Week 4 Preview

What seemed like a pedestrian week 3, turned out to be a very interesting week. Upsets, exciting finishes, and dominating performances. Pretty much anything a College Football could want out of a weekend.  The biggest story line was Clemson demolishing Louisville and all but knocking them out of the Playoff contention, as well as severely hamstringing Lamar Jackson’s chances at repeating. Clemson cemented themselves as a team that is not going away after their Championship season. They are the real deal. You also had 3 undefeated Group of 5 teams that had good wins over Power 5 conference teams, that should make the race for the Group of 5 at large NY6 bid very interesting. Especially with a few more opportunities this weekend (Houston v Texas Tech and UCF v Maryland).

This week has 2 marquee match-ups and a few other interesting match-ups featuring highly ranked teams on the road against decent teams. Which is always a recipe for an upset. As always I will have each conference represented in these predictions as well as at least 1 Group of 5 team.

Last week went 4-2 with the big picks and 9-5 overall. Bringing the season record to 8-4 and 19-9.

 

This week’s picks:

North Carolina St @ Florida St

FSU has had a 2 week lay-off after the loss to Alabama, and essentially had a 2nd pre-season camp. NC St is 2-1, losing to it’s only P5 competition. NC St game is often circled and feared by the FSU fans, but that is usually reserved just for the games at NC St. FSU has owned this mini-rivalry series at FSU. NC St has an above average Offense and a very stout Defensive Front. However their Defensive backfield leaves a LOT to be desired. BUT FSU is starting a True Freshman in his first game ever. If James Blackman has a decent day this one could get ugly quick. While NC St’s offense has looked ok this year, it is not a match for FSU’s defense which is elite. NC St hasn’t scored over 17 points in their last 3 visits to Tallahassee (including Jacoby Brissett as their starting QB in one of them). I would expect more than that out of NC St. FSU’s WRs should have plenty of space to operate if Blackman can get them the ball. Look for him to have a good debut against the porous NC St secondary. While they have a decent game on the ground.

Florida State 31 – NC State 17

 

Penn St @ Iowa

Ames is always a tough place to play and thus I think this game will be closer than some will tend to think. Although I think Penn St will win easily in the end. Iowa’s defense has not looked to spectacular this year and will have difficulties stopping Penn St. Penn St should have no issue running or throwing on Iowa. But Iowa could have some success throwing on Penn St, who’s defense I am not sold on. Barkley has a field day and cements himself as a heisman candidate.

Penn St 38 – Iowa 17

 

TCU @ Oklahoma St

Both of these teams have looked fantastic this year, albeit against less than stellar competition. Big 12 looks to be a 3 team race, although I think Texas will end up having something to say about that. This game will decide who the 2nd favorite is after OU. It could also decide which of the Big 12 teams could potentially be a non-conference champion that sneaks into the playoffs (as a 2nd Big 12 team…still a possibility). The running games look to cancel each other out as TCU’s run offense is about equal to Ok St’s run defense and vice versa. However where this game gets interesting is in the passing attacks. Both teams have very good passing attacks going against mediocre pass defenses. Look for a high scoring shootout. Oklahoma St should pull it out in the end with the better QB and being at home.

Oklahoma St 41 – TCU 38

 

UCF @ Maryland

With Maryland’s big win over Texas in week 1 and a pretty weak big 10 (after the big 4 teams), Maryland could be the 5th best team in the Big 10 and finish with a good record. So a win here could be big for UCF and the AAC’s prospects. Maryland should have no issues throwing the ball on UCF. Maryland has shown to be quite a good offensive team and UCF’s defense didn’t look that great in their game. Maryland should have great success running the ball particularly against UCF. On the other side UCF should be able to throw it on Maryland with what looks like a very good passing attack against a lack-luster Maryland passing defense. If UCF isn’t able to throw it on Maryland it could be a long day. However I think they will be able to throw it on them with ease. I like UCF to pull off the upset.

