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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 12 – BIG GAMES

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 10 – BIG GAMES

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Computer Hope It doesn’t get much better than this. I don’t expect LSU to keep this within 20 points. The Tigers are having a feel good story by going 3-0 since Les Miles was fired, but they haven’t played anyone. The trouble with playing Alabama is that they are going to take things away from you. Rueben Foster will see to it that Leonard Fournette is locked down meaning LSU is going to have to beat Alabama through the air, but Danny Etling simply isn’t good enough to give Alabama fits. ROLL DAMN TIDE! Computer Hope
Computer Hope So much on the line in this one. The loss in Madison last week stinks for Nebraska, but their season isn’t over quite yet. Beat Ohio State, win out and then beat Michigan in the Big 10 championship and the Cornhuskers are going to the playoffs. For Ohio State, the formula is just as simple. Beat Nebraska. Beat Michigan. Beat Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship and you are headed to the playoffs. The loss to Penn St. hurts but Texas A&M won’t stay in front of them if they win out at 12-1. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Now we know style points matter. The Huskies have to be seething now that the first playoff poll has come out & Washington at 8-0 ranks behind a Texas A&M team that is 7-1. Strength of Schedule I’m sure played a role, but Washington’s 31-24 win over Utah probably didn’t help matters as voters were looking for a reason to believe Washington was an ELITE team. It’ll be interesting to see how UW plays on the road against a bad Cal squad. My guess is the Huskies are going to run it up big. Computer Hope
Computer Hope NC State was reeling after back-to-back losses to both Louisville & Clemson, but Boston College going into Raleigh and defeating the Wolfpack raised more than a few eyebrows. I don’t suspect the Cardinals to have many problems on Chestnut Hill, but Louisville had issues last week against Virginia and rank behind Texas A&M and Ohio St. in the first playoff poll. They can’t control the Aggies & Buckeyes, but they can control their games by winning with tremendous style points. They need it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Northwestern has quickly become that team that nobody really wants to face. Since their first two weeks, Northwestern is 4-2 with their only losses coming to Nebraska & Ohio State, two games the Wildcats can argue they should have won. The Badgers are still looking for a Big 10 West title and despite beating Nebraska, they trail the Huskers in the standings. They need help from Ohio State which they are likely to get, but they cannot afford a let down themselves if they want to win the West. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This might not seem like a big game this week but consider that Kentucky is sitting in 2nd place in the SEC East and Tennessee just lost to South Carolina and Vols RB Jalen Hurd is transferring. Things are in disarray in Knoxville. Why is that important? Because if UK wins out and Florida manages to lose games to Arkansas & LSU (entirely feasible), it would mean Kentucky would finish as SEC East champions! UK will lose to Louisville, but finishing 8-4 as SEC East champions can happen! Computer Hope
Computer Hope You almost saw a bit of a let down last week when Penn St. struggled against Purdue in the first half before blowing the Boilermakers out. It was to be expected after the season defining win over Ohio St. the week prior, but this week the Hawkeyes are coming to town and this has the feel of a legitimate let down where Penn St. is on the verge of having a great season & it gets sidetracked with a loss to an Iowa team they probably should beat. I’m interesting to see how the PSU defense plays. Computer Hope
Computer Hope If Tennessee is real about their rivalry against Florida, then the ultimate revenge is to lay down against Kentucky in a couple of weeks after Florida blows it against Arkansas! This game matters a great deal to Florida because it is one of the two games left on the schedule they need to win to fend off Kentucky. A loss here to an Arkansas team, who will bounce back big after the loss to Auburn, will put tremendous pressure on the Gators to beat LSU. How incredible is the SEC East this season!? Computer Hope
Computer Hope This probably shouldn’t be that much of a game for Colorado especially because the Bruins are playing without QB Josh Rosen, but it’s not like UCLA doesn’t have some talent and that much talent can pull off upsets on any given night. I think this would be a big win for the Buffs. UCLA is 3-5, but their 5 losses have come by a combined 32 points or 6.4PPG. Lady Luck has been more cruel to UCLA than most so a 10+point win for Colorado would be another positive sign of Colorado’s validity. Computer Hope
Computer Hope You wouldn’t think this would be much of a game, but if Virginia Tech is vulnerable, it might be this week. The Hokies are 2-2 away from Blacksburg while Duke is hitting .500 at home in Durham. Duke has beaten both Army & Notre Dame. While those teams aren’t as good as the Hokies, Duke won’t be intimidated either & keep in mind that the Duke defense held Lamar Jackson & Louisville to 24 points. Like Wisconsin in Evanston, this is hardly a game Virginia Tech can overlook and still win. Computer Hope

