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    Head Coach Trey Chaffin steps to the microphone: "It pains me greatly to say this, but after a great run at Georgia Tech, I will be stepping down as head coach. I know it isn't an ideal time, but it is time for me. I am open to any questions." Stepping out of character, I want to say a few things. I know a lot of y'all probably thought I was already gone or whatever. I never thought this day would come. Never. This site meant so much to me for so long. Some days it felt like I was online all 24 hours. Anytime I was at home I was on, as soon as I got on the bus to go across campus I'd be on on my phone, I'd be on in class, it just meant everything to me. Soluna, I know I could rub you the wrong way, and I know I truly pissed you off sometimes, but I want to thank you. This site is incredible. It really is. To everyone I've gotten to know over the years here, whether we got along or not, I am thankful for all of you. The hours spent in the shoutbox no matter the topic no matter how vicious the arguments were always fun. I am ready to step down immediately if that is what is best and there is a coach in the waiting, but I am also willing to continue as long as y'all need me too. As soon as I write this post I'm gonna go do recruiting for the upcoming week. Also, I will not be stepping down from my role within the Bengals organization. I am far more active there than I am in cfbhc. I am truly sorry for how inactive I have been for quite a while, I know it hurts the sim as a whole and especially my team and my conference. I want everyone to know I tried, I really did. I fully expected to be back up to my past activity levels in 2017, but a lot has happened in my personal life and things that I used to enjoy just don't hold my attention anymore. After graduating in december I expected to be more active, however a lot has happened since then. I won't go into any excuses, but this year, especially since March, has been really tough. Sorry this post is kinda rambly, it's late and I do feel bad about this. In hindsight I should have done this a long time ago, but every time I thought about doing it, I would convince myself I could become more active. And I would try, I really did, I would log on a few days in a row check stuff out make my gameplan, and then it would slip again. I know there is someone out there that can take care of my beloved team and players better than me. Its been fun guys, I won't just disappear, I'll still have the Bengals to be disappointed by, uh I mean to be excited about.
  2. 35 likes
    Welcome back! For those who don't know, this series of articles is a deeper dive into college prospects for the upcoming 2020 NFLHC Draft. I'm going off of eligible players and conferences that have updated their stats. This column will only include those players who have already been rated. Let's get to it. Blow, Man For Bowman Washington Redskins (1-10-1): In their first three seasons of existence, Washington largely was mediocre, going 6-10, 9-7, and 8-8 in those first three seasons respectively. That is relative success for an expansion team and is largely due to the blockbuster Javier Fields trade made prior to the 2017 NFLHC Draft. In the end, I'm not sure either side won the deal as the Falcons used the #2 pick acquired in the trade on AJ Jefferson, who has not lived up to the expectations of that pick. Nonetheless, it allowed Washington to stay competitive enough in their first years of existence. However, a couple of seasons of relatively mediocre drafting - with the exception of C Matt Cole - and the Redskins no longer have the talent to compete with the rest of NFLHC. Combine that with serious regression from Fields: he had 30 TD / 11 INT in 2019 compared to 11 TD / 12 INT thus far in 2020, and Washington's disaster of a season doesn't seem all that surprising. Outside of Tanner Bowman, this does not seem like a particularly enticing QB class right now. With the relative devaluation of QB in the draft compared to their impact on a team the Redskins might not have to use their high first rounder on a QB. In fact, I'd recommend they didn't. This team is bereft of talent and with the dearth of overall talent entering the draft thus far, and they'd be hard pressed not to use it on a high overall early declaration or perhaps North Carolina's DE Josiah Harden. Back to the QB position, Fields' serious regression has to be concerning, and when backup Yancey Musgrave got a chance to start he didn't look particularly good either. Depending on who enters, the Redskins could draft and develop a player. Someone like Nicholas Garland from Stanford or David Oates from Washington State could be intriguing options, or if Washington is inclined to develop a scrambler Pitt's Grant McConnell could also be an option. Fields' contract is expiring and I don't see Washington paying him, so we'll likely see Musgrave, someone brought in in a trade, or a free agent signing starting in the capital next year. Dallas' Taylor Rodriguez could be an intriguing short-term option, but either way, a new solution is needed. The Skins drafted Ricardo Reed in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft. He had a solid rookie year with 4.35 YPC and 8 TD in 16 starts, but has regressed this year with 3.92 YPC, just 4 TD, and 7 fumbles (4 lost) so far. However, this is a terrible RB class and with other pressing needs Washington should probably give Reed at least another year and look in another direction to fill needs. Receivers-wise, Washington's corps was terrible going into the 2020 draft, but Sam Hiller-Weeden was picked in the first round and he's been pretty good for a rookie whose QB is terrible as he's caught nearly half of the TDs Fields has thrown. Outside of that, the Redskins WR corps is a flaming dumpster fire and needs to be upgraded ASAP, as only SHW and the injury-prone Patrick Burke are on roster for 2021. A free agent signing and a draft pick is not out of the question. Someone like Kansas' Malcolm Davis could be an intriguing pick at the top of the 2nd round - with 5 TD already this season he could be a nice redzone complement to Hiller-Weeden's chain-moving abilities. Another depth pick at WR, such as USF's Claudio Howard, could bring a nice speed element out of the slot. Washington also has 2 solid TEs on roster, though only James Ware comes back and he's more of a blocker than a receiver (he has 0 TD this season). There is depth in this TE class so someone could potentially be added. Washington's offensive line is probably the most stable part of the team - unfortunately however they are a bottom 5 line by rating this season, a regression from the average line they were in 2019. As the line has stayed relatively healthy overall, it's clear that upgrades are needed. The interior seems solid with Matt Cole being a Pro Bowl level player, Clayton Williams being an acceptable level starter, and rookie 2nd round pick Nick Ramos filling it out. The blame should likely partially be put on the rookie guard and the older tackles; the tackles should probably be upgraded. OTs are not heavily valued commodities in the draft at this juncture and so Washington may be able to land a solid plug-and-play tackle like Virginia's Shawuan Holsey at the top of the 2nd round. As they obtained a rookie 75 overall tackle in the 7th round of the last draft only one should probably be drafted, and in the 2nd-3rd round if Washington is leaning that way. Oklahoma State's OT/OG Beckett Miller may be in consideration at Washington's high first round pick as well. Defensively, Washington is below average. On the line, Fred Romanowski has a lower sack total this year but he's still an imposing force up the middle; Mike Hill is a solid player who can both rush the passer for 6-7 sacks a year while stopping the run effectively; Kevin Nitschke is just a mediocre DT2; and rookie DE Kenneth Stanford is a JAG who has contributed nothing this year, though he's only recently been filling in for Dennis Abdullah. Washington could consider DE Josiah Harden if they're in position to draft him, but with heavy drop-off after Harden and UNT's Javier Grady with the next highest player being just a 76 overall, that's a move that could play out in Washington's favor. Abdullah is acceptable as a starter but his contract is expiring and a player like Harden is a clear upgrade; but if Harden or Grady are not drafted Washington probably will not draft one except in the late rounds as depth. Nitschke could be upgraded as backup DT but it shouldn't be a huge priority. Washington's linebackers are also extremely mediocre. OLBs Craig Davis and Anthony Brown are both uninspiring players who have done much nothing much this year, and neither are extremely impressive in coverage or against the run to make up for it. Depth at OLB could be possible in the mid-rounds but otherwise I don't see Washington addressing the position for another year or two as both are under contract for another year. Washington is weak at ILB as 2019 7th rounder Nicholas Haskell starts. Washington starts rookie 3rd rounder Raheem Burkett as will ILB. Haskell has been OK but he's been more of a stat accumulator than impact player, while Burkett is yet to appear on the statsheet. ILB is weak in this class (although most positions are weak) but if Washington falls in love with one of the top guys they could be added as all 3 (Illinois' Jamal Harley, Arizona State's Garrett Holiday, and Penn State's Christopher Clayton) have the potential to be available at Washington's 2nd round pick and would be likely upgrades over Haskell. The Redskins secondary is definitely a weak point. CB1 Michael Barber is a solid coverage player but doesn't offer much turnover-wise, but he is a nice piece to have as CB is so valued. CB2 Joe Gammon is an acceptable nickel but probably shouldn't be relied upon as a major starter at this point. He was brought in for a 4th round pick in the 2020 draft and does have another year under contract, so he'll probably start another year, but his coverage isn't great and he doesn't bring much turnover-wise either. The depth is a weak point and Washington should see if they can land a developmental nickel type player, like Temple's Christopher Anthony, in the mid-to-late rounds in 2021. Washington's safeties have combined for 2 INT and 1 FF this year but the team has actually been above average defending the pass and with only a couple of impact safeties appearing in this class the Redskins could potentially draft for depth but nothing more, holding it off until next year unless FS Patrick Parks walks after his contract expiration. Rookie K Thomas McMahan has been OK and only Penn State's AK McGowan would be an upgrade from this draft class, and the Redskins would be better off building depth at offensive and defensive positions with mid and late round picks. P John Collins is good and fully guaranteed for the next 2 years so the team is fine there. The Redskins do need to infuse talent at some key positions like QB, WR, OT, ILB, and CB. It might take a couple of seasons and a solution at QB before this team is back into contention. Also in the hunt: Los Angeles Chargers (1-11) Chicago Bears (2-10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-10) Buffalo Bills (3-9) New England Patriots (3-9) New York Giants (3-9) Minnesota Vikings (3-9) Let's Play Matchmaker This section will look at some of the top talent in college football and match those prospects up with teams that have a dire need at the position. New England Patriots: DT Hudson Adam, West Virginia The Patriots rush defense has been serious problem this season - they are the worst team in the league by 12 YPG. This is definitely partially due to starting Rich Moore at NT. He is known for being a great pass rusher and terrible run defender, but as he only has 2.5 sacks this year he's not bringing that proper value anymore. Bringing in someone who can actually stop the run at NT could help the defense seriously improve. The team did just sign him to a 3 year, 30 million extension with the first 2 years fully guaranteed (??????) but they could potentially switch to a 4-3 or trade Moore to a 4-3 team with this pick as someone who can stop the run up the middle is sorely needed. Adam (6-0, 310) got some Heisman hype leading up to this season after his 12-sack junior year. He only has 3 sacks thus far in 2020, but that's still pretty solid up the middle. NFLHC isn't typically a huge fan of short DTs but Adam has incredibly burst for a man of his size and will almost certainly be a top 20 pick. He can rush the passer effectively but also holds his own against the run, often breaking through double teams to bring down ball carriers up the middle, almost like a Rich Moore who can actually stop the run. Detroit Lions: CB Robert Bleeker, Arkansas The Lions secondary, since they're being coached by SlinkyJr, is usually expected to be pretty good. Unfortunately, this year the team ranks 24th in pass defense. While part of that is playing in a pass-happy division with Brian Vardell, Norris Brooksheer, and Jason Johnson all passing the ball at an above average rate, the Loins have neglected their secondary needs for a while. Keyshawn Thompson has been having a rough season by his standards but part of that is not having anyone else to help him. While I'm sure SlinkyJr would love to land Michigan State's Kordell McKinnon, that seems unrealistic for where Detroit is likely to finish. Adding Bleeker and even playing him in the slot for a year could be a good option and allow Slinky to develop a high-picked CB for the first time in 6 drafts. Bleeker (5-11, 188) is a JUCO transfer to Arkansas. He had a lot of D1 offers coming out of high school but couldn't qualify academically. He reportedly got his act together his local school Arkansas Baptist College after a couple of years before transferring to Arkansas and winning the CB1 job immediately. Bleeker does have an interception thus far this year, but he'll likely need to show a bit more to solidify himself as a