Fantasy Gunslinger

Football with an Emphasis on Fantasy & Gambling

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
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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

2015 NCAA BOWL GAMES PREVIEW

TEAM QUICK THOUGHTS TEAM
Computer Hope Las Vegas Bowl: The people in Vegas couldn’t have gotten a better bowl game than the HOLY WAR! After the 2013 season, this game was supposed to be on hiatus until 2016 due to Utah joining the Pac 12 & BYU going independent, but it’s awesome we get this rivalry back! Given how each team started, I think both are probably a bit disappointed to be here. I’d expect Utah to win. They are better & BYU is dealing with the loss of their HC, Bronco Mendenhall. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Camellia Bowl: This is a cool matchup between two extremely run heavy offenses. App St.’s Marcus Cox has had a tremendous year rushing for over 1200 yards while Jalin Moore has also chipped in over 600 as his backup! AJ Ouellette & Daz’Mond Patterson aren’t quite as dominant for the Bobcats, but Ohio is a run first squad behind that duo. Expect lots of running & I’d expect a Mountaineer win which would take Appalachian St. to 11-2! A great year! Computer Hope
Computer Hope New Orleans Bowl: Sun Belt champion Arkansas St. draws CUSA-West division runner up Louisiana Tech. The Red Wolves actually come into this bowl on an 8-game winning streak having gone perfect through conference play, but this is a bad draw. While both sport prolific offenses, Arkansas St.’s defense leaves much to be desired & LA Tech can hammer you in a myriad of ways. Tune in to watch former Florida QB Jeff Driskel light it up for the Bulldogs. Computer Hope
Computer Hope New Mexico Bowl: One of the more interesting teams this season, the Lobos of New Mexico have some convincing wins over the likes of Air Force, Boise St., & Utah State but a couple of close losses to the likes of Colorado St. & San Jose St. potentially kep the Lobos from a MWC championship. New Mexico is VERY run heavy which could cause some problems, but now that the questions surrounding Rich Rodriguez have halted, I think Arizona pulls it out. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cure Bowl: Does anyone really care about this game at all? San Jose St. is 5-7 while Georgia St. is 6-6. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to have a postseason bowl featuring 2 teams that are a combined 11-13! A couple of interesting points though. This is Georgia St.’s first ever bowl game & San Jose St.’s 10th so this is history for GA State, but did you know SJSU is 6-3 in their previous bowls? I wouldn’t have thought that. Will anyone bother to show up? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Miami Beach Bowl: Solid matchup here. It took a while for the Bulls to get going, but South Florida turned it on and went 7-1 down the stretch & finished the season as arguably the 2nd best team in the AAC behind Houston. The Hilltoppers are 11-2 & coming in as CUSA champions. WKU has a helluva program & QB Brandon Doughty has been EXCEPTIONAL this season as has WR Taywan Taylor. USF’s defense has been stingy & watch Bulls RB Marlon Mack! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Idaho Potato Bowl: Interesting matchup between the MWC & the MAC. Akron is coming on a 4-game winning streak while Utah St. has struggled to end the season going 2-4 in their last 6. Neither of these teams does anything particularly well obviously as Akron is 7-5 & Utah St. is 6-6. It will be the last game that Utah St. QB Chuckie Keeton will play in. The 41-year old 17th-year senior will finally lace them up with 3 of his grandchildren in the stands. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Boca Raton Bowl: This is only the Boca Raton’s 2nd year as a bowl, but this bowl so far has been excellent. Last year in its inaugural season, the bowl featured MAC Champion N.Illinois going up against CUSA Champion Marshall! Both teams were 11-1 & Marshall prevailed 52-23. This year Temple (10-3) plays Toledo (9-2) which is an OUTSTANDING game between two teams some thought could have been in a Big Six bowl by year’s end. Home run pairing. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Poinsettia Bowl: Bad memories for the Broncos here! The only other time Boise St. has played in the Poinsettia Bowl was back in 2008 when they came in 12-0 to play an Andy Dalton led TCU squad. Boise St. would take a 13-0 lead over the 10-2 Horned Frogs but would lose 17-16! This one won’t be as exciting as both teams come in with 8 wins, but still cool when you consider that both of these teams are 2 of the most winningest teams over the past 5 seasons. Computer Hope
Computer Hope GoDaddy Bowl: GA Southern has arguably the most prolific RB in college football. Matt Breida has ran for 1540yds/16TD this year while averaging 8.2ypc! Even more amazing is backup RB LA Ramsby ran for 700+/12TD! The MAC Champions have quite a bit of offense as well. QB Matt Johnson threw for 4700yds/43TD while WR Roger Lewis (1476yds/15TD) & RB Travis Greene (1220yds/14TD) are as explosive as they come. Lots of points here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Bahamas Bowl: Last year C.Michigan came back from a 49-14 deficit after 3 quarters to pull to within 1 but came up short 49-48 to W.Kentucky! Nothing fancy here as both teams come in at 7-5 with balanced offenses and suspect defenses. I think WMU HC PJ Fleck is an interesting case. Western Michigan went to great lengths to keep him in Kalamazoo & his star is definitely on the rise. His 1st year the Broncos were 1-11 & now he’s got them to B2B bowls. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Hawaii Bowl: Wow! Going to Hawaii is nice and all but the Mountain West champion deserves better than the AAC’s 6th best team! Cincinnati’s rush defense is terrible while SD State’s rushing attack is ridiculously lethal behind Donnel Pumphrey & Chase Price. Throw in a top-10 defense by the 10-3 Aztecs & you have the makings of a blowout. It took SD State a bit to get warmed up, but they come in on a 9-game winning streak & should improve to 11-3. Computer Hope
Computer Hope St. Petersburg Bowl: Bob Diaco has done a great job turning around the UConn program. Last year the Huskies were 2-10 in his first year & Diaco now has them bowl bound at 6-6 including a huge win over Houston which ended the Cougars perfect season. It’s not surprising that the Huskies like to pound the ball & play nasty defense as Diaco is a defense guy. Marshall is a good matchup for UConn as they’ll have trouble scoring & stopping the run. UConn wins. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sun Bowl: Our first Big 5 conference matchup pits the ACC against the Pac 12. This looks like ACC #5 v. Pac 12 #5. This one could get ugly. Miami-FL is going through a coaching transition as it is with Mark Richt set to take over for Al Golden but the bigger issues is Wazzou QB Luke Falk being cleared to play. The two closest offenses to Wazzou that the Canes have faced are Clemson & UNC & Miami gave up 58 & 59 to those teams respectively. The Pirate wins! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Heart of Dallas Bowl: Southern Miss had a nice season but Washington had the best defense in the Pac 12 & I think towards the end of the season the Huskies really started figuring things out. UW was 3-2 in their last 5 games & all 3 wins were HUGE blowouts. If Chris Petersen has the Huskies focused then this bowl is going to get out of hand. Southern Miss won’t have an answer for dynamic freshman duo Myles Gaskin or Jake Browning. Tune in for those two! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Pinstripe Bowl: ACC #7 v. Big 10 #9. Neither team is amazing as IU comes in at 6-6 while Duke is 7-5, but to me this game is more about Indiana’s imposition of will via their offense. Indiana can argue they almost beat Michigan, Ohio St., Michigan St. & Iowa! Those are 4 AMAZING teams. Duke shouldn’t be difficult at all by comparison which puts pressure on the Hoosiers to win this game, but Duke is solid in their own right. A sneaky good football game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Indepedence Bowl: Frank Beamer’s last stand! Both teams are 6-6 but Tulsa gives up almost 40 points a game so I think the Hokies should be able to send Frank Beamer out a winner. It has been interesting to watch the Hokies since Michael Brewer has come back as QB. He started the last 5 games of the season & Tech went 3-2 but those 2 losses were by a combined 5 points to Duke & UNC. If Brewer is healthy you almost wonder if Tech would have gone 11-1. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Foster Farms Bowl: In case you were wondering this used to be the Fight Hunger Bowl which used to be the Emerald Bowl which used to be the San Francisco Bowl. This is one of those bowl games that is better off dead than living. Nebraska doesn’t even have a winning record & these two teams met in 2013. I guess it’s a chance to watch Josh Rosen, but at the same time, UCLA is in a no win situation. They are playing a 5-7 team. A very unexciting bowl. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Military Bowl: This is the 8th installment of the Military Bowl & only twice before has one of the service academies been in the game & both times they lost! If the Notre Dame commonality means anything this should be a FANTASTIC bowl game. I think the Panthers have been underrated all season & this will also be Navy QB Keenan Reynolds’ last game. I’d love to see the Middies win & finish the season 11-2. What an amazing season for Navy. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Quick Lane Bowl: I think this is one of 3 games played in baseball stadiums. The Pinstripe Bowl is played in Yankee Stadium & the Alamo Bowl is played on Chase Field home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. This another bowl featuring a sub-.500 team in the Gophers who are 5-7 taking on Central Michigan at 7-5. Sort of a no win for the Big 10. If they win they should, but if they lose it’s embarrassing. The Gophers are a tough crew so I think they’ll pull this one out. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Armed Forces Bowl: This used to be the Ft. Worth Bowl! This an interesting game to watch as far as contrast in styles is concerned. Air Force is a run heavy team with their spread option attack & they should see some success as Cal’s defense is very porous. QB Jared Goff, on the other hand, should have no trouble moving Cal’s offense up & down the field. This might be one of those games where defenses don’t really matter & whoever has the ball last wins. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Russell Athletic Bowl: The first big game of the bowl season pits 9-3 Baylor up against 11-2 North Carolina. I’d be a lot more excited about this game if I knew that Seth Russell & Corey Coleman were suiting up for the Bears, but they aren’t. Even Jarrett Stidham is on the sidelines so we are only seeing a shadow of what Baylor really is. That said, Baylor still should move the ball but I think the Tar Heels prevail in this one & get to 12-2 & an incredible finish. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Arizona Bowl: The first non-championship bowl game to feature teams from the same conference since the 1979 Orange Bowl which featured Oklahoma & Nebraska. This is the worst bowl of them all this year. Two teams from the Mountain West? Even worse is that neither team is any good. Theoretically this game should be MW v. CUSA or MW v. Sun Belt, but neither conference could come up with a team so we get MW v. MW. What in the world went wrong? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Texas Bowl: How lucky is the Mad Hatter? Les Miles goes from essentially being fired to beating Texas A&M & then getting a bowl game against a team that Lenoard Fournette might actually rush for 300 yards against! Texas Tech throws the ball entirely too much for a defense like LSU! The Tigers are likely to come up with 2-3 interceptions to go along with Fournette’s dominance while spells blowout city for LSU. As always, Texas Tech really needs a defense. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Birmingham Bowl: Memphis let down at the end of the season. The Tigers started 8-0 but went 1-3 in their last 4 to finish 9-3 & 3rd in the AAC  West. For that they were rewarded with a bowl game against the SEC West last place team! Auburn is a big name of course, but it feels like Memphis deserved better than a 6-6 team if only to see how Paxton Lynch performs against at top shelf defense from one of the Big 5 conferences. Conversely, Auburn could win! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Belk Bowl: This is sort of an interesting game as both teams have decent records but you could certainly argue that both teams beat up on the dregs of their conference along with some non-conference cupcakes to get where they are. I love Mississippi St. & like where NC State is going, but both teams need to take that next step. The Wolfpack don’t have much to stop Dak Prescott who will be making his last start as a MS State QB. He’s had an amazing career! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Music City Bowl: Obviously the storyline here is Kevin Sumlin & his fate with Texas A&M. Kyle Allen & Kyler Murray are transferring. Last year Kenny Hill transferred meaning Sumlin has lost 3 ELITE QBs to transfer in the last 2 seasons. Sumlin needs the win here to take a little bit of the heat off, but I don’t see them getting it. Louisville is a solid football team & Bobby Petrino has time to prepare against a 3rd string QB. The SEC West is no joke my friends! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Holiday Bowl: I’ve read rumors that a lot of big money donors at USC did not want Clay Helton to be the next HC & that a lot of boosters preferred USC to make a splash & go hard after a candidate like Nick Saban! That seems crazy but it also points to the heat being on Helton to produce quick or face a fast exit. A win over Wisconsin would definitely buy some time but the Badgers could use this game to prove they are among the nation’s elite football teams. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Peach Bowl: A brutal draw for Florida State. Some big 5 conference team was going to draw Houston & it’s a no-win situation. Beat Houston & who cares? It’s Houston. Lose to Houston & catch flack for losing to a non-Big 5 conference opponent. Houston is a good squad but they haven’t seen ANYTHING close to Dalvin Cook! No team has average more than 4ypc on Houston’s D this year but Cook averages 7.9ypc & ran for 7+ypc on a nasty Florida D-line. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Orange Bowl: ACC champ versus Big XII champ! Clemson comes in at 13-0 while the Sooners have won 7 straight games. I have the sneaking suspicion that Oklahoma is going to roll Clemson pretty hard in this game. The Sooners have played the like the best team in football for the past 7 weeks & I don’t see that offense being stopped. The scary part is how good the Sooners defense has been as well. I think OU wins big & the ACC is exposed as very inferior. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cotton Bowl: SEC champ versus Big 10 champ. It’s worth noting that Tide QB Jake Coker is averaging 191 yards per game. That might not mean much, but this game is going to come down to how well Michigan St. can defend Derrick Henry in the Alabama running game. If they can limit Henry then it forces Coker to try & win the game & that is something he hasn’t had to do. I think Alabama wins, but if the Spartans defense of the last 4 weeks shows up…… Computer Hope
Computer Hope Outback Bowl: Touch matchup for Northwestern & this is a bowl I’m really looking forward to. At 10-2, you’d think the Wildcats would have an advantage over the 8-4 Vols, but I think by year’s end Tennessee was playing like the SEC’s second best squad so I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see UT’s superior talent & athleticism overwhelm Northwestern. Then again, Northwestern has been ugly all season & figures out ways to still get wins. Should be a great game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Citrus Bowl: The Gators got some horrible news this past week when it learned of Will Grier’s intent to transfer! That’s awful news but somehow I don’t think it’ll mess up what Jim McElwain is going to do down in Gainesville. Florida didn’t draw well anyway & I think the Gators are in for a curb stomping at the hands of Jim Harbaugh & the Wolverines who definitely want to get that 10th victory. Although they’ll lose, Florida ends with an impressive 10 wins. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Fiesta Bowl: A playoff game that isn’t, Ohio St. at 11-1 & Notre Dame at 10-2 are likely the first two teams taken if the playoffs were to expand from 4 to 8. Ohio St. is the best team in the nation if it plays like it did against Michigan & I don’t see the Irish beating them. Then again, the Buckeyes sometimes don’t show up. They will against the Irish so I think ND needs to keep it close & see what happens. The worst case scenario for ND is shades of 2012 v. Alabama. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Rose Bowl: Like ND/Ohio St., it’s hard not to see this game as an extension of the playoffs as these 2 would have certainly been the other 2 if the field had expanded to 8. I’m in the tank for Iowa so I’m rooting hard for the Hawkeyes to win & finish 13-1! Iowa will also have their eyes on Michigan State. If the Spartans end up winning the national championship then Iowa has a legit claim to be the #2 team in the nation & probably should be so. Go Hawks! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sugar Bowl: Unfortunately we won’t get to see DT/DE Robert Nkemdiche. The 6’4/295lbs potential #1 overall draft pick is suspended. I love this game in that it’s a good test of overall conference strength. OK State is probably the 4th best team in the Big XII while Ole Miss is likely the 2nd/3rd best in the SEC. Should be a layup for the Rebels & that is what I’d expect. The closest defense OK State has seen to Ole Miss is Oklahoma’s and that was ugly! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Taxslayer Bowl: This is an exciting matchup when you look at the jerseys only as both programs are historically great, but right now neither is very good. These teams are a combined 0-7 against AP Top-25 teams which is an amazing stat considering. The Dawgs are probably the 7th-8th best team in the SEC while Penn St. is probably the 7th best team in the Big 10. It’s a good test to determine the overall depth of the conferences, but it won’t live up to the names. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Liberty Bowl: Brutal draw for Kansas St. as they don’t defend the run all that well & Arkansas is an ELITE rushing offense. Arkansas really turned their play on at the end of the season & if they didn’t struggle early on they probably would have been the 2nd place team in the West. I think Bret Bielema also wants to build which means the 7-5 Razorbacks need a win to get to 8-5 which is a game better than last year’s 7-6 team. K-State isn’t very good. Hogs roll. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Alamo Bowl: OUTSTANDING BOWL MATCH-UP! There were more than a few people before the season began that entertained thoughts that this game would be for the national championship. The good news is that TCU QB Trevone Boykin will play & maybe even WR Josh Doctson could get in on the action. The bad news is Oregon right now is a top-5 team & TCU’s defense is still atrocious. Both teams score but Oregon might score 60! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cactus Bowl: This is an important game for the Big XII. Arizona St. might be the 9th best team in the Pac 12 this year & I think the Big XII has a shot to lose quite a few bowl games. A win by the Mountaineers could at least add some credence to the depth of the conference. A loss here though could mean a clean sweep of the Big XII outside of Oklahoma, but given the state of college football right now, it seems like the ACC & Big XII are severely lacking. Computer Hope

