe for the taking. Instead, UCLA turned in a 4-8 season that saw star QB Josh Rosen miss half the season and potential 1st round NFL Pick DT Eddie Vanderdoes turn in an underwhelming season. The talent is here & Rosen is great so there is time for Mora to improve his stock in 2017.

#40 – Pat Narduzzi – Pittsburgh

Narduzzi was a tough one to figure out. On the one hand it seems as if he’s a little underrated. Since coming to Pittsburgh, he’s led the Panthers to a 16-10 overall record with an 11-5 mark in conference play. Last year’s Pitt squad was the best they’ve fielded since Dave Wannstedt took Pitt to a 10-3 final record back in 2009. On the other hand, the team under Narduzzi has also been puzzling. The 16-10 record is nice, but if you have watched Pitt the last two years, it could have been so much more. Last year the Panthers lost 4 games by a total of 18 points! The year before they lost 4 games by a total of 27 points. If Narduzzi can figure out how to win close games, we might be looking at a dominant Panthers team. However, Pittsburgh is also 0-2 in bowl games under Narduzzi’s watch & the defense got worse from 2015 to 2016 despite Narduzzi’s reputation as a defensive wizard. Narduzzi loses a truck load of talent so we’ll see how he responds in 2017.

May 15, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Arizona St., Big XII, Coaching, Kentucky, NC State, Pac 12, Pittsburgh, Rankings, SEC, Tennessee, Texas AM, Texas Tech, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest | 3 Comments