November 3, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Big Games, Boston College, California, Colorado, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio St, Penn St., UCLA, Virginia Tech, Washington, Week 10, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 7 – BIG GAMES

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

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Computer Hope Wisconsin did an outstanding job locking Michigan’s running attack down a couple of weeks ago in a 14-7 loss. The Wolverines ran for 130 yards but it took them 44 tries to get to that number. Ohio St. averages 51 rushing attempts per game so while Ohio St. & Michigan are run first teams, they are a little different in how they get there. This is a monster game at Camp-Randall & I don’t think it’ll be much different than the Michigan/Wisconsin game. Can the Badgers score enough? Computer Hope
Computer Hope Forget losing. Tennessee needs to show up and not completely embarrass themselves in this one. The Vols have played with fire all season long and finally their magic ran out against Texas A&M last week, but things could get ugly in Knoxville and here is why. The Tennessee rush defense is pitiful. Alabama is a PUNISHING running football team. Tennessee is the 4th worst team in turnovers committed. Alabama is 13th in turnovers gained. Put that together & Bama might win by 40! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Sort of an under the radar SEC West game because both Alabama & Texas A&M are undefeated, but there are pretty cool implications here. Both teams have 2 losses so the loser here can’t win 10 regular season games which I think is a pretty big deal for both clubs. Arkansas wants to take the next step while Ole Miss needs 11 wins on the season to keep their 1-win per year improvement streak going. Another incentive for Ole Miss is that they can still finish 2nd in the SEC West. Solid game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Colorado suffered a heart breaking loss to USC last week in SoCal 21-17 but this week come back against Arizona St. with a chance to right the ship & stay atop the Pac 12 South standings. Arizona St. lost to USC 41-20 so maybe that is a harbinger of things to come for the Buffs. It’ll be an interesting game for Colorado because they’ve had a bit of a problem with teams who like to grind out games on the ground. ASU wants to run first so Colorado better come ready with their rush D. Computer Hope
Computer Hope If either of these teams want to win the ACC Coastal then the most important aspect of this game might be the remaining schedule for Virginia Tech. The Tar Heels have to win out and hope the Hokies lose two conference games. That isn’t going to happen so at best UNC can play spoiler to Miami-FL. The Hurricanes lost a brutal 20-19 gut check game in a Hurricane to Florida State! It’s not a season ender, but Miami-FL has to win this game & they have to beat VT just five days later! Wow! Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s interesting that the Cougars couldn’t beat E. Washington & Boise St., but can beat Oregon & Stanford in back to back weeks by the combined score of 93-49! While that might not be as impressive as Washington’s combined 114-27 over those 2 teams, there is no question that Wazzou could easily be 9-2 when they host the Huskies for the Apple Cup on November 25th! UCLA isn’t a bad team so this will be tough for Wazzou but it’s another opportunity for WSU to make a statement. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It can’t feel good for Houston to have to suit up for Tulsa after having lost to Navy. Tulsa runs the ball like they don’t know how to do anything else. The attack is different than Navy’s but Houston is in for another smash mouth football game. The Golden Hurricane defense isn’t the best, but their only loss has come to Ohio State & they’ve been racking up the points against everyone else. Houston can get right back on the horse with a win here, but I think this could be a very close game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The last time Indiana hosted a ranked team in Bloomington was……HEY it was two weeks ago!!! The Hoosiers took down a ranked Michigan St. team 24-21. This week Indiana welcomes Nebraska into Memorial Stadium in the hopes of beating 2 ranked teams in a 3-week span! For all intents & purposes, this looks like a Husker walk, but everyone thought that about Sparty too. If Indiana wins this game they are capable of getting to 9-3. A  bowl win and Indiana could finish 10-3! Computer Hope
Computer Hope Oregon St. finally caught somebody sleeping last week and beat Cal 47-44. The Bears play practically no defense so Oregon St. was able to gouge them for almost 500 rushing yards! The Beavers are going to face a MUCH tougher defense in Utah, but the game is in Corvallis and Gary Andersen is a helluva coach so he’ll have Oregon St. ready for the Utes. This is certainly a trap game for Utah who needs a win here before traveling to UCLA. They can’t over look Oregon St. or they’ll lose. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This game could have some massive implications because I think Iowa St. HC Matt Campbell is throwing down the gauntlet in the Big XII. The Cyclones probably should have beaten both Baylor & Oklahoma St. these past two weeks which would have put them in the hunt for a Big XII title at this point! The Longhorns are reeling & you get the feeling ISU is going to catch somebody slipping. Charlie Strong is hanging by a thread but could he survive a home loss to Iowa St. & a 2-4 record? Computer Hope

