By Phil Steele
This is it! It’s National Championship day! I hope that you have enjoyed the blogs along the way and that you continue to check out PhilSteele.com in the offseason as we’ll still be blogging. We’re already very hard at work on the 2013 College Preview Magazine (which hits newsstands June 4th - mark your calendars) Now let’s get to today’s game.
BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
@philsteele042 • #DiscoverBCS
8:30 pm • ESPN • Sun Life Stadium • Miami Gardens, FL
By Phil Steele
Teddy Bridgewater gave a remarkable performance. He was playing with a broken wrist, a sore ankle and looked like he wouldn’t play but trailing 7-0 he came in and finished 20-28-263 and was sacked 3x for 28 yards. He was very mobile but helped Louisville to the win over Rutgers. Two big plays gave RU a 14-3 halftime lead. They got an 85 yd td pass on their first offensive play to Coleman and then after UL got a 20 yd FG with 9:54 left in the 2Q, RU, 2pl later, got a 68 yd td pass to Harrison for their 14-3 lead. In the 1Q UL was SOD at their own 48 but RU was SOD at the UL41. At the half it was 14-3 and UL had a 9-4 FD edge but RU thanks to 2 big plays had a 219-158 yd edge. UL missed a 47 yd FG then drove 90/14pl for a td. RU fmbl’d the KO and UL got a 20 yd td pass on the next play by Bridgewater for the lead, 17-14. Bridgewater was int’d at the RU29 on their next poss with 10:17 left and RU drove 21/7pl for a 38 yd FG to tie. UL got 1 FD and punted with 4:39 left and RU on 3&8 was int’d. After a pen on UL, they started back at the RU40 but got a 30 yd pass and a 29 yd FG with 1:31 left. RU30 got a FD to the 48 but then there was miscommunication and Nova’s deep pass was int’d with no WR around on a diving catch by Floyd at the 18 with 1:06 left and UL got the BCS Bowl berth. Read more…
Categories: News & Notes ACC Championship, Alabama, Arkansas St, Baylor, Big Ten Championship, Boise St, Cincinnati, Connecticut, CUSA Championship, FAU, Florida St, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Kansas, Kansas St, Kent St, Louisiana, Louisville, MAC Championship, Middle Tenn, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico St, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Pac-12 Championship, Pittsburgh, rutgers, SEC Championship, South Alabama, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas St, Tulsa, UCF, UCLA, USF, West Virginia, wisconsin
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…
Categories: Top 25 Games ACC Championship game, Alabama, Baylor, Big Ten Championship game, Boise St, CUSA Championship game, Florida St, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas St, Kent St, MAC Championship game, Nebraska, Nevada, Nicholls St, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Oregon St, SEC Championship Game, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Tulsa, UCF, UCLA, wisconsin
By Phil Steele
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.
Categories: News & Notes Air Force, Akron, Alabama, Apple Cup, Arizona, Arizona St, Arkansas, Auburn, Ball St, big east, Bowling Green, Bryn Renner, Buffalo, BYU, Central Mich, Cincinnati, Colorado, Connecticut, CUSA Title game, Derek Carr, Duke, East Carolina, Eastern Mich, Fresno St, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Giovani Bernard, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa St, Iron Bowl, James Lark, Joker Phillips, Kent St, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Marshall, Maryland, Miami, Montee Ball, Nebraska, New Mexico St, North Carolina, North Texas, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio, Pat Hill, Penn St, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Quinshad Davis, rutgers, SMU, Syracuse, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas St, Thanksgiving, Toledo, Tulsa, UAB, UCF, UMass, USF, Utah, UTSA, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington, Washington St, West Virginia, wisconsin, WKU
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.
Categories: Top 25 Games Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Connecticut, Eastern Michigan, florida, Florida St, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Idaho, Iowa, Kent St, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi St, Missouri, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon St, Pittsburgh, rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Utah St
By Phil Steele
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.
Categories: News & Notes Air Force, Alabama, Arizona St, Arkansas, Arkansas St, army, Ball St, Boise St, Boston College, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Colorado, Colorado St, Duke, Eastern Mich, FAU, FIU, florida, Florida St, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Jacksonville St, Kent St, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Michigan St, Middle Tenn, Mississippi St, Montel Harris, Navy, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio, Penn St, rice, rutgers, Sam Houston St, Shula Bowl, SMU, South Alabama, South Carolina, Temple, Texas A&M, Texas St, Toledo, Troy, Tulsa, UAB, UCF, USF, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington, Washington St, Western Carolina, Western Mich, Wofford
By Phil Steele
Last week the Top 25 Forecasts went 17-3 85% and on the year they are now 180-38 83%! 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 last 14 years matchups, click here.
