Archive for the ‘Phil Steele News’ Category

Way Back When: My Proposed 4-Team Playoff in 2000.

July 2nd, 2012 No comments

With yesterday’s announcement of an official 4-team seeded playoff that will begin in 2014 and run for 12 years, I thought it would be a great day to take a step back in time and take a look at what I wrote way back in 2000 which I believe was the first significant proposal of a “Final 4” for college football. First, let me say that the champagne tasted good last night after the announcement and I am very pleased that the contract was signed for a long-term deal.

In the first two years of the BCS, I thought that the best team in the country for that year (Ohio St ’98 and Nebraska ’99) did not get a chance to play in the national title game. This prompted me to come up with a solution to include all deserving teams of a chance at taking home the title. My proposed system was to include four teams and seed them #1 vs #4 and #2 vs #3. The semi-finals would include the current bowls with those games being played on January 1st and the national championship game would be played at a later date.

Naturally the main reason I chose just four teams and not eight or 16 was to preserve what I think without question is the best regular season in all of sport! You cannot give me a single plausible argument as to why teams with two or more losses should be given a chance to play for a national title. I think you will find in most years there are three teams that are fighting for those top two spots and as long as you include those teams, I don’t think it really matters as to who is the #4 or #5 team as long as the true deserving teams are in the field.

Below is the complete article that I wrote in 2000 and also make sure you are checking out my May 30 Blog which includes what I wrote in this year’s magazine 13 years later.

In the next couple of weeks, I will break down year-by-year of the BCS Era and show you which system (Current BCS, 4-team or 8-team model) would have worked best. Look for it in a future blog.

Determining the National Champ
Bowls or Playoffs?

This is a copy of the first article written way back in 2000!!!!
Read Phil Steele’s orginial thoughts! Download your copy now!

NFL Magazine Sneak Peek

June 21st, 2012 No comments

Three years ago, I decided to put out a full color NFL Preview Magazine and I could not have been more pleased with the results. I correctly predicted 7 out of 8 division winners which was more than any other preview magazine and I was the only magazine to predict the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints to win the NFC South! Last year with the NFL Lockout, I waited to publish my magazine until August to have the latest and most accurate information and now in the last 3 years I have correctly predicted 16 out of 24 division winners!

This year the NFL and Fantasy Football Preview Magazine was sent off to the press earlier than ever before and today the truck showed up to our offices.

You should be able to find my NFL Magazine on the newsstands in early July but if you’re like me and want to have your hands on new information ASAP, try ordering thru the store or call our offices at 1-866-918-7711 and you will get it in your hands at least a full week before it officially hits the newsstands. The cost is just $13.25 (includes priority shipping) and we will ship it out of our offices within 24 hours unless ordered on the weekend and in that case it will get shipped 1st thing on Monday.

Unlike the College magazine where I write each of the 124 team previews myself, the NFL magazine was written by others including Erik Kuselias who wrote the Fantasy Section for the 2nd year in a row. I did do the forecast for each team using my 5 sets of Power ratings that I have for the NFL (I use 9 different sets for the colleges).

This year’s magazine is 288 pages which is considerably thicker than most NFL magazines out there. Here on the blog today I thought I would put the six pages of the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Below you can see how the pages look and click here to download the pdf version from this years magazine and this will show you all the information on each of the 32 teams that we produce. I will not go into great detail as to what is on the pages as you can see for yourself and I think you will agree that it is more information than any other NFL preview.

Download the PDF Version!

Who Will Be the Top Non-AQ Team This Year?

June 21st, 2012 2 comments

The non AQ conference WOULD HAVE HAD a berth in the National Title game just 3 years ago if Texas had missed a last second FG (vs Neb) as TCU was #3 in the BCS and would have played Alabama. In ’10 TCU came very close again and may have got there if they were one of two remaining undefeated teams. LY Boise probably would have played LSU if not for the missed FG. Many of my sets of power ratings called for Houston to go 12-0 LY and they would have been in a BCS bowl if they won the CUSA Title game at home.

In 2006, my top non-AQ team was Boise St and I PROJECTED THEM INTO A BCS BOWL and they went undefeated and got to the Fiesta Bowl where they beat Oklahoma. In 2007, I called for Hawaii to go 12-0 and grab a SUGAR BOWL BERTH and that is exactly what they did! In 2008 my top non-AQ team was Utah and while they were NOT RANKED in the preseason and no one picked them to even win the MW at the start of the year except me, they finished unbeaten and #2 in the country! In 2009 my Top non-AQ team was Boise St and when they beat TCU in the Fiesta Bowl they finished #4 and the top non-AQ team in the country. 2010 it was FIVE in a row. EVERYONE had Boise St as their top non AQ team but I went against the grain and picked TCU and coach Patterson and company did not disappoint as they knocked off Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl and finished #2 in the country, naturally the top rated non-AQ team out there (TCU #2!).