October 10, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Arkansas, Big Games, Colorado, Houston, Indiana, Iowa St., Miami-FL, Mississippi, Must See Games, NCAA, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio St, Oregon St., Tennessee, Texas, Tulsa, UCLA, Utah, Washington St., Week 7, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 4 – BIG GAMES

Week 4 will probably not be as good as Week 1 or Week 3, but it’s definitely a week where there should be quite a bit of separation. A lot of teams have the opportunity to consolidate and it’ll be interesting to see if they take advantage because it could catapult them towards a special season. It’s weird to think about, but we are a fourth of the way through the season for most teams. After this week a lot of teams will be a third of the way finished with their season. We just started!!!!

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Computer Hope It’s nice to have the Big 10 back in the spotlight this week with the marquee game. Based on last week’s games, these two teams look far apart as the Badgers struggled with Georgia St. while the Spartans handled their business against Notre Dame on the road. The winner of this game gets a huge conference but will also have 2 great wins on the schedule. Wisconsin needs to figure out their QB situation quickly because Malik McDowell is coming!! Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think this game is really interesting when looked at through the prism of open windows. Tennessee has had an open window for the SEC East when Will Muschamp was the HC at Florida because he wasn’t able to take Florida to the heights that Spurrier & Meyer did. I think Jim McElwain can get to those heights, but he’ll need a year or two. That’s an open window for the Vols specifically this year with their experience. Tennessee has to take advantage. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I love the contrasting styles of this game. Texas A&M’s front 7 is fairly dominant but that has a lot to do with their ability to get to the QB via Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall. Arkansas wants to run the football so if Garrett & Hall are getting up the field while Arkansas & Rawleigh Williams are running inside, it’s a big help for the Razorbacks. They control the clock and move the ball all while keeping the A&M offense & their receivers off the field. Great strategy game. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think Auburn is getting a raw deal with Gus Malzahn being under the gun after losing to Clemson & Texas A&M to start the season. Auburn isn’t doing much different than what they’ve done in the past. Last year QB play was bad & the RBs didn’t really dominate. In 2014 they were 8-5 but not far from 10-3. In 2013 they were playing for a national championship. I think War Eagle gets somebody this year & that might be LSU this week which would be a big win for them. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Georgia has to be thrilled to be 3-0 when they could just as easily be 0-3 and completely demoralized! Navigating the SEC with a true freshman at QB isn’t going to be easy no matter how good Jacob Eason is and Ole Miss should be a HUGE test. For the Rebels, they’ve lost to Alabama & Florida St., but at times looked like the best team in the nation. If that is true then Ole Miss should handle UGA relatively easy. It would be nice to see Ole Miss put two halves together. Computer Hope
Computer Hope So far UCLA has a been a big disappointment. Losing to Texas A&M might not look bad as the weeks go by & the Aggies keep winning, but UCLA also struggled with BYU. They haven’t been able to run the ball well & Josh Rosen has looked terrible in his 2nd season under center. The Bruins can right a lot of wrongs with a big win over Stanford this weekend and reestablish themselves as the front runners for the Pac 12 South. Christian McCaffrey has other ideas. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Big XII is a complete mess at this point with Texas losing to Cal and Oklahoma already having two losses, but Baylor is still undefeated at 3-0 and a win at home over Oklahoma St. could give them a little more credit than they’ve had so far with a cupcake filled schedule. I’m interested to see how Oklahoma St. comes back after 2 emotional games. The bizarre ending to C.Michigan and the incredible win over Pittsburgh. They have something to prove. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m not saying Colorado is going to win anything this season, but you knew something was different about the Buffs when they blitzed Colorado St. 44-7 to open the season. Colorado blitzed Michigan last week in the first quarter & stunned the Wolverines before Michigan recovered for a win, but in years past Colorado wouldn’t have gotten off a punch. You can be sure they won’t be intimidated going into Oregon after going into Ann Arbor. This game will not be a blowout. Computer Hope
Computer Hope It’s worth remembering that Georgia Tech was 11-3 in 2014 & THIS CLOSE from turning in a perfect 14-0 record. That was an experienced squad under HC Paul Johnson. Last year the Yellow Jackets took a step back as they regrouped but now they are a lot more experienced. I don’t know if that predicts a win over Clemson, but it’ll be an EXTREMELY tough game for the Tigers regardless and remember that Clemson has Louisville the very next week. Computer Hope
Computer Hope Like Ole Miss, USC has gotten a tough schedule early & suffered losses to Stanford & Alabama. Like Ole Miss the Trojans get a good but not great team in Week 4 to show they really do belong as contenders for their conference. Utah has played well so far this season getting big plays from their receivers with a solid ground attack. Utah has done a good job replacing Travis Wilson & Devontae Booker from last season. Getting a win here would be huge moving forward. Computer Hope