first round pick in the upcoming draft. But with its current weakness he could easily fall to Detroit and slide into a nice situation. Minnesota Vikings: WR Luke Cobb, Florida State The Vikings are not having a good year. After trading face of the franchise Chester Henson, the team's offense has seriously struggled. The team is last in rush yards by almost 100 and Brian Vardell is posting the worst season of his entire career with 16 TD / 8 INT and an 85 passer rating. Part of that is definitely due to a weak receiving corps, with former first round pick Sonny Beckett proving to be more of a complementary piece. Wayne Wegert is terrible, Mohamed Charles is mediocre, and 2020 4th rounder Jacory Kessler is still learning to be a receiver. Instead of waiting on Kessler to develop, Minnesota can just go after Cobb. Cobb (6-5, 198) is one of the most hyped high school recruits we've seen. A so-called "unicorn," Cobb is a tall fast receiver who can beat you down the field, win jump balls in the end zone, and even play as a target move-the-chains player if needed. He's looking like he'll be a top pick in the upcoming draft. In a normal draft he probably wouldn't be the best receiver, but he is having a great year (just look at the UMass game where he put up 280 yards and 4 TD), has a great track record with 1100+ yards and 10+ TDs each of the last two years, and will probably be a good NFL receiver; and at this point Brian Vardell could use that. That should be Minnesota's priority at this point. Dallas Cowboys: SS Cameron Whitney, Connecticut The Cowboys are having a renaissance after a disappointing season last year. The team picked QB Graham Burnett at #7 and will likely start him in 2021. The team is surprisingly vulnerable in some spots; they're starting a 4th year 75 overall SS who has not put up any stats. The team's pass defense has been top 5 this year, but picking a player like Whitney could improve the run defense as well with his ability to play in the box. Whitney (6-2, 183) is a tall, lanky safety who can cover the TE and make plays when needed. He famously had a 3-interception game last season against Louisiana Tech which won him a Player of the Week award. A 2019 JUCO transfer, Whitney is a great coverage safety who can also hit hard though he does need to improve his tackling ability. He has the potential to be chosen above where Dallas picks, as he is a potential game-changer at the position; but if he does fall to them he's a great fit for their needs and defense as a great coverage safety who can play man to compliment rookie FS Emmanuel Slade could play well and make Dallas' defense even better in 2021. Buffalo Bills: TE Jonathan Greer, Virginia The Bills, after blowing a 3-game AFC East lead to finish a last-place 9-7 in 2019, have regressed to 3-9 thus far this year. Their starting QB a month ago is now playing WR2 and a highly paid, highly rated defensive line is only 11th in sacks thus far this year. It's been overall disappointing for Buffalo. While the team does have some minor needs, TE is an important position where the Bills are completely bereft of talent. They can remedy this by taking Greer (6-2, 217), the top rated TE in this class who nevertheless will likely be available in the 2nd round. The 2019 first-team all-ACC TE has been steadily improving as a receiver since he's been on campus, as he came in as a converted high school offensive lineman (coach npklemm thought 217 pounds was too small to play offensive tackle). With 51 catches for 707 yards and 8 TD in 2019 and being on pace to eclipse that in 2020, Greer could offer an upgrade as a blocker at TE while also being a target for whatever the Bills define as a QB. Oakland Raiders: OLB Caleb McNamara, Vanderbilt With QB Nick Hall injured, the Raiders are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Of course, the AFC is so terrible that even at 6-6 the Raiders are right in the thick of contention. The Raiders did defeat Miami with Charlie Walter at QB, but a setback against the Ravens this week and Hall's likely absence for at least 2 more games this season makes it an uphill battle for the Raiders especially with so many teams around the same record. Both of the Raiders starting OLBs have been good this year, with Sergio Miller being solid with both sacks and turnovers; nonetheless, a player like McNamara could make the defense even better. McNamara (6-2, 217) is mostly known for his coverage ability, but in that respect he'd be an upgrade over Baumgartner. With 2 sacks this year, he's also shown an improved ability to get after the quarterback thus far. There's also a Vanderbilt connection as McNamara played with former Raiders first round pick David Pennington for 2 seasons. alienufo could look to continue the pipeline and also have some immediate chemistry between the two. Team Draft Report In this section, we take a deeper look at a specific team and where they stand in regards to the 2021 NFLHC Draft. Cincinnati Bengals: I wanted to cover the Bengals for this section as they're in one of the more intriguing positions in NFLHC. The AFC North is garbage, but the teams are all almost equally as bad. Cincy is currently in last at 5-7, but all other teams are 6-6 so the team could still potentially qualify for the playoffs. 6 of the highest 7 paid players on the team are expiring, and with some of them probably not being brought back into 2021 this team is going to see a larger amount of turnover than most of NFLHC usually does. There's probably some cap flexibility to go after free agents as well. With most impact players needing to be re-signed, how the Bengals play their re-signings will also factor into how they play their draft. Joel King, who the Bengals traded a massive amount of picks up to get before almost immediately regretting it and trading down a few spots while still nabbing him, has at the very least made progress this year. He went from 56.6% completion, 13 TD / 14 INT, and a 70.13 rating as a rookie to 62.13% completion, 22 TD / 17 INT, and an 87.55 rating this year. The picks are definitely a serious problem, though, and a likely massive reason for improvement are the respective trades for Rodney Montgomery and Adrian Jankowski which turned the Bengals receiving corps from one of the worst to a top 5 corps. King still does not look comfortable and his mistakes often compound on themselves; when he stays calm and solid in a game it seems to extend until he makes a mistake when it starts piling on. With the Bengals needing to make a decision on his 5th-year option and future as a starter next offseason, I'd assume he needs to at least make progress to the mid-90s in QB rating and cut down on the picks in order to have a certain long-term future in Cincinnati. Both Cincinnati backups are OK but also expiring, so if they can't re-sign either someone may not to be brought in in the draft. Ron Thomas is a really good RB who has stayed healthy and looked good even when Cincy made him handle a significantly larger workload than he should have. Cincy's only current backup is Charles Rocha who should probably be on a practice squad. This draft doesn't have too much at RB but if I was Cincinnati I'd at least be looking for a backup or someone who can handle 3rd down duties. Boston College's Zahir Watts is in a similar mold to Thomas and has been relatively productive; I think he could be a nice fit as a backup to spell a few snaps and come in in case Thomas starts to break down or pick up some injuries. He could potentially play 3rd down back as well if needed. FB Tom Edwards is good and under contract for another two years so the team is fine there. The team's top 3 receivers are really good; Montgomery and Jankowski are a great tandem and Greg Newman is a solid slot receiver. There's no depth however and both Montgomery and Newman see their contracts expire this offseason. Montgomery just rejected an extension offer from the Bengals and was reportedly insulted with how much the team lowballed him; the team likely wants to bring him back but if they can't Newman could see an offer as well. If Montgomery does come back, though, Newman will walk. Brandon Lane is an OK 4th receiver but the team could probably add someone in the mid-rounds as a developmental player. Southern Miss' Randall Johnson is an intriguing option; while he doesn't catch many TD he can pick up yards and move the chains which is what the Bengals would mostly want from a depth receiver. Cincy only rosters one full-time TE, Tony DeMarco, and his contract expires this offseason. He wasn't offered at mid-season, but I could see the team attempting to bring him back. Even if so a TE needs to be brought in during the draft as depth at the very least. Texas' Steven Maloney and Air Force's Cayden Reese are intriguing options as tertiary options for King, as both have shown to be solid receivers when needed. The Bengals' o-line is highly rated but there could be issues if OT Blake Pile walks this offseason. He's playing on the transition tag this year and just rejected an extension saying that he wants more money. Losing a 94 OT would be a serious issue for any team, and I wouldn't want to worsen King's protection right now; I'd back up the truck for him if I was the Bengals. The line is mostly fine outside of that; depth could be used along the line and a new RT will probably be needed in a year or two but it's performing acceptably for the most part. Defensively, Brett Bailey is good (and just signed an extension!), although he did have more sacks in one game last year than he does all of this year combined (4 in one game vs 3.5 this year). EJ McQuarters is an OK DE2. Both will come back next season so unless Cincinnati opts for Josiah Harden or Javier Grady the team is fine at the position, and there's acceptable depth currently. The team is extremely weak at DT and although Bill Kelly is owed 3 million guaranteed next year he's been benched for underperformance. The team does run a 3-4 so someone like Hudson Adam could fit in at nose; Stanford's Emmanuel Serrano or LSU's Cameron Street could probably immediately start for the Bengals and will most likely be available in the 2nd and 3rd round respectively. At linebacker, Nick Upshaw just signed an extension. That said, he's going into his 8th season and will almost certainly start declining in the next season or two. Still, he's still a decent starter (though he has just one statsheet game with 5 tackles this year) and since he signed an extension the Bengals likely aren't looking to replace him. Germaine Dixon has been really good at OLB this year, and is under contract for two more years. Will linebacker Daniel Barnes has played really well as a rookie in 2019 and has been on par with that this year. He went +3 this past offseason as well, and as he's under contract another two years he's locked up a starting spot for a while. Other OLB starter Mike Hulsey is just an OK player. He could easily be replaced if the Bengals like a player in the draft. The team mostly needs depth at mike ILB as Upshaw could start becoming injury prone and Richard Pitts is a questionable backup. The team also has absolutely no quality depth at OLB and so at least one pick should be spent in the mid-rounds on someone who can come in and play backup at bare minimum. You can't be having 66s and 65s as primary backups at this point for the most part. The team's corner situation is intriguing. DJ Reed has not been good as the team has been exposed against any team with a good WR1. He's been one of the league's worst CBs this year though he's not exactly in a fair situation. Blake Turner has been solid in his rookie year as CB2 as he has 2 picks (both returned for TDs) and has been playing admirably in coverage for such a raw corner. The team traded for Aaron Stiles this season in exchange for what boils down to a 3rd round pick. He's playing nickel in Cincinnati now and has been alright; he probably needs another year of development before he's really ready to start. He's still really young, but his development is definitely boom-or-bust. Those 3 are an acceptable trio for now developmentally and with the overvaluation of CBs in the draft I'd ignore the position for now. At FS, Jim Sisemore definitely won't be paid $10 million by Cincinnati again next year. With just 2 picks combined the last 2 years and a declining overall, Sisemore is declining to the point where he won't be starting for much longer. The team drafted Kenneth Schwartz in 2019 and he's developed alright behind the scenes. I expect him to start in 2021. The team might draft a backup, but this draft is weak at FS and so they might be better off just signing a free agent backup FS. 2017 2nd round pick SS Calvin Celestin has pretty much plateaued at 81 overall and with his contract expiring the team will likely let him walk unless he's wiling to come back at a cheap price point. Rookie Jose Leon was drafted to develop a year and potentially start next year; Cincinnati might also be looking at UConn's Cameron Whitney or TTU's Cameron Riley as SS of the future if the value is right. Leon is the most likely 2021 starter, however. K Justin Nielsen, a 5th round pick last year, is >90% on field goals this year and has been solid. Cincinnati's punting, however, is 30th in the league this year and the team should look to move on from current P Tommy Brown. He has $1 million guaranteed next year, but the team saves $1 million by cutting him. Just cutting him and drafting or signing a cheaper P is probably worth it as he has declined in his average ranking amongst punters the last couple of years. Oregon State's Patrick Wolff or USC's Giuseppe Bernstein are both options. The Bengals could re-structure their team in a million different ways. It could look very similar or very different in only 2 seasons, depending on who they want to re-sign and who wants to re-sign with them. With their division an easy one to take over with correct development, the team could be the kings of the AFC North in 2 seasons or a dumpster fire, and I don't see too much in-between.