Last year I pegged the Boise State Broncos as my top non-AQ team and it did not look well when they lost to TCU at home on a missed FG. That missed FG might have prevented them from playing LSU in the Title game!!!! They did finish the year the TOP RANKED non-AQ team (#8)!! Also last year in my magazine I listed my top 6 Non-AQ teams in the following order: 1. Boise St 2. TCU 3. Southern Miss 4. Houston 5. BYU and 6. Ohio! I was simply thrilled with the final AP Top 25 rankings as each of my Top 4 Non-AQ teams finished ranked and BYU finished #26 while Ohio won their bowl game!!

That means in the last 6 years the team that I have predicated as my Top non-AQ school in ALL SIX years has finished as the best non-AQ team with FIVE of them making BCS bowls!

This year I’m going for SEVEN IN A ROW, my call is for the UCF Knights to go unbeaten in CUSA play and be the top non-AQ team in the country this year as they are my Most Improved Team!

Top 200 Freshman for 2013!

June 21st, 2012 No comments

Covering college football as I do takes 52 weeks a year as it is and while I personally do not scout the high school games and rate each player I do compile my rankings based on the many different recruiting services across the country that follow and scout HS football year round. I not only like to use all of the biggest and best services, but I also use regional reports as well. The colleges themselves use many of these services to get the latest information on recruits.

When we receive a recruiting magazine, we translate each player’s ranking into a points system from 1-100 and then log each and every player into the computer and give them a point total from each source. Naturally, the more they are mentioned and the higher they are rated by each publication, the more total points they accrue. After months of entering all of this information, I sort the list by position and by total points and then rank the players from most points to least. The preseason top HS Senior lists have already been released by ESPN, Rivals, 247 Sports and Scout and all of them were compiled into this Pre-Season list.

In today’s blog I have included the top High School Seniors that will be incoming frosh for 2013. By no means is this list final and it will be fluid until next February after the players sign. Since we want the college preview to continue to be the most in-depth and accurate magazine out there, if you find any information that is wrong or if you are questioning a player’s ranking please contact

Read more…

Who Will Be This Year’s Surprise Team?

June 21st, 2012 No comments

Do you think it is easy picking a National Champ prior to the year?

Since 1994, only 3 times has the preseason #1 team gone on to win the National Title. However, I am happy that I have correctly pegged the national champ in two of the last four years!

Last year Oklahoma was the preseason #1 team but I had Alabama #1 and the Crimson Tide came thru for me by easily winning the rematch vs LSU in the national title game!  In 2008, Georgia was the preseason #1 team but I had FLORIDA to win the title and the Gators delivered for me!! Athlon was the only other source to have Florida #1.
Only in 1999 (everyone with Florida St), 2001 (two magazines with Miami, Fl) and 2004 (everyone with USC) did any of the Big 9 preseason magazines correctly pick the National Champ.

Past Surprise Teams

In 2002, it was yet another Surprise Team taking home the National Title. Ohio St was not even ranked in the preseason Top 10. In fact, only three magazines even picked them to win the Big Ten, let alone contend for a National Title. I am pleased to report I had OSU at #7, which was higher than any other publication and when the smoke cleared, they had beaten Miami, FL in the Fiesta Bowl and took home the National Title.

In 2003, there was another surprise champ and that was LSU. If you read my 2003 College Football Preview, you know I had LSU pegged as my #2 Surprise Team in the country saying they had a great shot at going undefeated and attaining the National Title. At the start of the year, not only did 8 of the Big 9 magazines NOT have LSU as a National Title contender, but NONE had LSU even winning the SEC WEST DIVISION. That year LSU simply won the SEC outright and shared the National Title!! The other half of the National Title went to USC who I had listed as my #5 Surprise Team despite the fact they had to replace their Heisman Trophy winning QB Carson Palmer.

In ’04 almost everyone including myself pegged USC and Oklahoma to play in the Orange Bowl game so there was no Surprise Team in the title game BUT Auburn made no major publication’s Top 10 and almost got to the big game with its unbeaten season. I had Auburn listed as my #7 Surprise Team in ’04.

In ’05 the #1 and #2 preseason teams met in the title game so there was no Surprise Team. Penn St was not ranked in the preseason and finished #3 in the final polls after having a losing season in ’04. While they did not make my Surprise List, they were my #3 Most Improved Team.

The 2006 season was a VERY GOOD year for my Surprise Teams and almost a GREAT YEAR! I say almost a GREAT year because my #1 Surprise Team was Louisville and they came within inches of playing for the National Title. When I wrote the magazine I had expected the “Derby City Duo” of RB Michael Bush and QB Brian Brohm to be one of the top QB/RB combos in the country. Bush was lost in the 3Q of the opening game and Brohm was injured a few games later. Brohm was only a few games back from injury when the #3 Cards blew a 25-7 3Q lead and lost to Rutgers on a FG on the last play (which was a 2nd chance FG after the first one was missed but the Cardinals were penalized for being offsides). Had they held on and won they would have been #2 in the BCS poll and we would have had a pair of unbeatens meet for the title. As we saw, the Buckeyes were greatly affected by their 51 day layoff and were a vulnerable team. Louisville could have been the fourth team in FIVE YEARS to merit National Championship consideration that was one of my Top 10 Surprise Teams. That is a pretty good record considering I do not pick any of the projected preseason Top 10 teams.