September 20, 2016 Posted by | Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan St., Mississippi, Must See Games, NCAA, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Utah, Week 4, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 3

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 2

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 WEEK 1

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

DROPPING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL WEEK 1 – BIG GAMES

TEAM QUICK THOUGHTS TEAM
Computer Hope The game of week 1, USC/Alabama is interesting because both come in with unproven QBs. USC is going with Max Browne while the Tide are going to probably go with Cooper Bateman although we will see some Blake Barnett & maybe even some Jalen Hurts. This is the first game of brutal schedules for both teams so obviously a win sets them up well. I think a couple of things to look for in this game is the matchup of Tide WR Calvin Ridley against Trojan CB Adoree’ Jackson. That’s the highlight film but I think JuJu Smith against the Tide secondary will be interesting as well as the USC O-Line trying to block the Alabama D-Line. According to Phil Steele, USC has the #1 O-Line while Alabama’s D-Line ranks #1. This is the marquee game of the first week & a win definitely puts either USC or Alabama at the head of the championship chase. Computer Hope
Computer Hope How about these numbers for the two starting QBs! OU’s Baker Mayfield completed 68% of his passes last season for 3,700 yards with 36TD to only 7INT. Mayfield also rushed for 405yds & 7TD! Houston’s Greg Ward completed 67% of his passes for 2,828 yards with 17TD to 6INT but ran for 1,108 yards & 21TD! If Houston doesn’t drop a road game to UConn of all teams last season then the Cougars could have went 14-0! This is an insane game for Houston. The Cougars finished in the top-10 last season in HC Tom Herman’s 1st season. There isn’t a hotter team or coach in the nation, but Houston did take on some losses. On the other side is an Oklahoma team who has unfinished business from last year’s playoff run & a QB with a lot of swag. A win helps either team, but it’ll cement OU or Houston becomes a top-10 really quick. Expect fireworks! Computer Hope
Computer Hope These kinds of games are what college football should make happen in every team’s non-conference slate! I can’t wait to see how Chad Kelly does against FSU’s secondary. The Seminoles lost Jalen Ramsey & Lamarcus Brutus but have Tarvarus McFadden, Marquez White, Levonta Taylor, Derwin James & Marcus Lewis which is a RIDICULOUSLY talented group! Kelly is going to put it to the test though with a bunch of Ole Miss receivers who I think are going under the radar. Laquon Treadwell is gone but Quincy Adeboyejo, Damore’ea Stringellow & Evan Engram return. The WR/DB matchup should be incredible. I’m curious to see how Dalvin Cook runs too. The Rebels lost quite a bit of their interior defense so Cook could establish his Heisman candidacy early with 150yds/2TD and a big Florida St. win. Ole Miss needs it if they want to win 11! Computer Hope
Computer Hope This is a big game for the Tigers especially considering it’s a national game at Lambeau Field. It doesn’t get more storied than that. To me this game is about LSU’s dominance. There is no way Wisconsin can hang with LSU on talent alone & when you combine that with the fact that LSU has the best running back in the nation & Wisconsin is breaking in a new starting QB, then you start coming to the conclusion that LSU not only needs to win this game, but they need to destroy the Badgers leaving no doubt. Wisconsin is a HARD nosed team to be sure. They’ll show up and I’m curious to how ILBs TJ Edwards & Jack Cichy as well as 34DEs Conor Sheehy & Chikwe Obasih do against Leonard Fournettt. All 4 players are returning starters for the Badgers & if they neutralize Fournette, the onus will fall to Brandon Harris. LSU needs a decisive victory here. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I think this is a really interesting game because of the heat the coaches could be under. The Irish have a QB controversy brewing between Deshone Kizer & Malik Zaire. HC Brian Kelly didn’t do anything to stop the flames from getting bigger when he said both will play against Texas. Charlie Strong did the same between his two potential starters in Steve Buechelle & Tyrone Swoopes. The Irish were hit hard by the NFL Draft and the Longhorns return more starters but clearly Notre Dame has been better in recent seasons. Regardless of outcome, the loser is going to be second guessed because the QB by committee didn’t work & neither team has an easy schedule, which means the season could get off the rails before it even begins. The game is in Austin & Texas needs it more, but I’m not sure either coach is really in a position to lose their opener. Computer Hope
