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#1 hcmv007


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Posted 21 April 2013 - 01:09 AM

I know it seems early to start this, but by now most teams will have or will be soon wrapping up Spring Practices. In less than a month all the preview magazines will be out, and then before you know it, the season will be here. Of course besides coaching changes, conference realignment and the death of one conference (RIP WAC), there is one major change coming in the next year-playoffs. Yes, this is the LAST season of the BCS. While I am biased since LSU got the benefit of the doubt to win 2 titles, I still liked it. But for the last season, and moving on to the playoffs, I will give it the benefit of the doubt. ESPN is also in the process of creating conference networks, with one in the works for the SEC. Like I have for the past few years I will be reviewing all major FBS schools, including the smaller conferences. Unlike my other topics, this one will not just cover one season, but College Football from here on out.


Now onto some big questions:


1. Will the SEC get an 8th straight title?  I am not sure, Bama is still the top contender, but they have the best shot. The SEC has some risers that while not competing for a national title (Ole Miss, Vandy) could derail somebody who is. Georgia could also contend, but it comes down to who wins the title game in Atlanta


2. Which Conference will improve the most?  I am looking at the Big 10, with Michigan, Ohio St and Nebraska having good recruiting classes, and having some surprise teams (Northwestern, and a much improved Indiana and Purdue) this could be the year they come back. While not having winning seasons, Purdue and Indiana overachieved a bit last year.


3. Which conference HAS to improve? The Big XII. After Oklahoma got drilled, and K-State getting drilled by Oregon, this conference's perception went down. The good news its pretty wide open this year, so it will be fun to watch, but all 10 teams have to learn to play some defense, or they can get drilled in bowl season once again.


4. Which HC is on the warmest seat right now? IMO its Al Golden at Miami (FL). The Hurricanes have been average, and have been hit or miss on recruiting. Before his bowl win, Georgia Tech HC Paul Johnson had a warm seat, but it might have cooled just a bit.


5. Is the ACC going to be better? Yes. Clemson is on the most momentum right now, but Florida St is still the top in conference. Duke was a pleasant surprise last season, while Wake Forest could be the dark horse of 2013.


6. How will Notre Dame recover from the loss in the title game? While there are some big losses, the schedule will be a little more interesting now that the ACC will be mixed in starting next season. The Irish could make it back to the BCS again, but not unbeaten.


7. Who made the biggest splash in hiring an assistant? I am biased, but it was Les Miles hiring former Ravens OC Cam Cameron. He has a lot of NFL experience and was the HC at Indiana a while back. Now only if Les keeps his damn hands out the play calls then maybe LSU will finally have some consistency.


8. Who made the biggest splash hire for HC? Arkansas did good hiring Bret Bielma away from Wisconsin, which was a shock. Gary Anderson was a good hire for the Badgers as Bielma's replacement.


9. The Pac 12. Will it be good? I think so, but don't expect USC to be in the mix. Oregon could take a step back. But UCLA, Oregon St, Arizona, Arizona St and Stanford look like they will be the new head of the Pac 12 in the near future.


10. Which major program is on the NCAA hit list? Miami seems to be in the most trouble, with Auburn in sight (I think both will be exonerated since the sources are quite sick people). Oregon took a small hit for the Willie Lyles situation, and I think the NCAA will let them pass. Hard to say right now, but it is clear there needs to be reform in the NCAA. Too many rules and regs make it a pain in the butts for coaches and administration.




#2 hcmv007


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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:44 PM

Media Days are done at the SEC, and as expected no news on the conference schedule. I favor the 8 game schedule, but I hate the permanent opponent. The Big 10 has it right by putting the biggest rivals in the same division, and the SEC will need to realign the divisions in order to preserve the rivalries. 9 games will be too much, and I doubt a 2 loss SEC team would get any help over a 2 loss Big 10 or PAC 12 team in the future playoff format. LSU had to play 10 SEC schools in 2011-and lost in the title game. They played Bama twice and a good Georgia team in the SEC title game. Now normal rules, the SEC champ already plays 9 conference games, and given the physical nature of the SEC that is a LOT. Adding another game may help even things out on the schedule on paper, but you give a 10th game for the title. I don't like that at all. What the SEC wants to do is preserve the oldest rivalries: Alabama vs Tennessee and Georgia vs Auburn. Problem is this has created a 'Permanent Opponent' and means only 1 other school is a non divisional game and it rotates yearly, and randomly. The Big XII had the good idea of not having permanent opponents, and you saw them play everyone in 4 years, something a 6-2 format for the SEC could still make happen. Taking in the other sports, this is how the SEC should realign



SEC West


LSU Tigers

Texas A&M Aggies

Missouri Tigers

Kentucky Wildcats

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Ole Miss Rebels

Arkansas Razorbacks


SEC East


Alabama Crimson Tide

Auburn War Eagles/Tigers

Tennessee Volunteers

Vanderbilt Commodores

South Carolina Gamecocks

Florida Gators

Georgia Bulldogs



With that you have the classic rivalry games intact, plus you even things out in other sports. In basketball, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Florida have historically been the best. LSU, Bama, Georgia and South Carolina have had good teams also. Here they are balanced out. In baseball, LSU and Texas A&M, Florida and South Carolina re the best, and here they are spaced out evenly. I forgot to add Vandy, but you get the point. This way the conference is balanced in all sports and it makes it fair for all 14 teams. Bama would get to play Florida and Georgia more while LSU gets to add Kentucky back as a yearly rival while enjoying Ole Miss, Arkansas and Texas A&M as yearly opponents and Florida would get the benefit of not having to play LSU every year (and vice versa) as they do now. While I am not reviewing the ladies sports, I think this would be fair for them too. Bama and Auburn have more ties to the East than the West (LSU and Bama are the exception). This realignment is fair IMO, and something I hope the SEC looks at beyond 2015. Hopefully for the good of the conference realignment happens, and soon.

#3 hcmv007


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Posted 02 June 2013 - 02:01 PM

I hope to start reviews soon, I just need to get the materials necessary and get to work. I will make a big change by going in depth with ALL teams like I do in my BCS level conference reviews, so mid majors you get the full treatment from me. I think that is only fair. But before I start I want to do a post mortum




RIP Western Athletic Conference



I remember being 6 years old and scratching my head on this question: Why was BYU the national champ? From then on I was fascinated by this Conference. They always seemed to have high powered offenses led by players like Ty Detmer, Marshall Faulk and so on. Heck, I even remeber Colorado St coming in to beat LSU back in 1992. Still ticked we lost that one. But I digress. To be truthful, at one time the WAC was THE superconference. 16 teams. Yep, they had 16. But the problem was it got too damn big. The Mountain West formed in a split, and the WAC was now half of what it was without BYU, Colorado St and so on. The last few years saw excitement. Boise St going to the BCS and knocking off Oklahoma, Hawaii going to the Sugar Bowl. Great memories, great times. But sadly it has come to an end. The WAC is gone, the remaining members trying to get in the Mountain West, Conference USA and the Sun Belt, and so on. The WAC will live on in the athletic banners in the stadiums and arenas of its former members, and in the future kids will ask "What is the WAC?" If I am asked I will hold it up as high as I do the old Southwestern Conference and speak on them with fond memories, respect and get back to the glory days of College Football. RIP Western Athletic Conference you will be missed.

Top 10 teams that can compete for a National Title that aren't in the SEC


Ohio St



Oregon St (not joking)

UCLA (again, not joking)




Florida St




I'd put Notre Dame on the list but losing their QB due to academics knocks them down a few pegs. I doubt the Irish make to a BCS level bowl this season

#4 hcmv007


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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:30 PM

Conference reviews to begin next week, I will start with the Independent Teams, followed by the Sun Belt, Conference USA, Mountain West, MAC, AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big 10, PAC 12, and then the SEC

#5 hcmv007


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Posted 03 August 2013 - 10:45 PM

2013 Independents Preview



Last season there were 4; this season there are 7. But Idaho and New Mexico St will be short lived as they find a conference home, and Old Dominion is in the ranks as an FBS level program. BYU and Notre Dame are at the top on talent and in name recognition, and BYU has a bonus having their own network, something Notre Dame has in a way with NBC. It will also be the end of an era for ND so to speak as they will play 6 ACC teams next season as they join that conference in all sports but football beginning next season. Teams are in alphabetical order.



Army Black Knights: HC-Rich Ellerson; OC-Ian Shields; Co-DC’s-Chris Smeland & Payam Saadat


Offense-7 starters return


Trent Steelman has moved on and is going to be replaced by AJ Schurr, who brings a passing wrinkle to the triple option offense, so expect a different look this season. 8 of the top 9 rushers are back this season, highlighted by Larry Dixon and Terry Baggett who should bring the speed. The O-Line is back, but with the average weight of the starters at 255.6 it’s the lightest in the FBS, and in a physical offense, that can be a problem.


Defense-8 starters return


Like the OL, the DL is also light, and that isn’t a good sign for a team that runs the 3-4. James Mackey anchors a veteran LB corps that should produce high tackling numbers while in the secondary its Tyler Dickson who leads the DB’s.


Key Game: Dec 14 against Navy

Outlook: No Notre Dame on the schedule, but tough games against Boston College, Stanford and Wake Forest will test this team physically. I would place a guess Ellerson is on the hot seat, but this team has the talent to make this offense dangerous, but 5-7 is my guess for the Black Knights this season



BYU Cougars-HC & DC Bronco Mendenhall; OC-Robert Anae


Offense-8 starters return


Taysom Hill should take over at QB, and he will be aided by TB Jamaal Williams and FB Michael Alisa, so expect to see a lot of 2 back sets this season. At WR Ross Apo and Cody Hoffman will make opposing DB’s guess on who to double team. TE is also a deep position and expect to see a lot of a 2 TE set with Kaneakua Friel and Marcus Matthews stretching the field. The OL grew up fast a year ago, but if injuries occur again they lack depth so they could see a lot of young players step in to fill the empty spots


Defense-4 starters return


The entire DL in BYU’s 3-4 scheme must be replaced. The good news is they have depth, and big guys, but not a lot of experience. The good news is that LB Kyle Van Noy is back, and he is a literal human highlight reel, and will offer leadership in the defense and for the other LB’s as well. CB Jordan Johnson and SS Daniel Sorenson anchor the secondary.


Key Game: Sept 7 hosting Texas

Outlook: If they get past Texas, BYU could be undefeated heading into hosting Boise St on Friday Oct 25. The end of the season is brutal with Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Nevada all on the road. 8-5 was the record last season, but I see a 9-3 regular season and another bowl trip for the Cougars.



Idaho Vandals: HC-Paul Petrino; OC-Kris Cinkovich; DC-Ronnie Lee


Offense-7 starters return


Idaho will have a new triggerman, but it’s a battle between Taylor Davis and Chad Chalich. RB James Baker is back, and should have depth with JUCO transfers Kris Olugbode and Jerrell Brown coming in. WR’s Jahrie Level & Roman Runner are fast, and should help the Vandals spread offense get yards and points. The OL has respectable size, but a lot of young depth so staying healthy will be crucial. The secret weapon however are the TE’s lead by Clayton Homme. If they get open look for some big plays.


Defense-4 starters return


The Vandals run a 4-3 and things look good on the DL as 6 lettermen return, but have limited starting experience, but the most on this defense. The LB’s are all going to have JUCO prospects projected at starters, so the info on this group is limited. The secondary which ranked 105 against the pass also will have new starters, but it looks to be Freshman and Sophomores here.


Key Game: October 26 at Ole Miss

Outlook: Paul Petrino ran a wide open spread offense at Arkansas, and hopes to replicate that in Idaho. But they don’t have SEC level talent to run it. You can’t do worse than 1-11, but Petrino is a 1st time HC and has put together a good staff. Idaho joins the Sun Belt next year, and this could be a chance for a unique run, but I see a small improvement as Idaho will go 3-9.


Navy Midshipmen: HC-Ken Niumatalolo; OC-Ivin Jasper; DC-Buddy Green


Offense-6 starters return


Keenan Reynolds returns to run the offense after being thrown in as the starting QB last season. His dual threat nature should help make Navy a bit more open offensively. RB’s are lead by Noah Copeland and converted QB Trey Miller takes over at Slot Back. WR’s aren’t much in the triple option, but Shawn Lynch is dangerous once he catches a pass. The OL has some size, which is why Navy has had success for the last decade they have run this offense.


Defense-7 starters return


Navy runs the 3-4 defense, and up front they have letterman experience as well as upperclassmen starters, but they are light averaging 268 across the front line. The LB’s have to really step up, and have 2 starters back lead by Cody Peterson. The Secondary gets 2 starters back as well.


Key Game: Dec 14 against Army

Outlook: Last season an experienced team except at QB Navy went 8-5. This season I am a bit more optimistic as to me only Pittsburgh and Notre Dame look to be definite losses. Air Force will be a toss up for Navy to claim another Commander In Chief Trophy, but 9-3 is reasonable for a softer schedule than they have had in the past.


New Mexico St Aggies: HC-Doug Martin; OC-Gregg Brandon; DC-David Elson


Offense-7 starters return


Gone is the run based offense and taking its place is a more wide open spread attack run by former Bowling Green HC Gregg Brandon. At QB it’s a 2 man race with Travaughn Connor and Andrew McDonald. WR’s are led by Austin Franklin, who could be a late round pick in the NFL Draft if he chooses to come out this season, and he puts up big numbers. RB’s are expected to have true freshman start as none of the vets impressed in spring. A surprising strength could be the OL which has size and quality depth


Defense-7 starters back


On paper this is a 3-4 defense, but in reality it’s a 4-3. The front 3 add a couple of transfers from other FBS schools, and Jack LB Kalei Auela is like a roving DE who can move around to give a 4th man illusion on the front. Trashaun Nixon anchors the LB corps, and has NFL prospects impressed by his speed and athleticism. The secondary is lead by LY’s leading tackler Davis Caveres who plays SS.


Key Game: Aug 31 at Texas

Outlook: Former HC DeWayne Walker left in February to take the Jacksonville Jaguars DB coach position and Doug Martin who was the OC was promoted in his place. While he has both coordinators with HC experience at other programs (Martin was Kent St HC from 2003-2009), he has a talented staff. But a brutal schedule awaits, and I don’t see them improving on last season’s 1-11 record. I expect the same again, but a more competitive team to move on to the Sun Belt next season. But I’ve said it before-unless NMSU can raise more $ and build facilities comparable to other big schools, you won’t get a winner here.


Notre Dame Fighting Irish: HC-Brian Kelly; OC-Chuck Martin; DC-Bob Diaco


Offense-5 starters back


Everett Golson was dismissed due to Academics for this season, so Tommy Rees steps in to replace him at QB. The Irish also return a strong OL anchored by LT Zach Martin. The WR’s have a lot of young players, and the Irish must also replace TE Tyler Eifert who is now in the NFL. The RB’s are led by George Atkinson, but also have a couple of true freshman who are expected to be in the mix.


Defense-8 starters back


Gone is All American Manti Te’o who led the Irish in tackles. The Iris LB corps should be strong enough to step up and Dan Fox should take over as the leader. The Irish next to Alabama has the best group of LB’s in the country, and should be strong. Also important to the success of the 3-4 defense is the DL, which has a lot of size and depth lead by NT Louis Nix. The secondary is also in good shape, so expect the Irish D to be near the level it played at a year ago.


Key Game: Sept 7 at Michigan

Outlook: Next season sees half the schedule being ACC schools, but the Irish have the toughest schedule in the country again this season outside the SEC schools. While I don’t the an unbeaten regular season in the mix, 10-2 isn’t impossible. Oklahoma, USC, Stanford, Pitt, Michigan St and Arizona St are on the schedule, and if they go 10-2 with that schedule another BCS bid is definite.


Old Dominion Monarchs: HC-Bobby Wilder; OC-Brian Scott; DC-Rich Nagy


Offense-9 starters back


QB Taylor Heinickie returns after having a stellar 2012, but this is a step up from the FCS to the FBS. The RB’s are a bit undersized, nobody over 200 lbs, but they are fast. The WR’s are led by Antonio Vaughn, who is undersized but remiscient of former NFL WR Steve Smith. The OL however has the size to contend in the FBS, so that will be their top weapon going into this season.


Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 of this 4-3 scheme has decent size, but not a lot of depth. The LB’s are a complete mystery, but if this was an FCS school I would consider them very strong. The secondary is just as big a mystery, not a lot of talent on this side, so they could be a susrprise or a nightmare


Key Game: Aug 31 at East Carolina

Outlook: ODU will join CUSA next season, so this is the perfect transition to the next level. They went 11-2 a year ago, but that was in the FCS. They could be like Troy who when they went up from the FCS competed and had a winning season, or they could be like Western Kentucky who rose up to the FBS and struggled for years. I’ll go the safe route and say this is a 5-7 team this season.

2013 Sun Belt Preview


The Sun Belt is moving up in not only membership but name recognition. Recruiting is improving across the board, and this season well known college coaches are on board at some of the schools. But who comes out on top this season?



8. Georgia St Panthers-HC Trent Miles; OC-Jeff Jagodzinski; DC-Jessie Minter




At QB there is a 4 way race, but Clay Chastain and Ronnie Bell look to be the top 2. RB’s are thin, and are a bit small in size also. The WR’s are good, led by Danny Williams and Jordan Giles. At the OL they return the most starters but have light depth, staying injury free will be necessary to keep their heads up. The secret weapon is TE Alex Smith, who has the size NFL scouts like, and if he can get thrown to more will be a big weapon to the Panthers.




The Panthers will run a 4-3 and have a strong front 4, while it lacks experience could be what holds this unit together. The LB’s have decent size, and the DB’s are led by upperclassman.


Key Game: Sept 14 at West Virginia

Outlook: This is a 4 yr old program started by Bill Curry, and now led by former Indiana St HC Miles. They jumped to the Sun Belt over the Colonial in the FCS and are making a big move. But will it pan out? Not in the short term. The Panthers went 1-11 on a softer schedule than this, and I hate to say it but this team has 0-12 written all over it.


7. Texas St Bobcats-HC Dennis Franchione; Co-OC’s-Mike Schultz & Jeff Conway; DC-Craig Nayvar


Offense-7 starters return


QB Taylor Arndt has the physical tools to succeed, but not the numbers to impress. He’s in a battle with Jordan Rhodes and Fred Nixon. RB’s seem to be relying on incoming players to carry the load, but WR’s are the strength and are led by Andy Erickson and Isaiah Battle. TE Kris Peterson is also a versatile target and decent run blocker. The OL is anchored by G Charlie Will Tuttle, who leads an experienced group.


Defense-8 starters return


The DL in the Bobcats 4-3 scheme have a lot of depth thanks to JUCO tranfers, and transfers from other FBS schools, led by DT DJ Vendry. The LB’s are athletic, and newcomer Michael Orapko expects to be the top player in the LB corps. The secondary is in good shape starting wise, but lack depth.


Key Game: August 31 at Southern Miss

Outlook: Moving from the WAC, and into the Sun Belt should see an easier schedule at least on the surface. It’s also not a hidden secret that Franchione is on the hot seat, but while transitioning to a new conference and despite that they have some talented players, this is a streaky team, as Texas St has historically been. They have the talent to go 7-5 or 8-4 but while I admit those are possible records, I see 4-8 as the record.


6. South Alabama Jaguars-HC Joey Jones; OC-Robert Matthews; DC-Kevin Sherrer


Offense-9 starters return


QB Ross Metheny should be the starter, but expect to hear from transfer Brandon Bridge as well. RB’s are loaded with depth, which is good since the offense is reliant on a strong running game. The WR’s are small, but fast and have experience. The OL is led by upperclassmen who have vast starting experience, so the offense should be able to be productive.


Defense-8 starters return


Former Alabama assistant Kevin Sherrer takes over as DC and his knowledge of the state of Alabama helps as far as recruiting and the 4-3 defense he brings in. The rush LB becomes the back side DE, so on paper it’s a 3-4 defense but once you’re on the field it looks like a 4-3. There are a lot of starters back, but the new scheme moves everyone around.


Key Game: Sept 14 hosting Western Kentucky

Outlook: LY was a growing up experience and the Panthers went 2-11. But with a better recruiting class and talented transfers coming in and being eligible, USA should be better. I will go out on a limb and say 4-8 is their record.


5. Arkansas St Red Wolves-HC Brian Harsin; Co-OC’s Elijah Drinkiwitz & Bush Hamdan; DC-John Thompson


Offense-6 starters return


QB Adam Kennedy takes over as the Red Wolves move from being a spread offense to a more multiple look this season. The RB’s are led by David Oku, and a few newcomers who hope to make names in the Sun Belt. The OL is the most solid part on this team, anchored by LT Aaron Williams. At WR they have good athletes, but their TE’s are very good as well, so expect to see a lot of 2 WR/2 TE sets this season


Defense-5 starters return


The Red Wolves still run the 3-4 and the DL is anchored by NG Ryan Carrethers, who is a decent NFL prospect. The secondary has some experience back led by FS Sterling Young. The big question mark is the LB corps which Qushawn Lee is the only returning starter


Key Game: Sept 7 at Auburn (against their previous HC)

Outlook: The last 3 yrs have seen HC’s who run spread offenses and have won the last 2 conference titles. New HC Bryan Harsin looks to run a more pro style offense like he ran at Boise St, but expect to see a few spread looks to maximize their speed. While they have a lot of talent, the big question is how the offense will transition, as the defense should be fine despite losing players due to graduation. If they beat Auburn, this could be another 9 win team but 6-6 is my prediction.


4. Troy Trojans-HC Larry Blakeney; OC-Kenny Edenfield; DC-Wayne Bolt


Offense-4 starters return


QB’s Corey Robinson & Deon Anthony are in a race to start, or possibly be part of a 2 QB system. Whoever wins out will have a solid group of WR’s to catch passes. BUT here’s the issue, the OL while scrappy is largely inexperienced and the RB’s are a bit thin. The biggest advantage is speed, so expect to see lots of bubble and slip screens to gain yardage


Defense-5 starters return


The back 7 has a lot of potential and the LB depth is solid. The biggest concern is a banged up front 4, which had poor play a season ago.


Key Game: Sept 12 at Arkansas St

Outlook: Despite losing starters to graduation, this is still a talented team. If the injury bug doesn’t bite the DL, this could be a good season as the tools to win are still here. The Trojans went 5-7 a year ago, and that is possible again but a light NC schedule (Ole Miss is a toughie) should help out. Troy should finish 7-5 this season


3. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers-HC Bobby Petrino; OC-Jeff Brohm; DC-Nick Holt


Offense-7 starters return


Brandon Doughty looks to be the starter at QB, and should blossom under this coaching staff. RB depth is solid as the former staff utilized a Stanford type offense to move the chains. The WR’s are a bit small, but the TE’s make up the size differential as the Hilltoppers move from the I-Formation to a more 2 WR/2 TE look offensively. The OL as you would expect from running a ground and pound offense successfully is pretty strong and has depth as well.


Defense-7 starters return


The 4-3 defense the Hilltoppers will run will mirror the USC defenses from the mid 2000’s as Nick Holt is a big splash hire to be the DC here. The front 4 is shakey, but the back 7 is very solid and has a lot of depth. They should be fine but if injuries occur in the front 4 it could be a long season


Key Game: Sept 7 against Kentucky in Nashville

Outlook: This was THE big hire in the Sun Belt and the country as well. Now Petrino won’t be here for long, but he should be able to maximize the talent already here. The offense will struggle at first transitioning to a more multiple look, but the defense will hold things up. Opening against Kentucky and Tennessee will be tough, but if they keep their heads this is a 7-5 team this year.


2. UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns-HC Mark Hudspeth; OC-Jay Johnson; DC-James Willis


Offense-7 starters return


BR native Terrence Broadway takes over at QB, and the Houston transfer got better as the season went on while Blaine Gauthier was hurt a year ago. The RB unit returns intact, and the OL is solid in the middle, but must find 2 new T’s to start, so they should be fine. WR Ricky Johnson & TE Ian Thompson will be the top targets.


Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 overachieved last season, and with 2 starters gone even a casual observer should have optimism. The LB’s are very good, as all 3 starters return. The secondary was the best in the conference and could be again.


Key Game: Nov 30 hosting UL Monroe

Outlook: While most publications have the Cajuns winning the Sun Belt, I am unsure about Broadway. The Cajuns start against Arkansas and Kansas St, and if Broadway gets off to a slow start, it could feel like a long season. The Cajuns should finish 8-4


1. UL Monroe Warhawks-HC Todd Berry; OC-Steve Farmer; DC-Troy Reffett


Offense-8 starters return


All you need to know is Kolton Browning is back at QB, and the Drew Brees of the Sun Belt leads a very potent and explosive offense. RB Jyruss Edwards returns to lead the RB corps but finding a new target to replace Brent Leonard won’t be the problem it appeared to be. 4 of the 5 starters from the OL are back, so this could be a huge season offensively.


Defense-9 starters return


The Warhawks are switching to the 3-4 but have a lot of depth and size on the front 3 so I expect the front 3 to be just fine. Cameron Blake anchors a solid LB corps while the secondary has many athletes to step in to role filling spots.


Key Game: Nov 30 at UL Lafayette

Outlook: This was the darling of the Sun Belt and after upsetting Arkansas and playing Auburn and Baylor to the wire they went to their 1st ever bowl game. But the 8-5 record must quickly be forgotten if they are to have success again. Oklahoma and Baylor are the NC toughies, but if they knock off Wake Forest, this is easily a 9-3 team.

#6 hcmv007


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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:06 PM

2013 MAC Preview


Northern Illinois joined the BCS Parade of non AQ’s going to the Orange Bowl a year ago. While many argued why they shouldn’t have gone, they still got there. Kent St almost made it had they beaten NIU, but both teams replace the HC’s that got them there. But this is the conference known as the “Cradle of Coaches” so the next big name HC’s are all here.



MAC East


7. Massachusetts Minutmen: HC-Charley Molnar; OC-John Band; DC-Phil Elmassian


Offense-4 starters return


It looks like the starting QB will be Mike Wegzyn, but expect competition from AJ Doyle and incoming freshman Todd Stafford. At RB it looks like a RB by committee led by true freshman Lorenzo Woodley and Stacey Bedell. WR’s need to establish themselves, as they lose 3 of the top 4 from a season ago. On the OL, expect to see a lot of freshman play this season.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 is VERY undersized, but they do have some depth so they should be well rested late in games. The LB corps is led by Tom Brandt, who has a couple young guys to mentor next to him. The secondary is going to be very young as it looks to be all sophomores.


Key Game: Oct 5 at Bowling Green

Outlook: Last season UMass went 1-11, and it looks more of the same. The 1st 4 games feature Wisconsin, K-State and Vandy, all teams that went to bowl games a year ago. Fortunately their conference schedule is manageable, but without the talent to contend I see another 1-11 season.


6. Akron Zips: HC-Tommy Bowden; OC-AJ Milwee; DC-Chuck Amato


Offense-7 starters return


A QB battle will brew in the fall, Kyle Pohl or Nick Hirschman will likely get the call. If RB Jawon Chisholm stays healthy he could have a big year. WR’s will be relying on incoming players so they’re hard to forecast. The OL returns 2 starters from a year ago.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 has decent size at DT, but light DE so it may as well be a 2-5 front disguised as a 4-3 front. The LB’s don’t have the experience but there are potentially good players here led by Wash St transfer CJ Mizell. The secondary returns 3 of their 4 starters from LY and should improve.


Key Game: Oct 5 hosting Ohio

Outlook: Going 1-11 a year ago, Tommy Bowden hired an OC so he could focus on the rest of the team. If you have to rely too much on transfers and incoming freshman its not a good sign for the upcoming season. The defense will have to carry this team, but since defenses in the MAC don’t rate highly, it’s going to be a long season. I predict 3-9 for the Zips, but a bright future


5. Kent State Golden Flashes: HC-Paul Haynes; OC-Brian Rock; DC-Brian George


Offense-6 starters return


At QB David Fisher gets to run the show, while Colin Reardon waits in the wings. RB Trayvion Durham brings rare power to this conference while SB Dri Archer is back and is the most dangerous all purpose player in the MAC. Leading WR Tyshon Goode is back, and the OLlooks to be down losing the entire left side of the line and its starting RT from a year ago.


Defense-5 starters return


Good news on the front 4-Roosevelt Nix is back to anchor that unit. At LB and in the secondary there are major questions as to who will step up, and can one of the worst pass defenses in the country make a noticeable improvement?


Key Game: Sept 14 at LSU

Outlook: Many expect a big step back from a team that went 11-2 and lost their HC to another job. Paul Haynes is a defensive guy, but the offense and defense are making scheme changes that can slow development down. They play LSU and Penn St in back to back weeks, and if they get through that without any major injuries they might make some noise again, but this team can’t replicate last season so I will predict 4-8.


4. Miami, Ohio Redhawks: HC-Dan Treadwell; OC-John Klacik; DC-Jay Peterson


Offense-8 starters return


QB Austin Boucher takes over, but keep an eye on Austin Gearing. RB’s need to get better, but Jamire Westbrook will be tough to bring down, as long as the OL can open holes & with 4 starters back they should be better up front. WR Nick Harwell is back, and if he can stay healthy look for a huge season for the Redhawks


Defense-6 starters back


Good news for the front 4 is Austin Brown is back at DT, so the DL should be in good shape-if he can stay healthy. Chris Wade anchors an inexperienced group at the LB positions, and the secondary is back but must improve in pass defense.


Key Game: Oct 5 hosting Central Michigan

Outlook: The NC slate is Marshall, Kentucky & Illinois on the road with Cincy at home. Not too tough a slate. The tough CG’s are at home-Bowling Green, Buffalo & Central Michigan. LY they went 4-8 but I think this team can go 6-6 or 7-5.


3. Ohio Bobcats: HC-Frank Solich; Co-OC’s-Tim Albin & Gerry Gdowski; DC-Jimmy Burrow


Offense-7 starters return


QB Tyler Tettleton is back, and so is the rest of his backfield. The OL has 3 starters back, while the WR’s look to be solid with Donte Foster back. There is a lot of upperclassmen starting here so this is the strength of this team.


Defense-5 starters return


The front 4 is basically a brand new unit, but the projected starters are all letterman from a year ago. Only 1 LB returns as a starter, but the entire secondary is back, which is good news as this is where they have the most depth.


Key Game: Nov 12 at Bowling Green

Outlook: This could be a team that improves on last season’s 9-4 record, but they could also drop to 7-5 just as easily. Ohio is a hard team to predict, while they have a lot of talent in key positions, their only hope is to keep other offenses off the field. If the front 4 can put on the pressure, this could be a 9 win team, but I will go safe and say it’s a 7-5 record as a brutal road schedule in conference play will do them in.


2. Buffalo Bulls: HC-Jeff Quinn; OC-Alex Wood; DC-Lou Tepper


Offense-9 starters return


Finding a QB will be a need, and it looks like Joe Licata and Alex Zordich will battle for that spot. RB Brandon Oliver is back, and leads a healthy group at this position. Only the OL loses starters, but with the depth they have this group should be alright. The Bulls WR’s are all over 6 feet tall and can run, plus they have an NFL sized TE in Jimmy Gordon who will stretch defenses and cause headaches for the MAC.


