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

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

#49 – Kliff Kingsbury – Texas Tech

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

#48 – Dave Doeren – North Carolina State

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

#47 – Todd Graham – Arizona State

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

#46 – Kevin Sumlin – Texas A&M

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

#45 – Derek Mason – Vanderbilt

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

#44 – Mark Stoops – Kentucky

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

#43 – Dave Clawson – Wake Forest

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

#42 – Butch Jones – Tennessee

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

#41 – Jim Mora – UCLA

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

#40 – Pat Narduzzi – Pittsburgh

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 11 – BIG GAMES

AWAY QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope This is a huge game for the Huskies as it’ll give them more credibility as one of the ELITE playoff teams. I’m a huge fan of Washington’s team so I definitely have them in, but when you think about their resume, I guess you could argue it’s lacking. Their best non-conference win is over Rutgers & the Pac 12 is down. USC has played like a top-10 team since QB Sam Darnold took over so expect the Trojans to put up a fight. I think Washington will ultimately be too tough to handle. They are for real. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Ed Orgeron’s first road game as LSU’s head coach. This game doesn’t necessarily have any implications nationally, but both teams are incredibly good and a win by either is important for the programs. For Arkansas a win means a 10-win season in on the table which is a program milestone under Bret Bielema. It also would mean Arkansas is likely a top-15 team. For LSU it adds to their legitimacy. The Tigers proved last week they might be the #2 team in the nation right now. A win here helps. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Here is a weird stat for you, this is Georgia’s 10th game of the season yet it will only be their 4th in Athens! War Eagle had some trouble with Vanderbilt last week until QB Sean White came in and dominated the 2nd half. Georgia is 2-4 in their last 6 & had issues with Kentucky last week. The Bulldogs haven’t faced ANYONE like Auburn this season and I think it’ll show. I think this is another opportunity for Auburn to solidify itself on their road to the true SEC Championship game at Alabama! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Don’t blink in this one! Wazzou QB Luke Falk currently ranks 3rd in the NCAA in passing yards with 3,237. He completes 74.1% of his passes and has 28TD to 5INT. Cal QB Davis Webb currently ranks 4th in the NCAA in passing yards with 3,176. He completes 61.0% of his passes and has 30TD to 11INT. Both teams are top-5 in passing offense! The O/U is 82.5! Strategically it’s a great win for WSU. Cal isn’t a great team but they’ve beat a couple of good teams so it’ll look good for the Cougs. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Gophers are 7-2 and I don’t think anyone in the nation has noticed. That’s partly due to the Gophers’ biggest win coming against….Illinois? Regardless, Minnesota is in play to win the Big 10 West believe it or not! If they win out, they go to the Big 10 championship game! Their two losses have come against Iowa & Penn St. by a combined 10 points. Nebraska is coming off 2 losses to Wisconsin & Ohio St. so opportunity could be there. I think it’s a long shot, but this one has implications. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I cannot wait to watch this one. Penn St. is showing out and while you can get all hot and bothered over Saquon Barkley & Trace McSorley, the real protagonist of the Penn St. football team is the defense. The Hoosiers haven’t been as prolific offensively as they’ve been in recent years but IU can score & they are looking for bowl eligibility at 5-4. Penn St. is rolling SO WELL right now that I keep waiting for the let down, but who knows? I want to see the Penn St. defense dominate Indiana today. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Texas RB D’Onta Freeman is on pace to finish the season with 2,169 rushing yards & 20TD while averaging 7+ypc! I know it’s going to be impossible for him to jump Lamar Jackson or Jake Browning in the Heisman race, but he needs to be invited to NYC for the ceremony. He’s been the most physically dominant RB I’ve seen all season. WVU’s Big 12 chances are still there but Texas & Charlie Strong NEED this win. They could win out & get to 9-4 & that’s huge improvement in Year 3 for Strong. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is OK-State’s last home game before finishing up with back-to-back road games against TCU and Oklahoma. If they can beat Texas Tech & TCU then playing Oklahoma would be a defacto Big XII championship game assuming the Sooners take care of their own business. This should be a good game because Texas Tech plays pretty hard & forces teams into shootouts where anything can happen. Tech HC Kliff Kingsbury needs to figure out a way to recruit elite defensive players to Lubbock. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Iowa isn’t THAT much different than last season except for a couple of things. In 2015 the Hawkeyes got a few more turnovers and the breaks seemingly went their way in close games which led to a 12-2 mark and a top-10 ranking. The hurricane known as Michigan is coming to Iowa City & I don’t expect it to be close AT ALL, but Iowa has pride so they’ll play fairly hard. Iowa is always going to skate a fine line. Sometimes it results in 2009 or 2015 seasons. Sometimes it results in 2011 & 2016. Computer Hope
Computer Hope After starting the season 5-1 with wins over Texas Tech, Cal & UCLA, the Sun Devils have lost 4 straight games & are now fighting for bowl eligibility. This is an interesting game to me because ASU plays well at home and Utah’s resume is a little bit suspect. The Utes are coming off a loss to Washington & really are fighting for respect as they are living off an early season win over USC. ASU’s defense is SO BAD I’d expect Utah to handle them easily, but if ASU could make it interesting if they play well. Computer Hope

November 12, 2016 Posted by | Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Big Games, California, Georgia, Indiana, LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, Oklahoma St., Penn St., Texas, Texas Tech, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington St., Week 11, West Virginia | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA BOWL GAMES PREVIEW