In 2007, I had Ohio St listed as my #4 Surprise Team and they entered the season #11 but played in the National Title game. I had USF (unranked preseason) as my #5 Surprise Team and they climbed as high as #2 in the polls. I had Georgia (#13 AP) as my #6 Surprise Team and they finished #2 and almost played in the title game. I had Oregon my #10 Surprise Team and they were #2 when QB Dennis Dixon was injured. Had Dixon not been injured, they likely would have been in the title game. I had Missouri my #9 Surprise Team and despite being UNRANKED in the AP preseason poll, they were #1 when they faced Oklahoma in the Big 12 Title game and finished #4! I also had Hawaii going unbeaten in the regular season and playing in the Sugar Bowl which is exactly what happened!

In 2008, I had Texas Tech my #3 Surprise Team and they got to 10-0 (#2) and came very close (3-way B12 South Division tie) to playing for the Big 12 Championship and possibly the National Title game. Penn St opened the year #22 in the AP poll but was my #5 Surprise team and had they not given away a 9 point 4Q lead vs Iowa they would have been in the title game.

In 2009, the title game was Texas vs Alabama (both top 5 prior to year) so there were no surprise teams.

In 2010, I had AUBURN my #5 surprise team and despite entering the year #22 in the AP poll they ran thetable and won the national title!

So, what have we learned from all this information? Clearly, every year there has been an unexpected Top 10 team and some years there are big surprises like Oklahoma, Ohio St, LSU and Auburn who all took home the title after a 5-loss season (Auburn also had 5 losses in 2003 before going unbeaten in 2004). Now comes the question, “Who will be this year’s Surprise Team?”

The last couple of February’s on, I have posted my projected AP Top 10 for the upcoming year. I have hit 9 of 10 the last three years. The last 3 years ESPN has produced its preseason Top 25 and it comes out in April. Here is my expected list of the teams that will likely be ranked in this year’s preseason AP Top 10 and I put them in order of how they will likely be ranked: USC, LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas, Florida St, South Carolina, Michigan and West Virginia. It’s likely these 11 teams will make up the Top 11 this year, so I will NOT use any of them. Now let’s take a look at this year’s potential surprise teams.

I do want to reiterate that Ohio St and North Carolina both have the talent and schedules to run the table but I could not pick either because they are not eligible for the BCS Title.

This year my #1 Surprise Team is the Texas Longhorns! The ESPN April ranking had them at #22 and they are 13-12 the last two years finishing unranked each year. Last year Texas did not have a Top 10 D (#11) by NCAA standards but had my #2 rated D as they held 5 opponent’s to season lows and took on 6 of the top 13 offenses in the country. The 2nd best defense in the Big 12 confernce taking on these type of powerhouse offenses was Oklahoma and they finished #55 in the NCAA rankings! Texas has a top ten D again with 6 st’rs back but get a big upgrade on offense with my #4 set of RB’s, #11 Rec’s and #8 O-line and they will get the best QB play since Colt McCoy left after ’09. Keep in mind Texas finished in the Top 10 seven of nine yrs (#12 in ’03, #13 in ’06) from 2001-’09 and that included five Top 5 finishes. Their toughest two gms are at Okla St and their Red River Rivalry vs Oklahoma. This is the 2nd year for their new coor’s systems and remember four Nat’l Champs the last 12 years have been off 5 loss seasons.

70 points. Ask anyone about My #2 Surprise Team the Clemson Tigers and the first thing they will say is 70 pts or “West Virginia just scored again.” Clemson had a great season getting to 8-0 and #6 but went 2-4 down the stretch still managing to win the ACC Title. This year they have one of the top QB, RB and WR combos in the country with QB Boyd, RB Ellington, WR’s Watkins and Hopkins. They played a lot of VHT true frosh LY and they are all now exp’d sophs. Most of their toughest ACC foes are in Death Valley and they should be favored in as many as 10 gms this year with 1 tossup (Auburn) and one clear cut underdog (at Florida St). Naturally I think Fla St will win that game but I expected VT to beat them in Blacksburg last year and Clemson prevailed even in a letdown situation off two big wins at home. How quickly the OL comes around (just 2 ret sts) will determine if this is a surprise National Title contender.