Defense-7 starters back


DE Colby Way anchors the front 3, which has decent size up front. The LB’s in Tepper’s 3-4 scheme are interesting as there is a rush LB and a drop LB. One thing about Tepper is the LB’s should be well coached as that is his specialty but you really need to have smarts to play for him as his scheme is very complex. CB depth is an asset for the DB’s as the Safety’s are led by Witney Sherry.


Key Game: Aug 31 at Ohio St

Outlook: If they can get through a tough NC slate with a 2-2 record, the Bulls can make a possible conference title run. These players have all had 3 yrs in the offensive scheme so there should be no problems there. Tepper’s defense as I pointed out is very hard to learn, but as this is his 2nd season there should be improvement. I think they can flip-flop to an 8-4 record this season.

1. Bowling Green Falcons: HC-Dave Clawson; OC-Warren Ruggiero; DC-Mike Elko


Offense-10 starters return


QB Matt Schilz is back to lead an explosive offense, and that is good news. Only the OL loses a starter so the rest of this group is intact. Look for WR’s Chris Gallon and Shaun Joplin to put up big numbers with RB Andre Givens to pace the ground game.


Defense-9 starters return


The front 4 has very good size for a MAC team, heck some SEC teams wouldn’t mind having some of the size they have. But BGSU runs a 4-2-5 scheme so they are able to hide pressure very well. All 5 DB’s return so expect a vastly improved defense this season.


Key Game: Nov 12 hosting Ohio

Outlook: LY Bowling Green quietly went 8-5 having a revamped defense and an offense that many were unsure about. They won’t be able to surprise anyone, but with the most veteran team in the MAC, and only Tulsa and Mississippi St as the tough NC games this is a 10-2 team but I will guess 9-3 as the record as they will lose a game they shouldn’t.



MAC West


6. Eastern Michigan Eagles: HC & DC-Ron English; OC-Stan Parrish


Offense-8 starters return


The Eagles offense looks surprisingly solid, led by QB Tyler Benz, who IMO could start for a couple of Big 10 and SEC schools. RB Bronson Hill returns and has a solid group of RB’s behind him so finding someone else to hand off too shouldn’t be a problem. The OL has good size, but must replace the entire left side, which is a challenge. The top WR from LY is gone, but they return their top 2-7 so this should be a productive unit led by Donald Scott


Defense-5 starters return


The front 3 was a very young unit LY, so while they have grown up a bit, they are undersized in this hybrid 3-4 scheme that they run, having a LB take the place of the backside DE, so on paper it looks 3-4 but on the field it’s a 4-3 look. LB Sean Kurtz leads a less experienced LB corps, and the secondary is the strong suit for experience, playing time and depth on this side.


Key Game: Sept 21 hosting Ball State

Outlook: HC Ron English is on the hot seat, with this team coming off a 2-10 record. While English hasn’t won a lot here, he has this program in the position to contend at some point. The defense is going to be young, which could lead to some early mistakes. The NC slate is Penn St & Rutgers being the road tests, with Howard early in the year and Army later on, so they should go 2-2 there, and the conference slate has road games at N. Illinois and Buffalo which are tough. I will go out on a limb and say even at 5-7 Ron English keeps his job safe for another year but anything less and there will be a change.


5. Western Michigan Broncos: HC-PJ Fleck; OC-Kirk Ciarroca; DC-Ed Pinkman


Offense-5 starters return


There’s a QB battle brewing b/t Tyler Van Tubbergan & Anthony Maddie. The RB’s are young but expect Brian Fields to get things going in the beginning. The interior of the OL is veteran, but young at the tackle’s. The WR’s are mostly intact from LY so whoever gets the start has a good group to throw to.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 is led by DT Travonte Boles, but around him there is little experience. The LB’s are going to be intriguing in the conversion to the 4-3 from the 3-4, but former DB Kyle Lark moving to WLB should give a strong pass rush, and their top tackler a year ago. The secondary has some good athletes, led by Justin Currie, who might declare early for the NFL if he has a good season


Key Game: Aug 30 at Michigan St

Outlook: The NC slate is a killer and all on the road: Michigan St, Iowa and Northwestern. Ouch. Nicholls St is an easy home win, but the tough conference games are at home, so there is a chance to pick up some wins. I don’t know if PJ Fleck is the right guy to lead this team after Bill Cupit was let go, but he will be able to win at least 5 games so I will predict 5-7.


4. Central Michigan Chippewas: HC-Dan Enos; OC-Mike Cummings; DC-Joe Tumpkin


Offense-6 starters return


At QB it looks like JUCO transfer Cody Kater will take over, but don’t be surprised if Alex Nizak takes over as he is a good runner. The RB position is stacked as this is the best group in the MAC led by Zurlon Tipton who I think is a solid 3rd round pick unless he has a huge year in which his draft stock goes up. The good news on the OL is giant Jake Olson is back, but they need to stay injury free. Titus Davis and Andrew Flory are the targets at WR and should make some big plays.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 has half of their starters back, and a lot of young players so it’s a crap-shoot on how well they will perform. The LB’s are strong, but keep note this is a 4-2-5 defense. The secondary looks very good, and has a strong 2 deep.


Key Game: Aug 30 at Michigan

Outlook: This was a 7-6 team a year ago, and while some may think the Chippewas will step back, I think they make a slight move forward. The NC slate has Michigan as a toughie and NC State as a possible upset but UNLV and New Hampshire are easy wins. A hard road shchedule awaits, and if it weren’t for that I would have them in the top 3 but they are on the outside looking in and should go 7-5.


3. Toledo Rockets: HC-Matt Campbell; Co-OC’s: Jason Candle & Louis Ayeni; DC-Tom Matukewicz


Offense-9 starters return


QB Terrance Owens has a lot of potential, but largely inconsistent. However I think he should do well in his Senior year. RB David Fluellen should put up good numbers, but with added depth they won’t look as good as they did LY. The WR’s are all back, but finding a new TE will be the only problem here. The OL is in excellent shape, and if they keep Owens healthy put up big offensive numbers once again.


Defense-4 starters return


DT Robert Zimmerman is a beast at 6’3 325. If he stays healthy this could be a great front 4. The 3 LB’s are good players, but depth is lacking. 5 of the top 8 in the secondary’s 2 deep from a year ago are back and this is the strong group led by CB Cheathum Norrils.


Key Game: Aug 31 at Florida

Outlook: Toledo plays Florida and Missouri to start the season, not an easy start, and host Navy later in the year which could be a toss up game. The good news is Buffalo and Northern Illinois are home games so upsetting one of those 2 is possible, but Bowling Green and Ball St are tough road games. This isn’t a 9-4 team like they were a season ago, but 8-4 is my pick.


2. Ball St Cardinals: HC-Pete Lembo; OC-Rich Strosky; DC-Jay Bateman


Offense-7 starters return


Keith Wenning takes over at QB, but expect Ozzie Mann to get some playing time as well. At RB, Jahwan Edwards and Horactio Banks are the veterans who will lead younger players in the fold. At the OL there are some questions, as the depth is very young and lack game experience which is why I think many porjections for the Cardinals are low. At WR, there are some small guys, but they are fast, and their backups are young and tall, and this group should put up big numbers again.


Defense-6 starters return


The DE is led by Jonathan Newsome and while he is undersized at the postion (6’3 236) he is a heckuva player. Nathan Ollie is a good DT and this combo is one to watch. The LB’s are a question mark as there is a lack of starting/game experience but they should be fine. The secondary is a solid unit that got better as LY went on and should continue that trend in 2013.


Key Game: Nov 13 at Northern Illinois

Outlook: The Fighting David Letterman’s should be just fine. The NC schedule only has Virginia as a heavy, and that could be a win. It all comes down to Nov 13, if they beat Northern Illinois they could win the division. LY this team overachieved and went 9-4, this season they should easily replicate LY’s 9-3 record, despite losses in the OL and LB corps.


1. Northern Illinois Huskies: HC-Rod Carey; OC-Bob Cole; DC-Jay Niemann


Offense-8 starters return


QB Jordan Lynch reminds me of Saints QB Drew Brees, same height, and the same build & just as tough. At RB Akeem Daniels headlines a strong group and a couple of good incoming freshmen as well. Tommylee Lewis is the top WR back, so this group might drop off slightly. The OL is one of the best in the conference and should keep things smooth while developing  some new targets in the passing game and opening running lanes.


Defense-4 starters return


The front 4 while returning only 1 starter does return a strong group of role players who accounted for 16.5 sacks a year ago, which is impressive. The LB’s might be the lone weak link in this talented defense. The secondary is good, but only return 2 starters so they might not be up to snuff early, but will grow.


Key Game: Nov 13 hosting Ball State

Outlook: The NC slate features Iowa & Purdue, which will both be challenges but also winnable. Will they replicate last seasons excellent record? No. But this is the top team in the MAC once again and will finish with an excellent 10-2 record


MAC Championship Game: Bowling Green vs Northern Illinois

MAC Champ: Northern Illinois

#7 hcmv007


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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:29 PM

2013 Mountain West Conference Preview



Expansion has come to the MWC, and one member, Boise St, even flirted with joining another conference. A new look also comes, 12 teams and a conference championship game, which will be held at the school whose team has the best record. This is a wide open conference that has at least 4-5 teams that can easily win the MWC, and more importantly, the division names are easy, simple and fit the conference perfectly. Take note Big 10.


Mountain Division


6. New Mexico Lobos: HC-Bob Davie; OC-Bob DeBesse; DC-Jeff Mills


Offense-6 starters return


At QB it looks like Cole Gautsche is the starter, but behind him are freshmen, so he will need to stay healthy. RB is the bright spot of this team, led by Kasey Carrier, who was 2nd in rushing in the MW LY. The OL returns 4 of their 5 starters from LY, but the WR’s lost their top 2 from LY. With the worst passing attack in the MWC this part of the offense must improve as the ground game can’t carry this team by itself.


Defense- 4 starters return


NT Jacori Greer anchors the front 3, but he is the lone starter back on the front. The LB’s have a lot of game experience but not starting experience, but should be decent. The secondary lacks experience as well, but have some young players who should be able to step up and slowly improve as the season wears on.


Key Game: Sept 14 at Pittsburgh

Outlook: Bob Davie made people raise their eyebrows when hired here, and they got off to a 4-3 start, but a weak passing game and defensive mistakes doomed them as the Lobos finished LY with a 4-9 record. TY things might be a little better, but I am not expecting much difference as I will predict 4-8.


5. Wyoming Cowboys: HC &OC-Dave Christensen; DC-Chris Tormey


Offense-7 starters return


QB Brett Smith was banged up a lot LY, so if he gets nicked again the Cowboys won’t have the QB issues they did a year ago. RB DJ May leads a very solid backfield that utilizes a RB by committee approach, and the OL has only 2 starters back but is solidified by JUCO’s who should fill the gaps. The WR corps may be the most underrated as everyone is back, so look for Robert Herron and Trey Norman to have big numbers.


Defense-7 starters back


This is a unit that on paper is a 3-4, but the field look is a 4-3. NT Uso Olive is a massive presence on the DL, and they will need it b/c this was the weak link in the defense LY. The LB’s & DB’s have a lot of experience so while they are athletic the pressure is on the front to do its job.


Key Game: Aug 31 at Nebraska

Outlook: Dave Christensen is on the hot seat, no surprise as he has been in this position before. This season could be a wild one, they could shock everyone and go 8-4 very easily since aside from the opener the NC schedule is pretty weak. In CP they get Fresno St, Boise St, Hawaii and Utah St to wrap up the season. I will go out on a limb and say 6-6 is the record. But is it enough for Christensen to keep his job? That remains to be seen.


4. Colorado St Rams: HC-Jim McElwain; OC-Dave Baldwin; Co-DC’s-Al Simmons & Marty English


Offense-9 starters return


Conner Smith is back at QB, and leads a young but talented group. If RB Chris Nwoke stays healthy he can top 1,000 yds, and has some more young players behind him to shoulder the load. 4 of the top 6 WR’s are back from LY and the OL looks more solid TY as well.


Defense-8 starters return


The front 3 did well LY, and should be fine TY thanks to JUCO transfers and solid recruiting. The LB’s are led by Shaquil Barrett who is someone you need to keep your eyes out for in the NFL Draft next May. The secondary has good depth, as well.


Key Game: Sept 21 at Alabama

Outlook: The key word is young, which this CSU team certainly is. However the incoming talent is getting better and better so this is a program slowly on the rise. The Bama game will determine how good this team is. If they knock off in state rival Colorado in the opener, look for this team to maybe put together 7 wins. I think 7-5 is safe.


3. Air Force Falcons: HC-Troy Calhoun; Co-OC’s-Blane Morgan, Clay Hendrix, Mike Thiessen; Co-DC’s-Charlton Warren & Steve Russ


Offense-4 starters return


QB Jaleel Awini is back, and for an option based offensive attack that IMO is the best thing for this type of offense. TB Jon Lee is the leading returning rusher, but the stable is behind him is healthy. The OL is bolstered by recruits, however these guys are much bigger than their starters who are on the light side, but are athletic enough to make this offense work. TE Marcus Hendricks has NFL caliber size and speed but needs more receptions (had 7 LY). The WR’s don’t get much attention but if the passing game improves watch out as they Falcons could become dangerous.


Defense-6 starters back


The front 3 is back, so expect big numbers from this group, and they will have to since the LB’s are a big question mark. The DB’s should be a strength as well, led by Steffon Batts.


Key Game: Sept 7 hosting Utah St

Outlook: Service Academies do well running system based offenses, so despite the low number of starters returning its easy to learn this offense, no worries from me there. The defense is in decent shape, but the LB’s are a huge gap in what looks to be a good defense. I am going out on a limb predicting an 8-4 record but I will.


2. Boise St Broncos: HC-Chris Petersen; OC-Robert Prince; DC-Pete Kwiatkowski


Offense-5 starters return


As much as Air Force has a system offense, so does Boise St. QB Joe Southwick is back, so that is the good news. RB Jay Ajayi is a physical beast, and the top 2 WR’s from LY are back. The OL is a huge question but given their recent success in recruiting and in the W-L column I wouldn’t panic.


Defense- 4 starters return


The front 4 and the secondary is not too experienced, but again this shouldn’t be a problem. The LB’s are a solid group and return intact from LY.


Key Game: Oct 12 at Utah St

Outlook:  In the past BSU has played a team from a major conference, TY its Washington, who isn’t weak but isn’t strong either. BYU is also a challenge, their biggest IMO. Still its going to come down to the road schedule, and if they knock off Utah St they win the Mountain Division, but I don’t think it will happen, but I do think a 9-3 record is easy, possibly 10-2.


1. Utah St Aggies: HC-Mike Wells; Co-OC’s-Kevin McGiven and Luke Wells; DC-Todd Orlando


Offense-7 starters return


QB Chuckie Keeton is one of the best option QB’s in the country, but he is also a good passer making him a dual threat. The RB’s are going to be a work in progress, and the WR’s have huge question marks, but there is a lot of talent. The OL is intact, and has strong depth so I expect the offense to produce while protecting Keeton.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 3  is the beast of this defense, all 4 are back, led by DE Connor Williams. The LB’s have a lot of speed and depth, a must for a 3-4 defense. The secondary has question marks but I think things will be just fine here.


Key Game: Oct 12 hosting Boise St

Outlook: Mike Wells inherits a very talented team from his predecessor Gary Andersen. On offense they need to find who can catch and run, but with a strong defense that shouldn’t be a problem, and having Keeton helming the offense isn’t going to be a problem. It is very possible the Aggies can repeat their 11-2 record from LY so I will predict a 10-2 finish.


West Division


6. UNLV Rebels: HC-Bobby Hauck; OC-Timm Rosenbach; DC-Tim Hauck


Offense-9 starters return


QB Nick Sherry has potential to be an NFL QB one day, and his play was a bright spot at times LY but also a sore spot with some bad plays late in games. RB Tim Cornett leads a very good group of RB’s while the OL is solid and has very good size. WR Devante Davis and TE Jake Phillips make a great duo to pass to, and should put up big numbers again.


Defense-9 starters return


The front 4 is in great shape numbers wise, as this group looks to be the heart of this defense. The LB’s and secondary are in great shape numbers wise.


Key Game: Aug 29 at Minnesota

Outlook: UNLV can be a good program, but badly need to upgrade their athletic facilities. That has been part of their problem. While Hauck is a good recruiter, he has only won 6 games the last 3 seasons here, and is on a very warm seat TY. While this is his best team by far, they will be hard pressed to challenge in this conference, but should win at least 4 games, but I doubt going 4-8 saves Bobby Hauck’s job.


5. Hawaii Warriors: HC-Norm Chow; OC-Aaron Price; DC-Thom Kaumeyer


Offense-8 starters return


Taylor Graham has the physical presence you would want to run your offense (6’5 235), but he had a down year LY so I expect him to make improvements at the QB spot. RB Joey Iosefa is another beast at RB, so he should keep defenses honest. 3 of their 5 starters from LY on the OL are back, and with some new recruits this should be a solid group. The WR’s have their top 2 back, and added some JUCO’s as well so look for improved production overall.


Defense-8 starters return


The front 4 is helped by new recruits and by 2 returning starters. The LB’s are helped by JUCO’s to boost their numbers, and the secondary is in good shape also.


Key Game: Aug 29 hosting USC

Outlook: Norm Chow waited a long time to be a HC, but failed in his first season to produce with a talented team. TY the outlook is more positive, but starting the season with USC and Oregon St may be a bit too much. I don’t think the offense will struggle, but the defense is a concern, despite the players returning. Hawaii will not only rely on their JUCO transfers but some freshman as well to step up, the building process continues but things look good for the future as I see a 5-7 record this season.


4. Nevada Wolfpack: HC-Brian Polian; OC-Nick Rolovich; DC-Scottie Hazelton


Offense-6 starters return


Cody Fajardo is a talented athletic QB, and he is back, and he is also the returning leading rusher which is not good. Finding a RB to take pressure of Fajardo is a must. The top 2 WR’s are back, but the OL is down as they need to find 4 new starters


Defense-5 starters return


The front 4 is the strength of this unit, and will need to carry the Wolfpack TY. The LB’s have nobody with starting experience so this will be the Achilles Heel of the defense. The secondary is in somewhat decent shape, but gave up too many big plays a year ago.


Key Game: Aug 31 at UCLA

Outlook: I don’t expect the offense to drop off even with a new HC, and they will not be abandoning the Pistol offense, but expanding the playbook so once they find an RB they will be in good shape. The defense is the biggest ? mark as this team has the talent on offense to do well, but the defense is too big a question so I will be safe predicting 6-6.


3. San Jose St Spartans: HC-Ron Caragher; OC-Jimmie Dougherty; DC-Kenwick Thompson


Offense-7 starters return


QB David Fales is one of the best QB’s in the conference so his return is welcomed, and needed. Tyler Ervin is the top returning rusher, but the RB’s behind him are less experienced. The OL is a bit thin on depth but good on the players returning and the WR’s return the top player from LY and 4 of their top 5 are back.


Defense-5 starters return


The front 3 will be hard pressed to replicate last season’s success, since most of those players are gone and they step up in level of competition. The LB’s are the strength of this unit, as they return intact but are switching to a 3-4 scheme. Like the front, the secondary is inexperienced but has some good athletes to help out.


Key Game: Sept 7 at Stanford

Outlook: Ron Caragher took over San Diego after Jim Harbaugh left for Stanford, so he will bring that style offense and defense to San Jose St. he inherits a surprise team that should do well upgrading from the WAC, but even with increased competition should hold their own, but they are behind the top 2 in this division and should find a way to finish 7-5.


2. San Diego St Aztecs: HC & DC-Rocky Long; OC-Bob Toledo


Offense-6 starters return


Adam Dingwell goes from being a Wildcat QB to a full timer, which if the last 4 games LY are any indication he will do just fine. RB Adam Muema is the best RB in the MWC, and should be productive once again, even with an OL that is a bit sketchy. The WR’s are not as experienced so they will have to step up immediately in order to be effective enough to take pressure off the run game.


Defense-9 starters return


The 3-3-5 has been kind to Rocky Long for a good while, and the front 3 is very solid at speed and size. 7 of the top 8 at LB are back, and the secondary loses their CB’s from LY but should be stable.


Key Game: Sept 7 at Ohio St

Outlook: Bob Toledo should bring a more balanced approach to the Aztec offense, and the running game should benefit right away. Make no mistake, the defense will carry this team once again, and TY they will need it. Ohio St and Oregon St highlight a tough NC schedule while the tough games in CP are at home (Fresno, Boise). I will go out on a limb and say 8-4.


1. Fresno St Bulldogs: HC-Tim DeRuyter; OC-David Schramm; DC-Nick Toth


Offense-8 starters return


QB Derek Carr is back for his senior season, and he is the top QB in the MWC. RB’s may see production decrease as they need to find someone to step up, which looks to be BYU transfer Josh Quezeda. 5 of the top 6 WR’s are back TY including the top 2 from LY, while the OL is led by LT Austin Wentworth.


Defense-8 starters return


The front 3 of this 3-4 defense look to be very strong as only 1 starter is gone from LY. The LB’s are led by Jeremiah Toma and Patrick Su’a who really give OC’s headaches. The secondary is in good shape, but overachieved a year ago.


Key Game: Oct 26 at San Diego St

Outlook: Tim DeRuyter revived a sleeping giant LY taking Fresno St to a 9-4 record. TY expectations are high as they have one of the most talented team in the MWC and have a weak NC schedule. It could come to the road schedule as only San Jose St and San Diego St are the road tests while the other tough games are at home. I will go out on a limb and say 11-1 is the record.


Mountain West Championship Game: Utah St vs Fresno St


Mountain West Champion: Fresno St Bulldogs

#8 hcmv007


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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:59 PM

2013 American Athletic Conference Preview



The artist formerly known as the Big East is going through some major changes. After this season, Louisville and Rutgers will depart. Pittsburgh and Syracuse have bolted for the ACC, while Memphis, South Florida and Central Florida are new additions. I am rating this as a conference to watch as this should be a very competitive race to see who finishes on top.



10, Memphis Tigers: HC: Justin Fuente; OC-Darrell Dickey; DC-Barry Odom


Offense-8 starters return


Jacob Karam looks to be the starter, but should get pushed by Paxton Lynch & Eric Matthews. Between Karam and Matthews LY they accounted for only 3 picks, a very impressive stat. RB’s Brandon Hayes & Jai Steib are back for their senior year, but losing 3 starters on the OL could be an early season issue. Replacing LY’s leading WR Eric Rucker falls to Keiwone Malone & TE Alan Cross


Defense-8 starters return


The front 3 is impressive on the eye and paper test, but the backups are a bit light but this should be a strong unit overall. The LB’s look to be a work in progress but retain one of their top tacklers in Tank Jakes who is a back up, but return top tacklers Charles Harris and Anthony Brown. The secondary will be a weakness, but if the front 7 puts on pressure it should compensate for this weakness


Key Game: Oct 5 hosting UCF

Outlook: Justin Fuente stepped into a mess LY when he took over and doubled the win output from 2011. Not bad, but if the Tigers are going to improve it will be a slow process. The NC slate is highlighted by Duke in their opener on Sept 7. In CP they have late road tests at South Florida, Louisville and UConn. LY Memphis had the top defense in the CUSA, but will struggle to have that in the AAC, so I think 5-7 is the best this team can do.


9. South Florida Bulls: HC-Willie Taggart; OC-Walt Wells; DC-Chuck Bresnahan


Offense-6 starters return


Matt Floyd and Bobby Eveld are in a QB battle, but after Spring Eveld had a slight edge. The RB’s are largely inexperienced and losing their top 2 from LY will take some time to replace. The OL needs to find a new RG and LT so expect growing pains there. The top 3 WR’s are back, led by Andre Davis so this should be one aspect not to be concerned about.


Defense-7 starters return


DE tandem Aaron Lynch and Ryne Giddens lead a talented front 4, something the Bulls have almost always seem to have. The LB corps looks strong led by DeDe Lattimore, and they have some depth at this position. The secondary which played poorly a season ago should benefit the most from the coaching change.


Key Game: Sept 28 hosting Miami, FL

Outlook: LY this was my biggest disappointment. While I am not too high on the Bulls, there is some talent here. Willie Taggart was a surprise hire, but bringing in Chuck Bresnahan as the DC is one of the best hires in all of college football as that unit should rapidly improve. Installing the Jim Harbaugh Stanford offense here will not be as time consuming since the previous regime had a pro style offense. But I think 5-7 is the logical record, given a tough NC schedule that also features Michigan St and 2 late games on the road to end the season at UCF and Rutgers.



8. Temple Owls: HC-Matt Rhule; OC-Marcus Satterfield; DC-Phil Snow


Offense-8 starters return


QB battle is brewing with Connor Reilly and Kevin Newsome with Reilly on top for now. Projected starter at HB Chris Coyer is a converted QB, and RB Kenneth Harper headlines an inexperienced group at that position. C Sean Boyle headlines a young OL while the WR’s lose their former TE Cody Booth to the LT position, but have some new arrivals who should make waves, but leading WR from LY Jalen Fitzpatrick is back.


Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 is going to rely on new starters, but they have plenty of game experience, just not as starters. The LB’s are led by Nate Smith, who is a player to watch. The secondary is coming off a rough year, but are also an inexperienced group, so this will be rough early on.


Key Game: Aug 31 at Notre Dame

Outlook: While most think Temple is going to finish last, I think they will have a little bit of a better year than most think. While the offense will transition from a run first to a pass first approach, the defense isn’t making any big philosophical change in scheme so I think we’ll see a team capable of surprising people. ND is a tough NC game, as is Houston, but it is possible for this team to go 6-6 since the CP features a good road/home mix.


7. Connecticut Huskies: HC-Paul Pasqualoni; OC-TJ Weist; DC-Hank Hughes


Offense-8 starters back


QB is a battle b/t Chandler Whitmer (who had the edge in spring) and Casey Cochran. Look for one of the true freshman to also come in to compete (Danny Boyle or Richard Lagow). RB Lyle McCombs is small but fast and was 2nd team Big East LY, but his backup Max DeLorenzo is the thunder to McCombs lightning. The OL disappointed LY but is mostly back TY so I think they will be a little better. The WR’s have Geramy Davis returning, but he is going to need some help so somebody has to step up.


Defense-5 starters back


The front 7 has only 3 starters back from LY, but are aided by projected starters who have game experience. The secondary is the strong unit of this defense.


Key Game: Nov 8 hosting Louisville

Outlook: The NC slate is highlighted by Maryland on Spet 14 (playing their former HC in that game) and Michigan the week after. They could be 3-1 going into CP and while their conference record may not be good, this could be a 6-6 team.


6. Cincinnati Bearcats: HC-Tommy Tuberville; OC-Eddie Gran; DC-Art Kaufman


Offense-7 starters return


Munchie Legeaux and Brendon Kay are battling it out at QB, but I give Legueaux the edge. RB is wide open, as that too is an open position. The OL is in great shape as only 1 starter needs to be replaced, and they have young depth here as well. The top returner at WR Anthony McClung was tied for 2nd LY in receptions and should be the top player this season at that position.


Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 will be aided by newcomers so I really can’t tell you much about them right now. The LB’s are a big strength and led by Greg Blair and FSU transfer Jeff Luc look for this to be a productive unit. The secondary is as experienced as the front 4 so lots of growing pains here.


Key Game: Dec 5 at Louisville

Outlook: Butch Jones left Cincy for Tennessee and the SEC so Cincy lured Tommy Tuberville in a head scratching move away from Texas Tech (prior Ole Miss and Auburn HC).  While Cincy will look the same on offense, they will be more of a running team and with 2 of their top 4 rushers last season were QB’s this should feel normal. The defense is inexperienced but Tuberville is a great defensive coach, and should improve them as the season goes on. This wont be a 10 win team, but 7-5 is my prediction as they will fall down a bit this season but should be improving in the future, as long as Tuberville stays there.


5. SMU Mustangs: HC & OC June Jones; DC-Tom Mason


Offense-6 starters back


QB Garrett Gilbert is back, so the triggerman in this Run and Shoot offense should put up big numbers once again. Gilbert is also the returning lead rusher, so somebody at RB needs to step up since the top rusher from LY Zach Line is gone. The OL has some nice size, and only lost 2 starters so this group should be alright. Jeremy Johnson is the top returning WR (2nd on team LY) and with the addition of Hal Mumme as the pass game coordinator , so this Run and Shoot offense might have an Air Raid influence as Mumme originated that offense and it’s being used at numerous schools (Cal, Kentucky, Texas Tech, Washington St, West Virginia).


Defense-5 starters back


The front 3 is a big question, and since they don’t have a lot of size; the LB’s have the same issues. The secondary while talented will be tested if the front 7 can’t get pressure, but Kenneth Acker and Jay Scott will be up to the task.


Key Game: Aug 30 hosting Texas Tech

Outlook: In NC play, Texas Tech, TCU and Texas A&M give the Mustangs a taste of the good ole Southwest Conference echoes. Rutgers opens CP, but they don’t get Louisville so I think this could be a team that goes anywhere from 7-5 to 9-3 but to be safe I’m going with 8-4.


5. Houston Cougars: HC-Tony Levine; OC-Doug Meachum; DC-David Gibbs


Offense-10 starters return


QB is wide open, anyone including an incoming freshman could start, and that is the lone ? on this side of the ball. Whoever starts will have a strong OL, RB Charles Sims to hand off to, and Dewayne Peace to catch his passes.


Defense-5 starters back


The front 4 only has 1 starter back, Joey Mbu who is a pretty good DT. The LB’s will rely on LSU transfer Trevon Randle to help out this unit which is also lacking experience. The secondary is in very good shape, and FS Trevon Stewart looks to build on his freshman success.


Key Game: Sept 7 at Temple

Outlook: Houston’s weak NC slate should help out, but BYU in the middle of CP will be a toughie. Look for the finale hosting Cincy on Nov 29 to see if Houston can get some success. They went 5-7 transitioning from Kevin Sumlin, but I think 8-4 is possible TY.


3. Central Florida Knights: HC-George O’Leary; OC-Charlie Taaffe; DC-Jim Fleming


Offense-7 starters return


Blake Bortles and Tyler Gabbart are duking it out at QB, but Bortles has the edge. Storm Johnson is the man at RB this season,  but the OL here is always the strongest part of this team even if they don’t return a lot of starters so all things here are good. WR’s Breshard Perriman and JJ Worton bring a lot of speed and explosiveness to make DC’s stay up late at night.


Defense-5 starters return


 The front 4 looks to be the strength of this defense, and DT EJ Dunston is a beast (6’2 309). The LB’s are a ? but should be better later on. The secondary is always in good shape, and they look to be again this season as well. Under O’Leary the Knights have had very good defenses.


Key Game: Oct 18 at Louisville

Outlook: Despite being in CUSA, I see this team making a big splash in the AAC. In NC slate, Penn St could be an upset, while I don’t think they can beat S Carolina I think it will be a close game. They get Louisville and Houston in CP, but should be able to find a way to go 8-4 or 9-3 as this will be a surprise team.


2. Rutgers Scarlet Knights: HC-Kyle Flood; OC-Ron Prince; DC-Dave Cohen


Offense-6 starters return


QB Gary Nova is back, and he should be able to duplicate his numbers from LY. Savon Hughes highlights a highly touted group at RB, and the OL is in excellent shape. Brandon Coleman is a beast at WR (6’6 220) so expect him to have big numbers once again.