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

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

NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 10 2015

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope The complete beatdown of LSU is almost inexplicable. Leonard Fournette could probably run for 100 yards a game in the NFL. The Crimson Tide defense held him to 31 yards on 19 carries & might possibly have cost him the Heisman Trophy. Forget the Ole Miss loss. This is hands down the best team in college football with arguably the best defense Nick Saban has had while in Tuscaloosa. Derrick Henry is unstoppable. The defense can’t be score on. Jake Coker is getting better. Unquestioned #1 team.
#2 Computer Hope Clemson slayed the dragon in beating Florida St. 23-13 which included over 500 total yards & almost 30 first downs! The Tigers are now ACC Atlantic division champions so they are going to play in the ACC title game regardless of what happens. Their remaining 3 games come against Wake Forest, Syracuse & South Carolina, three schools with a combined record of 9-18. A 12-0 season could be a foregone conclusion at this point, but Clemson could have some work to do potentially against North Carolina.
#3 Computer Hope Pittsburgh’s a good football team. This game could have been close. It wasn’t. Notre Dame flexed its offensive muscle in beating the Panthers 42-30 in Pittsburgh. If you are in love with Clemson you have to be in love with Notre Dame to a degree, but the Irish are being helped now by Navy & Temple’s good fortune. Navy’s win over Memphis is a huge positive for Irish apologists & USC winning makes them look even better. ND should be 10-1 when they had to Pao Alton in a game that could decide their fate.
#4 Computer Hope I can’t hammer LSU too much for losing 30-16 in Tuscaloosa. Not against that Alabama defense. The thing with LSU is that you knew going into that game that Alabama was going to do everything they could to stop Fournette & they did. Brandon Harris was going to be forced to beat Alabama & Harris ended the game going 6 of 19 for 128yds with 1TD & 1INT. He was also sacked twice. The issue now is will teams be able to replicate what Alabama did without having the personnel that Alabama displayed?
#5 Computer Hope I expected some separation on Saturday, but this wasn’t what I was expecting. Oklahoma St. blew the barn doors off TCU in a 49-29 route that was never close. I do think there needs to be some caution with the Cowboys. TCU committed 4 turnovers while OK State played a near flawless game. Even with that said, TCU still rang up more than 660 total yards & outgained the Cowboys by over 200! They also held OK State to 81 rushing yards. Tremendous win no doubt but questions still linger.
#6 Computer Hope Baylor beat Kansas St. 31-24 & they look to be in good shape with Jarrett Stidham taking over for Seth Russell….at least for now. In the latest College Playoff Poll, the Big XII is on on the outside looking as Ohio St., Alabama, Notre Dame & Clemson are in the top-4. The problem with the Big XII is they schedule NOBODY in their non-conference. Here is each team’s biggest non-conference win: Baylor (Rice), Oklahoma (Tennessee), Oklahoma St. (C.Michigan), TCU (Minnesota). What do you do with that?
#7 Computer Hope It took way too long for Ohio St. to put away a Minnesota team that probably isn’t there emotionally. A late score made the final 28-14. It’s tough to get a read on Ohio State. JT Barrett was suspended against the Gophers & clearly the Buckeyes are a different team with him as QB. When he finally took the reigns against Rutgers & Penn St., the Buckeyes outscored their opponents 87-17. Forced to go back to Cardale Jones, tOSU gets a 28-14 win over Minny. And let’s be honest, Ohio St. hasn’t played anyone.
#8 Computer Hope The Hawkeyes had a little scare in Bloomington this past Saturday but nothing Michigan St. & Ohio St. didn’t have to deal with earlier against the Hoosiers. Iowa pulled away in the 2nd half & led 35-20 before a late Indiana TD made it a 35-27 final. This is a consistent football team that is getting better. I love the blueprint & when Jordan Canzeri comes back, Iowa will have a 3-headed monster at tailback that is going to be difficult to handle. A 12-0 record should be a foregone conclusion for the Hawkeyes.
#9 Computer Hope HC Jim McElwain wasn’t wrong when he said in his post game presser that teams on championship runs oftentimes have close games that they need to find ways to win. Oftentimes those games come against teams you wouldn’t think would have any chance against a championship caliber team. Florida found itself in one of those games against Vanderbilt this past weekend & came out with a 9-7 victory. It happens! Florida is still SEC East champs & should get to 10-1 when Florida St. comes calling.
#10 Computer Hope Given what we know about the college football playoff poll, it doesn’t seem likely that a 1-loss Big XII team gets in when you already consider that a 1-loss Alabama and a 1-loss Notre Dame already rates higher than undefeated Oklahoma St. & Baylor teams do. Because of that, TCU’s hopes of getting to the playoffs are probably over after their 49-29 loss to Oklahoma State. The good news is that you can argue TCU beat themselves & could win out to get to 11-1. The bad news is that it might not be enough.
#11 Computer Hope Figure this one out. Iowa St. beats Texas 24-0. Texas beats Oklahoma 24-17. Oklahoma beats Iowa St. 52-16! The Texas loss is incredible when you look back at it & it could come back to haunt the Sooners. Since that loss, OU has won 4 straight, outscoring their opponents 232-50! QB Baker Mayfield is literally playing out of his mind at this point & with OU’s running game, the offense is the best in the nation right now. I have this nagging feeling that the Sooners are the Big XII’s best. I hope they prove it.
#12 Computer Hope I think going on the road & beating Washington 34-23 is more impressive than Utah is getting credit for. Devontae Booker has been a horse all season & Travis Wilson is a gamer at QB. Outside of the loss to USC, the Utes have played incredible football. It’s amazing to me to see Stanford getting more love than Utah. Both have one loss but Utah lost to USC while Stanford lost to Northwestern. I wonder why nobody is talking about a potential 12-1 Utah team getting to the playoffs? It could happen!
#13 Computer Hope Michigan took care of business this weekend by thumping Rutgers 49-16 & improving to 7-2. Michigan might be the most fascinating team going forward for the rest of the season. Their next two games are tricky road games against Penn St. & Indiana. Win those & they are 9-2 & playing Ohio St. at home. If Ohio St. takes care of Michigan St. the week prior & Michigan beats Ohio St., then Michigan wins the Big 10 East. If they beat Iowa they’d be 11-2 with a helluva resume! Do they make the playoffs?
#14 Computer Hope After a close call at Washington St. last week, Stanford put on a clinic in Boulder in dealing out a 42-10 loss to Colorado in which RB Christian McCaffery added throwing TD passes to his already impressive arsenal of offensive capabilities! QB Kevin Hogan has been great. RB Christian McCaffery has had 6 straight 100 yards rushing games. Stanford’s season really gets interesting. Their last 3 games are all at home against Oregon, California & Notre Dame. A 12-1 Stanford team would be hard to deny.
#15 Computer Hope Another week another win for the Trojans, this time dispatching Arizona 38-30 for their 3rd straight. Those 3 wins have come against Utah, California & Arizona so it’s not like USC is beating up on Oregon St., Colorado & Washington State! The Trojans aren’t getting any poll love because they are 6-3, but if you over look the Washington loss, their only 2 losses were against Stanford & Notre Dame, and at the time their coach was going off the rails. If USC wins out & Utah slips up, the Trojans are South champs!
#16 Computer Hope This is a different team with Corey Clement at tailback. The week before Clement suited up against Rutgers and ran for 115 yards & 3TD on 11 carries. Wisconsin blasted the Scarlet Knights 48-10. A week later Clement sits out against Maryland & Wisconsin struggles until the 2nd half where they finally pull away & win 31-24. I’m guessing Wisconsin wanted Clement to rest up before Northwestern. Wisconsin is 8-2 with their only losses coming against Iowa & Alabama. Maybe #16 is way too low.
#17 Computer Hope If you play with fire long enough, you are bound to get burned & this is precisely what happened to Michigan St. in Lincoln this past week as the Spartans fell from the ranks of the unbeatens in a 39-38 loss to Nebraska. The Spartans are on the outside looking in at 8-1, but they still control their own destiny. If Michigan St. wins out they’ll finish the season at 12-1 with wins over Oregon, Michigan, Ohio St., Iowa, Air Force & Penn State! It would be awfully hard to keep a resume like that out of the playoffs.
#18 Computer Hope Duke isn’t a bad football & the Tar Heels flat wore them out 66-31 on Saturday! The offense was on FIRE against a decent Blue Devils defense. Marquise Williams threw for 4TD. Elijah Hood ran for 3TD. Ryan Switzer & Mack Hollins both had over 100yds receiving! You can argue that UNC’s defense left a lot to be desired as Duke ran for over 300 yards & totaled more than 500 total yards, but the defense doesn’t have to be that great when the offense scores 60+PPG and runs up 700 yards of total offense!
#19 Computer Hope SMU tried to make it a game with the Owls, trailing 21-17 at halftime, but Temple came out after halftime with guns blazing & outscored the Ponies 39-23 for a 60-40 win! It was Temple’s biggest offensive output of the season with QB PJ Walker throwing for 4TD & freshman RB Jager Gardner running for 110yds! Obviously Temple’s defense could have played a lot better. SMU shouldn’t have scored 40, but I really like this Temple team. Like Navy, they are a one loss team with their only loss to Notre Dame.
#20 Computer Hope An incredible win for Navy beating Memphis 45-20 in a game that was never close. Memphis had no answer for the Middies triple option attack that racked up 374 yards & 5TD including 3 by Chris Swain who rushed for 108. Kudos also to the Navy defense which held Memphis start QB Paxton Lynch relatively in check, didn’t allow Memphis to get anything going on the ground, and forced the Tigers into 3 turnovers while playing turnover free football. Navy is for real & has a legit shot at an 11-1 finish!
#21 Computer Hope The Bruins feel like the forgotten team in the Pac 12. They’ve got lost in the shuffle with Utah’s tremendous start & the all the hoopla surrounding the USC program and the drama that unfolded with their head coach, yet here UCLA is at 7-2 with a chance to win the Pac 12 South. Hammering Oregon St. this past week 41-0 isn’t a huge deal but the offense is finding its grove. Josh Rosen hasn’t thrown a pick in 3 games. Paul Perkins is having a solid year running the football. Three huge games to end the season.
#22 Computer Hope Northwestern put together a solid 23-21 win over Penn St. who came into the game 7-2 & winners of two straight. Barring a complete collapse from Iowa down the stretch, Northwestern can’t win the Big 10 West even if it finishes 10-2 which is something it can do assuming they get a road win against Wisconsin. Even a loss there means a 9-3 record with your only losses coming against Iowa, Michigan & Wisconsin. That’s a top-20 team right there. Too bad it feels disappointing given how they started.
#23 Computer Hope Another week another win for the Bulldogs who improve to 7-2 after their 31-13 victory over Missouri. Once again Dak Prescott was virtually flawless in throwing 4TD & 303yds. WRs Fred Ross & De’Runnya Wilson both have over 100 yards receiving. MSU’s real schedule starts now. You can argue that the only real teams MSU has faced have been losses to Texas A&M & LSU. They need some important wins & get Alabama, Ole Miss & Arkansas the rest of the way. It’s put up or shut up time for the Dawgs!
#24 Computer Hope The 53-52 win over Ole Miss is one of the most bizarre game endings I’ve ever seen! From the lateral to the face mask penalty to Brandon Allen being virtually knocked out in converting that 2-point conversion, Arkansas was killed like 10 times in that game & still found a way to win. It’s incredible how Arkansas is followed the same script they did a year ago. They could play serious spoiler to LSU & Mississippi St., and to be honest, is there a more dangerous team that playoff contending teams don’t want to face?
#25 Computer Hope Beating Texas Tech 31-26 doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the Mountaineers held the Red Raiders to 26 points, their lowest output of the season, Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU & Oklahoma St. gave up on average 42 points to Texas Tech. WVU held them to 26. I have the top-4 Big XII teams ranked in my top-11 so you could argue West Virginia is #12 as their only losses have come against those team. WVU should get to 8-4 & potentially 9-4 with a bowl win. They need to take the next step into Big XII Elite status.

DROPPING OUT

MEMPHIS TIGERS (previously #17): Dropping them out is probably a bit premature. Memphis can definitely win their way back into the top-25 and possibly even the top-15 if they win their next two games which are road affairs against Temple & Houston. Don’t bet against Paxton Lynch!

MISSISSIPPI REBELS (previously #18): Losing to Arkansas in that manner? Memphis losing didn’t help their cause & now the win over Alabama simply looks like a game where the Tide were incredibly unlucky with turnovers. Ole Miss could have their 7-3 record turn into 7-5 with their last 2 games against LSU & Mississippi State. It sounds nuts but this may be the 2nd worst team in the SEC West currently.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (previously #19): It was either going to be West Virginia or Texas Tech. Turned out it was West Virginia. I will say the win over Arkansas could look better & better depending on how disruptive the Razorbacks can be to end the season.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (previously #20): Losing to Auburn at home? Ouch. Texas A&M has lost 3 of their last 4 games & the one win was a close win over South Carolina. They still have LSU to play so A&M could finish 8-4 after starting the season 5-0.

November 11, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., Navy, NCAA, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Texas AM, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, Week 10, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 9 2015

