Coach Rankings

This is a objective measure as we try to have almost everything here at Simplified Football.

There are 3 components that went in to these rankings:

1-Game Coaching.  Using our formula for rating the teams and arriving at Win probabilities we have a formula that says how those teams have done in relation to what they “should” have done based on their talent/experience.

2-Wins.  Both pure wins and Wins Above Replacement (taking the previous years before the coach showed up and after if he has left)

3-Recruiting.  Few aspects here.  Pure Recruiting rankings, recruiting rankings compared to others at school (before and after), and rankings compared to your geographical peers (Power 5 Southern, Power 5 West Coast, Group of 5 Southern, ec).

This is a ranking of what these coaches have done the last 5 years.

Top 25 coaches

  1. Nick Saban (Alabama)
  2. David Shaw (Stanford)
  3. Mark Dantonio (Michigan St)
  4. Urban Meyer (Ohio St)
  5. Dabo Swinney (Clemson)
  6. Chris Peterson (Washington)
  7. James Franklin (Penn St)
  8. Rocky Long (San Diego St)
  9. Dan Mullen (Florida)
  10. Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M)
  11. Gary Patterson (TCU)
  12. Doc Holliday (Marshall)
  13. Jeff Brohm (Purdue)
  14. Justin Fuente (Virginia Tech)
  15. David Cutcliffe (Duke)
  16. Bobby Petrino (Louisville)
  17. Gus Malzahn (Auburn)
  18. Mark Richt (Miami)
  19. Bryan Harsin (Boise St)
  20. Mike Leach (Texas Tech)
  21. Mike Gundy (Oklahoma St)
  22. Larry Fedora (UNC)
  23. Paul Chryst (Wisconsin)
  24. Kirk Ferentz (Iowa)
  25. Brian Kelly (Notre Dame)

To Note: Coaches who have 1-3  years of HC experience are not included in the above list.  To us it takes at least 4 years to truly see the value of an HC.  However here are the coaches who have coached less than 4 years that would have cracked the top 25.

Mike Norvell (Memphis) – 5th

Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma) – 7th

Scott Frost (Nebraska) – 8th

Tom Herman (Texas) – 12th

Kirby Smart (Georgia) – 16th

Jim Harbaugh (Michigan) – 22nd *his rankings from Stanford are not included*

Butch Davis (FIU) – 23rd *his rankings from UNC/Miami are not included*

Jason Candle (Toledo) – 24th


Top 20 Recruiters:

  1. James Franklin
  2. Urban Meyer
  3. Brian Kelly
  4. Nick Saban
  5. Jimbo Fisher
  6. David Shaw
  7. Dabo Swinney
  8. Mark Dantonio
  9. Gus Malzahn
  10. Jim Harbaugh
  11. Mark Stoops
  12. Bryan Harsin
  13. Chris Peterson
  14. Mark Richt
  15. Willie Taggart
  16. Mike Norvell
  17. Tom Herman
  18. Bobby Petrino
  19. Matt Rhule
  20. Larry Fedora

Others who would be top 20:

Kirby Smart (3rd)

Clay Helton (4th)

Luke Fickell (6th)

DJ Durkin (7th)

Scott Frost (8th)

Lincoln Riley (10th)


Top 20 Game Coaches:

  1. Ken Niumatalolo
  2. Bill Snyder
  3. Matt Wells
  4. Kirk Ferentz
  5. Jeff Brohm
  6. Scott Satterfield
  7. Chris Peterson
  8. Gary Patterson
  9. Justin Fuente
  10. Mark Dantonio
  11. David Shaw
  12. Dan Mullen
  13. Mike Gundy
  14. Troy Calhoun
  15. Paul Johnson
  16. Paul Chryst
  17. Rod Carey
  18. Matt Rhule
  19. Willie Fritz
  20. Kyle Whittingham

Others who would be on this list:

Mike Norvell (1st)

Jason Candle (4th)

Tom Herman (5th)

Lincoln Riley (9th)

Tom Allen (9th)

Justin Wilcox (16th)

Jeff Tedford (16th)


This would not just be X’s and O’s, but also player development, etc. These guys get more out of their players than other coaches do.


Again these are objective measures, not my personal rankings.

Simplified Football New Years Day Bowl Predictions

We have posted the Top 25 Rankings, and each conference prediction.  Here is the College Football Playoff and New Years 6 bowl projections:


Orange Bowl – #1 Clemson v #4 Washington

Cotton Bowl – #2 Alabama v #3 Penn State


New Years Day Bowls:

Rose Bowl – #8 Ohio St v #9 Stanford

Peach Bowl – #11 UCF v # 12 FSU

Fiesta Bowl – #7 Auburn v #10 Wisconsin

Sugar Bowl – #5 Oklahoma v #6 Georgia


National Champ (Bay Area, CA) – Clemson v Alabama

National Champ = Clemson

Simplified Football Formula

This is a formula that Jason Staples and myself have been working on over the last 5 years.  It has many layers to it, and we continue to discuss it and tweak it every off-season.

