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Top 25 – Week 14

November 28th, 2012 No comments

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…

Top 25 – Week 13

November 21st, 2012 No comments

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.

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Top 25 – Week 11

November 7th, 2012 No comments

Last week the Top 25 Forecasts went 15-4 79% and on the year they are now 163-35 82%! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week which added another winner last week when East Carolina upset Houston.

For projected box scores and Last 14 Years Matchups for all of these games, please click here.

#1 Alabama vs #15 Texas A&M

Bama is, of course, coming off the huge game vs LSU although they do only have Western Carolina on deck. A&M, meanwhile, is on its third straight away game and playing for the 10th straight week. Last week the Tide jumped out to a 14-3 halftime lead at #5 LSU but found themselves down 17-14 late in the game as McCarron completed just 1-7 passes for 0 yards in the 2H prior to the final drive. LSU blew some opportunities to put the game away including 3 failed FG attempts. McCarron led Bama 72/5pl in a drive that culminated with a td pass with just :51 left as the #1 Tide won 21-17. McCarron has still not thrown an int this year but the #1 Tide D did give up 435 yards and they will have their hands full again this week vs ‘Johnny Football’ who tore through Miss St’s D to the tune of 440 total yards (30-36 passing!) as the Aggies rolled to a 38-13 win at MSU. A&M outgained MSU 693-310 and had a 36-15 FD edge. Keep in mind, the last 2 times Bama has lost a game it came at the hands of mobile QB’s in Cam Newton and Jordan Jefferson. Still I can’t step in front of the elephant here as A&M’s offense has been sluggish in the 2H of games vs the other two elite D’s it faced earlier this year in UF/LSU.

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Top 25 – Week 10

October 31st, 2012 No comments

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game.

Last week I was disappointed with the Top 25 forecast results as they only hit 12-7 63% but on the year they are still a solid 148-31 83%!! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week which moved to 6-4 60% the last 6 weeks!

#1 ALABAMA AT #5 LSU

 

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Top 25 – Week 9

October 24th, 2012 No comments

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game.

Last week the Top 25 forecasts went 18-3 86% and on the year they are 136-24 85%!! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week which moved to 5-2 the last 5 weeks after Maryland missed a 32 yard FG on the last play of the game in a 20-18 loss to NC State. For projected box scores, click here.

#1 ALABAMA VS #13 MISSISSIPPI ST

Last year the situation favored MSU as Bama was off of a bubble bursting loss to LSU in the game of the century. Bama still finished with a commanding 386-131 yard and 20-9 FD edges in a 24-7 win as MSU’s only score came on a 21 yard drive after a 69 yard KR. The Tide is 4-0 in this series but has the huge showdown at LSU on deck. Last week the Bulldogs, in a flat spot, got off to a slow start as they led just 17-3 midway through the 3Q but exploded for 28 points in the final 20:00 for a 45-3 win over Middle Tenn. QB Russell is one of the most improved QB’s in the country and has a 15-1 ratio. Bama has been AP’s #1 for a school record 8 straight weeks after their 44-13 win at Tennessee. The Tide had dominating 23-11 FD and 539-282 yard edges and QB McCarron is now #1 in the NCAA in pass eff with a 16-0 ratio. The Tide D is also #1 in scoring and total D for a second straight year. This is uncharted territory for the Bulldogs while Alabama is used to the spotlight, playing at home, with all of the talent edges.

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Top 25 – Week 8

October 17th, 2012 No comments

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game.

Last week the Top 25 forecasts went 15-3 83% and on the year they are 118-21 85%!! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week which are 5-1 the last 4 weeks!! To get projected box scores for theses Top 25 games, click here.

#1 Alabama at Tennessee

Finally this game returns to The Third Sat in October. It may surprise some to know that from ‘95-’06 UT was 10-2 in this series. Since Bama lost at UT 16-13 in ‘06, they are 5-0 and have won their last 2 trips here 29-9 in ‘08 (+193 yards) and 41-10 in ‘10 (+221 yards). Last year’s game was surprisingly tied 6-6 at the half with Bama only having a 157-114 yard edge but Saban let them know about his unhappiness and Bama did not allow a FD in the 2H and had a 280-41 yard edge winning 37-6. The #1 Tide again have the nation’s #1 D and last week the only td allowed came on a 98 yard KR as they rolled Mizzou 42-10 racking up a 355-37 rush yard edge! Bama is on its second straight away which didn’t occur last year. After last week’s loss to Miss St 41-31, UT has lost 14 straight vs ranked opponents with the avg loss by 19 points per game. Despite huge improvements in the run game (avg 185 ypg), the Vols are 3-3 and Dooley is on one of the hottest seats in America. While Bama is well rested off a bye and blowout, they may be peeking ahead to games against Mississippi St and LSU on deck. Read more…

Top 25 – Week 7

October 10th, 2012 No comments

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game.

After an outstanding 15-1 (94%) performance for the Top 25 forecasts two weeks ago, Shakeup Saturday truly lived up to its name as my forecasts went 12-6 (a decent 67%) last week but on the year are still 103-18 85%! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week which are 4-0 the last 3 weeks as both New Mexico and San Jose St pulled the upsets three weeks ago, Duke beat WF two weeks ago and SMU upset UTEP LW. To get projected box scores for all of this week’s Top 25 Forecasts click here.

