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RANKING POWER-65 COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES – THE TOP 10!

THE TOP 10!!! These are the cream of the crop in my opinion and the most elite of the elite. What’s interesting about this group is the history they are all chasing. Of the top-10 coaches, there are 5 who have won national championships. Those 5 are Bob Stoops, Dabo Swinney, Jimbo Fisher, Urban Meyer and Nick Saban. Even though they’ve won national titles, they are chasing history in their own way. For Swinney is the prospect of becoming one of the greatest head coaches of all time. For Fisher it’s to stand side by side with Bobby Bowden in Florida State history. For Stoops it is trying to get back to what he achieve in 2000. For Meyer and Saban, their chase is for the crown of greatest college football head coach of all time. I’m of the opinion that Saban already holds the that crown surpassing Bear Bryant, but if there is a coach who could challenge Saban, it’s Urban Meyer. For the 5 guys on this list that haven’t won a national title, you can be sure they know it’s the last thing they need to accomplish to cement their legacy. The previous rankings can be found in the following links:

#50-#65
#40-#49
#30-#39
#20-#29
#11-#19

#10 – Bobby Petrino – Louisville

While it’s certainly permissible to question his off-field behavior, there is simply no questioning what Bobby Petrino can do on the field. He took Louisville to national championship contender the first go around with the Cardinals. He did the same with Arkansas. Now that he’s back in the ‘Ville, he tied Clemson for the ACC Atlantic division championship and had Louisville not lost to Clemson, then the Cardinals would have been the ones playing for the ACC Championship and the Clemson dream season would never have happened. That was year 3 and he’s already ahead of Florida State! Only Clemson and Florida St. have won more games than the Redbirds the past 3 seasons among ACC teams. Only Clemson & FSU has a better conference record. Recruiting has jumped about 10 spots already from the time Petrino took over until now. His foray into the NFL was a disaster and his questionable conduct at Arkansas was a bit concerning to say the least but Petrino has reinvented himself at Louisville and once again is proving to be one of the very best college football coaches in the nation! With Lamar Jackson returning next year, Louisville should be in the national championship hunt.

#9 – Jim McElwain – Florida

Some might think this is too high for McElwain but in his first two years in Gainesville he’s gone 19-8 with a conference mark of 13-3 winning two SEC East division titles with the Gators finishing the 2016 season ranked 14th! What’s remarkable about Florida in McElwain’s first couple of seasons is that they’ve been winning this much without any QB play. In his first season, McElwain had deal with Will Grier getting injured and then relying upon Treon Harris who should have never been under center. Last season he had to rely on a Purdue transfer who couldn’t find playing time with the Boilermakers! That same Purdue squad who has a record of 8-28 over the last 3 years! McElwain is an offensive guy so my guess is that it’s only a matter of time before Florida starts playing the kind of offense McElwain wants. They’ll always be outstanding defensively because of the athletes the Gators can attract to campus. What McElwain has accomplished with having to build up the program the way he wants it is incredible. Granted, they’ve been dominated in the SEC Championship game and the SEC East hasn’t exactly been fantastic, but I think that is more of a reflection on missed opportunity for teams like Tennessee, Georgia & South Carolina than it is on McElwain taking advantage of a weakened division. McElwain is starting to dominate recruiting too and Gators fans can be rest assured that McElwain won’t leave Gainesville for Ohio.

#8 – David Shaw – Stanford

Frankly this might too low for Shaw. Jim Harbaugh might have laid the foundation for the Cardinal in recent times, but what Shaw has done since taking over the program is nothing short of incredible. In his 6 seasons in Pao Alto, Stanford has won 4 Pac 12 North division titles. They’ve won 3 Pac 12 championships. They are a perfect 3-0 in the Rose Bowl and they’ve been to 4 BCS bowls. Shaw is on a 3-bowl game winning streak and in 5 of this 6 years the Cardinal have never finished below 12th in the final AP Rankings with 3 seasons in the top-10! He’s consistently bringing in top-20 classes which is incredible given the academic restrictions that Stanford is under. Even in his worst season, 2014, Shaw still guided Stanford to an 8-5 season with a bowl victory! Stanford had a little trouble getting started last year but finished the year on a 6-game winning streak to get to 10-3 which was the 5th time in 6 years Shaw had Stanford with double-digit wins. Shaw’s 64 wins in 6-years is Stanford’s greatest run in Cardinal football history! It’s going to be interesting going forward with Stanford and Shaw. The Cardinal lost to both Washington & Washington St. last season and Chris Petersen and Mike Leach aren’t going anywhere. I’m a HUGE fan of Gary Andersen at Oregon St. and the Oregon Ducks bring in a guy in Willie Taggart who at the VERY LEAST will have Oregon as one of the most talented teams in the nation. USC is starting to flex and Mike MacIntyre put the Pac 12 on notice last season. The Pac 12 is changing and it’ll be great to see how Shaw adjusts to the changes.