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 FINAL RANKINGS

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Deshaun Watson might not have won the Heisman but he proved he was the best player in college football by taking down the Tide 35-31 in dramatic fashion and handing Clemson their first national title since 1981! The Tigers did the ultimate by beating both Urban Meyer and Nick Saban in the playoffs which makes the championship all the sweeter. Watson was huge. The defensive effort was fantastic. And Dabo was well…Dabo! Swinney is now 70-13 the past six seasons. He’s proven ELITE.
#2 Computer Hope What if Bo Scarbrough doesn’t get hurt in the 3rd quarter? The Tide were up 17-7 when Scarbrough went down & then were outscored 28-14. Why didn’t Alabama hold on the last play of the game forcing Clemson to kick a FG to send the game into OT? Lots of question surrounding this loss for the Tide, but you can’t deny that Jalen Hurts was terrible, the offense couldn’t convert on 3rd down and the defense couldn’t find a way to get off the field against Watson’s passing attack. The best team won.
#3 Computer Hope If you don’t believe full games out of Jake Butt and Jabril Peppers is worth at last 2 points for the Wolverines then I have no idea what to tell you. If you watched them all season, it was easy to see that Michigan was right behind Alabama & Clemson. They were possibly with them assuming full health. The Wolverines dominated the Buckeyes in Columbus yet lost. They dealt with injuries against Florida St. & lost by one point. This ranking is based on “What if?”, but I think Michigan deserves it.
#4 Computer Hope What an unbelievable way to win the Rose Bowl!? The Trojans go up 20-7 on Penn St. only to see the Nittany Lions roar back to take a 49-35 lead into the 4th quarter by outscoring USC 28-8 in the 3rd quarter. Not to be outdone, the Trojans outscore PSU 17-0 in the 4th capped off by a last second FG that gave USC a 52-49 win! USC won 9 straight to end the season including wins over Penn St., Colorado, Washington, UCLA & Notre Dame. USC definitely proved they were the class of the Pac 12.
#5 Computer Hope The season ended on a disappointing note with the loss to USC in the Rose Bowl, but how amazing has the transformation of Penn St. been under James Franklin? Franklin in his 3rd year led the Lions to an 11-3 record which included wins over Ohio St., Iowa, Michigan St. & Wisconsin en route to a Big 10 championship, their first since 2008. The best part is that it can only get better. QB Trace McSorley & RB Saquon Barkley return next year & Penn St. is recruiting well. The Lions are B-A-C-K!
#6 Computer Hope I’ve been making FSU pay all season for the disastrous loss to Louisville back on September 17th, but if you simply consider it a loss, FSU lost to Louisville, North Carolina by 2 and Clemson by 3. Dalvin Cook was arguably the best RB in the nation. FSU ended the season 10-3 on a 5-game winning streak including a stunning 33-32 win over Michigan in the Orange Bowl. Defensively, the Noles were A LOT better than their stats would indicate. If their TO margin was great, FSU could be the champs.
#7 Computer Hope In much the same way the Seminoles paid for their loss to Louisville, the Buckeyes lived off their early season demolition of Oklahoma. The Buckeyes were definitely exposed in a 31-0 embarrassment at the hands of Clemson, but Ohio St. didn’t look so good for a lot of the season. They lost to Penn St., but barely escaped games against Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan St. & Northwestern. The playoff committee backed themselves into a corner with Ohio St. & they shouldn’t have played Clemson.
#8 Computer Hope The Badgers took care of business in the Cotton Bowl beating a feisty Western Michigan squad to end the year 11-3. It’s hard to rank Wisconsin any lower than this. They beat LSU to start the season & their only 3 losses came against Ohio St., Michigan & Penn St., all by 7 points. Paul Chryst seems like the heir apparent to Barry Alavarez & he should be in Madison for a very long time. In his first two years with Wisconsin, Chryst is 21-6 with a Big 10 West title & 2 bowl wins. I think they only get better.
#9 Computer Hope Like Michigan, this is more of a ranking based on top end talent. When LSU was healthy, they combined an efficient passing attack with Danny Etling behind a DEVASTATING rushing combination of Leonard Fournette and Derius Guice. The defense was arguably the best in the nation which really begs the question of how it was possible for LSU to lose games behind an ELITE rushing attack and an ELITE defense? That is the riddle Ed Orgeron needs to solve because LSU is too good for 8-4.
#10 Computer Hope Losing to Alabama 24-7 in the national semifinal dulled an amazing season for the Huskies who finished 12-2 as Pac 12 champions in Chris Petersen’s 3rd season in Seattle. The loss to Alabama should be instructive going forward & the Huskies are poised to dominate the Pac 12 North for years to come. The one knock is that UW has to beat quality teams. They lost to USC & Alabama with their big wins coming against Stanford, Utah & Washington State. I think it’s a problem they’ll rectify.
#11 Computer Hope The Sooners paid dearly for early season losses to Houston & Ohio St., but roared back winning 10 straight games, going undefeated in Big XII play and then routing Auburn in the Sugar Bowl to finish 11-2. Given their competition, the Sooners possibly saved the best for last. The defense held a solid Auburn running attack in check while the offense rolled behind Baker Mayfield, Joe Mixon, Dede Westbrook and Samarje Perine. Given Ohio St.’s & Washington’s performance in the playoffs, Oklahoma makes a case with a great year.
#12 Computer Hope Even if Colorado was completely unmotivated to play in the Alamo Bowl, Oklahoma St,’s dismantling of the Buffs 38-8 was impressive no matter how you slice it. The Cowboys were up 31-0 going into the 4th quarter in dominant fashion surpassed only by Clemson’s demolition of Ohio State. If you believe the refs robbed the Cowboys in the C.Michigan loss then OK-State’s only real losses were on the road to Baylor & Oklahoma. The 10-3 reads more like 11-2. The Cowboys will be in the national title chase in 2017. You’ve been warned!
#13 Computer Hope Down 24-0 at halftime to Arkansas in the Belk Bowl, the Hokies stormed back outscoring the Hogs 35-0 in the 2nd half to end their season 10-4 with an ACC Coastal title. Take out oddball losses to Georgia Tech & Syracuse & the Hokies could have been 12-2 with a much better bowl slot. First year HC Justin Fuente was a huge success in Blacksburg in his first season. JUCO QB Jerod Evans was a revelation & the Hokies rushing attack gave VT a new offensive identity. That attack with a Bud Foster defense is a dangerous combo.