#1 Oregon vs #14 Stanford
Stanford has lost 2 games during the regular season in ‘10 and ‘11 and they were both to Oregon as the Ducks are 9-1 in this series. Last year the grass was wet and muddy which favored the bigger Cardinal but the speedy Ducks still won 53-30. The last time here SU actually led 21-3 after 1Q and 31-24 at the half but UO would score the only points in the 2H in the 52-31 home win. Last week the Ducks withstood injuries to their entire DL and brief absences by QB Mariota and Barner to win their 13th straight game overall 59-17 over Cal. Mariota threw 6 td’s and UO scored the game’s final 35 points after Cal cut it to 24-17 in the 3Q. SU is off a 27-23 win over OSU in a topsy-turvey game that saw Stanford race out to a 14-0 lead before OSU scored 23 straight points, then the Cardinal closed it out with 2 td’s. QB Hogan got his first start and completed 22-29-254-3-2 and they overcame a -3 TO deficit. UO has the Civil War on deck but after being crowned the AP’s new #1 team with GameDay on hand, look for the Ducks to keep their foot on the gas here as this is a terrible matchup for the slower Cardinal.
Categories: Uncategorized Alabama, Baylor, Bowling Green, cal, Cincinnati, Clemson, florida, Florida St, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Iowa, Jacksonville St, Kansas St, Kent St, LA Tech, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, NC State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon St, rutgers, Sam Houston St, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah St, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Western Carolina, wisconsin, Wofford
By Phil Steele
Ka’Deem Carey had 366 yards and had 5 td’s. The old Pac-12 record was set by Washington St’s Rueben Mayes on Oct 27, 1984. Arizona was without QB Matt Scott and QB BJ Denker hit 12-14-136 and rushed for 44 on 9 carries vs Colorado. Decker fumbled the snap on the first play at his own 7 and CU got a td on the next play, 7-0. UA went 80/9pl and 64/8pl, 49/2pl for td’s on the next 3 poss with CU settling for an 18 yd FG, 21-10. CU still got a 73/13pl drive for a td with 2:44 left 1H to get to 21-17 and then Denker hit a 21 yd td pass with 1:11 left capping a 79/6pl drive. UA led 28-17 at the half with a 272-228 yd edge and UA again went 73/6pl, 49/7pl, 81/2pl for 3 td’s on 3 straight drives, 49-17. CU, trailing 56-31, was SOD on 4&gl at the UA9 with 2:54 left.
Categories: News & Notes Air Force, Akron, Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, BYU, cal, Clemson, Colorado, FAU, Fresno, Georgia Tech, Idaho, IIllinois, Maryland, Minnesota, NC State, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico St, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Oregon, Oregon St, San Diego St, San Jose St, Stanford, Texas A&M, UCLA, UMass, Utah, Wake Forest, Washington, Washington St, West Virginia, WKU, Wyoming
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.
Categories: Top 25 Games Alabama, AP Top 25, Arizona St, Arkansas, army, Auburn, Baylor, Boston College, California, Clemson, florida, Florida St, Georgia, Houston, Iowa St, Kansas, Kansas St, Louisiana, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Mississippi St, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon St, Penn St, rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas St, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, Washington St
#23 Toledo takes on Ball St today. For the Top 25 Forecast and the projections you would normally see on Friday – head on over to PhilSteele.com today!
Nine of the 15 teams that made my Most Improved List featured in this year’s magazine have already clinched bowl bids and there is still a month left!!
Jordan Lynch only accounted for 3 td’s for Northern Illinois despite the final being 63-0 vs overmatched Massachusetts. NI played 2 backup QB’s leaving Lynch in for just the first series of the 3Q and he left with them up 42-0. UMass went for it on 4th down 4 times in the 1H on 4&2 at the NI47, 4&9 at the NI50, 4&2 at the NI27 and 4&8 at the NI7 and all 4 times, failed. They fumbled on their first two 3Q poss and were SOD on 4&6 at the NI46.
Categories: News & Notes Akron, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona St, Arkansas, Arkansas St, Baylor, Boise St, Boston College, Clemson, Colorado St, Connecticut, Duke, Fresno St, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa St, Kansas, Kansas St, Kent St, LSU, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, New Mexico, North Texas, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Oregon, Oregon St, pitt, San Diego St, San Jose St, SMU, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Texas, Texas St, Texas Tech, Troy, Tulsa, UAB, UCF, UCLA, UMass, UNLV, USC, USF, Utah St, Wake Forest, Wyoming