UCF 38 – Maryland 35

 

Washington @ Colorado

Washington has not looked overly impressive to me so far this year. Still a very good team, just don’t think they are as good as last year. However the absolutely demolished Colorado on a neutral field last year and exposed them. Colorado I am also not impressed with thus far.  I think the home field advantage will keep this game very close. Neither team is able to establish much of the rush this game and Washington gets the advantage in the passing attack. Washington wins a close game.

Washington 30 – Colorado 24

 

Mississippi St @ Georgia

This game looks like it may be a battle for the #2 team in the SEC. Fitzgerald has looked very good so far this year at QB for Miss St and UGA is starting a Freshman that has struggled. After Miss St was able to completely shut down LSU’s rushing attack their defense looks legit. They will look to shut down UGA’s rushing attack and force them to beat them through the air. I don’t think UGA will be up to the task. However UGA’s defense has been legit in both aspects, so I don’t expect Miss St to be able to run it up like they did against LSU. Miss St will be coming down after a huge win over LSU. As we know it’s always tough to follow up wins like that with wins on the road against good teams.  I think UGA’s defense and home field advantage will be a lot for Miss St to overcome, but I think they do in the end.

Miss St 21 – Georgia 17

 

Other Notable Games:

Houston over Texas Tech

Arkansas over Texas A&M

Georgia Tech big over Pitt

UNC over Duke

Purdue over Michigan

Florida over Kentucky

ND over Mich St

Stanford over UCLA

Boise St over UVA

Arizona over Utah

 

 

Simplified Football Playoff picks:

1-Alabama

2-Clemson

3-Penn St

4-Oklahoma

Week 3 Preview

Welcome to the week 3 Preview. Sorry about missing last week, but all of Florida was doing Hurricane Irma prep. While we have had some big games and 2 weeks of football not a whole lot has changed. Those who were the favorites to make the playoffs or contend for their conference crown are still in it. FSU and Ohio St, despite their loses are still every bit as in it as they were before. There are a few teams who have popped up who look good enough to possibly make some noise and affect the season (Duke, TCU, and Oregon most notably), but not much else has changed. Boise, USF, Houston, and SDSU are still the main challengers for the Group of 5 bid, although maybe you can throw UCF into that mix as well. Week 3 has one marquee match up and a couple other decent ones, but outside of that, it was pretty slim pickings.

Last week SF went 4-2 with the big picks and 10-4 overall.

 

Here are this weeks picks:

Tennessee @ Florida

Tennessee has a pretty good offense and a lousy defense. Florida has a pretty good defense and a lousy offense. So it should be a good close game. In close games I tend to go with the better offense, which is clearly Tennessee, to be able to get points when necessary and in crunch time. I think this is a low scoring battle that Tennessee is able to pull out a close win with their running game getting a few big plays in the 4th.

Tennessee 24 – Florida 21

 

Texas @ USC

A battle of 2 of the premier College Football programs and traditions. This match up is sure to be more sexy in the name than it is on the field. Texas is about as heavily out manned as you will find in a match up of this caliber. Sam Darnold of USC should shred the Texas defense as Maryland was able to do. Texas will find plenty of room to be able to run the ball and keep it somewhat close for much of the game. But in the end USC’s superior depth and Quarterbacking will win the day.

USC 42 – Texas 28

 

Kansas St @ Vanderbilt

We have been much higher on Vanderbilt than most publications. This is their most talented team and they have a pretty stout defense.  This is similar to the Tenn/UF game. Kansas St offense has been pretty stout, going against the Vanderbilt defense. The Vanderbilt offense has some positives, but not great, same with the Kansas St defense. I think this will end up being a pretty low scoring affair with Vanderbilt able to wear down Kansas St some and getting a few big stops in the 4th in order to pull out the win at home.

Vanderbilt 21 – Kansas St 17

 

Wisconsin @ BYU

Going to Utah and playing at BYU is never an easy task. BYU’s defense has also been pretty good the last few years, particularly at home. However their offense has been pretty bad thus far in 2017. In order to have a shot against Wisconsin they will need a much better performance from their offense. I just don’t think they will get it. I have an upset watch here as if Wisconsin is sleeping, BYU absolutely has the talent to beat them at home. I just don’t think it’ll happen. Wisconsin controls the game and shuts BYU down, and wins easily despite a valiant effort by the BYU defense.