  3. 26 likes
    See I consider myself a pretty good corner. The best actually. Since I was the first corner ever drafted back in 2014, I thought I'd share some insight to the position and the guys I match up against. Here is the official David Wilburn Top 5 Toughest Wide Receivers, in no particular order. These are guys I've gone to war against, and every single one of these guys play at the pinnacle of the wide receiver position. Walt Peck 6-5 203 pounds, with hands made of epoxy and the moves to boot. If God made a wide receiver, he'd make Walt Peck again. He's so big and so fast, but the biggest thing to note is just how good he is at catching anything that goes his way. See here he is against Keyshawn Thompson, one of the top corners in the league. Ball's in the air, but take a look at what Walt does when it hits him. First off, he does this one handed, crazy amounts of concentration to do that when you're going at full speed. With Keyshawn draped all over you, its downright impossible. But he makes the one handed grab. Then look at his hips. He extended out his right foot, the immediately shifted his hips, rebalanced, and fell with the ball cradled between his arms with no chance of escape. That's downright unbelievable. Him and Murph have been doing it for so long, even against the tightest of coverages they can do something like that. Walt is a physical freak, but its his concentration and catching ability that just makes him so fearsome. He'll downright win the mental game against lesser corners too. Guy talks trash like no one else. If chatting was a stat on Madden, Walt would have a 99. The stuff he says about your mother... Sean Jenkins Now comes probably the most physically gifted receiver I've ever gone up against. 6'6" 182, and one key thought. Jenkins doesn't think he's fast. He knows he's fast. There's a huge difference in that. Guys that think they're fast, they never hear the safety coming. They never expect the corner to be right on them. They think they can out run the coverage. Guys that think they're fast don't last long in this league. Guys that know they're fast, like Jenkins, that's a whole nother beast. One wrong step, and as a corner you're flirting with disaster. Don't believe me? Look at what he did to my boy Mike Gradishar down in Oakland. Jenkins doesn't even go in. He does a little hop at the line of scrimmage, then its off to the races, and when he's got a head start, even if its a 10th of a second, its absolutely over. Mike might as well not have even been there, its just pitch and catch between Devy and Jenkins. Jenkins is one of the few guys in this league that knows he's fast, and everyone else knows it too. He got absolute burners on his leg that keeps everyone scared. Dan Nomellini This guy is outrageous. Probably the best receiver in the league right now in my humble opinion. I've got a lot of memories of when he played in Carolina, but watch this crazy route running he does. Look at him chop his feet. That burst of explosion. People don't talk about this much either, but Nom is probably the most sure-handed receiver to ever grace the game. Then you combine his route running ability and his intellect and you've got a dangerous combination at wide receiver. Lots of guys with Nom's measurables don't make it in this league. 6-1, 182, not that fast, none of that crazy catch range. What he's accomplished is on pure effort and hard work. Jenkins and Walt, those are some freak talents. Nom is a guy that's crafted his way into the game by using his god given talent of juking corners out their shoes. Me and him man, those were some battles. Tai Miller When people think physical receiver, they usually go with a tall, jump ball guy. That's not what I think when I think physical. Tai isn't small, but he's not the 6'5", 6'6" basketball players I have to deal with, but he's also not a jump ball specialist. What he's got is some incredible handfighting abilities, and he's probably the best receiver at using his body in this league. Michael Barber is a hell of a cornerback, but you see Tai just uses his physical advantages all the way. Hand fighting throughout the slant, then he tucks in. Ball's actually thrown a bit high, but he adjusts, makes the play, and shields it all with his body. That is some absurd talent for a guy who's really starting to blossom into his own in this league. Rodney Montgomery Now when people think of Rodney, they think he's this shorter, speed guy that makes his living getting big yards. They're wrong. Montgomery may not be the 6'6" freak that Sean Jenkins is, may not have the physicality of Tai Miller, but he's absolutely a weapon in the red zone. Why? He's got the ups and knows how to use body positioning the only way an old vet does, years and years of practice. Here he is one on one against Troy Marshall of the Ravens. Marshall's all over Rodney, doesn't take a step wrong, but Rodney just uses his great vertical leap to jump right over Troy. Then as he's falling, he does the vet move to toe tap and lean out. Toe tap for the TD, leaning away from the defender to complete the catch with as little interference as possible. He makes a killing eating the lunches of DBs that allow him to get the short catches he can turn into YAC, but that all comes from how clean he runs his routes and how he uses his body. There you have it, the toughest receivers to cover in the league. These guys may be the best in the country at what they do, but I'm always down to go another round with them! DAVID WILBURN/CONTRIBUTOR
  4. 19 likes
    I am sorry for missing recruiting. This is the second time this season, and I have zero excuse for doing so. At the same time I have been a strong member of the community and have contributed to PAC-12 media this season. Additionally the two weeks I missed were the week I had finals/graduated and this past week with new hire training for my job where I have had very little access to a personal computer. I understand the frustration with people missing recruiting, but if possible I would like to appeal the decision to have me removed.
  5. 19 likes
    Big shoutout to @smckenz3 for writing up my crappy rankings last week...he poured a ton of time into that and it is much appreciated. Just another of the great guys on this site...thanks! Some serious movement in the top half of the rankings this week, and a bit toward the bottom as well. While we're certainly seeing a clearing of top-tier teams from the herd, the great middle is muddled as ever. This week, I'm gonna provide one stat per team that points to why I have them ranked as such. Enjoy! Remember, if you don't like where you are in these rankings...play better! CCG Favorites--Pick Range: #29-32 1. Los Angeles Rams Why: The Rams lead the League in 15 statistical categories, but we'll go with Best DYPP defense in the League (22.03), 3 points clear of 2nd place (19.51), where 3rd place is 18.67. Wow. Good luck, everyone else. 2. Carolina Panthers Why: Best 3rd Down % in the League (39.84%). Skaggs won't let them punt. And the 2nd best scoring team in the League. 3. Indianapolis Colts Why: 7 straight wins, is ridiculous, but par for the course for the team with League's highest rated QB (minimum 150 passes): 117.28, 25-4 TD-INT ratio. 4. New York Jets Why: Discipline and efficient balance. 2nd fewest penalties in the League, #4 in OYPP, #8 in DYPP. Those numbers equate to good coaching. Playoff-caliber Teams, One Could Get Hot and Win It All--Pick Range: #21-29 5. Detroit Lions Why: League's best YPCA (3.77) and YPGA (72.7) means you can't run on the Lions. If you have to pass, that's when Keyshawn and Cam Jones smile. 6. Dallas Cowboys Why: League's best OLine rating (8.32) and fewest sacks allowed (11) plus 3rd best DYPP means that Dallas wins both sides of the line of scrimmage. 7. Green Bay Packers Why: Offensive Efficiency. The Pack are only team in the League under 11 OYPP (10.5). In this League, offense usually wins. 8. San Francisco 49ers Why: 2nd best YPG/YPGA ratio in the League. Coach Duncan knows that field position wins games in the Playoffs. 9. Jacksonville Jaguars Why: Fewest Turnovers in the League. Barkley & Co. have turned it over only 5 times (all INTs). 10. Atlanta Falcons Why: Stingiest 3rd Down % Defense in the League (22.14%) plus 2nd most sacks in the League. RIP QBs on 3rd down. 11. Philadelphia Eagles Why: Best YPGA (218.6) and Most defensive TDs means the Eagles have playmakers all over the D. Combine that with the League's 2nd best 3rd Down % on O. 12. Denver Broncos Why: 2nd best YPAA in the League (7.1) in the pass-happy AFC West is solid. 13. Seattle Seahawks Why: By many measures, the Hawks have the League's 2nd best defense, highlighted by their insane 6.43 YPAA. Edge of the Playoffs--Pick Range: #14-20 14. Oakland Raiders Why: Most safeties in the League (2) is mitigated by giving up as many points as they score (0 score differential, 238 each way). 15. Miami Dolphins Why: Excellent trench warfare. Dolphins have given up only 13 sacks, and are #4 in the League with 27 sacks in their own right. 16. Houston Texans Why: Offensive efficient is good (6th in OYPP, 4th in 3rd%), but overall YPG is 30th. Get those guys playing a little faster, eh? 17. Cleveland Browns Why: Top yardage defense in the League (302.5 YPGA) and solid YPCA is balanced 5th worst YPC. Apparently, a game against CLE is a giant stalemate. 18. Cincinnati Bengals Why: The number 15 is rough for the Cincy offense: 15 INTs ties for 2nd worst in the League, and 15 drops IS the worst. 9.49 YPAA is also the worst mark in the League. 19. Kansas City Chiefs Why: Chiefs can't get to the QB. Fewest sacks in the League (9) leaves lots of time for opposing QBs to pick apart their secondary (-20 YPGD). Economy Seats on the Airplane of NFLHC--Pick Range: #5-13 20. New Orleans Saints Why: Worst pass yardage and overall yardage defense in the League outweighs being tied for 6th in offensive yardage (366.1 yards per game). 21. Baltimore Ravens Why: Ravens can stop the run (2nd best YPCA in the League) but not the pass (2nd worst YPAA). Opposing coaches, you know what to do. 22. Pittsburgh Steelers Why: Causality. PIT can't get to the QB (4th fewest sacks), which means QBs pick them apart (4th worst YPAA). 23. Arizona Cardinals Why: Offensive efficiency starts up front. Cards have 3rd worst OLine rating (7.43) and the 3rd worst OYPP and 3rd Down %. 24. Tennessee Titans Why: The Titans are almost the League's most average team, except for their point differential (-59, with 18 TDs scored and 27 allowed). 25. New York Giants Why: Giants see the fewest plays on defense in the League, but need to stay on the field during 3rd downs on offense (5th worst 3rd down %). 26. New England Patriots Why: Pats are a sieve in run defense. Worst rush yardage team by a mile (115 per game, 5.4 per rush) kills a good pass defense (225 yards pass per game). 27. Chicago Bears Why: Most sacks in the League (34) matches the number of TDs given up (34, tied for 5th worst). 2nd worst rushing offense (60 ypg) doesn't help. Possibly Picking #1 Overall-- 28. Buffalo Bills Why: Buffalo's 3rd down offense is atrocious (only team under 20%) and their passing offensive is 2nd worst in the League (#31 in YPG and YPA). 29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Why: Points are hard to come by for the Bucs. League's lowest scoring team per game (14.4) with the 2nd worst point differential means it doesn't get better when the Bucs move to D. 30. Minnesota Vikings Why: Worst rushing yardage offense in the League means that Vikes can't get into the end zone (4th lowest scoring per game). 31. Los Angeles Chargers Why: The ball is precious and the Chargers don't like the ball. Most turnovers in the League (15 INT, 10 FL) combines with 2nd worst YPC (3.46). 32. Washington Redskins Why: All the reasons. Worst yardage offense per game, fewest total TDs, most penalties. There are areas in which the Skins aren't terrible, but they are rare.