December 22, 2015 Posted by | Air Force, Akron, Alabama, Appalachian St., Arizona, Arizona St., Arkansas, Arkansas St., Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, Boise St., Bowl Season, Bowling Green, BYU, California, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado St., Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia St., Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas St., Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Marshall, Memphis, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Middle Tennessee St., Minnesota, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Must See Games, N. Illinois, Navy, NC State, NCAA, NCAA Playoffs, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Penn St., Pittsburgh, Playoffs, San Diego St., San Jose St., South Florida, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Utah, Utah St., Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 14 – BIG GAMES

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Computer Hope The ACC Championship game should be the most interesting because it has the most potential to upset the playoff rankings apple cart should the Tar Heels pull of the stunner! The 12-0 Tigers have it easy. They are the #1 ranked team in the nation, but UNC is ranked 10th & they’d have to jump over a lot of people to get into the playoffs. The one issue? Ohio State! If UNC & USC win, I don’t think North Carolina could leap the Buckeyes into the Final 4 teams. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A lot more interesting before Florida lost to Florida St. last week, but it’s still the SEC Championship & it’s interesting because Jim McElwain used to be Nick Saban’s OC before he left to take the Colorado St. job. I’m not saying McElwain will have any idea as to how best to manipulate the Bama defense, but it is a unit he’s seen up close. Another interesting aspect to this game is that if Alabama were to lose, the SEC is out of the playoff picture. No other team is close. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Big 10 Championship game is the only championship game this weekend where it really is winner take all. Iowa at 12-0 is ranked #4 while the 11-1 Spartans are ranked #5. The winner is almost assured a spot in the playoff. With the Irish out I’m rooting for the Hawkeyes to run the table. The Jordan Canzeri/Sparty D matchup is going to be amazing, but it’s hard to see Iowa winning of the Michigan St. defense that showed up against Ohio St., shows up on Saturday! Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s amazing to think that the Trojans were 3-3 at one point & losing their HC this season! The men of Troy rallied behind interim HC Clay Helton, went 5-1 in their last 6 & won the Pac 12 South. This should be an awesome QB duel between Kevin Hogan & Cody Kessler and it seems fitting they’d both meet in the Pac 12 Championship game as both are departing seniors. Stanford could still find themselves in the playoffs if either Alabama or Clemson lose. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is an awesome AAC matchup between the 10-2 Owls & 11-1 Cougars! The matchup here is cool because it pits strength against strength. Houston is a dominant rushing team that ran the ball effectively all season long & an incredibly effective rate. Temple’s best unit is their rush defense. Which will win out? Also of consequence is that the winner is going to a Big 6 bowl as they’ll be the highest ranked team of the non power conference. I’m rooting for Temple. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Lost in the AAC battle for a Big 6 bowl, is how good a team San Diego State is. The Aztecs are 9-3 & have won 8 straight games, going perfect in their conference. And their conference performance as DOMINANT as they beat everyone by at least 14 points. The problem is their losses to S.Alabama, Penn St. & Cal early in the season. Air Force should be a good test but SD State should pass & I think they have a tremendous chance at finishing with an 11-3 record! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Southern Miss might have the most exciting quartet of offensive players in college football. QB Nick Mullens passed for 4,000yds/36TD. RBs Jalen Richard & Ito Smith combined for over 2,000yds & 20TD! WR Mike Thomas had 1,111 receiving yards & 11TD! The Hilltoppers have QB Brandon Doughty who passed for almost 4200 yards & has 42TD! These steams deserve more publicity. WKU is 10-2 without a bad loss. Southern Miss is 9-3 without either. Don’t miss this one! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Hats off to Northern Illinois for winning the MAC West, but I would have rather seen Toledo here & it’s unfortunate that the Rockets lost to W.Michigan. Remember too that Matt Campbell likely doesn’t wind up at Iowa St. just yet if the Rockets are playing for a MAC Championship. This still should be a great game headlined by BG QB Matt Johnson. The Senior has thrown for almost 4500 yards & 41TD! Don’t count the Huskies out though. They run the MAC!! Computer Hope

December 4, 2015 Posted by | Air Force, Alabama, Big Games, Bowling Green, Clemson, Florida, Houston, Iowa, Michigan St., Must See Games, N. Illinois, NCAA, North Carolina, San Diego St., Southern Miss, Stanford, Temple, USC, Week 14, Western Kentucky | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 13 – BIG GAMES

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Computer Hope This is a great rivalry game but is growing into an incredible rivalry. Over the last 4 seasons both teams have been ranked in the top-25 while one of the teams have been ranked in the top-10. To me this is the game of the week because of the rivalry but what also could happen. It’s a must win for the Irish who are outside of the playoff top-4 & need a signature win with some style points. Stanford ranks #9 in the playoff poll but could get to #5 if they win out! Computer Hope
Computer Hope BEDLAM! The last time these two met with this much on the line was 2011 when Oklahoma was 9-2 & Oklahoma St. was 10-1. The 3rd ranked Cowboys would blow out the 13th ranked Sooners in that game 44-10! Don’t expect a repeat. The playoff committee has been very impressed with Oklahoma the last 2 weeks with wins over Baylor & TCU which have OU #3 in the poll! Win & the Big XII is theirs. OK State has to hope for a win & a Baylor loss. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Before the season began we thought we were going to get an insane matchup between Trevone Boykin & Seth Russell. Instead we get Bram Kohlhausen v. Jarrett Stidham! Baylor isn’t out of the woods yet. A win here puts the Bears at 10-1 with a home game against Texas left. The tricky part here is if Baylor won & Oklahoma lost, would an 11-1 Baylor team be good enough to jump an 11-1 Notre Dame team if the Irish win? Oklahoma did so why not Baylor too? Computer Hope
Computer Hope The good news is that it looks like Conner Cook is going to be ready to play Penn St. this weekend. The bad news is that gnawing feeling I have about Michigan St. that has been there all season with their propensity to play with fire. They didn’t exactly hammer Ohio St., and let’s not forget that Sparty has loved playing close games. Penn St. should lose but if Christian Hackenberg goes off then it gets interesting. A win & Sparty wins the Big 10 East. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Don’t count out the Huskers in this one. At 5-6, Nebraska needs this win to get bowl eligible and they are coming off a bye week which gave them an extra week to prepare for Iowa while the Hawkeyes had to take of Purdue last week. Iowa moved into the top-4 of the college playoff poll this week so if they win out they are going to be playing for a championship. I hope the good times keep rolling for Iowa, but they have to be careful to let down at the end. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Amazingly enough these teams are meeting to decide who represents the Pac 12 South in the Pac 12 Championship game against Stanford. It’s an interesting game for a lot of reasons least of which is that both teams could beat Stanford & go to the Rose Bowl. I think what will be sharp contrast is USC having a 5th year senior QB Cody Kessler under center while UCLA throws out true frosh Josh Rosen. UCLA has won 3 straight so you know USC wants revenge. Computer Hope
Computer Hope From a personality standpoint this is the best game of the week and I’m probably ranking it too low although the outcomes doesn’t determine much if Michigan St. beats Penn State. Urban Meyer & Jim Harbaugh could combine to give us the 2nd coming of Woody Hayes/Bo Schembechler. This game means everything if Michigan St. loses, but even if they don’t, this is a HUGE game across the college football landscape! I can’t wait to watch this! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m not sure you can completely throw out the records when these two teams meet in the Iron Bowl. The last two times Auburn & Alabama have faced off with Auburn not being ranked was in 2011 and 2012. Alabama won both games by the combined score of 91-14. Another problem for Auburn is that this will be a very motivated Alabama team. They have to win this game to win the West and move into the SEC Championship game. Roll Tide! Computer Hope
Computer Hope If the last 4 years hold true, then this year is Mississippi St.’s turn to win the Egg Bowl. There is quite a bit to play for here. For Ole Miss they can still win the SEC West if Alabama somehow loses. Both teams a win here keeps a 10-win season in play. For Mississippi St., the game could be bittersweet. It’s the last home game for QB Dak Prescott but it could also be the last home game for HC Dan Mullen as the Bulldogs HC if he decides to take another job for ’16. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Despite the loss last week to UConn, the Cougars can still win the AAC-West with a win over Navy this weekend. That would push Houston to 11-1 & potentially a 12-1 season if they win the AAC which would put them in a Big 6 Bowl. The same holds true for Navy. A win here puts them at 10-1 & likely 11-1 with a win over Army. They’d have to win the AAC title game but a 12-1 Navy squad is playing on New Year’s. I’m pulling hard for the Middies to win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope When was the last time Florida St. & Florida met when their combined record was at least 19-3? It’s not as far back as you think. Both squads were 10-1 in 2012 which resulted in a 37-26 win for the Gators. I’m not sure that will happen this year with as bad as Florida has been playing of late. How amazing is it that Florida St. could be 10-2 with a win here & 11-2 with a bowl yet most people view them as an afterthought? I think FSU gets the win & 10 wins. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Wolfpack have actually won 6 of the last 8 meetings between the two. NC State is the perfect example of manipulating an easy schedule to get bowl eligible. UNC has sort of done the same thing but Carolina is the superior team & I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tar Heels blow the barn doors off this on in Raleigh. I hope UNC doesn’t let up because a 12-0 Clemson taking on an 11-1 North Carolina squad could be interesting in the ACC title game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope UConn played spoiler last week to Houston and could do the same thing this week to Temple if they were to manage a victory over the Owls. At 6-1 in the AAC, a Temple win ensures the Owls the AAC-East division which will put them in the title game against the Houston/Navy winner. A loss here combined with USF beating UCF puts South Florida in the title game. I’m pulling for Temple & Navy as I think those are the best teams in the AAC. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I don’t often discuss CUSA, but Marshall & WKU play each other to decide the CUSA-East division. This one should be fun as it’ll be contrasting styles. WKU’s offense is dominant & they want to get out & move the ball quick with QB Brandon Doughty who is having an INCREDIBLE year. Marshall on the other hand wants to play hard nosed defense with their top-10 ranked unit & manipulate time of possession. Both teams are 9-2 so a win equals 10! Computer Hope
Computer Hope While Marshall & WKU determine the CUSA East, Southern Miss & Louisiana Tech will determine the CUSA West! It’s a big weekend for Conference USA! Both teams are going to try to beat you with offense & when you look at them in a vacuum you wonder why either team didn’t garner more attention, but when each squad played big time teams they lost. The QB matchup between Jeff Driskel & Nick Mullens should be fun as they light up the scoreboard. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s amazing to this game is virtually meaningless, but right now these might be the two worst teams in the SEC West which seems ridiculous. The game is significant however because it could be Les Miles’ last game as LSU head coach. How amazing is it that this offseason we are going to have both the LSU job and the USC job open for hire!? Miami-FL, Virginia Tech & South Carolina are also looking for a head coach. Those are big time programs! Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game would be a lot more interesting if we knew if Wazzou QB Luke Falk was playing. Falk’s status right now is up in the air but I hope he plays & is effective because Washington’s defense is the best in the Pac 12 & it would be a great matchup between Falk & HC Mike Leach going up against the UW defense. The Huskies have a lot of incentive to play. They need a win to get to 6-6 & bowl eligibility. I like UW but it’s impossible to root against the Pirate! Computer Hope
Computer Hope The battle for the Oaken Bucket! Kevin Wilson & Tom Crean pretty much run the same team strategy of big time offense combined with little to no defense. To be honest, IU should destroy Purdue. They are better & the Hoosiers’ “best case” record is 9-2. On the other hand, you can never know what to expect from Indiana & a loss here could mean Kevin Wilson loses his job. Either Indiana earns a bowl berth here or they need to make a change. Incredible. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Frank Beamer’s final home game in Blacksburg didn’t go as well as he would have liked as the Hokies missed an opportunity to finish Beamer’s career with a home victory that would have also provided bowl eligibility, but Virginia Tech gets a 2nd chance at the elusive bowl with the season finale in Charlottesville against in-state rival Virginia. I almost feel like it would be fitting for Beamer to lose because it would allow his final game to be in Virginia. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A cool rivalry game Kentucky needs to win to get bowl eligible. I think both of these teams feel like they’ve had disappointing seasons. Both teams took on quite a few close losses which would have completely changed their seasons if they had been just a little luckier. What’s great is that these two teams are led by excellent football coaches and the teams are relatively youthful. This game should keep getting bigger & bigger with the stakes getting higher. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Gary Andersen’s first year in Corvallis hasn’t went well & it’s not going to get any better playing the Ducks in Eugene for the 119th edition of the Civil War! The teams couldn’t be coming into this one on more opposites sides of the spectrum. In their last 5, the Beavers are o-5 & have been outscored 38-11 on average. The Ducks are 5-0 in their last 5 & have outscored their opponents 43-33. I love the Civil War but this one is going to be very lopsided for Oregon. Computer Hope
Computer Hope How can you not love a rivalry game that is called Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate!? It’s the best rivalry nickname in college sports! I’m interested in the fallout of this game if Tech loses. They’ll finish the year 3-9 & if you remember, the seat was getting pretty hot with Paul Johnson before GT’s run last year to the ACC title game. That heat could come back which would be interesting if Georgia Tech was another program looking for a head coach for 2016. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The only MAC game that is intriguing, there is a lot going on here for Toledo. The Rockets had a perfect season until Northern Illinois upset the apple cart with a 5-point win over the Rockets. It was a tough loss because despite NIU’s 3 losses, none of them were in MAC play & this effectively knocked Toledo from the MAC West. If Ohio beats NIU this week Toledo could win the West with a win here. A win in the MAC title game puts them at 12-1. Enough for New Year’s? Computer Hope