Here is the basic run-down. Please understand I will not be specific on the numbers as it will divulge too much information on the formula itself, I just want to give the readers something to understand where it is coming from.

  1. The base of the formula comes from the recruiting star ranking. We use the 247 composite ratings (funny side note, before I knew the 247 composite ratings existed I was basically doing that myself using Rivals, Scout, and ESPN rankings.  Thankfully I found 247 composite ratings, that did that work for me) as they are generally the least biased (which is what we are going for).
  2. Once we have the star rating we add in 2 experience ratings: One is how many years they have been in college, and Two is how much starting experience they have. Also there are multipliers depending on positions as well.  The first year in college and the first year starting are generally worth more than subsequent years as well.
  3. We also have multipliers for players that get All-Conference, All-American, Freshman All-American, and individual Award recognition (Heisman, Thorpe, Butkus, etc).
  4. Last we have a multiplier for Coaching/Intangibles.  It is based on previous years performances. IE if a coach typically had his team performing at 7 points higher than what was expected from the formula, then that will go into the next year’s rankings. It is averaged out over 5 years as well.  It also takes into account trends. IE if a coach has year one at -5, year two at -2, year three at 2, and year four at 5, the average will be zero, but the trend would say they would be above 5, so the multiplier would end up closer to the trend than the average.

Regarding the Win-Shares.  Through much meticulous record keeping we were able to figure out how the percentage of how much each team wins given how much “better” they are than the other team.  IE a team that is X amount better than their opponent would be expected to win X% of the time.  This we have calculated both Away and Home.

This formula has no bias in it, it is completely objective.  The predictions do have some of my own bias in it (thus the differences between Win-Shares and predictions).  Thus the Ratings and Rankings are purely objective.  No I do not think FSU is the 5th best team going into the season, but that is objectively what the formula puts out. Nor do I think Florida is 15th, Tennessee 18th, or UCLA 25th. But I do think those teams have the talent capable of putting them in those spots.

Look at the Playoff Picture 2018

As we look at who has made the playoffs in each of the 4 years, you start to see a few patterns.

  1. Pattern 1 is that 14 of the 16 teams have had a Win-Share of 8.25 or higher.
    1. ALL have had a Win-Share or higher of 7 (6.99) or higher.
  2. Pattern 2 is that 15 of the 16 teams have had a SF Rating of 4.40 or higher.
    1. ALL have had a SF Rating of 4.1 or higher.
  3. Pattern 3 is that 15 of the 16 teams finished 19th or higher in the previous seasons final F/+ Ratings.
    1. ALL of them finished 54th or higher.
  4. Pattern 4 is that 14 of the 16 teams had 10 or more wins the previous season.
    1. ALL of them had 7 or more wins the previous season.

With that information you start to get a pretty clear picture of who is most likely to be in the playoffs.  There has never been more than 1 Outlier team to make the playoffs in a given year. So 3 of the playoff teams will come from the group of teams that meet all criteria, possibly all 4.  But all 4 teams will most likely have a Win-Share above 7, a SF rating of 4.1 or higher, finish higher than 54 in the final 2017 season F/+ ratings, and have 7 or more games in 2017.


Tier 1 = Meet all 4 of the higher criteria

Tier 2 = Meet at least 1 of the higher criteria and all outlier criteria


Here are the teams, listed by Tiers.

Tier 1:

  1. Clemson
  2. Penn St
  3. Ohio St
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Washington
  7. Southern California
  8. Alabama
  9. Auburn
  10. Georgia

Tier 2:

  1. FSU
  2. Miami
  3. Michigan
  4. Stanford
  5. Michigan St
  6. Oklahoma St
  7. LSU
  8. Miss St
  9. UCF
  10. Notre Dame
  11. Texas
  12. Oregon


There is close to 100% chance that:

  1. 3 of the 4 Playoff teams will come from the first Tier teams
  2. The National Champion will come from the first Tier teams
  3. The 2 Championship teams will come from the list of 22 teams.