#7 – Bob Stoops – Oklahoma

Arguably the most underappreciated football coach in America. The last two seasons Bob Stoops has lead the Sooners to a 22-4 mark with a 17-1 conference record. He’s won the Big XII both years. He’s finished #5 in the AP poll both years. Got to the college football playoffs in 2015 and then won the Orange Bowl last year with a convincing 35-19 win over Auburn. All of that winning and Stoops still gets flack for not having Oklahoma where they need to be! What’s hurt Stoops in recent times is his inability to win big time games. It’s unfortunate that Stoops won a national title in Norman in his 2nd year back in 2000 because since then the expectation has been a national championship (as it should be at Oklahoma) but the Sooners have come up empty over the last 16 seasons! That’s a long time to wait when you are an Oklahoma fan. Oklahoma did play for the national title in 2004 and 2008 but the Sooners were hammered in the Orange Bowl in 2004 by USC 55-19, and then in 2008 Tim Tebow got the better of them in Urban Meyer’s 2nd national championship. The other knock on Stoops is that he hasn’t recruited at an extraordinarily high level the past few years (although his 2017 class is a top-10 class) and the Big XII has the perception of being “weak” which hurts Stoops to a degree because he’s the big fish in a relatively small pond. I’m not sure I buy into either excuses, but getting hammered early last year by Ohio State wasn’t a good look and Texas hasn’t given Oklahoma too much competition in the Big XII for quite awhile now. Stoops makes a VERY compelling case to be #3 on this list and #7 does seem a bit low to me, but he ended 2016 on an incredible note and the 2017 recruiting was fantastic. Stoops could very well creep back into top-3 status sooner rather than later.

#6 – Jim Harbaugh – Michigan

The last 3 coaches before Jim Harbaugh had the following first 2-seasons record at Michigan:

Brady Hoke: 19-7
Rich Rodriguez: 8-16
Lloyd Carr: 17-8

Jim Harbaugh in his first two seasons has gone 20-6 with back to back double digit win seasons! The only other Michigan HC in Wolverines football history to begin his career with back to back double digit win seasons was Fielding Yost who posted back to back 11-0 seasons back in 1901-1902! What Harbaugh has done at Michigan is nothing short of spectacular. Rich Rodriguez was a complete mess. Brady Hoke was lost and terrible once he got his own players to Ann Arbor. I’m a big Lloyd Carr fan, but outside of the national championship team Michigan had in 1997 where they went 12-0, Carr never had a team lose less than 2 games. Carr also lost more bowl games than he won and in his last 7 bowl games, Carr’s Wolverines teams were 2-5! Harbaugh has come in to one of the most significant, historically relevant programs in college football history, that hadn’t been relevant in almost 20 years and immediately made them a top-5 team. His last two recruiting classes have both been top-5 classes. Michigan is now competing with Alabama, Ohio St., USC, Florida, Florida St., and Clemson for recruits. Some might think ranking Harbaugh at #6 could be a bit too high too fast, but look at his track record at Stanford. Look what he did at San Francisco? Sure he hasn’t won the Big 10 East yet. He hasn’t beaten Ohio St. yet either, but Harbaugh’s entrance into the Big 10 made the Big 10 East immediately the best division in college football with the best rivalry now being amped up to all time historical levels. He’s a master motivator and is just getting started. If he can post back to back 10-3 seasons without any firm foundation in place, what is Michigan football going to look like when Harbaugh has the program firing on all cylinders?

#5 – Chris Petersen – Washington

I think some people thought Petersen might struggle a bit at Washington after leaving the comfortable confines of Boise. Dan Hawkins couldn’t make it work at Colorado after he left Boise State. Dirk Koetter had a much tougher road at Arizona State after leaving Boise State although Koetter has reinvented himself and is now the HC of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has the Bucs close to playoff contention. The same struggle was thought to follow Petersen to Seattle. Most thought Petersen would turn out well, but that it might take a few years…..yeah it took 3. Petersen’s first two years with the Huskies saw Washington go a combined 15-12 with back-to-back 4-5 conference seasons. In Year 3, Washington would finish the season 12-1 (8-1) with a Pac 12 North division championship, a Pac 12 outright championship and a spot in the college football playoff. The playoff wasn’t spectacular as UW lost to Alabama 24-7, but to be honest, Washington played a pretty tight game against the Crimson Tide despite losing the game. Recruiting is improving under Petersen although it’s always going to be hard to pull kids into dreary Seattle over hot spots like USC, Florida, Florida St., Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Miami-FL, Texas, LSU, UCLA, Tennessee, Arizona State, Arizona and South Carolina. And that isn’t mentioning traditional powerhouse football teams with less than ideal locations such as Penn St., Ohio St., Michigan, and Notre Dame. With that said, Washington should be able to push their recruiting into the top-20 range annually without a problem and that is more than enough talent for Petersen to win and win big with. I think Rick Neuheisel and Don James showed that the Huskies could be relevant on the national stage and Washington is one of those teams that makes college football better when they are winning. The Pac 12 is changing a bit with a lot of incoming young talent as head coaches so Petersen has his work cut out for him, but he’s got Washington ahead of schedule and I don’t think they’ll regress. Washington should be as good or better in 2017 as they were in 2016.

