Thursday, September 27, 2007

Doc's Prognosis - Week 5

Well, here it is, back by popular demand. A little bit late this week on account of being on vacation through the weekend and a seemingly endless string of busy-ness after returning. If you haven't checked out this week's ratings, you can find them here.

Movers and Shakers

Three Up....
1. South Carolina - Up 23 spots to #17. Sometimes losing isn't such a bad thing. Especially when you are projected to lose by a huge margin, but end up playing somewhat competitively on the road against the #1 team. That may not earn you a lot of respect with the AP voters, but what do they know anyway?
2. Georgia - Up 16 spots to #22. A great win on the road against a highly rated team. Also, the fact that there only loss so far was to S. Carolina, and we just discussed what happened with them.
3. Illinois - Up 31 spots to #24. Wow, where did these guys come from? The Fighting Zooker's might be a factor in the Big 2 Little 9 this year. Unfortunately for him, he'll just have to be fired as coach before we finally realize just how great his team's COULD be.

Three Down....
1. Louisville - Down 40 spots to #67. I generally try to avoid putting teams who were not originally in my top 25 the previous week in this section, but when something like this happens, I've got no choice. I felt Louisville had a decent shot at winning the national title. Now I think they may not even be bowl eligible when all is said and done. The Big East is actually quite strong this year, and Louisville's already lost to one of the worst BCS conference schools I have ever seen (and that includes Duke, Baylor, and the Vandy of old). I didn't see any of this game, but when I heard this result my first thought was that this was a bigger upset than the Appy St-Michigan game. Way bigger. And I'll stand by that. Anyone who wants to argue with me there is free to do so.
2. Utah - Down 42 spots to #62. Yikes. No one could have honestly thought that they were as good as where they showed up in my rankings last week, but, unfortunately for them, what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas as far as my rankings go.
3. Nebraska - Down 16 spots to #39. In the days of my youth, in a time long long ago.....Well, it wasn't really all that long ago. 10 years ago Nebraska were national champs and had one of the most dominant dynasties college football had ever seen. Do you think they regret the Bill Callahan decision? I certainly do, because it used to be fun to watch Nebraska play offensively and defensively. Now it's just a bore, unless of course they need a 4th quarter comeback to beat the mighty Cardinals of Ball St.

Games of the Week
1. West Virginia vs USF - Now this is a rare Friday night game worth watching. W. Virginia will have revenge on their mind, and USF will be out to prove that their win over Auburn was no fluke (and I don't think it was). I think WVU will win the game, but expect USF to give them all they can handle for 3.5 quarters.
2. Florida vs. Auburn - This is an Auburn team that is backed into a corner against a Florida team with dreams of a repeat championship. Tuberville needs a big win this season, I think, to avoid the hot seat. I just don't see it coming from this game, and I'm not sure it will happen period.
3. Oregon vs. Cal - People should wake up. They play some good football out west, and I think this game could help people to realize that. Cal is ranked higher, but I can't see them winning this game. I think Oregon have the potential to be really really good. Think national championship kinda good. They will probably lay an egg and make me look like a fool here though.
4. Florida St. vs. Alabama - In the days of my youth, in a time long long ago....This would've been a monster game. An absolute monster. Now, it's just an entertaining matchup of two teams trying to rediscover the magic. And I think the Crimson Tide are only 1-2 years away from doing just that. The record is the same as last year, but they are lightyears ahead as far as mentality and toughness. In my opinion, Saban has worked a miracle in Tuscaloosa. Also in my humble opinion, FSU won't rediscover the magic as long as Bowden is there. Sad, but true.
5. Wisconsin vs. Michigan St. - Michigan St. is coming off an impressive win over Notre Dame. Wait a minute, I've got ND ranked where? Oh yes, 108th or something like that. Anyway, Wisconsin, frankly, has looked like cow dung, and they seem ripe for a beat down at the hands of a good team (which Iowa is not, and in fact is miles away from ever being). Is Michigan St. that good team to finally expose them? I kinda doubt it, but it is a battle of Little 9 unbeatens. Exciting. I'll be honest, I was having a hard time finding a 5th game.