November 26, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, Connecticut, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Marshall, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., Must See Games, Navy, NC State, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Oregon St., Penn St., Purdue, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Texas AM, Toledo, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St., Week 13, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan | Leave a comment

2012 NCAA Football Week 1 – MUST SEE GAMES!

WHOOOO HOOOOO!!!! College football season kicks off tomorrow night and I can barely stand the anticipation! South Carolina & Vanderbilt get us started and it’s going to be a fun on in Nashville opening up the season with a very intriguing SEC conference game! This year I’m going to do a little something different with the “MUST SEE GAMES.” I’m going to list the 15 best games in descending order of importance based on my opinion. This week obviously Alabama/Michigan is the best game and I’ll continue all the way down to #15. So let’s get it going!

ROAD WHY IT IS MUST SEE! HOME
Obviously this game has national championship implications, but probably more so for Michigan than for the Tide. Michigan ranks 8th in the nation and a win over Alabama in the opener on a neutral field automatically makes them the #1 team in the nation because they would be the only team that has played anyone of merit seeing how the Crimson Tide rank #2 in the nation. If Alabama wins then it’ll be a huge win & Bama should go back to being #1, but Bama’s big tests come against LSU, Arkansas and Auburn. Michigan is a HUGE win, but perception is that the SEC is king and the Big 10 is soft. As for the players, I’m really interested to see what happens with QB Denard Robinson when he goes up against LBs CJ Mosley & Nico Johnson. Alabama will try to contain Robinson wide which should force him inside. Mosley & Johnson will have to make plays on the Heisman hopeful! Should be an incredible game between two teams in the top-10 with national championship aspirations.
It’s amazing that this game is #2 on the slate! The rankings aren’t as high in this one as Boise St. comes in ranked 24th in the AP while Michigan St. is 13th, but I’m really interested here because this will be a legitimate road game for Boise St. The last three years the Broncos have opened up their season with games against big time opponents, but in 2009 they played Oregon in Boise. In 2010 & 2011 they played Virginia Tech & Georgia respectively at neutral sites. This time Chris Petersen and the Broncos go on the road for a true home game. It’s also going to be interestring to see how Boise reloads after losing Doug Martin, Kellen Moore, Tyler Shoemaker and 9 of their top-10 tacklers from a season ago! The Spartans lose Kirk Cousins who won’t be easily replaced & a slew of receivers, but they should be nasty on both lines. If Boise St. can pull of this win then they will be right back in the thick of it. If Michigan St. wins then the Spartans should get back into the top-10.
Absolutely incredible ACC conference game to open up the season & one I think is a bit underrated. With North Carolina unable to play in the postseason, this game probably determines who will win the ACC Coastal and it happens in the first week of the season! I think Virginia Tech is being undersold a bit early as the AP ranks the Hokies 16th in the nation! VT has one of those schedules that scream 10-11 wins if they take care of business at home. It’s even worse for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets aren’t even ranked although I think this year’s version is pretty similar to what we saw out of Pual Johnson & his boys back in 2009 when GT won 11 games, the ACC & got to the Orange Bowl. This is really going to be a game of strength against strength as Virginia Tech returns 9 starters from a defense than ranked 14th in rush defense last season. GT will be strong in the running game obviously, but whoever wins the battle in this area should carry the game.
Nobody is sleeping on SC as the Gamecocks enter the season ranked 9th in the nation! It’s amazing to see such a good SEC conference game this early in the season. What makes this game so interesting is how SC has done in their conference openers & season openers in the past few years. Last year they barely got by Georgia in a shootout 45-42. The year before they beat Georgia 17-6. In 2009 they opened up against NC State and won 7-3 but lose their next game to Georgia 41-37. In 2008 they lost their home conference opener to Vanderbilt 24-17! In 2007 they barely got by Georgia 16-12! I really can’t wait to see SC play. Connor Shaw, Marcus Lattimore, Ace Sanders, Devin Taylor, Jaedeveon Clowney, Shaq Wilson & DeVonte Holloman are just a few of the names! Vandebilt can’t come close to matching SC’s talent level, but the Commodores play their nuts off for HC James Franklin & SC struggles in openers. I’m not smelling upset, but this one could be very very close.
I love this game for a number of reasons. Tennessee HC Derek Dooley is squarely on the hot seat in Knoxville, and things didn’t get any easier on him this past week when 2011 leading WR Da’Rick Rogers failed a drug test and was kicked off the team! The Vols are going to have a hard enough time winning games. They don’t need to lose 1,000 yard receivers before the season begins! What they also don’t need is a rough opening game against NC State! By all accounts it looks like Wolfpack QB Mike Glennon is ready to have a coming out party and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this year be the season where Tom O’Brien finally gets NC State over the hump with a 10-2 regular season & a chance for 11 wins! If that does happen then Tennessee is in somewhat of a bind because the loss to NC State could haunt them the rest of the season with bowl eligibility. I’m not sure a bowl saves Dooley, but not making one is going to absolutely kill him. Mike Glennon v. Tyler Bray = MUST WATCH!
This is the 2nd game being played in Atlanta on consecutive nights with NC State/Tennessee being the first. This is another solid SEC/ACC game that makes things interesting from an argument’s standpoint because the ACC has a real shot to win both games. Does that make the ACC a better conference!!? Debate all you like! I’m really interested to see what Auburn does here because I think HC Gene Chizik’s legacy to this point is on the line a bit. Auburn returns 9 defensive starters and this team reminds me just a hair of the 2010 team that went on to go 14-0 & win a national championship. I don’t think QB Kiehl Frazier is going to produce like Cam Newton, but the defense sort or reminds me of that 2010 team and nobody thought even Cam Newton was going to be Cam Newton that season! Clemson comes into the game ranked 14th with hopes of an ACC Championship & will be a great test. With Sammy Watkins, Tajh Boyd, & Andre Ellington, Auburn better come prepared OR ELSE!
A lto of talk about Michigan & Michigan St. in the Legends division, but Nebraska returns QB Taylor Martinez, RB Rex Burkhead and 7 of their top-10 tacklers on defense. The Cornhuskers return 7 starters each on both offense & defense & open up the season ranked 17th which is behind Michigan & Michigan St., but this team has Big 10 title hopes & does play Michigan in Lincoln. Another aspect of this game that is interesting is that HC Bo Pelini is feeling a bit of heat. This is his 5th year at Nebraska and while 9-4/10-4 records are nice, this isn’t Texas Tech. Nebraska expects to compete for national championship. Another 9-10 win season would be great on the surface, but not at Nebraska and not in year #5 of a HC who should be turning things around sooner. Opening up with Southern Miss doesn’t help matters. Sure there is no Larry Fedora and USM lost a few key players from last season, but this is a good team that could surprise Nebraska.
I’m not sure I entirely believe Notre Dame HC Brian Kelly is on the hot seat, but this is definitely a year where 7-6 or 8-5 is going to raise some eyebrows in South Bend. There is a lot going on this season with the Irish. The schedule is downright brutal and the opening game against Navy could possibly be the easiest game Notre Dame plays all season long. Given how the Irish have fared against the Middies in recent years, ND simply can’t overlook the service academy and still hope to come away with a 3TD victory. Naming Everett Golson the starting QB is also a significant change for the Irish. There is tons of talk about the 4 QBs on the roster: Gunner Kiel, Everett Golson, Andrew Hendrix and the oft discussed & currently suspended Tommy Rees. Playing the first game in Ireland also adds to the hype machine. I think ND goes either 10-2 this season or maybe 6-6. How they open up the season against Navy & Purdue will tell us a lot & Kelly’s job depends on it.
In some ways this might be the biggest “must see” game of the week The scandal at Penn St. was the talk of the college football world for the past year & still dominates the story lines to a degree even now. The program wasn’t quite given the death penalty that SMU was given back in the day, but in some ways the Nittany Lions have it worse off. They took on massive defections after the NCAA allowed their players to transfer and PSU wasn’t expected to be great in the first place. Ohio on the other hand is the best team in the MAC East and possibly the entire MAC. Frank Solich is a national championship winning head coach. The Bobcats went 10-4 last season with an inexperienced defense that returns mostly intact. The offense returns starting QB Tyler Tettleton with a deep & experienced O-line. All eyes will be on Penn St. this weekend to see how they play now that football is being played again. If Ohio walks into State College pulls out a win, more shock waves will be felt.
A lot of new HC in the Pac 12 are making their debuts this weekend, but none more anticipated than the pirate himself, Mike Leach! Before being let go by Texas Tech for an incident with a player, Leach came to Lubbock & led the Red Raiders to 10 straight bowl games in 10 seasons! Leach inherits a great situation as Wazzou made great strides last season in going 4-8 after 3 seasons where the Cougars went a combined 5-32! QB Jeff Tuel is being touted as a perfect fit for the kind of offense Leach wants to run & there are plenty of starters returning in Pullman. Washington St. isn’t a bad place to be mind you. They haven’t been relevant in 8 years, but from 2001-2003, the Cougars were 30-8 & went to the Rose Bowl in 2002! The climb back to those heights will be difficult, but Leach’s track record speaks for itself. BYU has a solid team & gets WSU at home so it’s unlikely Leach starts his career with the Cougars off with a victory. If he does though, it will mark a shift in the Pac 12 power structure.
I was looking forward to Texas A&M playing Louisiana Tech in Shreveport this weekend, but with Hurricane Isaac causing problems, the game has been canceled. I thought this game would have been pretty interesting because Texas A&M debuts as a new member of the SEC amidst quite a bit of transition against a Louisiana Tech team that is considered by most the best team in a barely breathing Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies were a disappointing 7-6 last season with critical turnovers costing them quite a few wins. Texas A&M had a “best” case record of 12-1 last season & I’m guessing that if they did finish 12-1, then Mike Sherman would still be HC & Ryan Tannehill might not be playing for the Dolphins. Now Kevin Sumlin is roaming the sidelines without guys like Tannehill, Cyrus Gray & Jeff Fuller. Seeing how A&M plays in a new system in a new conference with new players against a decent out of conference opponents is intriguing. I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer.
This is the “other” ACC conference game playing second fiddle to Georgia Tech/Virginia Tech, but in some ways it is just as intriguing. For the Hurricanes I don’t think there is any doubt that Al Golden is going to turn this program around. I don’t know if he can get Miami-FL back to the days of Howard Schenellenberger, Jimmy Johnson & Butch Davis, but he’s on the right track. Golden is building relationships in southern Florida and there are a lot of freshman & sophomores in the 2-deep. This year really feels like the beginning of what we’ll see moving forward with “THE U” and it looks scary good as Golden has proved a very capable recruiter. Boston College faces a dilemma all the more different as HC Frank Spaziani is on one of the hottest seats in college football. The Golden Eagles have a proud program and return 17 starters after a horrible 4-8 campaign in 2011. This should be a win for BC given the nature of the programs, but Miami-FL has a shot here & it could mark the end for Spaziani.
Even though this game is fairly far down the list, I really can’t wait to see this one and it’ll be a game I definitely watch. I’m a huge fan of Baylor HC Art Briles and I’m not sure he gets enough credit for the Bears going 10-3 last season & becoming a force in the Big XII. Yes, Robert Griffin III was a special talent, but I think some of his success was predicated upon the system Briles has in place in Waco. One game isn’t going to prove either or, but SMU is a team on the come and HC June Jones has the Mustangs relevant. SMU has a real chance to win CUSA this season before moving into the Big East in 2013. Given that this is a home game for Baylor & how successful Briles has been implementing his brand of football, the Bears should get a win here. On the other hand, SMU is making a move & a dominant win here will cause some people to pause & wonder what the Big XII would look like with SMU in the mix. There can’t be a higher goal for the Mustangs than to get back to the elite of college football.
Intrastate rivalry kickoff in the Commonwealth! When I think of intrastate rivalries, Kentucky/Louisville doesn’t immediately come to mind. In fact it’s even second on my list this weekend behind Colorado/Colorado State, but it is becoming more favorable as the years pass. The two fan bases clearly hate each other and while the basketball rivalry generates a lot more intensity, you can’t argue that the football rivalry is a bit heated. Kentucky football is still SEC football and all that comes with it. Louisville has really gotten behind their football team, and HC Charlie Strong has the Cardinals in position to win the Big East and get to a BCS bowl game for the first time since Louisville played in the Orange Bowl back in 2006 en route to a 12-1 season in Bobby Petrino’s swan song before moving on to the Atlanta Falcons. UK HC Joker Phillips is on the hot seat in Lexington & I don’t see how he survives the season. Kentucky should get hammered here which is a bad omen.
This won’t be much of a game, but West Virginia/Marshall is an intrastate rivalry game & this will mark the beginning of what could be a magical run for the Mountaineers. West Virginia is now a member of the Big XII which means they won’t have a Big East bias should they turn in a fantastic season. If you are looking for a team that could be incredible on a weekly basis, fun to watch, and surprising in their chase for a national championship, then look no further than Morgantown. They had some close calls and odd losses last season which has many wondering if WVU can be as competitive in the Big XII as I believe they will be, but HC Dana Holgorsen knows the conference well after being the OC at Oklahoma St., and Geno Smith is a QB who should be a dark horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. In his first season, Holgorsen led WVU to the Big East championship and a 70-33 BEAT DOWN of Clemson in a BCS bowl. I can’t wait to see what he does for an encore.