#4 – Jimbo Fisher – Florida State

It’s easy to forget now that Fisher has the Seminoles back at the apex of college football that in Bobby Bowden’s last 5 years as HC, Florida St. posted a combined record of 38-27, finishing outside the final AP-Top 25 in 3 of those 5 seasons and having a losing bowl record of 2-3. Recruiting was way down and some thought that Bobby Bowden was finished and the FSU program along with him. Bowden was finished, but Florida St. wasn’t. Fisher stepped in immediately and led FSU to a 10-4 season, won the ACC Atlantic division title and got a bowl win, giving FSU their first double digit win season in 6 years! Fisher would win the ACC in Year 3. He’d win a national title in Year 4 and play for a another national title in Year 5! Bowden’s last 5 years in Tallahassee saw the ‘Noles go 38-27, but Fisher’s first 5 years in Tallahassee would see FSU post a 58-11 record with a national title and 3 ACC titles! The turnaround was absolutely stunning and put Florida St. back into the ELITE of the ELITE category. Recruiting soared and Fisher has the program humming with no let up in sight. One of the biggest clues that show how good a place FSU is in under Fisher is their last two seasons. Florida St. has had back to back 10-3 seasons finishing #14 in 2015 and #8 in 2016. Those are great if not spectacular seasons, but at this point in Fisher’s tenure, they seem like rebuilding seasons for FSU or disappointing seasons. When you average being a borderline top-10 over a 2-year period and it’s looked at as disappointing, you know you have expectations at an all time high, and Fisher knows he can meet those expectations!

#3 – Dabo Swinney – Clemson

It’s almost impossible to argue Swinney’s success. I’m trying to keep my analysis to the past 5 years and Swinney has enough success those 5 years, but if we stretch Swinney out to his last 6 years, he’s led Clemson to a 70-13 record including a 6-2 bowl record, a national championship, 2 national championship game appearances, 3 ACC championships and 4 ACC Atlantic division titles! It’s a better resume than anyone not named Nick Saban and Swinney can certainly stack up well with Urban Meyer. He has shown he can recruit top-5 classes to Clemson meaning there doesn’t seem to be any weaknesses to Swinney’s arsenal when it comes to head coaching college football. He’s leaped Jimbo Fisher in the ACC Atlantic which is no small feat and he’s keeping Bobby Petrino at bay, which again is no small feat. Swinney was also able to avenge his 2015 championship game loss to Alabama by besting the Tide in 2016 behind QB Deshaun Watson. Swinney has 6 straight 10+ win seasons at Clemson which is a school record. I’d also say that this year Swinney passed Danny Ford as the greatest football coach in Clemson history. The only question now facing Swinney has he moves forward is sustaining that success. The way you become legendary is winning multiple championships the way Nick Saban and Urban Meyer have been able to do. Note that Bob Stoops couldn’t do it. Mack Brown couldn’t do it. Jimbo Fisher hasn’t done it. Jim Tressel couldn’t do it. Steve Spurrier couldn’t do it. Lou Holtz couldn’t do it. It’s not easy. Winning a championship to begin with isn’t easy, but Swinney has about as much momentum going forward as I’ve ever seen and it’ll be interesting going forward to see how much he goes after a historical legacy. He’s a great head football coach. Is he an all-time great?