Upset Specials
Yet again, nothing really jumps out of the page at me. But I'll take a few shots here at calling some games that could be more interesting than expected. You can find all the projections for Top 25 teams, as well as ACC and SEC games, here.

1. Alabama over FSU - For some unknown reason, the bookies have FSU as a 2.5 point favorite. Why is beyond me. They will play good defense in this one, no doubt about it. And yes, Alabama's defense has been suspect at times, so FSU can expect to score a few points. But this will be a true neutral venue, and that will mean alot. I can't see FSU scoring more than 16 points with that offense, and I can't see Alabama scoring fewer than 17. You do the math.
2. Ga Tech over Clemson - I once had a roommate in college that referred to this as the most physical rivalry in college football. To this day, I am still trying to determine what he means by this, but the fact is that this is usually, not always, but usually a great game. That being said, I see blowout written all over this one. I just don't know which way it will go. GT has fallen flat on their face the last 2 games, and Tommy Bowden's Clemson teams are always consistent, right? I'm not ready to make a definite prediction on this one, but it will be a game worth watching, at least for a few minutes. Something impressive will happen, one way or the other. And I wouldn't be surprised in the least if GT wins. Unless they wear their gold jerseys.
3. Miss St over S. Carolina - I wouldn't give this one very good odds, but it could happen. Final score will probably be 19-16, or something like that. You'll see 2 good defenses, and 2 pretty inept offenses, battle it out. And because it will be low scoring and close, Miss St just might pull something out of their hat, you just never know.

OK, that's all for this week. Admittedly, this week doesn't really get me fired up all that much. Maybe it's just because October the 6th is going to be such a huge day for college football. But more on that next week. Of course, who knows, a few big upsets this weekend and those 'big' games next week won't mean nearly as much as we thought. But that's the beauty of the sport. Who needs a playoff? Not college football, I can assure you of that.

Just a thought before I really close this out. My note up above about the Big East being a strong conference got me thinking. Next week I will try to write a little about the relative strength of each conference. But, what makes a good conference? 2 great teams at the top, a strong group of mid ranked teams, or having all 8, 9, 10 teams just being pretty good? In other words, should I take an average rating for each conference to determine the strength, or throwout the top and bottom teams, then average, etc.? Anybody with any thoughts on this, or if you care at all, please be oh so kind and leave a comment for me to read.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Doc's Prognosis - Week 4


Movers and Shakers


Here are the big movers of the weekend, along with some general comments about the wonderful world of college football. As always, you can find the full rankings here.


Three Up....


1. Utah - Up 50 spots to #23. This is probably much much too high for a 1-2 team, but remember that I had UCLA ranked very highly all season long so far. And they let me down. Big time. Shouldn't come as a surprise really though. A good win for Utah, but I think you may see them on the Three down section very very soon.

2. Florida - Up 20 spots to #5. I remarked several times last week that I thought this offense would be unstoppable with Tebow at QB. And it looks like the defense might even be a little better than I anticipated. I will be watching Oct. 6th when they meet LSU in what might be the next 'game of the century.'

3. Ohio St - Up 17 spots to #10. A very good win over Washington. And the Big 2 Little 9 is obviously there for the taking. They've gotta be the favorites to win the conference heading into the conference schedule.


Three Down...

1. Iowa - Down 39 spots to #63. This team lost to Iowa St, who had previously lost to a MAC school and a 1-AA school. This speaks volumes about the state of the Big 10/11 or whatever they call themselves now.

2. BYU - Down 29 to #36. They were a team whose fate at this point in the season was tied to UCLA. Utah in essence knocked their archrivals down to where they belong in my rankings.

3. UCLA - Down 27 to #30. Whoops. 44-6? On the road? To a Utah team without Alex Smith and Urban Meyer? They probably should be lower than 30th.


Finally, I can't end this section without a mention of the now completely irrelevant Notre Dame. I'm glad they have their own network deal because I can't imagine any self-respecting network would pick up any of their remaining games. Then again, it's good entertainment to see if they can finish up with positive rushing yards. I wonder if negative points is next? If any team can figure out a way to do it, the great Golden Domers can, I'm sure. But Charlie Weis would keep it a secret till game time I guess. Anyway, they're now 98th in the poll, so we'll see this weekend if they can drop into the hundreds. They are now one of the 25 worst 1-a teams in the land, behind the mighty Bears of Baylor and the illustrious Golden Flashes of Kent St. Ouch.