In 2010 everyone in the country made the mistake of assuming a large drop off by My #3 Surprise team the Oklahoma State Cowboys as they had to replace QB Zac Robinson (career passing leader), a thousand yd RB and WR Dez Bryant (1st Tm AA). There were 47 different tms that were picked among the various publications Top 25 and the Cowboys were not ranked by a single source! Brand new QB Weeden had a fine year. After spring the coaches wondered if a feature WR would emerge and it took until the end of August but Justin Blackmon did and had a huge year. OSU went 23-3 the last 2 yrs with those two. This year they depart and my biggest apprehension is that they go from a 28 year old QB to a true frosh, perhaps the largest dropoff EVER for a college QB position (10 years age diff!). OSU does have a solid O-line and my #8 set of RB’s but their biggest difference is that the defense which was #107 LY could have a Michigan ’11 type of improvement, as they have Top 25 defensive talent. They do draw Oklahoma on the road but could be favored in all their other road games meaning if they take care of business at home they could be a surprise team despite not being in the Top 15.

My #4 Surprise Team is the Wisconsin Badgers. LY AFTER my magazine was on the newsstands, Wisconsin signed Russell Wilson who had led the ACC in td passes each of the previous 3 years! Wilson is a tireless worker that came in and gave 100% effort every snap including in practice and elevated the team to the Rose Bowl (2 Hail Mary’s away from a poss Nat’l Title appearance). Had I known that he was coming in and that Jim Tressel and Joe Paterno would not be coaching their respective teams when Wisconsin faced them, I would have had the Badgers #1 by themselves as opposed to tied for #1 in the Big Ten Leaders. Danny O’Brien is NOT Russell Wilson but the Maryland transfer is a good fit for the offense and they caught a huge break when Heisman finalist Montee Ball opted to return for his Sr season. UW avoids Michigan out of the Legends and their road games all fall into the winnable category with the toughest at Nebraska and Oregon St. They face my #56 schedule with only 3 ranked teams (no Top 10) and with two of those 3 in the friendly confines of Camp Randall.

In 2010 in this spot I had a 2nd year coach in Gene Chizik who was not a popular hire (showing fans can actually be wrong) and was coming off an 8-5 season and My #5 Surprise Team, the Florida Gators, also have a 2nd year HC that is off a disappointing season at 7-6. A first year HC has to learn the players strengths and weaknesses and the team must learn his new systems. Year two everyone is up to speed. In 2000 Bob Stoops in his 2nd year shockingly won the Title. 2002 was Jim Tressel’s 2nd year at Ohio St and he was the surprise National Title winner! Urban Meyer in his 2nd year at Florida took home a National Title in 2006. In 2010 Gene Chizik (2nd year) took home the title after going 8-5 his first year at Auburn. Third yr HC’s have also won 4 in that span in ’09-Saban Alabama, ’07-Miles LSU, ’03-Carroll USC and ’97-Carr Michigan. LY Florida used 3 different QB’s due to injury, they were -12 in turnovers, go from just 9 ret sts to 17 and go from only 3 SEC home gms to just 3 SEC true road gms (Texas A&M, Tennessee, Vanderbilt). They do have to face four Top 10 teams but only one of them on the road (Florida State). No one is talking about Florida to even win the SEC East but they will be at the end of the year.

If you want my complete list of 2012 Surprise Teams (12) make sure you check out pages 20-22 of this year’s magazine!

Players to Circle in Your Magazine!

June 21st, 2012 No comments

2012 FBS Injuries – Prior To Season!

These are some noteworthy changes to the Projected Starting Lineups that took place AFTER the magazine went to press in May which was AFTER all spring practices were complete. Here is an example of one team that had a lot of deletions off the roster last year. This is how I update my magazine and it allows you to see all the players that are out for the year and note teams with a lot of injuries. You can also tell if teams are fairly healthy when you have a team with little to no circles.

Here is an example of what my Washington St magazine page looked like at the end of 2009. I chose the Cougars because they suffered 67 starts lost to injury in 2009, the most in the NCAA. Remember when Oklahoma won the National Title in 2000? Not a single OU starter lost a single start due to injury!

In 2010 with the heavy sanctions the NCAA had put on USC, naturally the Trojans suffered some attrition. Here is what my magazine page looked like for USC prior to the season.

Here is the current list for players that have been lost for the year since the middle of May. This includes injuries, transfers, suspensions and dismissals. This list will be updated DAILY so check it often. Any player that will not suit up for 2012 when they were expected to in May needs to be on this list.  If you see any players missing in this list please email and we will get those players on there ASAP.  Also during the season we will provide an updated starts lost list for each school so you can see which schools are banged up and which fall into the zero starts lost category. This section will also update late additions. Here is the current list.

Check back DAILY to make adjustments to your 2012 College Preview Magazine!!
Players in BLUE are new this week.