#2 – Urban Meyer – Ohio State

Speaking of all-time greats……it’s one thing for Dabo Swinney to pass up Danny Ford as Clemson’s best coach of all time. It’s quite another for Urban Meyer to be on pace to make people forget about the legendary Woody Hayes. Meyer has been in Columbus for 5 seasons guiding the Buckeyes after he left a Florida Gators program he won two national championships with. In those 5 seasons, Ohio St. is 61-6 including 3 perfect Big 10 seasons, one perfect season, a national championship, 5 Big 10 division titles and one outright Big 10 championship. In Woody Hayes’s first 5 seasons the Buckeyes were 33-11-2 with one national championship and 2 Big 10 titles. It’s comparable but I’d say Meyer has Woody. It’s hard to knock Meyer’s success. It’s incredible and he’s VERY DESERVING of being #2 on this list. Ohio St. is a machine at this point and there isn’t a team in America that out-recruits Ohio St. other than Alabama, and even then I’d say the Buckeyes Tide have equal talent. The one knock I have on Meyer is that I think he ran from Saban when Saban took over Alabama. I think this is incredible strategy by Meyer, but it also shows to me why you can never put Meyer ahead of Nick Saban unless Meyer just hammers him head-to-head 3-4 times in national championship games. Meyer took over Florida in 2005. Saban’s last year at LSU was 2004 and remember that Saban won a national title in Baton Rouge in 2003. So Meyer came into Florida without Saban at Alabama and the Mad Hatter at LSU. Fullmer goes 5-6 at Tennessee in 2005 and Mark Richt is in Georgia, but he’s not much of a problem for Meyer. Kentucky & Vanderbilt aren’t issues and South Carolina had just hired Steve Spurrier and it’ll take the Ol Ball Coach a little bit of time to get the Gamecocks rolling. Meyer recruits arguably the greatest college football player in history (Tim Tebow) and wins national championships in 2006 and 2008. Saban comes back to Alabama in 2007. Meyer couldn’t have known this. It takes Saban a season to get Alabama rolling but in Year 2, Saban has the Tide at 12-0 and playing for an SEC championship. Tebow is a junior at this time and in the SEC Championship game, Florida beats Alabama 31-20 although Alabama held a 20-17 lead going into the 4th quarter. In 2009, Timmy Tebow is a senior and Florida is expected to win a national championship giving Tebow 3 in 4 years. Florida goes 12-0, but so does Alabama. They meet in the SEC Championship game and instead of Tebow willing Florida to another win, Alabama DESTROYS Florida 32-13 on their way to Saban’s first national title with the Tide. Without Tebow in 2010, Florida slides to 8-5 and takes another beating at the hands of Alabama 31-6 in regular season play. Urban leaves Florida citing health reasons or family reasons or some combination of the two. It’s suspect timing because Alabama would win 2 of the next 3 national championship games with Auburn winning the other. Of course, a year later Urban Meyer takes over the Ohio State team which is conveniently in a conference without Nick Saban.

It’s an interesting story and probably 100% conjecture although it does make some sense. The irony of course is that Meyer comes to the Big 10 East where in 2012, the conference is in turmoil so to speak. Michigan is somewhat of a joke now that they’ve gone through the Rich Rodriguez era and Brady Hoke is screwing up. Penn State is a complete mess due to the Joe Paterno/Jerry Sandusky scandal that is erupting. Bo Pellini can’t get Nebraska figured out and Ohio St. finds itself in the Big 10 Leaders division with Indiana, Illinois & Purdue! Sure Wisconsin is around, but as good as the Badgers are, Meyer has to know that Wisconsin could NEVER keep up with the influx of talent to Columbus with how Meyer recruits. The problem is that it doesn’t stay that way. Two years later the Big 10 welcomes in Maryland & Rutgers and the divisions change. Michigan & Michigan St. come over to the Big 10 East while Wisconsin changes to the Big 10 West. Penn St. rights the ship quick with Bill O’Brien before turning it over to James Franklin. Mark Dantonio is now in the same division as Meyer and lo and behold, Michigan brings in Jim Harbaugh! The Big 10 Leaders division goes from being a laughing stock division that Ohio St. could have dominated for decades to the Big 10 East which is now arguably the most difficult division to play in with 4 of the best head coaches in all of college football.

This bites Meyer a bit. Ohio St. was ineligible for postseason play in 2012, but in 2013 Ohio St. loses the Big 10 championship to Mark Dantonio and Michigan State. In 2014 Ohio St. does manage to win the national championship in the first ever football playoff scenario beating Alabama 42-35 in the semifinals before beating Oregon, but in 2015 they miss the Big 10 title game because of a tie-breaker loss to Michigan St. and last year they miss the Big 10 title game again due to a tie-breaker loss to Penn State! They get to the playoffs last season, but are humiliated by Clemson 31-0 in the semifinal game. Luckily Ohio St. didn’t draw Alabama because shades of 2008-2009 come to mind if that scenario played out again. Saban would have remembered and the outcome for Ohio St., like it was for Florida, wouldn’t have been pretty. I write all of this not to cast doubt on Meyer’s legitimacy. He’s an all-time great legendary coach. Everyone agrees, but I think an overlooked aspect of Meyer’s career is that he’s been fairly strategic in trying to put himself into the best place possible. You can’t knock him on that. Opportunity doesn’t come often and he’s taken advantage of that opportunity by helping it with putting himself in the right situations. That and winning Tebow from Mike Shula during Tebow’s recruitment has done wonders for Meyer’s status.