Games of the Week


Not many this week actually, but I'll try to dig up 5. Unfortunately, I won't be watching much football this weekend as I'll be on vacation. I guess I picked a good week for that.

1. Georgia at Alabama - This is my pick for top game. Should be interesting to see how Georgia does compared to the S.C. game. And has Alabama improved that much under Saban? I don't know how much we learned from the Arkansas game, but it's a game that Bama wouldn't have won at any point over the last 6 years. Should be an entertaining game, but I think the Tide win it mainly because of the homefield advantage.

2. Texas A&M at Miami - Can Miami be relevant again, or will they continue to be a proud program gone wrong? I guess the same can be said for A&M. Franchione has been very disappointing if you ask me.

3. SC vs. LSU - No, not that SC, but the Fighting Spurriers. This is the chance for the Ol Ball Coach to throw it around a little bit and see if they can't win the game. I don't see that happening. I'd give it about a snowball's chance.

4. Penn St vs Michigan - We'll see here whether Penn St are capable of winning the That Conference. The battle of two teams whose biggest wins are against Notre Dame. This illustrious group might be joined by Duke before the end of the season, who knows.

5. Arkansas vs Kentucky - A chance for Kentucky to show they're legit. And a chance for Arkansas to show they're not disheartened by the Alabama loss. Look for McFadden to have another big game, but if John Parker Wilson can have a big game against Arkansas, Woodson should have a YOOGE game (tribute to Bob Davie).


Upset Specials

Well, most of my upsets flopped last week, with the exceptions of Alabama (who was actually favored despite not being ranked) and Kentucky. This week, there aren't really any upsets, but here are some games that might be closer than expected.

1. NC State vs Clemson - Haven't seen much of either of these teams this year, but this is just one of those games I wouldn't be surprised to see Clemson lose. This is a team who proudly claims an '11th ranked nationally' feat outside of their athletic complex. Quite a feat. They have a nice rock though.
2. New Mexico St vs Auburn - I've got Auburn only favored by 5, and the way they're playing this year, I wouldn't be surprised to see this one happen.


And that's really it for this week. Not too many games that I see as a potential upset this week, but you know there will be some. That's what is so fun about college football. You just never know what will happen.


That's all for this week. Probably no more posts from me this week. HOpefully everyone will be able to survive without me.


Friday, September 14, 2007

A Deeper Look

Each week in this spot, I’ll go through a couple of key games in a little more depth than in my main weekly writeup. I don’t claim to be the most knowledgeable football mind in the world, but every now and then I have an idea of what’s going to happen on the field. I’ll try to get this post out a little bit earlier in coming weeks instead of the day before the games, but here goes nothing.

Tennessee at Florida

Tennessee wins if…..
If Erik Ainge has time to throw and completes 75% of his passes. This game is going to be a shootout in my opinion (and in the minds of lots of other folks as well) and I don’t see Tennessee consistently moving the football on the ground like they have in years past. Rumor on the street is that Florida has a poor defense, and that may be true, we shall see. But I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that we’ll see the Florida defensive front put some heat on Ainge, and that could be the difference in the game.

Florida wins if…..
Tebow doesn’t suffer early game jitters. This is his first big test as starter, against archrivals Tennessee no less, and in one of the most important SEC games of the year. If he finds his feet early, the Gators should be able to score quickly and often. If the defense can stop Tennessee just once in the first few drives of the game, Florida could take a two possession lead out of the first quarter. An early lead to keep the crowd in the game and keep Tebow and Co’s confidence high should be enough to win the game.

My pick: Florida 38, Tennessee 34

Boston College at Georgia Tech

BC wins if…..
The offensive line handles the blitz well. I’m sure Tenuta will bring pressure on almost every down, and it all depends on BC’s ability to pick up the blitz in order to allow Ryan to be successful. He’s going to need a big game if they are to win this game, and if the line doesn’t do their part, he’s got no shot.

