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
Toledo had a 526-446 yd edge and benefited from a 3-1 TO edge but still lost to Ball St at home. Toledo had entered the AP Poll for the first time since 2001 and as you see many times, teams that enter the AP for the first time in a long time, usually struggle with the attention that next week. Ball St took their opening 2 drives 82/11 and 87/7pl for td’s to lead 14-0 but UT battled back to 17-17 at the half and had a 350-220 yd edge at the half. UT had settled for a 29 yd FG. BS got a 61/10pl drive for a td to open the 3Q then missed a 35 yd FG and UT went 75/14pl. They settled for a 22 yd FG to make it 24-20. UT went 25/4pl and on 4&1 got a 16 yd td run to lead 27-24. BS tied it on a 30 yd FG with 9:41 left. UT went 68/7pl. After the game, Campbell was questioned for going for it on 4&1 on their next drive as they went 68/7pl and based on them settling for 2 short FG’s and the fact they had a td on the last 4&1, he probably made the right decision but UT was stuffed with 6:02 left. BS then went 86/11pl and got a 13 yd td run with 1:43 left to take the lead 34-27. UT on 4&7 from its own 27 fired incomplete.
Categories: News & Notes Arizona St, Arkansas, Arkansas St, army, Ball St, Boston College, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Mich, Cincinnati, Colorado St, Connecticut, Eastern Mich, Florida St, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa St, Kansas, Kansas St, Kent St, Kentucky, LA Tech, Louisville, LSU, Marshall, McNeese, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi St, Missouri, Nebraska, North Texas, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ole Miss, Penn St, Pittsburgh, Purue, rutgers, SMU, South Alabama, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Syracuse, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, Texas, Texas St, Texas Tech, Toledo, Tulane, UAB, UCF, ULM, UNLV, USC, UTEP, UTSA, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Western Mich, wisconsin
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
Ohio was coming off its first loss of the year and rolled up Eastern Michigan with a 555-305 yard edge. It was just 17-14 when OU took over with :55 left in the half and went 65/7pl and on 2&10 got a 19 yd td pass with :11 left to lead 24-14. EMU in the 3Q went on a 14pl drive but punted and OU got a 3&5, def pass interference for a FD and on the next play a 79 yd td pass, 31-14. OU drove 44/5 for a td after a 38 yd PR with 5:03 left and got a 29 yd td run with 1:33 left.
Middle Tennessee and WKU played on a Thursday and MT pulled the first upset of the weekend. MT settled for a 19 yd FG on a 73/13pl drive to open and after a punt the teams would score td’s on 4 straight poss. WKU settled for a 29 yd FG, MT on 4&1 was SOD at the WKU32 with :32 left in the half and WKU missed a 47 yd FG on the final play of the half and it was 17-17. The game was tied 27-27 after a 27 yd WKU FG with 6:17 left but MT had a 96 yd KR for a 7 pt lead. WKU went 57/10pl but from the 21 yard line on FD was int’d at the 2. MT on 4&9 ran the ball into the back of the EZ for a safety on the last play of the game. WKU finished with a 438-342 yd edge.