#1 – Nick Saban – Alabama

G.O.A.T! He’ll eventually tie or pass Bear Bryant’s record of 6 national championships. Saban already has 5 and to be honest he’s probably the greatest coach in Alabama and LSU history. Hell he might be the greatest coach in Michigan State history as well! Saban has been at Alabama now for 10 seasons. In those 10 seasons he’s gone 119-19! The man has averaged 12 wins per season for a decade! He’s won 4 national championships, 6 SEC Championships, 8 SEC West championships and has finished ranked in the AP top-10 for the last 9 consecutive seasons! This doesn’t even account for the national championship he won at LSU, the SEC championship he won at LSU or the 3 SEC West titles he won at LSU. Saban has also won 8 bowl games in this 10 years in Tuscaloosa. Nobody can out-recruit the Tide & Saban. He deals with a lot of coordinator turnover because everyone wants his coordinators to take over their teams! Jim McElwain was his OC. Now he’s the HC at Florida! Kirby Smart was his DC. Now he’s the HC at Georgia! Lane Kiffin was a former HC for USC, Tennessee and the Oakland Raiders and spent the last few seasons as Saban’s OC! Mark Dantonio was on Saban’s staff for 5 years at Michigan St. and he’s now the HC at Michigan State! Jimbo Fisher was on Saban’s staff at LSU. He’s the HC now at Florida State! The one constant is Nick Saban himself. We could go on and on about his accolades but they’ll all point to the same conclusion. Nick Saban is the best football coach in college football right now. He’s also the greatest college football coach to ever live.

May 27, 2017 Posted by | ACC, Alabama, Big 10, Big XII, Clemson, Coaching, Florida, Florida St., Louisville, Michigan, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Pac 12, Rankings, SEC, Stanford, Washington | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 FINAL RANKINGS

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL – BOWL SEASON PREVIEW!

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 14

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

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

DROPPING OUT

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

 