  6. 17 likes
    Before the season started, the Chicago Tribune released its preseason projections for the country. By using past seasons' data to model how well that system matches up with margin of victory, we can estimate what the expected margin of victory for each team in each game would be if the preseason ratings were perfectly accurate. And because they are not and can never be perfectly accurate, it is useful to check in every so often on which teams are outperforming or underperforming expectations. That's where this report comes in. All that's being calculated is a team's current scoring margin per game minus their expected scoring margin per game based on their own preseason rating and their opponents' preseason rating. There's a lot of reasons a team could score high or low in this report. If your team ranks highly, it could be because you've had a coaching breakthrough and beating expectations fair and square. If you're ranked low, perhaps you just missed a week of gameplanning and suffered for it but you'll be fine down the road. If your rival ranks highly, it might be because their opponents failed to show up and let them walk right over them. And if your rival ranks low, clearly it's because the system overrated them from the get-go and you knew it all along. This early in the season, there's still a lot of volatility--Kansas falls from #53 to #100 by taking out just the Iowa State game, for example--and it's not opponent-adjusted. The list also doesn't distinguish between imperfect modeling and true over/under-performance, so absolutely take it with a grain of salt. But I do think that, more often than not, it's a fair enough picture to release. I plan on releasing this report periodically throughout the season, and hopefully it'll help improve this ratings system for next time. Enough words. The list, from 1-119: 1. Air Force (+23.29 points per game) 2. Miami (OH) (+22.14) 3. Stanford (+20.4) 4. UCF (+18.24) 5. Virginia (+18.13) 6. Colorado State (+17.61) 7. Texas Tech (+16.85) 8. Pittsburgh (+15.72) 9. Duke (+13.58) 10. Oregon State (+12.23) 11. Vanderbilt (+11.69) 12. Hawaii (+11.13) 13. Houston (+11.06) 14. USF (+10.06) 15. Auburn (+9.93) 16. USC (+9.85)* note: USC's place here despite their loss to Notre Dame is because they've blown out Colorado and San Jose State by 27 and 39 more points than expected, respectively 17. Temple (+9.56) 18. Minnesota (+9.37) 19. Purdue (+9.34) 20. Illinois (+9.33) 21. Ole Miss (+8.61) 22. Akron (+8.11) 23. Buffalo (+7.96) 24. Georgia (+7.79) 25. Notre Dame (+7.74)* note: Notre Dame would be #7 without their 20-point loss to Stanford in the CFBHC Kickoff Game 26. Washington State (+7.7) 27. LSU (+7.59) 28. Boise State (+7.51) 29. Tennessee (+7.12) 30. Florida State (+6.99) 31. Army (+6.89) 32. Michigan State (+6.85) 33. Oklahoma State (+6.66) 34. UCLA (+6.37) 35. Missouri (+6.06) 36. Iowa (+5.99) 37. Syracuse (+5.78) 38. TCU (+5.33) 39. Wisconsin (+5.14) 40. Kentucky (+4.89) 41. Alabama (+4.75) 42. Kent State (+4.43) 43. Western Michigan (+4.4) 44. Cincinnati (+4.38) 45. Texas (+3.97) 46. UNLV (+3.68) 47. South Carolina (+3.62) 48. Southern Miss (+3.55) 49. Western Kentucky (+3.51) 50. Wake Forest (+3.29) 51. Florida (+2.2) 52. Tulsa (+2.1) 53. Kansas (+1.97) 54. Penn State (+1.85) 55. Georgia Tech (+1.7) 56. Maryland (+1.56) 57. UTEP (+1.24) 58. West Virginia (+0.95) 59. Arizona (+0.9) 60. Nebraska (+0.72) 61. Arkansas (+0.49) 62. New Mexico (+0.18) 63. Louisville (+0.14) 64. UTSA (-0.03) 65. Indiana (-0.39) 66. Rice (-0.41) 67. Fresno State (-0.51) 68. Georgia State (-0.68) 69. Connecticut (-0.82) 70. Ohio State (-0.86) 71. Kansas State (-1.12) 72. Charlotte (-1.68) 73. Arizona State (-1.86) 74. BYU (-2.08) 75. Florida International (-2.37) 76. Memphis (-2.48) 77. Mississippi State (-2.88) 78. Toledo (-2.99) 79. California (-3.07) 80. North Carolina (-3.23) 81. Ohio (-3.45) 82. Middle Tennessee (-5.15) 83. Old Dominion (-5.17) 84. NC State (-5.71) 85. UAB (-5.87) 86. Florida Atlantic (-5.89) 87. Texas A&M (-6.06) 88. Navy (-6.08) 89. North Texas (-7.23) 90. Virginia Tech (-7.36) 91. Northern Illinois (-7.97) 92. Michigan (-8.13) 93. East Carolina (-8.61) 94. Washington (-8.68) 95. San Diego State (-9.05) 96. Oregon (-9.47) 97. Boston College (-9.87) 98. Clemson (-10.56) 99. Baylor (-10.63) 100. Bowling Green (-11.49) 101. Utah State (-11.57) 102. San Jose State (-11.79) 103. Central Michigan (-12.1) 104. Northwestern (-12.36) 105. Iowa State (-12.69) 106. SMU (-13.86) 107. Ball State (-14.65) 108. Colorado (-15.64) 109. Utah (-15.96) 110. Oklahoma (-16.23) 111. Rutgers (-16.58) 112. Louisiana Tech (-16.6) 113. Wyoming (-17.35) 114. Nevada (-17.79) 115. Miami (FL) (-18.04) 116. Marshall (-19.56) 117. UMass (-19.76)* note: UMass was assigned a preseason rating equivalent to the lowest-rated existing team in the country 118. Tulane (-20.91) 119. Eastern Michigan (-22.23)
  7. 17 likes
    DENVER--The Broncos organization, including Owner/Head Coach Bingo415, General Manager DescretoBurrito, and Director of College Scouting Jieret announce today that beginning in the 2021 season, Bingo will step down as Head Coach and hand the clipboard to Jieret. We've called this press conference to announce this new direction for the organization following inquiries from several teams about the services of coach Jieret. GM Descreto, whom we believe to be the best in the business, is fully on-board with this decision and we're excited to move forward with Jieret as our Head Man in 2021. There have been some goals and expectations set for Jieret's on-field performance as well as some in the front office. We believe that the Broncos are on the cusp of greatness and he is the man to take us there. All three members of the organization are now available to answer any questions. Go Broncos!
  8. 15 likes
    Welcome to the return of Five By Five, the Chicago Tribune's most popular feature where we spotlight five programs from around the country. Every week, up to five randomly selected coaches will have the opportunity to answer five questions about their team and their players. This week, our panel consists of K3ndr!ck_L@mar from Wake Forest, believer from Boise State, Rome from Cincinnati, Jamzz from Eastern Michigan, and lucas95 from Minnesota. Each coach will begin by answering the same four questions along with a fifth question unique to their program. Q1: How satisfied are you with the progress your team's made so far in the first half of the season? K3ndr!ck_L@mar, Wake Forest: Well obviously we want to win more than a singular game through the first half of the season, but i think we've showed fairly well against our quality opponents. I think there are two more games that we should have won (ECU and Georgia Tech) but we lost it down the stretch. I think we really need to work on putting up points, as that has certainly been a shortcoming as of late. believer, Boise State: I'm very satisfied and proud I am of the progress my team's made so far in the first half of the season. Sure we are 3-3, but we still have a shot at stealing the Mountain Division title, just need a lot of help. I love this team this year than last year's. I feel we work together more as a team than we did last year. We have a great sense of leadership, and a culture of family and tough love. This team is always hungry for more. Rome, Cincinnati: Not very. There was some fumbling early on with the Wildcat II, but that produced our only win so far this season. There was real hope we could beat another team or two at this point in the year, but we've failed to do anything. Our transfer WR isn't doing much, Schaeffer is just as bad as he was last year, and our rushing attack really isn't that good either. It's been a frustrating year. Jamzz, Eastern Michigan: Our start to the season was very disappointing but we seem to have turned a corner in our last game against NIU and the team looks a lot better than it did in at the start of the season. Our tough schedule at the beginning of the season may have something to do with that, but overall I'm pleased with the improvements we've made. lucas95, Minnesota: I am very happy with the progress this team has made this year. I know that the first year of a new coaching regime may bring some chemistry issues due to the change, but the guys have adjusted perfectly and the team has come together because they can believe that they can be a part of something great. Q2: What are your expectations for the team the rest of the way? K3ndr!ck_L@mar, Wake Forest: It will be tough, but I believe we still have a shot at a bowl game. We're gonna have to win five of our next seven against what is in all honesty a stacked ACC conference slate, so will take a lot of grit and lot of moxy- but don't rule these guys out just yet. At the very least we want to win two or three of our second half games. Our team has an opportunity to show out against some quality opponents throughout the coming weeks, and our staff members- as well a me personally- are looking forward to it. believer, Boise State: The goal now is to get to a bowl game. I know it, the team knows it. We have one singular mindset, and it's to run the table and play in a bowl game in the post season. Rome, Cincinnati: I'm really expecting a 3-9 or 2-10 season at this point. We're just so bad. Losing to UCONN and ECU is going to force me to rely on a big upset to beat anyone going down the stretch. Jamzz, Eastern Michigan: We feel that a bowl game is within reach for us. Our schedule softens up a bit down the stretch and I think we can go on a run to end the season and pull out a 6-6 season. lucas95, Minnesota: Simply put, we expect to make a good bowl and to win at least 8 games. This program has a winning tradition and a new coach won't change that. We expect to be competitive against everyone. We also hope that the guys learn from the coaches on how to become better players because we are going to need their skill set this season and in future ones if we want to reach greater success. Q3: For one reason or another, none of you have had a lot of high-scoring shootouts. What's important to keeping the edge when points are at a premium? K3ndr!ck_L@mar, Wake Forest: I think a large portion of it has to do with the mental aspect. Most kids these days want to play fast, score in bunches, and tear up and down the field- which is all well and good i theory, but this isn't high school anymore. The pace of the game begins to get dictated to these inexperienced guys, and in the worst cases they crack under this newfound pressure, and forget the style of play that landed them on the field in the first place. When the player starts to become tentative and un-confident in their own abilities is when they are beaten, not when the other team makes a big play for themselves. To that point, the biggest moments in close, low-scoring games aren't the big plays, but rather the plays following those highlight-reel moments. Whomever keeps their composure and executes at those times will more often than not be the victors. Collectively this season, we haven't been able to maintain that laser-focus throughout entire ball games. There are times when our guys absolutely shine out there, playing confident, downhill football; but then there are the times where we seem to space out or lose it for a quarter or even two. That has been the biggest deciding factor in our games this season. Luckily however, we're only five games into this season, so we still definitely have time to hone in and perfect our focus- we just need to work expediently. believer, Boise State: Defense is very important to keeping the edge when points are at a premium. I'm proud of how solid my defense is and how they've done their jobs. Tempo is important too, because if you control the tempo and flow the game, you get to dictate how you want this game to go, and for us, we want to make sure we don't get into a shootout. Rome, Cincinnati: You need an offense to be high scoring. A great special teams unit is key to close games, however. The young kicker we got in JuCO last year has been keeping us in games. Ironically, however, our one win has been a real outburst we haven't seen since. Jamzz, Eastern Michigan: The obvious answer here is turnovers and penalties. We haven't been great with either this season, specifically with penalties. We seem to be shooting ourselves in the foot which has led to us losing the close games, when 10 yards or one turnover can be the difference between winning and losing the ballgame. lucas95, Minnesota: B1G football can be described in one word, defense. Defense is the key when you play in a conference like this one and it is the most valued aspect of our team. When the defense does its job well there is less pressure on the offense to put big numbers on the board, that's not to say that offense isn't important. We don't want the defense out on the field time and time again so team balance is important. In the end it doesn't matter if we play in shootouts or not, the only thing that matters at the end of the night is that you score more than the other team. Q4: Have you noticed any of your players taking charge of making sure their