GT wins if…..
Tashard Choice is able to run the ball successfully. I wasn’t impressed with Taylor Bennett in the ND game, and the Samford game doesn’t provide much of an indication of actual ability. He needs a successful running attack in order to be an efficient passer. But the main benefit of Choice having a big day will be that it will help rest the defense and give them their best opportunity to stop the dangerous Matt Ryan.

My pick: GT 21, BC 13

That’s all from me for this week. Some big games this weekend, hopefully everyone will get the chance to watch a lot of the action.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mikey Mike's Post

The Gamblin Man

By: Mikey Mike

Hello everyone time to get serious. There has a lot of talk all week of who will beat whom. There is also a good chance that today is no different. Without further ado the stone cold Vegas locks.

Lines may vary. (as of 9-12)

Louisville (-8) at Kentucky

I like Kentucky in this one. At home, against a team that gave up 42 to last years Sun Belt champ.

Hawaii (-17) at UNLV

Another underdog will cover. At home, against a team that has no defense. UNLV held there own against #5 Wisconsin losing by 7 (20-13).

Tennessee at Florida (-8)

This time there will be no dog. Florida will embarrass fellow SEC East opponent Tennessee. Florida only needs to run to the left where Tennessee has a 260 pound defensive tackle waiting. Not going to cut it in the SEC.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Doc's Prognosis - Week 3

Movers and Shakers

First off, I'll begin with a look at the teams going up and the teams going down after last week's games. As always, you can find the complete poll here.

Three Up:
1. Cincinnati - Up 37 spots to #5 after a throttling of Oregon St. They have now taken over the mantle as best non-BCS team. Are they honestly this good? No way. Are they even the best non-BCS team? I doubt it. My vote goes for BYU or TCU. But let's let them enjoy it for at least one week.
2. Oregon - Up 18 spots after giving Michigan the business at the big house. Could they be a darkhorse in the apparently loaded Pac-10?
3. Kentucky - Up 19 spots to #15. Louisville comes calling this week, and it's a chance for the Cats to back up this lofty ranking and a chance for Woodson and Co. to rack up a boatload of points against a more than accommodating L'ville defense.

Three Down:
1. Michigan - Down 34 spots to #62. And this doesn't even include the Appy St result.
2. Hawaii - Down 33 spots to #41. Needing OT to beat La Tech will do that to you. Honestly, they were way too high for a team with no defense.
3. Louisville - Down 223 spots to #35. That's way to many yards to give up to a team with a sorta directional, acronym, state university name (MTSU).

Games of the Week:
1. USC at Nebraska - I think this game will be very entertaining. USC hasn't looked all that good so far, and Nebraska is coming off a good win away at Wake. A chance for USC to show that they do belong with the likes of LSU and OU.
2. Tennessee at Florida - Mark it down right now, Tebow will be unstoppable. If Cal can score as many against UT as they did, Tebow and company will have a feast. The only problem is, UT will score almost as many. A highscoring game here.
3. BC at Ga. Tech- I think these are the two best teams in the ACC. Ryan will have a hard time against the blitz happy Jackets, but it remains to be seen what Gailey's team can do offensively.
4. Arkansas at Alabama - Nick Saban's first real test in the SEC. I was impressed with the win at Vandy, but stopping Mcfadden and Jones will be a different story. This game is always, always close, and I can't imagine this one being any different.
5. Ohio St at Washington - Ty Willingham may finally have this program turned around. That, and the apparently weak Big 10, make for some very interesting story lines here.

You can find my computer's predictions for these games, and all other Top 25, SEC, and ACC games here.

Upset Specials
This is something of a rare week. My computer is picking the 'underdog' to win several games against ranked opponents. You don't see this very often.

Nebraska over USC - I'm really anxious to see how this one plays out.
Kentucky over Louisville - I watched MTSU score at will, so I think this is a legitimate pick.
Washington over Ohio St - A chance for the Big 10 to get some of their pride back, but I think they fail to do it.
Alabama over Arkansas - In all honesty, this one's too close to call.

That's all for this week. Hope you enjoyed it. If anybody is reading, or has any suggestions for topics to cover, let us know.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Saturday's are BACK!

No more mundane baseball, no more Saturday's filled with the boredom most baseball on ESPN brings, no more Little League World Series, no more talks of Michael Vick, and no more Bonds saga. YES, it's here.