#14 Computer Hope Losing to Oklahoma 35-19 in the Sugar Bowl isn’t that bad considering Oklahoma probably had their best game of the year and if the Sooners played like that against Ohio St. & Houston, they would have been 12-0 & in the playoffs. War Eagle got off to a rough 1-2 start but their eventual 8-5 record includes losses to Clemson, Alabama & Oklahoma! Those 3 teams finished a combined 39-4! They also lost to Texas A&M early when the Aggies looked like a playoff team & Georgia when Kamryn Pettway was hurt. Very good team. Tough schedule without solid QB.
#15 Computer Hope Let’s just assume Colorado simply wasn’t interested in the Alamo Bowl, and frankly who could blame them considering they were angling for the Rose Bowl and missed out to a team they finished ahead of in the Pac 12 South. The Buffaloes had a banner year finishing 10-4 with a Pac 12 South title when most pundits predicted them to finish dead last before the season began. The real question is whether or not the Buffaloes can build on this breakthrough season. QB Sefo Liufau & a ton of defensive players won’t be returning in 2017.
#16 Computer Hope The Cardinal held off a pretty good North Carolina rally in the Sun Bowl to preserve a 25-23 win & finish the year 10-3. Stanford suffered a bit with 3 losses in 4 games in the early/mid season to start the year 4-3. With Washington & Washington St. playing so well in the North, Stanford was out before they really started. The losses weren’t so bad though. UW on the North. Colorado won the South & Wazzou finished 2nd in the North. Those 3 combined to finish 30-11. Tough way to finish for Christian McCaffery’s career,  but 10-3 isn’t awful.
#17 Computer Hope Early season losses for teams like Oklahoma & LSU took those squads out of the national spotlight. For the Redbirds it was almost the opposite. Louisville lived off a 63-20 hammering of Florida St. to a 9-1 start with their only loss coming at Clemson by 6 points. At that point they were still in the mix for a playoff spot. Then they lost to Houston and then to Kentucky and then to LSU in the Citrus Bowl where Lamar Jackson was exposed against an excellent defense. This is a top-20 team but the 9-4 certainly feels disappointing. They should have been 12-1.
#18 Computer Hope The Broncos proved they belonged by outscoring Wisconsin 16-10 over three quarters of the Cotton Bowl. Unfortunately, Wisconsin outscored them 14-0 in the 1st quarter giving the Badgers a 24-16 win and ended WMU’s perfect season. The loss was tough. Even worse was losing HC PJ Fleck after the season to Minnesota. It’s an odd move to be sure considering WMU could have potentially went 13-1/14-0 next season & Fleck would have been in even more demand. Then again, it’s the Big 10 West and not the Big 10 East. Fleck might be on to something.
#19 Computer Hope Utah probably got more than they bargained for from Indiana in the Foster Farms Bowl. If Richard Lagow was any kind of QB, Utah probably falls to the Hoosiers & doesn’t rank in the top-25. Fortunately, Joe Williams put on a show & ran for 222 yards against an overwhelmed IU defense. Utah had a solid year going 9-4 although the loss to Colorado had to hurt because it cost them the South. They lived off their USC win but it’s worth nothing that the Utes’ 4 losses came by a combined 19 points. Like Colorado, it’ll be interesting to see how Utah reloads with USC back.
#20 Computer Hope Florida isn’t back to where they want to be, but I think the program scored a big win with Jim McElwain staying in Gainesville when rumors were swirling he could have taken off for Oregon. In his 2 seasons at Florida, the Gators have won SEC East titles. Sure they have lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship game both years & they have lost to Florida St. each year but progress takes a bit of time. Last year they were blown out by Michigan in their bowl game. This year they blow out Iowa. They aren’t back to being a top-10 program but they aren’t far.
#21 Computer Hope It was SO REFRESHING to see that Hurricane swagger on display in the Russell Athletic Bowl. THE U came to play & destroyed a solid West Virginia team 31-14. QB Brad Kaaya put on a clinic while the Miami defense held a Dana Holgorsen offense to just 14 points & 11 first downs! It was a tale of 3 season for Miami. They started off by winning 4 straight. Then they lost 4 straight before ending with 5 straight wins. Three of the 4 losses were close & those 4 losses came to Florida St., Notre Dame, Virginia Tech & North Carolina. Pretty good for Mark Richt’s first year.
#22 Computer Hope It took the Bulls overtime to defeat South Carolina, but USF pulled it out 46-39 to finish 11-2 which is the best record in the history of the program that started back in 1997! QB Quinton Flowers and RB Marlon Mack had outstanding years leading a dominating running attack that ranked 5th in the nation at a tick above 285 rushing yards per game. An untimely loss to Temple kept the Bulls from potentially winning the AAC championship but what a season. Taggart bolted USF for Oregon, but the Bulls landed Charlie Strong! I think USF will be fine in the transition.
#23 Computer Hope On the one hand you have a San Diego St. team the destroyed Houston in the Las Vegas Bowl 34-10 with a massive defensive effort that all but destroyed the Cougars rushing attack and picked off Houston QB Greg Ward four times. That Aztec team finished as MW Champs with an 11-3 record. RB Donnel Pumphrey ends his career as the all time leader in rushing yards in D1 history. On the other you have a SD Stat team that lost to S.Alabama, Colorado St. & Wyoming. Weird. HC Rocky Long has put together back to back 11-3 seasons. He’s got the program humming.
#24 Computer Hope I would have liked the Mountaineers coming out a little motivated to play than they showed against Miami-FL in the bowl, but it’s hard to argue a 10-3 season in which your only losses came against Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. and Miami-FL. Nobody picked WVU to finish 3rd in the Big XII so the season was a rousing success. HC Dana Holgorsen has now improved WVU in each season since 2004. His guys are in place & the program is definitely his. I think he has WVU at a point where they need to start competing with Oklahoma for conference titles. That’s the next step.
#25 Computer Hope BYU flew under the radar for most of the season because of their 1-3 start, but the Cougars finished 8-1 in their last 9 games including a 24-21 bowl win over Wyoming that was a lot more impressive than it looks. You can argue BYU didn’t beat anyone of note although they did post wins over Michigan St., Mississippi St., Cincinnati & Arizona, but their 4 losses came by a combined 8 points! Those losses were to UCLA, Boise St., West Virginia & Utah. If BYU finishes 12-0 they were playing in a New Year’s 6, but could they have had an argument for a playoff berth?