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 13

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 12 – BIG GAMES

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 6

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 5

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope There is nothing Alabama has done to hurt their ability to be the #1 team. In fact, you can make a case for the Tide, Ohio St. or Clemson & it would be hard to think any of them aren’t deserving. One thing that Alabama isn’t doing over the last two weeks is putting the hammer down on their opponents. Over the last two weeks Alabama has beaten Kent St. 48-0 and Kentucky 34-6. Those are beatings to be sure, but I think we are all waiting for Alabama to beat those teams 63-0. A bit more style from Alabama please!
#2 Computer Hope Clemson needed a late 4th quarter TD drive to beat Louisville 42-36, but the Tigers got a HUGE win over a Louisville team that can certainly make a case for being the best team in the nation. QB Deshaun Watson had an incredible game but to me the story of the game was Clemson’s D-Line. The Tigers sacked Louisville QB Lamar Jackson 5 times, picked him off once, had 10 tackles for loss and 9 QB hurries! If Clemson’s D-Line continues to play like that for the rest of the season, they have the ability to win a championship!
#3 Computer Hope Right now it’s hard to argue Ohio St. isn’t the hottest team in the country. They aren’t simply beating teams. They are destroying teams. There was a lot of talk this weekend about how much difference Ohio St. is this year than last because of how bad they are beating teams. Last year Ohio St. won their first 4 and were +89 in point differential. This year through their first 4 games the Buckeyes are +191 so there is some validity for that argument. At the same time, the schedule has been about as soft as Charmin.
#4 Computer Hope Going on the road to Clemson and losing 42-36 is hardly anything the hang your head over. I think Louisville came out a little flat in the first half & gave up a few too many big plays. It took Lamar Jackson a couple of series to really get warmed up and the defense gave up a couple of big plays. It happens. Louisville didn’t do anything to diminish their playoff resume in my opinion. The Cardinals need Clemson to go 13-0, to hammer Houston, &  hope there aren’t 4 undefeated teams from Power-5 conferences.
#5 Computer Hope If Michigan doesn’t miss 3 field goals then they beat the Badgers 23-7 instead of 14-7. I really liked Michigan’s dedication to the run despite not being terribly successful with it. Wisconsin’s defense is no joke & the Wolverines were able to make big plays at times. A lot of credit goes to Michigan’s defense. They all but shut down Wisconsin’s running game and picked off QB Alex Hornibrook three times. Michigan St. losing to Indiana throws the Big 10 into a bit of turmoil. It’s not entirely clear how good team are.
#6 Computer Hope Michigan looks like a playoff caliber team and Wisconsin went into the Big House with a rookie QB and almost pulled off a stunning victory. It’s almost IMPOSSIBLE for a team to beat 3 top-10 teams in the same season especially with those 3 games away from home. The fact that Wisconsin was able to pull off wins over LSU & Michigan St. speaks volumes for the team. Like Louisville, Wisconsin didn’t do anything to damage their playoff chances. They get a bye week before Ohio State. Win that one & everything changes.
#7 Computer Hope The 44-6 win over Stanford was the type of win Washington needed to establish the program as a national power once again. It’s debatable as to how good  Stanford is, but after watching this game I feel as if Washington might be the most complete team in the nation. Jake Browning is a QB that isn’t going to make mistakes. Myles Gaskin is a tremendous RB but Lavon Coleman stole the show for me. The D-Line is relentless & the receivers are blazing fast especially John Ross. The have to win at Oregon.
#8 Computer Hope Beating South Carolina 24-13 was a little too close for my liking but the Aggies were without DE Myles Garrett, WR Ricky Seals-Jones and WR Speedy Noil. WRs Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds were still around but obviously A&M wasn’t at full strength. Trevor Knight continues to do a tremendous job running & throwing the football. Along with Trayveon Williams, A&M’s rushing attack is as lethal as any in the nation. Their next two games come against Alabama  & Tennessee. That should tell us quite a bit.
#9 Computer Hope Houston is entirely too good for the American Athletic Conference. This week the Cougars hammered UConn 42-14 as Greg Ward passed for 389 yards & 3TD while also running for 65 yards & 2TD. Houston’s rush defense was also tremendous. The Oklahoma win is going to look better & better especially if the Sooners wind up winning the Big XII, but what  Houston needs to focus on is getting to Louisville. If Houston can get a win over the Cardinals & win the AAC, then the playoffs are in play.
#10 Computer Hope Don’t be shocked if Memphis is 10-1 when they host Houston on November 25th. It’ll be for the AAC-West title with the Tigers likely having a chance to derail Houston’s dream season assuming the Cougars defeat Louisville. With that said, Ole Miss ripped through Memphis like it was nothing en route to a 48-28 win in Oxford. Chad Kelly threw for almost 400 yards and the Ole Miss running attack almost went for 300! The defense could have been a bit tighter but did force 4 turnovers. This was a solid win.
#11 Computer Hope GOOD GRIEF THEY DID IT AGAIN!!! Tennessee is sort of becoming reminiscent of Auburn when the Tigers won the national championship in 2010 or Clemson last year when they got to the title game. The Vols looked like they were in for their first loss between the hedges when Josh Dobbs hit the Hail Mary to Jauan Jennings for a 43-yard game winning TD. Never mind the fact that Jacob Eason hit Riley Ridley for a 47-yard TD with 10 seconds left to give Georgia a 31-28 lead. UT just keeps winning.
#12 Computer Hope Auburn played Auburn football Saturday & blitzed UL-Monroe 58-7 behind 410 rushing yards & 5 rushing TDs! Gus Malzahn probably didn’t handle the QB situation that great in Week 1 against Clemson, but Sean White has been the starter ever since & in his 4 starts he’s gone 68/93 (73%) for 843 yards & 5TD without throwing an interception. In those 4 games the Tigers are averaging 5.5ypc. War Eagle isn’t getting a lot of love but they’ve only lost to A&M and Clemson and both were close losses. This team is dangerous.