Wisconsin 28 – BYU 7

 

Stanford @ San Diego St

This is a game that could really catapult San Diego St into the top 25 and potentially into the Playoff discussion. A win against Arizona St, Stanford, and Boise St (eventually) could really give them some good wins (particularly if Stanford ends up 9-3ish, Az St goes to a bowl, and Boise ends up like 10-2). Depending on how everything else shaped up that would make for an interesting Group of 5 team being thrown into the discussion. BUT I don’t think it’ll happen. San Diego St should play them relatively close and control the LOS on the defensive side, preventing Stanford from rolling over them. But in the end I just think Stanford has too much for them and they pull away in the 2nd half as SDSU tires out.

Stanford 28 – SDSU 17

 

Clemson @ Louisville

This is the big game this week. It has far reaching impacts to the ACC Atlantic division race, as well as the Playoff race. This is a match up of the Heisman winner and a high powered Louisville offense against an Elite top 3 defense (and defending National Champs) in Clemson. Clemson has a big advantage on  both Lines of Scrimmage. They also have an advantage pretty much everywhere on the Defense. They have NFL talent all over the field. They also have some very good WRs. Louisville has a BIG advantage at QB and at RB (haven’t been too impressed with either sides running backs as a whole). This game is going to come down to how Clemson is able to control (or not) Lamar Jackson. I have not been as impressed with Lamar Jackson’s improvement (although he has clearly improved) as a passer as others have. He still looks inaccurate at times to me and misses too many receivers for my tastes. What he has done the last 2 weeks while impressive, has been against shoddy defenses. He is facing a whole other beast against Clemson. I’ve also not been overly impressed with the receivers at Louisville. Smith is nice, but he doesn’t pop out to me and I’m not sure how many 1v1 battles he will win against Clemson. Clemson won’t leave the Louisville receivers running wide open like UNC and Purdue did. Jackson will have a lot more pressure, and not as many passing windows to throw into. He will do some damage with his legs, and he will move the chains against Clemson. How he protects the ball is going to be the key in this one.

On the other side of the ball Louisville has not been able to stop much. When the Freshman QB for UNC went down, they were able to stop UNC then, but with the Freshman QB UNC went up and down the field on Louisville’s defense. Purdue was able to as well. Clemson has at least a formidable offense despite a new QB in Bryant as those 2 teams do (better OL, better WR, better RB). Clemson should have no issue putting up points in this game and moving the ball as they want too.

In the end I think Jackson has a nice game and is able to put up numbers that are good enough to keep him firmly in the Heisman race, but has a few timely turnovers that Clemson capitalizes on with their defense.

Clemson 35 – Louisville 28

 

 

Notable other games:

South Florida picks up a signature win over Illinois (power 5 team)

Oklahoma St rips Pittsburgh

Miss St shocks LSU and knocks them from contention

Ole Miss beats California

Arizona St bounces back and beats Texas Tech in a very high scoring game

So Carolina over Kentucky

Notre Dame big over Boston College

Purdue beats Missouri

Week 1 Preview

The 2017 season is finally upon us. We have been waiting for this for almost 8 months, but it is finally here! This year we start off with a doozy of a week. Several top 25 match-ups of big time programs and of course what is being dubbed the GOAT (Greatest Opener of All Time). That is Florida State v Alabama. Which quite possibly could end up being a preview of the National Championship game (in the exact same location).

The SEC and ACC have quite a few match-ups this week that will set the tone for the season for both conferences (3 against each other). So get your chips & dip, and Meat of choice, sit on the couch and be prepared for some good football this Saturday!

