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
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.
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.
#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.
Any time the weather gets cold for Miami, they tend not to show up so Notre Dame had a large edge in the unusually chilly temps in Chicago. UM was also off two wire-to-wire gut wrenching ACC conf games and now travelling in a non-conf game. As you would expect, ND had a 34-13 FD edge, 587-285 yd edge and held the ball for 39:08 to UM’s 20:52. Both teams were ranked in the top 10 when they met in four consecutive years from ‘87-’90 with the winner going on to win the National Title 3 straight years. UM WR Dorsett did have 2 open td passes that he dropped and he was also wearing gloves and full long sleeves while most Irish players were in short sleeves. ND went 88/10pl for a td then after each team drove for a short FG, the Irish made a 32 yd FG and missed a 34 yd FG and only led 13-3 at the half. ND went 81/6pl for a td, then 86/12 for a td as it got chillier as the night went on in the 2H. ND went 66/3pl for a td and after UM was SOD at the ND7, the Irish took over with 9:51 left and went on an 8:45 drive adding a 1 yd td run with 1:06 left for the dominating win. Read more…
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.
SECOND HIGHEST SCORING WEEKEND IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY
This past weekend was the 2nd highest scoring weekend in college football history, with the teams combining to average 60.8 points. West Virginia and Baylor set a ton of records as WV had an 807-700 yd edge. Stedman Bailey would have set the Big 12 record with 303 yds receiving but he was actually topped by BU WR Terrance Williams who had 314. BU’s 9 game win streak came to an end as the teams combined for 1,507 yds offense and 6 rec’s had 100+ rec’s in WV’s first Big 12 game. The most previous points in a game involving a team in the AP poll was 124 set back in 1980 when Oklahoma beat Colorado 82-42. The 19 td’s combined just tied an NCAA mark which was set when Navy beat NT 74-62 in 2007. BU led 21-14 but trailed 70-56 when they got the last td with 3:08 left. WV got to the KO deep and WV got 2 FD and was able to run off the clock
Naturally a couple of SEC defenses like Tennessee and Georgia wouldn’t have had that type of game but they did. UGA had a 560-478 yd edge and Tenn a 26-20 FD edge. Tenn had a few missed opportunities as at the end of the 3Q they missed a 28 yd FG and with 5:55 left, UT at midfield was int’d at the UGA26. UT’s next poss got them to the UGA27 trailing by 7 pts but Bray was sk’d and fumbled with 1:22 left and UT’s final play was an int’d pass at the UGA48. UGA has topped over 40 pts in each of its first 5 games for the first time in school history
I have gotten many requests to do a blog to explain how I compute each teams home field edge in the magazine. I have 27 different factors in my computer’s grade of a team. I then compare the computer’s analysis to my own and make the final decision.
While I mention that there are 27 factors in my home field computer ratings, there are actually nine individual factors that I use each year and I then combine the grades for the last three years giving half of the grade to last year, 30% to the numbers from two years ago and 20% to the computer rankings from three years ago.
Today I will go over the nine different areas that I use to rate home field edge. The first category is the stadium capacity. The largest stadium in the country last year was Penn St which held 107,282 and my computer gave them the maximum score of 6 for that category. My home field edges go from 0 to 6 in the magazine so they have the same scale in the computer. The smallest capacity is Idaho’s Kibbie Dome which seated just 16,000 and they received a 0 in that category. The rest of the capacities are done with a simple equation of Capacity-16,000 divided by 15,250. The reason I divide by 15,250 is that Penn St at 107,282-16,000 = 91,282 and 91,282 divided by 6 (0-6 scale) = 15,214 and I rounded up to get the 15,250. You can figure out what your favorite team is graded in this category by using this simple equation.
The second category is actual attendance reported by the school in 2010. Once again Michigan was at the top with 111,825 and this time the team at the bottom was Ball St which averaged just 8,947 fans per game last year. I used the same method as above to turn this data into a 0 to 6 rating where Michigan received a 6, Ball St a 0 and as an example Florida St with an attendance of 71,270 earned a 4.15 grade. Read more…
I have been publishing a Most Improved Teams list since 1999 and the list hit a home run that very first year. I pegged Hawaii as my #1 Most Improved Team and they were coming off an 0-12 record in 1998. The then “Rainbow Warriors” simply set an NCAA record for largest improvement ever by going to 9-4 in 1999!
This year there are 16 teams on my Most Improved List and these are all teams that had losing records last year but ones I believe will be bowl eligible this year. Last season I had 19 teams on the list and 13 of them were bowl eligible at the end of the year with 17 of them improving their record! Do you think it is easy picking teams with losing records that will have a winning record the next year?
I went back to 1992 and there have been 969 teams that had a losing season. Of those 969 teams only 279 had a winning record the next year which is 28.8%. That means if a team is coming off a losing season there is over a 70% chance that they will have another losing record the next year!
Over the last nine years 109 of the teams that have made my Most Improved List have been bowl eligible the next year. In that same nine-year span there have been 475 teams with a losing record and of those 475 only 129 have gone onto a winning record (above .500) the next season (27.1%). Of those 129 teams, 79 of them were on my Most Improve List. Now you do the math here but as you can see very few teams go from a losing record to a bowl the next year if they are not on my Most Improved list.
This blog is about the one that got away. Read more…
A lot of people ask me if I have a favorite team. I was born and raised and still live in Cleveland, Ohio. I was a fan of many teams as a child but now that I put out a National magazine, I cannot afford to be a fan of any team. I have to pick the teams where I think they will finish each year. I was doing a radio show last week and I was asked if I have a favorite team or teams. My response was a strong YES! The interviewer was surprised by that answer and also eager to hear which team I would pick. My answer was my favorite team each year is the team I pick #1 in the magazine and my favorite teams are the ones I have picked higher than all the other major magazines out there. I then said that each year I establish a list of my favorite teams for that year. I then give this list to my wife. I wear a shirt and tie to work every day during the week and my tie is always a college team. I wear polo shirts during the weekend and when not at work and they are always different college teams. The list I give my wife is the ones to buy that I will be wearing for the upcoming year as these are the teams I will be the biggest fan of for the upcoming season. I was then asked “What teams will your wife be buying ties and shirts of this year? That was a great question and I thought I would answer it in a blog. Read more…