Air Force



5/16 CB Cortez Johnson is transferring to Oklahoma
6/13 DL Dylan Cozens Drafted by Phillies will play baseball
6/15 LB Brian Wagner has decided to quit football
Arizona St

6/12 WR Kane Whitehurst was given release of scholarship
6/12 WR Quinta Funderburk released from team and will sign with Syracuse
6/12 LB Brock Haman Transferred to Arizona St
Arkansas St



Ball St

5/16 LB Robert Singletary transferred to UTSA
Boise St
6/13 DL Justin Jungblut transferred to N Arizona
6/13 DL Nick Alexander transferred to Portland St
Boston College

Bowling Green



5/24 LB Cecil Whiteside dismissed from team
6/13 RB Trajuan Briggs transferred to New Mexico
Central Michigan


5/16 RB Mike Bellamy Academically Ineligible. Going to JC for ’12.
6/9 DL Cordary Allen left team
6/13 WR Peyton williams will grayshirt
6/13 DL Derek McCartney will grayshirt
6/13 OL Gerrad Kough will grayshirt
Colorado St
6/14 DL CJ James granted release
6/13 TE Mark Hansson academically ineligle
5/16 P Alex King Graduated and transferred to Texas
East Carolina

Eastern Michigan



Florida Atlantic

Florida St

Fresno St
5/16 WR Jalen Saunders will transfer to Oklahoma

Georgia Tech

6/14 CB Justi Turner transferred from Michigan
6/14 CB Demar Dorsey transferred from Grand Rapids/UM

5/16 WR Ken McRoyal died from gun shot wound



Iowa St
5/16 DL Ben Durbin grad transfer from Wyoming
5/16 LB Jake Farley transferring to Northern Iowa
5/16 OL Chad Kolumber transferring to Richmond
6/13 K Alex Mueller will transfer
Kansas St

Kent St

6/12 WR Brian Adams gave up football to concentrate on baseball

Louisiana Tech


6/11 DB Ronnie Vinson transferred to Tennessee St
6/14 CB Dominick LeGrande transferred from Boston College
6/14 CB Okechukwu Okoroha transferred from Boston College


6/14 CB Taurean Nixon transferred
Miami, Fl

Miami, Oh

5/16 DL Chris Rock left the program
Michigan St
5/16 DT Matt Ramondo released to transfer
Middle Tenn

5/16 LB Dwayne Mitchell transferred to Nicholls St
6/12 QB Zack Stoudt ended career for health reasons
Mississippi St

5/15 DB Tavon Bolden dismissed from team
6/14 CB David Sperry left school violation of rules
5/16 TE JT Kerr transferring to USC
5/16 S Dijon Washington transferred to Sacramento St
6/12 RB Aaron Green transferred to TCU

NFL and FCS Magazine Updates

June 21st, 2012 No comments

FCS Magazine

In 2007 I made the commitment to provide quality in-depth FCS information and I provided a ¼ page on each FCS team in my Pac-10 Regional. There was moderate interest and I increased the coverage to 1/2 page per team in 2008. In 2009, I moved the coverage to my ACC & Big East Regional giving the FCS even more exposure. Two years ago I increased the coverage on each team to a FULL PAGE and the interest increased further. Last year I was very proud to produce a magazine that gave each and every school equal FCS coverage and it was the only stand-alone FCS magazine on the market!

While last year’s response was not overwhelming, this year I will again produce a FCS only magazine and I am counting on you the FCS fans, alumni, school leaders and athletic departments to help spread the word and make this magazine a success allowing me to continue publishing it.

The FCS continues to provide fans with quality football and with nearly a 100 games this season against FBS foes interest will continue to grow. TV contracts are also becoming bigger, which will continue to expand the viewing audience while more and more upsets seem to occur each season. The NFL draft also brings to light the quality of players that come from the FCS with at least 20 players drafted each year from the small schools. It is time the Nation realizes that many of these quality FCS programs can compete day in and day out with many FBS conferences. You will become an instant expert on EVERY FCS team. So get a leg up on one of your favorite team’s possible FCS opponent this year by purchasing the Phil Steele 2012 FCS Preview today!

As you probably know I spend 7 days a week and 365 days a year working on nothing but football. It has made my Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine the “Most Accurate Preseason Magazine The Last 14 Years” and that same type of hard work and dedication goes into this FCS Preview as well as my NFL Magazine.

If you’re an FCS fan I can promise you there is no other preview like it on the market today with nearly 200 pages dedicated to the FCS! You can ONLY order it through our offices by calling us at 1-866-918-7711 or by going to and it is just $8.95 (plus $5.30 S&H). It will NOT BE ON THE NEWSSTANDS so please order it thru the office and support your favorite FCS school.

NFL Magazine

Last week we sent off our 2012 NFL and Fantasy Preview to press and I am excited to say that the magazine will hit the newsstands earlier than ever before as they will be available nationwide on July 3rd. If you’re like me and want to get your hands on it even earlier, we have just received word that a truck will be here at our offices by June 25th at the latest and everyone who orders before then will see their NFL Preview shipped that day. If you’re interested in our NFL and Fantasy Preview (it’s like 2 magazines in one!) the cost is only $7.95 (plus $5.30 S&H) and features 6 pages on each and every one of the 32 teams and more than 288 total pages! Call 1-866-918-7711 or visit the Store to order your copy today!

New Feature To This Year’s Magazine!