#9 Michigan v #16 Florida

Both Michigan and Florida boasted great defenses last year, with offenses that were inconsistent at best. Florida still does not have a starter at QB and Wilson Spieght is back under center for the Wolverines. Michigan lost every defensive starter from a year ago, but has a few returning that played significant minutes last year and has a lot of talent on its roster (which still hasn’t been released). Florida has a decent amount returning from a year ago, but is going to be without 6 players for this game, including star receiver Antonio Callaway.  I don’t see either team moving the ball much in this game, but without Callaway I just don’t see much offense coming from the Gators. Look for a low scoring, defensive battle. Florida has more mistakes on offense that Michigan capitalizes on.

Michigan 21 – Florida 10

 

#20 West Virginia v #22 Virginia Tech

You might see these names and immediately think offensive explosion. However last year both offenses struggled and the defenses lead the team. Virginia Tech has more returning than West Virginia does, but the big difference should be on the lines. Virginia Tech should be able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and in both aspects (Run/Pass). That is where I give Virginia Tech the advantage.

Virginia Tech 31 – West Virginia 21

 

#24 Tennessee v Georgia Tech

Here is the first of 3 match-ups featuring SEC v ACC this week. Both teams are about equally experience (experience can make a big difference in week 1, diminishing throughout the season). Both teams struggled mightily in defending the run last year and both teams were top 25 run offenses (by any standard) last year. So look for both teams to be able to run the ball with ease. If one of the defenses is able to control the line of scrimmage and stop the other, you could end up seeing a blow-out. But I expect both to be able to rack up a lot of rushing yards. I’ll give Tennessee the advantage here based on a better passing attack (neither were particularly good at stopping opposition offenses from throwing the ball, but not terrible).

Tennessee 42 – Georgia Tech 31 (SEC 1 – ACC 0)

 

Texas A&M @ UCLA

Both of these high profile programs and coaches are on the hot seat to begin the season. Both could get a big boost to their seasons and confidence of their teams with a win this weekend. UCLA features one of the top NFL prospects at QB and has very good talent everywhere else on its roster. Texas A&M also has very good talent. Both coaches have been able to recruit very well, but have not had the same success on the season. This is a game that will feature quite a few future NFL players, without either team in the top 25. Really this game and this season for UCLA is going to hinge on Josh Rosen. If he is inconsistent like he was last year (at best) then it will be an up and down season. If he plays up to his talent level, then UCLA could be a surprise playoff contender. TAMU’s pass defense was sub-par last year, as was their run defense. I think Rosen will have a good start to the season, giving him some confidence. UCLA’s defense was pretty good last year and TAMU has been pretty inconsistent on offense since Johnny Football left for the NFL. I’m going with UCLA here in a close game.

UCLA 31 – Texas A&M 28

 

North Carolina St @ South Carolina

South Carolina did better than expected last year, but still was not a good football team. North Carolina St has one of the top defensive front 7’s in the nation. They performed that way last year, and return almost everyone, so they should be even better. I expect South Carolina’s defense to be improved this year and to be a good unit (kind of Coach Muschamp’s thing). However NC State has a lot returning on both sides including at QB. They will be able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides and have the advantage at QB. Will be a low scoring game, but NC St will win going away despite playing on the road.

NC State 24 – South Carolina 14 (SEC 1 – ACC 1)

 

#1 Alabama v #3 Florida State

This is the one we have all been waiting for. Both rosters are loaded with NFL talent on all levels (potentially 75%+ of the players you will see on Saturday will be in the NFL in 2-3 years…no exaggeration), 2 of the top coaches in the nation (who happen to have coached together for many years at LSU), 2 potential Heisman Candidates at QB, and 2 of the marquee/biggest draws in college football for the last decade plus. This dear readers is as good as it gets in College Football. It is being dubbed as the Greatest Opener of All Time. I fully think this game will live up to that hype. You will see good Offensive play, good Defensive play, hard hits, big runs, pretty much all you can think of for a football game, you’ll get. Both teams are very evenly matched. Both have good offensive lines (Alabama slightly better), both have extremely good defensive lines (FSU slightly better). Both have excellent skill position players on offense (Alabama slightly better…based on previous years production, but FSU is extremely talented), and both have excellent skill position players on defense (FSU slightly better).

