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

 

2017 Big Ten Preview

 

Big Ten had an outstanding 2016 campaign. Perhaps a bit overrated based on bowl performances, but considering where they have been the last decade it was a win for this historic conference. This year we think you will still have 4 very good teams that are there at the end of the year, but we think the middle and bottom of the conference will be worse. Big Ten has sent a team to the playoffs every year. We don’t think this year will be any different with much of the same cast as last year competing for that spot. Michigan loses a lot but has recruited very well under Harbaugh. Penn St, Wisconsin, and Ohio St return a LOT of players from last years successful teams.

 

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 Ten Predictions:

East

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

  1. Ohio St – 11-1 (8-1)  /  10.06 (7.36)  /  4.93
  2. Penn St – 11-1 (8-1)  /  9.16 (6.49)  /  4.76
  3. Michigan – 10-2 (7-2)  /  8.43 (5.95)  /  4.45
  4. Maryland – 6-6 (4-5)  /  6.02 (4.17)  /  3.90
  5. Michigan St – 5-7 (3-6)  /  4.88 (3.18)  /  3.58
  6. Indiana – 4-8 (1-8)  /  4.91 (3.06)  /  3.78
  7. Rutgers – 3-9 (1-8)  /  4.47 (2.29)  /  3.06

West

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

  1. Wisconsin – 10-2 (7-2)  /  8.38 (6.03)  /  4.59
  2. Northwestern – 9-3 (6-3)  /  7.33 (5.08)  /  4.20
  3. Nebraska – 7-5 (5-4)  /  6.44 (4.4)  /  3.87
  4. Iowa – 6-6 (4-5)  /  6.1 (4.02)  /  3.99
  5. Minnesota – 6-6 (4-5)  /  6.72 (4.5)  /  4.04
  6. Illinois – 5-7 (3-6)  /  4.95 (3.27)  /  3.36
  7. Purdue – 3-9 (2-7)  /  3.97 (2.97)  /  3.21

 

Wisconsin wins the West out-right and Ohio St gets revenge on Penn St winning the head to head and the tie-breaker.

 

Championship game – Ohio St beats Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game. It will beat Wisconsin’s 5th Championship game in 7 years. Ohio St’s 3rd.

 

 

That makes 9 bowl teams for the Big Ten

Rose Bowl – Ohio St (Playoff)

Fiesta Bowl – Penn St

Peach Bowl – Michigan

Citrus Bowl – Wisconsin

Outback Bowl – Northwestern

Holiday Bowl – Nebraska

Pinstripe Bowl – Minnesota

Armed Forces Bowl – Maryland

Foster Farms – Iowa

2017 Pac 12 Preview

The Pac 12 had one of their better seasons in recent memory according to most prognostications. We think this year will be another step forward. Pac 12 was able to send a team into the playoffs last year, getting knocked out in the first round. This year we think the Pac 12 will have 2 candidates for the playoffs going into the Pac12 Championship game, setting up a de-facto Quarterfinal playoff game (the winner gets in). Pac 12 should have 5 potential top 25 type teams. Washington despite losing a lot of talent, should be able to maintain their high level of play. USC should be able to take another step forward. The X-factor in the Pac 12 will be UCLA. We picked them to win the Pac 12 and make it to the Playoffs last year. We still think they have that kind of potential, but it will be up to Josh Rosen at QB who had a pretty humbling year last year, before exiting at the end of the season for surgery. If he performs to the level many experts think then UCLA can be in the playoff mix. If not they can be sitting at home during bowl season for a 2nd consecutive year.

 

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.