Defense-4 starters return


The front 4 is what this side must rely on, as the LB’s and secondary must rely on a lot of young players to step up.


Key Game: Oct 10 at Louisville

Outlook: Most expect a big drop from Rutgers, I am not one of them. I think the easy NC schedule (Fresno St will be tough, hosting Arkansas should be a win) will help, but the road schedule in CP is of some worry (Louisville, SMU, UCF and UConn). Still, I think that this team will surprise many, and I think this is a solid 9-3 football team.


1. Louisville Cardinals: HC-Charlie Strong; OC-Shawn Watson; DC-Vance Bedford


Offense-6 starters return


QB Teddy Bridgewater is back, and despite the low starters this is a good thing. RB will be wide open, but given Bridgewater’s running ability I am not too worried about someone stepping up since the OL only lost 2 starters and has a lot of depth. WR’s Devante Parker and Damian Copeland are back, so expect this tandem to put up big numbers.


Defense-10 starters return


The only loss was in the secondary. This is the best unit overall in the AAC. MLB Preston Brown was the leading tackler LY, and is the leader of this defense.


Key Game: Oct 10 hosting Rutgers

Outlook: LY this team went to the Sugar Bowl and absolutely destroyed a Florida team that had a bad offense but a great defense. Louisville dominated that game start to finish and it was never ever close. TY, if Bridgewater stays healthy the sky is the limit. The NC slate is weak, and all tough games in CP are at home. This team if they stay healthy will go 12-0 and deserve a shot in the BCS Title Game.

#9 hcmv007


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Posted 04 August 2013 - 12:24 AM

2013 Atlantic Coastal Conference Preview


There are big changes for the ACC as conference expansion is on the horizon. Pitt and Syracuse are in their first season, while Maryland is in its final season before moving to the Big 10 next year. The ACC is getting more attention after bowl season, and could there possibly be a national title contender? Only one way to find out!



Coastal Division


7.  Virginia Cavaliers: HC-Mike London; OC-Steve Fairchild; DC-Jon Tenuta


Offense-9 starters return


Phillip Sims and David Watford are in a 2 way race to start at QB. Kevin Parks is the top rusher from LY and he is back, and there is some depth behind him, plus the OL is mostly intact (4 out of 5 starters back) so they should improve on this level. The WR’s are intact led by Darius Jennings, so I expect this unit to put up some big numbers offensively.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 is led by Eli Harold, who is a very talented player at DE. The rest of the front has good size, but IMO lack speed, but that doesn’t mean they cant be a good unit. MLB Kwonte Moore anchors an inexperienced group here, but his experience should help. All 4 DB’s are back so look for some improvement in the pass defense numbers here.


Key Game: Sept 7 hosting Oregon

Outlook: Mike London is on the hot seat, and having a NC slate that includes BYU, Oregon, and Ball State plus having Clemson, Miami FL, Virginia Tech on CP isn’t helping matters either. New coordinators take over both sides of the ball, so if it weren’t for this I might have had them a little higher. While there is talent here, UVA is a bit behind Pitt and Duke, so while I like Mike London I don’t think he’ll be back for 2014. I think LY’s 4-8 record is repeated.


5. Duke Blue Devils: HC-David Cutcliffe; OC-Kurt Roper; DC-Jim Knowles


Offense-7 starters back


QB is an issue, as David Renfree has moved on. Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette are in a 2 way battle at QB. The RB’s are solid, as is the OL, which is the best its been in the Cutcliffe era. WR’s are led by NFL prospects Jamison Crowder and Isaac Blakeney who at 6’6 235 is no doubt catching the attention of NFL scouts.


Defense-7 starters return


The 3 deep on the front 4 from LY is back, and this is a group that has very good size. The LB’s are solid, but the questions are in the secondary, which has players with game experience but no starting experience.


Key Game: Sept 14 hosting Georgia Tech

Outlook: LY Duke went to a bowl game for the 1st time since 1993, and believe it or not if they can get their QB issue settled I expect Duke to repeat a bowl appearance. The talent is here, and this is the most talent Duke has had here since Steve Spurrier was the HC here. Having a soft NC slate helps (NC Central, Memphis are easy; Troy and Navy are tricky). The tough Conference games are at home (except Virginia Tech and North Carolina). I think 6-6 is the record, and a possible bowl game awaits.


5. Pittsburgh Panthers: HC-Paul Chryst; OC-Joe Rudolph; DC-Matt House


Offense-5 starters return


QB battle is brewing b/t Chad Voytik and Rutgers transfer Tom Savage, with Savage having the edge in spring. Expect both to start games. The RB’s are good, but haven’t proven themselves in a full season getting the bulk of the carries. The OL have 3 starters back, so I expect the RB’s to put up good numbers. WR Devin Street leads the WR’s and could be a late 1st or early 2nd round pick if his numbers are good enough, at 6’4 190 he’s got the tools to be an elite WR in the NFL.


Defense-8 starters return


The front 4 is strong, led by DT’s  Aaron Donald & Tyrone Ezell. The LB’s have some depth issues, but if they stay healthy will be strong. CB Lafayette Pitts is a very good young DB who anchors an ever improving unit that has a lot of depth.


Key Game: Sept 2 at Florida St (1st ever ACC Game)

Outlook: Despite losing a lot of players on offense, this could still be a very good team. The defense is strong, so they should prop up the offense, but starting against Florida St will be a bit nightmarish. Navy is the lone tough NC game, so they should breeze through that easily enough. While this is a young team overall, there is a lot of talent so 7-5 is a safe bet IMO.


4. Virginia Tech Hokies: HC-Frank Beamer; OC-Scott Loeffler; DC-Bud Foster


Offense-6 starters return


QB Logan Thomas is back, and LY he was talked about being a 1st Round NFL pick to needing to come back his senior season. I think he can improve, but around him there isn’t much to be cheery about. The RB’s are not as settled as they have been in the past, but Trey Edmunds and JC Coleman are very good, but Logan Thomas was the leading rusher LY so someone needs to step it up. The OL is solid, but the WR’s are a major ?


Defense-9 starters return


The defense’s here have been good since Bud Foster took over as DC in the mid 90’s. This year is no exception as the front 4 is solid, led by DT Derrick Hopkins. The LB’s are good depth wise but had many injuries here LY which is why they were so off defensively LY. The secondary is very young, but has enough veterans up front to make their youth a non issue


Key Game: Aug 31 vs Alabama in the Georgia Dome

Outlook: It all comes down to the Bama game. The last time this matchup happened,  Bama whipped them good, but were in the game the 1st 3 quarters. This will dictate the Hokies season as it did back in 2009. The NC slate besides Bama is easy, but look for East Carolina as a possible upset. In CP they get Georgia Tech and Miami on the road, ouch. But this could still be a team that plays for the title but I think this is an 8-4 team.


3. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: HC & OC Paul Johnson; DC-Ted Roof


Offense-7 starters return


Vad Lee looks to be the new QB, and he is a very good athlete so this offense should be fine. David Sims is back at Fullback, and the top slot backs are also back, so I expect big rushing numbers once again. The OL is also strong, which for a flexbone option offense is essential. The WR’s are an afterthought since they rarely pass, but there could be another Megatron in WR Darren Waller (6’5 238).


Defense-8 starters back


The front 4 has only 2 starters back, but a lot of players with game experience. The LB’s are also a solid group, as the switch to the 4-3 may help this unit improve. The DB’s are led by CB Louis Young and should be a strong unit once again.


Key Game: Sept 26 hosting Virginia Tech

Outlook: LY they switched DC’s mid season and were able to make it to the ACC title game and gave Florida St all they could handle. But it was the Sun Bowl that showed Ted Roof is the right guy to run this defense, as they dominated USC. TY I have high hopes this will be a better team, but they aren’t as good as the top 2, but this can be a solid 8-4 or 9-3 team.


2. North Carolina Tar Heels: HC-Larry Fedora; OC-Blake Anderson; DC-Vic Koenning


Offense-6 starters return


Bryn Renner is back at QB, which is good news. RB”s are led by AJ Blue the returningrushing leader and Romar Morris. The OL may seem week, but they have a lot of young depth so this could be an issue early in the season. The WR’s are solidled by WR Quinshad Thomas and TE Eric Ebron.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 3 is heralded by the return of DE Kareem Martin who turned down the NFL, so this is a strong group. The LB’s are the only inexperienced group as far as starters, so this could be a unit that takes a game or two to get on track. The DB’s are intact from LY and should be solid once again.


Key Game: Aug 29 at South Carolina

Outlook: Now that the shroud of the NCAA is over the Tar Heels this should be a bright year. The NC slate is tough, but manageable. In CP they have road tests in both Tech’s (VA & GA) and get Miami at home. The road schedule is tough, but it’s a balanced schedule. Plus not having Florida St or Clemson on the schedule only helps the Heels. I say this is a solid 9-3 team, possibly a 10-2 team.


1. Miami, FL Hurricanes: HC-Al Golden; OC-James Coley; DC-Mark D’Onofrio


Offense-10 starters back


The only position they are missing from LY is RB, but if you followed the Canes LY you know this can be a very good unit. QB Stephen Morris should improve as the spread replaces the pro-style offense the Miami has run the last couple of years. This is a strong unit and one of the most underrated in the ACC.


Defense-8 starters return


Now there are a couple of players who started LY that have been dismissed, otherwise this would also be an intact unit. The LB’s are an early ? but will be just fine. So will the DB’s who have a lot of depth.


Key Game: Sept 7 hosting Florida

Outlook: If Miami wants to dominate in the state they have to beat Florida. But this is a very good team, and despite having the toughest schedule in the ACC also have the best chance to win it. Despite the new offense and off field issues (players dismissed, NCAA sanctions possible) this is a very good team. I think 10-2 is a very real record.


Atlantic Division


7. Boston College Eagles: HC-Steve Addazio; OC-Ryan Day; DC-Don Brown


Offense-8 starters return


Chase Rettig is back at QB, but this is the 5th OC he has had the last 25 months so how effective will he be? RB Andre Williams is the power back that Adazzio likes, but depth is an issue. The OL has to replace both tackles so this will be a good unit. The WR’s have the top 4 back so this should be a productive unit.


Defense-10 starters return


The front 4 has surprising size, but IMO lack good speed. The LB’s are a solid group that has the speed lacking in the front 4. The DB’s are mostly intact but have quality depth.


Key Game: Sept 14 at USC

Outlook: Despite the optimistic analysis this was a 2-10 team LY, and it looks like more the same for 2013. I think Adazzio can turn things around, and he inherited a very young team but this is a bit of a stretch to think BC can go bowling this season. They have a chance to be 2-0 leading to the USC game, but that will determine their season. I think 4-8 is the record as there will be slight improvement.


6. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: HC-Jim Grobe; OC-Steed Lobotzke; DC-Brian Knorr


Offense-7 starters return


Tanner Price is back at QB, which is good news for the offense. RB Joshua Harris is back as well, and leads a solid group of RB’s TY. The OL has good size, but their play has been a bit questionable the last few seasons. The WR’s are led by Michael Campanaro who led the Deacons LY in Receptions and yards.


Defense-8 starters return


The front 3 is intact from LY, so nobody new is starting barring any preseason injuries. The LB’s are not the size you’d expect from a 3-4, they are an average of 226 lbs so they make up for lack of size by being fast. The secondary looks to be stronger than LY, where they gave up a number of big plays.


Key Game: Sept 28 at Clemson

Outlook: Several yrs ago Jim Grobe was the top coaching prospect for open jobs, but now he is fighting to keep his job. The NC slate has Presbyterian (easy win), UL Monroe (toss up), Army (win) & Vanderbilt (loss) to end the season. I think its going to be tough getting to 6 wins, but think a repeat of LY’s 5-7 record is going to happen.


5. Maryland Terrapins: HC-Randy Edsall; OC-Mike Locksley; DC-Brian Stewart


Offense-7 starters return


LY things were so messed up that Perry Hillis, a LB had to take over at QB and he did lead them in passing LY. If CJ Brown gets hurt TY, there is some depth as some new recruits and transfers are in. Wes Brown looks to start at RB, and there are some other good young RB’s here as well so depth isn’t an issue. The OL that unperformed LY should improve TY but look for depth to be an issue if injuries occur. The WR’s have big play potential, but Stefon Diggs and Marcus Leak need help from the others.


Defense-8 starters return


Not as many injuries on this side of the ball LY, but this is a surprising unit. The front 3 rarely showed up LY, so the LB’s were getting drilled. The DB’s led the team in tackles, but TY it’s the DL and DB’s that look to be solid and the LB’s that are the question mark. Im not going to say this is a good unit, but it shouldn’t be as bad as it was LY


Key Game: Sept 14 at UConn

Outlook: A weak NC slate, plus some tough games on the road in CP (Florida St, Virginia Tech) and a home schedule that features Clemson, Syracuse and BC mean this could be a 6 win team. I think that is possible but not more, this is a team that should be much better than the last 2 seasons. If they get 6 wins than Edsall should be safe, if not look for him to be out or on a very warm seat in 2014.


4. Syracuse Orange: HC-Scott Shafer; OC-George McDonald; DC-Chuck Bullough


Offense-6 starters return


Drew Allen looks to replace Ryan Nassib at QB, but a lot of young QB’s are also in the mix. Jerome Smith leads a strong group of RB’s but the OL is very young so there may be a few hiccups along the way. The WR’s are unproven, but have some talent here so somebody should step up. Jarrod West is the leading returning WR, but was 3rd on the team LY.


Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 is going to struggle TY, but being helped by JUCO transfers should diminish the growing pains. The LB’s look to be solid, led by Cameron Lynch, but depth is an issue. The DB’s are intact from LY, and should be good but if they have to lead in tackles this is going to be a long season.


Key Game: Oct 5 hosting Clemson

Outlook: Syracuse lost Doug Marrone to the Buffalo Bills and not only are they having a brand new head coach but also a brand new conference. The ACC is a big step up from the old Big East. Penn St and Northwestern will be tough NC games, Wagner is a walk and Tulane a push. The tough games in CP are at home so I will give the Orange a 7-5 prediction just to be safe.


3. NC State Wolfpack: HC-Dave Doeren; OC-Matt Canada; DC-Dave Huxtable


Offense-5 starters return


QB is a wide open race TY, so I wont predict a starter. The RB’s are young, and led by Shadrach Thornton who led the Pack in rushing LY. The OL is a question but only in starting not game experience and they have some good size and depth. The WR’s are led by Quintin Payton who should benefit from the new spread offense being run here.


Defense-5 starters return


The front 4 looks to be the strength of this unit, but the back 7 is another story. The LB’s will struggle, but have lots of young depth and not all of them have game experience. The lone bright spot in the secondary is the return of Dontae Johnson at CB, but he is going to struggle early on to find help back there.


Key Game: Sept 19 hosting Clemson

Outlook: NC State may be the team that benefits the most from expansion and this could be a possible breakout season as there is a lot of young players, and young depth. Dave Doeren took over after Bill O’Brien was fired, and brings a balanced spread offensive attack to the mix, and having a weak NC slate is going to help. I see NC State going 8-4.


2. Florida St Seminoles: HC & OC-Jimbo Fisher; DC-Jeremy Pruitt


Offense-7 starters return


Replacing EJ Manuel will be no easy task, and that falls to either Jacob Corker, Jameis Winston, or Sean Maguire. James Wilder and Devonta Freeman give a thunder and lightning combo at RB that should help out whoever starts at QB. The OL is loaded with talent and will be the glue holding the offense together TY. WR Rashad Greene leads the WR corps and a motorcycle accident involving TE Nick O’Leary is making the rounds on YouTube so his health early in the season could affect the offense early on if he cant go.


Defense-4 starters return


On paper this is a 4-3 unit but I expect the Noles to use more of the 3-4 since the new DC came from that system. The front should be fine, and the LB’s are young but have a lot of highly touted prospects at this position. The secondary is led by Lamarcus Jordan, who leads a strong group of DB’s that are as young as the rest of the defense.


Key Game: Oct 19 at Clemson

Outlook: There is so much young talent here that some think the Seminoles will not only win the ACC but the National Title as well. As Lee Corso says “Not so fast my friend!” The Noles must replace a 1st round NFL pick at QB, 7 starters on defense and find some more production at the WR corps. The OL is one of the best in the NCAA, and that is a big advantage but I think this is a slight drop off for FSU. The NC slate is a walk, except for Florida at the end of the year. In CP the slate is evenly divided with tough home and road games. I think that 10-2 is the record.


1. Clemson Tigers: HC-Dabo Swinney; OC-Chad Morris; DC-Brent Venables


Offense-6 starters return


QB Tahj Boyd & WR Sammy Watkins are back to pace an explosive offense. The OL is in good shape as well, with 4 out of 5 projected starters are upperclassmen. The RB’s are going to be paced by some incoming freshman but have Roderick McDowell and DJ Howard to keep things going in the start of the season. Besides Watkiins, the WR corps is strong with Martavis Bryant looking to have a big season.

Defense-6 starters return


Clemson is like FSU, on paper it’s a 4-3 but in their bowl win over LSU, Clemson used a 3 man front the entire 2nd half and it slowed down LSU. The front 7 is has a young front3 or 4 depending on formation and the LB’s have 2 starters back so this is a veteran corps. The DB’s are also young and talented but are up to the task.


Key Game: Aug 31 hosting Georgia

Outlook: For the 1st time in years, there is legitimate talk of Clemson being in the national title picture. If they knock off Georgia in the opener the talk will continue even more. If Clemson goes 12-0 with this schedule, then they are in, but you see they wont go unbeaten. The NC State game on Thurs night is a trap game, as is South Carolina to end the regular season. I see Clemson going 10-2 in the regular season.


ACC Championship Game: Miami, FL vs Clemson


Projected ACC Champion: Clemson Tigers

Finally had internet access to post reviews. All I have left are the top 4-Big 12, Pac 12, Big Ten and SEC

#10 hcmv007


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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:03 PM

2013 Pac 12 Preview



For the first time in a while, Oregon or USC didn’t win the Pac 12. Stanford shocked everyone winning the Pac 12 LY, and they look to be as good if not better this season. UCLA is a rising power as the Bruins turnaround looks to be real and strong. Still, things look bright as this conference is on the move up. Will the champ of the Pac 12 play for the national title? Read on to find out!




6. Colorado Buffaloes: HC- Mike MacIntyre; OC-Brian Lindgren; DC-Kent Baer


Offense-7 starters return


Connor Wood looks to be the starter at QB, and the good news is the OL looks to be solid, but that isn’t saying much. The rushing attack should be solid as the top 4 rushers return led by RB Christian Powell. Nelson Spruce is the returning lead receiver. Overall this is a young unit led by Sophomores.


Defense-9 starters return


The secondary looks to be the strength of this unit, as they are solid. The front 4 has good size, but the LB’s look a bit light in weight, but should be quick. This is a unit led by upperclassmen and there should be some improvement over LY’s poor play.


Key Game: Sept 28 at Oregon St

Outlook: Not good. Jon Embree tried hard but left this program in a bad place, but not all of it is his fault. Colorado lacks the top facilities to entice recruits to stay, as the facilities arms race goes thru college football. Mike MacIntyre turned around San Jose St, and hopes to do the same here, but it’s a tough road to walk. There are some good players here but the youth and lack of depth overall mean a hard season once again. LY they were 1-11, but I see only 2 wins tops TY.


5. Utah Utes: HC-Kyle Whittingham: Co-OC’s-Brian Johnson & Dennis Ericson; DC-Kalani Sitake


Offense-6 starters return


Travis Wilson is one of the most physically imposing QB’s in the entire conference (6’6 240) and should be the starter, but there are some good freshman who could see playing time as well. Kevin York is the RB, and leads a strong group. The top 3 WR’s from LY are back, so the offense could put up good numbers. The OL looks solid led by upperclassmen but they lack starting experience.


Defense-6 starters return


Utah always has a good front 4, TY is no exception. The LB’s are very undersized, most of these players would be DB’s at other schools. The DB’s are a decent unit, but hard to analyze, but FS Eric Rowe is the leader of that group and hopefully for the Utes he can help an inexperienced group take shape.


Key Game: Oct 3 hosting UCLA

Outlook: LY the Utes went 5-7, and possibly the job of HC Kyle Whittingham is in jeopardy. There are some good athletes here, and I have been surprised that the Utes haven’t competed better in the Pac 12, but the schedule looks a bit more favorable than in the past. If the Utes upset UCLA this could be a good season. I think 6-6 is possible, and if they get that record don’t look for a change at HC.


4. Arizona Wildcats: HC-Rich Rodriguez; Co-OC’s-Calvin Magee & Rod Smith; DC-Jeff Casteel


Offense-6 starters return


BJ Denker looks to be starter at QB, for now. Leading rusher from LY Ka’Deem Carey is back, but the depth is a bit of a ? behind him. The OL should be better, but WR’s may be a bit of a ? as well.


Defense-11 starters return


The Cats play a 3-3-5 stack defense, and they should be a much improved unit. Leading tacklers are LB’s Jake Fischer and Marquise Flowers are back, and this defense should be much improved, but the depth is very young so staying healthy is a must.


Key Game: Oct 10 at USC

Outlook: I think Arizona could repeat LY’s 8-5 record, but be a much better team than they were a season ago. Stanford is off the schedule, so getting that 9th win is possible. Rodriguez’s teams tend to improve in his 2nd season, so I look for the same here. I will go out on a limb and say this is a solid 8 win team, but we could see a 9th win and it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise


3. USC Trojans: HC-Lane Kiffen;  OC-Clay Helton; DC-Clancy Pendergast


Offense-8 starters return


Max Wittek got a baptism in fire a season ago when Matt Barkley injured his shoulder. While he played well, he was inconsistent, which I think will be a problem TY. Silas Redd leads an inexperienced group at RB once again. The OL should be bolstered by an infusion of young talent, and if WR Marquise Lee stays healthy this could be a good offense.


Defense-7 starters return


USC will employ a 5 man front, and while its nice to see a classic defense I’m not sure this will be good. The secondary is going to get tested, and while USC has solid athletes I think this will be a long season for them. With a new DC who hasn’t coached a game yet this is a hard unit to analyze, but speculation is only a best guess


Key Game: Nov 16 hosting Stanford

Outlook: Its safe to say Lane Kiffen is on the hot seat. With a new DC and a new scheme, one that is questionable to say the least, I think USC is in for some tough times. The NCAA proabation period is over, but now that they can recruit more players you’d think things will improve. I think 8-5 is a good record, but you have to question a team coming off an embarrassing bowl loss where they were dominated by a less talented team.


2. Arizona State Sun Devils: HC-Todd Graham; OC-Mike Norvell; Co-DC’s-Paul Randolph & Chris Bell


Offense-7 starters return


Taylor Kelly should improve at QB now that he is in the 2nd year of the new system, Kelly also led the team in rushing yards LY but the return of RB Marion Grice should help, but the depth should be a little better. The OL however lacks consistency as this has been tough at least on a coaching perspective (3 OL coaches the last 3 years). The WR’s are led by TE Chris Coyle, but a WR needs to step up, and I think that will be Jaelen Strong (6’4 205).


Defense-8 starters return


The Sun Devils also play a 3-3-5 defense, but it looks more like a 3-4 on the field. The front 3 is solid, and has strong depth. The LB’s are the weakness on this unit, and will be a season long question. The DB’s may drop off a bit, but should be in good enough shape despite the lack of starting experience.


Key Game: Nov 23 at UCLA

Outlook: The Sun Devils have a bright future, and a tougher schedule. Notre Dame is on the NC slate, along with Wisconsin. The road slate in conference play is Stanford, and UCLA, which is tough. The rest of the slate is manageable. But a tough NC schedule and tough conference schedule mean this could be a special season of they pull off an upset or 2, but playing Stanford and UCLA make it tough to win the South. I predict 9 wins for the Sun Devils.


1. UCLA Bruins: HC-Jim Mora; OC-Noel Mazzone; DC-Lou Spanos


Offense-7 starters return


The only questions for the Bruins are in the RB corps and the OL. The combo of QB Brett Hundley and WR Shaquille Evans is back, so that should keep the DC’s in the Pac 12 up late at night.


Defense-5 starters return


The LB’s are the strength of UCLA’s 3-4 defense, led by LB Eric Kendricks. The front 3 is in solid shape and has a lot of depth. The DB’s however are a different story. Lacking game experience and being young are going to be factors, but if the front 3 gets pressure, this unit should get the help it needs.


Key Game: Oct 19 at Stanford

Outlook: UCLA should make it to their 3rd straight Pac 12 title game, and despite the losses on defense this is still a strong team. Yes, Stanford is on the schedule, and yes the NC slate is a walk, but I am not overlooking Nevada in game 1. Nebraska will be a road challenge. The only real challenge is there are no open dates in conference play so 9 straight weeks will se the Pac 12 season play out. I think UCLA has it in them to win 9 games, and once again go the Pac 12 title game.




5. Washington State Cougars: HC & OC-Mike Leach; DC-Mike Breske


Offense-9 starters return


QB Connor Haliday played very well in the 1st season of the Air Raid, and should do better TY. The RB’s are by committee, but put up decent, but not great numbers. The OL is improved due to experience and the WR’s are led by Gabe Marks who should be the top target.


Defense-7 starters return


Looks like a 3-4 on paper but on the field it’s a 4-3. The front 4 has good size, and some young depth, so staying healthy is a key. The LB’s lost their best player due to graduation but Darryl Monroe should be the leader of that group. FS Leone Buchanan was the top tackler and he is back, leading a solid group of upperclassman in the secondary.


Key Game: Sept 7 at USC

Outlook: If they knock off Auburn in the opener, WASU could be 3-1 going into the heart of CP. While this is a better team than LY the win total may not jump much. Mike Leach faced a lot of accusations from former WR Marquess Wilson that were similar to what he faced at Texas Tech. There are some better players coming in, but will the past haunt Leach? They’re good enough to place 5th albeit in a tie. I think 5 wins is the max, as they are a year off from improving.


5. California Golden Bears: HC-Sonny Dykes; OC-Tony Franklin; DC-Andy Buh


Offense-5 starters return


Zach Kline and true freshman Jared Goff are in a head to head race at QB. The OL and RB’s have good players, but need to stay healthy. TE Richard Rogers will move to WR as the TE position is eliminated in Cal’s new 4 WR offense, and along with Chris Harper should be a good duo to pass to.


Defense-6 starters return


Cal switches to the 4-3 from the 3-4 and the front 4 looks to be solid. The LB’s are very young and will rely on the signing class to contribute. The DB’s are a good group, but lack starting experience.


Key Game: Sept 14 hosting Ohio State

Outlook: Sonny Dykes and Tony Franklin mixed the Air Raid with the spread offense and it worked at Louisiana Tech. But will it work in Berkeley? Cal plays Northwestern and Ohio St out of the Big 10, so the NC slate is tough. The road slate in CP is not fun-Oregon, Stanford, UCLA are all on the road and the top 3 teams in the conference. Cal is going to be rebuilding so 3-9 is LY’s and TY’s record.


4. Washington Huskies: HC-Steve Sarkisian; OC-Eric Kiesau; DC-Justin Wilcox


Offense-10 starters return


The only position they need to replace is C. I look for the Huskies to put up big numbers offensively this season.


Defense-8 starters return


The Huskies have a good defense, and is a far cry from the agony that they were in a couple years ago. LB John Timu is the top tackler from LY and CB Travell Dixon could give the secondary a lift.


Key Game: Aug 31 hosting Boise St

Outlook: This could be the 1st time since 2001 where Washington tops 7 wins. Good news is USC and LSU are off the schedule. The bad is the 4 road games in CP will be against ranked teams (Stanford, Arizona St, UCLA and Oregon St). If they knock off Boise St and Illinois in the 1st 2 games this could be a great season. I will predict 8 wins to be safe.


3. Oregon State Beavers: HC-Mike Riley; OC-Danny Langsdorf; DC-Mark Banker


Offense-8 starters return


Cody Vaz is back at QB, but look for Sean Mannion to split time. Storm Woods & Terron Ward make a good 1-2 punch at RB. The OL only needs to replace 2 starters but 8 of LY’s top 10 are back, so this is a strong group. WR Brandin Cooks and TE Connor Hamlet lead the recieveing corps.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 has great size, and adding JUCO transfers should help in the depth. The LB’s are led by Michael Doctor but finding a MLB is essential as that is an open position. The DB’s lost their best player from LY but has a lot of upperclassmen depth.

Key Game: Nov 29 at Oregon

Outlook: The NC slate is embarrassingly easy (E Washington, Hawaii. San Diego St will be tough). Realistically this could be a team that starts of 7-0 leading into the Stanford game. If Stanford and Oregon weren’t in the same division this would be your Pac 12 champ. The Beavers should have a very strong season, and I will go out on a limb predicting 10 wins, and possibly an outside shot at a BCS bowl game.


2. Oregon Ducks: HC-Mark Helfrich; OC-Scott Frost; DC-Nick Aliotti


Offense-8 starters return


QB Marcus Mariota is a preseason Heisman candidate and if he puts up similar numbers TY he should be in NYC in December. De’Anthony Thomas and Byron Marshall make a solid 1-2 punch in the backfield, and Thomas should put up big numbers once again. The OL is young, but it is a productive unit and should be strong despite losing 2 starters. The WR’s are solid once again and this could be the best unit in the Pac 12.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 3 for the Ducks looks strong and they have good size, depth could be an issue so injuries need to be avoided. The LB’s are light but they play so many and recruit so many that the numbers are overwhelming but they aren’t very big. The DB’s are led by S Brian Jackson who is the top returning tackler.


Key Game: Nov 29 hosting Oregon St

Outlook: Chip Kelly took the NFL and Oregon once again hired from within taking LY’s OC Mark Helfrich replaces him. I think Oregon puts up good numbers once again, but while this is a good thing in the short term the long term is will this work out? It worked for Chip Kelly and it can work again. The NC slate is highlighted by Tennessee coming to visit on Sept 14, but the NC slate is really weak. In CP Stanford & Arizona are the only real road tests. I predict an 11 win season and a definite BCS bowl bid TY.


1. Stanford Cardinal: HC-David Shaw; OC-Mike Bloomgren; DC-Derek Mason


Offense-6 starters return


QB Kevin Hogan is back, and that is good news as he came off the bench a season ago to lead the Cardinal to the Rose Bowl. Replacing Stepfan Taylor at RB is Anthony Wilkerson & Barry Sanders (yes it is the son of NFL Legend Barry Sanders). The OL is not only massive in size but also in depth and I will call this the best OL in the country. The WR’s are the only ? mark but I feel someone will step up, and that should be Ty Montgomery.


Defense-8 starters return


When I look at Stanford’s 3-4 defense and compare them by paper to Alabama’s defense there

isn’t a big difference. This was the top unit in the Pac 12 LY and they should be once again. LB

Shayne Skov is the top tackler and his return helps make this a tough unit once again. The DB’s

are down 3 starters from LY but should be one of top units in the conference once again.