DROPPING OUT

#16 WASHINGTON ST. COUGARS: Love the Cougs but they ended the season on a 3-game losing streak to finish 8-5. They were better than this. They also lost their bowl game to Minnesota which is hard to justify considering the mess that Minnesota football during this time. If Wazzou can quit losing early games to FCS teams they can turn into a consistent 10-win team which would put some pressure on Chris Petersen and Washington. Luke Falk coming back next season is going to be interesting.

#17 PITTSBURGH PANTHERS: Really an odd year. Pitt finished 8-5 with 4 close losses but also posted wins over Penn St. & Clemson. I kept them out of the top-25 due to the 5 losses and the bowl loss to Northwestern which didn’t make a lot of sense although Northwestern did become “that” team that nobody in the Big 10 wanted to play. No team in college football had two better wins than Pittsburgh, but the five losses?

#20 IOWA HAWKEYES: It was somewhat of a disappointing season for Iowa given that they went undefeated last year during the regular season, but the Hawkeyes had a chance to salvage a disappointing season by beating Michigan & Nebraska down the stretch. The problem was losing 30-3 to a Florida team looking to crash for the 2nd season in a row. This lead to an 8-5 finish for Iowa which isn’t awful all things considered, but still left something to be desired. The losses to Northwestern and North Dakota State probably should have been wins which could have meant a 10-3 finish which would have looked better as a follow up to 2015’s 11-2 season. I’d love to see Iowa breakthrough and get to the playoffs and even win a national championship. I think it would amazing for college football, but I’m not sure Kirk Ferentz is the guy to get that done.

#21 ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS: Completely collapsed in the 2nd half against Virginia Tech in the bowl game to finish 7-6. When Arkansas was playing at full tilt they were one of the most difficult teams to handle let alone defeat, but the team couldn’t find any real consistency from week to week. There isn’t a bad loss on the schedule outside of Missouri, but that also describes the perils of living in the SEC West. If you play anyone of note out of conference, you could easily be a top-20 squad with 4-5 losses on the year.

#22 TEMPLE OWLS: Top-25 teams shouldn’t be losing bowl games to Wake Forest. Temple was without HC Matt Rhule who bolted for Baylor, but the Owls were still able to win the AAC and get to 10 wins. It’s more interesting that Rhule would jump ship at Temple for Baylor. Art Briles showed you could potentially compete for championships in Waco and I suppose Rhule thinks he can get the Bears over the hump. That’s tough. I wonder why he wouldn’t potentially wait for other jobs to open up given the state Baylor’s program is in currently.

 

January 14, 2017 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, BYU, Clemson, Colorado, Final Rankings, Florida, Florida St., Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, NCAA, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Pittsburgh, Power 25, San Diego St., South Florida, Stanford, Temple, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., West Virginia, Western Michigan, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL – BOWL SEASON PREVIEW!

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 14

The last ranking before the final rankings. As you can see, I’d have Alabama, Ohio St., Michigan & Clemson in the playoffs. The committee is going with Washington over Michigan and given the circumstances it makes perfect sense. I might make a separate post about this at a later date, but one thing that kept coming back to me while watching Virginia Tech/Clemson in the ACC Championship game was this thought, “What if the ACC is the worst conference in college football?” There was a lot of talk about Washington potentially not making the playoffs because they played ridiculous teams in their non-conference slate and the Pac 12 was somewhat down, but could you apply the same metric to the ACC? It’s hard in Clemson’s case because they do have two non-conference wins over SEC schools in Auburn & South Carolina. They also have wins over Louisville and Florida State, two schools who are probably better than any team Washington has faced the entire season that they beat (they lost to USC). Hey I’m not complaining. Clemson’s in and I have them in too, but I wonder just how good the ACC really was in 2016.