teammates get practice outside of regular practice? K3ndr!ck_L@mar, Wake Forest: One guy that has really impressed us coaches as a whole is true freshman wideout Jacob Benson. He is the highest rated recruit coming out of high school that Winston Salem has seen in a long time, but he certainly doesn't rest on his laurels. In our personal conversation about expectations at the beginning of the year, we were discussing his high recruiting ranking and how he would be dealing with the hype, and I was taken aback by his flippant attitude toward his rating. He described it as, "completely arbitrary", and told me that, "once we're on that field, we're all 5-Stars." He has really carried that attitude well with him all season, bringing up the guys next to him when they make a mistake, and taking on a leadership role among the players, even though he has only been with the program for a short number of months. You see the thing is, he doesn't force it on anybody. He stays after, he puts in the work, and he gets no more special attention from us coaches than any other players do, but he reaps the benefits on-field. The players see that, so when they're walking by him running routes and doing sprints after practice is over, or on an off day, all he has to ask is 'wanna join?', and they are going to do it- because that level of commitment from one guy can bring up a whole team. believer, Boise State: Yeah, the captains (QB Roman Green, RB Marquise Allen, FS Justin Ivy-Sewell, ILB Phillip Gillis) have made sure the rest of team studies films and knows every single detail of what their job is, who we play, and the game plan. They find the time in between or after classes to have a mini-walk through out around campus. They're leading by example and also pastoring to the younger players. Rome, Cincinnati: Not yet, unfortunately. The players who were recruited before I got here lack any real drive. Our transfer Salanoa does not seem very happy to be here anymore. Mario Ruff provided some leadership last year, but we're really missing that this year. Quarterback Schaeffer should be bringing the leadership to the huddle, but he's really struggling to lead by example, let alone by voice. I only have one recruiting class under my belt and those kids are mostly redshirting, so none of the hungry, young men I recruit are in a position to be leaders. Jamzz, Eastern Michigan: On defense our senior free safety Zachary Dumas has certainly taken over as the leader. He's been starting here for a long time and has been a difference maker on the team since his freshman year. He's certainly a big help since most of our defense is young and still looking for experience. On offense our quarterback Giovanni Shaw is the leader which is always good to see. Good teams always need to have a quarterback as one of their leaders and seeing Gio take over that role as a sophomore will be a big help for the next few years. lucas95, Minnesota: Definitely. Some of the guys on the team have stepped up to the plate and have encouraged some of the other guys to practice and workout while we aren't in practice. Jamir and Robbie have taken over that leadership role and it has really shown in practice. I also see the guys regularly hanging out with each other around the campus which is great because not only does there need to be chemistry on the field, but there needs to be chemistry outside of it too. Q5 to K3ndr!ck_L@mar: You've earned a bit of a journeyman's reputation, having coached at a few different spots across the country over the years. What drew you to Winston Salem, and what's been the best part of coaching down here at Wake? K3ndr!ck_L@mar, Wake Forest: I was really excited when I heard of the Wake Forest job opening up. I had followed them lightly from the beginning of my short-lived retirement, especially when they made a splash on signing day with a 5-Star commitment seemingly out of nowhere. That led me to take a look at their roster, splits, NCAA ranks, etc. and what I found was a very talent-laden crop of young players who just hadn't been given the right opportunity to take center stage as of yet. So, naturally, I took an interest and attended a couple of their games. They lost both games I attended in Winston-Salem, but I could see the fight in the kids- and a surprising amount of passion from the fans. When one generally considers a perennial basement dwelling team, they don't think of the fans as being anything more than the university students and some alumni. Here at Wake, though, it is so much more than that. Win or lose, the whole town has their Deacons' backs, and the amount of hospitality i felt as a stranger on their home turf was eye-opening. Once I was contacted by one of my old assistant coaches about a job opening in the ACC- the nation's premiere conference, my mind immediately went to the Demon Deacons and the passion of their fans, players, and of the city of Winston-Salem, so longing for collegiate football success, yet so far removed from any sort of it. And when I asked him what team it was, he could only get out "Wak-" before I hung up the phone and contacted my agent. "I'm coming out of retirement." I have not been disappointed thus far. The support from the community, as well as growing national support, have made this destination well worth giving up my retirement checks. Q5 to believer: After a bit of a rough start, you've won 3 of your last 4 and your offense has been in full sprint ever since the Rutgers game. What clicked for your team? believer, Boise State: Finally getting into a rhythm and being familiar with the gameplan to the point you know it like the back of your hand can work wonders. We had a lot of change on the offensive side of the ball, so now that everyone is familiar with each other and the expectations and the plays, everything runs smoother. Q5 to Rome: Ever since you took over at Cincinnati, the recruiting's improved--and that includes some big signings in this year's class. Do you have a long-term vision for the program's path back to competitiveness in a tough AAC East? Rome, Cincinnati: The long-term vision I have should becoming more as my recruiting classes build. Last year I landed the 4-star WR Jacquies Whitaker, who fell just short of the state 100-meter dash record his senior year. This year we were very excited to get the signature of 5-star RB Noel Ransom. With those two looking to be school record breaking performers for the team in the future, my vision of a fun-to-watch and hard-to-stop offense should help us compete in a division with the likes of Temple and UCF. On the defensive side, it's all about the hungry fighters. This year I went down south and grabbed some underlooked, but very talented young men from Florida. Both DE Samuel Toney and OLB Raphael Jacobs will provide a serious backside pressure in a few years, while current redshirts DE Leonardo Trujillo and OLB Carlos Singletary will provide a great run stopping force on the strong side. Q5 to Jamzz: You scored your first win as a head coach this past week on the road against Northern Illinois. What was the key to success, and how do you hope to parlay that into more wins down the road? Jamzz, Eastern Michigan: The key to us winning last week was getting our offensive system in place. Our offense has struggled throughout the season and last week we finally got everyone on the same page which lead to a victory. We just have to stick to our gameplan and we should see some more wins. Q5 to lucas95: Your game against Illinois this weekend could be crucial in defending your program's Big Ten West title. Does the way your prepare your staff and your team change at all for these games with more on the line? lucas95, Minnesota: No. We only practice one way here at the U, hard. It doesn't matter who we play, we're going to come out every single week with intensity and grit and we'll try to get the job done. This week's game is important but the guys are up for the challenge.
  9. 15 likes
    Matt Jones literally has the most boring Twitter feed ever.
  10. 15 likes
    Beating #2 and then #23 is only worth 4 votes?
  11. 14 likes
    With the help of Sr. Smackems, we present this week's Power Rankings (semi-regular) with some insight into who we think each team's Best Player and Biggest Surprise has been this season. Or, that's the case mostly. Sometimes I went rogue. Remember, if you don't like where you are in these rankings...play better. 1. Los Angeles Rams Best Player: Brandon Sauter. Sauter is currently a favorite for DPOY, with 28 tackles, 3 INTs, 4 FFs, and 5 FRs. He’s a turnover machine and quite possibly the best SS in the game. Biggest Surprise: Allama Banta. Banta—not Walt Peck, not Derrick Schwartz—is leading the Rams in receiving yardage and YPC. Wut?! 2. Carolina Panthers Best Player Everyone Forgets About on the Panthers: Trent Hayes. The veteran OLB has 50 tackles and 3 sacks. That’s some serious production from a guy I can’t remember ever making All-Pro. Biggest “What?!” Stat: leading the Panthers in TD receptions? Not Monte Jackson, not super rookie Curtis Henry. WR3 Chip Johnson, with 9. 3. New York Jets ACTUAL Best Player on Defense: FS Reshad Jenkins. 38 tackles for FS is fantastic. 5 INTs is straight demonic. Good luck throwing deep on the Jets. Guy Who is Happiest the Jets Have a Good OLine: Sam Chapman. He’s not gonna break anyone’s ankles, but he runs well behind his pads and finds the holes made by the monsters up front. 4. San Francisco 49ers Best Example of Balance: WRs JSD and Kevin Branch: 68 and 67 catches respectively. 962 yards each. 7 and 8 TDs, respectively. Both average 74 ypg. Most Overrated Niner: Dennis Niland. 3 sheets, 9 tackles, 1 sack. Yuck. Niners are excellent despite their 84 rated DE. 5. Detroit Lions Candidate for Most Improved Player: Doug Carolan. Now is his 3rd season, Carolan has jumped forward with 39 tackles and 10.5 sacks. In 2019, he made 4 sheets, 21 tackles, and only 6 sacks. That’s quite an improvement. Area for Improvement: I know the Lions are hoping for a nice progression for Jeremy Cook, and they’ll need one. Somehow, the Lions are scoring plenty of points with a receiving corps topped by Adrian Allen (81) and Aaron Pagliei (81), neither of whom are in the top 40 in receiving yardage, League-wide. 6. Jacksonville Jaguars Best Player: There’s a lot of talent on offense for the Jags. Asante Sowell and Raheem Robinson are, already, Top 3 players in the League at their positions. But Christian Haywood, in his second year, is the 3rd best ILB in the AFC (Cameron Jonah and Alex Martin can fight over #1). On a defense that is routinely in the Top 10 of the major statistical categories, Haywood is the only one with more than 35 tackles, and is filling up the rest of the stat sheet causing turnovers. Most LOL stat: The Jags lead the League in team YPA at 14.61. The next highest is 8.65. 7. Indianapolis Colts Best Player: Aaron Shea is just incredible. Among other amazing stats, only Allan Taylor has a smaller INT % than Shea (1.3 to 1.4). The difference? Shea throws a TD 7.46% of the time, Taylor only 5% of the time. Best LB Corps No One Talks About: Kelly Mitchell, Keyou Clark, and Lukas Forman all have put up solid production. Mitchell really makes the group go, with his 56 tackles and 2 picks. 8. Green Bay Packers Best Player Now: Jason Johnson. Obviously. Best Player in 3 years? If Marquise Reed stays healthy, he’s shutting down WRs with regularity, stepping up and making tackles, and has 4 picks. He’s a sure-shot All-Pro waiting to happen. Biggest Surprise: Rated 78, Justin McCain has more catches, yards, and touchdowns than Dan Nomellini (96), Bernard Taylor (90), and Tom Grant (87). Commissioner Alien should create the “WTF” Award, give it to McCain, and immediately retire it. 9. Dallas Cowboys Quiet Assassin on Defense: In an absolutely loaded defense, this was my favorite stat line from the MNF loss to the Niners. Jarius Shaw-Dodd, he of the 962 yards receiving, was held to a 4 for 32yards and 2 DRPs by T.J. Hunter. Player Awaiting Biggest Payday Increase: Adrian Robinson is making $1MM this year, and $1MM next year. He also is averaging 6 YPC behind Abraham. Who wants to pony up for a quality back with basically nothing on the odometer? 10. Philadelphia Eagles Great Draft Choice No One Talks About: Martin Whiting has 38 tackles, 2 INTs, a sack, a FF, and a FR. Pretty solid for a late first on a team with Rodrick Milligan roaming the middle of the field. Biggest Surprise: K Mark Kirschbaum has missed one (1!!) kick all year, while hitting 11 from 40+. 11. Oakland Raiders Raider I Hate the Least: Shah Vereen is quietly having a very solid rookie season at DE. 6 sheets, 23 tackles, 4.5 sacks, a strip sack TD—quite nice. Things About the Raiders I Dislike Immensely: Margin of Victory = -1. And they lead the AFC West. I will now go bury myself in a sand dune until the playoffs begin. 12. Denver Broncos Best Player: Cameron Jonah continues to lead the League in tackles (71) and adds 3 INTs and 5 FFs. If the Broncos make the playoffs and Jonah ISN’T the DPOY, I’m gonna set Descreto on fire. Biggest Surprise: OLine injuries are WAY down for DEN this year. In 2019, we lost 18 games to injuries from our top 5 OLine. 