August 29, 2012 Posted by | Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Boise St., Boston College, BYU, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Marshall, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Must See Games, Navy, NC State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio, Penn St., SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Texas AM, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Washington St., Week 1, West Virginia | Leave a comment

2011 NCAA Football – Week 8 Best Games

Week 8!? I know I keep saying how fast this season is going, BUT WOW this season is going by FAST! It’s incredible. At this point in the season we are almost hoping for no gaffes by undefeated teams. LSU plays Auburn this week while Alabama plays Tennessee. Next week both SEC West leaders are on bye before meeting in Alabama in Week 9. Wouldn’t it be awful if one of them were to lose this week making that game almost meaningless for national championship purposes!? The same goes for a team like Oklahoma St. who walks into Missouri or Clemson who hosts North Carolina. Even other games are very very interesting as Wisconsin has a game they could lose in East Lansing against Michigan St.. Stanford hosts Washington, but the Huskies aren’t a pushover team & could put up a big fight. Even a game like Marshall/Houston is pretty good because Marshall has the ability to pull off a stunner.

At first I thought this might be a blase week, but it actually has quite a bit of juice to it. And oh by the way, there is this little rivalry game between USC & Notre Dame that is also taking place this weekend in South Bend. Can wait to get this started!

I just want to make a quick note and say that these are the most interesting games to me this week in descending order of importance. Obviously I think the most interesting and most important game of the week is the Badgers/Spartans matchup. This should give you an idea of why the games are in the order they are.