About a 50% chance that:

  1. 1 of the Playoff teams will come from the second Tier teams


Big Games between Teams on these lists (big time Playoff implications in these games):

  1. Washington v Auburn (Week 1)
  2. Michigan at Notre Dame (Week 1)
  3. Miami v LSU (Week 1)
  4. Ohio St at Penn St (Week 5)
  5. Stanford at Notre Dame (Week 5)
  6. Texas v Oklahoma (Week 6)
  7. FSU at Miami (Week 6)
  8. Auburn at Miss St (Week 6)
  9. Washington at Oregon (Week 7)
  10. Georgia at LSU (Week 7)
  11. Michigan St at Penn St (Week 7)
  12. Wisconsin at Michigan (Week 7)
  13. Michigan at Michigan St (Week 8)
  14. Clemson at FSU (Week 9)
  15. Texas at Oklahoma St (Week 9)
  16. Stanford at Washington (Week 10)
  17. Penn St at Michigan (Week 10)
  18. Alabama at LSU (Week 10)
  19. Wisconsin at Penn St (Week 11)
  20. Auburn at Georgia (Week 11)
  21. Ohio St at Michigan St (Week 11)
  22. Oklahoma St at Oklahoma (Week 11)
  23. FSU at Notre Dame (Week 11)
  24. Notre Dame at USC (Week 13 – Rivalry Week)
  25. Michigan at Ohio St (Week 13 – Rivalry Week)
  26. Auburn at Alabama (Week 13 – Rivalry Week)

These games will do the most in deciding who will be contending for the Playoffs.  Of course a win in one of these games and you get a big boost.  A loss can probably be overcome.

Of course you can also add the Conference Championship games which will most likely be between teams on these lists as well (Alabama/Auburn/LSU/Miss St v Georgia, Penn St/Ohio St/Michigan/Mich St v Wisconsin, Clemson/FSU v Miami, OU/Texas/Ok St v each other, Washington/Stanford/Oregon v USC).

2018 Simplified Football Top 25

And we are back for the 2018 College Football Season.  Hope everyone had an enjoyable off-season.

Just a quick reminder of what the formula entails:

  1. Composite Star Recruiting Rankings
  2. Experience (Years in College, and Starts)
  3. Outstanding Player Bonus (Awards, All-American, All-Conference)
  4. Coaching Rating (Based on previous years)


Last Year’s Top 25 correctly had Alabama #1 (as they won the National Championship).

It had 2 of the top 5 correct

5 of the top 10

11 of the top 15

14 of the top 20

& 15 of the top 25

Only 1 team that finished in the Top 10 was not in the Simplified Football top 25 (UCF, although we did have UCF having a good year, no one predicted that).

Only 3 teams in the SF top 25 did not make a bowl (Florida, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt).


Here is this year’s Top 25:

  1. Alabama (5.13)
  2. Clemson (5.10)
  3. Penn St (4.99)
  4. Georgia (4.96)
  5. FSU (4.91)
  6. Wisconsin (4.84)
  7. Auburn (4.84)
  8. Washington (4.77)
  9. Michigan (4.77)
  10. Stanford (4.76)
  11. Ohio St (4.63)
  12. Southern Cal (4.63)
  13. Oklahoma (4.61)
  14. LSU (4.54)
  15. Florida (4.52)
  16. Missouri (4.48)
  17. Texas (4.45)
  18. Tennessee (4.42)
  19. Notre Dame (4.40)
  20. Michigan St (4.40)
  21. Mississippi St (4.39)
  22. Oregon (4.38)
  23. Miami (4.37)
  24. UCF (4.29)
  25. UCLA (4.23)

A few notes:

  • This appear as it could be a banner year for a Big 10 Ten. If someone comes out of their unscathed that will be a legit NC contender
  • Clemson and Alabama are easily the 2 best teams.
  • UCF has the highest pre-season rating for a Group of 5 school ever.
    • Of Note is FAU this year at 4.08 has the 2nd highest.
  • A few Head Coaches in the first year at current schools have a lot of talent to work with (FSU, Florida, Miss St, UCF, Tennessee, and UCLA), ALL should be able to have quick turn around’s at the new schools.
  • Probably the most wide-open year after Clemson and Alabama.  We can see about 13-14 schools getting those last 2 spots (after Clemson and Alabama).


Conference Rankings (new Feature):

  1. SEC – 4.38
  2. Pac12 – 4.17
  3. B1G – 4.12
  4. ACC – 4.12
  5. Big12 – 4.09
  6. AAC – 3.60
  7. MWC – 3.22
  8. CUSA – 3.22
  9. MAC – 3.16
  10. SBC – 3.05

Those are the Average School Ratings. The nation wide average is 3.71.

Good luck to all schools, all players, and all coaches this season!

Bowl Game Previews

Well it’s been another fun season.  All we have left are the bowls and the Playoffs.  According to our formula the committee got the correct 4 teams in.  Simplified Football had 1-Alabama, 2-Georgia, 3-Clemson, 4-Oklahoma, and 5-Ohio St.

Looking at the bowl Match-ups we had 61 of the 78 bowl eligible teams predicted correctly.