2020 = 2. 13. Atlanta Falcons Sim Player I’d Pay Z-Cash to Watch Work Out: Early Davis is a freaking stud. The Falcons aren’t gonna make the playoffs, which is too bad, because Early could do some work. Biggest Surprise: Rookie TE Jason Erwin has 40 catches for 497 yards at 6 TDs. Pretty solid for a 75 rated blocking TE. 14. Seattle Seahawks Best Bookends: Steve Jordan and Brian Glenn are two 6th year guys that to this point have had solid careers. In 2020, however, they decided to have a position meeting in the QBs pocket. 10 and 10.5 sacks between them. Damn. Gift Jarius Jones Wants from the Seahawks: A young WR with some speed would be ideal. Faneca (6th year) and Warner (5th year) are slowing down considerably—less than 14 ypc for both is just not helpful against the tough secondaries of the NFCW. 15. Baltimore Ravens Guy Who’s Still Got It: Reggie Watkins is sitting at 20 TDs to 9 INTs. I was giving the Ravens a TON of crap about not starting Brett Fisher during their poor start to the season. I can admit when I’m wrong. I was wrong. Biggest Surprise: That the Ravens are not only in the Playoff hunt with this team of oldsters (Moussa Goode providing literally ALL of the youthful energy for the Ravens), they are in really good shape to nab the 2nd wildcard. EDIT: Upon further review, the Ravens have a pair of excellent 2nd year guys on defense in Troy Marshall, Alexander Hardison. Even DE2 Matthew Davis has been passable (13 tackles, 2 sacks). 16. Kansas City Chiefs Best Offseason Acquisition: This could also be Best Player for 2020, since Spec Davidson is single-handedly keeping Thomas Wheeler in the top half o the League’s QBs. Spec’s 987 yards and 11 TDs are making up for a so-so WR corps and youth at RB. Guy I Was Definitely Wrong About: I gave KC a hard time about their dual rookie DEs in the early part of the season. Luke Lyles hasn’t done much yet, but Isaiah Hall has 19 tackles and 4.5 sacks. That’s not nothing. 17. Miami Dolphins Best Player - Brian Brown - One could make really solid arguments for D.J. Gibson and Marcus Barry here, but in the end the answer has to be Brian Brown. It’s well known around the league that the Dolphins’ receivers are near the bottom of the league, but that hasn’t stopped Brown from having another stellar campaign. Brown currently sports a 111.15 QBR and 34 touchdowns which is pretty phenomenal considering the lack of reliable targets outside of Gibson and Greg Cobb. Brown went to Philadelphia and put up a perfect QB Rating against a tough Eagles defense. The ‘Fins have been killed this season by untimely fumbles and poor defensive effort, but Brian Brown continues to show he is one of the best in the league. Most Surprising - Jason Bryant - The obvious answer here is D.J. Gibson who is on pace to double his output from last year, but the more fun answer is 6th year OLB Jason Bryant. In the 2018 and 2019 season combined Jason Bryant had a total of 31 tackles and 4 sacks. Through 13 games this season Bryant already has 39 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 FF, and 2 FR. He’s enjoying a resurgence in his 6th season flying around the field and making plays. 18. Pittsburgh Steelers Best Player - Patrick Murphy - Murphy has been a tackling machine at OLB sliding in at 4th in the league for tackles by an OLB. Murphy has also shown a knack for being able to get to the quarterback with 6 sacks on the year as well. The Steelers defense has been inconsistent this season, but Murphy has been a solid force each game. Most Surprising - Rob Corp - Corp came in and played 7 games in relief for Paul Davenport and played amazingly. In those 7 games had a stellar 112.57 QBR while tossing for ~1,600 yards and 12 TDs with only 4 INTs. Corp also ran for 3 TDs and showed the ability to get out of the pocket and make plays with his legs. Davenport is back now, but Corp more than held his own which is a far cry from what he did last year when he took the field. 19. Houston Texans Best Player - Marvin White - White was acquired in the offseason through a trade with Oakland and has immediately come in and become the team’s best/most consistent weapon. White has opened up the field for Leshoure and company to move the ball and has really aided in Alex’s development. White just broke the 1,000 yard mark on the season and will likely break into double digits for touchdowns soon. Most Surprising - Riley McNeil - The rookie FCS kicker is having a stellar campaign converting 88.5% of his kicks including 12 from between 40-49 yards. The guy is only rated a 75 so the Texans have to be stoked with his performance up to this point. 20. Cleveland Browns Best Player - Tai Miller - The Browns had a nice draft bringing in a lot of young talent that will ultimately pay dividends in the future. However in the here and now Tai Miller continues to be their best player. Miller has 68 catches on the year for 1,036 yards and a nice 15.24 YPC average. Cleveland lacks a lot of other weapons on offense so without Miller, QB Ryan Clark would have a hard time making plays. Most Surprising - C.J. Thomas - Yes, I know what you’re thinking, why is C,J. Thomas surprising? Well, Cleveland doesn’t really sport a lot of surprising performances so I’m going to go with the rookie coming in and being arguably the best player on their defense. Thomas leads the team with 50 tackles and continues to put himself in position to make plays. As the league matures, rookies coming in and contributing at such a high level will become less frequent. The Browns can take solace in the fact they a great player at arguably the most important position on defense. 21. Cincinnati Bengals Best/Most Surprising Player - Adrian Jankowski - Jank has been the best player on the loaded Cincy offense with 75 catches for 1,062 yards and 9 TDs. I think most around the league thought the Jank had the potential to be one of the better wideouts in the league, but after a disastrous rookie campaign in Tampa there were certainly doubters out there. Cincy QB Joel King had a poor rookie campaign so there were questions if Jank would even have a quarterback capable of getting him the ball, but those questions were quickly negated during the preseason. Adrian shows the unique ability to run crisp routes and grab those tough target type of throws, while having the speed and vertical to go get the long ball. 22. Tennessee Titans Best Player - Tyler Jones - The rookie has come in and unleashed havoc on the league. Jones leads the team with 8.5 sacks and has made rushing a nightmare for opposing defense. Pairing with 2nd year player Charles Woods - the Titans have put together one of the scariest pairs of edge rushers in the league. Most Surprising Player - Jordan Harris - This was a tough one, but the jury was out on Harris during the draft. There was hesitation since most of the league wasn’t sure how FCS players would perform in the league. Harris has had a nice rookie campaign grabbing 3 interceptions on the year, which has to have the Titans excited for his future. 23. New Orleans Saints Best Player - Aaron Devereaux - The Saints have struggled mightily on defense this year, but “Devy” continues to be the best player on the team. The Saints have gone on a nice winning streak and a lot of it has to be attributed to him. He’s putting up almost equal stats to division-mate Christian Skaggs which has to at least give the Saints hope for the future. If the Saints can put even a passable defense on the field they should make a big jump in the standings. Most Surprising - Steve Alexander - There really hasn’t been a lot of surprising performances by the Saints. Their defense is playing about as poor as you would expect and the big names are performing about as well as you would expect on offense. Steve Alexander has already more than doubled his TD output from a season ago and is on pace to have his first 1,000 yard receiving season (I think). He’s always been a decent player, but is really playing well as the second option this year in New Orleans. 24. New York Giants Best Player(s) - Kenyatta Henderson/Aaron Hammond - The Giant’s duo of OLBs have both performed spectacularly this season. Henderson’s contract aside he continues to show a knack for getting to the QB and Hammond shows all around versatility to make life difficult for opposing offenses. The Giants have nice defensive pieces if they can just get a little most consistent on offense. Biggest Surprise - Cotton Lewis - Lewis already has 10 TDs on the year which is 8 more than he had in the 2019 season. Considering the Giants’ passing game isn’t particularly great it’s interesting to see Lewis having such a successful year making plays. It should give them a nice building block for the future. 25. Chicago Bears Best Player - Morris Millen - Millen has been all over the field making plays this year. 2 INTs, 4.5 Sacks, and 2 FFs and doing what the team needs from him. There hasn’t been a lot to be excited about in Chicago this season, but Millen is showing he still has a lot left in the tank. Biggest Surprise - Quincy Honeycutt - If you would have said this after Honeycutt’s disastrous debut I probably would have laughed at you, however; Honeycutt has rebounded to have a really solid rookie campaign. Quincy is sporting a nice 4.65 YPC average and is on pace to break the 1,000 yard mark. He needs to clean up his fumbling issues, but Chicago has to be excited about potentially finding their RB of the future. 26. Buffalo Bills Best Player - Chad Dess - Earlier in the season Dess was leading the league in rushing and probably would still be up there if it wasn’t for Buffalo’s change in offensive philosophy. Dess continues to show value at being a workhorse running back. There really hasn’t been a lot to be excited about in Buffalo this season, but at least Dess is still going strong. Most Surprising - Joaquin Younger - He’s obviously not the starting quarterback anymore, but Younger has shown a lot in playing other positions for the Bills. He’s made some plays at wideout, running the ball, and passing in a close loss to the Raiders. The Bills have nothing to lose at this point, but seeing Younger make some cool contributions is fun at least. 27. Arizona Cardinals Best Player - Marcus Banks - The Cardinals haven’t had a lot to be excited about this season, but Banks continues to bring his best every game. The clear best option on their anemic offense Banks has contributed 65 catches for 855 yards and 5 TDs. Most Surprising - Omar McManus - The rookie has come in a posted 5 sacks on the year which puts him ahead of a majority of the DEs taken before him in the draft. McManus might benefit from the lack of impact plays by other players on the team, but nonetheless he’s still having a solid campaign. 28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Best Player - Taylor Heiden - Arguments could be made for a couple of players on the defense, but props need to be given to Heiden. Taylor is still one of the better quarterbacks in the league and is performing admirably with a lack of a running game and playmakers on the outside. If Tampa can find an answer for their lack of running game and get another wideout on the outside I think Heiden will flourish. Most Surprising - The further down the list we go the more difficult this choice becomes. Let’s going to go with Jerry Cipa here. Cipa had a decent 2019 season, but has improved his ability to get in the endzone this year. With 3 games remaining it’s possible that Cipa could hit the 1,000 yard mark which would be a marked improvement over last season. 29. Washington Redskins Best Player - Fred Romanowski - Another team with not a lot to be excited about this season. Romanowski has been an anchor in the middle with 50 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Most Surprising - Sam Hiller-Weeden - It’s not particularly surprising that SHW is performing well, but he’s been their best offensive player outside of Ricardo Reed. SHW has such little help from his other wideouts that it’s impressive he’s able to put up the numbers he is putting up. 30. New England Patriots Best Player - Elvis Williams - Williams has a tendency to put the ball on the turf, but he’s having a nice season otherwise. The Patriots don’t really seem to have much else to be happy about so this choice seems pretty easy. Most Surprising - …..Honestly.. There’s just not really anything that could be considered a good surprise here. 31. Minnesota Vikings Best Player - Cleveland Merrill - The Vikings haven’t had a lot to be proud of this season either, but Merrill has played hard nonetheless. Cleveland leads the team in tackles and is the obvious leader of the unit. Most Surprising - Josh Taylor - He’s only started a few games, but has put up respectable stats in his limited action. He’s probably not the RB of the future but it’s something at least. 32. Los Angeles Chargers Best Player - Scott Howard - Not much to say here. Howard has played well all season, he’s probably the only player who can say that. Most Surprising - Bryan Jones - He has 50 tackles on the season which seems like a lot for a 74 rated OLB.