June 21st, 2012 No comments

Every year I am adding to new features and articles to my College Football Preview and this year for all 124 teams I have added a couple extra columns to the Game-by-Game Stats that you will find on the right hand page for every team. A lot of people have been asking me what those columns stand for and I thought I would explain it further in today’s blog.

Last year during the season I was wondering how certain offensive and defensive performances that a team had vs a particular opponent stacked up on how the other opponents fared against that team. Not every performance as far as yards gained and given up is created equal due to the quality of opponent played. Let’s face it gaining 300 yards of offense last year vs Alabama’s defense would be far more impressive than gaining 300 yards vs Kansas’ D. Here is a Description for the two new rankings in Game-by-Game Stats.

Download PDF version of this chart!

I hope this helps when it comes to explaining how teams fared vs their respective opponents. If you have further questions on these columns feel free to email

Stock Market Indicator

June 21st, 2012 No comments


The past couple of years in my NFL magazine I have produced an article called Slipping and Sliding. That article details how NFL teams do after a marked 1-year difference in their wins and losses from the previous year. My research shows that in the NFL from 2002-’10 there were 76 teams that improved their record by 3 wins or more from the previous season. Of those 76 teams only 11 had a better record, 8 were the same and 57 had a weaker record meaning that a team did not improve or had a weaker record 86% of the time. The biggest improvements prior to 2007 were made by the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers, who improved by 9 net wins (6-10 to 15-1), and the 2004 SD Chargers, who improved by 8 net wins (4-12 to 12-4). In the season after their big improvement, the Steelers slid by 4 net wins (15-1 to 11-5) and SD by 3 net wins (12-4 to 9-7). Four years ago we had the largest improvement yet as Miami was coming of a 1-15 season. After being +10 net wins (11-5 in 2008) they fell back to 7-9 in 2009 finishing -4 net wins. Tampa Bay was +7 wins in 2010 (10-6) and was #1 on the list last year and as expected dropped to 4-12 (-6 wins).

Generally these charts are a two-way street and it has been just as good of an indicator going in the opposite direction. As I did with the net wins I took the teams that had 3 or more net losses from the previous year and found that the numbers weren’t quite as strong. By tweaking the chart to use teams that had 4 or more net losses from the previous season I got the results I wanted.

Since 2002 there have been 64 teams that have had 4 or more net losses from the previous year and 47 (73%) have had a better record. Of the teams that had 6 net losses an amazing 21 out of 23 (91%) improved their record. LY’s results saw 5 of the 8 teams improve their record. Cincinnati and Carolina were on top of the chart with +6 losses and the Panthers went 6-10 LY which was +4 wins while the Bengals were +5 wins and made the playoffs at 9-7!

When I tried to plug this system in for college football, it did not have the same results as in college ball, teams’ records fluctuate more and there is not as much parity. The college system I devised 5 years ago was built on a longer term. What I did was took a 2-year result record vs the previous year’s win total and it got me to the NFL-type percentages.

For example, last year Cincinnati was tied at #1 on my Stock Market Indicator (+7.5). In 2008 and 2009 Cincinnati combined for a 23-4 record, or 11.5 wins per season. In 2010 they had just 4 wins. Therefore, they were +7.5 in my Stock Market Indicator meaning the prior year’s record was far below normal standards. As expected, Cincinnati improved their record to 10-3. The other team last year at +7.5 was Texas. Texas was my #3 Most Improved Team in the country and improved significantly. The Longhorns made this list by going 25-2 in 2008 and 2009 or an average of 12.5 wins then winning just 5 games in 2010. They had a +7.5 Stock Market Indicator and as expected, moved up to 8-5. Last year there were 29 teams that had a +2.5 Stock Market Indicator or more and of those 29 teams, 21 improved their record, just five had a weaker record and three remained the same. That 24 out of 29 success rate translated into 82.8% last year!

Stronger Weaker Same % Better or Stronger Weaker Same % Better or
Market #
Next Yr Next Yr Next Yr Same Next Yr Next Yr Next Yr Next Yr Same Next Yr
+7.5 or
3 0 0 100.0% +7.5 or
3 0 0 100.0%
+7 2 0 1 100.0% +7 or
5 0 1 100.0%
+6.5 4 0 0 100.0% +6.5 or
9 0 1 100.0%
+6 7 0 0 100.0% +6 or
16 0 1 100.0%
+5.5 10 2 2 85.7% +5.5 or
26 2 3 93.5%
+5 22 6 1 79.3% +5 or
48 8 4 86.7%
+4.5 27 10 3 75.0% +4.5 or
75 18 7 82.0%
+4 37 8 4 83.7% +4 or
112 26 11 82.6%
+3.5 41 16 9 75.8% +3.5 or
153 42 20 80.5%
+3 64 20 3 77.0% +3 or
217 62 23 79.5%
+2.5 47 22 2 69.0% +2.5 or
264 84 25 77.5%
+2 61 24 13 75.5% +2 or
325 108 38 77.1%
+1.5 76 51 15 64.1% +1.5 or
401 159 53 74.1%