We’ll get straight into the Predictions. First the regular bowl games and then a write-up on the Playoff Games:


Troy 42 – North Texas 24

Western KY 24 – Georgia State 17

Boise St 34 – Oregon 31

Colorado St 34 – Marshall 27

Arkansas St 31 – Middle Tenn St 17

FAU 48 – Akron 14

SMU 41 – La Tech 38

FIU 24 – Temple 21

Ohio 31 – UAB 17

Wyoming 17 – Central Mich 13

USF 31 – Texas Tech 24

San Deigo St 34 – Army 31

Toledo 31 – App st 28

Fresno st 28 – Houston 24

UCLA 48 – Kansas St 41

Northern Illinois 17 – Duke 13

Utah 31 – West Virginia 28

FSU 28 – Southern Miss 14

Boston College 27 – Iowa 24

Texas 28 – Missouri 27

Arizona 38 – Purdue 35

Navy 21 – Virginia 18

Oklahoma St 28 – Virginia Tech 25

TCU 24 – Stanford 21

Washington St 17 – Michigan St 14

Wake Forest 24 – TAMU 21

NC state 42 – Arizona St 31

Northwestern 28 – Kentucky 17

Louisville 48 – Mississippi St 34

Memphis 42 – Iowa St 38

New Mexico St 24 – Utah St 20

Michigan 20 – South Carolina 10

LSU 27 – Notre Dame 21

Ohio St 38 – USC 28

Washington 28 – Penn St 24

Wisconsin 21 – Miami 19

Auburn 45 – UCF 35


Georgia vs Oklahoma:

This is a Match-up of a great offense against a great defense.  Oklahoma’s offense under Baker Mayfield has been extremely good this year.  Mayfield definitely deserved the Heisman with his play on the field.  They have scored and scored in bunches against anyone and everyone.  Georgia’s defense has done very well this year and limited some good offenses to low scoring outputs.  That will be a match-up to watch.  Oklahoma’s chances of winning will solely lie on Baker Mayfield. If he has a Heisman-esque game then Oklahoma will have the chance at winning this by out scoring Georgia.  Anything less than that and it’ll be a long night for Oklahoma.  Oklahoma’s defense has been very much maligned all season, for good reason.  Georgia has a very efficient offense and one of the top rushing attacks in America.  It will be very hard for OU to slow them down, baring some adrenaline stoked mom type performance (you know where a mom lifts up a car to save their trapped child). Mayfield will have a good day, but it won’t be enough as UGA wears them down and pulls away in the 2nd half.

Georgia 34 – Oklahoma 24


Clemson vs Alabama:

The Rubber Match! A rematch of the previous 2 years National Championship games.  There is one notable difference this year, rather absence. Rather 2.  Lane Kiffin and Deshaun Watson.  Both of those guys trumped great defenses and made the previous 2 matches into Shoot-outs.  Absent the offensive “Genius” of Kiffin and the brilliant play of Watson I think the defenses, which are again great, will dominate this match-up.  Both defenses are littered with future NFL players, particularly along the front 7. It will be tough sledding for 2 QBs that aren’t Deshaun Watson, and for the good running backs in this game. Neither offense are prone to turning it over so it will be a defensive slug-fest with low scores. I do expect the winner of this game to be the National Champ.

Alabama 21 – Clemson 17


That will set up an ALL SEC match-up in the Championship game of Georgia vs Alabama.   Kirby Smart against long time mentor Nick Saban.  The Teacher will beat the Pupil in this scenario.  Of course if it’s Clemson v Georgia then we have an entirely different and good story line as they are rivals who no longer play and are short distance from each other (about 1.5 hours).


Have fun this Bowl/Holiday Season.


This week I have chosen a bunch of games to preview, I will also pick every game.  This is a big week with several top match-ups that will significantly narrow the playoff picture. Aubun, UGA, Clemson, OU, Ohio St, and ND all face opponents that could upset them and knock them out of the playoff race. Although if all of them were to lose (not going to happen) then UGA and Clemson would still remain alive.

This is rivalry week and things happen. There are always a few surprises. I try to cover all the major rivalries (even if the teams aren’t good).

Last week I went 11-4 overall bringing my yearly total to 116-58 (66.7%).


Playoff Picture:

Stays the same as last week

Front Runners = Alabama, Clemson, Miami, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin

Still Alive = Auburn, Georgia, Ohio St, TCU, USC, and ND


Boise St @ Fresno St:

This budding rivalry has mostly been dominated by Boise St, but Fresno St has won enough upsets to warrant the rivalry moniker. Boise has won 4 of the last 5. Both teams are having good but not great seasons and they will meet again next week in the Mountain West Championship game.  Which is sure to add to the rivalry game. Both defenses should have the edge in this game. Fresno St has been significantly better at home this year and that is where a few of their upsets have come against Boise St.  Fresno’s defense is able to get a few needed stops in the 2nd half to close this game out.