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Alabama is coming off a bye to get ready for the showdown with LSU. I think this is the best team in the nation and it’s telling that the narrative coming out of Tuscaloosa this week is how can LSU win the game without Leonard Fournette, or how LSU needs Fournette to go off in order to have a chance at winning. Notice that nobody is talking of Alabama in this regard. The assumption is that the Crimson Tide don’t have to do anything special to get the W. That says a lot without saying much of anything.
#2 Computer Hope Clemson was the big winner in the first college football playoff poll this year as the Tigers came out as the #1 team in the nation. I was surprised by this a little bit because Clemson is in the ACC which is fairly weak, but the win over Notre Dame must have meant a great deal as the Irish were #5 in the first poll proving that Clemson/Notre Dame has been the biggest game of the year thus far. The Tigers get Florida St. this week which will bolster their resume. They need big wins & this is the last opportunity.
#3 Computer Hope LSU has a great opportunity to show they are for real heading to Alabama this week to take on the Crimson Tide. I’m with everyone else in wondering if LSU can come up with a victory if Alabama’s defense takes Leonard Fournette away. The one problem I see with it is Fournette might be unstoppable. The guy has a legit chance to rush for 2700 yards & 30TD! I’ve never seen anything like it at the highest levels of college football! Bo Jackson & Herschel Walker never even came close to those numbers! Crazy!
#4 Computer Hope I thought long & hard about Notre Dame, but they fit at #4 to me & not just because I’m an Irish homer! ND’s only loss came against Clemson in a hurricane on the road & at that they only lost 24-22. If you believe Clemson is #1, then ND has to be #2. ND has also beaten Temple & Navy & both squads only have one loss….to Notre Dame! The USC win keeps looking better & better. Georgia Tech beat Florida St.! Notre Dame should sail to 10-1 before Stanford & at #5 can control their path into the playoffs.
#5 Computer Hope Georgia is a complete mess, but it’s still a big time rivalry game & Florida dominated the Bulldogs from start to finish in a 27-3 curb stomping. Florida showed their hand a little bit not having Will Grier as QB. The Gators are going run heavy & asking Treon Harris not to make mistakes & buttress that with a suffocating defense. It worked. Harris didn’t throw a pick. The Gators ran for 258yds led by Kelvin Taylor’s 121 and the defense forced 4 Georgia turnovers. The Gators get a layup against Vandy this week.
#6 Computer Hope With JT Barrett being arrested, the QB situation goes back to Cardale Jones. This probably won’t matter this week as Ohio St. plays at home against a Minnesota team that is likely to not carry over their emotional play from last week against Michigan following the resignation of HC Jerry Kill. Worst comes to worst, the Gophers rush defense ranks 49th in the nation so the Buckeyes can force Ezekiel Elliott all day long & move the football while killing the clock. The schedule is a joke. What can you do with that?
#7 Computer Hope Michigan St. should be on upset alert this week in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers are reeling at 3-6 (Hey, another 10-4 season from Bo Pelini doesn’t look so bad right now does it Nebraska fans?!), but I think the record is misleading. Nebraska has lost their 6 games by a combined 23 points! The Cornhuskers have actually outscored their opponents 300-253 which means their expected record would be 5-4 & their best case record is 7-1. It’s not enough to bet on Nebraska, but a Sparty loss wouldn’t be shocking either.
#8 Computer Hope It took the Horned Frogs about 2 quarters to warm up against West Virginia, but TCU took control late in the 2nd & never looked back. After a Josh Lambert 51-yard field goal for the Mountaineers, WVU pulled to within 17-10 & it was this way until about a minute left in the 2nd quarter. From that point, TCU would outscore WVU 23-0. It’s pretty much the same story each week for TCU at this point. Trevone Boykin is unstoppable, TCU scores a lot & wins. The schedule gets a lot tougher from this point.
#9 Computer Hope After losing starting QB Seth Russell, the Bears were on a bye before handing the keys to the offense to true frosh Jarrett Stidham on the road against Kansas State. Baylor probably deserves to be higher than #9, but I want to see how things pan out with Stidham before moving the Bears back up. I did think it was interesting that the Big XII was once again left out of the playoffs in the first playoff poll. The Big XII schedule is severely back heavy between OK State, OU, Baylor & TCU so that should change.
#10 Computer Hope Maryland isn’t any good but I was happy to see the Hawkeyes take of business in a 31-15 whipping of the Terps. Iowa’s defense held Maryland to 74 yards passing & forced 4 turnovers. The rush defense was just OK but Iowa was up 31-7 late in the 4th so you can certainly make some allowances. This week’s game at Indiana is a tricky one. The Hoosiers have shown to be the “anti” clutch team, but they can put up some points. Iowa’s defense will have to come to play & the Iowa running game has to be on point.
#11 Computer Hope Tracy Claeys took some heat for going for it on the 1-yard line to get the win at home, but he was right. The old adage of “play for the win at home & tie on the road” was apparent & you couldn’t let the emotion of beating Michigan get in the way of what could have been a last second win in a game that was definitely played for outgoing HC Jerry Kill. The only problem with the storybook ending is Michigan stopped the 1-yard run & the Wolverines escaped with a 29-26 win. Michigan could still win the East!
#12 Computer Hope I’ve been bearish on the Cowboys all season long but the 70-53 win over Texas Tech in Lubbock impressed me. Oklahoma St. was down 24-7 late in the 1st quarter & 38-28 at half, but it didn’t matter as Oklahoma St. kept fighting & outscored the Red Raiders 42-15 in the 2nd half! How efficient was WR James Washington? The Cowboys WR had 4 catches for 200 yards & 2TD! The only issue I have is that this was the worst game the OSU D-Line had. I would have liked to have seen a bit more dominance but…..
#13 Computer Hope Oklahoma loses to Texas 24-17. Iowa St. beat Texas 24-0. Does that mean Iowa St. beats Oklahoma this week 48-0? Hardly. The loss to the Longhorns in Dallas looks inexplicable now, but Oklahoma could still argue they are the best team in the Big XII & will have plenty of opportunity to prove it when down the stretch. Last week’s 62-7 destruction of Kansas now has the Sooners on a 3-game winning streak in which they’ve outscored their opponents 180-34! Iowa St. this week before a hellacious last 3 weeks!
#14 Computer Hope It took everything they had, but Stanford escaped Pullman with a 30-28 win over Washington State! A lot of credit needs to be given the Stanford defense as the Cardinal held Wazzou to 5 field goals on their first 5 scoring attempts! Given the explosiveness of the Cougar offense, Stanford won early & often. Stanford also kept QB Luke Falk in check. Falk only completed 57% of his passes & threw two picks. Stanford avoided disaster here as they are likely the Pac 12’s last hope for a playoff spot & a loss kills that.
#15 Computer Hope The 27-21 win at California doesn’t look like a dominating effort & it wasn’t but Cal is a solid if not spectacular football team so a road win is impressive for the Trojans. If you chalk up the Washington loss to the Sarkisian mess then USC’s only losses have come against Notre Dame & Stanford. There are worse outcomes & USC could still win the Pac 12 South if Utah loses one more conference game. If USC’s defense can start swarming, would it shock anyone to see USC run the table and finish 11-3?
#16 Computer Hope The Utes got back on track last week with a 27-12 win over Oregon State. Like some other teams, Utah almost feels like a forgotten team despite being 7-1 with their only loss coming to USC. It’s interesting how Stanford seems like the best hope for the Pac 12  instead of Utah. Both teams are 7-1, but Stanford’s loss came in Week 1 whereas Utah lost recently, but I’d say the USC loss is better than the Northwestern loss. Utah still has a chance to finish 12-1 & Pac 12 champions. USC keeps them out? Tough!
#17 Computer Hope Now we’ll really get to see what Memphis is made up. Getting to 8-0 was the easy part (save the Ole Miss victory), but now the Tigers have 3 straight games of: Navy, @Houston and @Temple before finishing up against SMU. What’s going to be really interesting to me if Ole Miss runs the table & Memphis finishes the year at 13-0. At that point, how can you not have Memphis in the college football playoffs? This is a remarkable story & at some point Paxton Lynch is going to enter the Heisman race.
#18 Computer Hope Ole Miss did a solid job beating Auburn last week 27-19. It was a road divisional game sandwiched between home games against Texas A&M & Arkansas. It would have been easy for the Rebels to overlook a disappointing albeit talented War Eagle squad. It wasn’t the best game Ole Miss has played this season, but the Rebels are a sloppy team. They are going to commit turnovers & penalties. Ole Miss is still the front runner in the SEC West. They control their own destiny to win the SEC West with the Bama win.
#19 Computer Hope I think it’s interesting that the two best teams in Texas are Texas Tech & TCU instead of Texas & Texas A&M. You could even argue that Houston is in the top-3! The 70-53 loss to Oklahoma St. was BRUTAL especially as Tech dominated early & led by 10 at halftime and that isn’t even mentioning how in the hell you lose a game you score 53 points in!? This team can’t play D but it can score & keep in mind that Tech’s only losses have come against TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma St. & Oklahoma. Can’t blame them.
#20 Computer Hope Last week’s 7 point win over South Carolina is a bit iffy, but this Aggies team is still 6-2 with their only losses coming against Ole Miss & Alabama. You can’t really argue with those losses! The interesting thing with A&M is the decision by HC Kevin Sumlin to go with QB Kyler Murray over Kyle Allen. A true frosh, Murray is listed at 5’11/185lbs so he’s probably 5’9-5’10/180lbs! He had a solid debut against the Gamecocks, but it’ll be interesting to see if Sumlin & Co. believe they have the next Johnny Manziel.
#21 Computer Hope We don’t hear much about “triplets” in college football the way we do in the NFL, but UNC has a solid trio of players in QB Marquise Williams, RB Elijah Hood & WR Ryan Switzer. UNC finally had a defining game beating Pittsburgh last week 26-19 in the Steel City. They still have Duke left and a tricky road game in Raleigh against NC State, but the Tar Heels should find themselves at 11-1 and ACC Coastal champions at the end of the year. Could they crash the playoff party with a win over Clemson?
#22 Computer Hope The Badgers might be the most overlooked team in college football at this point. You have to wonder what would have happened if Corey Clement had played in the game against Iowa in which the Badgers lost 10-6 in Camp Randall!? If Clement plays & Wisconsin wins then the UW is 8-1 with their only loss against Alabama! Even so, Wisconsin is 7-2 with their only losses coming to Iowa & Alabama. You can argue this is a top-10 team & they should have no issues getting to 10-2 with a possible 11-2 finish!
#23 Computer Hope Tough to put Northwestern down here when their only losses have come against Iowa & Michigan St. and they have 2 wins over Stanford & Duke. Still, the Wildcats were blown out by Iowa & Michigan St. & then followed that up with a 2-point win over a 3-6 Nebraska team! QB Clayton Thorson has to pick up his play. In NW’s first 5 games, Thorson completed 57% of his passes for 711yds & 4TD. In his last 3 he’s completed 48% of his passes for 408yds & 2TD. He’s not Cody Kessler but needs to play better soon.
#24 Computer Hope This ranking seems too low but the Bulldogs are somewhat hampered by their 30-17 loss to Texas A&M. Despite being 6-2 & playing in the SEC West, Mississippi St. slots here. Their only losses have come against LSU & Texas A&M! The rest of the season should be interesting for MSU. They still have Alabama & Ole Miss left but both are home games. The season is a huge success if MSU can get to 10 wins & QB Dak Prescott should be getting more attention. I really wish Josh Robinson would have come back!
#25 Computer Hope Give A LOT of credit to Temple for almost pulling off the stunner against Notre Dame before falling 24-20. The Owls played out of their minds & did a fantastic job at neutralizing ND’s 2 biggest weapons in CJ Prosise and Will Fuller. Temple’s inability to stop DeShone Kizer from making plays with his legs was the difference. Temple has a great shot at running the table & getting into a Big-6 bowl. They get Memphis at home & a win there means 11-1 & potentially 12-1. Could Temple finish 13-1 this season!? I hope so!

DROPPING OUT

TEXAS LONGHORNS (previously #20): Just when you think the heat is off of Charlie Strong, it’s back on with a 24-0 loss to Iowa St.! It was going to be difficult for Texas to get bowl eligible, but with the loss to Iowa St. it’s now practically impossible. Texas is 3-5 with 4 games left against Texas Tech, Baylor, West Virginia & Kansas. They have to go 3-1 in their final 4 to get to 6-6 and I don’t see it happening although it definitely could. If I’m Charlie Strong I am giving the Miami-FL opening a HARD LOOK! It’s not an easy place either, but unless Texas routines goes 10-2/11-1, the seat is going to be hot.