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope As if they needed to make a statement, Alabama DEMOLISHED Florida 54-16 in the SEC Championship holding the Gators to ZERO yards rushing and forcing 3 Gator turnovers. The Tide really don’t have a Heisman candidate outside of Jalen Hurts who isn’t being considering a potential winner. It goes to show you the balance of the team. WR Calvin Ridley & TE OJ Howard are NFL stars in the making and Alabama rarely uses them. This squad might be historically great if 15-0.
#2 Computer Hope It sort of bothers me that Ohio State is in the playoffs despite not even winning the Big 10 East, but it actually does make some sense when you think about it. It’s absurd to put 10-2 Oklahoma over Ohio St. when the Buckeyes beat the Sooners 45-24 in Norman. Ohio St. also beat Michigan. That leaves Penn State. Sure Ohio St. lost to the Nittany Lions, but Penn St. has a loss to Pittsburgh that Ohio St. doesn’t have. This also reinforces that ALL regular season games matter, and I LOVE that!
#3 Computer Hope Michigan can’t complain all that much. It’s one thing for Ohio St. to be 11-1 after having a bad day against Penn St. to get a playoff nod, but Michigan has a couple of losses and wound up in 3rd place in the Big 10 East. At least the Buckeyes can say they have a 1st place record. Michigan now gets Florida St. in the Orange Bowl which isn’t a bad consolation prize. A win there puts Michigan at 11-2 and Harbaugh at 21-5 in his first two seasons in Ann Arbor! And maybe Peppers gets the Heisman!
#4 Computer Hope The 42-35 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game looks closer than it actually was. Clemson never really was in trouble. The Hokies would pull to within a TD and then Clemson would score once or twice to get back to a big lead. It doesn’t really matter because it doesn’t change anything but I was happy to see the committee slide Clemson into the #2 spot ahead of Ohio State. Clemson’s loss was to Pittsburgh who beat Penn St. who beat Ohio State. The Tigers deserve #2.
#5 Computer Hope How amazing is Clay Helton’s first season at USC? At one point the Trojans were 1-3 & there were rumors swirling that Helton wouldn’t survive the season. He made the switch to Sam Darnold at QB and USC ripped off 8 straight wins & are playing in the Rose Bowl! I know they are my power rankings, but if Michigan & Clemson lose while USC hammers Penn St., I’d move the Trojans to #3 in the final rankings. At this very minute they are the 2nd best team in the NCAA behind Alabama.
#6 Computer Hope The Huskies put an exclamation point on the season with a dismantling of Colorado 41-10! Sure they won by 31, but they dominated in every facet of the game. QB Jake Browning threw for 2TD. Myles Gaskin & Lavon Coleman each ran for over 100 yards. UW had the ball for almost 39 minutes! The defense held Colorado to just 9 first downs and 163 total yards. I think the Huskies could have beaten either Ohio St. or Clemson so it’s a tough draw to get Alabama, but they’ll put up a fight.
#7 Computer Hope BIG 10 CHAMPIONS! In just his 3rd year at Penn St., James Franklin has Penn St. winning the Big 10 and playing in the Rose Bowl! What a comeback! It’s tough to decide who has the better comeback story: Franklin bringing Penn St. back to prominence or Tom Crean bringing Indiana basketball back to prominence? You could make a TREMENDOUS case that the playoff teams should be Penn St., Alabama, Oklahoma & USC. The Pittsburgh loss cost PSU one of the playoff spots.
#8 Computer Hope I thought Oklahoma would beat the Cowboys by 20 points. Instead they beat them by 18, 38-20. I thought Oklahoma St. would keep it close for awhile before Oklahoma pulled away. The game was tied 17-17 at the half before OU outscored OK-State 21-3 in the 2nd half. If the Sooners destroy Auburn in the Sugar Bowl, they’ll have won 10 straight games. Assuming Ohio St. & Alabama play in the championship, that could very well mean Oklahoma is the #3 team in the nation by season’s end.
#9 Computer Hope Playing for a Rose Bowl, Wisconsin completely disintegrated in the 2nd half being outscored 24-3 en route to losing 38-31 in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Watching that game, I couldn’t figure out just what in the hell went wrong with the Badgers secondary. Trace McSorely would under throw balls and sometimes make bad passes entirely yet PSU receivers would haul them in inexplicably! What a tough way to end the regular season. Even worse? They get W.Michigan in th Cotton Bowl!
#10 Computer Hope LSU got a whale of an opponent in Louisville when they play in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Eve. The bowl game might be more important for LSU than almost any other team in football. A win certainly sets the table for LSU going forward with Ed Orgeron at the helm trying to replicate what Dabo Swinney has built at Clemson. A loss could create quite a few questions. Getting Lane Kiffin as OC after the season would also be a MAJOR coup and would be seen as a huge win over Alabama.
#11 Computer Hope Colorado can’t complain too much about losing the Pac 12 and losing out on the Rose Bowl. Almost every single publication picked the Buffaloes to finish last in the Pac 12 South. They won the South & finished 10-3! They also get Oklahoma St. in the Alamo Bowl which is a game they can win & would give UC an 11-3 final record, their best since 1996! I think Coach Mac stays in Boulder and Colorado doesn’t go anywhere. It’ll be tougher with USC getting good but Colorado should do very well.
#12 Computer Hope I like Auburn and I really like Gus Malzahn but drawing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl is about the worst thing that could have happened to them. The War Eagle nation isn’t going to think about the fact that Auburn started 1-3 and ended up in a New Year’s Six Bowl if the Sooners blow them out. They’ll be thinking that Auburn finished 1-3 with losses to Oklahoma, Alabama & Georgia and Malzhan will find himself on a very hot seat in 2017. Auburn has to be perfect to pull out a victory.
#13 Computer Hope The ACC Championship didn’t go the way Virginia Tech had hoped, but I think they showed out well against Clemson. The Hokies fought hard the entire game before falling 42-35. I was very impressed how the team competed even though there were many chances to fold. It has been a tremendous year in Justin Fuente’s first season. An ACC Coastal championship & a shot at 10 wins if they beat Arkansas in the Belk Bowl which is entirely possible. They’ll be even better next season.
#14 Computer Hope Oklahoma St. actually did a pretty good job moving the football against Oklahoma, but the defense couldn’t keep Oklahoma off the field & that resulted in lots of points for the Sooners and an eventual loss for Oklahoma State. Maybe OSU gets a win if the game is in Stillwater? The Cowboys will get to 10 wins if they beat Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. That will probably be a tall order as I don’t expect Coach Mac to let the Buffaloes coast. That said, this has been an underrated football team.
#15 Computer Hope Dana Holgorsen had to reinvent the Mountaineers program in his image & the finished product is almost complete. If you believe the building block starting point was 2013 when WVU went 4-8, note that in 2014 they improved to 7-6 and then 8-5 in 2015. This year WVU is 10-2 with a shot at 11-2 if they defeat Miami-FL in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The only hurdle left is Oklahoma. The trick now is keeping Holgorsen in Morgantown, something West Virginia couldnt’ do with Rich Rodriguez.
#16 Computer Hope Hard to hammer Washington St. for finishing 7-2 in the Pac 12 considering their only losses were to the Pac 12 South and Pac 12 North champions although they did manage to avoid USC. I still feel like this season is somewhat of a “could have been” season for Mike Leach and the Cougars. They shouldn’t have lost to E.Washington & Boise St. this year meaning 8-4 should be 10-2. That said, a bowl game against Minnesota should put them at 9-4. Back to back 9 wins seasons since 2002-2003.
#17 Computer Hope A lot of people are knocking Pat Narduzzi for Pittsburgh’s lack of defense, but I’d be careful. While it is true that the Panthers allowed 35.6PPG this season, Pittsburgh ranks #10 in the country in sacks and #37 in tackles for loss. They also ranked 2nd in the ACC in QB hurries. This is the kind of defense that can get SCARY good SCARY fast. Pittsburgh’s takeaways don’t match the defensive production. When that starts happening, the Panthers could reach into being a top-10 type of team.
#18 Computer Hope Destroy LSU in the Citrus Bowl and a lot of concerns about Louisville go away pretty fast. Lose to the Tigers in the Citrus Bowl and all of a sudden you have a 9-4 Louisville squad that dropped their last 3 games and lived the entire season on a Week 3 win over Florida State. It also won’t look fantastic for Lamar Jackson if the Redbirds lose to LSU either as it would have been a great statistical season feasting on the dregs of the ACC. Petrino still hasn’t found the magic he had from 2003-2006.
#19 Computer Hope I simply can’t rank FSU ahead of Louisville given how the Cardinals hammered the Noles. If a loss to Pittsburgh early in the season essentially cost Penn St. a chance at being in the playoffs, then a Louisville blowout win can keep a 9-3 Louisville team ahead of a 9-3 Florida St. team. That will change if FSU can beat Michigan in the Orange Bowl! To be fair I think FSU is a lot better than #19. The loss to Louisville was just one of those days & their other losses were to Clemson & UNC.
#20 Computer Hope Like Washington St. this seems like a year that “could” have been for the Hawkeyes. Coming off a 12-2 season with the firepower they had returning, Iowa shouldn’t have dropped games to North Dakota St. and Northwestern meaning their 8-4 should be 10-2. They draw a VERY beatable Florida team in the Outback Bowl so at least the Hawkeyes could get to 9 wins. An 11-2 season on the back of a 12-2 season would have been huge for the program though. Football is better when Iowa wins.
#21 Computer Hope Ouch, Arkansas picked up a bad draw in the bowl game getting a feisty Virginia Tech squad in the Belk Bowl which is played in Charlotte, the scene of the ACC Championship game. It’s a bad draw in a way because the Razorbacks finished the season 4-5 in their last 9 games. A loss would put them at 4-6 in their last 10 but would also have them finish 7-6 which is a game worse than last season. Arkansas can hang with anyone when they are playing well, but this might be game they feel pressure.
#22 Computer Hope Temple just didn’t beat Navy, they CRUSHED the Middies when Navy had EVERYTHING to play for. Western Michigan had a tough time beating Ohio 29-23 so if Navy blows out Temple, the committee had to give thought to jumping Navy ahead of the Broncos. Instead, Temple puts the hammer down & takes home an AAC championship! That’s Matt Rhule’s 2nd 10-win season and he could get to 11 wins with a win over Wake Forest. If you are Oregon, how do you not hire this guy?
#23 Computer Hope People lost sight of Stanford I think because at one point they were 4-3 with the 3 losses coming within a 4-game stretch. That’s tough to overcome but their losses were to Washington (13-1), Washington St. (8-4) and Colorado (10-3). The Cardinal draw North Carolina in the Sun Bowl, a game they could win and get to 10-3. It’ll be interesting to see if Christian McCaffrey comes back for his senior season. It feels like he has unfinished business. If he comes back, Stanford is a title contender.
#24 Computer Hope ROW THE BOAT TO 13-0! It wasn’t the prettiest game but the Broncos got by Ohio 29-23 in the MAC Championship game to finish the season 13-0! The Navy loss guaranteed WMU a trip to a New Year’s Six Bowl and they draw Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl! To be honest, this was a great draw for the Broncos because they’ll have a decent chance at beating Wisconsin. A team that likes to run will typically keep scores down so W.Michigan could be in a close game where anything could happen.
#25 Computer Hope How great does South Florida look now that the season is over and they are sitting on a 10-2 record with their only losses coming against Temple and Florida State!? Drawing South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl seems a little thin but it would give USF a chance to finish 11-2. HC Willie Taggart has truly done a fantastic job. He did an outstanding job at W.Kentucky before here and now he’s a hot coaching commodity. Does Taggart play the long game & hope for the Big XII?