ROAD PREDICTION HOME
Michigan St. took one on the chin with losing DE William Gholston for this game against the Badgers, but I’m not sure the Spartan rush defense will be completely crushed by the loss. This might be the last game either team can potentially lose. Something to keep in mind is that Michigan St.’s game next week against Nebraska could be even more important than this one if the Big 10 championship is their goal. Either way, this comes down to how well MSU stops the Badger rush offense. Remember that Sparty does have the 3rd best rush defense in the nation. Keep in mind too that Wisconsin doesn’t need to win, but win BIG in this statement game. Current Line: Wisconsin (-7.5)
Wow. When was the last time the Irish were almost double digit favorites over USC? Notre Dame is closer to a top-10 team than you might thing. The two losses also had them being -10 in TO margin. Since then ND has eaten alive every opponent they’ve faced. USC will be a more difficult challenge, but not more difficult than Michigan St. was. This is another game where ND prevails & Kelly improves to 2-0 against the Trojans. Lane Kiffin is going to get it done in SoCal, but he needs a bit more time to finally get out from under the sanctions handed down from the previous regime. Current Line: Notre Dame (-9)
In case you haven’t noticed, Washington is 5-1 & on a 3-game winning streak. That’s certainly coming to an end against Stanford, but that line is too high. Sarkisian knows what he’s doing up in Seattle & UW is going to get better & better & better. If Kelly sticks at Oregon & Shaw does a good job replacing Harbaugh, the Pac-12 North is going to be straight BEASTLY soon enough! I can’t imagine Stanford losing, but it won’t be by 21 points. Washington is going to cover. This game will obviously have loads of attention on Andrew Luck, but keep UW QB Keith Price on the radar. Kid has 21TD & 4INT through 6 games meaning he’s on pace for 42TD:8INT! Washington could easily finish 9-3. This is the most underrated game of the week. Current Line: Stanford (-20.5)
Absolutely crazy that LSU will be without RB Spence Ware & CB Tyrann Mathieu! Ware is their leading rusher while Mathieu might be the most dynamic defensive player in the entire nation! Kirk Herbstreit has the kid winning the Heisman! That’s RIDICULOUS! RB Michael Ford has actually been better than Ware on a YPC basis while the LSU defense is a lot more than just one player. It’s inconvenient to lose a couple of starters, but LSU should still roll against War Eagle. Auburn’s defense is sieve like & they also have QB issues. That’s a tough nut to crack when in Death Valley! Current Line: LSU (-21)
At what point do you take a look at the schedule & come to the conclusion that Oklahoma St. is better than Oklahoma? A win here gives OSU road wins over Texas, Texas A&M, Tulsa & Missouri. Oklahoma’s true road wins? They have Kansas who sports the worst defense in the world & a Florida St. team that turned out to be massively overrated. If you argue that LSU is better than Alabama because of schedule, then you also MUST say Oklahoma St. is better than Oklahoma for the same reasons. I think the Cowboys roll again, but it would be nice to see them play a full game at 100%. With them scoring 40ppg it’s tough to notice when they are off, but it does happen. Current Line: Oklahoma St. (-7)
Very scary game for Clemson. I don’t think Clemson can have a first half against UNC the way they did last week against Maryland & expect to come back and win a high scoring affair. North Carolina’s defense is simply too tough for that kind of rally. UNC should be motivated to play as well because another loss virtually eliminates them from playing in the ACC Championship game by winning the Coastal Division. Keep in mind that the 5-2 Tar Heels could just as easily be 7-0. As for the Tigers, another win simply keeps the resume humming. A win here gives Clemson wins over Auburn, Florida St., Virginia Tech & UNC. It’s awfully good. Current Line: Clemson (-10.5)
It should be blow out city as the Volunteers travel to Alabama without their best QB & WR. This game really wouldn’t make it on the list as I’d expect the Tide to drop the hammer, but Alabama is currently 7-0 & any team undefeated at the halfway point or better is deserving of some recognition. I’ve said for awhile that I think AJ McCarron’s development is going to be critical for Alabama to win a national championship. In his last two games he’s 42 of 54 (77.8%) for 461 yards & 5TD without a pick. He’s right on schedule. Alabama rolls into their bye week before LSU comes callin’!Current Line: Alabama (-29.5)
Miami-FL made an EXCEPTIONAL hire when they picked up Al Golden. It reminds me a lot of when Miami-FL hired Butch Davis & what resulted from that hiring with the possibility of Golden turning into another Jimmy Johnson for the Hurricanes. Clearly the team is improving as the season progresses under Golden & I think he’s in a perfect situation to get the talent level back up to “THE U” standards. GT can’t afford to lose here and Miami-FL will be motivated to play well. In his last 3 games, QB Jacory Harris is 45 of 68 (66.2%) for 709 yards & 8TD without a pick so keep & eye on him especially because GT’s defense hasn’t been fantastic. My thinking is that GT rebounds, but another Canes win could show the tide is turning a bit. A win here should put THE U at 4-3 with a REAL shot at 9-3/8-4 & a chance at the ACC Championship game. Current Line: Miami-FL (-3)
LOVE LOVE LOVE West Virginia. The Mountaineers travel to Syracuse where I’m guessing they’ll give Doug Marrone & his boys a thorough whippin’, but Marrone seems to be a helluva coach & Syracuse wont’ lay down easily. These are the best kinds of games because they can give us insight into how dominant a team might be. I think WVU comes away with a victory here, BUT Syracuse isn’t going to lie down & they’ll play hard for 60 minutes. If WVU pounds them in their own backyards while the Orange bust nut for Marrone, then WVU is looking like a team that is going to give some poor unsuspecting BCS opponent a run for their life! Current Line: West Virginia (-14)
As you can see, this game probably isn’t going to amount to too much & makes the list for much the same reasons that Alabama/Tennessee make the list. It’s not this way nationally, but when you think about Oklahoma, they are fighting issues with perceptions. Think about it. If you had to go with undefeated teams that played more difficult schedules, wouldn’t you think LSU, Oklahoma St. & Clemson have the Sooners beat? Heck, if you believe LSU is the best team in the nation then it’s entirely possible to argue that Oregon is better than the Sooners. I don’t doubt how good Oklahoma is, but from a logical standpoint based on strength of schedule, Oklahoma should probably be trailing. They need blowout wins. Current Line: Oklahoma (-29)
USF is the favorite here & it probably has more to do with Cincinnati’s record from last season rather than their 5-1 mark. Sure the Bearcats haven’t beaten anyone & they did lost to Tennessee, but even with the loss, UC is on average beating teams by 25ppg! USF is one of the more frustrating teams in the nation. They get an early season road win over Notre Dame, but can’t manage to beat Pittsburgh (who the Irish beat in Pittsburgh) or Connecticut. It would be just like USF to beat Cincinnati this week, but turn around & lose to Rutgers the following week! I don’t get it. I hope UC wins as Butch Jones’ star is definitely on the rise & it’s exciting to see where he might land. Current Line: South Florida (-3)
An incredibly underrated game, both teams come into this one at 5-1 with SMU having the best record in CUSA at 3-0. How about a little love for SMU RB Zach Line! The Mustang RB is on pace to finish the season with 1,330 yards & 26TD! Southern Miss’ rush defense isn’t fantastic so it’ll be interesting to see how SMU HC June Jones uses Line. SMU’s defense is also better than Southern Miss’s. This could be a breakout game for Jones & the Ponies. People in Dallas have been waiting a LONG TIME for SMU to get back up to the top of college football. A win here could give enough momentum for wins over Tulsa & Houston! That happens? SMU is looking at 11-1 heading into the CUSA Championship game! Despite not being a BCS team, SMU being good helps college football so I’m rooting for them! Current Line: S.Mississippi (-3)
Game makes the grade because Kansas St. is 6-0. The Wildcats will certainly get to 7-0, but despite all this recent love gravitating towards KSU HC Bill Snyder, don’t forget that in KSU’s glory days the Wildcats never played for a national championship. Here they are 6-0, but have yet to play Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma or Oklahoma St! I have no doubt that KSU is going to walk into Lawrence & drop the thunder on the Jayhawks, but questions about the validity of an undefeated record are going to see some results after this week’s tuneup. Current Line: Kansas St. (-10.5)
How bad does it suck to be Indiana right now? Not only did you lose your 5-star QB commit in Gunner Kiel this week, but you also have to prepare to go on the road to Iowa where you are almost 4TD dogs! The rumors about HC Kevin Wilson are almost out of control in the Hoosier state. Maybe he’ll work out, but it certainly seems like the odds are stacked against him. The problems at Indiana certainly seem systemic in nature. I think this football team can win games, but they have to start looking at advanced football metrics to identify candidates some of the bigger boys might have overlooked. Current Line: Iowa (-23.5)
I thought Air Force would be better than this, but it turns out I was a bit optimistic for the Falcons this season. Obviously Boise St. makes this list because they are undefeated, but in reality this is a game on the blue turf which means the Broncos should roll yet again. It’s a broken record at this point, but Boise’s schedule sucks. From a different perspective, remember that Boise St. is never going to play for a national championship because they might actually win. If that happens, how can you not let them defend it if they go undefeated the following year? That means all AQ-conference schools are playing for 1 spot for a championship. It’ll never happen. Current Line: Boise St. (-29.5)
Not exactly a move the meter game. The Beavers are 1-5 while the Cougars a surprising 3-3. This is a neat game only because it could represent two programs going in vastly different direction. Oregon St. has been awful this season while Wazzou might finally be rising out of the mire it’s been in for quite some time. A win here gives WSU a 4-3 record needing just 2 wins out of their last 5 games to get bowl eligible. They could conceivably get there. As for the Beavers, I love the program, but is Mike Riley’s time finally up? I certainly hope not. Current Line: Washington St. (-3.5)
Houston is here because they are a 6-0 team so their games automatically become interesting from that standpoint. But there is certainly more to it than that! Marshall is actually a bit underrated in my opinion. Remember that the Herd have wins over Southern Miss & beat Louisville in Kentucky. Their 3-4 record includes losses to Virginia Tech, West Virginia, UCF & Ohio. Houston should roll, and roll big, but nobody thought Marshall was going to beat Southern Miss either. Oddly enough, doesn’t it seem like Houston QB Case Keenum is having an awfully quiet year? The Cougars are 6-0, Keenum is going to break every college passing record known to man, he’s on pace for 34TD to 4INT and yet you almost don’t hear anything about him. Very odd. Current Line: Houston (-23)
I’ve said this before about the MAC, but one of the things that makes college football so exciting it that even conferences that aren’t a part of the BCS really do have some games that are exciting. Tulsa is 3-3 (2-0) but remember that those 3 losses came against Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. & Boise St. Those 3 are a combined 18-0! Tulsa could be the one team that upsets Houston’s applecart when it’s all said & done and I wouldn’t be surprised if Tulsa ran the table from this point heading into the bowl season at 10-3 with a legitimate claim to top-15 if not top-10 status! So why the interesting game against the Owls? Well, Rice isn’t as awful as you think and with this being a home game could put up a decent fight. Who knows what will happen if Lady Luck gets involved? Current Line: Tulsa (-10.5)

October 22, 2011 Posted by | Air Force, Alabama, Auburn, Boise St., Cincinnati, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas St., LSU, Marshall, Miami-FL, Michigan St., Missouri, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon St., Rice, SMU, South Florida, Southern Miss, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Tulsa, USC, Washington, Washington St., West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

Early Look at Non-AQ Schedules

Continuing with the series of early looks into each team’s schedule, I’ll dive into the non-AQ schools that could have a prominent role on the national scene. I tried to get a look at a team from every conference, but the WAC & Sun Belt didn’t make it in due to the fact that a team in those conferences didn’t have a schedule crappy enough to potentially win 11-12 games in a best case scenario. Another thing to keep in mind is that there could be quite a sea change when it comes to non-AQ schools. BYU has already gone independent, and this will be the last time TCU is a non-AQ school as it joins the Big East. With the Big East potentially looking for even more expansions, we could see Central Florida join that conference as well which would give them an even 10-teams. With the knowledge that the non-AQ could be different in 2012, let’s look at who the biggest stars should be in 2011.

