Welcome to Phil Steele’s FCS Playoff Central. Here you’ll find a breakdown of who is playing in the second round. Click on any helmet (and speaking of the helmets, make sure to visit The Helmet Project) to go to the team’s page. Check out the schedules/results for all of the playoff teams. Looking for rankings? How about Phil Steele’s Power Poll and Power Ratings. Get the latest news and stats from the teams themselves. See how the team’s did last week. Don’t forget to update your bracket. And – best yet – vote for you who think will move onto the next round
By Phil Steele
Three years ago I started a weekly blog that included my surprise fantasy picks for each week of the college football season. Each week I picked the players that were flying under the radar and I am pleased that I finished my first year at a very successful 83-29-7 (74%). In 2010 I had another successful year with a winning week every week and an overall 103-45-17 (70%) record. Last year I went 82-44-11 (65%). So far this year I am 109-38-9 74%.
This year I will again be giving you the surprise fantasy picks each and every week in my Thursday daily blog and here are my picks for Week 10. Keep in mind you will not find players like Denard Robinson, Matt Barkley or Montee Ball in my picks. These are strictly surprise picks of players who are flying under the radar. Read more…
By Phil Steele
A week after an outstanding 17-4 81% record for my Top 25 forecasts, last week’s results are very surprising at just 12-7 63%. Still, on the year they are now 209-49 81%! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week which look to bounce back this week.
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
GEORGIA DOME (Atlanta, GA)
#2 ALABAMA VS #3 GEORGIA
In what is, in essence, a national title semifinal, the winner here will advance to play #1 Notre Dame in the national champ game in Miami on January 7th. These two have not played since ‘08 when #8 Bama beat #3 Georgia on the road 41-30, a game that many Bama fans point to as one of the key wins which got the Crimson Tide’s recent run of dominance started. The Tide/Bulldogs have played just 6 times in the last 20 years (3-3 split) and have not met here in the SEC Championship game. In fact, this is the Tide’s 8th appearance in the SEC Title game (3-4) but first against a team other than UF. UGA makes its second straight trip here and its fifth appearance in the Richt era (2-2). While not many can argue that these two don’t deserve to be here as Bama beat LSU on the road 21-17 and UGA handed UF its only loss 17-9 (thanks to 6 UF TO’s), it should be noted that both benefitted from rather fortunate SEC scheduling as UGA skipped out on the top 3 teams in the West (Bama, LSU and A&M) while Bama didn’t play the top 3 teams in the East (UGA, UF and SC). Both come in off blowout wins of their rivals as Bama crushed Auburn 49-0 (most lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years) rolling up 25-7 FD and 483-163 yard edges and led 42-0 at the half. Meanwhile, UGA rolled to a 42-10 win over GT as they led 42-3 midway through the 3Q but were outgained 426-379 and outFD’d 26-18. They did average an astonishing 10.5 yards per play in the 1H. Both teams are led by veteran QB’s as Murray and McCarron are #1-2 in the NCAA in pass eff and have combined for a 55-9 ratio! They also have stout D’s as while Bama’s ranks #1 in most categories, one could argue that UGA’s is more talented and since S Williams called out the D prior to the UF game, they’ve allowed just 9 ppg in the last 5 games. The Bama D did give up 400+ yards in back-to-back games vs LSU/A&M earlier this year while UGA OC Bobo has called this UGA offense the best he’s ever seen as they are avg a school record 38 ppg. While each has Top 20 units on both offense and defense, Bama does have the significant ST’s edge (#22-71) and Saban is 7-2 in his last 9 games vs Top 20 teams while Richt is 1-6 in his last 7. Read more…
By Phil Steele
Troy had a 23-10 FD edge and 472-328 yd edge but Middle Tenn at home came away with a fortunate victory and Troy clinched a losing season. Troy was int’d on their 2nd poss and ret’d 22 yds to their 25 and MT got a 37 yd FG on a 20 yd drive. Troy went 60/9pl but fmbl’d at the 2 and on the next play, Parker got a 98 yd td run for MT, 10-0. Troy went 80/11pl for a td. Troy fmbl’d at the MT6 after a 42/5pl drive. MT got a 66 yd pass to Parker to the 28 but had a 43 yd FG blk’d. Troy had a punt blk’d 4pl later and MT got a 26 yd FG, 13-7 (6:26 2Q). At half MT had a 251-223 yd edge. Troy opened the 3Q with a 78/10pl drive and a 4 yd td pass put them up 14-13. 5 punts. Troy went 45/7pl but on FD from the MT33 fmbl’d and it was ret’d 59 yds to the 8. MT got a 21 yd FG on a 4 yd drive to lead 16-14. MT fmbl’d at the Troy44 on its next drive and Troy went 56/8pl for a td with 9:06 left for a 21-16 lead. MT was int’d on a deep pass and ret’d 43 yds to their 47. Troy got 1 FD and was int’ and ret’d 77 yds for a td with 5:48 left, the 2 pt conversion made it 24-21. Troy got 2 FD and on 4&4 fired incomplete at the MT27 with 2:46 left and MT got 1 FD and ran the clock. Read more…