PITTSBURGH PANTHERS (previously #25): I hate dropping Pittsburgh after just one loss, but the ACC is incredibly weak and it’s difficult to Pittsburgh over teams like Temple, Texas A&M, Mississippi St., Northwestern, Wisconsin & North Carolina.

November 7, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., NCAA, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Pittsburgh, Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, USC, Utah, Week 9, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 10 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope This is the game of the year to this point although the LSU/Alabama game each year is becoming almost the de facto game of the year! LSU continues to surprise me year in & year out. I think each year is going to be the year they falter & it never seems to happen. To me this game comes down to Brandon Harris & the LSU defense. Bama will take Fournette out of the game so can Harris win it? Can the LSU defense stop Henry? Computer Hope
Computer Hope I don’t think Florida St. can win this game, but if Everett Golson & Dalvin Cook don’t play then they certainly won’t win. It’s easy to forget that FSU still controls its destiny even with the loss to Georgia Tech as they’d own the tiebreaker with Clemson. The Tigers are too tough though. Deshaun Watson will make a case for the Heisman & Shaq Lawson has been unblockable all season long. Death Valley is becoming just that for the opposition. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Amazingly enough, Oklahoma St., Oklahoma, TCU & Baylor have managed to avoid one another…..until now. Finally we’ll get some type of separation in the Big XII as one team will endure their first loss of the season. Something tells me that giving up 53 points to Texas Tech doesn’t bode well for the Cowboys when facing Trevone Boykin. OSU’s front-7 is finally going to get a significant test. It’ll be interesting to see if they handle it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Navy is one the most overlooked teams in college football & while they don’t have the athletic talent to stay with Memphis’ high octane passing offense guided by Paxton Lynch, the Middies can run on anyone & Keenan Reynolds is as good as they come running the triple option. If Navy’s running attack can grind time of possession, Navy could give Memphis their first loss. Remember, Navy is 6-1 with their only loss at Notre Dame! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Texas Tech is 5-4 with loss to Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma St. & Oklahoma! West Virginia is 3-4 with losses to Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma St. & Oklahoma. The winner of this game establishes themselves as the 5th best team in the Big XII. That might not seem like much at face value, but given who the top-4 teams are, WVU or Texas Tech could make a pretty convincing argument they are a top-15 team in a tremendous conference! Computer Hope
Computer Hope With the way Indiana has shot themselves in the foot against teams like Ohio St., Rutgers & Michigan St., you’d think the Hawkeyes don’t have much to worry about, but the fact that Indiana can stick with the Buckeyes & Sparty should show some cause for concern. Iowa should destroy the Hoosiers, but Indiana has proved it can score on anyone. The problem will be IU’s defense stopping Akrum Wadley from running wild. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game was a lot more interesting before Pittsburgh dropped a home game to North Carolina last week. Following that loss up with hosting Notre Dame can’t be good for the soul! I really liked this Pitt team coming into the year. I still like them, but maybe the James Conner loss is bigger than I thought. It seems now that Pittsburgh is a solid team, but one that can’t be superior opponents. Pitt has to be careful not to finish 6-6. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Duke has to be smarting over the disaster last week which resulted in the Blue Devils losing 30-27 to Miami-FL! I think there would be even more outrage if it cost Duke an opportunity to win the Coastal. Luckily it didn’t & Duke controls its own destiny. Win out & Duke goes back to the ACC title game. Lose, and it’s an uphill battle. On the other side, UNC has a chance for a really special season if they can win out & win the Coastal. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Looking at the evidence, you can argue that Kansas St. is arguably the 2nd worst team in the Big XII, ahead of only Kansas. On the other hand, Bill Snyder is a helluva coach & K-State is playing at home against a Baylor team that just lost their starting QB. All Jarrett Stidham has done this year in relief is complete 86% of his passes for 331yds & 6TD! That’s insane, but Stidham is now the man with his first start on the road. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Don’t look now but Penn St. is 7-2 & undefeated at home. Let’s say the Nittany Lions pull off a miracle next week & beat Michigan. Let’s also say they beat Northwestern this week. That puts PSU at 9-2 going to East Lansing! The 38-10 loss to Ohio St. is somewhat exposing & a loss in Evanston will show that Penn St. isn’t ready for Ohio St., Michigan St. & Michigan just yet, but they are closer than they have been. A win here proves a lot. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Since coming back from injury, Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel has completed 41 of 50 (82%) passes for 646 yards & 7TD in wins over UCF & UConn. That’s hardly the competition they’ll face when Houston throws Greg Ward & Kenneth Farrow at them, but Kiel was once thought to be a future starting NFL QB with a huge arm. The Bearcats will have to play tremendous defense, but Kiel could make it interesting if he’s on his A-game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It turns out that Arizona isn’t very good so this is more of an opportunity for USC to showcase their ability & get another big division win to improve their record to 6-3 & put themselves a step closer to getting to the Pac 12 championship game. Remember, the Trojans could end the season 11-3! With the RichRod rumors to Miami-FL/Virginia Tech heating up, there has to be a lot of distractions around the UA program. Terrible timing. Computer Hope
Computer Hope If he keeps his pace up, Oregon RB Royce Freeman is going to rush for 1700yds/17TD! I think Oregon deserves more attention than they are getting but being inconsistent will do that to you. California started the season 5-0 but have lost 3 straight now that they are playing real football teams. A road game at Oregon is a chance for the Bears to right the ship or fall further away proving Sonny Dykes has a little more work to do at UC. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game is probably too low on my importance list. Ole Miss needs to be ready for this one. The Rebels control their own destiny in the West, but last year Arkansas was 4-4 before going 3-1 in their last 4 including a 30-0 win over Ole Miss who was 8-2 at the time. The Hogs have won 2 straight & 3 of their last 4. Alex Collins is heating up so would it be shocking to see Arkansas go 3-1 in their last 4 this year & ruin Ole Miss’ season? Computer Hope
Computer Hope This doesn’t look like much of a game. Michigan St. comes in 8-0 & ranked in the top-10 while Nebraska is 3-6 coming off a road loss to Purdue! NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS! Sure Nebraska is 3-6 & you can’t always argue in “What ifs?” but Nebraska’s best case record is 8-1 & if you say the Purdue game was an anomaly then Nebraska can at least make an argument for being close to a 9-0 squad. Michigan St. hasn’t looked sharp so???? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Another tricky game for a team fighting for playoff spots. Washington is 4-4 but you can see the product Chris Petersen is building in Seattle. Jake Browning & Myles Gaskin make for a terrific QB/RB combination & both are freshman. Washington’s defense is underrated especially after what they lost to the NFL Draft. The Huskies might not make huge waves this season, but they are definitely a team I don’t want to play. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s really hard to hold an emotional response for consecutive weeks, but if the Gophers come out & play Ohio St. with the same intensity they played Michigan, then the Minny might really be able to send Jerry Kill a present he won’t soon forget! Kill was an outstanding program builder who had the Minnesota program on the right track. While not as dramatic as Terry Hoeppner’s departure from Indiana, the effects could be similar. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Given how bad Auburn is, this game doesn’t have much flex, but it is worth mentioning as Auburn’s talent is incredible so you never know what could happen. Texas A&M has a couple of losses so their playoff hopes are dead, but the two losses have come against Ole Miss & Alabama. The Aggies should be 9-2 when they travel to Baton Rouge on Nov. 28th! Still a lot of season to play for with Texas A&M. They could finish 11-2. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I thought this game had a lot more juice before Washington St. blew it last week against Stanford. If Wazzou wins that game, then the Cougars would be 6-2 with wins over Oregon & Stanford & not USC or Utah remaining on the schedule! How amazing would it have been if WSU went 10-2 with a possible chance at winning the Pac 12!? Arizona St. provides a good test to see if Wazzou gets back on the horse & starts dominating. Computer Hope
Computer Hope My MAC special!!!! Don’t be surprised if Northern Illinois gets a win here. Toledo has been an incredible story getting to 7-0 with wins over Arkansas & Iowa St., but NIU has been king of the MAC for a VERY long time & I don’t think they are giving up the crown all that soon. The 5-3 record doesn’t seem great but close road losses to Ohio St. & Boston College? It’s forgivable! The one issue is the loss to C.Michigan. What happened there? Computer Hope