DROPPING OUT

#25 NAVY MIDSHIPMEN: Talk about the worst time to throw up on yourself!? It was a tough loss but Navy still has Army to play next week and Louisiana Tech to play in the bowl game. Both games should be wins meaning Navy could finish the season 11-3 with a bowl win along with an AAC West division championship. The 11 wins would match last year’s totals giving Navy back-to-back 11-win seasons for the first time in school history and 22-5 record over the last 2 seasons!

 

December 6, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Colorado, Florida St., Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Navy, NCAA, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Pittsburgh, Power 25, South Florida, Stanford, Temple, USC, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 14, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 13

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 1

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 PRESEASON

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope If not now then when for LSU? The Tigers bring back 17 starters including the Heisman front runner in RB Leonard Fournette, their QB in Brandon Harris, huge receivers in WRs Travin Dural & Malachi Dupre and TE Colin Jeter. The O-line is solid and the defense brings back 5 of their front-7 and the entire secondary. They have at least 11 guys who could be drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. Alabama and Ole Miss come to Baton Rouge so the schedule sets up well for the Bayou Bengals. If Les Miles can’t figure out how to win the SEC with this much talent and this much experience then LSU needs to be content with finishing 2nd in the SEC West until Nick Saban decides to call it a career in Tuscaloosa. I’m excited to see OLB Arden Key. He’s got top-5 draft pick written all over him.
#2 Computer Hope I hope college football enjoyed last year when the Seminoles weren’t dominant because they are about ready to get back to their 2013-2014 form when they went 27-1 and won a national championship! FSU might have a rFR QB starting in Deondre Francois but they return every other starter on offense including RB Dalvin Cook who could very well end the year rushing for 2,000+ yards & 25TD en route to running away with the Heisman! FSU isn’t quite as experienced on the defensive side of the football & losing a talent like Jalen Ramsey isn’t easy but I’m excited to see what kind of pressure DEs DeMarcus Walker & Josh Sweat can generate from the outside. The schedule isn’t easy with landmines at Louisville & Miami-FL but FSU should be ACC favorites if they win at home.
#3 Computer Hope Tennessee has lived through some dark years having not really been nationally relevant since 1998 when Tee Martin took over Peyton Manning & won a national championship. Peyton Manning just retired after 18 years in the NFL which gives you an idea of how long Orange Nation has been wondering in the desert. Much like LSU, if Tennessee can’t win the East & have a shot at an SEC title this year then it might never happen. The Vols bring back 17 starters from a 9-4 squad that lost those 4 games by a total of 17 points! The Vols didn’t lose anyone of consequence & bring back their top-QB, top-3 rushers, 7 of their top-8 receivers & 5 of their top-6 tacklers. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Derek Barnett & Cameron Sutton are all defenders with All-American potential. Florda & Bama come to Knoxville.
#4 Computer Hope There is no question that talent isn’t a question for Alabama this year. Alabama lost their starting QB, a Heisman trophy winner at RB and a slew of defensive players who went in the NFL Draft, but it’s amazing how much talent the Tide have coming back. WR Calvin Ridley, WR ArDarius Stewart & TE OJ Howard return as receivers to ensure Alabama has no problem inserting a new starting QB. LT Cam Robinson is arguably the best OL in the nation. Defensively Alabama lost a ton but they also have Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Reuben Foster, Eddie Jackson, Minkah Fitzpatrick & Marlon Humphrey returning! The hard part for Alabama this year will be schedule. They have a non-conference game against USC and road games against Ole Miss, Tennessee and LSU. Don’t count them out.
#5 Computer Hope It might have been surprising to see Chris Petersen leave Boise State for Washington, but it isn’t surprising that Petersen has Washington in line to win a Pac 12 championship in just his 3rd year in Seattle. QB Jake Browning & RB Myles Gaskin made quite a formidable pair last season as true freshman. Browning threw for 2900+ yards & 16TD while Gaskin ran for 1300+ yards & 14TD averaging 5.7ypc! UW averaged 30.6PPG & that number should increase quite a bit. Washington also showed well defensively in Petersen’s 2nd year as DC Pete Kwiatkowski took just 4 returning starters & led Washington ranking 13th in the nation in scoring defense. There are 7 returning starters on defense this season so expect more solid play. The Huskies have a real shot at a 12-1/13-0 season.
#6 Computer Hope The Sooners are all about putting up a ridiculous amount of points on the scoreboard & that shouldn’t change in 2016 as Oklahoma returns QB Baker Mayfield, RB Samaje Perine, RB Joe Mixon & WR DeDe Westbrook. Mayfield threw for 3600yds/36TD while completing 68% of his passes. He’ll make a legitimate run for the Heisman if he improves those numbers. Perine ran for 1349yds/16TD while Mixon added in 753yds/7TD of his own! TE Mark Andrews was a 1st team All-Big XII player last year as a freshman & I think he gets better. Defensively Oklahoma takes on some losses but S Ahmad Thomas & CB Jordan Thomas are ball hawkers who have game changing ability in the open field. The O-Line is a bit young & the schedule is easy but Oklahoma is set up as the best of the Big XII.
#7 Computer Hope After finishing 14-1 & coming THIS CLOSE to beating Alabama for a national championship last season, I almost feel bad ranking Clemson this low. The offense won’t be a problem as the Tigers bring back QB Deshaun Watson, RB Wayne Gallman, TE Doran Leggett & WRs Deon Cain & Artavis Scott. The problem might be defensively where Clemson lost a heap of exceptional players to the NFL Draft (BJ Goodson, TJ Green, Kevin Dodd, Jayron Kearse, Shaq Lawson, & Mackenzie Alexander) & now bring back just 4 starters to a relatively young unit. There are still stars here such as DT Carlos Watkins & LB Ben Boulware but Clemson has to regress just a bit! Clemson also has road games against Auburn & Florida State. Beat FSU & Clemson gets another shot at the national title.
#8 Computer Hope Can Jim Harbaugh get Michigan back to National Championship contention in just his 2nd year in Ann Arbor? I don’t think it’s as far fetched as it seems. Michigan went 10-3 last year but if they played Utah in Week 10 instead of Week 1 they don’t lose a close game in Salt Lake City. They should have in no way lost to Michigan State which only leaves the blunder against the Buckeyes. That 10-3 goes to 12-1 & this year’s Wolverines should be better than last year’s version. Offensively, Michigan scored 31.4PPG last year & will look to QB John O’Korn and he has a boatload of talent surrounding him. Defensively Michigan returns 6 starters but the overall talent level is a lot higher. Road games against Iowa, Michigan St. & Ohio St. will the only think stopping Michigan.