Florida State has a great run blocking Offensive line and perhaps the deepest pool of RBs in the nation (going 6 deep of Power 5 starting caliber RBs), Alabama had one of the great run stuffing defenses last year (of all time), but lost a significant portion of that defensive front 7. They are still loaded with talent there however. But FSU should be able to run on Alabama better than anyone has in the last few years, although I wouldn’t expect anything crazy, Alabama will still have the slight upper hand here. On the other side Alabama also has a great run blocking offensive line and a few beasts at Running back (only school that can really rival FSU at RB depth). FSU has one of if not the best Defensive lines in the nation (returning 6 of top 7 from a year ago). Do not expect Alabama to run all over FSU like they do many. But don’t expect FSU to shut down Alabama either. It will be a very close battle in the trenches. Both teams will be looking to keep the other team from breaking open long runs and preventing the RBs from getting past the 2nd level. If they can do that, consider it a win.

Both Offensive lines have struggled pass blocking the last few seasons and both defenses have been very good at rushing the passer. FSU has been better though. That shouldn’t change this year. Expect both teams to be able to generate pressure on the Quarterback. The key here will be keeping both QBs in the pocket as both are deadly on the run and for the QBs to be able to hold up under the pressure. Francois is likely to have the advantage here, as he grew quite accustomed to being under fire last season, so he won’t be seeing much that he hasn’t seen before. Alabama hasn’t faced a pass rush on the level of FSU, so this could be something new for Jalen Hurts here (and he is in a new system). However the biggest difference in the passing attacks will be the play of the defensive backs. This is where FSU I think has an advantage with 2 All-Americans (McFadden and James) as well as a host of talented individuals and future NFL players. Not to knock Alabama’s secondary as they may be the 2nd best in the nation. But FSU has the clear advantage here (pretty much unanimous #1 Defensive backfield). I think that will end up being the difference in the game as FSU should be able to put pressure on Hurts and force a few errant throws that FSU is able to convert into INTs. The play of the Quarterbacks and the play of Derwin James will be the difference here. I’ll take Francois over Hurts. I’ll take FSU in a very close game.

Florida State 28 – Alabama 27 (ACC 2 – SEC 1)

 

Other notable games:

Colorado over Colorado St (close)

Texas over Maryland

Iowa over Wyoming (closer than many will think)

UNC big over California

Boise St over Troy

USC close over Western Mich

UGA barely escapes the upset bid by Appalachian State

LSU escapes BYU upset bid

 

 

2017 Independent Preview

Notre Dame had a very bad year last year, we expect them to reverse that and make it to a contract bowl this year. BYU should also have a very good year (relative to their tough schedule). Army will again qualify for a bowl game, the first time in 30+ years that Army has gone to bowl games in consecutive years.

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

Independent Predictions:

Team – Record  /  Win-Shares   /  Rating

  1. Notre Dame – 9-3  /  7.9  /  4.24
  2. BYU  –  8-4  /  7.79  /  4.12
  3. Army  –  7-5  /  6.66  /  3.55
  4. UMASS – 5-7  /  5.66  /  3.25

 

 

That makes 3 Independent bowl teams

 

Orange Bowl – Notre Dame

Tax Slayer Bowl – BYU

Armed Forces Bowl – Army

2017 Sun Belt Preview

The Sun Belt has been the worst conference for much of it’s life. However we believe this year (and last year mostly) they will take a big step forward. They have a few legit teams and are pretty top heavy. The bottom is still…well…bottom feeders, but the top makes up for that and they have some pretty marquee match-ups. Win one or two of those and they will make a name for themselves.