I had only been doing the totals over the last couple of years but this year developed a formula to help me go back to 1990 and check the results. I was quite surprised. Since 1990 there have been a total of 17 teams that had a +6 Stock Market Indicator meaning that the prior year’s win total was 6 wins less than the average of the 2 years prior. Of those 17 teams, 16 improved their record while one stayed the same and it was dramatic going from a combined 51-144 (26.2%) to a combined 94-107 (46.8%). I had expected to see a drastic drop off in the numbers at the next few levels but surprisingly did not. Teams in the +5.5 category improved their record to a 10-2-2 clip. There were 29 instances of teams being +5 in the Stock Market Indicator category since 1990 and those teams were an amazing 22-6-1 (79%). The totals did drop to 75% for +4.5 with it going 27-10-3 and when the total got to the +4 Stock Market Indicator, it surprisingly went back up to 37-8-4 (83.7%) which was superior to the individual +4.5 range. The numbers did drop to 76% for a +3.5 net wins, 77% for +3 and down to 69% for +2.5. Just when you thought the trend would get lower, surprisingly +2.0 had a 75.5% success rate. Even teams that had a +1.5 Stock Market Indicator from the prior two years, went up 64% of the time.

Summing it all up, I will put it into 3 categories. Teams with a +6.0 Stock Market Indicator or higher were a perfect 16-0-1 (100%). Teams in the +4 to +5.5 range were 96-26-10 (80.3%). Teams in the +1.5 to +3.5 two-year Stock Market Indicator range were 289-133-42 (71.3%). The team that had a +1.5 Stock Market Indicator or higher had 401 improved their record, 159 have a weaker record and 53 have the same record meaning 74.1% of the time, teams in that category improved or had the same record.

This year there is just one team that falls into the 100% bracket of +6 on the two-year Stock Market Indicator. Middle Tennessee had a record of 16-10 in 2009 and 2010 for an average of 8 wins per season and last year had just 2. At the +5.5 total is Ohio St who avg’d 11.5 wins in ’09-’10 but had just 6 last year and also Troy who avg’d 8.5 wins in ’09-’10 but had just 3 last year. Below is a list of all teams that are calling for a Bull Market this year including nine teams with a +4 Stock Market Indicator or more meaning they have an 83% chance of maintaining or improving their record this year.

2012’s Bull Market Teams

Team Stock Market #
Middle Tennessee 6
Ohio St 5.5
Troy 5.5
Idaho 5
Mississippi 4.5
Central Michigan 4.5
Navy 4.5
UCF 4.5
Fresno St 4
Indiana 3.5
Texas Tech 3.5
Boston College 3.5
Arizona 3.5
Oregon St 3.5
Maryland 3.5
Florida 3.5
Nevada 3.5
FAU 3.5
Pittsburgh 3
Auburn 3
Army 3
Connecticut 3
Iowa 2.5
East Carolina 2.5
Kansas 2
Miami, Fl 2
Hawaii 2
Utah 2
Minnesota 1.5
Northwestern 1.5
Tennessee 1.5
Kentucky 1.5
TCU 1.5
Air Force 1.5
UNLV 1.5
Tulane 1.5
UAB 1.5
Miami, Oh 1.5
ULM 1.5

Like all of my charts I put in my magazine, there is a two-way street to this Stock Market Indicator. When I reviewed the numbers since 1990, it was surprising that team’s with a -4.5 Stock Market Indicator or lower, which was a much greater sampling than the -7 or lower actually achieved a better percentage. While two teams managed to improve their record at the very top of the chart, none did in -6.5 or -6.0. In fact of teams that had a -6.0 Stock Market Indicator or lower, only 2 managed to improve their record. In 2003 Navy which went from 8-5 to 10-2 and 2000 South Carolina which went from 8-4 to 9-3. The biggest drop offs were 1998 Tulane which had a -7.5 Stock Market Indicator and went from 12-0 to 3-8. Interestingly in 1998 I called for Washington St to go from a Rose Bowl to last place in the Pac-10 – which they did and in the 2 year Stock Market Indicator they were -6.0 and went from 10-2 to 3-8. Others that achieved large drop offs were 2008 Ball St which went from 12-2 to 2-10 with a -6 Stock Market Indicator and 1996 Army which went from 10-2 to 4-7 with a -5.5 Stock Market Indicator. Last year Miami, Oh topped this list with a -8.5 Stock Market indicator and plummeted from 10-4 in 2010 with a MAC Championship to just 4-8 last year. In fact last year all six teams with a -5 indicator or lower ended up with weaker records last year!