November 5, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona, Arizona St., Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, California, Cincinnati, Clemson, Duke, Florida St., Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas St., LSU, Memphis, Michigan St., Minnesota, Mississippi, Must See Games, N. Illinois, Navy, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Penn St., Pittsburgh, TCU, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington St., Week 10, West Virginia | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 9 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope A good game in theory because the Irish are ranked 9th while the Owls come in at #21 & are playing at home. The problem however is that Temple hasn’t seen a team like Notre Dame & they are susceptible to the pass which the Irish will have problems taking advantage of. Will Fuller is averaging 22ypc. Chris Brown & Corey Robinson are big targets. That should open up the running game for CJ Prosise. All of this adds up to a huge blowout win for the Notre Dame. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Georgia is still looking for any type of validation that they are a competitive football team. They were blown out at home by Bama. Went on the road & lost to Tennessee. Then beat Missouri 9-6? Amazingly enough, UGA could still win the East & potentially the SEC Championship. A win here puts them in 1st & they should win out. This becomes the de facto SEC East championship game. It’s a huge game to be sure, but I don’t know if Georgia can withstand a bad loss here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Duke will have something to say about the ACC Coastal, but for the most part, this game will decide who wins the Coastal division. I think it’s amazing nobody is talking about UNC or Pittsburgh. Both are 1-loss teams who avoid Clemson & Florida St.! If they get lucky in the ACC Championship game, it’s possible one of these teams is 12-1. All the Panthers do is win close games while the Tar Heels tend to blow teams out. A little under the radar but a great game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Really cool Pac 12 game with a couple of neat story lines. For Cal, this is a chance to beat a legitimate opponent. The Bears feasted on their early schedule to start 5-0 but a couple of weeks ago got Utah & lost. The Trojans are coming off a HUGE win over Utah & they almost beat Notre Dame in South Bend despite the insanity they were going through with the Steve Sarkisian ordeal. The Trojans can still win the Pac 12. They need Utah to lose but it can happen. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Oklahoma St. comes into game undefeated, but the Red Raiders have only lost to TCU, Baylor & Oklahoma. I still think you can make an argument that Tech should be a top-25 team & beating Oklahoma St. will lend even further proof to that assertion. This is a chance for Texas Tech to say they are a top-4 team in the Big XII. For the Cowboys, this is a HUGE test to see if the undefeated record is more substance that taking advantage of an early soft schedule. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Don’t look now but Washington St. is 5-2 with both losses being by 7pts or less. They have won 3 straight games & have averaged close to 50PPG in those 3 wins. QB Luke Falk has really turned it on the last 3 games & the Cougars are getting great run support. Wazzou can’t play a lick of defense, but they are at home where crazy things can happen. Stanford had better come to play because if they overlook Washington St., they could easily leave Pullman with a loss. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I can’t wait to see how Michigan plays after having a week off to stew about the Michigan St. loss. The Gophers can put up a fight if they are inclined & Jerry Kill is a tremendous coach so you know Minnesota will come prepared. The big question is whether it will matter? My guess is that it won’t. The Michigan defense is going to come out with guns blazing & overwhelm the Gophers offense. I wouldn’t be shocked if this game was 14-0 or 58-0. Depends on the offense. Computer Hope
Computer Hope There hasn’t been a team more unlucky than Tennessee this season. The Vols are 3-4 but their 4 losses have come by a total of 17 points! Tennessee is 1-4 in close games & their “best case” record is 7-0. Kentucky had shown to be a very difficult out until last week when Mississippi St. gave them a pounding in Starkville. I’m interested to see how the Vols finish. They should win out to get to 8-4, but I think Tennessee needs style points to make up for the 4 close losses. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Auburn has been a disaster from start to finish this season. From Jeremy Johnson not getting it done at QB to the defense being terrible to stud WR D’haquille Williams being thrown off the team, this one of those seasons I’m sure Gus Malzahn could start over. That said, it’s still Auburn & Ole Miss has known to slip (hello Memphis!) in the past. It’s worth noting that if Ole Miss wins out they’ll be SEC West champs. What if Ole Miss goes 11-2 & Memphis goes 13-0? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Starting over doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Just look at USC & the Miami Dolphins! The Al Golden era finally came to a merciful end & now we’ll get to see how the Hurricanes react. It’s really amazing how good Duke is despite the Coastal containing Virginia Tech & Miami-FL. The Pitt/UNC game is huge of course but Duke could be in line to win their 2nd ACC Coastal division title in 3 years! Crazy. THE U could end that of course if they play like THE U plays. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is sort of interesting because West Virginia is a pretty good team & TCU hasn’t been destroying all comers, but it’s in Fort Worth so you can pretty much guess the Frogs are going to score 50-60 points & it won’t matter what WVU does on offense. I really like the Mountaineers and Dana Holgorsen but where is this team going in the Big XII? Trevone Boykin will add to his Heisman resume & then sit back & look on to see if Leonard Fournette matches. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It seems like this should be a bigger game than what it is, but both teams enter this bout with a 4-3 record. I think this is an interesting test for Arizona State. So far the Sun Devils have only lost to Texas A&M, USC & Utah. You can make an argument from those losses they are still a top-20 type of team & the road win over UCLA is more than solid. Still, a win here would further legitimize the team & give them a chance to win out. ASU could still have a 10-3 season. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Navy’s first year in the AAC has been an interesting one. Memphis, Houston & Temple have gotten all the attention but the Middies are 5-1 with their only loss coming against Notre Dame. USF isn’t fantastic but they are a solid football team. Navy has a unique system & they’ve handled Air Force, ECU & UConn. Navy gets both Memphis & Houston on the road, but the defense has been outstanding & Keenan Reynolds is amazing so be on the lookout for Navy! Computer Hope
Computer Hope San Diego St. is another one of those intriguing teams. It’s easy to discount the Aztecs because of their early loss to South Alabama which doesn’t make sense, but they’ve won their first 4 MWC games & destroyed Utah State who destroyed Boise St.! Colorado St. will be another good test especially in Ft. Collins. Many people think this is the best team HC Rocky Long has ever had. They should win out & should get to 10-3 with a MW championship. Watch the defense! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m going FCS with the IVY LEAGUES!!! Dartmouth & Harvard get together in a battle of unbeatens as both teams come into the game 6-0. Harvard is ranked 16th & Dartmouth 22nd. The Big Green haven’t won an Ivy League championship since 1985 while Harvard has won the last 2. Harvard is actually on a 20-game winning streak. They haven’t lost since October 26, 2013 when Princeton came out victorious 51-48 in triple OT! Harvard won last year 23-12. Computer Hope

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Arizona St., Auburn, Big Games, California, Colorado St., Dartmouth, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Kentucky, Miami-FL, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Must See Games, Navy, NCAA, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Pittsburgh, San Diego St., South Florida, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, Texas Tech, USC, Washington St., Week 9, West Virginia | Leave a comment

NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 8 2015

At this point it’s almost impossible to rank the teams cleanly based solely on what has happened on the field. However, there are 2 different scenarios one can follow to rank the teams as cleanly as possible:

1. Alabama is the best team in the nation according to the eye test. Every other team ranks clean for the most part, but Alabama has to be #1 and the loss to Ole Miss discounted for the most part as an off day that you don’t hold against the Crimson Tide.

or

2. You rank the teams as cleanly as possible but that makes Memphis a top-5 team. In this regard you have to have LSU > Florida > Memphis > Ole Miss > Alabama or LSU > Memphis > Florida > Ole Miss > Alabama. Either way, you have to rank Memphis ahead of Alabama, Ole Miss & potentially even Florida.

As you can see, I chose option 1 because I can’t see Memphis beating Alabama. NO WAY.