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

Sun Belt Predictions:

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Appalachian State – 9-3 (7-1)  /  7.77 (5.6)  /  3.63
  2. Troy – 8-4 (6-2)  /  7.58 (5.53)  /  3.67
  3. Georgia Southern – 7-5 (6-2)  /  6.59 (4.92)  /  3.37
  4. Arkansas St – 7-5 (6-2)  /  6.26 (4.74)  /  3.07
  5. Georgia State – 6-6 (5-3)  /  7.1 (5.06)  /  3.36
  6. South Alabama – 6-6 (5-3)  /  5.07 (3.79)  /  3.01
  7. Louisiana Lafayette – 5-7 (4-4)  /  5.57 (4.36)  /  3.00
  8. Texas State – 4-8 (3-5)  /  4.44 (2.94)  /  2.42
  9. Louisiana Monroe – 3-9 (3-5)  /  3.74 (3.29)  /  2.72
  10. Idaho – 2-10 (1-7)  /  3.74 (2.44)  /  2.49
  11. New Mexico St – 1-11 (1-7)  /  4.56 (3.45)  /  2.87
  12. Coastal Carolina – 2-10 (1-7)  /  3.29 (1.88)  /  2.24

 

Sun Belt is the only conference that does not have a conference championship game. Appalachian State is thus the Sun Belt Champion prediction.

 

That makes 6 bowl teams for the Sun Belt

Cure Bowl – Appalachian St

New Orleans Bowl – Troy

Camellia Bowl – Georgia Southern

Dollar General Bowl – Arkansas St

Arizona Bowl – Georgia State

Frisco Bowl – South Alabama

2017 MAC Preview

The MAC had a very good last year with the success of Western Michigan earning the Group of 5 bid. Western Michigan should still be good, but not good enough to recapture their 2016 season. We expect the Mac to take a step back this year and perhaps be the worst conference. But one that is capable of pulling off it’s normal Big Ten upsets at the beginning of the season.

 

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

 

MAC Predictions:

East

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Bowling Green – 6-6 (5-3)  /  5.72 (4.15)  /  3.26
  2. Miami (Oh) – 6-6 (4-4)  /  7.01 (5.03)  /  3.38
  3. Ohio – 7-5 (4-4)  /  6.33 (4.2)  /  3.20
  4. Akron – 5-7 (4-4)  /  5.33 (3.8)  /  3.11
  5. Buffalo – 5-7 (3-5)  /  5.15 (3.3)  /  2.93
  6. Kent State – 3-9 (2-6)  /  3.98 (2.93)  /  2.73

West

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Western Mich – 9-3 (7-1)  /  7.83 (5.48)  /  3.62
  2. Northern Ill – 7-5 (6-2)  /  7.03 (4.91)  /  3.57
  3. Toledo – 7-5 (4-4)  /  6.41 (4.41)  /  3.48
  4. Central Mich – 5-7 (4-4)  /  5.43 (3.83)  /  3.15
  5. Ball State – 5-7 (3-5)  /  5.34 (3.29)  /  2.86
  6. East Mich – 3-9 (2-6)  /  3.89 (2.67)  /  2.73

 

Bowling Green sneaks through the East and Western Michigan slides through the dominant West.

 

Championship game – Western Michigan beats down Bowling Green in the Championship game

 

 

That makes 5 bowl teams for the MAC

 

Idaho Potato Bowl – Western Michigan

Dollar General Bowl – Northern Illinois

Camellia Bowl – Toledo

Bahamas Bowl – Bowling Green

Quick Lane Bowl – Miami (oh)

2017 CUSA Preview

The CUSA has steadily improved the last few years and has likely overtaken the Mountain West in the conference hierarchy (after the Power 5 and American Conf). There are probably 3-4 teams in the CUSA that would likely win the Mountain West this year. They also have some pretty decent teams in the middle of the pack. If a conference is going to have a team challenge the American conference to take the Group of 5 Contract Bowl bid, it will likely come from the CUSA.