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    Heat win 9th straight! With Dolphins' losses mounting - city turns attention to surging Heat. Heat players celebrate another home victory.
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    After 4 weeks of play it is time to see who's hot and who's not in the PAC-12. Let's see which teams and players made (or missed) the cut. Who’s Hot – Undefeated Teams - Washington State Cougars – The Cougars are currently the highest ranked PAC-12 team sitting at 12th. David Oates-Elijah Talley have connected 25 times for 307 yds and 4 tds. The Cougars rush defense has more turnovers (5) than TDs allowed (4) and has limited opponents to under 13 ppg. Washington State has a bye this week. - Arizona Wildcats – Defense has been the story for the 15th ranked Wildcats. The defense has yielded only 2 TDs and is allowing less than 10 ppg and only 228 total ypg. The Wildcats defense has held opponents to 14.3% 3rd down conversions and has forced 6 turnovers while the offense is yet to commit a turnover. The Wildcats will face a tough test this Saturday when they travel to Eugene to play an Oregon team desperate for a win. - California Golden Bears – QB Leonard Norris has been solid throwing for 7 TDs and only 2 interceptions. The Golden Bears have a +3 turnover margin and have outscored opponents by an average of almost 10 ppg. Cal goes out of conference to host Southern Miss on Saturday. - Stanford – The Cardinal are currently ranked 24th thanks to the play of QB Nicholas Garland who has a 4/1 TD/INT ratio. The defense has more turnovers (5) than TDs allowed (4) and has limited opponents to under 14 ppg. Stanford faces a tough test on Saturday as the high-powered UCLA Bruins come to town. Who’s not – Winless Teams - Oregon Ducks – The Duck’s 0-3 start can be blamed on poor performances by the offense. QB Jason Baum has only 2 TD passes while throwing 5 interceptions and has completed <60% of his passes. The one offensive bright spot is star RB Trevon Yeldon who is averaging over 100 ypg. The defense also has to get better having only forced 1 turnover so far. A Saturday night game at home vs #15 Arizona is the Duck's chance to turn it around. - Utah Utes – QB Donald Culver was selected as the 1st team All-Pac 12 QB but has not lived up to the hype. He has thrown as many interceptions as TDs and is completing <60% of his passes. The Utes offense is averaging only 10 ppg while the defense is giving up 32.6 ppg. Utah gets the week off to try and regroup. - Washington Huskies – The Huskies are off to an 0-3 start and turnovers have been a problem. The offense has committed 5 turnovers while the defense has only 1 take away and has allowed opponents to score 33.3 ppg. And it doesn't get any easier for the Huskies with 3-0 Texas Tech coming to town.
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    One of the premier news outlets on the site has released the first mid-season Heisman shortlist for 2020. It is with great pleasure I introduce these players that are in such strong contention for the most prestigious prize in college football. QB Tanner Bowman, Penn State QB Mohammed Foster, West Virginia QB Marcus Black, Auburn QB Matt Jones, Purdue QB Kyle Davidson, Michigan State QB Luke Trickett, USC QB Nico Kaufman, Air Force QB Ryan Harris, Fresno State RB DeNorris Jackson, UCF RB DeSean Madison, Western Michigan RB Trevon Yeldon, Oregon RB Jayden Huff, LSU RB DeSean Dockery, Louisville WR Jarvis Ward, Texas A&M WR Tyron Chambers, Arkansas DE Sebastian Smallwood, Alabama OLB Blake Raines, Army Any controverisal players listed? Any controversial players missing? Feel free to let us know below in the comments!
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    Pac-12 - Week 7 Welcome to Buy, Sell, Hold a weekly piece where we examine the current stock of a handful of Pac-12 programs. On the rise? Tanking hard? steady as she goes? Use this handy investment guide to get the optimal return on your CFBHCdollar. You wouldn't want to leave you and your loved ones in the cold come retirement season. This week's BEST BUY is the OREGON STATE BEAVERS. After a brief uptick in price following week one, the price of ORST has fallen recently. While we don't anticipate a huge gain in real price, the relative potential is astronomical. Low risk, high reward in Corvallis. This week's BUY NOW is the OREGON DUCKS. Shares were cheap to begin this season and tanked early. But confidence has been high in Eugene the last few weeks and these shares are set to skyrocket. Get in now before it's too late! This week's HOLD FAST is the COLORADO BUFFALOES. We don't anticipate a big fluctuation in the price of BUFF in the near future. If you already purchased a few shares, hold on to them. If not, maybe stay on the sidelines until a buying opportunity comes along. This week's SELL NOW is the ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS. While the price hasn't been incredibly high of late, we don't see any increase in price on the horizon. If there's any price change in the coming weeks, it's going to be negative in a big way. Get out. This week's ABANDON SHIP is the STANFORD CARDINAL. With potential recruiting violations on the horizon and more than a touch of coaching uncertainty, it's time to abandon ship of STAN stock. Get out before you lose everything you own.
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    I was never given access to the interface after I requested it, so I was unable to do recruiting this week.
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    Another week is in the books in the nation's most exciting conference, and what a dramatic turn of events we had. The main event was a phenomenal shootout between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, in which the Cowboys came away with their undefeated record intact. The highly anticipated duel between TCU and Kansas turned into a defensive slugfest. Baylor-Iowa State turned into a Marcus Swartz fireworks display. But it was West Virginia who rode in to steal the show, setting everyone abuzz with a massive win over Texas in the Longhorns' own house. It's the kind of win that redefines expectations for the whole conference, especially if West Virginia can back it up next time out. But we'll save next time for next time. For now, here are the players who made this week what it was: Offensive Player of the Week: Mohammed Foster, WVU, 24 of 33 for 329 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT; 7 carries for 67 yards, 1 TD Defensive Player of the Week: Caleb Whitmore, KAN, 1 INT, 5 Tackles Special Teams Player of the Week: Andrew Trimble, TCU, 44.1-yard punting average And now, let's talk about the games. Thursday Night Baylor 42, Iowa State 20 Why Baylor won: Any explanation has to start with Marcus Swartz. The senior had another brilliant game, throwing for 301 yards and three scores on 20-29 passing while also adding 81 yards and a score on the ground. All that yardage takes him over 10,000 combined passing and rushing yards for his career, along with 80 total touchdowns--both rank 3rd in Big XII history. He found tight end Hastin Rider over and over again, and the junior responded by amassing triple career highs: 9 receptions, 145 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Baylor struck early and often, rolling out to a 35-10 halftime lead and coasting from there. The defense played its part as well, sacking August Blank 3 times and picking him off twice. Why Iowa State lost: For the second straight game, Iowa State struggled on both sides of the ball. August Blank completed just 13 of 26 passes, balancing his one touchdown against two interceptions and throwing for just 141 yards. Josiah Edmonds had a better second effort (including a touchdown), though they really need to get more than 81 yards out of him on 20 carries. The offensive line couldn't keep Baylor at bay, putting even more pressure on a struggling backfield. The offense showed more life this week than it did last week--enough, in fact, to give the Cyclones a real chance--but the defense couldn't touch Marcus Swartz. For the second straight week, they had no answer for the opposing tight end despite David Tolliver keeping the opposing lead receiver in check. It got late early for Iowa State on Thursday, and it's getting late early for them this season. The bottom line: Baylor gets a much-needed win that gets them back on track for a bowl game at minimum. Their offense continues to light the world on fire, pushing the Bears back over 40 points per game. But what's more important for Baylor is that the defense looked like a whole different unit, punishing Iowa State on all fronts and ensuring that this game just would not be competitive. They'll hope that they can keep this effort up next week when they host Texas Tech. For Iowa State, the loss drops them to 1-4 with more questions than answers. The offense pretty much has to be taken as it is at this point, but the defensive issues that have cropped up at the start of conference play make things that much harder. And things don't get easier when they have to go to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State's high-scoring offense. Saturday Afternoon West Virginia 48, #21 Texas 17 Why West Virginia won: Um. Wow. We have a new most impressive performance by a Big XII team this season. West Virginia was merciless in every facet of the game, and it all started with Mohammed Foster. The junior accounted for nearly 400 yards and 4 touchdowns on his own, treating the Texas defense like practice dummies, distributing the ball throughout the receiving corps, and keeping away from pressure. His offensive supporting cast was excellent--J.C. Weldon, Elias Langston, and Stephen Hager each caught touchdown passes and Mohamed Mustafa scored twice on the ground--but the defense went above and beyond. It held Texas under 100 yards rushing, kept Kyler Tackett in check, picked up a sack and an interception, and never gave the Longhorns a chance to answer the West Virginia scoring onslaught until it was too late. Why Texas lost: Kyler Tackett, Nehemiah Staples, and Zahir Rouse were the only ones who really came to play. Tackett kept the offense alive with a pair of touchdowns (against one pick) on 65.5% passing, but none of his receivers really had a breakout game. Simeon Wells had a dud of a game, earning just 80 yards on 20 carries. Tackett's not at the point yet where he can win a game with his arm all by himself; the Longhorns need to be able to establish the run. On defense, the Longhorns couldn't overpower West Virginia at the line, and that opened up the Mountaineer offense to take advantage downfield. They were all over Mohamed Mustafa, but West Virginia used so much zone-read and play-action that they had Texas tilting at windmills more often than not. In short: Texas didn't stop Mohammed Foster, and very few teams can keep up with him otherwise. The bottom line: West Virginia put the biggest hurting on Texas that the Longhorns have ever seen--the 31-point margin of defeat is a Texas record, as are the 48 points surrendered. It was nothing less than a statement win for West Virginia, who showed flashes of improvement over the course of a difficult non-conference slate. If they're putting it all together in conference play like this, then they're going to be dangerous the rest of the way. For Texas, it's a very unwelcome start to Big XII play--especially after the progress they'd made in their 3-0 start. It's not often that a single game can drastically change expectations, but this is certainly one that makes you see both teams in a different light. TCU 16, Kansas 10 Why TCU won: Defense! (*clap, clap*) Defense! Points were at a premium in this one, and TCU's defense seized control of this one early on. The Horned Frogs took the lead in the first quarter with a pair of field goals, and the defense never let Kansas tie it up or take the lead outright. In fact, they were even able to keep the Jayhawks out of the endzone entirely until the fourth quarter. They held Christian Graham to 140 yards passing--the fewest Kansas has accumulated in a game since Eric Jennings was a sophomore--and intercepted him. But they also locked down Rod Fulton on the ground, holding him to 4 yards per carry and out of the endzone. They got Kansas off the field on 3rd down, they kept them out of field goal range, and they were able to score from the red zone themselves--even if they had to kick three field goals from inside the 10. Why Kansas lost: Kansas played its second good defensive game in a row, but the offense just wasn't there to join it. They accumulated just 228 yards and scored just 10 points. Joel Hawley missed yet another field goal, finishing 1/2 on the day. Christian Graham completed just 13 of his 25 passes, averaged 5.6 yards per attempt, and threw for one touchdown to one interception--and Rod Fulton wasn't much help on the ground. Just as last week against Iowa State was Kansas's offense's best-case scenario on, this was their worst-case scenario: a new backfield that didn't quite click with the rest of the team, putting them behind the 8-ball in a winnable game. This one's gonna sting. The bottom line: In the first of many duels between freshman quarterbacks Sam Milner and Christian Graham, Milner got on the board first. It's the first win for TCU in six tries against Kansas, and it's a win that TCU fans have held up as a bellwether for their hopes in conference play. The Horned Frogs have now won three straight and open