Computer Hope I’m excited to see how Tar Heel RB Elijah Hood does against a Kirby Smart defense with the talent Georgia has. Hood ran for 1,463 yards last year with 17TD, but he had the benefit of veteran starter Marquise Williams under center. This year the Tar Heels break in a new starter in Mitch Trubisky. Trubisky has a ton of weapons including Hood, WR Ryan Switzer & WR Mack Hollins. Carolina averaged 41PPG last year & the scoring should continue. On the other hand, Georgia returns a tremendous amount of talent on defense including their entire secondary & a good LB corps. Unfortunately for UNC is that UGA RB Nick Chubb is going to play & his carries apparently will not be limited. That’s bad news as Chubb is a MONSTER! Chubb is a load & Carolina hasn’t been a great rush defense. North Carolina can’t win if Chubb runs all over them. Computer Hope
Computer Hope This isn’t an easy opener for Clemson especially given that it’s a road game. The matchup here obviously is Clemson QB Deshaun Watson against the Auburn edge rushers, and the edge rusher that could make a HUGE difference is Carl Lawson. Injured last year Lawson is a game changer so Watson & Clemson LT Mitch Hyatt are going to have to play well. It’s not just Lawson either. DTs Dontavius Russell & Montravius Adams can move the interior & Lawson has help on the edge with Marlon Davidson, Byron Cowart & Jeff Holland. Clemson has a lot back on offense but Auburn’s defense looks good. I’m excited to see what Gus Malzahn does with this offense. I like that he named Sean White the starting QB & I’m excited about RB Kerryon Johnson. Clemson took on massive losses on defense & return just 4 starters. War Eagle will make a game of it. Computer Hope
Computer Hope There is so much going on here. The Myles Garrett v. Josh Rosen storyline is incredible and I can’t wait to see it play out on the field, but I also think Texas A&M’s offense is going to be really interesting. Trevor Knight transferred in from Oklahoma & he’ll take over the reigns of an offense that should be outstanding through he air. A&M also brings in another Oklahoma transfer in RB Keith Ford. The Bruins return 10 starters on defense if you count DT Eddie Vanderdoes. They’ll be up to the task. I’m excited to see a healthy Vanderdoes as he’s one of the most dominant interior D-Linemen in the nation. This is a tough game for the Bruins but UCLA is could make a next-level jump. They avoid Oregon & Washington out of the South & get both Stanford & USC at home. A win here sets up UCLA beautifully for a perfect run through the regular season. Computer Hope
Computer Hope West Virginia is one of my favorite college football teams. I think college football is better when they are relevant. Since joining the Big XII the Mountaineers have gone 15-21 in Big XII and nothing illustrates where WVU better than what happened in 2015. The Mountaineers lose to Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Bayor & TCU in 4 consecutive weeks. Three of those games were on the road & all 4 teams were ranked at the time West Virginia played them. This year WVU finds themselves in another interesting position in that they get Kansas St., Okahoma, TCU, Missouri & Baylor in Morgantown. It’s probably too much to ask for WVU to stay perfect on Mountaineer Field, but they should only lose 1-2 games at home if that. HC Dana Holgorsen needs to make a step in the right direction and this feels like a West Virginia squad that could get to 10 victories. Computer Hope
Computer Hope The Rocky Mountain Showdown is one of my favorite intra-state rivalry games. I do wich they’d start going back to campus sites however. The game is especially beautiful when both teams are playing on Fort Collins in Hughes Stadium! I’m excited to see what Colorado can do in this game. The Buffaloes bring back 18 starters from a 4-9 team in 2015 including QB Sefo Liufau, RB Phillip Lindsay & DE Derek McCartney who is a load to block on the outside at 6’5/255lbs. HC Mike MacIntyre took over a San Jose St. team in 2010 that went 2-10 in 2009. In MacIntyre’s first year the Spartans were 1-12. His 2nd year 5-7. His 3rd year? San Jose St. was 12-2! This is MacIntyre’s 4th year in Boulder but Colorado has gotten better each year he’s been there. A good sign for the Buffs would be blowing out the Rams. Don’t count on it but CU gets a win. Computer Hope

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Alabama, Auburn, Big Games, Clemson, Colorado, Colorado St., Florida St., Georgia, Houston, LSU, Mississippi, Missouri, NCAA, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Previews, Texas, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Week 1, West Virginia, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

NCAA FOOTBALL POWER 25 – 2016 PRESEASON

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

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