It's September and that means it's time for some College Football. We're past week 2 and there has already been more wins, upsets, and hearts broken since last year.

At the beginning of the year I think it was clear who was the best conference in the nation and how others followed but to be honest I believe at 2-6 there has been quite the power shift.

Here is my BCS Conference Power Listing:

  1. SEC
  2. PAC-10
  3. Big East
  4. Big 12
  5. Big 10
  6. ACC
Yup that's right. The SEC is where it needs to be, on top. Sure South Florida beating Auburn and Missouri beating Ole Miss were huge for each respective program this past week...well not Missouri because Ole Miss is worse than most High School teams in Florida.

California in week 1 and Oregon in week 2 really showed some signs of greatness however, I do believe they were playing teams on the decline. The Big East as usual is top heavy with WVU, Louisville, and South Florida being its better teams. Rutgers is good, but my high school plays a tougher schedule. The Big 12 has Oklahoma which almost vaulted them to #3, but slow starts by Texas and the rest really brought them down. The Big 10 is awful this year and that should be no doubt. Michigan who? Notre LAME (yes I know they're an IND)? Need I talk about them. They may be trying to get rights to a game with the Coast Guard to pad what will probably be an 0-7 or 0-8 record. The ACC is probably the worst conference in all of college football right now. You know it's bad when you're real bright spot happens to be a Technological University.

Next week you will probably witness something that hasn't come about in the last 50 years--a televised football game where both participants were 0-2. Yes, Notre Dame and Michigan will be fighting in what I like to call the "Battle of the 0-fers".

Here's a little more about me. I am an avid football fan. The past 2 Saturday's I've watched about 25 hours of college football combined. That's not counting both Thursday night games and Labor Day's FSU vs. Clemson. I eat it up. Stats, players, coaches, you name it I love it. I will not reveal who I'm a fan of to you ever and I hope you never find out unless of course you know me haha, but that in my opinion makes a blog better. Along with my earlier point of being an avid fan, I am a member of Rivals.com which in my opinion is the best information on college football and has a good group of members that money can buy. Being a member of Rivals.com does have it pluses in the quality information received, but it also has it's negatives--and sometimes they outweigh the positives.

Most every blog I'll do my best to have a list of things that "Grind my Gears." I'll highlight some of the negative things I've seen and read about everywhere in my internet and real life travels for that week.

So...

WHAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS
  • Notre Dame fans who continually blame losses on Tyrone Willingham. That's right. There are a high number of ND fans who believe all of the losses this year are solely on TW's shoulders. Whether it be recruits or lack thereof or "the situation he left the program in", he still gets a lot of the blame.
  • Rutgers fans who came out of the woodworks and now proclaim that Greg Schiano is the greatest coach to ever live. Breaking News Rutgers and other Big East fans: you guys were nothing until Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Miami left the conference.
  • Lou Holtz for being a worthless announcer who brings absolutely nothing fresh and new to any broadcast.
Upset Specials

Watch out for the following this Saturday:

USC at Nebraska
Ohio State at Washington
Louisville at Kentucky

I really thing Nebraska will give USC some grief, however if Sam Keller makes mistakes, this game is already over.

Louisville's defense is more porous than a cheese grader. Kentucky's is better than Louisville's but all in all this game could hit the combined Century mark plus. I mean MTSU dropped 40 on Louisville last Thursday night.

I love Tyrone Willingham. I think he was treated unfairly at Notre Dame and think all in all he is a good coach. Something that really made me smile this week was a thread on a board titled "Could Notre Dame beat Boise State right now?...B/C Tyrone Willingham did!" I hope he has good success at Washington.

Well signing off for today. Have a great week prepping for what will be another action packed Saturday!

Thursday night WVU vs. Maryland. Shouldn't be a good one!

If there is anything you guys want me to touch base on please comment and give me feedback!

New Blog

Well, the blog has been moved. I created the new site with an eye towards having some 'Guest bloggers' from time to time. I've already got a couple of folks lined up, so if you want to write as well let me know. It would be nice to have a lively discussion on this site concerning college football. Don't forget to check out this week's ratings and predictions at www.geocities.com/zosofreak2000. I will post again in the next couple of days concerning the big games coming up this weekend.