#9 Computer Hope The 16-6 opening week loss at Northwestern probably cost the Cardinal a shot at the national championship considering this team finished 12-2 & #3 in the nation! I don’t think you can overstate just how good of a football player Christian McCaffrey was last season. McCaffrey ran for 2,019 yards & 8TD while averaging 6.0ypc. He also led Stanford in receiving with 645 yards on 45 catches with 5TD. He had 1,070 kickoff return yards & 130 punt return yards. How in the world did McCaffrey lose the Heisman? Stanford loses a bit on offense & defense this year including QB Kevin Hogan, but the talent is there & I like how David Shaw coaches up the Cardinal on a weekly basis. Stanford has a brutal schedule so if they get to the playoffs, they’ll have definitely earned it.
#10 Computer Hope Like Tennessee, it’s amazing to think how long USC has somewhat been in the wilderness due to the Reggie Bush scandal. The last time USC has been nationally relevant is 2008 meaning 7 seasons in the dark! The scholarship issues were a problem as USC was not allowed to play at the 85 scholarship limit. This year they are just under that mark so clearly the Trojans are playing on the same field as the rest of college football now. That’s good news for HC Clay Helton who the Trojans kept after an interim basis after Steve Sarkisian departed. USC has as much talent as anyone in the nation but that talent is still relatively young. USC also plays a NIGHTMARE of a schedule so I’m not sure how long they’ll be able to remain in my top-10. The point is that they won’t be of it for long.
#11 Computer Hope HC Hugh Freeze has increased Ole Miss’ win total in each of the 4 seasons he’d been here taking over a 2-10 Ole Miss team in the dumps and going 7-6 then 8-5 then 9-4 and then last year getting to double digit wins as Ole Miss finished 10-3 The Rebels will be in games because Chad Kelly is OUTSTANDING, but Kelly isn’t alone. Ole Miss has the tools to have a great O-Line & their receiving options look fantastic. Defensively they lost a few players but I really like Marquis Haynes & Fadol Brown on the edges along with Tony Connor, Tony Bridges & Kendarius Webster in the backend. Freeze is a fantastic recruiter & Ole Miss it ready to take the next step but LSU & Alabama look so tough. The schedule isn’t kind getting a OOC game against USC & drawing Georgia out of the East.
#12 Computer Hope Tony Dungy couldn’t get it done in Tampa but could in Indianapolis. Jon Gruden couldn’t get it done in Oakland but could in Tampa. Jimmy Johnson couldn’t get it done at Oklahoma St., but could at Miami-FL. Was all Mark Richt really needed was a change of scenery? The U looks awfully good this year on offense. QB Brad Kaaya returns along with the entire O-Line, RB Joe Yearby, WR Sacy Coley & TE David Njoku. Miami scored 28PPG last year. It’ll go up. Defensively Miami returns 6 starters but return their top-4 tacklers and 6 of their top-7. The talent looks a lot better in Coral Gables than it has recently & we all know Richt is an excellent recruiter. A huge step in the right direction will be Miami winning the ACC Coastal. They get UNC at home so it should happen.
#13 Computer Hope The talk will be about QB phenom Josh Rosen but the story of the 2016 UCLA Bruins will be all about the defense. UCLA caught a brutal break last year when Eddie Vanderdoes didn’t play because of injury & ended up redshirting while Myles Jack was only available for 3 games, but while Jack is in Jacksonville now, Vanderdoes does return along with 9 other defensive starters. Vanderdoes is a 6’3/310lbs monster with a great inside rush game. Think about what Aaron Donald does with the Rams or what Sheldon Rankins did last year with Louisville. That’s Vanderdoes. UCLA has 8 defenders who will compete for a spot as 1st Team ALL-PAC 12 defenders. Rosen will do enough with the offense along with RB Sotonye Jamabo. Keep an eye on the defense because it’ll make the difference.
#14 Computer Hope The loss at home to Michigan St. was killer last year as the Buckeyes went on to beat Michigan & Notre Dame by the combined score of 86-41 in their last 2 games. Beat Sparty & Ohio St. beats Iowa & enters the playoff at 13-0. I don’t know if they upend Alabama for a 2nd straight year but they at least defend the title. Putting Ohio St. at #14 seems criminal but they lost a ton to the NFL. Offensively they’ll be fine with QB JT Barrett who is as good a Heisman candidate in the nation but almost every other position on offense is a question mark. Defensively I love Sam Hubbard & Tyquan Lewis at DEs. I love Raekwon McMillan at LB but after that, it’s a lot of question marks. There is no question about the talent which is second to none, but everyone is so young. They’ll figure it out in time.
#15 Computer Hope TCU ranks this high on the strength of a defense that should be outstanding with 8 returning starters. That’s pretty amazing considering this is a team that will have to deal with the losses of QB Trevone Boykin, RB Aaron Green & WR Josh Doctson. Despite an uncharacteristically bad defense last season (TCU gave up 27.2PPG), the Horned Frogs finished 11-2 with 2 losses coming in the state of Oklahoma to the Sooners & Cowboys. QB Kenny Hill takes over after transferring from Texas A&M and RB Kyle Hicks should be up for replacing Green. It’ll be interesting to see how TCU fits into the Big XII with Texas starting to show signs of life. The Frogs have sort of taken the Longhorns place alongside the Sooners recently, but that looks to change. How does TCU handle that?
#16 Computer Hope The firing of Art Briles in late May was a blow to a Baylor football program that was taken by Briles from the Big XII dumpster to top-15 rankings. Over the past 5 season, Baylor has posted a 50-15 record! That’s incredible. Interestingly enough, Baylor tapped Jim Grobe to take over for Briles, but Briles’ son Kendal remains the OC and DC Phil Bennett is still in place. That’s good news as QB Seth Russell, RB Shock Linwood & WR KD Cannon all return to an offense that scored 48+PPG last year! Defensively the Bears should have trouble up front with their front-7 but the secondary looks OK. What really hurts is Baylor has lost out on some big time recruits & that won’t show up until subsequent seasons. For now, I think Baylor would prefer everyone just focus on their play on the field.
#17 Computer Hope I’m not sure it was such a great idea to name both DeShone Kizer & Malik Zaire the dual starting QBs for ND’s opening game in Austin against Texas. When you have 2 quarterbacks you essentially have none & I think Kelly is going down a dangerous path. The Irish also have lost a ton on offense from last season. The receiving corps is talented but brutally young as is the running backs. The O-Line should be a strength but the skill positions must work themselves out. Defensively the Irish lost 6 of their top-8 tacklers from last season. Like the offense, talent is all over the place at every position but how that talent shakes out is the question. The Irish have a ROUGH schedule to boot. Texas, Michgian St, Stanford, Miami-FL, VA Tech & USC. The heat could find Kelly’s seat.