 

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

 

CUSA Predictions:

East

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Marshall – 9-3 (7-1)  /  7.63 (5.37)  /  3.68
  2. Western Kentucky – 8-4 (6-2)  /  7.43 (5.2)  /  3.68
  3. FAU – 6-6 (5-3)  /  6.81 (4.59)  /  3.35
  4. MTSU – 6-6 (5-3)  /  5.25 (4.18)  /  3.06
  5. Old Dominion – 4-8 (3-5)  /  4.75 (3.41)  /  2.85
  6. FIU – 4-8 (3-5)  /  5.73 (3.85)  /  3.09
  7. Charlotte – 2-10 (1-7)  /  4.75 (3.41)  /  2.35

West

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Southern Miss – 8-4 (6-2)  /  7.73 (5.45)  /  3.67
  2. La Tech – 7-5 (5-3)  /  6.83 (4.65)  /  3.33
  3. Rice – 5-7 (5-3)  /  5.31 (4.44)  /  3.27
  4. North Texas – 5-7 (4-4)  /  5.48 (3.82)  /  2.99
  5. UTSA – 5-7 (3-5)  /  5.46 (3.71)  /  3.07
  6. UAB – 4-8 (2-6)  /  4.25 (2.58)  /  2.47
  7. UTEP – 2-10 (1-7)  /  3.3 (2.6)  /  2.58

 

Marshall and Southern Miss both win their divisions outright

 

Championship game – Southern Miss beats Marshall getting revenge from a loss earlier in the season.

 

 

That makes 6 bowl teams for the CUSA

 

Boca Raton Bowl – Southern Miss

Heart of Dallas Bowl – Marshall

New Mexico Bowl – Western Kentucky

St Petersburg Bowl – FAU

New Orleans Bowl – Middle Tennessee St

Bahamas Bowl – Louisiana Tech

2017 Mountain West Preview

The Mountain West has had two down years as Boise St has taken a step back and no one else has stepped up to stake their claim as the nation’s Cinderella. Expect more of the same this year. There are some quality teams, but none that stand out. Should be a tight 3 way battle in the Mountain division and San Diego St should have no issues winning the West Division.

 

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

 

MWC Predictions:

Mountain

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Boise State – 8-4 (6-2)  /  6.57 (4.9)  /  3.61
  2. Wyoming – 9-3 (6-2)  /  7.13 (4.73)  /  3.47
  3. Colorado St – 8-4 (6-2)  /  7.2 (5.2)  /  3.62
  4. Utah St – 6-6 (4-4)  /  5.42 (3.87)  /  3.23
  5. New Mexico – 5-7 (3-5)  /  4.61 (2.95)  /  2.79
  6. Air Force – 4-8 (2-6)  /  4.23 (2.73)  /  2.82

West

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. San Diego St – 8-4 (6-2)  /  6.89 (4.98)  /  3.51
  2. Fresno St – 5-7 (4-4)  /  5.41 (4.11)  /  3.36
  3. Nevada – 5-7 (4-4)  /  5.46 (3.83)  /  3.14
  4. San Jose St – 4-8 (3-5)  /  5-41 (3.98)  /  3.28
  5. UNLV – 4-8 (2-6 )  /  5.08 (3.48)  /  2.90
  6. Hawaii – 4-8 (2-6)  /  4.67 (3.24)  /  2.90

 

Boise St wins the Mountain West courtesy of a Tie-Breaker over CSU and Wyoming. San Diego St wins the West easily.

 

Championship game – Boise St beats San Diego St in the champ game.

 

 

That makes 5 bowl teams for the MWC

 

Las Vegas Bowl – Boise State

Arizona Bowl – San Diego St

New Mexico Bowl – Colorado St

Idaho Potato Bowl – Wyoming

Hawaii Bowl – Utah St

2017 American Conference Preview

For much of last year it appeared as if the American Conference would have its 2nd straight appearance in a contract bowl. Until Houston crumpled down the stretch. The American Conference probably has the 4  best Group of 5 teams in the nation and 2 of them looked primed to be the  Group of 5 representative in the Contract bowls. As stated in the Season preview the American conference looks very strong this year and well above the rest of the Group of 5. They have quite a few games that should garner lots of NFL scouts and national attention.