Weaker Stronger Same % Better or Weaker Stronger Same % Better or
Market # Next Yr Next Yr Next Yr Same Next Yr Next Yr Next Yr Next Yr Same Next Yr
-7.5 or
6 1 0 85.7% -7.5 or
6 1 0 85.7%
-7 5 1 1 85.7% -7 or
11 2 1 85.7%
-6.5 8 0 0 100.0% -6.5 or
19 2 1 90.9%
-6 7 0 1 100.0% -6 or
26 2 1 93.1%
-5.5 17 2 3 90.9% -5.5 or
43 4 4 92.2%
-5 30 4 0 88.2% -5 or
73 8 4 90.6%
-4.5 25 5 6 86.1% -4.5 or
98 13 10 89.3%
-4 34 9 3 80.4% -4 or
132 22 13 86.8%
-3.5 45 16 2 74.6% -3.5 or
177 38 15 83.5%
-3 58 15 8 81.5% -3 or
235 53 23 83.0%
-2.5 55 23 9 73.6% -2.5 or
290 76 32 80.9%
-2 75 31 7 72.6% -2 or
365 107 39 79.1%

A look at the 2-year Stock Market Indicator shows a power trend of basically 80% if teams have a -2.0 Stock Market Indicator or less since 1990. Unlike the above positive Market Indicator, there were actually two teams that bucked the trend with a -7.5 or -7 and improved but overall the chart has higher percentages. Teams that had a Stock Market Indicator of -5 or lower had a weaker or the same record the next year 90.6% of the time with 73 having a weaker record, only 8 managing to improve and 4 having the same record. Even teams with a Stock Market Indicator of -3.0 to -4.5 were in an 80% category having a weaker record 162 times and improving the record just 45 and the same record 19 times. Unlike the positive Market Indicator, I was not pleased with the results of -1.5 so the chart really should be cut off at 2.0. The teams in the -2.0 to -2.5 Stock Market Indicator had a weaker or same record the next year 73.0% of the time.

Bottom line is that a 90.6% trend of a weaker or same record if teams have a -5 indicator or less, -3 to -4.5 is 80% and -2 to -2.5 73%. Overall, teams that had -2 Stock Market Indicator or lower had the weaker or the same record basically 80% of the time.

The teams this year that have trends going in a downward Bear direction at the top of that chart in the 90% category are WKU, which was 2-22 the prior 2 years for an average of 1 wins per season and improved to 7-5 last year giving them a Stock Market Indicator of -6. Arkansas St had a record of 8-16 the previous 2 years or an average of 4 wins per seasons and improved to 10 last year (-6 Stock Market Indicator). Houston had a record of 15-11 or an average of 7.5 wins per season and improved to 13-1 last year for a -5.5 Stock Market Indicator. Eastern Michigan and Michigan both checked in a -5.

Here is a complete listing of all of this year’s teams with a Bear Market in their forecast:

2012’s Bear Market Teams

Team Stock Market #
Arkansas St -6
WKU -6
Houston -5.5
Michigan -5
Eastern Michigan -5
Baylor -4.5
Virginia -4.5
Southern Miss -4.5
Louisiana -4.5
Vanderbilt -4
Kansas St -3.5
San Jose St -3.5
Louisiana Tech -3.5
LSU -3
Georgia -3
South Carolina -3
Wyoming -3
Ball St -3
Utah St -3
FIU -3
Michigan St -2.5
Purdue -2.5
Rutgers -2.5
Washington St -2.5
Clemson -2.5
Toledo -2.5
North Texas -2.5
Illinois -2
Oklahoma St -2
Wake Forest -2
Arkansas -2
Cincinnati -2
Northern Illinois -2

Coming to a Radio Show Near You!

June 21st, 2012 No comments

After the magazine went off to the press in Mid-May, I spent the next two weeks going over each individual game for the upcoming year. I looked at all the history between the teams, read the last two years of past histories for the matchups and then analyze the matchup to see if there are any mismatches (big, strong O-Line vs small, weak DL, etc). Now that I’m officially done with each and every game, last week I wrote my NFL forecasts our NFL Preview and Fantasy Guide, which will be sent off to the press this week. Today, though officially starts my radio season in which I do nearly 400 radio shows across the country over the next couple of months.

Check out our radio shows page to see when I will be doing a radio show near you. Also this year is that we will have a mp3 recording of nearly all the shows so in case you missed the show you will still be able to hear me on the site. So if you’re a Florida Gator fan living in Ohio or a Buckeye fan living in Florida you can listen to me breakdown your favorite team regardless of where you live.

Every Friday I have my weekly one-hour college football show with Bill King from 8:00-9:00am est! The showcan be found on SIRIUS/XM College Sports Nation and it’s on channel 91 (both Sirius and XM).
If you have any questions concerning college football tomorrow or this summer make sure you tune in and give us a call at 1-888-573-5335 or you can contact the show via twitter or facebook at billisking. If you miss the show the replay can be heard at

At this point my staff is hard at work on the NFL Preview and Fantasy Football Guide which will include 6 FULL pages on each NFL Team along Fantasy Coverage written by Erik Kuselias! You can get my 2012 NFL Preview and Fantasy Football Guide by ordering it through our offices for just $13.25 (includes priority shipping). This preview has 288 pages devoted to the NFL and I can promise you there is no other preview like it on the market today! Call us at 1-866-918-7711 or go to the Store.