Categories: News & Notes Air Fore, army, Auburn, Buffalo, cal, Central Mich, Cincinnati, Colorado, East Carolina, Eastern Mich, FAU, FIU, florida, Georgia, Houston, Illinois, Joke Phillips, Kentucky, Louisiana, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Middle Tenn, Minnesota, Mississippi St, Missouri, Navy, NC State, New Mexico St, Ohio, Ohio St, Ole Miss, Penn St, Purdue, rice, South Alabama, Stanford, Syracuse, TCU, Temple, Texas A&M, Texas St, Tulane, ULM, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington St, West Virginia, Western Mich, WKU
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…
Categories: College Football Forecasts, Top 25 Games Alabama, army, Boise St, Boston College, BYU, Cincinnati, florida, Florida St, Fordham, Fresno St, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa St, Kansas St, Kent St, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi St, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oregon St, pitt, Purdue, rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Upset Special, Upsets of the Week, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington, West Virginia, wisconsin
I will admit when I’m wrong and last week I thought Texas had a great situational advantage. I thought Texas, with their defense would be able to handle West Virginia at home and win the game more comfortably than most thought before a record crowd of 101,851. WV finished with a 26-21 FD edge and 460-404 yd edge. After WV had a 40 yd FG blk’d they attempted to go for it numerous times on 4th down and met with success almost every time. On their 3rd drive they converted on 4&2 at midfield then on 4&4 were stopped but UT called time-out prior and on the next play WV got a 40 yd td pass. Texas led 28-27 at half and got the ball to open the 3Q and appeared to be in good shape going 54/13pl and settled for a 36 yd FG. WV’s 2nd 3Q poss converted on 4&6 and 4&1 on a 76/12pl drive for a td, 41-38 (10:50) UT was SOD on 4&13 and then a key play happened when on 3&6 from the WV 8 the snap got past QB Ash and he fell on it for a 16 yd loss. That forced a 41 yd FG and they missed and WV went 76/8pl as UT couldn’t get them off the field. Perhaps their most impressive player in the game was Andrew Buie who constantly broke tackles and rushed for 207 yards although Geno Smith is clearly the frontrunner for the Heisman hitting 25-35-268 yards. Hats off to WV for going into a hostile environment and beating a pretty good Texas team and they deserve to be in the Top 5.
Categories: News & Notes Aaron Kelly, Air Force, Akron, Andrew Buie, Andrew Maxwell, Arizona, Arkansas, Arkansas St, army, Auburn, Baylor, Beehive Boot, BJ Daniels, Boise St, Boston College, Bowling Green, BYU, Casey Pachall, Clemson, Cody Getz, Connecticut, Conner Vernon, Duke, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan, FIU, florida, Geno Smith, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Gio Bernard, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa St, Jared Barnett, Jeff Driskel, Josh Nunes, Kain Colter, Kansas, Kansas St, Keith Marshall, Kent St, Kentucky, LSU, Lyle McCombs, Maikon Bonani, Marcus Lattimore, Marshall, Maryland, Matt Scott, Michigan St, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi St, Navy, North Carolina, Northwestern, October 6, Oklahoma, Penn St, phil steele, Pittsburgh, rutgers, Saturday Recap, SE Louisiana, Sean Renfree, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, Stephone Diggs, Syracuse, Tajh Boyd, TCU, Temple, Texas, Texas Tech, Todd Gurley, Trevone Boykin, Trevor Simian, Tulsa, Tyler Van Tubbergen, UAB, UCF, ULM, UMass, USC, USF, Utah, Utah St, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Western Michigan, wisconsin, Zach Mettenberger
Here are my projections for games being played on Saturday, October 6th.
I list the projected scores from my computers forecast. Another column shows you the computers yardage forecast for each game. I think it will be interesting to see who the computer picks to win the yardage battle and see if they win the game. In my College Football magazine I have the plus and minus ratings. I update them weekly and then factor in the home edge and I will show you who the Plus Minus ratings forecast. I will also list who Vegas has favored to win each week and we can see how they do picking the actual winners of games. There is also a WEEKLY POLL which you can enter for free each week.
Categories: College Football Picks Air Force, Akron, Arizona, Arkansas, army, Auburn, Ball St, Boise St, Boston College, Bowling Green, Buffalo, California, Central Mich, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado St, Connecticut, Duke, Eastern Mich, florida, Florida St, Fresno St, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Houston, Idaho, Illinois, Indian, Iowa St, Kansas, Kansas St, Kent St, Louisiana, Louisiana Tech, LSU, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, Miami Fl, Miami Oh, Michigan, Michigan St, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, Navy, NC Staate, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico St, North Carolina, North Texas, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon St, Penn St, Purdue, rice, rutgers, San Diego St, SE Louisiana, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas St, Texas Tech, Toledo, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UCLA, ULM, UMass, UNLV, USF, UTEP, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington, Washington St, West Virginia, Western Mich, wisconsin, Wyoming
Stanford went on the road for the first time and led 13-3 late 3Q but on a key play of the game, Washington on 4&1 got a 61 yd Sankey td run to get back in it. They later got a 35 yd td pass with 4:54 left and SU’s last gasp was a 4&4 incomplete pass with 1:46 left. Josh Nunes hit 18-37-170. It was UW’s first win over a top 10 team since 2009 and the student section poured on to the turf of CenturyLink Field at the end and actually gave them more of a home field edge than I thought they would playing away from their home stadium this year. UW finished with a 313-235 yd edge and 13-10 FD edge.