#18 Computer Hope You might not like him, but WOW Bobby Petrino can run a college football program! The Cardinals are likely the 3rd best team in the ACC, but unfortunately play in the same division as Clemson & FSU! QB Lamar Jackson played well last year as a true throwing for 1840yds/12TD & running for 960yds/11TD/5.9ypc! The 6’3/200lbs QB is a physical freak with incredible athleticism. Louisville has big tough receivers in Jamari Staples, James Quick & Jaylan Smith. Petrino also uses TE Cole Hikutini as a big mismatch in the seam. L’Ville should easily eclipse their 28.7PPG mark last year. I love watching edge rushers Devonte Fields & Trevon Young get after it while Keith Kelsey gets pressure up the middle. It’s a pressure driven defense that exploits big plays. Don’t sleep on this team.
#19 Computer Hope Iowa had a storybook season all the way until the end when it lose to Michigan St. 16-13 in the Big 10 championship game and then to Stanford 45-16 in the Rose Bowl. The Hawkeyes could be in store for another run. I love QB CJ Beathard. He’s an incredible leader that has a good offense behind him. The O-Line returns 3 starters & despite losing RB Jordan Canzeri, the Hawkeyes should once again have a solid offense. Defensively, Iowa returns 8 starters from a unit that ranked 19th in the nation in scoring defense. Josey Jewell & Desmond King are All-American candidates & I would pay special attention to Iowa’s D-Line as it could be exceedingly special with Parker Heese, Jaleel Johnson, Nathan Bazata & Matt Nelson. The schedule is set up for Iowa to make another 12-0 run.
#20 Computer Hope By all accounts Michigan St. is becoming a national power under Mark Dantonio. Over the last 3 seasons Michigan St. has gone 36-5 with 3 top-6 rankings. Over the past 6 seasons, they’ve gone 65-16 meaning Sparty has averaged 11-wins per season for 6 straight years! Going back to 2008 it’s interesting how they’ve done specifically in 2009 & 2012 when they’ve had QB changes. The 2009 season was before Kirk Cousins established himself. The 2012 season was before Connor Cook established himself. This is why the decision to have Tyler O’Connor be the starter is odd to me because there is no consolidation. This feels like the ultimate test for Michigan St. to see if they’ve become a national program that really does reload & continue to win rather than taking a year to rebuild.
#21 Computer Hope Welcome back War Eagle! After going 12-2 & getting to the national championship game in his first year, HC Gus Malzahn has taken steps back going 8-5 in 2014 & 7-6 last season. I’m not sure this year gets any easier for Malzahn and his seat is certainly going to be hot but the Tigers don’t look awful & should be in games. John Franklin should give Auburn some stability at QB & better play. I was disappointed to see Jovon Robinson dismissed from team, but they have solid skill players to make up for it. What is most exciting to me is the Auburn defense who gets back Carl Lawson this year. Lawson is an IMPACT defensive player who can change games, You combine him with Montravius Adams & Dontavius Russell on the D-Line & Auburn is going to get pressure which equates to wins.
#22 Computer Hope Back to back losing seasons isn’t helping Charlie Strong’s cause in Austin, but the man has recruited well & Texas is now primed to establish itself back as a national player. They won’t be a playoff team this year but they’ll be significantly better & should have a winning record. I’m a little bummed that Strong didn’t name freshman Shane Buechele the starter at QB and go from there. Buechele seems tailor made for the starting job but senior Tyrone Swoopes is fighting tooth & nail. Texas will open with both playing against Notre Dame, something the Irish are doing with Kizer & Zaire. The talent level won’t be a question in Austin but they are young so inexperience could rear its ugly head. I don’t think Strong can survive a 3rd straight losing season. I think Strong survives.
#23 Computer Hope If the Heels don’t lose to a bad South Carolina team in the opener then they run the table to 12-0 before losing to Clemson in the ACC title game by just 8 points. Is a 12-1 Carolina team good enough to get into the playoffs? You almost have to believe they were better than Michigan St. given how the Spartans played Alabama. It took Larry Fedora 4 years to get Carolina to have its best season since 1997 but remember that it took him 4 years to get Southern Miss to 12-2. North Carolina is on the most fascinating stories from this point forward because it’s generally a school that recruits well. This year the Heels have 14 returning starters including RB Elijah Hood & WRs Mack Hollins & Ryan Switzer. UNC has to figure out a way to replace QB Marquise Williams, but that’s it.
#24 Computer Hope The Panthers are a team I think everyone is sleeping on. HC Pat Narduzzi held serve is first year with the Panthers & got Pitt to 8-5 with all 4 of Pitt’s regular season losses coming by a total of 27 points. Three of them were home games. The Panthers bring back 16 starters. They bring back 4 of 5 starters on the O-Line & a ton of experience with QB Nathan Peterman, RB James Connor, RB Qadree Ollison & WR Dontez Ford. Tyler Boyd will be difficult to replace but Pitt has lots of weapons at receiver. Defensively I think Pitt takes a big step forward in Narduzzi’s second year. Ten of their top-12 tacklers return including DE Ejuan Price & DE Rori Blair both of which should provide a ton of pressure off the edge. The schedule isn’t easy but Pitt has a shot at an 8-0 start to the season.
#25 Computer Hope Expect the Broncos to once again get some national hype after having 3 years away from the spotlight. Boise’s toughest 3 games are probably Washington St., BYU & Utah St. and all those games are on the blue turf. They do travel to Oregon St., but I think Boise gets that done so this is a team that could very well wind up 13-0 going into the bowl season which will certainly suggest to some they should be in the playoffs or worse yet, the playoffs should be expanded to allow for teams like Boise St. a legitimate shot to compete. I’d rather see Boise St. schedule better and play a team like Oregon, USC, Ohio St., Alabama, Florida St. or Oklahoma early so we can either put the Boise St. conversation to rest or know they’ve earned the right to be an undefeated team. Beating Wazzou is key.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Boise St., Clemson, Florida St., Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, NCAA, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Power 25, Preseason, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC, Washington | Leave a comment