BOISE ST. BRONCOS

Home: Tulsa, Nevada, Air Force, TCU, Wyoming, New Mexico
Road: Toledo, Fresno St., Colorado St., UNLV, San Diego St.

Neutral: Georgia

The Broncos move from the WAC to the MWC this season meaning the Broncos & TCU will mix it up in the regular season which of course will eliminate one of them BCS contention. What can you really say about Boise at this point? They are a well oiled machine. Chris Petersen is definitely not making the same mistake as Dan Hawkins did, so while Petersen is 61-5 in his first 5 seasons in Boise, he’s not leaving. The Broncos are coming off a 12-1 season in which their only loss came to Nevada. They return 7 on offense, but more importantly return QB Kellen Moore who last season passed for 3,845 yards & 35TD completing 71.3% of his passes. They also return RB Doug Martin who rushed for 1,260 yards & 12TD. They bring back 3 offensive lineman and TE Kyle Efaw. Boise does lose WRs Austin Pettis & Titus Young who combined for over 2,100 yards & 20TD! Boise brings 7 starters back from their base nickel package. Five of the front-6 return giving Boise the best down 6 in the WAC. You have to give some credit to Boise with the scheduling. Georgia, Tulsa, TCU, Air Force, San Diego St., and Toledo aren’t horrible teams. Nevada will be a bit down without Collin Kaepernick, but the Wolfpack gave Boise their lone loss from a season ago. The schedule boils down to playing Georgia in Atlanta. Boise wins this game and there is really nothing stopping them from going 12-0 and getting to a BCS Championship. However, that game is in Atlanta and Georgia should be pretty darn good. Boise hasn’t lost a home game since 2005, but they get both Tulsa & TCU at home. I don’t think those games will be easy. Should Boise win? Absolutely, but you never know. Tulsa returns 18 starters from a squad that went 10-3 a season ago. TCU won’t beat Boise St. A new QB won’t walk into Bronco Stadium and win. Another surprise team that might though could be Air Force. Remember that Boise has trouble with Nevada and that pistol offense. I don’t think Boise St. has played a team running some type of triple option scheme the way the Falcons do which could get interesting. Boise will be 4th game of a 4-week brutal stretch for Air Force, but I’d keep an eye on them. I don’t think Boise can lose any road games. Toledo & San Diego St. aren’t bad, but Boise should roll through them fairly easily. To me the win range is 9-12. The games they could lose are against Tulsa, Air Force & Georgia. If Boise takes care of business at home, then they are a minimum of 11-1. If they beat Georgia and take care of business at home, then there is nothing stopping them from being 12-0. Keep an eye on sequence for Boise St. They open in Atlanta against Georgia but then get an off week. They then travel to Toledo for a game that probably won’t be easy and then come home to play Tulsa. After Tulsa comes Nevada. After Nevada is back-to-back road games against Fresno St. & Colorado St. Boise should win those games, but I don’t think they’ll be walks. After those 2 road games, Boise comes back home to play Air Force. A lot of land mines in those 8 weeks.

TCU HORNED FROGS

Home: UL-Monroe, Portland St., SMU, New Mexico, BYU, Colorado St., UNLV
Road: Baylor, Air Force, San Diego St., Wyoming, Boise St.

The Horned Frogs are coming off the best season in TCU history. TCU finished the year 13-0 and ranked #2 in the nation after winning the Rose Bowl 21-19 over Wisconsin. Three offensive & two defensive starters were drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft with the Class of 2007 having arguably the most successful 4-year run (44-8) in TCU history. With great historical runs comes rebuilds. As long as Gary Patterson is HC, TCU is going to be very good. Especially defensively, but this year TCU returns just 3 starters on offense & 5 on defense. QB Andy Dalton is gone along with 4 of the 5 offensive linemen and the TE. RB Ed Wesley returns as does WR Josh Boyce, but the losses are significant. Defensively TCU does return all-world LBs Tanner Brock & Tank Carder, but only 3 of the front 7. The secondary is senior laden but with only 2 of the 4 returning in CB Greg McCoy & SS Tekerrein Cuba. TCU’s home slate isn’t too bad. They should win all of those games except for possibly BYU & SMU. The Mustangs have a pretty solid team with 18 starters returning, but might not be a national player because of their brutal schedule. June Jones is a good coach and TCU loses A TON. BYU of course will be solid. The road could be tough for TCU. Boise St., Air Force & Baylor could all win those games. I don’t see San Diego St. or Wyoming being a problem. That puts TCU’s win range of 7-11. The one game I can’t see them winning is the road game to Boise St. The worse season TCU has had in the last 6 years is an 8-5 campaign in 2007. I’m not sure they’ll drop to that kind of mediocrity, but finishing 7-5 given the turnover here? I wouldn’t be completely surprised.

HOUSTON COUGARS

Home: UCLA, Georgia St., East Carolina, Marshall, Rice, SMU
Road: N.Texas, Louisiana Tech, UTEP, UAB, Tulane, Tulsa

Houston is in an interesting situation. Phil Steele says their schedule is the 114th most difficult in 2011! Keep in mind there are only 120 teams in FBS! Case Keenum returns at QB and will likely end the season as college football’s all time leading passer if he can stay healthy through 13 games. Houston had a disappointing season last year going 5-7 after Keenum was injured. The year before Houston was 10-4 poised for a pretty big season in 2010. Keenum goes down and Houston plummets along with HC Kevin Sumlin’s star. Both could have significant rebounds in 2011 as Houston returns a ton at the skill positions and also 6 starters on defense. Defense has never been something Houston has stressed so expect the Cougars to average 45-50ppg and hopefully winning blowouts! The schedule sets up nicely for Houston. The only home games they could lose are against UCLA & SMU, although Houston should be favored in both games, especially the game against the Mustangs. The road slate is easy too with their only tough game likely coming against Tulsa in the season finale. That puts Houston’s win rage at 9-12. I would call the win range 9-11 with a definite loss at Tulsa, but the Golden Hurricane are going through a coaching change this season and odd things can happen with a new regime. Is Tulsa better? I think so, but Houston has a schedule that is so bad that they might be so well rested when they go to Tulsa that it could be a win. The wild card here is Case Keenum. Remember that 2-years ago, Keenum led Houston in Stillwater and beat the 5th-ranked Oklahoma St. Cowboys 45-35! That year Houston also went to Mississippi St. and got a win. Going to Tulsa won’t fluster him and he could himself will Houston to a 13-0 season including a CUSA title.

SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI GOLDEN EAGLES

Home: Louisiana Tech, SE Louisiana, Rice, SMU, UCF, Memphis
Road: Marshall, Virginia, Navy, UTEP, E.Carolina, UAB

Speaking of CUSA titles, Southern Miss has an easier road than Houston does! While Houston’s schedule ranks 114th in the NCAA, Southern Miss’s ranks 117th! Southern Miss is coming off an 8-5 year, but this year could be a huge coming out part for Brett Favre’s alma mater! Southern Miss returns 7 starters on offense including QB Austin Davis, RB Kendrick Hardy, RB Desmond Johnson, & WR Kelvin Bolden. They return 3 starters on the O-line, but LT Lamar Holmes is a senior and was actually an Honorable Mention CUSA player last year which pretty much gives Southern Miss 8 returning starters with 4 being on the offensive line. Defensively Southern Miss returns 7 starters including 5 of the front 7. They return 5 of their top-6 tacklers. DE Cordarro Law, DE Jamie Collins, LB Korey Williams, and CB Deron Wilson should be All-CUSA performers. The schedule really is a joke. Southern Miss shouldn’t lose a game at home although I’m pimping SMU pretty hard. George O’Leary is doing a great job at Central Florida, but the Knight return just 10 starters and take on massive losses on defense. The road slate is also a joke. Virginia & Navy could be stumbling blocks, but the Midshipman lost do it all QB/RB Ricky Dobbs and bring only 3 players back on defense. Virginia has a ton back and Mike London is doing a good job in Charlottesville. I’ll hedge my bets and give Southern Miss a win range of 10-12. In reality, they should cruise to a 12-0 season, but I’m going to stick to pimping SMU and I’ll say Virginia could be the other loss. It could be a very interesting year in CUSA because both Houston & Southern Miss could be 12-0 by the time both meet in the CUSA championship game and you have to wonder if either will get a shot at a BCS bowl given how absolutely weak their schedules are shaping up to be.