Fresno st 27-24


Territorial Cup (Arizona @ Arizona St):

These teams have split the last 4 match-ups, each winning at home. Both defenses are pretty atrocious and the offenses are good. Arizona has been the better team this year so far. Both teams will be bowl eligible. In a shoot-out I like to go with the better QB, the better defense, or the home team.  Arizona St has the better defense, and are at home.  So 2 of the 3. In a high scoring game ASU defends it’s home turf.

ASU 41-38


Florida Cup (Florida St @ Florida):

Florida State has won the last 4 games in this match-up and only one of those has been close. Defensively FSU has dominated giving up on average 10 points per game the last 4 games. I wouldn’t expect much difference in this game as both offenses have been putrid this season (bottom third of the nation both of them, and perhaps 2 of the worst in Power 5). However this is one of FSU’s worst defenses in that span, as well as UF’s worst defense as well. Both teams are fighting for bowl eligibility so there should be a lot of fight here. UF would be 5-6 if they won and could apply for a waiver to go to a bowl game. FSU will be 5-6 with a game against Sun Belt conference opponent ULM next week. Both offenses will have trouble in this game and barring a slew of turnovers giving the opposing team short fields this should be very low scoring.

FSU 17-13


Duke @ Wake Forest:

Wake Forest’s offense has been on fire the last few games and they have one of the top passing attacks (efficiency) in the nation. Duke has one of the worst. Both pass defenses are good. Duke will find it tough to score in this match-up and Wake should have little trouble scoring points. Wake wins going away. Knocking Duke from gaining bowl eligibility.

Wake 32-17


Louisville @ Kentucky:

Last year UK surprised everyone and upset top 25 Louisville.  Prior to last year Louisville had won 5 straight in the rivalry. Don’t think that Heisman winning Quarterback Lamar Jackson has forgotten about last year. Lamar Jackson has a HUGE day running the ball against UK’s porous run defense. UK’s passing attack is able to keep them in the game for at least a half but Louisville runs away in the 2nd half.

Louisville 41-28


Chancellor’s Spurs (Texas Tech @ Texas):

Texas has dominated this series recently winning 7 of the last 8. But Texas Tech did win the last game in Austin in 2015.  Texas Tech needs this win to become bowl eligible. Texas already is.  So expect Texas Tech to really come out slinging to go bowling. This is largely a pretty even match-up. Good offense (TT) against good defense (Tex) and Awful offense (Tex) against awful defense (TT). Most of the games in this series recently have been high scoring. This shouldn’t be any different.  Texas is able to prevent a game winning TD in the end, knocking TT out of bowl contention.

Texas 37-35


War on I-4 (South Florida @ Central Florida):

USF has won the last 2 match-ups and UCF won the 2 before that. UCF has a very good home crowd and one of the best non-Power 5 atmospheres/home-field advantages. UCF has one of the best offenses going against a very good defense at USF. USF has a good offense and UCF an average defense. On a neutral site this game would be very tough to call. I think UCF puts another feather in it’s cap and jumps up the rankings after this week.

UCF 35-26


Paul Bunyan’s Axe (Wisconsin @ Minnesota):

Wisconsin has won 13 straight in this rivalry. If they were to win this year they would take their first overall lead in this series EVER. Minnesota hasn’t been within 2 scores of Wisconsin in this series since 2009. I don’t think much will change this  year. Normally Minnesota in late November has a huge advantage at home with the frigid temperatures. But Wisconsin is used to that and that advantage is negated. When Wisconsin has the ball it should be a good back and forth battle with the Minnesota defense. However Minnesota’s offense is pretty awful and Wisconsin has one of the better defenses (if not the best) in the nation.  It will be tough for Minnesota to score in this game.

Wisconsin 28-14


Commonwealth Cup (Virginia Tech @ Virginia):

Virginia Tech has won the last several in this match-up, however UVA is much better this year than they have been (still not very good). Virginia at home will have a chance in this game. Both defenses have been significantly better than their offensive counter parts. So this should be a close defensive battle.

VT 21-17


West Virginia @ Oklahoma:

This game got a lot more interesting with the news that Baker Mayfield will not be starting.  If West Virginia can jump out to a big lead and get a few first quarter stops and turn the rest of the game into a shootout then they have a chance. They have the tools and offense to be able to do so. Oklahoma has been pretty bad on defense. They have relied on Baker Mayfield to win games for them this year. West Virginia has been a little better defensively, but they don’t have Baker Mayfield at QB. Grier has been good, but not Mayfield. This will be a high scoring affair, although maybe slightly less so with Mayfield missing time.