#13 Computer Hope As I said last week when Clemson faced Georgia Tech, road wins over the Yellow Jackets aren’t easy. Miami-FL’s defense wasn’t as disciplined as Clemson and had a hard time stopping the GT running attack, but Miami did enough on offense and forced GT into 3 turnovers which was enough for Miami-FL to get a 35-21 win. I love that Miami-FL is playing well because I think they are good it’s good for college football but THE U gets FSU, UNC, VT, Notre Dame & Pittsburgh in their next 5 games! Good grief!
#14 Computer Hope I knew something was different about Colorado when they hammered Colorado St. to open the season 44-7. Since then they’ve done nothing to dispel that notion. This week’s 47-6 win over Oregon St. is exactly the kind of performance you’d expect from a contending team. Freshman QB Steven Montez was a bit sharper & UC’s running attack is nothing if not punishing. The Buffs led 37-6 at halftime! Colorado’s only loss is a road loss to Michigan. They get USC next week. They’ll move up with a win there.
#15 Computer Hope Georgia is a tough team to rank right now because they’ve lost two straight games, but the losses have come against Tennessee & Ole Miss so how bad can the Dawgs be? The opening week win over North Carolina looks amazing now that the Tar Heels beat Florida St. this past weekend. Georgia can make a strong argument they should have beaten Tennessee, but you have to remember that Georgia got pretty lucky taking the lead with 10 seconds left. If UGA can beat Florida, they could finish 10-2.
#16 Computer Hope That was a huge win for North Carolina and even though the final was 37-35, it’s worth remembering that the Tar Heels took a 28-14 lead into the 4th quarter. It’s even more amazing that UNC got a win with Dalvin Cook rushing for 140 yards & 3TD and totaling 106 receiving yards! The Heels lost their first game to South Carolina last year before winning 11 straight & winning the ACC Coastal. With no Clemson or Louisville on the schedule, the same could happen again this year which is an amazing run for the Heels.
#17 Computer Hope Not ready to give up on Florida St. just yet but the defense is a serious problem. Against FBS teams, FSU is allowing 42.3 points per game. That would rank as the 6th worst defense among FBS teams thus far. With the sort of talent Florida St. has on that side of the ball, giving up 40+PPG is criminal. We saw what happened at Notre Dame when the defense was garbage. I don’t know if DC Charles Kelly is in danger, but he’s got to get the defense turned around. They can’t score 35 points and lose games.
#18 Computer Hope Oklahoma had a solid attack in a 52-46 road win over TCU. It’s the Big XII so we can sort of expect that defense is optional at this point, but QB Baker Mayfield was very efficient and the rushing attack behind Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine ran extremely well. To be fair to Oklahoma, their only losses are to Ohio State and Houston, two undefeated teams. It’s entirely possible those teams finish 13-0. If the Sooners win out they are 10-2. They are probably out of playoff contention but can win the Big XII & a bowl.
#19 Computer Hope Arkansas got busy Saturday against Alcorn St. in a 52-10 win that saw the Razorbacks rush for 353 yards & 3TD while averaging 9.3ypc! Arkansas is a solid team, but like the days under Bobby Petrino, they need to start making a splash in the SEC West. Being 4-1 is nice but they can make big gains over the next two weeks as Alabama & Ole Miss come to Fayetteville. The remaining schedule is about as nasty as you can imagine so it’ll be interesting to see if Arkansas can stay in some low scoring affairs.
#20 Computer Hope Beating Vanderbilt 13-6? Color me unimpressed. The Gators couldn’t get loose on the ground and Austin Appleby couldn’t find the endzone. If Vanderbilt doesn’t turn the ball over 3 times the Gators might have been up against their 2nd straight loss to a team from the Volunteer state. At some point Florida is going to have to score some points which is odd to say considering Jim McElwain is an offensive guy. At this point Florida’s defense is carrying the team, but they’ll face much tougher teams than Vandy!
#21 Computer Hope Eeek. It took Nebraska 3 quarters to wake up against Illinois but managed to score 21 points in the 4th quarter to defeat the Illini 31-16 and get to 5-0! The Oregon win doesn’t look nearly as good now that the Ducks are completely in the tank and have lost to both Colorado and Washington State. I love how the Huskers are playing ball. Tommy Armstrong has never looked better while Terrell Newby & Devine Ozigbo keep running wild. Indiana & Purdue should be wins but Ohio St. & Wisconsin come calling.
#22 Computer Hope On the one hand you can argue that Baylor didn’t really deserve to win that game. On the other hand, you can argue that Iowa St. should have never really bee in the game given that the Bears rushed for 469 yards & 5TD while averaging 7.6ypc! Baylor is going to keep winning but the Big XII is so damaged that even if they go 12-0, could you argue the Bears should be a playoff team over an 11-1 Louisville squad? I guess they need to keep winning games, but the Big XII is a disaster. They need to fix the conference.
#23 Computer Hope The Hokies are coming off a bye week and although they haven’t really beaten anyone yet, the loss to Tennessee keeps looking pretty good especially when you consider that Virginia Tech beat Tennessee for a half. Their schedule isn’t exactly easy but the Hokies do avoid Clemson, Florida State and Louisville. A win in Chapel Hill could catapult Virginia Tech into the national discussion. I don’t think they can win the ACC but finishing 11-2 with a Coastal title is nothing to cry about. It’s a huge step for this program.
#24 Computer Hope Missouri isn’t a very good team, but LSU played the kind of football it can play & still win out. They might need some luck to beat Alabama, but they get the Tide in Death Valley so who knows. Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams are outstanding and if Leonard Fournette comes back, the Tigers have a RB capable of taking it to the house on every single down with almost no chance of anyone getting tired. If Danny Etling can manage games & the defense gets loose, why can’t LSU finish 10-2 or 9-3?
#25 Computer Hope Let’s just say Stanford caught Washington at a really bad time combined with the Cardinal having a really bad game. On the bright side Stanford still has wins over UCLA & USC which look pretty good and should continue to look better as those two squads are actually good football teams albeit not ELITE ones. Stanford can right the ship over the next three weeks with win over Washington St., Colorado & Notre Dame. That would make them 6-1 and an 11-1 season isn’t out of the qustion for the Cardinal.