BYU COUGARS

Home: Utah, UCF, Utah St., San Jose St., Idaho St., Idaho, New Mexico St.
Road: Mississippi, Texas, Oregon St., TCU, Hawaii

BYU goes from the Mountain West to full independence this season. BYU from 2006-2009 had a record of 43-9 and had the good fortune of having John Beck at QB in 2006 and Max Hall from 2007-2009. Last season the Cougars broke in true freshman QB Jake Heaps and BYU regressed to a 7-6 record, but did hammer UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl. Heaps is a tremendous talent at QB so don’t expect anymore growing pains from him. Offensively BYU brings back 10 starters with the only loss coming at RG. They’ll be back to averaging 35-40ppg this season which will put a lot of pressure on the defense to hold teams down. BYU has a solid group of D-Linemen, but the back-7 is suspect. BYU’s defense won’t be fantastic this season, but as long as they bend and don’t break then the offense should be able to carry the rest of the load. One of the major reasons BYU went to the Las Vegas bowl for 4 straight years despite averaging an 11-2 record is that they couldn’t get past TCU who peaked during 2006-2009 as well. BYU still plays TCU, but overall this is one of the worst schedules in the nation. BYU should be able to take care of their home turf except for possibly the Holy War with Utah. BYU will be coming off back-to-back road games against Mississippi & Texas respectively before playing Utah. That’s a tough nut for anyone to crack. BYU could very well lose road games to Texas or TCU. I’ll also throw in Oregon St. & Ole Miss because you never know. That gives BYU a win range of 7-12. All the games are winnable for the Cougars especially if Heaps is much improves as a QB. The offense should be fantastic and I think for the most part they get teams who are down a bit. TCU loses Andy Dalton. Texas is coming off a bad season so there are question marks there. Oregon St. lost Jacquizz Rodgers. Ole Miss lost their QB in Jeremiah Masoli. There is definitely some transition that could work in BYU’s favor.

OHIO BOBCATS

Home: Gardner-Webb, Marshall, Kent St., Ball St., Temple, Miami-OH
Road: New Mexico St., Rutgers, Buffalo, Akron, C.Michigan, Bowling Green

It’s odd to put a MAC team here as a non-AQ school who could do some damage, but Ohio has the easiest schedule in college football according to Phil Steele and this could portend to a phenomenal season in Athens. Oddly enough Ohio doesn’t look like much on paper. They return only 7 starters on offense and actually lose their top rusher, top passer and two top receivers. They bring back their entire offensive line and their TE giving them arguably the best O-Line in the conference. Defensively they bring back just 4 starters and lose their top-4 tacklers and 4 of their top-5! The entire D-line is gone, but all 3 LBs return and the LB unit might be the best in the conference. Ohio should win all of their home games although I think both Temple & Marshall could be tough outs for the Bobcats. The road slate is flat out awful. They’ll lose at Rutgers, but the rest of the teams are brutally bad and Ohio should win those games. That puts their win range at 9-11. At worst they go 7-1 or 6-2 in the MAC. The only conference game they could potentially lose is the home date against Temple which might not happen meaning a perfect 8-0 season. What will be really interesting here is if Ohio can somehow beat Rutgers. Then a 12-0 season is in play although the MAC title game won’t be easy. The 3 best teams in the MAC are probably Toledo, Western Michigan & Northern Illinois. They all reside in the MAC West and Ohio misses them all during the regular season. Ohio could breeze through their schedule and still not be considered MAC champions because they lose the title game.

TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE

Home: Oklahoma St., North Texas, UAB, SMU, Marshall, Houston
Road: Oklahoma, Tulane, Boise St., Rice, UCF, UTEP

Tulsa could have been poised to do great things in 2011, but a couple of things aren’t working in their favor. The first is that HC Todd Graham bolted for Pittsburgh after Mike Haywood was fired for off-field issues surrounding his wife. The other problem facing Tulsa is their schedule which has them playing road games against Oklahoma & Boise St. along with a road game against Oklahoma St. The Golden Hurricane brings back 18 starters from a team that finished 10-3 last year that included a win over Notre Dame. This year Tulsa is right there with Southern Miss for title of best team in CUSA except they miss the Golden Eagles on the regular season schedule. Offensively Tulsa returns 10 starters from a team that averaged 41.4ppg last year! The only loss was HB Charles Clay. Defensively Tulsa returns 8 starters including 5 of their top-6 tacklers. Two of their losses were both DTs so they’ll need to find replacements in their interior D-line, but Tulsa should have the best set of LBs in the conference so hopefully they’ll be able to help out quite a bit. As I said before, the schedule is a little tough. I don’t think Tulsa can win road games against Oklahoma or Boise St. Even the game against Central Florida could be a tough one. The last time Tulsa visiting UCF, they lost 44-23 back in 2007. The home slate isn’t real easy either with games against Oklahoma St., SMU & Houston. That would make Tulsa 6-6 in a worst case scenario! That’s truly amazing considering the amount of talent Tulsa is bringing back from a 10-3 squad. Best case is 10-2 and an appearance in the CUSA title game. Tulsa gets fairly lucky by drawing Houston at home and avoiding Southern Miss outright. The big question here will be HC Bill Blankenship. He’s never been a HC or even a coordinator at the collegiate level. He was a high school coach until 2007 when he came on staff at Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane will also have a new OC and a new DC. If the coaching staff had Todd Graham and his coaches back then Tulsa could be in for a wild ride, but with the new regime, there could be bumps in the road. I’ll give them a win range of 6-10.

WIN RANGES

Boise St. 9-12
TCU 7-11
Houston 9-12
Southern Mississippi 10-12
BYU 7-12
Ohio 9-11
Tulsa 6-10

I wanted to point out the reasons whey I didn’t include Toledo, Western Michigan or Northern Illinois among the non-AQ teams. That trio from the MAC could very well be better than Ohio and probably are. The problem with those teams however is the schedule. Ohio has a schedule that could very easily put them at 12-0/11-1 so they merit mention. Toledo might very well be the best team in the MAC, but they have road games against Ohio St. & Syracuse along with a home game against Boise St. They also play Western Michigan & Northern Illinois on back-to-back weeks. That puts their “best” case record at 9-3 and possibly 8-4. It’s the same for Western Michigan. The Broncos have road games against Michigan, Illinois, Connecticut, Northern Illinois & Toledo! It’s possibly their best case record is 7-5! Northern Illinois could have potentially been the best team of the 3 to include. The two games they might have trouble with is a date in Chicago against Wisconsin and then a road game against Toledo. For the most part if NIU goes 10-2/11-1 it won’t be all that surprising really.

As for the rest of the non-AQ schools listed, the only real national title contender is Boise St. They have a chance to go 12-0 and make some noise for a title game. They join a depleted MWC this season in which TCU suffers massive losses and BYU goes independent. BYU has a chance for 12 wins although I think their win range of 7-12 is too vast to think they’ll actually get to 12 wins. TCU loses too much. While they have a fantastic shot at getting to 11 wins, I don’t think they can win a road game in Boise to try for the perfect 12-0 they had last year.

Southern Mississippi & Houston have shots at 12-0 seasons, but both must win conference title games to finish 13-0 and I don’t think either school has built enough historical cache at the national level to really threaten a BCS bowl even if they do finish 13-0. The schedules themselves by playing in CUSA will be enough to keep them out.

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Boise St., BYU, Houston, Ohio, Schedule, Southern Miss, TCU, Tulsa | Leave a comment

St. Petersburg Bowl, Mike Leach & Ralph Friedgen

After a weekend of nothing but NFL football, the collegians get back to work on Tuesday night with Louisville & Southern Miss locking up in the St. Petersburg Bowl. So how about that St. Petersburg Bowl? The one reason to watch this game in my opinion is simply watching Charlie Strong’s Louisville team complete its resurgence. Playing in their first bowl game in 4 years, Charlie Strong has done great things with the Cardinals in a very short time. Strong came in and got Louisville’s defense to play very well which makes sense given that he was Florida’s ex-DC before coming to Louisville. It’s a great story I think.

If you haven’t been keeping up with my coaching changes page you can click on the link which shows all the openings (and closings!) so far for both NCAA & NFL football. In what could be the most interesting news story about coaching this year is what’s going on with Maryland. It sounds crazy to say with all the coaching changes going on at Texas along with Urban Meyer stepping down at Florida, but the Terrapins are turning into some kind of odd side show.

Ralph Friedgen just won coach of the year in the ACC, but Maryland buys out his final year and the rumor is that the job is Mike Leach’s if he wants it! Anywhere Mike Leach goes is going to be ridiculously interesting, but a couple of things here are piquing my interest. The first is that Friedgen is an alum of Maryland. I don’t know if Ralph still wants to coach, but I’d think anything less than your alma mater would be somewhat of a let down. Maybe this is Friedgen’s final year of coaching, and at least he can go out a winner. The other side of the coin is Mike Leach himself. He’s a helluva coach although he was fired at Texas Tech for apparently being a little too hard on Craig James’s boy.

What I think is most interesting is Leach potentially going to the ACC. If Leach could win at Texas Tech, I’m guessing he can also win at Maryland because the ACC isn’t quite the conference the Big XII is although next season the Big XII isn’t going to be what we’ve known the Big XII to be in recent years. Still, Maryland doesn’t exactly scream “FOOTBALL SCHOOL” so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. He’s in the same division at NC State & Florida St. so he does avoid Miami-FL, Virginia Tech, North Carolina & Georgia Tech which is a very good thing, but going up against Jimbo Fisher & Tom O’Brien years probably isn’t going to be too much different than going up against Bob Stoops & Mack Brown. FSU & NC State aren’t what Oklahoma & Texas are currently, but still, it’s an interesting place to land.

At first glance I think Leach might be a better fit in the Pac 10, but it’ll be a treat to see him come to the East Coast.

ST. PETERSBURG BOWL
Louisville 6-6 Comments Southern Miss 8-4
A really good game of contrasts. In his 1st year, Charlie Strong has led the Louisville defense to rank 15th nationally in scoring defense. Southern Miss has been an explosive offensive team so the game will probably come down to which unit blinks. It should be fun to watch Southern Miss QB Austin Davis go to work against the Cardinal defense.

December 21, 2010 Posted by | Louisville, Maryland, Mike Leach, Ralph Friedgen, Southern Miss | Leave a comment