Akron gave Toledo a game. In fact, leading 3-0 they brought in backup QB Pole on the 3rd series and Pole led them 81/14pl and UA took a 10-0 lead with 14:03 left in the 2Q. The drive began when UT was SOD on 4&2 at their 19. UT went 75/6pl and 85/8pl. Austin Dantin hit a 55 yd td pass to Pasquale and finished 29-35-327 yds. UA answered with an 81/7pl drive for a td with 5:44 left, 17-14. UT punted on their next poss but then took the momentum going 77/5pl for a td with 1:37 left in the half. At the half UT had a 295-257 yd edge. The 3Q opened with 3 punts. UA then went 46/17pl but were SOD on 4&gl from the 16. UT went 51/7pl but was int’d at the UA19 but UT went 62/12pl for a td, 28-17 (9:56) then after an int drove 25/3pl for a td with 8:19 left to go up 18 pts, 35-17. UT fmbl’d a punt with 5:59 left and UA went 45/7pl for a td with 3:30 left but UT rec’d the onside kick, got a FD to the UA36 and took a knee.
By Phil Steele
Oakland at Cincinnati
While most homecomings are warm, Carson Palmer’s won’t be after he refused to play for the Bengals giving this veteran a chance to vent his frustrations on the field. The Raiders just faced the rejuvenated Saints and were blown out 38-17 with basically even yardage. They must travel across the country again and while they lost 55-20 they outgained the Ravens 422-419 but were completely done in by Flacco’s play action to Rice as he completed TEN passes of 18+ yards. However, CIN’s rush attack at home is avg 81 ypg (3.4) which will not give Dalton the same benefit. The Bengals are off an upset vs the Giants and off a road win vs a 1-8 squad giving them confidence and I expect this one to go down to the wire as both will give max effort.
Welcome to Phil Steele’s FCS Playoff Central. Here you’ll find a breakdown of who is playing in the first round. Click on any helmet (and speaking of the helmets, make sure to visit The Helmet Project) to go to the team’s page. Check out the schedules/results for all of the playoff teams. Looking for rankings? How about Phil Steele’s Power Poll and Power Ratings. Get the latest news and stats from the teams themselves. Don’t forget to print your bracket. And – best yet – vote for you who think will move on to Round 2!
By Phil Steele
Last week the Top 25 Forecasts went 17-4 81% and on the year they are now 197-42 82%! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week which look to bounce back this week.
For projected box scores and the last 14 years matchups, click here.
By Phil Steele
It was Tom Osborne day for Nebraska and he led them out of the tunnel. Taylor Martinez threw for 308 yards and NU scored on 4 of their first 6 poss with Minnesota crossing midfield only once before the middle of the 3Q. NU ended the half with a 2&gl at the 1 and opted to go for the td and was stuffed and ran out of time. NU had a 306-60 yd edge at the half. It was 38-0 when UM scored a td with 7:39 left and the Gophers rec’d a fumble at the 6 with 2:49 left and got a Gary 6 yd td run for a somewhat misleading 38-14 final.
Ball St solidified its bowl standing and Ohio’s banged up team kept sliding. The Bobcats missed as many as 10 players due to injury but did only trail 21-17 at the half. Ball St lost their starting QB Keith Wenning who hit 16-20-172. Veteran Kelly Page came in and ran 7 yards for a td on his only play of the 1H and OU did get to the BSU12 with :12 left in the half but was sacked on the final play and did not score. OU got a 58 yd td run by Blankenship on the first drive of the 2H to take a 24-21 lead but Ball got a 68 yd Edwards run keying a 71/2pl drive for a td and OU missed a 27 yd FG. After 2 punts, BSU went 59/10pl for a 38 yd FG and OU went on an 11pl drive for a 34 yd FG, 31-27. Ball, after a 46 yard KR and a 15 yd penalty on a personal foul, drove 38/1pl for a td then after a punt went 65/6pl for a td and after OU went 3&out again, went 77/8pl for a td and turned it into a 52-27 rout with 2:18 left. Page hit just 5-7-41 rushing 4x’s for 34 yards.