Categories: News & Notes Air Force, Arkansas, army, Ball St, BCS Buster, Boston College, Bowling Green, Buffalo, BYU, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado St, Duke, fbs, FCS, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kent St, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, Missouri, Navy, Nevada, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Penn St, Rhode Island, San Jose St, South Alabama, Stanford, Stony Brook, Texas A&M, Texas St, Troy, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UCF, ULM, Upset, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington
First, I will say that I voted for Trent Richardson on my Heisman ballot and believe this year will be similar to 2005 when Reggie Bush won the Heisman but after the national title game, Vince Young with his dominating performance vs USC would have been the winner on 95% of the ballots. Richardson had a great game in the first meeting with 169 yds vs an outstanding LSU defense and this time I expect him to have even a bigger game. What’s more impressive about Richardson’s season was the fact that he faced 8 Top 50 D’s incl 5 in the top 20 and D’s keyed in on him as they were unafraid of QB McCarron.
I am projecting that Baylor’s Robert Griffin III will win the Heisman and there is no doubt that he has had a great season for the Bears. I do think that some of the Heisman voters wait until the last minute to vote and valued Griffin’s big game vs Texas more than any other game. The reason I did not vote for Griffin was the fact that he did not face many Top 40 D’s and Baylor lost 3 games including trailing Oklahoma St 35-0 at HT and lost to 6-6 A&M by 27. He is surrounded by some great talent including RB Ganaway who had 1,300+ yds and an incredible WR in Wright who catches anything within 20 yards of him. Read more…
Today’s Blog is an in-depth look at who plays the toughest schedule this year and also some of the flaws in the other methods in determining schedule strength.
At the beginning of the season, the NCAA usually releases a rating of each team’s schedule based on their opponents’ win/loss record from the previous season, This is a good method but it does have its obvious flaws.
The first flaw is basing the ratings on opponents records from the previous season. Let’s look at a couple of examples. At the start of 2007 I had Illinois rated as one of the top teams in the Big Ten and they went on to knock off #1 Ohio St and play in the ROSE Bowl. My ratings had them as an above avg opponent at the start of the year and they finished the regular season #13 (AP). Using 2006’s record as the criteria for determining the strength of an opponent’s schedule, however, you would count them as a 2-10 team! In 2008, I had teams like Ole Miss and Minnesota on my Most Improved Teams List meaning I thought they were bowl caliber but using the previous year’s record you would have counted them as 3-9 and 1-11 teams (both made bowls, Ole Miss finished #14). On the flip side of the coin, Notre Dame was in an obvious rebuilding year in ’07 yet was still counted as a 10-3 team if you based strength of schedule on 2006’s record and they were far from a January bowl team in 2007 at just 3-9!
The second flaw is basing it on pure overall records. If a team plays an FCS (IAA) school that was 11-1 in 2007, that counts as a MUCH tougher game in the NCAA ratings than facing a team like Alabama who was 7-6 in ‘07 but #1 at the end of ‘08 regular season! My ratings had Bama ranked as a much tougher team than any FCS foe. To give you an example from 2002, my ratings foresaw that teams playing Kansas St were facing a Top 10 team based on my preseason ratings. The NCAA strength of schedule ranking rated a game against Kansas St as just a game vs a 6-6 opp (2001 record). Kanas St finished #7 AP for 2002 and walloped their opp’s by an avg of 45-12, not exactly numbers from a typical middle-of-the-road opponent.
On the flip side let’s look at 2009’s Ball St team. They were in an obvious rebuilding year and my power ratings had them only winning 2 or 3 games. My methods gave teams credit for a weak foe when facing Ball St but basing it on the previous year’s record, teams were given credit for playing a 12-2 team which is what they finished in 2008! That is a MAJOR flaw! Read more…
Categories: Offseason Notes 2011, army, blog, college football, NCAA Method, Opponent Win %, phil steele, rutgers, Stanford, Toledo, Toughest Schedule, UCLA, Utah