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope It wasn’t a blowout but a 19-14 win over Tennessee was a solid victory for the Tide who improves to 7-1 on the season. I watched this game & while the game was close throughout, I kept thinking Tennessee can’t stop Alabama’s skill position players. Derrick Henry is going to run you over. Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart & OJ Howard are going to catch their passes. Jake Coker is going to play a clean game. The Tide defense took Josh Dobbs completely out of the game. Alabama gets a bye before welcoming in LSU!
#2 Computer Hope Miami-FL sucks but 58-0!? In Coral Gables? Clemson got out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. That was up to 35-0 after 2 quarters en route to 58! DeShaun Watson was nearly perfect & Wayne Gallman ran for over 100yds. Clemson had 5 different players score rushing TDs. They had 421 more total yards than Miami-FL. They won the first down battle 33-6 and were +2 in TO margin. With their schedule, Clemson has to know they need style points & you can see by this game, they are going to get them!
#3 Computer Hope Baylor beat Iowa St. 45-27 Saturday but what an interesting game. The Bears jumped out to a 35-7 lead with 5 minutes left in the 2nd quarter which means for the last 35 minutes of the game, Iowa St. outscored Baylor 20-10! QB Seth Russell suffered a neck injury & is likely to miss time so now Baylor faces some serious adversity just when the schedule is going to toughen up a bit for them. Shock Linwood was still impossible stop & Corey Coleman impossible to contain, but Baylor faces some uncertainty.
#4 Computer Hope Western Kentucky isn’t a bad team, but LSU is going to run Leonard Fournette down every team’s throat until somebody shows they can stop him. The problem of course is that an NFL defense might be the only thing that can stop Fournette! Another example of how the depth of big conferences overwhelm the smaller conferences is LSU leading this game 14-7 at halftime only to score the Hilltoppers 34-13 in the 2nd half. WKU was worn down & worn out. Brandon Harris chipped in 3TD passes with no picks.
#5 Computer Hope The Gators were on a bye this week, but the weekend was still good to them. The Ole Miss win looks a lot more solidified now that the Rebels took care of Texas A&M in Oxford handily. Tennessee close loss to Alabama also makes Florida’s win over the Vols look better. The LSU loss is still excusable given that the Tigers are 7-0 & arguably the #1 team in the nation. Florida St. lost to Georgia Tech meaning the game against Georgia in Jacksonville could be the only game standing between Florida & an 11-1 record.
#6 Computer Hope The Irish got a sorely needed week off this week, but like Florida, was helped out by games not involving them. The win over Texas looks better & better & that isn’t even mentioning the fact ND beat the Longhorns by 35! The win over Georgia Tech looks better with GT’s win over Florida St! The win over USC looks enormous now that the Trojans handed Utah their first loss. Clemson’s win over Miami-FL makes ND looks good. Remember that the Irish lost to Clemson 24-22 in a torrential downpour on the road!
#7 Computer Hope Beating Rutgers 49-7 in New Jersey isn’t any big thing, but Ohio St.’s missing piece has been their offense and with JT Barrett going back under center, that problem looks to be solved. Barrett was outstanding against Rutgers throwing for 223 yards & 3TD on 14 of 18 passing. He also ran for 101 yards & 2TD to go along with Ezekiel Elliott running for 142 yards & 2 TD. Ohio St. is now looking the part of being the #1 team in the nation. Going 10-0 is a foregone conclusion before games against Sparty & Michigan.
#8 Computer Hope The Horned Frogs were on bye this past week & it was a mixed bag. The win over Texas looks pretty good now in retrospect given how Texas is playing, but TCU has close wins over Texas Tech & Kansas St., and those wins don’t look that great the more games those two squads play. It’s amazing what QB Trevone Boykin is on pace to accomplish. If TCU plays 14 games (meaning they’d have to play in the championship game) Boykin could throw for 5000yds/50TD & also run for 1000yds/10TD. Greatest season ever!
#9 Computer Hope Like Alabama with Ole Miss, you have to forget about the 16-6 opening loss to Northwestern & focus on the fact that the Cardinal are 6-0 since then with wins over UCLA, USC, Washington & Arizona. The 31-14 win over Washington this week was textbook in nature & this against a Washington team which had a “best case” record of 6-0 coming into the game including a win over USC. Stanford now gets a road game in Pullman against a 5-2 Washington St. team which has been surprising. Wazzou can’t be overlooked.
#10 Computer Hope A week ago Michigan St. needed a muffed punt attempt to beat Michigan. This week they needed a complete 4th quarter meltdown by Indiana to beat the Hoosiers. Michigan St. dominated the 4th quarter to end up with a 52-26 win, but is there a more suspect 8-0 team right now than Michigan State? Here is the thing though. Mark Dantonio is a helluva coach and Connor Shaw is a tremendous QB. That will take you a long way. With the win over Michigan complete, Ohio St. is their only hurdle to 12-0.
#11 Computer Hope Let’s forget Iowa for a second & talk about Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are currently 3-5 but those 5 losses have come by a combined 13 points! It sounds amazing, but Nebraska can make an ENORMOUS argument they should be 8-0 with wins over BYU, Wisconsin & Northwestern. They would be a top-15 team at the very least. Why is the important for Iowa? Because Iowa’s final game is in Lincoln & Iowa SHOULD be 11-0 by then. If Nebraksa gets ANY kind of regression, Iowa is in for a huge fight.
#12 Computer Hope Like Iowa, Michigan had a bye this week & that is all the Wolverines needed. A week to stew over the Michigan St. debacle with Jim Harbaugh probably didn’t make practice time all that enjoyable for the players. Even with the 27 points allowed to Michigan St., this is statistically the best defense in college football. The next 4 games should be walk throughs for Michigan so a 9-2 record is likely when Ohio St. comes to Ann Arbor. So what happens if Michigan beats Ohio St. & Ohio St. beats Michigan St.?
#13 Computer Hope I guess Utah wasn’t reading when I said they had better be very very careful against USC! How great has Cameron Smith been as a freshman? He did a great job impersonating a Utah WR as Travis Wilson hit him 3 times! Smith hadn’t had an interception yet this season but now has 3! He leads the team in tackles & interceptions. He’s had a sack & a tackle for loss. He’s 6’2/250lbs for crying out loud. This issue with USC is that when everything is going right, they are easily a top-5 team. The talent is that good.
#14 Computer Hope Regardless of how good your team might be, you can’t be -4 in TO margin against an extremely talented team & expect to come out alive. QB Travis Wilson couldn’t quite figure out USC LB Cameron Smith & Smith picked him off 3 times. Other than that, Wilson wasn’t completely awful, but Utah couldn’t get their ground game going behind Devontae Booker. The season isn’t over for the Utes. They should win the rest of their games & get to 11-1. A win over Stanford getting them to 12-1 gets them into the playoffs.
#15 Computer Hope Tulsa isn’t a bad team, but giving up 42 points to the Golden Hurricanes is suspicious. Memphis has to rank this high because Ole Miss put a beating on Texas A&M which makes the win over the Rebels that more compelling for the Tigers. Memphis allows 29PPG but let’s take out their opening win over SW Missouri St. where they allowed 7. Against FBS team, Memphis has allowed 32.2PPG! Catching Ole Miss sleeping is one thing, but can you be a great team allowing over 5 touchdowns a game?
#16 Computer Hope The 23-3 win over Texas A&M is remarkable because Ole Miss didn’t even have a very good game. They were -1 in TO Margin. Chad Kelly threw 3 interceptiosn & Jaylen Walton didn’t run the ball all that well. DL Robert Nkemdiche wasn’t even a factor. Despite all this Ole Miss outgained A&M by almost 300 yards & won by 20. It looks more & more like the Memphis loss was Ole Miss not taking the game seriously. Remember that if Ole Miss wins out, the 10-2 Rebels would be SEC West champions over 11-1 Alabama!
#17 Computer Hope Losing back-to-back games against Alabama & Ole Miss isn’t so bad, but the Aggies looked overmatched against Ole Miss. Tra Carson couldn’t run the ball at all & Kyle Allen looked downright horrible. A&M’s receivers couldnt’ get open & outside of Ricky Seals-Jones making a couple of big plays, Texas A&M’s offense was nowhere to be found. Ole Miss’s O-Line did a good job keeping pressure off of QB Chad Kelly although A&M did pick him twice. Sometimes you’re off. A&M should be 9-2 going into Baton Rouge.
#18 Computer Hope Kentucky isn’t awful & Mississippi St. put a thumping on the Wildcats 42-16! I thought MSU would win with the game in Starkville, but I thought UK would keep it close. They didn’t. The Rebels are now 6-2 with losses against LSU & Texas A&M. They don’t quite have a signature win but get two opportunities against Alabama & Ole Miss left on the schedule. If they can split Bama/Ole Miss, then MSU has a shot at 9-3. We aren’t hearing much about him but QB Dak Prescott has been playing near flawless football.
#19 Computer Hope Beating Kansas 58-10 in Stillwater doesn’t look so impressive, but this is precisely what Oklahoma St. should have done & they delivered. Offensively, the Cowboys played perfect football amassing close to 600 total yards! They had almost 400 passing yards, over 200 rushing yards & 33 first down! The Cowboys committed just 2 penalties & didn’t have a single turnover. Given the tragedy earlier in the day at the homecoming parade, you could excuse them for being distracted. They weren’t. It showed. They’re 7-0.
#20 Computer Hope That Charlie Strong guy might not be so bad afterall!!! Texas came out & played extreme ball controlled football to beat Kansas St. 23-9 giving more validity to the Oklahoma victory & showing their close wins were just luck derived. The Longhorns ran the ball 53 times for 274 yards. It’ll be really interesting to see if this is a trend for Texas. It’s not unlike what Bret Bielema is doing at Arkansas although it’s even more extreme in the pass happy Big XII. I’m a fan. Texas is 3-4 but have a great shot at 7-4 before Baylor.
#21 Computer Hope The big weakness Texas Tech has this season is their rush defense & Oklahoma took ZERO TIME exploiting this! Samaje Perine ran for 201yds/4TD while Joe Mixon chipped in 154yds/2TD of his own as the Sooners racked up 405 rushing yards against the Red Raiders. I don’t care how much I like Kliff Kingsbury & the talent on offense for Tech, if your defense gives up 400+ rushing yards, you are getting beat. The Sooners 63-27 win was the most points they’ve scored all season. Oklahoma can still win the Big XII.
#22 Computer Hope The Tar Heels have won 6 straight & the games haven’t been particuarly close as UNC has won by an average score of 43-17! So why hasn’t UNC gotten more national attention? The opening week loss to South Carolina hurts especially because the Gamecocks have been horrible this season, but also because UNC plays in the ACC & has no signature wins. I love what Larry Fedora is going here & QB Marquise Williams is a dangerous weapon. We’ll see if they are for real when they tavel to Pitt this week.
#23 Computer Hope The Wildcats didn’t destroy Nebraska, but a 30-28 road win in Lincoln still carries quite a bit of weight. At the end of the day the wins over Stanford & Duke still carry weight & Northwestern’s only losses have come to Iowa & Michigan. The Wildcats could argue being a top-15 team, but the losses were so ugly that I can’t help but knock them down a little bit. If they can defend home turf, at worst Northwestern should finish 9-3 with a shot at 10-2 if they can find a way to win in Madison.
#24 Computer Hope An early concussion knocked QB Joel Stave out of the game forcing into action backup QB Bart Houston. Playing on the road against Illinois, Houston was 22/33 for 232 yards & 2TD as he led the Badgers to a 24-13 win over the Illini. Houston did throw a couple of picks, but Wisconsin takes on a different look. It’s interesting if anything. Wisconsin can make an argument for being a lot better than #24. Their losses have come to Iowa & Alabama! They have a tremendous shot at ending 10-2 & top-15.
#25 Computer Hope Like North Carolina, the Panthers play in the ACC Coastal and signature wins have been really hard to come by. In fact, Pittsburgh doesn’t really have one but their one loss was a 3-point road loss to Iowa who I have ranked #11. From that perspective, you could argue Pittsburgh is #12. So why is North Carolina ahead of the Panthers? The simple answer is UNC has made it look a lot easier. Pittsburgh beat Syracuse 23-20 this past week which is their 4 straight close win. They’re winning, but barely.

DROPPING OUT

FLORIDA ST. SEMINOLES (previously #14): Florida St. hasn’t beaten anyone & their 22-16 loss to Georgia Tech is brutal. If you are ranking teams clean then you have to rank Florida St. below Georgia Tech, Duke, Pittsburgh, North Carolina & Clemson. All of those teams beat Georgia Tech. The Seminoles still have road games against Clemson & Florida meaning they could easily wind up 9-3, but it’s an empty 9 wins and 9-3 seasons in Tallahassee don’t cut it.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (previously #16): You could argue that the 5-3 Red Raiders are better than this because their only losses have come against Baylor, TCU & Oklahoma. All 3 of those teams can argue they should be top-5 squads so how bad can Texas Tech really be? If Texas Tech is for real, they’ll win out & finish 9-3, but the defense is atrocious & I’m going to have to see it to believe it at this point.

CALIFORNIA BEARS (previously #17): It was a good story but California has been challenged twice the past two weeks & they’ve failed both times. With USC heating up, California’s remaining schedule is a landmine & I’m beginning to think California is going to have to fight just to get bowl eligible despite their 5-0 start! Home against Oregon St. gets them over the top but getting more than 6 wins could be difficult.

ARIZONA ST. SUN DEVILS (previously #19): The Sun Devils were on a bye and basically got squeezed out of the rankings. I’m still unsure of them, but the rest of the games on their schedule are winnable and getting to 9-3 would be a pretty nice accomplishment with a shot at 10 wins depending on how the bowl comes out.

October 27, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Baylor, California, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., NCAA, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Pittsburgh, Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, USC, Utah, Week 8, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2015 NCAA WEEK 8 – BIG GAMES