Key Game: November 7 hosting Oregon

Outlook: Only Notre Dame at the end of the regular season is the tough NC game. Tough road

Games in CP are Oregon St and USC which will be challenges. LY I didn’t think much of

Stanford & all they did was win the Pac 12 a season ago. I still think this is the top team in the

Pac 12 and I will also predict an unbeaten regular season. 12-0 puts them in the title game.


2013 Pac 12 Championship Game: UCLA at Stanford

Projected Pac 12 Champions: Stanford Cardinal

2013 Big XII Preview


The Big XII hasn’t dominated any news as far as expansion or contraction but things look on the up for the future, which LY wasn’t so bright. From a competitive standpoint, this is a very wide open conference. The top 6 teams all have an equal shot of winning it and the good thing is everyone plays each other so the winner is decided on the field.


10. Kansas Jayhawks: HC & OC-Charlie Weis; DC-Dave Campo


Offense-5 starters return


Jake Heaps looks to be the starter at QB, but Blake Jablonski will also be in contention. If things get desperate, there are a couple of talented freshman but they might redshirt. James Sims and Tony Pierson make an effective RB combo, and this is the best depth they have offensively. The OL play LY was horrendous, and having to replace 3 starters they have to grow up fast. The WR’s should be led by Oklahoma transfer Justin McKay, but Pierson will be an effective target also; so will TE Jimmay Mundine


Defense-4 starters return


The Jayhawks D looks like a 3-4 on paper but its really a 4-3. The front 4 looks to be the strength of this unit, and they have good size but need to stay healthy. LB Ben Heeney is the leading tackler from LY and he is back, but he needs help at the OLB’s. The DB’s are mostly JUCO transfers so how they adapt will determine any success.


Key Game: Oct 5 hosting Texas Tech

Outlook: There’s an old saying, put lipstick on a pig and its still a pig. That is Kansas, they have a lot of young talent, but without a lot of veterans coming back this is a work in progress. Weis badmouthing this team at Big XII Media Days didn’t help things either. I don’t think his job is in jeopardy but it could be if they don’t make some vast improvement. Kansas MIGHT be a good team, but not this year. Looking at the schedule, they have 4 road games in CP, but none look winnable. The NC slate has only 1 certain win, and I will say that will be the record as Kansas goes 1-11 once again.


9. West Virginia Mountaineers: HC-Dana Holgorsen; OC-Shannon Dawson; DC-Keith Patterson


Offense-3 starters return


FSU transfer Clint Trickett is eleigible to play right away and is the penciled in starter at QB. Look for Ford Childress and Chavas Rawlins to also get snaps at some point, or start over Trickett. The RB’s are largely untested on the field, but they have some playing time albeit not much. The OL loses the middle 3 but both Tackle’s return so the outside is stable. The WR’s lose their top 3 from LY, and have to find replavcements for Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin.


Defense-7 starters return

WVU is installing a 3-4 instead of the 3-3-5 set they’ve run for years, and if the Mountaineers have any success this unit will have to carry this team. The front 3 has good depth, the LB’s are led by Isaiah Bruce, and the depth is improving here, but they have got to stay healthy. Karl Joseph leads a secondary that hopes to show the 2012 season was just a blip and not a trend.


Key Game: Sept 7 at Oklahoma

Outlook: I almost put WVU last, but given the success of the Air Raid offense I think despite the losses they will find players to step up and score lots of points. The glaring issue ios the defense which was horrible a season ago. If the defense can stay healthy and allow the young players to get in on certain situations I think the Mountaineers can be solid defensively. However the drawback to having an Air Raid offense is 3 & outs, something WVU had quite a bit of LY. Maryland is the only tough NC game, but in CP they have 5 road games. I think WVU can put together 3 wins, but its going to be a long year in Morgantown.


8. Iowa State Cyclone: HC-Paul Rhoades; OC-Courtney Messingham; DC-Wally Burnham


Offense-5 starters return


Sam Richardson played well in relief LY but now is the starter for the full season at QB. The RB’s are loaded with James White bringing power and Devonderick Nealy and Aaron Wimberly bring home run speed. The OL needs to replace both Tackle’s but should be alright as this is an area of strength as far as depth is concerned. WR’s are a big ? going into this season, but the TE play is strong so expect to see lots of 2 TE sets this season and Ernst & JUCO All American transfer EJ Bibbs being possible All Conference TE’s.


Defense-4 starters return


The front 4 is going to have to step up, as JUCO’s make up some depth and possible starters. LB’s are the biggest concern as nobody here has any starts, and they are very young. JUCO’s also make up the LB depth so this is a hard unit to analyze. The DB’s are the veterans of this unit and will have to stay healthy as the backups are all freshman and sophomores.


Key Game: Sept 14 hosting Iowa

Outlook: The Cyclone have made it to a bowl the last 2 seasons, but that streak comes to an end this season. If they knock off Iowa, this could be a 6 win season. But with 5 road games in CP I don’t see that happening. Paul Rhoades shouldn’t be on a hot seat, but lets face it if you win 7 or 8 games here this is the best you’ll do here. I think 2014 is a big year, and this season will be a learning curve, but 5-7 is my pick for the Cyclones.


7. Kansas State Wildcats: HC-Bill Snyder; Co-OC’s-Dana Dimel & Del Miller; DC-Tom Hayes


Offense-8 starters return


Replacing Collin Klein at QB is no easy task, but it looks like Jake Waters will attempt to do just that. Waters is a JUCO All American, so I wouldn’t think this is a downgrade at the position. John Hubert is back at RB, but there is a lot of young depth at the position. The OL has all 5 starters back, but if injuries occur the depth is largely untested, but should be just fine. The WR’s are led by Tyler Lockett and Tremaine Thompson, but will be aided by TE Andre McDonald who at 6’8 278 is quite the mismatch in man to man coverage and should open up the run game as well as the pass game.


Defense-2 starters return


The front 4 is going to be largely JUCO transfers, so this picture is a bit unclear. Tre Walker is back at LB, while he plays the Sam (Strong side) LB don’t be surprised if he slips into the Mike (Middle) LB spot. Randall Evans is the only starting DB back from LY.


Key Game: Sept 21 at Texas

Outlook: K-State has done very well the last 2 seasons, but this season is going to be a bit different. While on offense the Wildcats could be as good if not a little better than LY, it’s the defense that has too many questions. While this is a talented team, I don’t think the defense can handle the conference slate. The NC slate is only highlighted by 1 FBS team in UL-Lafayette with UMass (in 1st season on FBS level) plus North Dakota State a very good FCS team. The good news is the road slate in CP has only 4 games, only Texas & Oklahoma St on the road look like losses. I see a 6-6 record, and a possible bowl bid this season.


6. Texas Tech Red Raiders: HC-Kliff Kingsbury; Co-OC’s-Sonny Cumbie & Eric Morris; Co-DC’s-Matt Wallerstadt & Mike Smith


Offense-5 starters return


It looks like Michael Brewer will take over at QB, but Davis Webb & Clayton Nichols could be in the mix also. Kenny Williams is back at RB, and the depth at this position is strong. The OL lost most of LY’s starters but since they are back to learning a somewhat new scheme this group should do well. The WR’s are led by Eric Ward and converted TE Jace Amaro but this group should put up big numbers since the Red Raiders are back to running the Air Raid.


Defense-8 starters return


TT is keeping the 4 man front, but the weak side end is really a LB so its really a 3-4 defense. The front 3 looks very solid, and they have good size. Terrance Bullitt moves to LB, and should be the star player of that group. Tre Porter moves from LB to Free Safety TY so the DB’s should be just fine.


Key Game: Sept 12 hosting TCU

Outlook: I wonder about hiring a 1st time HC on this level, but Kliff Kingsbury is a former player here, and brings back the Air Raid offense that the previous staff used only as a template. I look for the offense to put up big numbers, but the defense should play much better than they have in the past since there is some good talent on this side, but they could be stretched to the limit if the offense has too many 3 & outs. The NC slate should see TT go 3-0, and in the middle of that is a crucial game on Thurs against TCU. There is a chance TT is 7-0 going into the Oklahoma game on Oct 26. I think the Red Raiders go 8-4, and a nice bowl game this season.


5. Baylor Bears: HC-Art Briles; OC-Phillip Montgomery; DC-Phil Bennett


Offense-5 starters return


The last 2 yrs have been kind to the Bears at QB, and TY it looks like Bryce Petty is the new QB. Look for Seth Russell to get some time as well as this is a 2 way battle in fall camp. Lache Seastrunk is back at RB, and is the most dangerous in the Big XII. RB depth is strong so even if Seastrunk has to take off a few plays this group is good. The OL is in good shape as well with solid depth. The WR’s are led by Tevin Reese, with help by Levi Norwood who is in a battle with Corey Coleman for a starting WR spot.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 has very good size, and depth. Not an issue. The LB’s are the strength of this defense and look for Bryce Hager to possibly be the Big XII 1st team at LB. The DB’s may be a bit questionable since they are real young here.


Key Game: Oct 5 hosting West Virginia

Outlook: Baylor’s schedule will be the benefit for this team as the season unfolds. The NC slate runs from Aug 31 thru Sept 21 and only play 3 games in that span (Wofford, Buffalo, and UL-Monroe) all of which should be wins. After ULM on Sept 21 the next game is Oct 5 as they start CP. Despite having 5 road games in CP, most of those are winnable. 8-9 wins are possible TY.


4. Oklahoma State Cowboys: HC-Mike Gundy; OC-Mike Yurcich; DC-Glenn Spencer


Offense-8 starters return


Clint Chelf split time with Wes Lunt at QB LY, but now that Lunt has left the program its his show to run. At RB they have to replace leading rusher from LY Joseph Randle, but Jeremy Smith is up to the task, and there is good depth here. The OL has 3 of 5 starters back, but the depth is young and untested so that’s a concern. The WR’s will be solid as the top 3 WR’s from LY are back.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 should be solid once again, and they have good size, especially at DT. The LB’s have young talent in the backup spots, but this unit is very good. Leading tackler from LY Daytawion Lowe is back at FS and anchors the DB’s.


Key Game: Dec 7 hosting Oklahoma

Outlook: OSU is a sexy pick to win the Big XII, I am not in that camp. While the NC slate has only Mississippi State (in Houston) as the only “tough” game, and having 4 road games in CP, I still think the Cowboys will fall short to the big 3 in this conference. If they pull off an upset at the end against Oklahoma this could be the team in the Cotton Bowl at bowl time. But I will predict a 9-3 record, this is a very talented team, and could do better than I predict.

3. Oklahoma Sooners: HC-Bob Stoops; Co-OC’s-Jake Norvell and Josh Huepel; DC-Mike Stoops


Offense-7 starters return


Trevor Knight is talking over at QB, but expect to see the Belldozer Blake Bell as the short yardage QB.. The RB’s are solid something OU has always seemed to have. The OL got better LY as the season moved on and it looks like this current OL will be just fine as most of that group is back. The WR’s may drop off a bit but will still be good.


Defense-4 starters return


The front 4 is going to be very young, but with all the highly touted recruits that come in this isn’t as big an issue if this happened at another school. Plus they have great size, so this wont be a line easily pushed around. Corey Nelson leads a talented and strong LB corps while Aaron Colvin headlines the secondary which is lacking experience as far as starters go.


Key Game: Sept 28 at Notre Dame

Outlook: Oklahoma has always had the talent, even in lean years. While this isn’t a team that will win the Big XII, the foundation for winning it next year is here. However with a young redshirt freshman at QB, and a young defense this will be a tough year. There is a brutal 3 week stretch starting with Notre Dame then TCU and the Red River shootout with Texas that could see the Sooners at 3-3. But the rest of the season gives them a chance to finish strong. 9-3 is possible, but they won’t win fewer than 8 games.


2. Texas Longhorns: HC-Mack Brown; OC-Major Applewhite; DC-Manny Diaz


Offense-10 starters return


David Ash played well in his 1st season as a starting QB LY, and he has a lot coming back TY. The backfield is led by Johnathan Gray, but this unit needs to stay healthy as they tend to get banged up due to their physical play. The OL is solid (no surprise) but lost their top 2 reserves from LY so I doubt they’ll see much of a drop off.  Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis headline a strong group of WR’s


Defense-8 starters return


The front 4 has very good size, and after a tough growing up phase LY they are ready for this season. The LB’s are in the same situation. The secondary may drop off slightly, but should do just fine.


Key Game: Sept 7 at BYU

Outlook: Texas has a very tough NC slate that has BYU and Ole Miss on back to back weeks. If they get through this at 3-0, they’ll be undefeated going into the Red River shootout with Oklahoma. However Texas seems to lose games they shouldn’t so I see that happening this season, so that’s why I am not predicting them to win the conference, and I think BYU could trip them up, and while they blasted Ole Miss LY I think the Rebels play much better against them TY. They should match LY’s 9 win total, but have a possibility to win 11. 9-3 is a safe bet.


1. TCU Horned Frogs: HC-Gary Patterson; Co-OC’s-Jarrett Anderson & Rusty Burns; DC-Dick Bumpas


Offense-7 starters return


Now that his personal issues have been resolved, Casey Pachall is back at QB, but so is Trevone Boykin who replaced him LY while he was out. The RB corps is young, but untested. The OL needs to find a new center and right guard but should be fine. The WR’s present matchup challenges since they have good size, particulary 6’4 LaDarius Brown and 6’3 Cam White. Look for this unit to produce big numbers TY.


Defense-9 starters return


The front 4 has one of the top players in the country with DE Devonte Fields, who was the Defensive Player of the Year in the Big XII as a true freshman. The LB position has taken a hit with some players leaving the team, so this is a ? mark but they should be ready to find someone who can go. CB Jason Verrett is the leader in the secondary and is someone you don’t want to try throwing at.


Key Game: Aug 31 vs LSU in Jerry’s Palace

Outlook: LY TCU struggled in Big XII play as it was a step up from the Mountain West. Patterson’s teams do better the next season after a down year, and I think having the best defense in the conference (from a scheme perspective) enables them to match up well against the conference. LSU will be a test in the opener and if they pull off the upset then they are undefeated going into the Oklahoma game. This is a team that has the potential to win 10 games, and that record is good enough to win the Big XII. Having 2 QB’s with starting experience can help if the offense slows down, and while some high profile players have quit the program I still think the Horned Frogs have what it takes to not only beat LSU, but the rest of the Big XII. I will predict an 11-1 record, so no I don’t think the Big XII champ is in the title game.

2013 Big 10 Preview


Next season this conference will expand to 14, so in a way this is the start of something new for this conference. LY Ohio State went perfect, but due to violation of NCAA rules couldn’t play for the national title. Now they can, but will they go unbeaten once again or will Michigan, Nebraska, Michigan State or Wisconsin make that climb back to the top?




6. Minnesota Golden Gophers: HC-Jerry Kill; OC-Matt Limegrover; DC-Tracy Claeys


Offense-10 starters return


Phillip Nelson is back at QB, but expect to see Chris Streveler to see some playing time also. The RB’s look strong, and they are led by Donnell Kirkwood. The OL is intact from LY, and should improve. The WR’s lost their top player from LY but since they rarely throw the ball this unit should but up good but not great numbers. Derrick Engel leads this group at WR, and TE Drew Godger should get more passes thrown his way also.


Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 has tackles with good size, and ends that are light and quick. Think of it like a hockey style approach to pass rushing. Aaron Hill leads the LB corps, while Derrick Wells leads the secondary and is the top returning tackler.


Key Game: Sept 28 hosting Iowa

Outlook: The NC slate has only San Jose St as the tough team, as I feel the Gophers start off a quick 4-0, but the problem is they seem to get a big injury that sidelines a good player before starting conference play. Good news is no Ohio St on the schedule, but they do draw Wisconsin no easy task. Soomehow this team made it to a bowl game LY, but I don’t see that this season as I will predict a 4-8 record, and with Jerry Kill on the hot seat I think the Gophers also make a change at HC for 2014.


5. Iowa Hawkeyes: HC-Kirk Ferentz; OC-Greg Davis; DC-Phil Parker


Offense-6 starters return


QB is a wide open race, it looks like Cody Sokol will be the starter, but CJ Beathard & Jake Rudock could see time also. Mark Weisman is a load to handle at RB, and this is the best depth on the Hawkeye football team. The OL is young and mostly untested so consider this a potential weakness. The WR’s should be much better & I expect Kevonte Martin-Manley to have a great season TY.


Defense7 starters return


With only 2 starters back on the front 4 you’d think that this unit could drop off, but the depth is experienced and replacing the other 2 wont be a problem. The LB’s are very experienced as all starters are seniors, led by Anthony Hitchens. The DB’s are a scrappy bunch, led by Tanner Miller.


Key Game: Oct 19 at Ohio St

Outlook: Despite having only 13 starters back, and having to play Ohio St & Wisconsin on the schedule I think Iowa will improve on LY’s 4-8 record. Even with an untested QB at the college level, Iowa should be competitive. I think the NC lone loss is to Iowa St, but going 3-1 into CP will be alright, they should pick up 3 wins to be bowl eligible and I will predict 6-6. HC Kirk Ferentz may be on the hot seat, so finishing above .500 will be a must for his future.


4. Michigan Wolverines: HC-Brady Hoke; OC-Al Borges; DC-Greg Mattison


Offense-6 starters return


Devin Gardner looks to take over the QB position, but keep an eye on Shane Morris. The RB’s are very young, but are highly touted recruits. The OL looks good but depth is young, but have some experience. The WR’s are led by Jeremy Gallon & Drew Dileo, who is an underrated WR.


Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 is strong in the middle, but weak on the ends. Finding pass rushers are essential. The LB’s are a work in progress as some players here have been moved to this position. The DB’s have had some departures after spring ball so this could be a weakness.


Key Game: Nov 30 hosting Ohio St

Outlook: Brady Hoke has overachieved here, but if this team wins more than 8 games he should be Coach of the Year. The NC slate has Notre Dame at home as the lone tough game, but UConn on the road could be a trap game. Still, there is talent here, the last 2 recruiting classes have been strong and the future is bright. If Michigan can go undefeated in NC play, I see them going 8-4 but I think 7-5 is more realistic.


3. Northwestern Wildcats: HC-Pat Fitgerald; OC-Mike McCall; DC-Mike Hankwitz


Offense-8 starters return


Kain Coulter is back at QB, but look for Trevor Siemian and Baton Rouge native Zach Oliver to see the field as well. Wenric Mark & Mike Trumphy make an effective 1-2 punch at RB. The OL must replace 3 starters, and this will be an issue since the backups have no experience. The WR’s should be improved on LY since that was a learning curve but their performance in the bowl game helped out.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 is the strength of this unit, and has some good talent here. The LB’s are bolstered by the return of Damien Proby who looks to have a great senior year. The secondary should be solid, barring any injuries.


Key Game: Oct 5 vs Ohio St

Outlook: Getting a bowl win, the first since the 1940’s has done wonders for the Wildcats. This team looks very strong, and could be the team that ends up going to the conference championship game if they didn’t draw Ohio State and Wisconsin from the other division. If they can avoid injuries, it is possible this is a 9 win team. Playing California and Syracuse in NC play shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but I expect them to split those games, and finish the regular season 8-4.


2. Nebraska Cornhuskers: HC-Bo Pelini; OC-Tim Beck; DC-John Papuchis (Pelini calls on Gameday)


Offense-8 starters return


The big question is will Taylor Martinez be consistent at QB or will he still be inconsistent? Ameer Abdullah is back at RB, but so are a couple of very good recruits so the depth will be young but I don’t see any loss of production. The OL is strong, and was singled out by the HC for great play during the spring. The WR’s historically haven’t been relevant but since the Cornhuskers dropped the old style option offense to more of a west coast/spread option hybrid the production has improved; look for Kenny Bell & Quincy Enunwa to put up the same numbers as LY.


Defense-4 starters return


The front 4 is relying on young recruits and JUCO transfers, and was the disappointment of this unit LY. The LB’s are also young, but have some highly touted recruits here. The DB’s look to be the strength of this unit, led by Ciante Evans.


Key Game: Nov 16 vs Michigan State

Outlook: If there were more starters back on defense I would put Nebraska in the conference title game. The only tough NC game is UCLA, and if they win that game I see a run to Nov 16 as there isn’t another loss on the schedule. Nebraska could equal LY’s 10 regular season wins and I believe they will, but if they knock off UCLA and upend Michigan State 12-0 is possible but I will stick on the safe 10-2 record.


1. Michigan State Spartans: HC-Mark Dantonio; Co-OC’s-Dave Warner & Jim Bollman; DC-Pat Narduzzi


Offense-8 starters return


QB Andrew Maxwell developed on the fly LY but should be good TY; he also is backed up by Tyler O’Connor who could see some playing time as well. The RB’s are all young, and this could be an issue, but with the OL being as strong as it is, and is IMO one of the best in the Big 10. The WR’s should be much improved from LY.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 4 must replace 2 starters and since nobody really stepped up during spring I will hesitate to make a call here. The LB’s are loaded, and led by Max Bullough. The DB’s are led by Isaiah Lewis, and should perform as well as they did LY.


Key Game: Nov 16 at Nebraska

Outlook: LY the Spartans had to replace key starters and slowly rolled out but stumbled to a 6-6 record. TY things look better, and despite a tougher schedule I see the Spartans going to the 2011 form TY. Notre Dame is going to be a tough NC game, and its on the road also. But no Ohio State or Wisconsin on the schedule is good, as only the Nebraska game could be a tough road challenge in CP. I look for this team to go 10-2, possibly 11-1.




*6. Penn State Nittany Lions: HC & OC-Bill O’Brien; DC-John Butler


Offense-8 starters return


QB is a major question mark, as they must replace Matt McGloin who shined LY. Tyler Ferguson and Christian Hackenberg are in a 2 way race, but someone else could step in. Zack Zwinack is back at RB & they have some young depth but it is untested. The OL is strong, and the rotation system utilized LY has helped getting young guys game experience. The WR’s were unknown LY but should be strong TY led by Allen Robinson.



Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 is in the same situation as they were LY in terms of experience (not much). The LB’s lost 2 NFL draft choices, but is strong despite the losses. The DB’s are very strong and the best part of this side of the ball.


Key Game: Oct 26 at Ohio State

Outlook: This was the surprise of the Big 10 as the Nittany Lions won 8 games after most thought they’d win no more than 5 (I had them winning less if I recall). The NC slate is light, but Syracuse could be a test in the opener. In CP both Ohio State and Wisconsin are on the road, but the other 2 road games are winnable. Nebraska will be a tough home test. I will call for another 8-4 record, possibly 9-3. This team would place higher but they are on NCAA probation which is why the asterisk is by their rank. Oh and schedule Hawaii in December to give your players a treat at the end of the season.


5. Illinois Fighting Illini: HC-Tim Beckman; OC-Bill Cubit; DC-Tim Banks


Offense-8 starters return


2 yrs ago Nathan Scheelhaase looked like All American material. LY he played poorly, but is still a solid QB who should benefit from a scheme change. The OL lost 2 starters but should be good thanks to JUCO help. The RB’s are intact from LY, and I think they should improve.  The WR’s however will be a ? as Beckman lamented the lack of a deep threat in the spring.


Defense-4 starters return


The front 4 is the same as the WR’s on offense-big ?’s remain as to how they will play. The LB’s however are a strength going in, but must stay healthy. The DB’s should play well as the backups from LY step into starting roles TY.


Key Game: Oct 19 hosting Wisconsin

Outlook: 2-10. That was the record LY and many expected Tim Beckman to do much better than that instead of taking a major step back from 2011. But the future is what the Illini are playing for, and if more starters were back on Defense this could be a turnaround season. But with a new system offensively and vast inexperience on defense this is a tough prediction to make. The NC slate is tough with Washington, Cincinnati and Miami, Ohio as toss ups. I don’t see a win in CP and think there will be a lot of high scoring games. I call for a 1-11 season, but this team should be more competitive than a year ago.


4. Purdue Boilermakers: HC-Darrell Hazell; OC-John Schoop; DC-Greg Hudson


Offense-5 starters return


Rob Henry looks to be the starter at QB, but look for Danny Etling to possibly get playing time as well. The RB’s don’t have much size but are young and could be strong, but for now I will call this a ? mark. The OL has 3 starters back, and should improve under the new system, but depth is an issue so staying healthy is imperative. The WR’s are good, but as the Boilermakers transition to a more rush based attack look for the numbers to take a slight drop.


Defense-8 starters return


The front 4 is going to be a work in progress but DE Jalani Phillips looks like he could be a Ryan Kerrigan type player. The LB’s will be backed up by incoming freshman so this could be a weakness, but it could also turn into a strength if the front 4 plays well. 3 starters are back on a secondary which did play well a year ago, so the defense could improve overall from LY.


Key Game: Sept 21 at Wisconsin

Outlook: While competitive, and scrappy I thought Purdue would go bowling, but they lost their HC as the athletic department wanted a new direction. The Boilermakers are ditching their H-Back offense for a more pro set look based on the run. The NC slate has Cincy on the road, but a home game with Notre Dame who they should’ve beaten LY on Sept 14. In CP they draw Nebraska and Michigan St from the other division. It will be tough to equal last season’s win total but I see 5-7 as the record.


3. Indiana Hoosiers: HC-Kevin Wilson; Co-OC’s Seth Littrell & Kevin Johns; Co-DC’s-Doug Mallory & William Inge


Offense-10 starters return


Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudefeld are in a 2 way battle at QB once again. The RB corps is intact from LY and should improve. The OL has been improving each of the last 2 previous seasons and is doing so again TY. The WR’s are intact but have a new starter at TE & I think will be just fine.


Defense-9 starters return


The front 4 has some ?’s but I think they will play well, as the rest of the defense is intact from a season ago. SS Greg Heban & LB David Cooper are the leaders.


Key Game: Oct 5 vs Penn State

Outlook: Kevin Wilson went 1-11 in 2011 and 4-8 in 2012. Do you see the trend? I call for Indiana to be my break out team of the Big 10 as I think Indiana will have a season that makes fans temporarily forget basketball season starts in November. While the defense played porrly at the end of the season, it was mostly due to injuries and young players got key playing time. The NC slate has Navy and Missouri as possible wins, the other 2 should be wins. The tough part is they play division rivals Wisconsin and Ohio State on the road back to back at the end of the season, but catch OSU the week before they play Michigan so that could be a potential upset. I will predict a 7-5 record, and a December bowl game.


2. Wisconsin Badgers; HC-Gary Andersen; OC-Andy Ludwig; DC-Dave Aranda


Offense-8 starters return


Joel Stave & Curt Phillips are battling out at QB. The RB’s are solid, and the OL is always strong. The WR’s are intact also, but under the new scheme could improve on LY’s numbers as the passing game will play a bigger role.


Defense-6 starters return


The Badgers are switching to the 3-4, so evaluating the players will be tough since they haven’t played a game yet. But LB’s  Chris Boland & Ethan Armstrong are back, and NT Beau Allen is a huge presence on the front 3 (6’3 335).


Key Game: Sept 28 at Ohio State

Outlook: The last 3 season this team has won the Big 10 and has gone to 3 straight Rose Bowls. Bret Bielema left to take the Arkansas job so the Wisconsin hired former Utah St HC Andersen to come in. After 2 tough late season losses, the Badgers thrashed Nebraska and narrowly lost to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. TY in NC play Arizona State will be a test, and so will BYU later in the year. The other 2 NC games are easy wins. Only Ohio State is the road test in CP, and Penn State is a challenge at home at the end of the regular season. I see a 10-2 record and a possible Rose Bowl bid, as you will see when you read on.


1. Ohio State Buckeyes: HC-Urban Meyer; Co-OC’s Tom Herman & Ed Warriner; Co-DC’s-Everett Winters & Luke Fickell


Offense-9 starters return


Braxton Miller is back, and if Tim Tebow is a comparison starting in Meyer’s offense for 2 years means a huge step forward. Carlos Hyde is back at RB, now that his off field issues have been resolved but he is on thin ice. The depth behind him is good, so expect a lot of young players to step up at RB. The OL is very strong, and one of the best in the Big 10. The WR’s should be very strong as most have stayed over the summer to work on timing with the QB’s.


Defense-4 starters return


The front 4 is young, but very talented thanks to good recruiting. Adolphus Washington leads the front 4 (on paper this is a 3-4 unit) and should produce big numbers. The LB’s have Ryan Shazier back, and a wealth of young players at the position. The DB’s have 3 of their 4 starters back so expect them to be on the same level as they were LY.


Key Game: Sept 28 hosting Wisconsin

Outlook: I didn’t think OSU could go unbeaten a year ago and yet they did. Now that they are eligible to play in the post season this year, many think they will once again. While the defense is young and the possible weakness, the schedule allows them to warm up early on. Going to Cal on Sept 14 is the 1st road test, but they should win that one. If they knock off Wisconsin then they shouldn’t lose another game. I think a repeat of 12-0 is likely.


Big 10 Championship Game: Michigan State Spartans vs Ohio State Buckeyes


Projected Big 10 Champion: Ohio State Buckeyes

#11 hcmv007


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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:31 PM

2013 SEC Preview


Here we go, the conference of champions. Will the SEC win it all again? It’s very likely. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina look to be very strong. LSU, Texas A&M are solid. Ole Miss and Vanderbilt are rising programs, while Auburn and Tennessee look to reclaim past glory. Will Johnny Manziel LY’s Heisman winner repeat? Will he even play with NCAA investigations looming? Will Alabama make it 3 in a row to close out the BCS? Will someone from the East win out? Read on to find out.





7. Kentucky Wildcats: HC-Mark Stoops: OC-Neal Brown; DC-DJ Elliot


Offense-7 starters return


At QB it looks like Maxwell Smith is the starter, but look for Patrick Towles to get some time as well. The RB spot is led by Raymond Sanders and Jonathan George, and if they stay healthy that will be a plus. The OL has 3 starters back, but depth is an issue. The WR’s should put up big numbers in the Air Raid offense, so look for DeMarco Robinson to have a big season, so should newcomer Javess Blue (aptly named for Kentucky don’t you think?).


Defense-7 starters return


Alvin Dupree leads the front 4, and is the best player on that side of the ball. The LB’s are a ? but they have some incoming young talent. The DB’s are young but they all played LY and while it wasn’t always good, they got some experience. Look for an improvement TY.


Key Game: Sept 28 hosting Florida

Outlook: It’s all about the future, as Mike Stoops has brought the Air Raid offense back to Kentucky, and a solid recruiting class waiting to sign in 2014. But the future is the just that, not the present. I don’t see a huge improvement as when Hal Mumme took over in 1997, that team had some talent, this one not so much. Louisville is the 3rd game of the season, and they open with Western Kentucky which should be a win. In CP they get Mississippi State and Alabama, so I think they split those 2. Missouri is a possible win but that is it, I think 2-10 is the record once again, but if they surpass that estimate no more than 4 wins.


6. Tennessee Volunteers: HC-Butch Jones; OC-Mike Bajakian; DC-John Jancek


Offense-5 returning starters


It looks like Justin Worley is going to start at QB, but he is being challenged by new recruits so he may not finish as the starter. The RB position is a strength and led by Marlin Lane. The OL should be the strength here overall. But the WR’s are lacking depth, and must rely on young players. If this were a more solid unit I would place them higher, and be more optimistic about immediate success.


Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 has good size in the middle, but the ends are a ?. LB Curt Maggit is the star of this defense and look for him to be one of the best in the conference. The DB’s are very young, but after making many mistakes LY should step up play TY.