 

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

 

American Predictions:

East

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. South Florida – 10-2 (6-2)  /  8.74 (5.42)  /  4.09
  2. Central Florida – 8-4 (6-2)  /  7.91 (5.01)  /  3.89
  3. ECU – 6-6 (4-4)  /  6.26 (2.82)  /  3.77
  4. Cincinnati – 5-7 (3-5)  /  5.32 (3.48)  /  3.31
  5. UCONN – 4-8 (3-5)  /  5.32 (3.48)  /  3.43
  6. Temple – 5-7 (2-6)  /  4.77 (2.82)  /  3.25

West

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Houston – 10-2 (6-2)  /  8.79 (5.76)  /  4.29
  2. Tulsa – 7-5 (5-3)  /  5.95 (3.8)  /  3.67
  3. Memphis – 7-5 (4-4)  /  7-37 (4.57)  /  4.03
  4. Navy – 7-5 (4-4)  /  4.73 (3.06)  /  3.27
  5. SMU – 6-6 (3-5)  /  6.29 (3.71)  /  3.44
  6. Tulane – 4-8 (2-6)  /  4.53 (2.68)  /  3.09

 

Houston wins the West out-right and USF wins the East on a tie-break (beating UCF head to head).

 

Championship game – USF beats Houston in the Championship game and is the highest ranked Group of 5 team.

 

 

That makes 8 bowl teams for the AAC

 

Peach Bowl – USF

Cure Bowl – Memphis

Boca Raton Bowl – UCF

Birmingham Bowl – Houston

Hawaii Bowl – Tulsa

Frisco Bowl – SMU

Military Bowl – Navy

St Petersburg Bowl – ECU

2017 Big 12 Preview

The Big 12 has been at a disadvantage the last 3 years without a Championship game like the other 4 conferences have had. They have had quality teams that were left out (or barely made it in) because of not having that additional game. Well this year they have that championship game. HOWEVER, We still think the Big 12 will again be the conference left out of the Playoff. This year they just won’t have any contender for it. They have 3 very good teams, however there is little separation between them and not much separation between them and the middle of the pack. Thus it’s not likely you will see a Big 12 team with a 10-2 or better record. Especially with the retirement of Coach Stoops at OU. It will be an exciting year for the Big 12, but one that will end up lacking a team in the Playoffs for the 3rd time in 4 years (Oklahoma 2015 is the lone representative in the Playoffs for the Big 12 as a 4 seed).

 

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

 

Big 12 Predictions:

 

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Oklahoma – 9-3 (7-2)  /  8.44 (6.17)  /  4.54
  2. Texas – 8-4 (6-3)  /  7.84 (5.82)  /  4.43
  3. Oklahoma St – 9-3 (6-3)  /  8.27 (5.95)  /  4.58
  4. Kansas St – 8-4 (6-3)  /  7.09 (4.84)  /  4.15
  5. TCU – 7-5 (5-4)  /  7.29 (5.04)  /  4.30
  6. West Virginia – 7-5 (5-4)  /  6.39 (4.24)  /  4.10
  7. Texas Tech – 5-7 (4-5)  /  4.75 (3.1)  /  3.62
  8. Baylor – 5-7 (3-6)  /  5.87 (3.72)  /  3.78
  9. Iowa St – 5-7 (2-7)  /  6.02 (3.77)  /  3.93
  10. Kansas – 3-9 (1-8)  /  4.52 (2.35)  /  3.3

 

Oklahoma is undisputed first place and gets a spot in the Big 12 championship game. Texas, Oklahoma St, and Kansas St are all tied at 6-3. Kansas St loses to both Texas and Ok St (beats OU) and Texas beats Oklahoma St. Sealing a Red River Shootout rematch in the Championship game.

 

Championship game – OU beats Texas for the 2nd time this year and 3rd straight overall in that series.

 

 

That makes 6 bowl teams for the Big 12

Cotton Bowl – Oklahoma

Alamo Bowl – Texas

Russell Athletic Bowl – Oklahoma St

Liberty Bowl – Kansas St

Texas Bowl – TCU

Cactus Bowl – West Virginia