ROAD QUICK THOUGHTS HOME
Computer Hope There aren’t any other games on the schedule that Utah can’t win, but this one looks odd. USC will have had some time to digest the loss of their HC & I still think Clay Helton has a legitimate case for being the permanent head coach. It’s not like the Trojans are getting blown out either. Two of their 3 losses have come by 10 points. The other was a 17-12 loss to Washington amidst the Sarkisian insanity. From a talent perspective USC is better & Cody Kessler is the type of QB that can win a game all by himself. Vegas has USC as 3.5pt favorites for a reason! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Third Saturday in October. What a great name to a rivalry! I was reading an article that was talking about how this rivalry wasn’t what it used to be, but when you look at this rivalry historically it’s nothing but runs. Alabama has won 8 straight but before that Tennessee had won 10 of 12. There is an argument to be made that recently Alabama’s run has been particularly heavy. In the last 8 meetings Alabama has won by an average score of 35-12. I think this one is closer. UT has a “best case” record of 6-0 & the East is still in play for them I think. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A lot of validation for both teams on the line here. The Sooners are so odd. They get beat by Texas in the Red River Rivalry 24-17 & then turn around & beat Kansas St. 55-0! That’s nuts. The Red Raiders are 5-2 with their only losses coming against Baylor & TCU, but haven’t really played anyone outside of Arkansas. A win over Oklahoma clearly makes Texas Tech the 3rd best team in the conference with a legit shot at an 11-2 record. A Sooners wins still allows OU to determine their own fate as they could still get to 11-1 with wins over TCU & Baylor. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Interesting game in that the stud Pac 12 QB of right now (Jared Goff) is going up against the stud Pac 12 QB of the future (Josh Rosen). California is still very much a part of the playoff race at 5-1. Their only loss is a 6pt affair on the road against Utah. The Bears schedule toughens up from this point forward, but I think it’s a great story of Sonny Dykes rebuilding this program and taking it to heights that Jeff Tedford couldn’t quite get to. UCLA seems like a snake bitten team getting ready for a HUGE run in 2016, but the talent is still incredible. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s going to be very interesting to see how Ole Miss plays the rest of the season out. The SEC could easily get squeezed out of the playoff picture should Ole Miss play well. They get Texas A&M & LSU at home & their road games are winnable. Even with the loss to Memphis, if Ole Miss finishes 10-2 & Alabama finishes 11-1, Ole Miss wins the SEC West. An Aggies win here puts those fears to bed & also keeps hope alive with Texas A&M in their quest to be considered the 2nd best team in the SEC West. Let’s see if Ole Miss can follow Bama’s blueprint. Computer Hope
Computer Hope You can’t help but think Texas beat Oklahoma 24-17 and then Oklahoma beat Kansas St. 55-0, so what is Texas going to do to Kansas State? The Wildcats are 3-3 & haven’t really beaten anyone but they came pretty close against TCU & Oklahoma St. before the blowout loss to Oklahoma. I think a lot more is on the line for Texas in this one. This should be a game they can win & it will reinforce the notion that UT is a lot better than people think & losses to California, Notre Dame, Oklahoma St. & TCU aren’t all that bad. A big win here gives UT a boost. Computer Hope
Computer Hope You look around & Florida St. is a top-10 team, but it feels off because despite being 6-0, FSU hasn’t beaten a good team convincingly that would give you the impression that they are a serious playoff threat. Clemson is getting that attention from the ACC at the moment. Then you look at how well Everett Golson is playing. RB Dalvin Cook should be a Heisman favorite. The defense is playing incredibly well. What is there not to like about this team!? GT has been disappointing but I still think they have a game or two in them that could surprise some people. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think this is an interesting SEC inter-divisional game. I think Mississippi St. has done a good job beating teams they should beat which has led them to a 5-2 record & just one win shy of bowl eligibility. Kentucky is a better team than you think. They are 4-2 but their 2 losses have come by a total of 8 points & the Wildcats lost to Florida by a 14-9 final score! Starkville isn’t an easy place to play, but I think Kentucky can make this a close game especially if Patrick Towles is on. The Bulldogs keep grinding though. They could get to 9-10 wins this season. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I don’t think Clemson is going to get this far only to lose to Miami-FL who has a HC that is essentially walking on thin ice every time he comes onto the field. On the other hand, Miami-FL probably isn’t as bad as we think. They have wins over Nebraska & Virginia Tech. Granted, they are wins in 2015 and not 2005 or 1995, but they were solid home wins. They also played Florida St. pretty tough in Tallahassee in a 29-24 loss. Outside of the meltdown in Cincinnati, THE U has been fairly decent & they get Clemson at home. There is upset potential here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope At this rate there is no team falling further than Northwestern. Even Ole Miss can justify a loss to Memphis given how well the Tigers are playing. Northwestern has gone from 5-0 & potentially a top-5 team to 5-2 & everyone wondering how in the world this team managed to beat Stanford & Duke! Northwestern can get back on track with a solid road win over a Nebraska team that is feeling quite jilted this season. The Cornhuskers are 3-4 but their “best case” record is 7-0! If Lady Luck turns around Nebraska could easily give the Wildcats their 3rd loss in as many games. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Owls got a lot of early season love with wins over Penn St. & Cincinnati to open up the season, but playing in the AAC isn’t difficult & Temple hasn’t played Memphis, Houston or Navy yet. East Carolina is no slouch either. The Pirates are 4-3 but their 3 losses have come to BYU, Navy & Florida with the Florida & BYU losses being close. All 3 losses were also on the road. Teams have done a good job running on ECU & Temple is run heavy. That’s a good thing but the Owls need to stay focused. With Notre Dame next week, they can’t overlook East Carolina. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Old school Big East match up & I love these kinds of games. Pittsburgh has quietly started the season 5-1 with their only loss being a 27-24 loss at Iowa. That’s getting it done. I wasn’t sure how well the Panthers would adjust after losing James Connor but Qadree Ollison has stepped up & QB Nate Peterman is having a fine season. The problem here is Pittsburgh proving themselves. They haven’t played all that difficult of a schedule & you could argue 4 wins have been close. The ACC Coastal is theirs for the taking but Syracuse is a tough team. They’ll show up. Computer Hope
Computer Hope A lot bigger game before the season began, these two teams are 2 of the more disappointing teams in the nation. Auburn comes into this game at 4-2 while Arkansas limps in at 2-4. I think this game could be an interesting jump off point for both teams. Arkansas can play with anyone. A win here could catapult them & a 7-5 season could definitely be in the works. For Auburn, it’s easy to forget their only losses are to LSU & Mississippi St.! This is a very talented team who gets Alabama at home. Would anyone be completely shocked if they finished the year 10-2? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Boston College ranks 4th in the NCAA in scoring defense. They rank #1 in rushing defense. They rank #5 in passing defense. They rank #1 in total defense. By all accounts you can easily make the case that Boston College has the best defense in the nation. Boston College is 3-4. Statistically speaking there isn’t a thing Boston College doesn’t do right. They’ve already played Clemson, Florida St. & Duke. All 3 were losses. If they can beat Louisville then there is 4 wins on the schedule to get them to 7-4 with a game against Notre Dame. It’s one of the more fascinating stories of 2015. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sort of like Texas, Virginia might be a lot better than you think, but their schedule has been so difficult it’s hard to see it through the losses. UVa has lost to UCLA, Notre Dame, Boise St. & Pittsburgh. That’s 0-4 for a lot of teams. Last week they beat Syracuse 44-38. Nothing great, but Virginia isn’t a bad team. North Carolina under Larry Fedora could potentially be turning a corner this year. The Tar Heels are 5-1 with a fluke loss to South Carolina to open the season. They get Duke at home & don’t draw Clemson or FSU. I think 11-1 is on the table & maybe 12-1? Computer Hope
Computer Hope MAC game of the week! Toledo is beating down everyone in their path & UMass is 1-5 so I don’t expect this game to be much different, but it is a road affair for the Rockets & UMass has shown signs of being decent in the past. They have a couple of close losses so 1-5 could easily be 3-3. They put up 38 on Bowling Green & played with Notre Dame for a half before getting blown out. Toledo’s defense is probably going to be overwhelming. It’s a legit top defense statistically & I don’t think there is a MAC team with their kind of ability. Hopefully they can get to 13-0. Computer Hope

October 22, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Big Games, Boston College, California, Clemson, East Carolina, Florida St., Georgia Tech, Kansas St., Kentucky, Louisville, Massachusetts, Miami-FL, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, UCLA, USC, Utah, Virginia, Week 8 | Leave a comment

NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 7 2015

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope The most even keeled team we’ve seen all season without a blemish on the record. Utah took care of business at home this past week against Arizona St. 34-18. The resume keeps getting better & better. The Michigan win looks great. The win over Utah St. looks amazing after the Aggies destroyed Boise State. They’ve beaten Arizona St., California & Oregon within the Pac 12. Keep an eye on Utah’s TO margin. The Utes dominate this category but it’s a category ripe for regression. It could play a huge role down the stretch.
#2 Computer Hope Forget the loss to Ole Miss. This is the best team in America right now and the only reason I have Utah #1 is because the Utes deserve the spot for being perfect. Alabama put away Texas A&M in textbook fashion 41-23. Texas A&M’s defense was built for speed rushing & Alabama’s O-Line held the Aggies to 1 sack while the Tide ran over A&M’s rush defense with Derrick Harvey going for 236yds & 2TD on 32 carries. Nick Saban is the best coach in college football. If you have a weakness, the man will exploit it & beat you!
#3 Computer Hope I think the 34-17 win over Boston College was especially impressive seeing how hard it was for Florida St. & Duke to put away the Eagles. It doesn’t look like a huge win, but BC has been a solid team this year with a couple of breaks going against them to keep them from 4-5 wins. The win over Notre Dame is going to keep looking better & better the more games the Irish win. The Tigers get Florida St. at home so there is nothing preventing this team from finishing the year 13-0 & getting the 4-team playoff. Time to finish!
#4 Computer Hope Baylor’s OOC schedule isn’t great but the Bears now have wins over Texas Tech & West Virginia so you have to take them seriously. West Virginia is a solid team with a great coach in Dana Holgorsen & Baylor put up 62 on them! In their first 5 games, WVU allowed on average 20PPG. Baylor more than tripled it. The Bears average 64PPG & I’m not sure anyone not named Alabama can stop them. QB Seth Russell has a legit shot at throwing 60TD while RB Shock Linwood could rush for 2000 yards with 20TD. Insanity!
#5 Computer Hope Iowa St. tried hard but TCU shut it down in the 2nd half outscoring the Cyclones 21-0 to beat Paul Rhoads’ squad 45-21. The Trevone Boykin v. Leonard Fournette Heisman race should heat up especially if TCU keeps winning & LSU drops a game. The 50-7 win over Texas looks good, but the Horned Frogs defense isn’t very good & the only good team they’ve really played so far is Texas Tech and they needed massive luck to win that one. The schedule starts to get stiff so TCU can more than prove their worthiness at #5.
#6 Computer Hope Effing Les Miles! Florida’s defense held the Bayou Bengals to nothing until Miles faked a field goal attempt in the 4th quarter which led to K Trent Domingue running for a 16yd TD to give LSU a 35-28 lead over the Gators which would end up being the final. Florida tried hard but Leonard Fournette racked up 180 yards & 2TD, adding to his formidable Heisman candidacy. Give credit to the LSU defense too. They held Florida to their worst rushing totals this season. LSU DE Lewis Neal posted 3 sacks which gives him 7.
#7 Computer Hope Very difficult to rank Florida lower than one spot below LSU. Florida had a rough first half going down 28-14 to LSU in Baton Rouge but the defense toughened up considerably holding LSU in check while tying the game at 28. Treon Harris did a good job filling in for the suspended Will Grier, but the Gators had trouble getting their ground game going. And well, sometimes the Mad Hatter is the Mad Hatter. The Gators still have a great chance to stay in the playoff chase. They might see LSU again in Atlanta!
#8 Computer Hope The Aggies, lost but losing to Alabama is hardly anything to be ashamed about. Alabama couldn’t keep Myles Garrett from a sack, but Garrett’s lone sack was A&M’s only one which was a significant win for the Tide. Jake Coker did a great job of managing the game & giving Derrick Henry the ability to beat A&M. If there is a weakness to the Aggies it’s their run defense. That probably won’t hurt them outside of their season finale at Baton Rouge when they take on Leonard Fournette. Even so, 10-2/11-1 is on the table.
#9 Computer Hope That was a beating! When Northwestern lost to Michigan 38-0 it was almost bizarre in a way with it being in Ann Arbor. When Iowa went into Evanston & HAMMERED Northwestern 40-10, that was a HUGE statement game for Iowa. Keep in mind that Iowa has now beaten both Northwestern & Wisconsin on the road. RB Akrum Wadley did a helluva job filling in for an injured Jordan Canzeri. Wadley ran for 204yds/4TD! The defense is on point & Wadley/Canzeri is a fantastic duo. No excuses. Iowa should go 12-0!
#10 Computer Hope You can make a good argument that if Clemson is #3 then the Irish should be #4. The 41-31 win over USC might not seem like much because the Trojans are 3-3 & their coaching situation is in tatters, but that was an immensely talented USC team that was in South Bend. Notre Dame got out early 24-10 & then took USC’s best shot with the men of Troy scoring 21 straight to go up 31-24 heading into the 4th quarter. The Irish answered & won 41-31! EVERYTHING is working on offense. If the defense comes around……..
#11 Computer Hope Forget the loss to Northwestern. Since that loss, Stanford has reeled off 5 straight wins by the average score of 45-23. There might not be a hotter team in the nation than the Cardinal right now & they are clearly the best team in the Pac 12. Since Northwestern QB Kevin Hogan is 69/100 (69%) for 1131yds with 12TD to 2INT! RB Christian McCaffery has been heating up as well. In his first 3 games, McCaffery had 58 rushes for 239yds (4.1ypc). In his last 3 he’s 72 rushes for 605yds (8.4ypc) with 5TD. Wow!
#12 Computer Hope At the end of the day, Michigan St. is 7-0 with wins over Michigan & Oregon. That counts for something. The Oregon win doesn’t mean as much as it once did. They needed a miracle from God Himself to beat Michigan in Ann Arbor, but at what point do all of these things add up to the point where we are calling Michigan St. a team of “destiny?” Sparty is +9 in turnover margin & they are 4-0 in close games. Regression to the mean is certainly in order, but that might not happen until next season & who cares at that point?
#13 Computer Hope Words simply can’t describe. While Michigan St. basks in luck, Michigan cries in the corner. Michigan St. is 4-0 in close games. Michigan is 0-2. In Michigan 2 losses, they’ve lost on average by a 25-20 score. In their 5 wins, Michigan has posted an average score of 32-3! Nobody had expected much from the Wolverines this year so the fact they’ve lost close games to two top-5 teams is incredible. They are the best 2-loss team in America and there is no way they don’t welcome the Buckeyes at 9-2. I wouldn’t to face this team.
#14 Computer Hope The evolution of Everett Golson is one storyline this season that isn’t being talked about enough. As a Notre Dame homer, I’m well aware of were Golson is and how he’s playing. To be blunt, it’s inconceivable to watch the player that seemingly always threw a pick at the wrong time now playing near flawless football for the Seminoles. Golson is completing 67% of his passes for 1449yds with 11TD & NOT A SINGLE PICK! He’s not on a Heisman pace, but he’s a Florida St. QB who is undefeated & playing perfect.
#15 Computer Hope Urban Meyer’s offense always seems to work a lot better when the QB can make plays with his feet. JT Barrett has been named the starting QB which is probably where Ohio St. should have been going all along, but with Cardale Jones winning a championship, it’s hard to push a 6’5/240lbs guy off the starting spot. I do think it’s crazy that people think Barrett is the obvious choice. He’s thrown exactly 9 passes in Ohio St.’s last 4 games, but his running ability is unparalleled & I’d expect Ohio St. to start blowing teams out.
#16 Computer Hope At this moment it’s difficult to rank Texas Tech lower. If you are going to rank TCU & Baylor as top-3 teams, I can’t understand how the AP or the Coaches polls don’t have the Red Raiders in the top-25. Since losing to the 2 big boys of the Big XII, Tech has hammered the two bottom feeders by a 96-51 margin. Now the schedule toughens up considerably so the Red Raiders will sink or swim. I’d love to see TT finish the season 10-2. I’m a big fan of Kingsbury & the offense, but that defense is woeful & the Big XII can score.
#17 Computer Hope California has a bye week this past week & will be on a short week as they travel to UCLA for a Thursday night game. California to this point has put together a pretty good resume. Their only loss is a 6pt affair at Utah which looks good as long as Utah is the #1 team in the nation. The win over Texas looks good. The win over Washington looks good as UW beat USC. The win over Wazzou looks good due to the Cougars win over Oregon. The Bears are going to get to 6 wins, but the question will be will they get more than 6?
#18 Computer Hope I was really impressed with USC’s fight in South Bend, losing to Notre Dame 41-31. Clay Helton is the right guy for that job & I hope he keeps it as I think USC would benefit immensely from making the hire permanent. Putting USC at #18 might seem high but I think the Irish might be a top-5 team & USC gave them all they could handle. I’d put Cody Kessler against any other QB in the nation & the skill players are ridiculous! The team has to focus, but there isn’t a game they can’t win. Don’t be surprised if they beat Utah.
#19 Computer Hope Arizona St. has losses to Texas A&M, Utah & USC when the Trojans were playing out of their minds. There are A LOT of teams in college football that would have chalked up 3 losses to those squads. The 34-16 loss to Utah was CRAZY. Arizona St. actually led 18-14 going into the 4th quarter before Devontae Booker took over & had 2TD en route to Utah scoring 20 unanswered. I think ASU is a solid team but when they’re on they’re on and when they’re off they’re off. The offense was brutal against Utah. Is that a trend?
#20 Computer Hope OSU is coming off a bye but the more I look at them the more hesitant I become of ranking them. It’s Oklahoma St. & they are 6-0 but their OOC was terribly easy & their average score against those teams was 42-12. The Cowboys have played 3 Big XII games, all wins mind you, but their average score is 33-29! All 3 wins were close. This is a different kind of Mike Gundy team. They are winning by putting tremendous pressure on opposing offenses. It’s interesting that OSU gets TCU, Baylor & Oklahoma all in Stillwater. Big games ahead.
#21 Computer Hope How is this for scheduling: The 6 teams Texas has played this season have a combined record of 32-6! The worst team they’ve played all season is Rice who is 3-3. The other 5 teams UT has played are all ranked in my power-25! The Cal & Oklahoma St. losses were close so UT could be 4-2 instead of 2-4. Their next 4 games are very winnable meaning they could get to 6-4 before facing Texas Tech & Baylor to close the season. Split those & Texas finishes 7-5. A bowl win gets them to 8-5. It’s not a championship, but a solid season.
#22 Computer Hope How odd is Oklahoma? They lose to Texas 24-17 a week ago & then go out and absolutely destroy a decent Kansas St. team 55-0! The Sooners showed what can happen when everything is clicking on offense. Baker Mayfield was near perfect as Joe Mixon & Samaje Perine ran the ball well. Defensively OU had 6 sacks, 3 picks & 11 tackles for loss. Kansas St.’s offense had practically no chance. The loss to Texas stinks but Oklahoma still controls its own destiny. Starting with a win over Texas Tech this weekend, OU could open some eyes.
#23 Computer Hope If you really wanted to get fancy & thought the SEC was so far out in front of the other conferences in terms of ability then Memphis’ win over Ole Miss could make them the #3 team in the nation! LSU beat Florida. Florida beat Ole Miss, Memphis beat Ole Miss. Ole Miss beat Alabama. You could argue LSU is #1 with Memphis & Florida debating on the #2 spot while Ole Miss slides in at #3 & Alabama ranks #4. This is a good story but Memphis doesn’t have it easy. They still have Navy & get back-to-back road games against Houston & Temple.
#24 Computer Hope The Alabama win can carry them only so far. The loss to Memphis in embarrassing no matter how good the Tigers may or may not be. You can be sure that a team like Alabama or LSU would not have lost to Memphis. Ole Miss still hasn’t elevated themselves to ELITE status among the SEC teams, but they could still make a move here. Mississippi can make a lot of people forget the Memphis loss if they come out & beat Texas A&M this week. The win over Bama is crucial because at this point Ole Miss could still win the SEC West!
#25 Computer Hope I have Alabama at #2 & Iowa at #9 so you could make an argument that Wisconsin could be #10 considering those are the 2 losses Wisconsin has suffered and the Iowa loss was by the score of 10-6! Having to replace Melvin Gordon was going to be hard enough but replacing him & Corey Clement is darn near impossible. With that said, Wisconsin’s defense has stepped up in a huge way. They’ve allowed on average 6.8PPG since giving up 35 to Alabama in the season opener. LB Joe Schobert is a monster with an outside shot at 20 sacks! 11-2 in on the table.

DROPPING OUT

NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS (previously #8): Northwestern has losses to Iowa & Michigan so you can still argue they are a top-15 squad and I probably wouldn’t have dropped them but their last 2 losses have come by the combined score of 78-10. The offense has been horrible & the defense has been worse than that. They need to win their next 3 to get to 8-2 before heading to Madison. A 10-2 record is on the table but they need Iowa to implode if they are to win the Big 10 West. A win in Lincoln this Saturday could cure a lot of ills.

MISSISSIPPI ST. BULLDOGS (previously #18): Like Northwestern, Mississippi St. has 2 losses, both to highly ranked teams so it makes sense they would be in the top-25. I can’t find a way to fit them in though. The last 2 weeks, MSU has played Troy & Louisiana Tech and those unimpressive wins have something to do with their fall. They still have Alabama on the schedule but the Bulldogs could finish 9-3 with a shot at 10-3 with a bowl win. That’s a helluva season considering Phil Steele predicted Mississippi St. to finish last in the SEC West.

TOLEDO ROCKETS (previously #23): The Rockets beat Eastern Michigan 63-20 last week so they didn’t do anything to deserve a drop in the rankings. On the other hand, I’d pick Toledo to lose if they played every other team in my top-25. They still have time though. Big games against UMass, N.Illinois & Bowling Green await.

October 21, 2015 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Baylor, California, Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., NCAA, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Toledo, USC, Utah, Week 7, Wisconsin | Leave a comment