Key Game: Sept 14 at Oregon

Outlook: If there were some veteran players I would be more confident in the Vols having a successful season, but I don’t see a big jump. Playing Oregon is a huge test, but should help them once SEC play starts. The other games should be wins, so that’s 3 wins for sure. Auburn and Alabama are the West draws, and they should split those 2. I see a repeat of LY’s record at 5-7, but this will be a much improved team with more optimism in 2014.


5. Missouri Tigers: HC-Gary Pinkell; OC-Josh Henson; DC-Dave Steckel


Offense-8 starters return


The offense is shifting to a pro style set and ditching the spread. The big ? is how will QB James Franklin play TY? Keeping him healthy will be a challenge, and the OL needs to stay healthy to do that. The RB’s aren’t what you would call SEC caliber, as they lack the big back most pro-style offenses have. The WR’s look to be good as Marcus Lucas is back and should be aided by Texas transfer Darius White.


Defense-6 starters return


3 of LY’s starters on the front 4 are back, making this the strength of the defense. LB’s are a different story as they only have 1 starter back in Andrew Wilson. The DB’s will be a question but only as far as depth b/c they can’t afford any injuries here.


Key Game: Oct 5 at Vanderbilt

Outlook: LY Missouri players wondered if the SEC defenses would be ready for their offense and their defense. After getting hammered by Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama they got quiet. It’s well known that Gary Pinkell is fighting for his job, and this season will be tough to save it. The NC slate should see them get to 4-0, followed by the East division (Vandy & Georgia on the road back to back). They end with Ole Miss on the road and Texas A&M from the West to end the season, I hate to say it but I don’t see 6 wins, as I predict another 5-7 record and a search for a new head coach.


4. Vanderbilt Commodores: HC-James Franklin; OC-John Donovan; DC-Bob Schoop


Offense-7 starters return


Austyn Carta-Samuels lit things up at Wyoming, and looks to do the same as he replaces Joran Rodgers at QB. Brian Kimbrow and Wesley Tate are a lightning/thunder combo at RB. On the OL they must replace the guards, but for a change Vandy has depth here, so look for this unit to improve, but they must stay healthy. The WR’s are led by Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd, both of whom have great speed.


Defense-6 starters return


The front 4 may be a concern, but they have great size, thanks in part to an excellent recruiting effort by the coaching staff. The LB’s look strong, as do the DB’s. This has been Vandy’s strength over the years. The top 2 tacklers from LY FS Kenny Ladler and LB Chase Garnham are back to lead this unit.


Key Game: Aug 29 hosting Ole Miss

Outlook: For the 1st time in the 123 year history of Vanderbilt football they have never made it to back to back bowl games, as they have done in 2011 & 2012. But for Vandy to have any success they must beat Ole Miss. 2 weeks later they travel to South Carolina in a crucial SEC East matchup. They draw Ole Miss and Texas A&M from the West, and if they split those games and knock off Wake Forest at the end of the regular season, Vandy is 8-4 going to a 3rd straight bowl and might lose Franklin to a bigger job offer in 2014.


3. Florida Gators: HC-Will Muschamp; OC-Brent Pease; DC-DJ Durkin


Offense-6 starters return


For the first time in years, Florida ran for more yards than they got passing. Jeff Driskel is back at QB, and now that he isn’t looking over his shoulder should play better and that will be needed as he was mediocre at best LY. Matt Jones replaces Mike Gilleslie at RB, and has some good depth behind him, but this is still a ? as this is a young group but very talented. The OL is in excellent shape. The WR’s are led by Quinton Dunbar and converted TE to WR Trey Burton who also sees time at QB in short yardage packages.


Defense-4 starters return


On paper this is a 3-4 but on the field it’s a 4-3. The front is a ? as they are unproven here. The LB’s are in the same boat. The secondary however is loaded and may be one of the best in the country, but if the front 7 isn’t up to the task this could be a long year for this group and this team.


Key Game: Sept 7 at Miami, FL

Outlook: After going 11-2 and getting blasted in the Sugar Bowl, this is going to be a down year as the playmakers on defense are gone, so is their leading rusher. The offense has shifted from being a passing attack to a rushing attack, but the Gators have to throw it better to have chances to win more games. The NC slate is highlighted by Miami in the beginning to Florida State at the end of the season. They draw LSU from the West as well as Arkansas, but LSU is a road game. They also draw South Carolina on the road, so that will be a test also. I think Florida wins 8 games, but after LY this will be a drop off.


2. Georgia Bulldogs: HC-Mark Richt; OC-Mike Bobo; DC-Todd Grantham


Offense-9 starters return


Aaron Murray is back for his final season, and IMO is one of the top QB’s in the SEC. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are both back at RB and are among the best in the SEC as well. The OL is loaded once again, and many thought they underachieved a year ago. TY they should be one of the best in college football. The WR’s are led by Malcolm Mitchell, but this could be the weakness of a very good offense.


Defense-3 starters return


There are major losses on this side of the ball. LB Amaro Herrera is the leading retunring tackler. The DB’s are a very big ? mark.


Key Game: Aug 7 hosting South Carolina

Outlook: This is Georgia’s 1st 5 games: at Clemson, hosting South Carolina, open date, North Texas, LSU and at Tennessee. Ouch. The good news is 3 of those are home games, the bad news is the defense won’t really have a chance to grow and develop as fans would hope. They draw Auburn in the West, and end against Georgia Tech. This will be one of the best offenses in the SEC and in the country but the defense is too big a ? mark and they have not recruited on the level of Alabama or LSU the last 5 years but they have the last 2 years. This is a very talented team but will drop down to 9-3 TY.


1. South Carolina Gamecocks: HC-Steve Spurrier; Co-OC’s-Steve Spurrier, Jr & Shawn Elliot; DC-Lorenzo Ward


Offense-7 starters return


Connor Shaw surprised me at QB LY, and is back this season. Look for Dylan Thompson, Brendan Nosovitch & true freshman Conner Mitch to see possible playing time at QB as well. Replacing Marcus Lattimore at RB is Mike Davis who filled in when Lattimore got hurt, but helping out will be Brandon Wilds who redshirted LY due to an ankle injury. The OL must replace their center but should be just fine as the depth is very solid. The WR’s are led by Bruce Ellington, and at TE Rory Anderson and Jerrell Adams make an inpressive combo (6’5 218 & 6’6 224 respectively) and you may see more 2 TE sets from the Gamecocks TY.


Defense-5 starters return


Jadaveon Clowney is back to lead the front 4, and knock off someone’s helmet once again. The LB’s are unproven, but the DB’s are very experienced and talented, led by CB Jimmy Legree.


Key Game: Sept 7 at Georgia

Outlook: North Carolina will be a challenge, but its conference games that are more important. Still, the Gamecocks have a tough road ahead of them. This is a team that has the potential to win out if they knock off Georgia, but Clemson could prevent an undefeated season in the regular season finale. They have a weak West draw getting Mississippi State and Arkansas, and Georgia is the lone road test in division play. This team can easily match LY’s 11 wins, but can do it in the regular season, but to be safe I will predict 10-2.




7. Auburn Tigers: HC-Gus Malzahn; OC-Rhett Lashlee; DC-Ellis Johnson


Offense-6 starters return


Kiehl Farazier has moved to DB, so its Nick Marshall who is the new starter, who was a former DB at Georgia. Needless to say the QB play is NOT something to look for being great. But Auburn’s offense will be based on the run, and RB Tre Mason headlines a talented group of RB’s. The OL should improve as they are already familiar with the system in place. The WR’s are talented, but if they can get the ball tossed their way they have good speed, Trovon Reed & CJ Uzomah should get big numbers if they can make the catches.


Defense-8 starters return


Auburn is going back to the 4-3 so look for the front 4 to play better despite losing their best pass rusher LY to the NFL. They have good size but young depth so they must stay relatively injury free. The LB’s are led by Jake Holland, and he must help keep order in this group that is aided by JUCO transfers. The DB’s are led by their top returning leading tacklers in SS Demterius McNeal & FS Jermaine Whitehead.


Key Game: Nov 30 hosting Alabama

Outlook: Looking at the NC slate, Auburn should go 4-0 and that gives them 1 more win than LY. Only Miss State is a possible win, so is a road trip to Arkansas in early November but for the rest they are underdogs. You also have to wonder about Nick Marshall not being recruited as a QB by other schools, but I don’t think he’s Steve McNair, but he should manage the offense well enough. Auburn should finish 5-7, with at least 1 SEC win.


6. Arkansas Razorbacks: HC-Bret Bielema; OC-Jim Chaney; DC-Chris Ash


Offense-4 starters return


Brandon Allen looks to be the starter at QB, but look for AJ Derby and Taylor Reed to play some as well. The RB position is more important in the new scheme, and that group is led by Jonathan Williams, and a host of young talented recruits. The OL must replace 3 starters, but will be improved over time. The WR’s still have Mekale McKay & Javontee Harden who can stretch the field and force teams out of 8 man fronts.


Defense-8 starters return


The front 4 is led by DE Chris Smith and DT Bryan Jones, both very good players. In the LB’s they will be young, and depth is going to be an issue if injuries mount up. The DB’s have the most depth and is anchored by SS Rohan Gaines.


Key Game: Sept 28 hosting Texas A&M

Outlook: Going from a wide open pro style passing attack to a pro style rushing attack is going to take time to adjust to in Arkansas. I have no doubt that the defense will play well, but the offense will develop a bit slowly. Still, the NC slate is manageable (No UL-Monroe but they do have UL-Lafayette) but the road trip at Rutgers should give a true indication where Arkansas is, so will the battle with the Aggies the week after.  They draw Florida and South Caroliina out of the East, so those are 2 losses, but I think they manage 2 wins in CP, and should finish 5-7, but this is a program that will be on the rise.


5. Mississippi State Bulldogs: HC-Dan Mullen; OC-Les Koenning; DC-Geoff Collins


Offense-7 starters return


Tyler Russell is back at QB, and that is good news as he is one of the most versatile dual threat QB’s (passing & rushing) in the SEC. At RB LaDarius Perkins gives both speed and power at that position, but there is a lot of depth at this group. The OL is the deepest its been since Mullen took over and I think they should perform well. The WR’s are a big ? mark as the top 4 from LY are gone.


Defense-5 starters return


The front 4 should improve somewhat due to new recruits and returning players. The LB’s have 2 starters back, but depth is an issue. The DB’s look very solid led by FS Nickole Whitley, so expect to see more 4-2-5 looks than you do 4-3 looks TY from the Bulldogs.


Key Game: Sept 14 at Auburn

Outlook: LY billboards dotted the state of Mississippi that read “We are State” the 7-0 start was impressive, but they lost 5 of their last 6 games to wrap things up. Now Ole Miss has the momentum and looks to be the stronger program in state (pun unintended). The NC slate is brutal: Oklahoma State in Houston, Troy those will be tough games. They should handle Alcorn State and Bowling Green is a toss up also but it should be a win. I’d say 3-1 in NC play is the record, plus possibely knocking off Auburn and Arkansas, and they draw Kentucky from the East, and South Carolina, that’s another win and loss, but if they want 7 wins it comes down to the Egg Bowl, but I see 6-6 as the record.


3. Texas A&M Aggies: HC-Kevin Sumlin; OC-Clanrence McKinney; DC-mark Snyder


Offense-6 starters return


QB Johnny Manziel is still the QB and as of this writing is still eligible to play, but his backups are a complete mystery. The RB’s are deep but not tested at the SEC level but should do just fine. The OL is led by Jake Matthews who moves from RT to LT, but must also find a C, I think they drop a few notches but its still a solid unit. The WR’s are somewhat unclear, but have lots of good incoming players but lack college football experience.


Defense-5 starters return


The Aggies front 3 was impressive LY, but often moved up their Rush LB to a DE most of the season, but lost their top 2 DL from LY. The LB’s are led by Steven Jenkins who must step up his play since this group has some holes. The DB’s are the most ready, having 3 starters back so this unit should keep things in check.


Key Game: Sept 14 hosting Alabama

Outlook: I think the off field issues with Manziel are a big distraction, every reporter is asking every player about this and while they say it isn’t a distraction it is. If Manziel is on the field, the Aggies have a chance to do well. But with a new OC (even if on the staff LY) I think the Aggies drop off slightly, but it will be on the defensive side more than the offense. The NC slate is good prep for Bama (Rice and Sam Houston State). SMU and UTEP are after Bama & later in the year respectively. They draw Missouri (at the end of the regular season) & Vandy in the East so those should both be wins, while Bama & LSU are toss ups. I’ll call for 9-3 overall, but don’t be surprised if 7-5 rears its ugly head.


3. Ole Miss Rebels: HC-Hugh Freeze: Co-OC’s-Matt Luke & Dan Werner; Co-DC’s Dave Wommack & Jason Jones


Offense-9 starters return


QB Bo Wallace was the most improved player at QB in the SEC LY, and looks to build on his success. The Rebels RB’s are led by Trey Scott, who is lightning quick, but look for power in Nicholas Parker. The OL needs only to replace the RG, but should be fine. The WR’s are led by Donte Moncrief who had some big plays LY and looks to build on that TY.


Defense-10 starters return


The front 4 is boosted by the arrival of Robert Nkmediche at DE, the nations top recruit LY, and he will join his brother Denzel who is a LB. The front 7 looks to be stronger in 2013. The DB’s are the only unit losing a starter, but they should also improve being in year 2 of their defensive scheme.


Key Game: Aug 29 at Vanderbilt

Outlook: If they win the opener, Ole Miss looks like a solid 9 win football team. The NC slate has a road trip to Texas, but host Troy, Idaho & SE Missouri State so that’s 3 wins, plus 5 or 6 in CP. They draw Missouri in the East, but the trifecta of Bama, LSU & Texas A&M could be what trips up the Rebels but I think they have a chance to beat LSU. I’ll call for an 8-4 record and possible January Bowl game TY.


2. LSU Tigers: HC-Les Miles; OC-Cam Cameron; DC-John Chavis


Offense-8 starters return


QB Zach Mettenberger improved each game a year ago, and is back to lead the offense but watch for Anthony Jennings when he steps onto the field as he has beaten Steve Rivers for the #2 spot. The RB’s are thin, Alfred Blue is back, but its him, Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill who keeps having off field issues and if Spencer Ware or Michael Ford came back would’ve been (should have been IMO) kicked off the team. The OL has lost 3 starters but is actually looking to be one of the best in the Les Miles era. The WR’s are bolstered by Odell Beckham & Jarvis Landry but look for newcomers QUantavius Leslie & Kevin Spears to bolster an improving passing game.


Defense-4 starters return


The front 4 may be depleted but remember LSU recruits in the top 10-15 every year, so this is still a strong unit. The LB’s at LSU are 9 deep, as any of them could start for any team in the country, this is much better LB’s than when Nick Saban was here as far as depth and talent. The DB’s are led by FS Ronald Martin and SS Craig Loston who aren’t afraid to hit you in the mouth. I look for LSU to actually get better numbers despite losing 7 players on defense.


Key Game: Aug 31 vs TCU in Jerry’s Palace

Outlook: This is the big question in BR: Will Les Miles let Cam Cameron call the plays? If he does I think LSU makes big improvements on offense. If he doesn’t I think it’s the same LSU team we saw in 2012. The defense must step up in that case and lead the team. LSU is a better team that LY but the schedule is brutal, TCU is the opener than you have 2 fluff games with UAB & Kent State before opening CP against Auburn. LSU once again draws Florida out of the East but also Georgia and that is on the road. The only games I see LSU having trouble with besides TCU is Georgia, Bama, Ole Miss & Texas A&M (3 of those on the road, Aggies at home). LSU could be a 7-5 team realistically but I will call for a 6-2 conference record and 9-3 overall.


1. Alabama Crimson Tide: HC-Nick Saban: OC-Doug Nussmeir; DC-Kirby Smart


Offense-6 starters return


AJ McCarron is back at QB & IMO is a legitimate Heisman candidate. Alec Morris & Phillip Ely are backing him up. At RB TJ Yeldon gets his turn to shine in Bama’s offense and he leads a very talented group of RB’s & feel safe saying this is the top group in the country. The OL is up there also despite losing 3 starters, but inexperience in depth could hurt Bama. The WR’s are led by Amari Cooper & Kevin Norwood who can stretch the filed very effectively.


Defense-7 starters return


The front 3 is massive, no surprise there & while they replace 2 starters this should be no problem. The LB’s are led by CJ Mosely & Troy DePriest who are 2 of the best in the country, and next to Stanford as far as being the best in the NCAA. The DB’s are Saban’s specialty and this should be a strong unit once again, with FS Ha-Ha Clinton Dix making my all name team.


Key Game: Sept 14 at Texas A&M

Outlook: Bama’s 1st 2 games are Virginia Tech in Atlanta, bye week, then Texas A&M. Ouch. The NC slate has nobody after VT that will challenge Bama, so I call 4-0 in NC play. Only the Aggies and LSU are a challenge to Bama but they have open dates before both teams, but I think drop one of those games. However this team mirrors the 2010 Bama team that underperformed despite being one of the most talented and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bama drop a couple of losses but I don’t really see that happening. Instead I call for Bama to go 11-1, and for this first time since 2005 an SEC team will NOT play for the national championship.


2013 SEC Championship Game: South Carolina vs Alabama


Projected 2013 SEC Champions: Alabama Crimson Tide

#12 hcmv007


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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:06 AM

Initial BCS Top 3:


1. Alabama

2. Florida State

3. Oregon




In other news the Grambling football program is in the news for refusing to play this past weekend. The players have ripped the AD and school president for travel issues and poor conditions regarding the facilities. On the travel issues, Grambling doesnt have the money to fly players to games, but should have made an effort for the Indy trip. Players claim the uniforms arent properly washed and that there is mold in the locker room and training facilities. If this holds out and the players refuse to play, this could set college football into a new era, and hopefully Grambling will address these issues so a proud tradition can one day return.  Keep your eyes on this story

#13 seawolfnyy



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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:26 AM

I'm putting my money on Oregon to be the one to knock off Alabama, however, I'm not sure I trust Oregon's defense.

#14 seawolfnyy



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Posted 03 December 2013 - 06:15 PM

I can't believe I'm saying this. It literally pains me too, but......Go Buckeyes!

#15 hcmv007


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Posted 14 December 2013 - 05:24 PM

Its Bowl Time!



While I am not covering every bowl game, I will give my prediction and 2 cents on the ones I find intriguing or have local interest.


New Orleans Bowl


UL-Lafayette 35 Tulane 27


I like Tulane playing in their home stadium for the last time, but UL-Lafayette is too much to handle. I know the Cajuns will have a backup QB, but they should still hold off a very talented and fired up Tulane team looking to make a splash.


Buffalo Wild Wings


Michigan 28 Kansas State 20


This will be a close game and could really go either way, but I see the Wolverines squeaking by. K-State has a decent defense but Bowl game layoffs tend to make their progress slow. Look for fast starts on both sides but for the defenses to adjust.


Music City Bowl


Ole Miss 38 Georgia Tech 35


This is the best of the non major bowl games. Tech will move the ball on the ground while Ole Miss & Bo "Sunshine" Wallace leads a dynamic passing attack. I'll be safe & predict a modest 850 yards of total offense here


Alamo Bowl


Texas 31 Oregon 21


Texas will play for Mack Brown, who looks like he is staying for now, but that could change. Oregon has really missed Chip Kelly this year, but they just don't look the same. I think the time to prepare gives the Longhorns an advantage


Sun Bowl


UCLA 42 Virginia Tech 14


Bruins in a blowout. Tech has no offense and Logan Thomas has been MIA since week 2 of the 2011 season.


Liberty Bowl


Rice 37 Miss State 24


Rice has been the big surprise of college football this season, winning the CUSA title. State has been meh, not a good season but the Ole Miss win saved Dan Mullen's job. State has a lot to play for, but the Owls should win confortably.


Chik-Fil-A Bowl


Texas A&M 55 Duke 41


Neither team has a defense that can stop the other, but you should get an offensive hightlight show. The Aggies have too much speed and have way too much for Duke to handle. But like Rice, Duke has been the surprise of college football.


Gator Bowl


Georgia 28 Nebraska 14


Another SEC blowout, I doubt Nebraska will match Georgia's intensity. Both teams are banged up, so this one might be interesting


Capital One


South Carolina 35 Wisconsin 29


I look for this to be the most physical of all the bowl games




LSU 25 Iowa 24


I look for LSU to win on a last second hail mary. Les Miles will NOT have LSU ready until the 4th quarter. Iowa should hang with LSU for the whole game.


Cotton Bowl


Oklahoma St 38 Missouri 31


This will be an old fashioned shoot out. Missouri may have a big chip on their shoulder after what Auburn did to them in the SEC championship game. But the Cowboys have a bigger chip after Bedlam.


BBVA Compass Bowl


Vanderbilt 30 Houston 21


Another head scratcher but this should be a great game. Vandy's speed won't overwhelm Houston but it will wear them out in the 4th.


BCS Bowls



Rose Bowl:  Michigan St vs Stanford


If you like Christmas colors this game is for you. Both teams have outstanding defenses, but I think the Cardinal have the edge since its mostly a home game for them. The Spartans are back here after a quarter century. I think its going to be close


Stanford 20 Michigan State 17


Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs UCF


I speak for all college football fans when I say this: yawn. Baylor is fun to watch, and UCF is a surprise participant in the BCS.


Baylor 38 UCF 20


Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs Oklahoma


Bama last played Oklahoma in 2003, and got handled. But thats the past. Nick Saban is staying at Bama, for now, and is getting paid ($7-7.5 million per year). Oklahoma is happy to be here, but the Tide should roll.


Alabama 40 Oklahoma 14  Thats what you get for mouthing off at the SEC Stoops


Orange Bowl: Clemson vs Ohio St


I think this is the most competitive of the BCS games. Both teams have great QB's, but neither team has a great defense. I expect a high scoring game, with lots of excitement and action.


Ohio St 45 Clemson 41


National Title Game: Florida State vs Auburn



NOBODY thought Auburn would be here, I had them last in the SEC West. Florida State was expected to be here, and have blown out their opponents all season, like Oklahoma did in 2003. Neither defense will stop the others offense. Thats a fact. The other fact is Winston and Marshall are dynamic college QB's. This one will not be a blowout, but it won't be a high scoring affair as some think it may be. Both teams wont crack 40, but will come close. Ironically, Florida State played the 1st BCS Title Game against an SEC team and will end it doing so. This time it will be different and the SEC will fall.


Florida State 38 Auburn 34

#16 elizabeth


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Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:24 AM

Jameis Winston with the Heisman win today.  Youngest player to win it.  Good for him.


Navy beats Army, as they've done for, what, the past 2 years?

#17 hcmv007


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Posted 29 December 2013 - 02:04 PM

Bowl season is in full swing!  Except for me, Ive been sick all week and haven't really been able to enjoy the games :(

#18 seawolfnyy



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Posted 08 January 2014 - 06:34 PM

Haha, take that SEC!

#19 elizabeth


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Posted 08 January 2014 - 06:46 PM

Jeez, what a game that BCS championship was.  Congrats to FSU.

#20 hcmv007


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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:21 AM

Congrats to Florida State!



But the SEC still dominates the Bowl Games going 7-3.


Coming soon I'll review new HC hires & new coordinator hires at major programs plus give you 4 teams to watch going into 2014.

#21 hcmv007


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Posted 01 February 2014 - 11:23 PM

National Signing Day is this upcoming Wednesday, and nobody has a better celebration than LSU. For nearly 20 years they've had a day long party to celebrate the new players signing their letters of intent and its filled with food, drinks, adult beverages, a performance by the marching band, and Coach Miles addressing the fans. LSU also has the top player in the ESPN 300 committed, and may have a surprise or 2 go their way on Wed. Of course they can have surprises not go their way too, but it happens to all schools.



Also several Northwestern Football players are trying to form a union for college football players, I won't comment yet on this. Just an FYI.

#22 hcmv007


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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:44 AM

Rating the New Hires! I'll start with the most notable AC hire which is Lane Kiffen coming to Bama to be their Offensive Coordinator. While many SEC teams may want to write Nick Saban a thank you note, I won't do that just yet. Kiffen may find a way to make the Tide's offense produce points & consistency which is something Bama had trouble in except for a few games (Texas A&M, LSU). Now onto the head coaches:



Washington: Cris Peterson left Boise St to take this job over USC, which left many people scratching their heads. Only Houston Nutt had success once he left Boise St, and I think it will be tough to replicate it here. I predict he won't top 8 wins a year, but will keep the Huskies competitive. Grade: B plus


Penn State: James Franklin took Vanderbilt to 3 straight bowl games. Before he got there Vandy had only been to 4 bowl games in school history before he arrived. Franklin changed the culture at Vandy, and brought a confidence to a perennial door mat. At Penn State he has resources and no academic restrictions like at Vandy so he should do real well. He also led Vandy to back to back 9 win seasons. Let that sink in. Grade: A Plus Plus


Vanderbilt: Derrick Mason was Stanford's DC and chose Vanderbilt to take his 1st ever HC job. A great defensive mind he will have to be to keep up with Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee & Kentucky who all have high powered offenses. Mason is a good recruiter and worked at a school that had high academic standards and fielded a competitive team. This was the top assistant coach in the country, welcome to the SEC! Grade: A


Louisville: Bobby Petrino is back after leaving Louisville so this is his 2nd stint. The problem is they don't go too well. Bill Walsh had the most success going back to Stanford, but Johnny Majors didn't at Pitt and neither did Dennis Ericson at Idaho (but that was only for 1 year). But now Louisville is going to be in the ACC, which has a strong Duke team that is no pushover and National Champion Florida State. This is a unique return as the other coaches who returned for a 2nd stint still were in the same conference they were in when they left. But this is Petrino's last shot anywhere after his little motorcycle ride with a former mistress. Grade: Name recognition-A Success Rate-D, Average is C


Texas: Charlie Strong was not on the top 5 list for the Texas job when Mack Brown left (But what HC is really?). Strong is a good recruiter, a good strategy man, and a good man overall. Needless to say, all eyes in Texas are on him, as Texas is now behind Baylor and Texas A&M in popularity in their state at the state's flagship university. He's got a lot of work to do. But he can do it. Grade: A


Boise St: Brian Harsin was the former OC under Cris Peterson and the HC at Arkansas St this past year. Harsin knows the area, knows how to bring people in and knows any of the politics that go on or dont go on up in Boise. Grade: A


Wyoming: Craig Bohl built a powerhouse at FCS school North Dakota State winning 3 straight National Championships. It won't be overnight, but the transition from a wide open offense to a ball control offense will take time. If the Cowboys can play some defense, and quickly this could be a faster turnaround. Grade: A


Connecticut: Bob Diaco was a good OC, but can he do a turnaround at UConn? He won the Frank Broyles award in 2012 as the top assistant coach in the country. He's got all the intangibles but no experience. He's young, energetic and a good pitch man, but this is not an easy job. Grade: B


Miami, Ohio: Chuck Martin has HC experience at Grand Valley State, a D2 school. He has a tall order here, this program has fallen to the ground after being up top nearly 4 years ago. Martin comes in from Notre Dame, so he has some cred in recruiting circles. Grade: B minus


Arkansas State: Blake Anderson ran North Carolina's up tempo offense and will run the same for the Red Wolves, who are on their 4th HC in as many years. The good, the system wont change too much, but this program needs a long term solution not a 1 & done. Grade: B


Wake Forest: Dave Clawson ran a good program at Bowling Green, but can he turn the Demon Deacons back into a football power in the ACC? Grade: B


Bowling Green: Dino Babers comes in from Baylor and brings a wide open offense that should be fun. Coaching 27 WR's who are now in the NFL is strong for incoming recruits. This is the perfect starter job, Babers has no prior experience as an HC. Grade: B Plus


USC: Steve Sarkisian was the former OC here in the Pete Carroll days before taking the Washington job. But this is not the same USC, now they are behind Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and a rising Arizona State. So this was the best Pat Haden could do?!  Grade: C Plus


Massachusetts: Mark Whipple is back after leading this team to an FCS title, for another stint. He had been Miami, FL's OC and is back to bring the Minutemen back to a winning program. But at least he wants to be there, which is a plus. Good luck. Grade: B


Army: Jeff Monken comes in from Georgia Southern where he was an assistant under Paul Johnson. Rich Ellerson ran the Wishbone here so transition shouldn't be a stretch, but if he snaps the 13 year losing streak to Navy he'll get one helluva pay raise. Grade: B


Now to the men who have impossible tasks:


Western Kentucky: Jeff Brohm was the OC here LY and should do well at least in the short term. But a move into Conference USA is going to be tough. I understand wanting to keep the Petrino ties strong, but this was not a good move. Grade: D


Florida Atlantic: Charlie Partridge replaces Carl Pelini who admitted to using drugs, along with a couple of his assistants. Partridge comes from Arkansas, but headlined at Wisconsin where he recruited the state of Florida for both schools. This is a tough job, but he is young and would probably have been a HC in the future. Good thing he's in the Sun Belt. Grade: C Minus


Alabama-Birmingham: Bill Clark was at Jacksonville State for 1 season as the HC to replace Garrick McGee who left to be OC at Louisville. But UAB has sub standard facilities, low fan interest and are not a program on the rise. Grade: D


Eastern Michigan: Chris Creighton welcome to coaching Hell. Creighton has a strong background at Drake where he was the HC and where he won without scholarships. He had a good record at Wabash in the NAIA level before that. Unlike the previous HC Ron English, who had no HC experience, Creighton has that. But can he recruit in Michigan and the Midwest area? Another interesting fact: He doesn't curse. I bet he'll break that before his tenure ends. Grade: C

#23 hcmv007


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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:40 PM

Im hoping to post 2014 Previews soon

#24 hcmv007


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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:23 PM

This season I will only be doing the Independents, & the big conferences: SEC, Big 10, Pac 12, Big XII, ACC. I hope to start this weekend since I would also like to do the NFL as well this season.

#25 hcmv007


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 11:14 PM

2014 Independents Review


            Once there were numerous schools here, but conference realignments, TV deals, and financial issues have left only 4 schools left, 2 of which are Service Academies. While it may only be a matter of time before these schools have no choice but to join a conference these 4 carry the banner. So how will Army, BYU, Navy & Notre Dame fare?




Army Black Knights


HC: Jeff Monken (1st season)

OC: Brent Davis

DC: Jay Bateman

Returning Starters: 15 (8 on offense)


Offense: Army is turning to the triple option once again, this time using the same offense as Navy (Monken coached at Navy).  While QB Angel Santiago started last season, he is being pushed by AJ Schurr who started the Navy Game. The line is in good condition, but lack size to really push opponents around. Terry Baggett returns to lead the RB’s and should be the top rusher this season, but Army really needs their most talented back Raymond Maples to get healthy in order to complement the rushing attack.


Defense: Army is still using the 3-4, but lack the size on the front to really stuff the run, something they ranked 103rd in last season. The good news is the front 3 is back, but they must find 4 new starters at LB. In the secondary, Safeties Hayden Pierce and Geoffery Bacon anchor that unit, which is where their best athletes are.


Big Question: Will Jeff Monken be able to change the culture at Army like he did for Georgia Southern?