#1 Alabama at Missouri Read more…

Top 25 – Week 6

October 3rd, 2012 2 comments

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams.
Last week the Top 25 forecasts went 15-1 (94%) and on the year they are 91-12 88%! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week which are 3-0 the last 2 weeks as both New Mexico and San Jose St pulled the upsets two weeks ago and Duke beat WF LW. To get projected box scores for all of the Top 25 games this week, click here.

#2 Oregon vs #23 Washington

Oregon has now won eight in a row in this series by an avg of 42-17. Last year UO had a huge game vs Stanford on deck and on the road only had a 381-278 yard edge. In fact, in the 1H UW had 11-6 FD and 23:54-6:06 TOP edges. The last time here UW only trailed 18-6 at the half. “In the 1H, when we were fresh and they were fresh, we outplayed them, but they wore us down,” Sarkisian said. This year UW had a bye and a Thursday game while UO is playing its 6th straight. The Huskies are off a 17-13 upset of Stanford as they came back from a 13-3 3Q deficit and held the Cardinal without an offensive td. Last week the Ducks led just 23-19 vs Wash St at the half but exploded for three 3Q td’s to blow the game open. No way can I go against the Ducks here at home as they get a 9th straight win over their rival. Read more…

Week 14 Top 25 Forecasts

November 30th, 2011 1 comment

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game. Last week the Top 25 Forecasts went 15-1 (94%) and so far this season I am 205-48 (81%).

Last year the Top 25 forecasts went 205-60 (77%)! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week.

#1 LSU vs #12 GEORGIA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
GEORGIA 100
170
16
2.6
-
LSU
170
145
30
2.3
•••
LAST 14 YEAR MATCHUPS
Georgia Dome, Atlanta. UGA leads the recent series 6-3 (L20Y). Both tms have been ranked in the Top 20 in each of the L/6 meetings. UGA is the only tm in the SEC that LSU HC Les Miles does not have a winning record against (1-2) but the Tigers did win the L/meeting in ‘09, 20-13 as #4 LSU benefitted from a controversial celebration pen on WR AJ Green which set up their GW TD (:46). This will be the 3rd meeting between these two tms in the SEC Champ gm as they split the prev 2 with LSU winning 34-13 in ‘03 and UGA winning 34-14 in ‘05. These two have six common opp’s TY and have had similar results with LSU going 6-0 outscoring foes on avg 38-7 (+192 ypg) while UGA is also 6-0 outscoring foes 27-12 (+184 ypg). LW LSU capped their best reg ssn in schl hist with a 41-17 win over #3 Ark as they finished SEC play 8-0 for the 1st time (trailed 14-0 w/6:00 left in 2Q). QB Jefferson has now played every meaningful snap for 3 str gms (155 ypg, 66%, 3-1 ratio L/3) and AA DB Mathieu was the star again with 8 tkls, 2 FF, 1 FR and a 92 yd PR TD in the 2Q that turned the momentum. The Bulldogs are also off a key win over rival GT, 31-17 and have now won 10 str gms for the first time S/’82 despite playing w/out their top 2 RB’s the last couple of wks. QB Murray is avg 225 ypg (61%, 32-10, TD schl rec’d) while super frosh RB Crowell, despite battling inj for most of the yr, leads with 832 (4.8) despite only 7 sts. The UGA D has been the story as they lead the SEC in sks (32) which is remarkable considering they had only 1 in the first 3 gms comb. off (LSU #13-15) and def (LSU #2-5) are basically even but LSU has the large ST’s edge (#19-81). This one could come down to the wire but it’s tough going against the Tigers who have met every challenge TY. LSU books their ticket to nearby New Orleans for the National Champ game.

PHIL’S FORECAST: LSU 27 GEORGIA 20

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Week 13 Top 25 Forecasts

November 23rd, 2011 No comments

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game. Last week the Top 25 Forecasts went 14-8 (64%) and so far this season I am 190-47 (80%).

Last year the Top 25 forecasts went 205-60 (77%)! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week.

# 1 LSU vs #3 ARKANSAS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ARKANSAS 65
210
25
2.3
LSU
245
170
37
1.6
-
SEC West/Nat’l Title Implications in the Battle for the Golden Boot. Ark has outgained LSU 5 str and won 3 of 4 outright. LY Ark had a 464-294 yd edge with a pair of 80 yd TD passes. LSU did win the last time here as they kicked a 41-yd FG w/:04 to force OT (Ark missed 35 yd FG in OT). This tightly contested series has been decided by 8 or less the L6Y with the cumulative score Ark 185-184. LW both tms took care of business as LSU dispatched Ole Miss 52-3 as they outgained the Rebels 458-195 but did have 2 Def TD’s. The Tigers matched their best start S/’58 as QB Jefferson got his 2nd str st (4-0 ratio). LW the Razorbacks had a 44-17 easy win over Miss St. QB Wilson had a school record 32 comp and leads the SEC avg 292 ypg (63%) with a 21-5 ratio. LSU is 10-2 in home finales. Ark does have slight off (#10-15) and ST’s (#2-25) edges while LSU has the def edge (#2-25). With the recent series history, this one comes down to the wire once again but it’s tough going against the Tigers at home in a big game under Miles.

PHIL’S FORECAST: LSU 31 ARKANSAS 24 Read more…