Oklahoma 35-34


Apple Cup (Washington St @ Washington):

Since an awful Wash St team pulled off the crazy upset in 2012 Washington has run off 4 straight wins (7 of 8). It’s been a decade since Washington St pulled off the win on the road. The last few games have not been very close.  This game features probably the top 2 defenses in the Pac 12. So it will be low-scoring for Pac 12’s sake. I think Browning will be the difference in this game and Washington is able to bottle up Washington State’s offense.

Washington 31-21


Egg Bowl (Ole Miss @ Mississippi St):

Ole Miss leads the overall Series, but Miss St has gotten the best of them in the modern era. Miss St destroyed Ole Miss last year, Ole Miss won the previous 2 years. Ole Miss needs a win to make a bowl game. Same situation as last year. I don’t think the outcome will be much different than it was last year. Miss St is just the better team right now. Ole Miss defense is pretty lowly.  Miss St runs away with the game.

Miss st 41-21


Texas A&M @ LSU:

Both teams have under-performed to the level of talent they have this year. However they can both have a successful year with a win this weekend and finish as a top 25 team. This will be a lower scoring game as both defenses have performed better than the offenses.  LSU at home should get the advantage and use Death Valley to power them to a win.

LSU 24-20


Palmetto Bowl (Clemson @ South Carolina):

This was the game that Dabo Swinney could never win. His first 5 years South Carolina got the best of him every year.  That seems like a distant history as Clemson has rattled off 3 straight wins. South Carolina is significantly better than they have been the last few years however and Clemson has an offense that isn’t performing all that well. Being in Columbus South Carolina will give Clemson all they can handle. However in the end Clemson’s defense will be too much for South Carolina to overcome as they will not be able to get points when needed.

Clemson 28-21


Clean, Old Fashioned Hate (Georgia @ Georgia Tech):

Georgia Tech has not won a home game in this series since 1999. However Georgia Tech has won 2 of the last 3.  The last 4 games have all been a 1-score game with 2 of them being Overtime games. If Georgia is unable to stop the Triple Option Paul Johnson offense then it could be another long night for UGA and another close game. I think UGA will struggle to score points and  Georgia Tech will keep it close, but UGA is too good and will pull away at the end.

Georgia 24-10


Ohio St @ Michigan:

This is the game that Harbaugh has been unable to win. Came close last year but squandered a chance at the end before losing in Double OT. Ohio St has won the last 5 match-ups and 12 of the last 13. Both defenses have been very good this year. Michigan’s offense has been pretty bad and Ohio State’s has had issues against better defenses. I think those issues will pop up again here, and this will be another defensive battle. Michigan fights valiantly but Harbaugh and Michigan come up short again.

Ohio St 24-21


Legends Trophy (Notre Dame @ Stanford):

Stanford has won 6 of the last 8 match-ups and haven’t lost at home in a decade. The last 5 match-ups have all been decided by 1 score or less. ND has been very good this year and needs a win (and help) to have a chance at the playoffs. A win against Stanford would give them 4 very quality top 25 wins. They would still need a lot of help to have a chance at getting into the playoffs. Stanford and Bryce Love should be able to run the ball on Notre Dame and have plenty of success there. Notre Dame should be able to do the same. Should be a very exciting back and forth game.

Stanford 28-27


Iron Bowl (Alabama @ Auburn):

Alabama has won the last 3 games easily. However the last time Auburn was top 10, they were able to beat Alabama at home. This will be a battle that features a lot of Defensive NFL talent and 2 efficient passing attacks. The offenses won’t beat themselves and the defenses are suffocating. In the end Alabama is able to run the ball better and grind out a win on their way to the SEC championship game against Georgia. The winner will face Georgia next week in the SECCG.

Alabama 21-17



Other Games:

East Mich over Bowling Green

Akron over Kent St

Miami (oh) over Ball St

Toledo over West Mich

Miami over Pitt

TCU over Baylor

NIU over Cent Mich

Navy over Houston

Ohio over Buffalo

Missouri over Arkansas

SDSU over New Mex

Troy over Tex St

Iowa over Nebraska

WKU over FIU

Cal over UCLA

Ok St over Kansas

Memphis over ECU

Purdue over Indiana

UCONN over Cinci

SMU over Tulane

BC over Cuse

N Texas over Rice


App St over Geo St

FAU over Charlotte

Marshall over South Miss


Ark St over ULM

Nevada over UNLV

Penn St over Maryland


Kan St over Iowa St

Mich St over Rutgers

Northwestern over Illinois

Tenn over Vandy

Temple over Tulsa

New Mex St over Idaho

Louisiana over Geo South

Wyoming over San Jose St

Oregon over Oregon St

UTSA over L Tech

Hawaii over BYU

Utah over Colorado

Utah St over Air Force


Have a very Happy Thanksgiving

Week 12 Preview

This might be the worst week we have seen in like 4-5 years. Only one truly notable game this week and that is the big Michigan v Wisconsin game.  I can’t decide if the 2nd biggest game is NCSU @ Wake or if it’s Kentucky @ UGA.  Either way this will be a quick week and no long write ups.