Outlook: Army won 3 games last season, something they are likely to do this season. While Yale and Fordham are on the schedule, those should not be chalked up as easy wins. It really all comes down to the Navy game. If Army can break the losing streak it will be a successful season.


BYU Cougars


HC: Bronco Mendenhall

OC: Robert Anae

DC: Nick Howell

Returning Starters: 13 (7 on offense)


Offense: Taysom Hill is back at QB, and is the most underrated dual threat QB in college today. The problem is lack of experience at WR, so JUCO transfer Nick Kurtz will likely be the top target, with last season’s top 2 returners in Mitch Matthews and Ross Apo. Last season’s leading rusher Jamaal Williams is back, but the OL is questionable due to injuries and lack of experience. If this unit can stay consistent the Cougars could put up some big numbers.


Defense: The Cougars must replace the best defensive player in school history in Kyle Van Noy, and they feel that Bronson Kaufasi can do that job. The front 3 will be a work in progress, but should improve against the run as depth is something they have, just not game experience. The secondary is hurting, as CB Trent Tramell was injured at spring practice, and they will need him healthy to complement the other CB Robertson Daniel.


Big Question: Will BYU be able to land a major bowl bid despite a weak schedule?

Outlook: The schedule is not all soft (Boise St, Texas, Houston & Central Florida), but November is soft and they should win all 4 games (Cal is the only test). Taysom Hill should improve as a passer, and that should be enough to get them over the hump. I predict a 10-2 record, and with the BYU Network growing, should get them into a Jan 1st Bowl Game.


Navy Midshipmen


HC: Ken Niumatalolo

OC: Ivin Jasper

DC: Buddy Green

Returning Starters: 14 (7 on both Offense & Defense)


Offense: The good news is QB Keenan Reynolds is back, and he is one of the most dynamic option QB’s college football has seen in a while. The line is in great shape as well, so opening lanes for the RB’s and protecting Reynolds won’t be an issue. The bad news is finding new RB’s and WR’s but since they run the triple option they really won’t be too worried about the WR’s. The RB’s will be led by Geoffrey Whiteside & DeBrandon Sanders who are the returning rushing leaders, while FB is a 3 man race.


Defense: The Middies run the 3-4, and in the past this unit has not had many issues, but this could be tough as they must replace their nose tackle and both inside linebackers, who are supposed to make the tackles in their scheme. The secondary is looking sharp, and should be the key to success on that side of the ball.


Big Question: Will Navy’s bowl streak continue this year?

Outlook: Ohio State is the opener, and Notre Dame opens November. Other than those 2 games Navy should win the rest of their games and the Commander In Chief’s Trophy. I am optimistic despite the defensive issues but will go with 10-2


Notre Dame Fighting Irish


HC: Brian Kelly

OC: Mike Denbrock

DC: Brian VanGorder

Returning Starters: 9 (5 on defense)


Offense: Everett Golson is back at QB after missing last season due to academics. WR DaVaris Daniels is the big play man, but who will step up to help take the double teams off of him is yet to be answered. The RB’s are solid, and there should be a lot of competition to be the starter, and I will predict Greg Bryant will be the starter at some point. The line however is the only stable part of the team as only 2 positions need to be filled, but recruiting has helped out a lot here.


Defense: New DC Brian VanGorder is bringing a much more aggressive tone to the Irish defense, which saw its play regress last season. That may help them early on in finding new starters in the front 7. The secondary is anchored by CB KeiVarae Russell, who might be the top CB taken in the next NFL Draft if he chooses to leave after this season.


Big Question: Will the college playoff format force Notre Dame to join the ACC in football; and will Everett Golson shake off the rust of being out of football for a year?

Outlook: 9-4 was the record last season, and like past schedules, this one does no favors. The big game is Oct 18th on the road at Florida State, as that will determine if the Irish are close to being national contenders. But it is likely that the Irish may replicate last season’s record while being a better team. 8-4 is my prediction.

2014 American Conference Preview


            The artist formerly known as the Big East changed names, and now have changed schools as most of the founders bolted to the ACC & the Big XII. Although technically not a major conference, this is still going to be a competitive one. Since these are mostly smaller colleges, you might find the next major college hire coming from here.


11. Tulsa Golden Hurricane


HC: Bill Blankenship

OC: Denver Johnson

DC: Brent Guy

Returning Starters: 13 (9 on defense)


Offense: QB is an open competition, but Dane Evans could be the starter once the season begins, but he will be pushed by Jabe Burgess & Joseph Calcagni. RB’s used to be reliable here, but there isn’t a clear picture here either. The line has must replace 2 starters so this is an area of strength. The WR’s should get a boost when Keyarris Garrett returns from a leg injury. Expect 2014 to mirror last season on this side.


Defense: Tulsa has reason to be optimistic here, with 9 starters back. DE Derrick Alexander is the standout on the front 4, while the LB’s are led by OLB Mitchell Osborne who could move to the middle if needed. The Golden Cane’s have depth in their secondary, which is their strength. S DeMarco Nelson is back after sitting out last year to focus on academics.


Big Question: Will Blankenship keep his job?

Outlook: If Tulsa can get consistency on offense, they could manage 7 wins. However the Oklahoma game on Sept 6th will determine how good this team can be. I expect the defense to carry this team, but they can only take them so far, and October and November are mostly road games. That’s not good for their chances of having a winning season. I will predict 4-8, and a new head coach next season.


10. Temple Owls


HC: Matt Rhule

OC: Marcus Satterfield

DC: Phil Snow

Returning Starters: 9 (5 on defense)


Offense: QB PJ Walker returns after taking over last October and that is good news as he 180’d the Owls offense last season. The top returning WR is Jalen Fitzpatrick, but after redshirting last season Khalif Herbin is back so he should step up to help in the passing game. RB and line depth is a big concern as they struggled in short yardage situations a year ago.


Defense: The front 7 of the Owls 4-3 scheme features a lot of freshman and sophomores on the line, but the LB’s are very experienced. Look for Michael Dogbe a true freshman to make an impact on the front 4. CB Anthony Robey anchors the secondary, but must also count on JUCO transfers Shahid Lovett and Alex Wells to make contributions.


Big Question: Will Temple regain their form from 5 years ago & is Matt Rhule the right man for the job?

Outlook: There’s no easy way to say this but Temple is back in the cellar for a while. If there were more experience back there could possibly be some hope, but expect more of the same this season. Last season Temple went 2-10 but had 3 losses by a total of 7 points and lost another game by 7, so 6-6 was possible. I predict 3-9 this season.


9. Memphis Tigers


HC: Justin Fuente

OC: Darryl Dickey

DC: Barry Odom

Returning Starters: 15 (8 on offense)


Offense: Who is the tallest QB to start in College Football this season? It’s at Memphis where Paxton Lynch is back, and so are his top 4 targets at WR led by Joe Craig, a Clemson transfer. RB Brandon Hayes is a hard runner and can get 1,000 yards rushing if he stays healthy and is the best back on the team. The line is anchored by both tackles returning but must find new men in the middle.


Defense: The Tigers play a 3-4 scheme, and on a weak team this is their strength. Look for DE Martin Ifedi to have another big season, while LB’s Charles Harris, Ryan Coleman and Jackson Dillon will get in people’s faces. The secondary looks good despite needing to replace both safeties, but keep an eye out for Bobbie McCain who I think is a very underrated player.


Big Question: Will Memphis ever be a big football program?

Outlook: I like the Tiger’s defense, which is as good as any unit in the AC. The offense should improve as most of the players were young a season ago. Memphis will try to run a more up tempo offense, which they hope puts more points on the board. The defense is there, all the questions are on the offense. I predict 4-8 this season.


8. Connecticut Huskies


HC: Bob Diaco (1st season)

OC: Mike Cummings

DC’s: Vincent Brown, Anthony Poindexter

Returning Starters: 10 (5 on each side)


Offense: Casey Cochran, Chandler Whitmore & Tim Boyle are in a 3 way race for QB with nobody separating themselves in the spring. WR Geramy Davis and RB Lyle McCombs are the stars at the skill positions. The line is a big question, where youth and lack of depth are a concern.


Defense: Lack of depth is a concern on defense as well, but there are good players in the starting lineup. DE Angelo Pruitt and NG Julian Campenni anchor the line, while Graham Stewart looks to be a big play LB. The secondary will rely on CB Byron Jones for leadership, and expect true freshman Jamar Summers to contribute right away.


Big Question: Can UConn 180 this season?

Outlook: A tough NC slate (BYU & Boise St) may hurt potential bowl chances, but if they go 2-1 there is a chance the Huskies could finish at 6-6. But will the Huskies defense adopt the bend but don’t break mentality Diaco had at Notre Dame? If so, it’s a long season. However it seems the administration will give Diaco a chance to build the program. I will predict 4-8, but this team could pull off 6 wins.


7. SMU Mustangs


HC & Playcaller: June Jones

OC: Jason Phillips

DC: Tom Mason

Returning Starters: 12 (6 on each side)


Offense: Last season Jones experimented with Hal Mumme to create a new up tempo offense and hopefully blend his run and shoot offense with Mumme’s air raid attack. It failed. Now the Mustangs are back to the run and shoot. Neal Burcham is the starter for now, but look for him to be pushed by Garrett Krstich and incoming true freshman Darrel Colbert. WR’s Darius Joseph and Der’rikk Thompson are back and should put up big numbers. RB is a concern as the top player on the depth chart at spring, Kevin Pope, switched to offense after being 2nd on the team in tackles. The line is going to be young, so expect early season growing pains..


Defense: The front 3 is back but they really lack the size to not get pushed around. Look for Beau Barnes to lead the line once again. LB’s are a mystery as they lack game experience. The secondary however is interesting. Led by a safety who is 6’5 Shakiel Randolph will be able to break up deep routes, and maybe get a pick or two.


Big Question: Can SMU once again be a prime time program?

Outlook: June Jones has been able to do something that hadn’t been done since the program came back from the death penalty: win a bowl game. This season, the Mustangs have a brutal NC slate featuring Baylor and Texas A&M & a tough road schedule in conference play. It is possible that SMU could win 7 games, but I will say they repeat 5-7 but should be more competitive.


6. Tulane Green Wave


HC: Curtis Johnson

OC: Eric Price

DC’s: Jon Sumrall, Lionel Washington

Returning Starters: 10 (5 on each side)


Offense: Nick Montana is back, but he was benched in the bowl game for inconsistent play. Tanner Lee may well start the season at QB, but Montana could still catch him. WR Justin Shackleford and TE Matt Marfisl are the top targets for Lee to throw too, but look for Devon Breaux to step up as well. The RB’s are a strong group led by Rob Kelly and Sherman Badie. The line is still a work in progress but for the first time in a while they have depth.


Defense: Tulane last season broke up 87 passes, which led the nation. LB Nico Marley may be the lightest player at his position (5’8, 180) but he plays with reckless abandon. CB Lorenzo Doss is the top player in the secondary. The front 4 however is completely unknown, but there they do lack depth so staying healthy here is a concern.


Big Question: Can Tulane replicate success?

Outlook: Last season Tulane shocked everyone by winning 7 games, a big accomplishment for HC Curtis Johnson who is rising in the college ranks. Tulane has a manageable NC schedule but look for SE Louisiana to not be an easy win (but still a possible loss). Tulane is also breaking in a new stadium as they will no longer play their home games in the Superdome so it will be a new look for the Wave. 6-6 is my prediction, but 7-5 is still possible.


5. South Florida Bulls


HC: Willie Taggart

OC: Paul Wulff

DC: Chuck Bresnahan

Returning Starters: 11 (7 on offense)


Offense: QB Mike White was supposed to be redshirted but he started the last 5 games. The line should be much improved after a year in Taggart’s system and it is a veteran unit. Andre Davis leads the WR’s but the big issue is RB where they are largely unsettled.


Defense: While improving last season, they lost a lot of starters from a year ago. 8 new starters are needed. This is a very young unit.


Big Question: Despite lack of experience can this team compete?

Outlook: The offense should improve in year 2 of the Willie Taggart era. They will have to since they will have to carry this team. The NC slate is brutal: Maryland, NC State and Wisconsin will not be easy, and they should be losses. The schedule gets lighter in November save for the finale against Central Florida. 7-5 is my call, but they will be in a lot of close games.


4. Central Florida Knights


HC: George O’Leary

OC: Charlie Taafe

DC: Tyson Summers

Returning Starters: 14 (8 on defense)


Offense: Blake Bortles is gone, and had he come back it is possible UCF would be a dark horse contender for the national title. Nick Patti and Justin Holmon are battling to be the new QB. The line has veteran players but lack starting experience. The WR’s are led by Breshad Perriman, who could opt out early for the NFL draft. RB is a question but look for William Stanback to replace Storm Johnson.


Defense: This will be a stronger unit this season with 8 starters back. Despite a veteran secondary look for incoming true freshman Chris Williams to push for playing time. Despite lack of returners on the front 4 look for DE Thomas Niles to step up. The LB’s look solid led by Terrance Plummer


Big Question: Was last season a fluke or a sign of things to come?

Outlook: I doubt this team wins 12 games again, but there is a lot of talent here. This team is good enough to win the conference but without Bortles and his willingness to put the team on his back it will be a rough season. Look for an 8-4 record and optimism for the future.


3. Houston Cougars


HC: Tony Levine

OC: Travis Bush

DC: David Gibbs

Returning Starters: 15 (8 on defense)


Offense: WR Deontay Granberry and Daniel Spencer are an effective 1-2 punch that should make DC’s across the conference nervous. QB John O’Korn played well but struggled against better defenses in conference play. He should improve this season. The line lost their best player Zach Johnson to a torn ACL in spring, so that is going to be an issue. The RB’s are led by Kenneth Farrow and Ryan Jackson and provide a healthy option to balance their wide open offense.


Defense: Last season the Cougars forced 43 turnovers which led the nation. They are looking to build on that success this season. The bad news is another ACL injury took out their best lineman Eric Braswell, so look for the 4-3 scheme to be tweeked a bit. CB William Jackson has a lot of speed so look for him to be the breakout star in the secondary. LB Derrick Matthews is a tough player and leads the front 7.


Big Question: Can Houston be the Dark Horse of 2014?

Outlook: Houston has a chance to have a great record only b/c they have the weakest NC slate in the AC. Only BYU will be a test (Grambling, Tennessee Tech and UT San Antonio will not). Another advantage is East Carolina is not on the schedule, but they have Cincy on the road to end the regular season. Houston has a weak schedule so 10-2 will be very deceptive.


2. Cincinnati Bearcats


HC: Tommy Tuberville

OC: Eddie Gran

DC’s: Hank Hughes, Robert Prunty

Returning Starters: 15 (8 on offense)


Offense: Munchie Legeaux is back at QB but will be pushed by Gunner Kiel and Jarred Evans. The top 3 rushers are back, which is also good news for the Bearcats. The line has been a personal offensive project since Tuberville took over and this is his best line since his Auburn days. The triple threat of WR’s Max Morrison, Chris Moore and Shaq Washington will be a lot for DC’s to handle.


Defense: Cincy is switching to the 4-3 so look for some light growing pains. DE’s Terrell Hartsfield and Silverberry Mouhon anchor the front 4 while LB Jeff Luc will lead the front 7. The secondary has a good pair of CB’s in senior’s Howard Wilder and Adrian Witty. Lok for more speed on this side of the ball.


Big Question: Will Cincy live up to high expectations?

Outlook: Most publications have Cincy winning the AC. I don’t see that happening. While Legauex was given a 5th year of eligibility how will he return from knee surgeries? Who will be the QB if Legauex cant go? Too many questions. I predict 9-3 for the Bearcats.


1. East Carolina Pirates


HC: Ruffin McNeil

OC: Lincoln Riley

DC: Rick Smith

Returning Starters: 9 (6 on offense)


Offense: QB Shane Carden lit up scoreboards last season and should do so again. WR’s Isiah Jones and Justin Hardy will stretch defenses to their limit. RB Breeon Allen is one of the fastest players in the AC and should have a big season. The OL has some injury issues but I expect Ike Harris to be healthy by the start of the season.


Defense: Despite only returning 3 starters there is a lot of game experience in the Pirates 3-4 scheme. Look for OLB Montese Overton to have a big season, and for Zeek Bigger at ILB to improve on his performance last season. The secondary has great athletes led by CB Detric Allen, and despite not being a veteran unit the coaches are sold on these players.


Big Question: Can last season’s 10-3 record be improved on?

Outlook: East Carolina IMO has always been a sleeping giant. They woke up last season winning 10 games, and look to repeat their success. The players have bought into the schemes and should surprise many oppononets. The NC slate is tough: South Carolina and Virginia Tech are consecutive road trips in the 2nd and 3rd games of the season. I will predict 9-3 as Cincy is the only road test in CP, while the harder games are home. 10-2 is possible as well.

#26 hcmv007


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Posted 04 August 2014 - 02:47 AM

2014 Big 10 Conference Preview


            Expansion has come to one of the most prestigious conferences in all of College Football as Rutgers and Maryland make their debuts this season. The Big 10 is coming off a very rocky post season as only Nebraska and Michigan State won bowl games. Ouch! Also gone are the lame division names of  “Leaders” & “Legends” replaced by simple East & West. Will this be Ohio State’s year to win? Will Michigan State repeat?





7. Minnesota Golden Gophers


HC: Jerry Kill (Hot seat!)

OC: Matt Limegrover

DC: Tracy Claeys

Returning Starters: 14 (7 on each side)


Offense: Bad news for the Gophers is LY’s starting QB transferred to Rutgers, so replacing Phillip Nelson will be a challenge. Right now Mitch Leidner is the front runner but that could change. Leading rusher David Cobb is back, and freshman Berkely Edwards should back up Cobb nicely. The line is returning 4 starters and for a change has some depth, so rushing will once again be a key factor. The WR’s are a big question, but the coaches hope Donovahn Jones can step up this season. Also look for TE’s Maxx Williams and Drew Goodger to feature heavily in the passing game.


Defense: The good news is the Golden Gophers replace only 4 starters on a defense that ranked 25th in the country in scoring. This will be the strength of this team, particularly in the secondary where the coaches believe is the best part of their team. Safeties Cedric Thompson & Antonio Johnson anchor that unit. The line is solid, look for DE Therein Cochran to have a big season. The biggest question is at LB, where they took a hit in spring when a knee injury when Cody Poock was lost in spring, but could be back this fall.


Big Question: Will Jerry Kill’s health be a concern once again this season?

Outlook: The Gophers have a good defense, but it’s the offense that has not stepped up. Middle Tennessee and Eastern Illinois are W’s but for a change the Gophers get a favorable home schedule in CP (Ohio St, Iowa). But it goes back to my question, when Jerry Kill is healthy this is a good team, when he isn’t, they go downhill. I will predict 3-9 and a new head man for 2015.


6. Illinois Fighting Illini


HC: Tim Beckman (Hot seat!)

OC: Bill Cubit

DC: Tim Banks

Returning Starters: 14 ( 8 on defense)


Offense: Oklahoma St. transfer Wes Lundt looks to be the starter at QB. RB Josh Ferguson is going to be heavily relied on, and the line is in good shape led by C Alex Hill. But WR is a huge concern, hopefully TE Matt LaCosse becomes a weapon in the middle of the field.


Defense: Be aggressive. That’s the mantra for the Illini defense this season. The front 4 will be in decent shape, led by DT Teko Powell. The LB’s are in good shape, but LY’s starting middle LB Mike Svetlina is being pushed by TJ Neal. The secondary is led by CB’s V’Angelo Bentley & Eaton Spence.


Big Question: Can Beckman turn things around in year 3?

Outlook: The rushing attack should be improved with Wes Lundt taking over at QB. The passing game is what will make this team however in big conference games. The NC slate is simple, and should be 3 wins. The problem is the Big 10 schedule: Wisconsin, Ohio St, and Nebraska are all on the road. I will predict 5-7, and a new head man in 2015.


5. Northwestern Wildcats


HC: Pat Fitzgerald

OC: Mike McCall

DC: Mike Hankwicz

Returning Starters: 16 ( 9 on offense)


Offense: QB battle b/t Trever Siemian and Baton Rouge native Zack Oliver is brewing, but give the edge to Siemian. The rushing attack gets a boost with the return of Venric Mark who missed most of last season with injuries, also keep an eye out for Treyvon Green to back him up. The line is going through competition at all but the LT & C positions occupied by Paul Jorgenson and Brandon Vitabile respectively. The WR’s are led by Christian and Tony Jones, but keep an eye out on slot back Dan Vitale. Also look for a more pass oriented offense this season.


Defense: This was the unit that let down the Cats last season. They couldn’t get the stops or force turnovers, so expect a more aggressive stance this season. The strength is in the secondary led by safeties Traevon Henry and Ibrahim Campbell. The LB’s are led by Collin Ellis, and he will be helped out by Chi Chi Ariguzo. This should be a fast unit. The line is the weakest point, mostly due to injuries.


Big Question: Is this team still affected by the Ohio State loss a year ago?

Outlook: Northwestern was 4-0 entering the Ohio State game last season. They would win only 1 more game the rest of the season. I doubt Pat Fitzgerald would be fired unless he went 0-12, so he is not on the hot seat, yet. The good news is the Buckeyes aren’t on the schedule, but Michigan and Penn State are. I think 6-6 is reasonable, but I think this could be a surprise sleeper team, but this is the preseason.


4. Purdue Boilermakers


HC: Darrell Hazell

OC: John Shoop

DC: Greg Hudson

Returning Starters: 12 (6 on each side)


Offense: Danny Erling is going to be the starter at QB, and that is good news as he was a bright spot last season. WR DeAngelo Yancey hopes to be the breakout WR, but look for LY’s starters Shane Mikesky and BJ Knauf to redeem themselves as they are being pushed by newcomers for playing time. The line is in bad shape, but JUCO transfers should help out C Robert Kugler open holes for RB Raheem Mostert, a Big 10 track star. He will be ably backed up by Akeem Hunt who will also see time at WR.


Defense: The secondary is the strength here, led by CB’s Frankie Williams & Anthony Brown but will be bolstered by the return of safety Landon Feichtner. The LB’s will be helped by veterans Sean Robinson & Joe Gilliam but look for Galen Robinson (son of Purdue legend Glen Robinson) to help put at LB as a true freshman. The front 3 will be thin, but DE Ryan Russell is a tough pass rusher, and Kentucky transfer Langston Newton should make an impact.


Big Question: Will this team step up?

Outlook: I think Purdue, despite coming off a 1-11 season is a sleeper. A good recruiting class, plus a lot of letterman experience should help this team rebound. The schedule is a favor as well (no Ohio St, or Michigan) with Wisconsin and Michigan State coming to play them at home. This could be the season Purdue makes a run, and I will take a gamble on them as nobody is looking for a big season out of the Boilermakers. I predict 7-5 this season.


3. Nebraska Cornhuskers


HC: Bo Pelini (Hot seat?)

OC: Tim Beck

DC: John Papuchio

Returning Starters: 8 (5 on defense)


Offense: The good news is RB Ameer Abdullah is back as is WR Kenny Bell, the main offensive weapons. While there is RB depth, the depth at WR is lacking so look for lots of double teams on Bell. The line is rebuilding, not really a good thing but this is Nebraska so they always have a decent line. QB Tommy Armstrong needs to cut down on the mistakes.


Defense: DE Randy Gregory is a preseason All American, but the front 4 lacks depth. That is not the problem at LB, and look for the return of Trevor Roach who missed last season due to injury. Safety Corey Cooper will anchor a secondary lacking in starting experience.


Big Question: Is Bo Pelini on the hot seat?

Outlook: Despite his off field interview antics, I think as long as Bo Pelini wins at least 9 games a year he will be fine. Many think Nebraska will win the West, but I don’t see it happening. I have no doubt in the talent, but youth is the big factor in the 3 yards and a cloud of dust that teams in this division play. I don’t think they can keep up, at least for this season. Growing pains will occur, but 8-4 isn’t shabby for this team.


2. Wisconsin Badgers


HC: Gary Anderson

OC: Andy Ludwig

DC: Dave Aranda

Returning Starters: 8 (5 on offense)


Offense: Joel Stave is recovering from a shoulder inkury in the bowl game, and he is in competition with Tanner McEvoy, a dual threat QB that HC Anderson prefers to run his offense. Once again the Badgers have a very strong line led by Rob Havenstein who is a beast physically (6’8, 327 pounds). The RB’s are solid led by Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement. The big weakness is WR, and expect true freshman Dareian Watkins to step into playing immediately.


Defense: The entire front 7 is going to be brand new, which is going to be an advantage in their first game against LSU as they won’t have much to work on. Look for nose guard Warren Herring to play end in some pass rush situations. LB Derek Landisch appears to be a leader on this team, but will need Marcus Trotter to play better against the run. The DB’s are the best unit here, led by safety Michael Caputo.


Big Question: Can Wisconsin make a name for the Big 10 by beating LSU to start the season?

Outlook: Yes, Wisconsin will beat LSU, but I still see a shaky Big 10 season ahead despite no Michigan teams or Ohio State on the schedule. It will come down to the Nov 22 game at Iowa to determine who wins this division. The schedule is in the Badgers favor, but I do not see a title in their immediate future. Still, 9-3 is nothing to sneeze at.


1. Iowa Hawkeyes


HC: Kirk Ferentz

OC: Greg Davis

DC: Phil Parker

Returning Starters: 11 (6 on offense)


Offense: QB Jake Rudock is back, and he should be much improved this season, provided he stays healthy. His decision making process should also improve. Leading rusher Mark Weisman is back and watching his back is LeShun Daniels who should plow through some opposing defenses. Leading WR Kevonte Martin-Manley is back, but TE could be an issue with CJ Fiedorwicz gone. Look for Ray Hamilton and Jake Duzey to pick up the slack. Iowa’s line is solid led by All American LT Brandon Scherff.


Defense: The front 4 should be strong, but all 3 LB’s must be replaced. Look for DT Carl Davis to continue improving. LB Quinton Alston should play well, as this is his opportunity to start and lead this group. Sean Draper must replace All Conference CB BJ Lowery, but he should be helped by Desmond King.


Big Question: Now that the bulls-eye in on the Hawkeyes will they implode like in 2012?

Outlook: Nope. I think this team is hungry, they should have beaten LSU in the mud, but lacked the speed on the outside to come back. A simple NC schedule and a conference schedule that has no Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State plus home games with Nebraska and Wisconsin to end the season mean Iowa should win the first Western division title and will be unbeaten IMO. I predict 12-0 in the regular season.




7. Rutgers Scarlet Knights


HC: Kyle Flood

OC: Ralph Freidgen (1st season)

DC: Jon Rossi (1st season)

Returning Starters: 14 (9 on offense)


Offense: Ralph Friedgen takes over the playcalling duties and that is good news for the Knights. Gary Nova is back for his final season at QB, but will be challenged by Chris Laviano. The line is intact from last season, led by G Kaleb Johnson. RB Paul James & Justin Goodwin make for an effective 1-2 punch. WR’s are a big question mark, but TE Tyler Kroft is a reliable target and should see his receiving numbers jump with the new offense.


Defense: Rutgers will keep the 4-3, but DT Darius Hamilton will need to step up his play, but he has a talented newcomer next to him in Sebastian Joseph. LB’s saw a switch with Kevin Snyder moving inside while LY’s inside man Steve Longa moving outside. The secondary which allowed a lot of yards in the air will be a challenge for SS Lorenzo Waters to lead them in the right direction.


Big Question: Did Kyle Flood buy himself time or will the changes be all for nothing?

Outlook: Kyle Flood changed both coordinators last season after a mediocre 6-7 in the AAC last season. The competition is a step up this year, obviously but while this team will be good on offense, the defense just doesn’t have it. Expect the NC slate to be a walk, that’s 3 wins easy. But it’s the Bog 10 slate that worries me. I predict 3-9 but this should be a competitive team. I think Flood buys himself another year, but that seat is getting warm.


6. Maryland Terrapins


HC: Randy Edsall

OC: Mike Locksley

DC: Brian Stewart

Returning Starters: 16 (9 on defense)


Offense: What can QB CJ Brown do for you? If he stays healthy he’s a good dual threat QB. The WR’s he’ll throw too are Stefan Diggs & Nigel King who can stretch the field. The returning WR corps averaged 15.1 yards per catch last season, which is impressive. RB Brandon Ross will be helped out by the return of suspended RB Wes Brown. But the line is an issue. Injuries and lack of depth showed in the spring, making the forecast cloudy.

Defense: Maryland uses the 3-4, and given the number of spread offenses should matchup quite well. Quinton Jefferson, Darius Kilgo & Andre Monroe are an impressive front 3. The LB’s are good, led by ILB’s Cole Ferrand & LA Goree. The secondary should be improved if CB Jeremiah Johnson can stay healthy as he is the best cover man. Veteran safeties Anthony Nixon and Sean Davis will be a big help too.


Big Question: Can Maryland compete in the Big 10 after being mediocre in the ACC?

Outlook: Not this season, but they will be competitive. The good news is Ohio State and Michigan State are home games, the bad is Michigan, Penn State & Wisconsin are on the road. The NC slate has some balance (James Madison is easy, West Virginia & Syracuse will be close) so that could cloud this season. I think 4-8 is likely.


5. Indiana Hoosiers


HC: Kevin Wilson

OC: Kevin Johns

DC: Brian Knorr (1st season)

Returning Starters: 16 (7 on offense)


Offense: This is the Hoosiers bread and butter. The starter most of last season at QB was Nate Sudfeld, but expect to see Tre Roberson take some snaps and a start as well. RB Tevin Coleman is back, aided by D’Angelo Roberts. The line is banged up, but there are a couple young players who should step up. The WR’s are led by Shane Wynn who has impressive speed, look for true freshman Dominique Booth to contribute as well.


Defense: The Hoosiers are switching to the 3-4 after running the 4-3, so while 9 starters are back this is a hard unit to analyze. LB’s Nick Mangieri and David Kenney should provide edge rushing on the outside while TJ Simmons and Flo Hardin manage the middle. CB Tim Bennett and SS Mark Murphy lead lead a secondary that is rarely tested since the Hoosiers don’t have a great rush defense.


Big Question: Can Indiana become bowl eligible this season?

Outlook: Indiana has a 9 win offense but a 3 win defense. That being said I think they will put up a lot of points, but they’ll give up a bunch too. The new division isn’t the best for them either, but this is a team that should improve. North Texas & Indiana State are W’s, so are Rutgers and Maryland. I predict 5-7, no bowl but I think Wilson gets another shot in 2015.


4. Michigan Wolverines

HC: Brady Hoke

OC: Doug Nussmeir (1st season)

DC: Greg Mattison

Returning Starters: 15 (8 on defense)


Offense: Doug Nussmeir should help QB Devin Gardner improve. The problem is there is no RB’s like TJ Yeldon or a WR like Amari Cooper to throw too. WR Devin Funchess is back, as he was LY’s leading receiver which is good news, but who else will step up? The RB’s are in good shape, led by De’Veon Smith and Derrick Green. The big deal is lack of depth on the line, whose sloppy play last season showed late in the year.


Defense: DE’s Frank Clark and Brennan Beyer make an effective combo on the front 4. The LB’s will be solid, led by the return of Jake Ryan who moves to the middle. The secondary is led by CB Raymon Taylor, but look for highly touted true freshman Jabril Peppers to make a contribution at either CB or S.