 

Pac 12 Predictions:

North

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

  1. Washington – 11-1 (8-1)  /  9.14 (6.39)  /  4.80
  2. Stanford – 9-3 (6-3)  /  7.98 (5.64)  /  4.64
  3. Washington St – 7-5 (4-5)  /  6.85 (4.2)  /  4.16
  4. Oregon – 6-6 (4-5)  /  6.47 (4.27)  /  4.04
  5. Oregon St – 6-6 (4-5)  /  5.57 (3.51)  /  3.91
  6. California – 3-9 (2-7)  /  4.5 (2.9)  /  3.74

South

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

  1. USC – 10-2 (8-1)  /  8.73 (6.53)  /  4.68
  2. UCLA – 8-4 (6-3)  /  8.22 (5.97)  /  4.49
  3. Utah – 7-5 (5-4)  /  6.17 (3.92)  /  4.03
  4. Arizona St – 8-4 (5-4)  /  7.71 (5.22)  /  4.42
  5. Arizona – 4-8 (2-7)  /  5.27 (3.0)  /  3.55
  6. Colorado – 4-8 (1-8)  /  5.12 (2.7)  /  3.65

 

Washington and USC win their divisions outright and meet in the Championship game.

 

Championship game – USC beats Washington in an exciting championship game.

 

 

That makes 9 bowl teams for the ACC

Sugar Bowl – USC (Playoff)

Fiesta Bowl – Washington

Alamo Bowl – Stanford

Holiday Bowl – UCLA

Foster Farms Bowl – Arizona St

Sun Bowl – Washington St

Las Vegas Bowl – Utah

Cactus Bowl – Oregon

Heart of Dallas Bowl – Oregon St

2017 SEC Preview

The SEC had a relatively down year in 2016. However they still were able to get a team into the Championship game for the 2nd year in a row. We expect the SEC to bounce back some this year as there is a lot of depth. Alabama despite many thinking they will take a step back, should remain as good as they were the last 2 years. They recruit at an unprecedented pace, and are easily able to reload. Auburn should take a step forward with a legit QB to go with their outstanding recruiting elsewhere. It will be interesting to see what Georgia does in its 2nd year under Kirby Smart as well as Florida and Tennessee in the East. If those 2 teams can take a step forward this year and create some balance in the SEC then it should once again reign supreme as the best conference.

 

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.

 

SEC Predictions:

West

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

  1. Alabama – 11-1 (7-1)  /  9.97 (6.43)  /  5.25
  2. Auburn – 9-3 (6-2)  /  8.64 (5.22)  /  4.91
  3. Ole Miss – 8-4 (4-4)  /  7.64 (4.02)  /  4.40
  4. LSU – 8-4 (4-4)  /  7.98 (4.38)  /  4.73
  5. Arkansas – 7-5 (3-5)  /  6.81 (3.24)  /  4.25
  6. Texas A&M – 7-5 (3-5)  /  6.95 (3.55)  /  4.26
  7. Miss State – 5-7 (2-6)  /  5.54 (2.39)  /  3.89

 

East

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

  1. Georgia – 9-3 (6-2)  /  8.27 (5.09)  /  4.59
  2. Florida – 8-4 (6-2)  /  7.19 (4.35)  /  4.49
  3. Tennessee – 8-4 (4-4)  /  7.75 (4.14)  /  4.36
  4. South Carolina – 6-6 (4-4)  /  6.37 (3.69)  /  4.03
  5. Vanderbilt – 7-5 (3-5)  /  6.96 (3.56)  /  4.28
  6. Missouri – 6-6 (2-6)  /  6.31 (2.89)  /  3.96
  7. Kentucky – 5-7 (2-6)  /  6.06 (3.01)  /  3.94

 

Alabama wins the West outright, despite losing to Auburn to close the regular season. Georgia beats Florida head to head and wins the tie-breaker.

 

Championship game – Alabama puts the whooping on Georgia (Saban stomping his protege) in the Championship game. Giving them their 4th straight SEC championship (something only Florida accomplished in 1993-1996 under Steve Spurrier).

 

 

That makes 12 bowl teams for the SEC:

Sugar Bowl – Alabama (Playoff)

Cotton Bowl – Auburn

Citrus Bowl – Georgia

Texas Bowl – LSU

Belk Bowl – Ole Miss

Outback Bowl – Texas A&M

Music City Bowl – Florida

Liberty Bowl – Tennessee

Camping World Independence Bowl – South Carolina

Birmingham Bowl – Arkansas

Tax Slayer Bowl – Vanderbilt

Quick Lane Bowl – Missouri