Playoff Picture:

Front Runners – Alabama, Clemson, Miami, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin

Still Alive – Auburn, Georgia, Ohio St, TCU, USC, and Notre Dame


There is a very good chance that Alabama is already in even with a loss to Alabama (finishing 11-1) or a loss to UGA (finishing 12-1).

Clemson/Miami winner is essentially in as well unless they slip up in a game they should win (USCe for Clemson or UVA for Miami). OU and Wisconsin need to win out.


Last week went 6-3 in the big games and 14-7 in all games. Leaving us at 45-22 (67%) and 105-54 (66%) for the season.


No Big Games/write-ups this week.


Notable Games:

Wisconsin over Michigan in a nail-biter (Camp Randall comes through)

Duke over Georgia Tech

Louisville over Syracuse

NCSU over Wake Forest

Memphis over SMU

ND over Navy

WVU over Texas

Northwestern over Minnesota

FAU over FIU

Wyoming over Fresno St

Boise St over Air Force


Washington over Utah

UGA over Kentucky

Tennessee over LSU



Week 11 Preview

What a great week last week.  A real treat for fans of College football.  This week looks to be even better.  This so far has been a very exciting season. Lots of upsets and intrigue along the way.  Should be some more this week.  You have 7 match-ups featuring two ranked teams. As well as 1 more facing a tough opponent on the road.  You have 5 higher ranked teams on the road against ranked teams. You have a ranked almost ranked Group of 5 team on the road against a tough Group of 5 rival. You also have Clemson at home against FSU in a rivalry game. LOTS of good football this week. Expect some “upsets” (I use quotations as it will be ranked teams beating higher ranked teams).

In the Playoff Hunt you have:

Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Miami, Wisconsin, Washington, Oklahoma, Clemson, and TCU squarely in the Race.

You have Auburn, USC, Mich St, Ohio St, Penn St, Oklahoma St, Miss St, Virginia Tech, UCF and Washington St still alive but with tough roads to climb.


Last week I went 6-3 in the big games (39-19 for 67% on the season), and 15-6 overall (91-47 for 66% on the season).  I’ll look to continue that success this week.


Notre Dame @ Miami:

Miami surprised many people with their performance last week.  It also pretty much exposed Virginia Tech. Notre Dame has been playing very good football offensively all year, look for that to continue as Miami’s weakness is it’s run defense (which is Notre Dame’s strength). This is a heated rivalry that rarely plays. Ever since the 80’s Catholics v Convicts (which even has it’s own 30 for 30), these 2 schools have not liked each other. Now they will be fighting for a potential playoff spot. Should be a battle.

Notre Dame 28 – Miami 24


Oklahoma St @ Iowa St:

Iowa St is very proficient at upsetting highly ranked teams at home. Having beaten 2 top 5 teams this year (and a long history of it as well). I just can’t envision them making it 3 this year. Doesn’t mean they won’t give it their best try. Oklahoma St will cause a few turnovers and get a few extra possessions on offense and after last week’s loss in Bedlam they come out strong.

Ok St 34 – Iowa St 31


TCU @ Oklahoma:

This one will go along way in determining who will play in the Big 12 Championship. However if Oklahoma St beats Iowa St then there is a very high probability that the Big 12 champ game will be a rematch of this TCU/OU game. This is the best offense in the nation going against the top defense (the only defense…) in the Big 12 (one of the top defenses in the nation). Baker Mayfield is too good and playing in Norman will give OU the advantage here, TCU is able to score to keep up with OU, but not overcome them.

OU 37 – TCU 34


Michigan St @ Ohio St:

I’m not quite sure what to make of Ohio St after last week. That was one of the more surprising results of the season. Not just to lose, but to get taken to the woodshed by a largely average team. Michigan St has a better defense than Iowa so they can cause some of the same problems for Ohio St. But their offense is not as good (which is more a statement of MSU offense being bad than Iowa being good). However the main difference is this will be in Columbus and not in East Lansing (or Ames). Ohio St gets enough offense to win, but it’s not pretty.

Ohio St 31 – Michigan St 24


Iowa @ Wisconsin:

Iowa is definitely good enough to upset Wisconsin (evidence…Ohio St). However Camp Randall is one of the best home field advantages in College Football. In a largely ugly football game, Wisconsin continues to win, but not pretty.

Wisconsin 24 – Iowa 17


Toledo @ Ohio:

This one should come down to which match-up disadvantage is taken advantage of more. Ohio has a huge advantage in the running game and Toledo a huge advantage in the passing game. So depending on the pace that is set, this could be an interesting game. I’m going with the homefield advantage in this game and a leg up in the MAC title race.