Big Question: Does Brady Hoke have what it takes to take Michigan to the Big 10 title game?

Outlook: While that remains to be seen, it won’t happen this year. Michigan has some good players but lack of depth has hurt them, especially late in the year when they run out of gas. Also you get Michigan St & Ohio St on the road. I don’t see more than 7 wins, so 7-5.


3. Penn State Nittany Lions


HC: James Franklin (1st season)

OC: John Donovan

DC: Bob Shoop

Returning Starters: 9 (6 on defense)


Offense: QB Christian Hackenberg was a pleasant surprise last season, and should only improve this season. The line is pretty thin however LT Donovan Smith provides good blindside protection. TE Jesse James provides good run blocking, but look for him to be targeted often in the passing game. RB Zach Zwinack leads a talented backfield, but WR is questionable.


Defense: The front 4 is led by DE’s Deion Barnes & CJ Olaniyan, who lead a talented group of athletes. LB Mike Hull moves from outside to inside, and look for him to lead a new look LB corps. The secondary is led by SS Adrian Amos.


Big Question: James Franklin wowed at Vanderbilt, but what about Penn State?

Outlook: James Franklin led Vandy to more bowl games than any other coach at that school. A big part of it was improvising, something he will have to do until the scholarships are back to normal after NCAA sanctions. I have no doubt they have the right coach, but this isn’t Vandy where nobody expects you to win. This is a different animal, here you are expected to win. I see 8-4 as the record.


2. Ohio State Buckeyes


HC: Urban Meyer

OC’s: Tom Herman, Ed Wariner

DC’s: Chris Ash, Luke Fickell

Returning Starters: 11 (6 on defense)


Offense: Braxton Miller is the best QB in this conference. His return has many Buckeyes’ fans hoping this is the season the Buckeyes go back to the conference and possibly national title. But it takes more than just a good QB. WR’s Devin Smith and Evan Spencer are back to be the top targets, while TE Jeff Heureman is back as well to complement those 2. At RB look for Ezekiel Elliot to counter the running skills of Miller. The line is not lacking in players with game experience but starting experience is lacking.


Defense: DE’s Noah Spence and Joey Bosa will be tough to handle, along with DT Michael Bennett to create an impressive front 4. The LB’s will be led by Joshua Perry who takes over for Ryan Shazier. Look for Curtis Grant to have a big year as well at the middle linebacker spot. The secondary gave up a lot of big plays, but expect some newcomers to help CB Doran Grant lock things down.


Big Question: What did Ohio State learn from losing their last 2 games a year ago?

Outlook: Ohio State lacks the defense to contend for a Big 10 or a national championship. That much is obvious. These are all good kids and good players, and a friendly schedule should contribute to a division title, but Michigan State is on the road. Need I say more? Still this is a solid 10 win team, so 10-2.


1. Michigan State Spartans


HC: Mark Dantonio

OC’s: Jim Bollman, Dave Warner

DC: Pat Narduzi

Returning Starters: 10 (5 on each side)


Offense: QB Connor Cook came a long way last season, showing leadership, poise and confidence as he led Sparty to a Big 10 title a year ago. RB Jeremy Langford is back, relieved by Nick Hill who looks to make more contributions in 2014. The WR’s are led by Tony Lippett but he has help in RJ Shelton and DeAnthony Arnett to avoid the double teams. The line is led by sophomore Jack Conklin who will one day be a 1st round pick in the NFL. Despite the lack of starting experience this is a very strong group.


Defense: What can you say about Sparty’s defense a season ago? Did it play like an SEC defense? Yes. Was it the best unit in the country? No doubt. But despite losing 6 starters this is still a hungry defense, and just tell them they were a fluke a year ago. DE’s Shilique Calhoun and Marcus Rush will knock your head off. MLB Taiwan Jones will crush you. FS Kurtis Drummond will take away your deep route while CB Trae Waynes will lock out your best WR.


Big Question: Was the Spartan defense a fluke & what about the offense?

Outlook: I accused Michigan State of being boring and lacking imagination on offense, and they broke out of that fairly quick. Mark Dantonio has a helluva team here, and one that could contend for the national title except for a couple of things. The good news is Ohio State and Michigan are at home. The bad?  Penn State to end the regular season is on the road, and an early NC game at Eugene, Oregon on Sept 6. If they win that game, they should be undefeated going into Penn St. 10-2 is the record, but the possibility of 12-0 is there.


Big 10 Championship Game: Iowa vs Michigan State

Big 10 Champ: Michigan State Spartans

#27 hcmv007


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Posted 26 August 2014 - 10:20 PM

2014 PAC 12 Preview









6. California Golden Bears


HC: Sonny Dykes

OC: Tony Franklin

DC: Art Kaufman

Returning Starters: 10 (6 on offense)


Offense: QB Jared Goff runs a fast paced no huddle offense, and amassed school records a year ago, the good news is he’s back. At RB, Khalfini Muhammed & Daniel Lasco will need to stay healthy and step up to keep the offense balanced. The line is led by C Jordan Rigsbee and LT Jordan Rigsbee looks to have some depth this season so if the backs are healthy they could be very productive and improve the rushing attack. The WR’s are led by Bryce Treggs & Chris Harper who should both put up good numbers in 2014.


Defense: The bad news is Cal was horrible on this side of the ball a year ago. The good news is it can’t get worse. The line is a big concern as it will be led by DE Brennan Scarlett, who moves to the line after playing LB a year ago. Jalen Jefferson leads the LB corps while the secondary is a complete mystery. They will blitz more and play more man to man coverage then the zone defense they played a season ago.


Big Question: Can Sonny Dykes bring Cal back to prominence?

Outlook: 1-11 was the record a season ago, and nothing went the Bears’ way. This season there is optimism, but not a lot of room for improvement. I will predict 2-10 since the NC slate is tough (BYU & Northwestern) plus in CP Oregon, Oregon St & USC are all road games. Ouch.



5. Washington Huskies


HC: Chris Petersen (1st season)

OC: Jonathan Smith

DC: Pete Kwiatowski

Returning Starters: 14 (7 on each side)


Offense: QB will be a concern as projected starter Cyler Miles is facing off field issues. RB Dwayne Washington is going to be a breakout player in the Pac 12 and also look for LB Shaq Thompson to get some carries as well. All 5 starters are back on the line led by RT Ben Riva. The WR’s have great depth, look for Jayden Mickens and Kasen Williams to have big numbers.


Defense: The front 4 is back, led by DE Hau’oli Kikaha who could be a 1st team all conference player. Shaq Thompson and John Timu lead the LB corps while the secondary will be young led by CB Marcus Peters. Look for a lot of freshman in the secondary this season.


Big Question: Only Houston Nutt had success outside of Boise St, can Petersen break the jinx?

Outlook: Hard to tell. The NC slate is manageable, and Oregon is the only road test. USC and Stanford are not on the schedule either so the Huskies should be fine. However, while there is talent and Petersen has a good record this is higher competition for him. Every move he makes is under a magnifying glass and with no QB as of yet this will be a long season. I predict a drop off, so I will say 5-7. It’s not great but I have to admit this is the hardest team to evaluate so I could be wrong.



4. Washington State Cougars


HC & OC: Mike Leach

DC: Mike Breske

Returning Starters: 12 (6 on each side)


Offense: QB Connor Haliday is back for his senior year, and is looking to improve on his performance a season ago in which he threw for 4,597 yards and 34 TD passes. WR Gabe Marks and River Cracraft make an effective duo at that position, the line could be a concern as the entire right side plus the center must be replaced. RB is going to be an unknown position, but look for Theron West to be the main back.


Defense: The front 3 is back and it is one of the better units in the Pac 12. NT Xavier Cooper is a force in the middle. The ILB positions are hard hitting led by Cyrus Coen & Darryl Monroe, but finding pass rushers on the outside will be key. The secondary took some hard hits as off field incidents and graduation broke up a good unit. FS Taylor Taliulu leads that unit.


Big Question: Can Wasu keep the momentum going?

Outlook: In CP the road schedule is tough: Utah, Stanford, Oregon St and Arizona St. The home schedule is tough as well (Oregon, USC). The NC slate should be 3-0 so winning 6 once again shouldn’t be too hard. 6-6 yet again.



3. Oregon State Beavers


HC: Mike Riley

OC: John Garrett

DC: Mark Banker

Returning Starters: 14 (7 on each side)


Offense: QB Sean Mannion is back to lead the Beavers’ offense yet again, and despite the lack of returning WR’s look for him to top 4,000 yards in the air once again. The WR’s are led by Richard Mullany and TE Connor Hamlett who should both see lots of touches a game. The line has to find a way to open up the running game and they only return 2 starters led by C Isaac Seumalo. The RB’s are led by Storm Woods, but look for help from Terron Ward as well.


Defense: The back 7 is solid, which is the good news. The bad news is the front 4 with the exception of DE Dylan Wynn is a complete mystery. LB Jabral Johnson leads that group, while the secondary is solid led by safeties Ryan Murphy and Tyrequek Zimmerman.


Big Question: Will Sean Mannion break his passing records he set a year ago?

Outlook: No, but he should put up big numbers. The NC slate is a joke, they should go 3-0. In CP they have a tough schedule but should finish 8-4. I have the Beavers as a dark horse, this team could win the division, but I will hold off on going that far.



2. Oregon Ducks


HC: Mark Helfrich

OC: Scott Frost

DC: Don Pellum

Returning Starters: 13 (8 on offense)


Offense: QB Marcus Mariota should be a Heisman finalist later in the year. His dual threat ability makes it hard for most DC’s to plan to stop him. RB Byron Marshall is back, and has some young weapons to spell him when needed. The line is in great shape with all 5 starters back. The WR’s must find someone to help Keanon Moore, but look for Darren Carrington to possibly break out.


Defense: This defense could not stop physical rushing attacks (see Stanford). Getting stronger is a priority for the front 3, led by DE DeForest Buckner. The LB’s are strong led by Rodney Hardrick & Derrick Malone on the inside. CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is the lone starter back in the Ducks secondary.


Big Question: Is Oregon taking slow steps back?

Outlook: We know Oregon struggles against physical rushing attacks (Stanford, LSU) but last season they were manhandled by a less talented Arizona team they had no business losing to. Chip Kelly did well here, but Helfrich is not him. Many have Oregon winning this division, I am not one of them. This is a talented team with one of the most intimidating home venues in the country. If Michigan State can’t get by them they should be unbeaten going into November. I will predict 10-2.



1. Stanford Cardinal


HC: David Shaw

OC: Mike Bloomgren

DC: Lance Anderson

Returning Starters: 11 (7 on defense)


Offense: Good news is QB Kevin Hogan is back to lead a balanced attack. The bad news is most of the line will be brand new as far as starting experience but the Cardinal play a lot of linemen so they are heavy in game experience. WR’s Devon Cajuste and Ty Montgomery are back, look for Montgomery to lead the team again this season. Look for a committee approach to the RB spots led by Remound Wright and Kelsey Young.


Defense: The front 3 is led by DE Henry Anderson and should be strong once again. The LB’s lost some good players to graduation and the NFL, but look for OLB James Vaughters and ILB AJ Tarpley to play big. FS Jordan Richardson should be a 1st team All American selection and he leads a strong secondary aided by CB Wayne Lyons.


Big Question: Is Stanford still smarting from the Rose Bowl loss?

Outlook: Maybe. The NC slate has only 1 test at Notre Dame, and the only game I see them losing is possibly Arizona State and UCLA. I think this is still a stong team and should finish 10-2 and win the North.






6. Colorado Buffaloes


HC: Mike MacIntyre

OC: Brian Lindgren

DC: Kent Baer

Returning Starters: 14 (7 on each side)


Offense: QB Sefo Liufau will be the starter at QB, and will benefit from the return of RB Christian Powell, and WR Nelson Spruce. The line is a big question mark as depth will be a concern. The skill positions look sharp.


Defense: DT Josh Tupou anchors the front 4, and should be all Pac 12 again this season. The LB corps will be strong led by MLB Addison Gillam. CB Greg Henderson leads the secondary which has plenty of depth.


Big Question: Can Colorado get back to the success they enjoyed in the 80’s & 90’s?

Outlook: Things were bleak when MacIntyre came in from San Jose St last season. While 4-8 doesn’t sound like much, it was an improvement. Recruiting has picked up as the Buffs got a decent class, with more to come in the next few seasons. I will predict 4-8 once again, but look for a more competitive team.




5. Utah Utes


HC: Kyle Whittingham

OC: Dave Christensen

DC: Kalani Sitake

Returning Starters: 11 (6 on offense)


Offense: A QB battle is brewing b/t LY’s starter Travis Wilson and Oklahoma transfer Kendal Thompson. WR Dres Anderson leads a young WR corps, while RB Bubba Poole looks to lead the Utes’ rushing attack. The line will need to get in better shape to run the new up tempo offense, but look for LT Jeremiah Poutasi to be the leader.


Defense: DE Nate Orchard leads a shaky front 4 that will need to find someone to step up. LB’s look solid led by Jason Whittingham. The secondary is a bit questionable, but should improve its performance in 2014.


Big Question: Can Kyle Whittingham survive the season?

Outlook: It is going to be tough for the Utes to field 6 wins, but a balanced schedule could help. UCLA, Stanford and Arizona St are on the road. Oregon, USC and Arizona are at home. I hate to say it but I think Utah makes a change as they will finish 5-7.




4. USC Trojans


HC: Steve Sarkisian-1st season

OC: Clay Helton

DC: Justin Wilcox

Returning Starters: 14 (8 on defense)


Offense: QB Cody Kessler is back at the controls. WR Nelson Agholar is back to lead the WR corps, look for TE Randall Telfer to be a big contributor as well. The line is solid led by LT Aundrey Walker and the RB corps is solid, led by Javorious Allen.


Defense: LY the Trojans played the 5-2, this season they are switching to the 3-4 which isn’t completely different but should better utilize the outside speed the Trojans have. The front 7 is weak at the front 3, but the ILB’s look good led by Hayes Pullard. The DB’s are led by CB Josh Shaw and they have good depth here.


Big Question: Is Sark the right guy?

Outlook: Anyone would’ve been better than Lane Kiffen but there was a push by players and boosters for Ed Orgeron to the new HC as he went 6-2 to finish the season. Sarkisian was an intersesting choice as he was here in the heyday of the Pete Carroll years. It will take some time to adjust to the new up tempo spread style offense the Trojans plan to run but in a couple of years once the scholarship numbers get back up this could be a great team again. I look for 7-5 this season.



3. Arizona Wildcats


HC: Rich Rodriguez

OC’s: Calvin Magee, Rod Smith

DC: Jeff Casteel

Returning Starters: 12 (6 on each side)


Offense: QB will be a question mark, but I think the dark horse is Freshman Anu Solomon. The WR’s are led by Nate Phillips and Notre Dame transfer DaVonte Neal. The line will be the strength of this team once again, led by C Steve Gurrola. The RB’s have a lot of depth and are looking for a new starter, but none on the roster have a college carry. They will benefit from having a strong line.


Defense: The front 3 of the 3-3-5 scheme is thin, but strong everywhere else. The Secondary is led by safety’s Jared Tevis and Jourdan Grandon.


Big Question: Can Arizona finish strong?

Outlook: Rich Rod has gone 16-10 the last 2 seasons going 8-5 each year. They should be 4-0 going into the road trip to Oregon. I will say 7-5 once again, but this could be the Dark Horse of the Pac 12. Look for big things to come.



2. Arizona State Sun Devils


HC: Todd Graham

OC: Mike Norvell

DC: Keith Patterson (Graham calls the defense)

Returning Starters: 8 (6 on defense)


Offense: QB Taylor Kelly is back, which is good news for the Sun Devils. Look for WR Jaelen Strong to put up big numbers, but he will need someone else to step up. The RB’s are led by DJ Foster and have some depth. The line will be solid, led by RT Tyler Sulka.


Defense: The bad news is they lost 9 starters, but the good news is a lot of players with game experience are back.


Big Question: Can ASU surprise people again?

Outlook: If more defensive players were back, this would be my pick to win the South, but that isn’t the case. Still they are ahead of the other teams save for one. IMO Arizona State could finish last, but there is too much talent here, plus the players have bought into Graham’s system. Look for the offense to put up some decent numbers, particularly on the ground. The good news is this isn’t a conference with many strong defenses so the Sun Devils should still thrive. I will predict 8-4.



1. UCLA Bruins


HC: Jim Mora

OC: Noel Mazzone

DC: Jeff Ulbrich

Returning Starters: 14 (7 on each side)


Offense: Heisman Candidate Brett Hundley is back at QB, but will need someone to replace Shaq Evans at WR. Jordan Payton and Devin Fuller look up to task. The line will shakey due to injuries suffered in the spring but there is depth, even if it is young. The RB’s will be by committee so look for Jordan James & Paul Perkins to split time.


Defense: LB Myles Jack leads the defense, but look for him to play a role on offense at RB as well. The secondary is talented led by CB Fabian Moreau. The front 3 is a question mark but look for NT Kenny Clark to have a big season.


Big Question: How will UCLA handle being the hunted instead of the hunter?

Outlook: UCLA should be unbeaten going into the Oregon game on Oct 11 (Despite playing Texas and Arizona St on the road before that. After that the finale hosting Stanford could be a loss, but they will play the next week. Does 11-2 get you into the playoff?



Pac 12 Championship Game: UCLA vs Stanford


Pac 12 Champs: UCLA Bruins

2014 ACC Preview


            There has been addition and subtraction in this conference which has made it a little more interesting to watch, but not quite stronger as of yet. The current home of the defending National Champions, you would think the ACC would be strong but IMO it will drop off as the strong teams are reduced by a few. The breakout team a year ago was not National Champion Florida State, but Duke, known for basketball. As far as predictions go, this is the easier conference to preview, the weaker teams don’t stand out much, while the top 4 are pretty good. I expect a lopsided division races and a clear and obvious champion.






7. Virginia Cavaliers


HC: Mike London (Hot Seat!)

OC: Steve Fairchild

DC: Jon Tenuda

Returning Starters: 15 (8 on defense)


Offense: Finding a QB will be priority one, as LY’s starter David Watford will be pushed by Greyson Lambert. RB Kevin Parks rushed for over 1,000 yds a year ago and should do so again. The line is led by LG Conner Davis and it is going to go thru some growing pains as it tries to be consistent. The WR’s are led by Darius Jennings and Keeon Johnson.


Defense: The front 4 is led by DE Eli Harold the best pass rusher on the team. Paired with OLB Daquan Romero they make for an effective pass rush duo. The DB’s are anchored by safeties Anthony Harris and Brandon Phelps, seniors who should bring leadership and organization to an improving defense.


Big Question: Can Mike London save his job?

Outlook: This is a crucial season for Virginia & Mike London. If they don’t win enough, expect a change. Both coordiantors are optimistic about the chances for success. The Cavs have the skill players on offense, including the ACC’s leading rusher but no proven starter at QB. The defense is the strength of this team and that may help keep a few games close. The road schedule in CP will do them in: Duke, Florida State & Virginia Tech. If they go better than 4-8 I’ll be shocked, but expect a new HC for 2015.



6. Pitt Panthers


HC: Paul Chryst

OC: Joe Rudolph

DC: Matt House

Returning Starters: 12 (7 on offense)

Offense: Projected starting QB Chad Voytik is a dual threat in the mold of Russell Wilson according to their HC. If he is, this team should roll. Getting the ball to big play WR Tyler Boyd will be a priority for the passing game. Isaac Bennett and James Connor lead a physical rushing attack while the line is led by RG & RT Matt Rotherman & TJ Clemmings. Depth is a problem however, as there is a lot of young players behind the veteran starters.


Defense: Bad news is Aaron Donald is in the NFL, so the front 4 loses its bite. Look for DT Darryl Render to have a big season as he will have a lot of attention paid to him.  The LB’s led by Todd Thomas must be more aggressive and forcing turnovers is the goal this season. The secondary is led by safety Ray Vinopal who stepped up with big plays a season ago.


Big Question: Will the real Pitt Panthers stand up?

Outlook: Pitt isn’t the winners they used to be. Since 2011 Pitt is 19-20, and that is not what fans are used to. Paul Chryst isn’t in any danger of losing his job, but this team MUST show signs of improvement. Chryst had strong rushing attacks at Wisconsin but this isn’t the Big 10, and they don’t have the personnel. Young and inexperienced depth will be a concern but if QB Voytik can explode on the scene this could be a good team, but I will be cautious and say 5-7 this season.


5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets


HC & OC: Paul Johnson

DC: Ted Roof

Returning Starters: 11 (6 on offense)


Offense: Since the Yellow Jackets run the triple option, they don’t really have a complex offense to execute, but it must be executed well. QB Justin Thomas has struggled on the reads but should improve in fall as he will have more time to focus. FB Zach Laskey leads the rushing attack, but look for SB Synjyn Days to provide outside speed. The line will be a big concern as they lack experience, RG Shaquille Mason as the lone senior must step up to provide leadership which I believe he can. Both WR’s are back, but this isn’t a passing team.


Defense: The front 4 looks strong led by Jabari Hunt-Days who moved up from LB. LB’s Quayshawn Nealy and Tyler Marcodes lead that group and should have big seasons. The secondary is bolstered by the return of safeties Jamal Gordon and Isaiah Johnson who missed all of last season.


Big Question: How long will GT stick with Paul Johnson?

Outlook: Paul Johnson has done a decent job running an old school offense but how long can he keep things up? Tech has regressed the last couple of season to being an average team. This team looks no different from a season ago. I will be generous and say 6-6 but there will be changes in 2015 I predict for the Yellow Jackets.


4. Duke Blue Devils


HC: David Cutcliffe

OC: Scottie Montgomery

DC’s: Jim Collins & Jim Knowles

Returning Starters: 14 (8 on offense)


Offense: QB Anthony Boone is back and should have another big season. WR Jamison Crowder is also back and should have another 1,000 yards receiving again this season. Josh Snead and Shaquille Powell should provide a strong punch at RB, while the line looks to be solid but needs to find help at LG & RT.


Defense: The front 4 has some issues, but so does the defense overall. They gave up a lot of yads and points a season ago, but were bailed out by the offense. Safety Jeremy Cash is the star of this defense.


Big Question: How will Duke fare being the hunted instead of the hunter?

Outlook: Duke went 10-4 a season ago. Wrap your head around that. Now to truly blow your mind, Duke could still find a way to wiin 10 games again, but it will be tougher since the defense will really be an issue. The chance to win 10 games is there, the home schedule is favorable and once again Florida State and Clemson are not on the schedule. I will be safe and say 8-4 will be the record. Still not a bad season.



3. Miami Hurricanes


HC: Al Golden (Hot Seat!)

OC: James Coley

DC: Mark D’Onofrio

Returning Starters: 12 (7 on defense)


Offense: It looks like Kevin Olsen (younger brother of NFL and U alum Greg Olsen) will be the QB. RB Duke Johnson is back after breaking his ankle and he headlines a strong group in the backfield. The right side of the line must be replaced, but look for TE Clive Watford to help in the running and passing game. Look for WR Stacy Coley to be the top target in an inexperienced group.


Defense: The defense a year ago was terrible, finishing next to last in the ACC. The front 7 is led by LB Denzel Perriman, who moves from OLB to MLB. CB’s Tracy Howard and Ladarius Gunter are proven shut down corners but they can’t do it all alone.


Big Question: Will Golden survive the season?

Outlook: It has been 12 seasons since Miami fielded a team that had 10 wins or more. In the 80’s and 90’s 10 wins was the norm, but they have fallen behind Florida State and sometimes Florida. Now is the time for this team to step up, the NCAA won’t be sanctioning the program so that excuse is gone. Miami doesn’t have the talent they used to and the fans want to win now, 8-4 is good but will it be good enough to keep Golden? 



2. North Carolina Tar Heels

HC: Larry Fedora

OC: Seth Littrell

DC’s: Dan Disch & Vic Koenning

Returning Starters: 14 (7 on each side)


Offense: The line has been the big question the last 2 seasons, and I expect that unit should improve led by RG Landon Turner. This is a young group, however. QB Marquise Williams will benefit from having a full offseason preparing to be the starter. WR Quinshad Davis is back to lead the WR’s but look for fellow WR TJ Thorpe and TE Jack Tabb to take the attention off him. TJ Logan and Elijah Hood lead a strong group at RB.


Defense: The front 3 doesn’t have experience but a lot of size so it should be strong. The LB’s are very athletic led by Bandit Norkeithus Otis and WLB Travis Hughes. Safety Dominique Green and CB Brian Walker are the standouts in the secondary


Big Question: Will the Tar Heels go back to enjoying football?

Outlook: I am being optimistic instead of being realistic but I think UNC is poised to break out like Duke did a year ago. This is the 3rd season of Fedora’s system and I think they will be poised to put up big numbers and big wins. Florida State isn’t on the schedule, but Clemson is and I think they can hold their own. Virginia Tech looks to be the only home loss. 9-3 will be a great record for a team that had a strong finish a year ago.



1. Virginia Tech Hokies


HC: Frank Beamer

OC: Scott Loeffler

DC: Bud Foster

Returning Starters: 13 (8 on offense)


Offense: It looks like Michael Brewer, a Texas Tech transfer will win the QB job, but it is far from being a sure thing. Mark Leal and Brendan Watley will also be in the mix. The line play was terrible a year ago, but I expect an improvement with Stacy Searels taking over that group as position coach. The identity is to run the ball, which Tech didn’t do so well a year ago. RB Trey Edmunds and Marshawn Williams look to shoulder the load carrying the ball. WR’s Joshua Stanford, Willie Byrn and Demitri Knowles are back, but look for the TE’s to be big in the passing game led by Kalvin Cline & Ryan Mallack.


Defense: Despite losing players, I really don’t hold that against Bud Foster who is one of the best defensive coordiantors in the college game. The front 4 doesn’t have a lot of experience but has some good athletes led by DT Luther Maddy. The LB’s are largely inexpereienced starters but have game experience. Kyshon Jarrett and Detrick Bonner are the leaders in the secondary.


Big Question: After a lackluster 2013 can the Hokies get back to prominence?

Outlook: This is a safe bet, Virginia Tech winning the Coastal which is weak, yet it is wide open. I am not sure OC Loeffler is the right choice to be the OC, but he must play Beamer’s way: RUN THE FOOTBALL. The Hokies have never been flashy and I think at times they tried to do that too much. I never worry about the defense but they had to do too much a season ago. Special teams were a rare letdown as the Hokies gave up big plays, that too must change. Still, I will be safe predicting Virginia Tech to go 9-3 and win this division.






7. Syracuse Orange


6. NC State Wolfpack


5. Wake Forest Demon Deacons


4. Louisville Cardinals


3. Boston College Eagles


2. Clemson Tigers


1. Florida State Seminoles




ACC Champs: Florida State Seminoles



Sorry for the incomplete, just got rushed too much!

2014 Big XII Preview


            If you recall a couple of years ago, this conference looked to be dead. Most of these members were going to bolt to the Pac 10, and form the Pac 16 and be the 1st ever super conference in the BCS level. Thankfully that didn’t happen, but defections came but a couple new arrivals came in as well. How does this conference stack up? They can hold their own, and the champ of this conference will IMO be in the playoff mix as well.




10. Kansas Jayhawks


HC: Charlie Weis

OC: John Reagan

DC: Clint Bowen

Returning Starters: 14 (9 on defense)


Offense: Montell Cozart looks to be the starter at QB, and for a 1st he is a dual threat QB so it will be interesting to see how Weis tailors the offense to him. The line however is an unknown due to injuries and lack of experience save for the guards led by Ngalu Fusimalohi and Mike Smithburg. The RB’s are led by Brandon Bourbon and returning leading rusher Darrian Miller. The WR corps looks promising led by Miami-Ohio transfer Nick Harwell.


Defense: The Jayhawks play a 3-3-5 stack, which in theory gives you better chances at hiding coverages as well as blitzers. NT Keon Stowers leads the front 3, which hopes to use speed to create pressure. The LB’s are led by the man in the middle Ben Heeney, while the secondary looks to be the strength led by senior free safety Cassius Sandfish and safety and Big 12 newcomer of the year Isaiah Johnson.


Big Question: Can Weis stay off the hot seat?

Outlook: Rock Chalk Jayhawk. Save that for basketball. Weis wont lose his job unless they go winless or win only one game. They have a shot to win 2 once again but need a conference win, and the only one I think they have a chance in is the Nov 15 home finale vs TCU. There is some talent on this team, and a chance to have some close games. There will be more moral than actual victories and I am being optimistic calling for a 3-9 finish.


9. TCU Horned Frogs


HC: Gary Patterson (Hot Seat!)

OC’s: Sonny Cumbie & Doug Meachum

DC: Dick Bumpas

Returning Starters: 11 (8 on defense)


Offense: TCU is implementing a spread-no huddle offense after running a pro set attack for years. Look for Texas A&M transfer Matt Joeckel to start at QB, but Trevone Boykin could push him for some playing time and may be a better fit athletically for this new scheme. Boykin could also see time as a WR too. The line is where the starters are back, minus guards. How they play will determine the offense’s success but this is not a very large group. The WR’s are led by Josh Doctson who is the returning receiving leader.


Defense: This is the Horned Frogs strength. Replacing DE Devonte Fields who was dismissed from the team will be a priority, as he was their best pass rusher. The tackles look solid led by Davion Pearson and Chucky Hunter. Jonathan Anderson leads the LB corps, which has a lot of talent. Paul Dawson the leading returning tackler may not start, that’s how good the LB’s are. The secondary must replace an All American in Jason Verrette, freshman Ranthony Texada looks to be the replacement.


Big Question: Is Gary Patterson really in danger of losing his job?

Outlook: You betcha. There was a lot of hype about joining the Big XII and many thought TCU could be a dark horse and win the conference. That didn’t happen. TCU has made an offensive change, will it work? Will TCU be a contender? We know they play close, losing 4 games by a total of 11 points and had a chance to win 2 games they lost by 10 points (LSU, Texas Tech). I don’t see TCU keeping Patterson if they have back to back losing seasons, and sadly I see this happening. 5-7 is my prediction and a new HC for 2015.


8. West Virginia Mountaineers


HC: Dana Holgorsen (Hot Seat!)

OC: Shannon Dawson

DC: Tony Gibson

Returning Starters: 12 (6 on each side)


Offense: Clint Trickett looks to start at QB but he will be pushed by JUCO transfer Skyler Howard and true freshman William Crest. RB’s look good led by Pitt transfer Rushel Shell and Cody Clay; Wendell Smallwood will also provide a boost. The line is a work in progress but the coaching staff is high on their chances, feeling they can compete. The WR’s are unknown, which isn’t bad for an Air Raid offense, but it doesn’t help.


Defense: This side played well in the spring, and if you’ve seen a WVU game the last 3 years this may concern you if you’re a fan. The secondary is the best group, led by CB Ishmael Banks. The LB’s look solid led by Brandon Golson. The line is a mystery. WVU is switching to the 3-4.


Big Question: Can Holgorsen save his job?