DROPPING OUT

#21 MICHIGAN STATE: Losing to Wisconsin is one thing. Losing to Indiana? That’s unacceptable. The win over Notre Dame is garbage now given that the Irish lost a home game to Duke. I don’t know what Michigan St. does from here. They still get Ohio St. & Michigan which means 8-4 is the best they can hope for. Just a brutal 24-21OT loss to the Hoosiers that effectively kills their season.

#23 SAN DIEGO STATE: A loss to South Alabama? That went south fast for the Aztecs.

#24 UTAH: The loss at California isn’t that big of a deal I suppose but the Pac 12 gets quirky. Utah loses to Cal but Cal lost to Arizona St. who just got blown out by USC. Either the Pac 12 has a lot of teams that should be ranked or it has a lot of teams that are just OK with one really potentially great team in Washington. Who knows? Utah still has a shot to win the South, but every week seems to be confusion for most of the Pac 12.

#25 ARIZONA STATE: Losing to USC isn’t the end of the world, but what a mess the Pac 12 South is. It’s crazy to think the Sun Devils defense is this bad.

October 2, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Miami-FL, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Power 25, San Diego St., Stanford, Tennessee, Texas AM, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Week 5, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 5 – BIG GAMES

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

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope Clemson’s win over Georgia Tech last week was nice & the Tigers defense came out to play, but playing against an offense like Tech’s is inherently difficult because of the blocking scheme employed by those triple option types of offenses. We’ll really see how Clemson does this week after playing the Jackets last week. Lamar Jackson has to be licking his chops at this one. Louisville has destroyed everything in their path but this is the first real road test for the Ville! Computer Hope
Computer Hope If Wisconsin walks into Ann Arbor and does to the Wolverines what they did the Spartans last week, how are they not the #1 team in the nation with wins over LSU, Michigan and Michigan St. with NONE of them coming in Camp Randall!? I’d like to say Wisconsin hasn’t seen a rushing attack quite like Michigan’s yet, but they locked up Leonard Fournette for crying out loud. Michigan is averaging 52PPG. They aren’t going to come close to that even if they win. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Huge game for both teams and probably the game that will decide the Pac 12 North. Washington was almost caught sleeping last week down in Arizona as they needed OT to pull out a win over the Wildcats because they were looking ahead to Stanford. Stanford on the other hand hasn’t been that great. Sure they’ve won all their games, but those wins haven’t exactly moved the meter. There’s no dominance to this Cardinal team. A win by either vaults them in the rankings. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It would be great if Tennessee could put together two halves of a football game so we could see how dominant the Vols can be. We were somewhat saying the same thing about Ole Miss last week before Georgia came into Oxford. Ole Miss didn’t disappoint taking Georgia to the woodshed early & often. Tennessee has the same opportunity this week & Nick Chubb might not be playing. Beat Georgia and there really isn’t anyone left in the East to challenge Tennessee. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Isn’t it amazing that TCU is ranked despite beating South Dakota St., SMU & Iowa St. but losing to Arkansas? This is a good game for Oklahoma to get back on track. The Frogs do a few things well, but defensively this is not one of Gary Patterson’s best units. Oklahoma should be able to exploit that and flex a bit on the TCU defense. I don’t think Oklahoma can tank the season simply because they have 2 losses. They still could win the Big XII & hope for a miracle. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Nobody is really talking about Memphis, but the Tigers beat Ole Miss last year 37-24 en route to starting the season 8-0 & being ranked #15. You’d think Memphis would be down a bit after losing their HC (Justin Fuente) & QB (Paxton Lynch), but new HC Mike Norvell has this team humming. In their first 3 games, the Tigers have outscored their opponents 155-27! QB Riley Ferguson is playing well, Memphis runs the ball well & the defense is great! Very interesting. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This should be a great game not many people will see. Utah has a window in the Pac 12 South that could catapult them into national contention if they keep winning. Cal has shown an ability to get loose at home with wins over Texas and Hawaii. If the Bears can allow Davis Webb to play within himself the Bears could win this thing. Cal hasn’t faced a defense as staunch as Utah’s though. If Utah can win this one they could be 8-0 before hosting Washington on 10/29! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Cool opportunity for the Hurricanes to once again show they are better than the team that just beat their opponent. Earlier in the year Tennessee needed OT to beat Appalachian St. in Knoxville. Miami went into Boone & hammered the Mounties 45-10. Last week Clemson went into Atlanta & beat GT 26-7. This week Miami-FL will follow & it’ll be interesting to see if “THE U” can win by a more convincing score. We’re still in wait & see mode with Miami at this point. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Texas had an extra week to stew over their road loss to California, but I’m excited to see what the Longhorns can do against Oklahoma St. in Stillwater. Last week the Cowboys went on the road to Baylor & played the Bears pretty tough despite losing. The win over Notre Dame doesn’t look so hot but it’s still hard to deny the talent on Texas’ roster & how exciting the offense & defense could be. Like Oklahoma, Texas still has a shot at winning the Big XII championship. Computer Hope
Computer Hope How cool is it that Navy and Air Force are 3-0 and facing off! This will be a great game if you like rushing offense, but I’m excited for this because of Air Force. Navy has Houston, Memphis & Notre Dame on the schedule, but if the Falcons can get a win here, they could be 11-0 when they host Boise St. on November 25th. Get by Boise St. and they’d get San Diego St. in the MW championship game. There is a lot going on outside the Power 5 with a few teams. Computer Hope

September 27, 2016 Posted by | Air Force, Big Games, California, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Memphis, Miami-FL, Michigan, Mississippi, Must See Games, Navy, NCAA, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Week 5, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 4

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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