Ohio 35 – Toledo 31


Washington @ Stanford:

This will be the toughest test yet for both of these teams. Toughest defense Stanford/Love have faced, and the toughest offense/RB that Washington has faced. Washington is clearly the better team and I think their defense will get the upper hand. But being on the road against a tough opponent can do strange things. Stanford makes it a game down to the end.

Washington 28 – Stanford 21


Alabama @ Mississippi St:

This should be the toughest match-up for Alabama since opening week. Not because Mississippi St is better than LSU, but because it’s their first true road game test. It will be interesting to see how they react. Miss St also has a pretty stout defense and a solid QB (you know the 2 ingredients that often make for a home upset). While I think Miss St will limit what Alabama does on offense, I don’t think they will be able to put up enough points even at home.

Alabama 27 – Miss St 14


Georgia @ Auburn:

This is definitely Georgia’s first REAL test of the season. Auburn’s defense is legit against Georgia’s rushing game. The key will be if Auburn can gain any traction offensively. If Malzahn is able to do stuff offensively then this should be a good game for Auburn and a potential big upset. Think this is a tough defensive battle with some big plays and lots of hard hits. In the end Georgia prevails.

Georgia 27 – Auburn 24


Other Games:

Duke over Army

So Carolina over Florida

Georgia Tech over Virginia Tech

Wake Forest over Syracuse

Clemson over FSU

Louisville over Virginia

Kansas St over WVU

Navy over SMU

L Tech over FAU

Wash st over Utah

Arizona St over UCLA
Colorado St over Boise St

Week 10 Preview

We have a wonderful week of football ahead of us. Lots of marquee match-ups featuring ranked teams. This week and next week are the big weeks and we will have a LOT better idea of playoff contenders and pretenders after this week and next. Should be a fun roller coaster ride the next 2 weeks. Most of the upsets are finished, so I wouldn’t expect too many major upsets from here (unranked teams beating ranked teams), although there will still be a couple throughout the year (inevitably).  From here it’s just figuring out who is for real and who isn’t.

Last week I went 5-1 in the Major games (33-16 for 67% over all) and 11-6 total last week (76-41 for 65% over all). So it was a pretty good week.  This week there are so many good match-ups that I chose a few extra games as part of the big games. Time is limit this week so the write-ups won’t be but a sentence or 2.


Clemson @ North Carolina St:

Clemson typically struggles at Carter-Finley stadium (as do many top ranked teams). However Clemson’s defense is too good.

Clemson 27 – NCSU 24


Virginia Tech @ Miami:

Miami is undefeated, but hasn’t looked very good doing it. VT has played very good since losing to Clemson.

VT 24 – Miami 20


Penn St @ Michigan St:

Michigan St is playing much better football this year and has turned it around. East Lansing is not an easy place to play for visiting teams, but Penn St is too good and pulls away.

Penn St 24 – Mich St 14


Stanford @ Washington St:

Stanford is starting a new QB and Love is not 100% after sitting out last week. They aren’t the same team without Love.  Washington St defense at home should be able to do enough to win this game.

Wash St 28 – Stanford 24


Arizona @ USC:

This game features 2 high powered offenses and not so good defenses. Both offenses are very good with Arizona having the better, but USC’s defense is significantly better than Arizona’s. USC wins by getting a couple more stops.

USC 42 – Arizona 31


LSU @ Alabama:

Alabama is just too strong. They run through LSU’s average run defense and are able to stop LSU’s offense

Alabama 31 – LSU 14


South Carolina @ Georgia:

This is going to be on of Georgia’s stiffest tests to date. But it’s not that stiff. The SEC East just isn’t that good. Georgia doesn’t dominate like they have been, but win easily.

Georgia 28 – So Carolina 14



One of UCF’s few remaining challenges. SMU behind Chad Morris has really turned the program around and is playing good football. But not good enough to knock of UCF.

UCF 45 – SMU 31


BEDLAM – Oklahoma @ Oklahoma St:

RIVALRY GAME. Oklahoma has dominated this series winning 12 of the last 14 (and the last 2 in blow-outs). But this seems to be the year that the team that hasn’t had the upper hand in rivalry games…gets the upper hand. (Miami over FSU, Georgia over Florida…). So I’m going with the upset in Stillwater.

Ok St 45 – Oklahoma 39


Other Notable Games:

Syracuse over FSU

ND over Wake Forest

TCU over Texas

WVU over Iowa St

Ohio St over Iowa

Marshall over FAU

Army over Air Force

Toledo over NIU

Wyoming over Colorado St

Washington over Oregon

Utah over UCLA

Auburn over TAMU





3-Ohio St

4-Notre Dame