Outlook: Maybe. If you recall they held Oklahoma to only 16 points a year ago in Norman. The Sooners come to Morgantown this season. But the big game that looms is the opener, Alabama in the Georgia Dome. They have no prayer to win that one, but if they put in a good effort this could give them confidence. All the teams that blasted them (Baylor, K-State) are home games as well. If they go 2-1 in NC games, I think 6-6 is possible. But will it save their HC?


7. Iowa State Cyclones


HC: Paul Rhoades

OC: Mark Mangino

DC: Wally Burnham

Returning Starters: 15 (10 on offense)


Offense: QB is an open battle b/t Sam Richardson and Grant Rohach with the latter in the lead. RB Aaron Wimberly is back, and should be helped out by DeVondrick Nealy. The line is solid led by RT Jacob Gannon and C Tom Farniok. The WR’s look to be the playmakers this season, led by Quenton Bundrage. Look for true freshman Allen Lazard and South Florida transfer D’Vario Montgomery to step up and out this season.


Defense: DE Cory Morrissey leads the front 4, but he will need help. WLB Jared Brackens is the leader of that young group while the DB’s are led by CB Nigel Tribune who was singled out by HC Rhoades for his play in the spring and from last season.


Big Question: Can the Cyclones play spoiler to the big guys?

Outlook: Yes. Mangino is in his 1st season as OC, and what has Kansas been since they let him go? Iowa State has a good offense, but defense, Rhoades’ specialty is the big question. A veteran DC in Wally Burnham should find a way to get these guys to make plays, but it will be clear the Cyclones have to score on every drive to win some games. I don’t see 7-5 being unrealistic but if the Cyclones fail to finish over .500 I don’t see Rhoades staying here.


6. Texas Tech Red Raiders


HC: Kliff Kingsbury

OC: Eric Morris

DC’s: Mike Smith & Matt Wallerstein

Returning Starters: 10 (3 on defense)


Offense: Davis Webb won the starting job and didn’t look back at QB a year ago. He’s added 20 pounds of muscle and should be ready to take on the season. The line is intact from a year ago, save for LT but that shouldn’t be too big of a problem as they have quality depth for a change here. Look for true freshman Justin Stockton to get playing time at RB, along with DeAndre Washington & Quinton White. The WR’s should see plenty of touches as they move to a 4 receiver set, led by Bradley Marquez and Reginald Davis.


Defense: The defense will benefit from JUCO transfers to fill the front 3 and the secondary. I won’t name players because they are unknown for the most part and no accurate depth chart is available to me at this time. This could be a good unit, but largely this is an unknown.


Big Question: More of the same?

Outlook: Yes, I see a very prolific offense but a defense that will struggle. I am not a fan of co anything whether its offense or defense. I look for them to struggle on defense, but man this offense can F-L-Y. I look for 7-5 once again.


5. Texas Longhorns


HC: Charlie Strong (1st season)

OC’s: Shawn Watson & Joe Wickline

DC: Vance Bedford

Returning Starters: 12 (7 on defense)


Offense: While David Ash and USC transfer Max Wittek are the top 2 QB’s look for Tyrone Swoops to be the surprise at QB (IMO). The line will be a concern as lack of depth and plenty of new faces make them uncertain. The RB’s are led by Johnathan Gray, but look for Malcolm Brown to be the workhorse. The WR’s are led by Jaxon Shipley.


Defense: DE Cedric Reed and DT Malcom Brown lead the front 4, the strength of this defense. Jordan Hicks and Steve Edmond lead the LB corps while the secondary is led by CB Quandre Diggs.


Big Question: Is Charlie Strong the right fit long term?

Outlook: I don’t expect a complete answer to that ? just yet but it is logical to ask. There is some talent, but not like what used to be. Texas is now behind Baylor and Texas A&M, something they are not used to in Austin. LY they were humiliated by BYU and Ole Miss, but got hot winning 6 straight before falling to OK State and Baylor. Can Texas rebound? I am not sure, I have them lower than most analysts. First year HC’s are tough to gauge, and so is this Texas team. Will the team that lost to BYU a year ago or the team that beat Oklahoma a year ago come up this season? I will safely predict 8-4.


4. Oklahoma State Cowboys


HC: Mike Gundy. He’s a man. He’s over 40 (Bonus points if you remember his rant)

OC: Mike Yurcich

DC: Glenn Spencer

Returning Starters: 8 (4 on each side)


Offense: JW Walsh is the starter at QB for now at least; he’s shared time the last few years. Daxx Garman and true freshman Mason Rudolph could see time as well. RB Desmond Roland is a beast, Ronnie Childs will fill in but true freshman Devon Thomas could see time as well. The line is led by LG Daniel Koenig, but this is a rebuilding unit. The WR’s are loaded, led by Jhajuan Seales.


Defense: The front 4 is led by DE Jimmy Bean and DT James Castleman, the line is deep but young. MLB Ryan Simmons leads the LB’s while the secondary is untested. Youth is the key word to describe this defense.


Big Question: Can youth win out in 2014?

Outlook: If this were the Les Miles era I would say it would be a problem, but not so much now. OSU spends more $ on recruiting plus they have a big donor in T. Boone Pickens who has donated a lot to OSU in the last 10 years or so. The atheletes are better, the facilities are better and the outlook is better. The Cowboys are ahead of Texas, Tech and WVU, but are still behind K-State, Baylor and Oklahoma. I call 8-4 on the record.


3. Kansas State Wildcats


HC: Bill Snyder

OC’s: Dana Dimel & Del Miller

DC: Tom Hayes

Returning Starters: 11 (6 on offense)


Offense: Jake Waters is back at QB, but will have some issues on the line, thankfully there is some depth, albeit young. The WR’s are led by Tyler Lockett, but look for Curry Sexton and Daniel Sims to step up this season. The RB’s are a mystery however.


Defense: Keep an eye out for DE Ryan Mueller, who looks to improve on his 11.5 sacks a year ago, DT Travis Britz should help in the middle of the front 4. The LB’s are led by Jonathan Truman. CB Randall Evans leads the secondary.


Big Question: With a veteran QB that Snyder trusts can K-State rock the playoff party?

Outlook: It is possible, but not likely. Still, this is a talented team, lots of youth on offense and defense, but eager and hungry players. Lockett is a big play threat whenever he touches the ball, but if this offense had a home run hitter at RB they would be a more dangerous threat. The defense has some stars and Mueller is a great pass rusher but he will need help, he can’t do it on his own. The NC slate is a joke as always, except for Auburn coming in on Sept 18th. K-State should finish 8-4.


2. Baylor Bears


HC: Art Briles

OC: Phillip Montgomery

DC: Phil Bennett

Returning Starters: 8 (4 on each side)


Offense: QB Bryce Petty is a longshot Heisman Candidate, and looks to make a run at the trophy this season. That is easier said than done; the line is a MASH unit, and RB Lache Seastrunk is gone. The good news is WR’s Antwan Goodley, Corey Coleman, and Levi Norwood are back. Replacing Seastrunk is Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin.


Defense: The front 4 is depth heavy, but not starter heavy. LB Bryce Hager leads that group while S Terrell Burt leads a young secondary. This is a very young group that watched a lot of veterans the last 3 years.


Big Question: Can Baylor repeat?

Outlook: No. However this is a team that can compete and is better than the rest of the Big XII save for one team. Baylor is exciting to watch and has improved defensively. The schedule is favorable and I see 10-2 as a likely record.


1. Oklahoma Sooners


HC: Bob Stoops

OC’s: Josh Huepel & Jay Norvell

DC: Mike Stoops

Returning Starters: 14 (9 on defense)


Offense: LY Trevor Knight was the starter on opening day, benched for Blake Bell, then became the MVP of the Sugar Bowl. He will once again start the season at QB. The line is strong, led by LT Tyrus Thompson. But OU will have to replace their leading rusher and receiver from a year ago. There is a ton of talent here, no surprise in the Stoops Era.


Defense: The Sooners will have not only the best defense in the Big XII but maybe the best in the country. DE Charles Tapper leads the front 3, and he will be helped out by DT’s Jordan Wade and Chuka Ndulue. The LB’s are led by Dominique Alexander, and the back 5 are led by Quentin Hayes and NB Julian Wilson.


Big Question: Can OU go undefeated?

Outlook: IMO only Texas is the possible loss since it’s a rivalry game. Baylor is home, and that is the only other test. Oklahoma State is also home. The schedule sets up nicely; the NC slate has only Tennessee as a challenge but they should be 3-0 there. Not only will OU win the Big XII they will be in the playoff. I see 12-0 as the record and the top spo

2014 SEC Preview


            As I predicted a year ago the SEC wouldn’t win a national title and I was proven right. However nobody thought Auburn would 180 as fast as they did to get into the title game and would pull off not 1, but 2 great plays to get into the big game. Missouri was also a big surprise making it to the SEC title game in only their 2nd season in the conference. Now, we enter the age of the SEC Network, which will have most of the games on the weekend. Every team in the SEC will have their game on national television. No more pay per views. So who will win out? Everyone seems high on Alabama, and with good reason, but as you’ll see there will be a new sheriff at the top of the SEC this season. Let’s read on and find out who’s the best in the best conference in all of college football.




7. Arkansas Razorbacks


HC: Bret Bielema

OC: Jim Cheney

DC: Robb Smith

Returning Starters: 9 (5 on offense)


Offense: There is a family affair at QB b/t Brandon and Austin Allen; look for true freshman Rafe Peavy too. RB’s are good with Alex Collins & Jonathan Williams leading a 1-2 punch in the mode of Felix Jones & Darren McFadden. The WR’s are not experienced and will rely on TE Hunter Henry to open things up. The line is not quite up to the standards of this type of offense yet, but it is more talented than a year ago.


Defense: The front 4 is led by DE Trey Flowers, but will need some help to break the double teams; look for DT DeMarcus Hodge to be the man to do just that. The LB’s are led by seniors Braylon Mitchell and Martell Spaight but this has been a thin group the last few years. The secondary looks strong led by SS Alex Turner and a lot of CB’s led by Tevin Mitchell.


Big Question: Will Arkansas win an SEC game?

Outlook: I believe so (Nov 15 hosting LSU is their best chance). Arkansas isn’t quite ready to play Bielema ball yet, another strong recruiting class is needed. If the Hogs have few injuries 6 wins are possible, but it is likely that 4-8 is the record.


6. Mississippi State Bulldogs


HC: Dan Mullen (Hot Seat!)

OC’s: Billy Gonzalez & John Hevesy

DC: Geoff Collins

Returning Starters: 16 (8 on each side)


Offense: Dak Prescott will be the QB, but he needs to be more consistent passing. Prescott is the best dual threat in the conference. Josh Robinson and Ashton Schumpert lead a talented group at RB. The line has 3 spots to fill, and that is a concern. The WR’s are led by Jameon Lewis.


Defense: The front 4 is rock solid led by DT PJ Jones. The LB’s will be called on to step up, and they are led by senior Matthew Wells and junior Benardick McKinney. The DB’s have lots of depth at CB, led by Taveze Calhoun, but S is a concern.


Big Question: Can Dan Mullen save his job?

Outlook: Mullen is on the hot seat, this is his 5th year here and the Bulldogs don’t really have quality division wins, except for Ole Miss a year ago. The schedule is conducive for a great season, but while Prescott is a good runner at QB, force him to pass and you beat this team. A weak NC slate helps this team go 7-5.


5. Texas A&M Aggies


HC: Kevin Sumlin

OC: Jake Spavital

DC: Mark Snyder

Returning Starters: 13 (8 on defense)


Offense: Johnny Manziel is gone, but it will be Kenny Hill starting opening day at QB but look for Kyle Allen, one of the top HS QB’s in the country LY to also see playing time. The Aggies will have a strong line once again, led by C Mike Matthews. The RB’s will be led by Oregon transfer Tra Carson. Look for Rickey Seales-Jones to replace Mike Evans, and Malcolm Kennedy to be the top targets.


Defense:  Off field issues are clouding the Aggies’ defense, so this is a tough review. If things hold up, the Aggies will have their entire front 4 back. LB’s have been a weak link, the Aggies have been dead last in rushing defense and that may continue this season. The DB’s have a star in CB Deshazer Everett.


Big Question: Can the Aggies be better without Johnny Football?

Outlook: When Sumlin was at Houston his best seasons were with Kevin Kolb. When he left Houston, Sumlin had a bad season then bolted to A&M. However Sumlin has a lot more talent here than he did at Houston, plus more resources. Sumlin is a good recruiter, but he needs to focus on the defense, the Aggies have the offense to win here, but they need defensive help. I think the Aggies are in a rebuilding year and will go 7-5.


4. LSU Tigers


HC: Les Miles

OC: Cam Cameron

DC: John Chavis

Returning Starters: 12 (6 on each side)


Offense: I expect Anthony Jennings to be the starter opening day at QB, but look for true freshman Brandon Harris who had the better performance in the spring game. The line is a veteran unit led by LT La’el Collins. The only position battle is at C b/t Elliot Porter and Ethan Pocic. The Tigers will rely on the line since WR’s are complete unknowns, the leading returner is Travin Dural with 7 catches, but there are a lot of talented true freshman coming in: Trey Quinn, John Diarse and top WR recruit Malachi Dupre. At RB seniors Kenny Hilliard and Terrance Magee are going to start, but all eyes are on the top HS recruit in the country in Leonard Fournette, who I estimate will get around 100-130 carries for about 500-700 yds rushing.


Defense: The front 4 is highlighted by DE’s Danielle Hunter and Jeremiah Rasco, but the DT’s are thin, now that Quentin Thomas may miss the season with a bicep injury. Look for Maquedius Bain and Greg Gilmore to fill out those spots. Travonte Valentine should see action in week 2 after the NCAA Clearinghouse (Something that needs to go IMO) held him up from practicing. He should start at DT later in the season. LB was supposed to be a strength a season ago but it fizzled. DJ Welter isn’t a SEC caliber MLB, but he has knowledge of the scheme and is going to be called on for on field leadership. Kwon Alexander is the best LB on LSU’s roster but look for Kendall Beckwith to step up at some point in the season. The secondary is LSU’s strength this season as CB’s Rashard Robinson and Tre’Davious White are back, along with Jalen Mills who has his off field issues for now resolved. The safeties will also be deep led by Ronald Martin and Corey Thompson as the starters but look for true freshman Jamal Adams to make a big impact early on.


Big Question: Can LSU make a statement in a rebuilding year?

Outlook: IMO, no. This is not a team ready to compete in 2014, but in 2015 will be back in contention for the conference title. I doubt LSU will really advance this season, a winning season would be likely if Wisconsin wasn’t on the schedule to start the season. LSU should be 4-1 entering October but I only see 2 more wins after that. LSU has potential but it is too young a team. 6-6 will be the record, but look for close losses to Florida, Auburn and Arkansas in the SEC.


3. Auburn Plainsmen/War Eagles/Tigers


HC: Gus Malzahn

OC: Rhett Lashlee

DC’s: Ellis Johnson & Charlie Harbison

Returning Starters: 13 (7 on offense)


Offense: QB Nick Marshall is back, but may miss the 1st game due to off field issues (weed). Marshall didn’t set the world on fire passing but is a very good runner, fitting Auburn’s scheme quite well. Replacing Tre Mason will be a priority at RB, Peyton Barber, true freshman Roc Thomas and Cameron Artis-Payne will all compete to be the starter. WR’s will be led by Quan Bray and Sammie Coates. The line is intact from a year ago save for LT, and is led by C Reese Dismukes.


Defense:  Replacing Dee Ford in the front 4 and Chris Davis in the secondary are Auburn’s top priorities this season. DT Gabe Wright is back and should have another big year. The LB’s are led by Cassanova McKinzy, but that is a thin unit. The DB’s will look for CB Jonathan Mincy to replace Davis.


Big Question: Can Auburn take being in the role of the hunted instead of the hunter this year?

Outlook: Auburn should have a good year, but nothing like a year ago. The only NC test is Kansas State on the road. They should get past Arkansas in the opener but road trips to Ole Miss and Georgia plus the finale at Bama look to be all losses. I think 8-4 is likely as well as 9-3.


2. Ole Miss Rebels


HC: Hugh Freeze

OC’s: Matt Luke & Dan Werner

DC’s: Jason Jones & Dave Womack

Returning Starters: 14 (9 on defense)


Offense: QB Bo Wallace is back and is the SEC’s best returning passer. He has been inconsistent from time to time but should level out his senior season. WR Laquon Treadwell and TE Evan Engram will be the top targets in the passing game. RB’s will be led by Jaylon Walton, but look for I’Tavius Mathers to be the feature backs. The line may be a concern, as injuries have forced some reshuffling.


Defense: Robert Nkemdiche is moving from DE to DT, so Ole Miss should have a strong interior pass rush. Fadel Brown and CJ Johnson will be the outside rushers at DE, but all eyes are on Johnson to have a big season. LB’s will be led by Sedarius Bennett, and if he is allowed back Denzel Nkemdiche. Ole Miss runs a 4-2-5 and the DB’s are solid, led by CB Sanquez Golden but look for JUCO transfer Tee Sheppard, former FIU QB Anthony Brown (now a S) & returning S Cody Prewitt to be the playmakers.


Big Question: Can Ole Miss finally go to Atlanta?

Outlook: Well they will start the season there, but Ole Miss won’t represent the West but this will be the best team there since 2003. Hugh Freeze has had several good recruiting classes and will have the best team he has had there. This is a rising program and I feel safe putting Ole Miss here. The Rebels should finish 9-3 but 10-2 will be my prediction as they won’t beat Bama despite hosting them.


1. Alabama Crimson Tide


HC: Nick Saban

OC: Lane Kiffin

DC: Kirby Smart

Returning Starters: 9 (6 on offense)


Offense: Florida St transfer Jacob Coker looks like he will win the starting QB job, but look for Blake Sims to get playing time as well. The RB’s are loaded led by TJ Yeldon but he will be aided by Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake. Bama’s line has a lot of talent, but it is young. Amari Cooper and Christion Jones are a good duo and Jones has big playmaker potential on special teams as well.


Defense: Despite the losses, Alabama will have a good defense but it won’t be the nations best. Brandon Ivory anchors the front 3 at the nose tackle position. Trey DePriest is the leader at LB, but look for Dillon Lee to be a threat at OLB. The DB’s are led by S Landon Collins.


Big Question: Will Bama be good enough to compete for the national title?

Outlook: No, but they will be a good SEC team. For a change they play Florida in the East, but that is at Tuscaloosa. The schedule has more cupcakes (the NC slate is a joke), but I only see Ole Miss as a road bump, but they have owned the Rebs over the years. Bama should finish 11-1, with Auburn being the lone loss.





7. Kentucky Wildcats


HC: Mark Stoops

OC: Neal Brown

DC: DJ Eliot

Returning Starters: 13 (8 on defense)


Offense: The QB race is interesting, right now Patrick Towles is in the lead but look for true freshman Reese Phillips to get some playing time in the Air Raid offense. The line returns 4 out of 5 starters from a year ago, led by LT Darrian Miller. The Wildcats have depth at RB for a change, led by Jojo Kemp and Braylon Heard. WR may be an issue for the Cats, but look for Javess Blue to be the top target.


Defense: Look for improved play on this side of the ball. DE’s Za’Darius Smith and Bud Dupree are excellent pass rushers, but will need someone to step up at DT. The LB’s will be led by OLB Khalid Henderson while the secondary is led by SS Ashely Lowery and CB Nate Willis.


Big Question: How soon can Kentucky compete in the East?

Outlook: I expect the Wildcats to improve on both sides of the ball, but there are two big things they lack: talent and depth. There are some good players, just not enough of them. This is a more competitive team, and I will say Kentucky will be in some games they have no business being in. I will predict a 4-8 record.


6. Missouri Tigers


HC: Gary Pinkel

OC: Josh Henson

DC: Dave Steckel

Returning Starters: 8 (4 on each side)


Offense: LY Maty Mauk came off the bench and got valuable playing time at QB, now it’s his show to run. The big problem is there is Dorial Green-Beckham their best WR is no longer part of the team, getting kicked off in April. Bud Sasser and Darius White hope to step up and replace DGB at WR. The line has 3 starters back and should open running lanes for Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy.


Defense: Gone is SEC sack leader Michael Sam, but Markus Golden and Shane Ray should step up to fill the sack numbers Sam put up. LB’s will be a problem only due to lack of starting experience but this is a thin area of the defense, so staying injury free will be a must. The DB’s are led by SS Braylon Webb.


Big Question: Can Missouri repeat LY’s success?

Outlook: Mizzou benefitted from sneaking up on teams a year ago, but now they have a big bulls-eye on their backs. The Tigers have good athletes, but you saw production dip at the end of the season. The schedule is favorable, a joke of a NC slate plus A&M and Arkansas from the west. S. Carolina, Tennessee and Florida are brutal road games in division play. If they can knock off Georgia this could be a great season, but Mizzou will be on the outside looking in with a 7-5 record.


5. Tennessee Volunteers


HC: Butch Jones

OC: Mike Bajakian

DC: John Jancek

Returning Starters: 9 (5 on defense)


Offense: Right now the Vols have a 2 way race at QB: Jusin Worley and Riley Ferguson. Whoever wins will have a brand new starting 5 on the line, which produced 2,261 rushing yards a year ago. RB’s Martin Lane and Jalen Hurd look to put up big numbers, and are good athletes.

The WR’s are led by Marquez North and Jason Croom.


Defense: Like on offense, there will be 4 new starters on the front 4 for the Vols. However they have the best LB in the conference in AJ Johnson who should be the 1st LB taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. The DB’s are led by Safeties Brian Randolph and LaDarrell McNeil.


Big Question: How far is Tennessee back from being a national power again?

Outlook: Honestly? 2 more signing classes. I almost put the Vols at 7th but I feel there is some talent here that can get some things done. But what I feel is the best thing for Tennessee is they have Florida and Bama at home, but what will hurt is the road schedule: Oklahoma (NC), Ole Miss, Georgia and S Carolina. Ouch. I look for a 6-6 record this season, but the loss to Oklahoma will cost them a bowl bid.


4. Florida Gators


HC: Will Muschamp (Hot Seat!)

OC: Kurt Roper

DC: DJ Durkin

Returning Starters: 10 (7 on defense)


Offense: After missing most of LY with an injury, QB Jeff Driskel is back, and should benefit from a new offense that will put him in the shotgun most of the time. On the line only C Max Garcia is returning which could mean early season growing pains. The WR’s are led by Quinton Dunbar, but since the emphasis is on passing look for Demarcus Robinson to emerge as a threat. The RB’s are led by Mack Brown and Kelvin Taylor.


Defense: Look for Buck (Moving DE basically) Dante Fowler, Jr to be the best player on the front 4 (3). The other 3 DL are back, as is most of the back 7, including the starting 3 LB’s from a year ago. The secondary took a hit due to graduation and transfers. CB Vernon Hargreaves III is the lone returning starter there.


Big Question: How much improvement will Florida make?

Outlook: While Florida won’t win the East they will make some strides. Going from a run first to now a pass first offense should bring the Gators some excitement on offense but remember Jeff Driskel is a dual threat QB so running will still be in the mix. Florida’s defense is as good as any in the SEC, so I wouldn’t worry about that if you’re a Florida fan. The NC slate is a joke save for Florida State at regular season’s end. Still a soft schedule early on leads to Sept 20 at Alabama. That will determine how far Florida has come and how far they still need to go. 7-5


3. Vanderbilt Commodores


HC: Derek Mason (1st season)

OC: Karl Dorrell

DC: David Kotulski

Returning Starters: 8 (5 on offense)


Offense: Patton Robinette won the starting spot at QB, but look for Johnny McCrary and former LSU transfer Stephen Rivers (Phillip’s younger bro) to get playing time if Robinette struggles. The line was singled out by HC Mason for being the strong link in the chain, only needing to find a RT. The WR’s lost a big player in Jordan Matthews but will look to TE’s Steven Scheu and Nathan Marcus to shoulder more of the load while Jordan Cunningham and CJ Duncan look to step up outside. The RB’s are led by Jerron Seymour who is also effective catching passes out of the backfield, he’ll be backed up by Brian Kimbrow. While the backs are small, the staff will implement the Stanford offense despite lacking a large RB.


Defense: Vandy is switching to the 3-4, so players will be in new positions. NG Vince Taylor is the man in the middle who has size and speed to wreak havoc in the front 3. The LB’s will make a smooth transition led by Darreon Harring on the inside and Kyle Woestmann on the outside. The secondary is a mystery, but despite that should be able to flourish in the zone packages Vandy will heavily use this season.


Big Question: How much of a drop off will Vandy have this season?

Outlook: I think Vandy drops, but not too far. Mason inherits a very talented team, and his background as a former DC will be invaluable. Vandy will be more of a passing team than running team. But I think the defense, aided by the weakest NC slate in the SEC will benefit this team for making another bowl run. In the last 2 seasons Vandy has won 18 games, sometimes it would take 4-5 years in the past to do that. I see Vandy going 8-4, possibly winning a bowl game.


2. South Carolina Gamecocks


HC & OC: Steve Spurrier

DC: Lorenzo Ward

Returning Starters: 13 (7 on defense)


Offense: Dylan Thompson is going to be the starter at QB, but he has lacked accuracy in the past. Protecting Thompson will be a strong line led by LT Corey Robinson. At RB it’s going to be the Mike Davis Show yet again, as he has been the man the last 2.5 yrs. Backing him up will be Brandon Wilds. The WR’s are led by Damiere Byrd, but look for Shaq Roland and Pharoh Cooper to be the break out stars there.


Defense: On the front 4, finding replacements for Kelcy Quarles and Jadaveon Clowney are the top priorities’. Gerald Dixon and Abu Lamin have that task ahead of them. The LB’s are led by Kaiwan Lewis Marcquis Roberts while CB Brison Williams anchors the secondary.


Big Question: Can the Gamecocks really be a better team than they were a year ago?

Outlook: It will be tough, but the only reason the Gamecocks won’t win the division is the defense. That is their weak link. Still from a talent standpoint this is Spurrier’s best team at the other USC, but depth is going to be an issue. Thompson IMO is not a championship level QB, but a good game manager. I look for a competitive team, but one that will finish 8-4.


1. Georgia Bulldogs


HC: Mark Richt

OC: Mike Bobo

DC: Jeremy Pruitt

Returning Starters: 15 (10 on defense)


Offense: Hutson Mason filled in at QB LY when Aaron Murray went down with an injury, and now it’s his show. The line lost 3 starters but have plenty of players with game experience there. Look for C David Andrews to be the leader. The WR’s are led by Chris Conley (who made a cool Star Wars fan film, youtube it!) and Michael Bennett; however look for Malcolm Mitchell and TE Jay Rome to play a bigger role in the passing game. Todd Gurley should reap big benefits now that Keith Marshall is back from a knee injury giving UGA the best 1-2 punch at RB in the SEC.


Defense: UGA will have the benefit of having an experienced defense, but look for new DC Pruitt to revamp the secondary, which struggled in a few games a year ago. The front 3 is led by Ray Drew, a senior at DE. Ramik Wilson and Amario Herrara lead the LB corps while in the secondary CB Damian Swann leads a young but experienced group of players.


Big Question: Can Georgia cut down in the late game mistakes that cost them LY?

Outlook: Um, yes. I think Pruitt was a big hire, taking him away from Florida State and since he will coach the DB’s I see improvement looming. If both Gurshall can stay healthy I look for UGA to have offensive numbers similar to that of 2012. If they get past S Carolina with a win, I see UGA going unbeaten the rest of the way, so I will predict 12-0, and the SEC gets a spot in the playoff with the top seed.


SEC Championship Game: Alabama vs Georgia


SEC Champions: Georgia Bulldogs

#28 hcmv007


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Posted 15 December 2014 - 11:42 PM

Bowl Predictions



As a;ways, only the ones I care about:



New Orleans Bowl: UL Lafayette 42 Nevada 34


Heart of Dallas Bowl: LA Tech 35 Illinois 26


Sun Bowl: Arizona St 45 Duke 21


Independence Bowl: S Carolina 26 Miami, FL 23


Liberty Bowl: Texas A&M 49 West VA 56


Belk Bowl: Georgia 32 Louisville 27


Music City Bowl: LSU 28 ND 20


Citrus Bowl: Minnesota 32 Missouri 28


Outback Bowl: Wisconsin 35 Auburn 34


Tax Slayer Bowl: Tennessee 27 Iowa 14


Birmingham Bowl: E Carolina 30 Florida 17




Peach Bowl: TCU 24 Ole Miss 13


Fiesta Bowl: Arizona 28 Boise St 21


Orange Bowl: Miss St 35 Georgia Tech 25


Cotton Bowl: Michigan St 35 Baylor 27




Rose Bowl: Florida St 38 Oregon 32


Sugar Bowl: Alabama 35 Ohio St 17

#29 hcmv007


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Posted 13 July 2015 - 11:50 PM

Only have time to do SEC for a full preview as I am working on NFL reviews. If anyone would like to post any conference please feel free to do so

#30 hcmv007


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Posted 11 August 2015 - 12:19 AM

Before I review the SEC, here are the teams from the other Conferences I think will have great seasons:


Big 10: Ohio State will win, but look for Wisconsin to be the breakout team.


Pac 12: Oregon will win, but look for Stanford


ACC: Clemson and Florida State


Big XII: TCU will win, but look for Oklahoma and Texas to be vastly improved



Now on to the SEC:





1. Tennessee Vols-A year ago they had no O-Line, QB and D-Line but this season they have all of that experience coming back. With one of the best RB's in the SEC, I think the Vols break through over Georgia and Missouri.


2. Georgia Bulldogs-The Dawgs lack experience at QB which is why I dont have them on top, but the defense should be improved and in Nick Chubb the best RB in the SEC.


3. Missouri Tigers-Maty Mauk is back at QB but the Tigers lack a deep threat in the passing game and have issues on the defensive front. Could be a tough season.


4. South Carolina Gamecocks-This is not a typical Spurrier coached team. Too many questions as the talent IMO has dropped.


5. Kentucky Wildcats-If the Cats Air Raid offense can score, but the defense is the big question mark. Lots of young talent and could be bowl eligible.


6. Florida Gators-Gators are rebuilding under Jim McElwain. Dont expect the Swamp to be too intimidating this year.


7. Vanderbilt Commodores-Derek Mason is on the hot seat if Vandy cant get at least 3 SEC wins




1. Auburn War Eagles-A new QB in Jermey Johnson who is more of a passing threat than Nick Marshall was. I expect Auburn to have a National Playoff season


2. Alabama Crimson Tide-Bama needs to break in a new QB, but still a lot of talent.


3. Texas A&M Aggies-Aggies have Kyle Allen ready at QB, and a new defense in hiring John Chavis away from LSU. I expect a huge turn around in 2015.


4. Ole Miss Rebels-Big offensive questions: QB & RB. One of the best defenses in the SEC.


5. Arkansas Razorbacks-Slowly improving, could be as high as 3rd but I am being realistic about their potential success as a tough road schedule awaits.


6. Mississippi St Bulldogs-Dak Prescott is back at QB, but offensive weapons are gone. Defense has some big shoes to fill, and needs to play better.


7. LSU Tigers-If LSU has improved QB play, and no LB's get hurt they can win the West. But since Les Miles is still stuck in 2008 regarding QB play, I think the only SEC win is Florida and the Tigers go 5-7, and likely will bring in a new HC in 2016.