conference play 2-0. With two byes coming up in their next three weeks, they'll have a singleminded focus on what's suddenly become a much more important task: taking on West Virginia in Morgantown week 8. For Kansas, it's another disappointing loss that puts them in a 2-3 hole. It's a loss to a team that looked like a peer, and it's never good to come up on the short end of the measuring stick in that kind of game. They, too, will have a bye next week before taking on still-undefeated Oklahoma State. Saturday Evening Oklahoma State 41, Texas Tech 38 Why Oklahoma State won: Offense! (*clap, clap*) Offense! There wasn't a whole lot of defense in this one, and that's where Oklahoma State's been comfortable this season. Chester Brenner stayed dangerous, throwing for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns (his 11th straight multi-touchdown game) on accurate 29-41 passing (70.7%) to pace the Cowboy offense. With all of his top three receivers--Jeremy Bridges, Xavier Gant, and Jay Dunn--hauling in a touchdown catch and Khalil Bell scoring twice on the ground, Oklahoma State didn't lack for contributors on the offensive end. They didn't really stop Texas Tech, but that's okay because Texas Tech couldn't stop them either. They led after every quarter, and established just enough of a cushion to hold of Tech's last-ditch rally and stay undefeated. Why Texas Tech lost: Despite their point total, Texas Tech didn't do as much on the offensive end as they needed to. Solomon McLaughlin gained 108 yards on 28 carries--less than 3.9 yards per carry--but did make up for it with 3 touchdown runs. Chase Shapiro accounted for 100 yards passing, 31 yards rushing, and 2 scores. In all, that's 5 touchdowns on just 239 yards between them. There's credit to be given there, of course: Texas Tech had a lot of short fields because the defense was aggressive, setting up the Red Raider offense in stellar field position twice via interception and using Oklahoma State's offense against them. The Red Raiders won the big-play battle, but Oklahoma State dominated on a per-down basis. Win the big plays and even the score a little bit on per-downs, and this is a Texas Tech win. The bottom line: In the first highly anticipated Big XII battle, Oklahoma State came away with a big road win that leaves them as the Big XII's only remaining undefeated team. The Cowboy offense is showing no signs of slowing, cruising past the 40-point mark for the third time in four games. Sure, the defense is letting up a lot more points than they'd like, but this game is the first piece of evidence that it might not matter as long as 1) their offense stays hot, and 2) opposing Big XII offenses won't be able to take advantage. It's not likely that their game against Iowa State next week will do much to change those assumptions. For Texas Tech, it's not a bad loss. Their 4-1 start means they're still almost certainly bowl-bound, and they're still right in the thick of the conference race. They still have a rushing attack that's going to give a lot of the conference some problems, and they'll look to rebound next week in Waco. Byes: Kansas State (3-1), Oklahoma (0-4)
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    This is a giant milestone that deserves to be recognized. When inspiral took over Purdue, they were terrible. I mean, awful. Through hard, good work, excellent recruiting, and solid coaching, seeing Purdue at #1 is a bit surreal for those of us 2013 kids. Congrats also to Vandy and Air Force...this top 10 is pretty awesome and shows the value of consistency and gumption. Bravo, fellas.
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    CHOO CHOO! PURDUE #1! WE MADE IT!
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    Here's some DeNorris Jackson facts: He has played in 42 games. He has rushed for a TD in 37 of them. He's ran for multiple TDs in 24 of them. He's ran for over 100 yards in 39 games (he still ran for over 90 yards in the other 3 games) He has never had less than 4 YPC He has 71 career rushing TD's. The record is 75 by Sterling Brown. His worst game was his 2nd career game in which he had 25 carries and 106 yards with 0 TDs against UCLA. This year he has 100 Att for 606 yards and 10 TDs
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    Now that we are a quarter of the way through the season it's time to take a look into the B1G Power Rankings. 1. Purdue Boilermakers (4-0) The current number one team in the country coming off an impressive victory against the Michigan Wolverines. It's hard to argue against them with Matt Jones and the prolific Purdue offense averaging 450 yards per game. I think Purdue is the favorite to win the West, however, I don' think they finish the season undefeated, as there are so many good teams in the West, I imagine they slip up in one game. 2. Illinois Fighting Illini (4-0) Arguably the best defense in all of CFBHC, Illinois comes in at number two. Only giving up a ridiculous 7.3 PPG, no team wants to face the Illini. The Purdue-Illinois match-up approaching could be a playoff precursor and determines who represents the West in the B1G Title Game. If illinois falters, it's because of their average offense, but average might be enough, and they remind me of the irl super bowl winning ravens. The biggest knock on them is playing in the West, they might slip up because of the offense, but I'm pretty high on the illini 3. Penn State Nittany Lions (3-1) Despite dropping a game already in the season, I believe the gap between Penn State and the rest of the B1G is relatively big. The defending national champs will not have an easy road to repeat as champions, as already seen, but luckily for Penn State, they sit in the much weaker East and I don't think Michigan, Michigan State, or Maryland can topple them. 4. Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) Trufant is the best RB in the CFBHC and he's only a redshirt sophomore. I would argue he will be better than Sowell, which is saying something considering his success at Wisconsin as well as with the Jags in the NFL. My biggest concern with Badgers is the passing part of the equation. We know Trufant will rush for 100+ yards and 1-2 TDs, but what will Jarvis do? If he performs well they can be unbeatable, but a bad or average game from him and the Badgers are very vulnerable. 5. Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-0) Lucas has taken over where Bingo left off, and has a strong passing game and the second best defense so far in the B1G after Illinois. The concern is the one-sidedness on the offensive side of the ball, ranking last in the B1G in rushing. A team with a strong pass defense like Illinois could spell bad news for the Gophers, but as usual with Bingo's Minnesota's teams, I expect Minnesota to be sitting there with a chance at winning the West in the last 2/3 weeks. 6. Michigan State Spartans (4-0) Slinky has returned and so has Michigan State's success. While I don't think MSU is as good as they appear at this point in the season, I believe in Slinky, and his strong QB play to rank them slightly ahead of Michigan at this point in the season. Joseph Thurston as been arguably the best WR in the country so far with 420 yards and 6 TDs through 4 games. The problem is the running game is struggling and they have no real other threat in the passing game. I expect something around 8-4 when all is said and done. 7. Michigan Wolverines (3-1) I might be putting myself too low based on the talent on my team, but I have not been impressed with how my team has played this season. A squeaker against NC State, a game closer than it should have been against BYU and a loss to Purdue has me ranking Michigan at 7. Gabe Cooper has done well this season, but Whitley at RB needs to improve so that I am not so one-dimensional, the x-factor on my team. Carlos Washington the JUCO transfer has been a top DE in CFBHC and has carried the defense, but the team is not playing to expectations. Maybe I'm being too harsh on myself, but for now I think this ranking is fair for my team's play. 8. Maryland Terrapins (2-1) Arguably after Michigan, there is a big drop-off in teams that have a serious chance of competing in the conference. I like Maryland, but I don't see them being a serious threat in the East. A below average passing game and passing defense does not bode well in the B1G, especially against Bowman and Davidson in the East. They won't be able to rely on the run like they have so far this season, leading the B1G in rushing yards per game. Maryland does hold the best rush defense so far, but again I don't expect this to be sustainable the rest of the year. 9. Iowa Hawkeyes (2-2) The talent is there in Iowa, but a tough schedule and some holes on the offensive and defensive side of the ball limit the potential of Iowa. With one of the worst defenses statistically so far in the B1G, and competing in the West, Iowa is probably looking at something like 6-6 when the season is all said and done. I still believe in Black and Donaldson on the offensive side of the ball, and they have a strong OL to compete in games, but if the defense doesn't improve than it won't be enough to compete with the serious contenders in the West. 10. Indiana Hoosiers (2-1) The Hoosiers have looked pretty good so far, with a top five offensive and defense. The problem is that they don't have the talent to compete in the B1G to make that sustainable. I think the team is moving in the right direction, and might be a fringe bowl team, but no more. I don't expect them to be able to beat PSU,Michigan, or MSU and make a serious threat in the East. 11. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-2) Ohio State has a QB problem. Raymond Dow has thrown for only 385 yards with 3 TDs and 6 INTs through 3 games. They aren't going to beat anyone decent with that kind of QB play. The reason I have them ranked higher than the teams to follow is the talent on the defensive side of the ball. They have an above average defense that can keep them in games, and more talent than the teams below, but without improvement at QB the Buckeyes ceiling will be pretty low. 12. Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-3) Considering how good Nebraska used to be, the Cornhuskers are very devoid of talent, and I find it hard to believe that they will make a bowl game. The only team that I think they have an above average chance of beating in the West is Northwestern, otherwise they will have to hope to get lucky against a team like Iowa and steal a game. I think it will be very difficult for the Cornhuskers to make a bowl game, but hopefully Dean will recruit well and have this team back to its former glory. 13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-2) After the departure of vollmagnet, the Prophet, and Franklin, we knew this would be a struggle for the Scarlet Knights to repeat the success it had the past 2 years. Rutgers will struggle this season, and really outside of Ohio State, don't really see them having any chance of beating the top teams in the East. 14. Northwestern Wildcats (0-4) This team is young but they do have talent coming. The problem is that young talent won't do much in the B1G. Averaging a B1G worst 12.3 ppg and a B1G worst 34.5 ppg against, its hard to see where Northwestern will scrape by with wins unless it's against the fellow cellar-dwellers in the B1G. I would expect maybe 2 wins this season, and really just focus on developing the young talent and try and make a bowl game next year, because they don't really have much chance this year, especially in the West
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    So Notre Dame's resume isn't good enough to even be close to ranked but sure let's bump US-fucking-F up two spots for their impressive bye week
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    Coach HAFFnHAFF: Good evening. I would like to thank you for joining us for this evening's press conference. As you know, this has been a very difficult week for the Kansas State athletic department. Thursday night was a bitter disappointment and Friday came with the airing of the recording, I’m sure you have all heard by now, in the locker room after the game by The Wildcat Den. Rahim Murrell has a short statement he would like to read, and he will not be available for questions afterwards. Rahim? Rahim Murrell: [mechanically reading from a notecard] I would like to apologize to Coach HAFFnHAFF and the rest of the coaching staff for the comments I made following Thursday night’s loss to TCU. I never wanted to be a distraction to this team or cause issues for you to deal with. I would also like to apologize to my teammates for calling them out in a moment of anger. You guys deserve better than that. [pauses… puts down note cards]. I can’t. That’s not true. [Coach HAFFnHAFF stands up and takes a step towards the podium] It’s ok coach. I got this. [Coach HAFFnHAFF looks concerned but reluctantly takes his seat again] The truth is, we are division 1 college athletes. We have trained for this our whole lives. And what we trained for isn’t to get our asses kicked on national television. What we trained for is to compete. And we did that for 1 half, and then we laid down and got whipped. The truth is my teammates deserve an apology, but not because I called them out. The deserve an apology because I didn’t put myself right next to them. I am the leader of this offense. And when we don’t perform, that is on me. In a moment of passion and anger I refused to take the blame and instead assigned it to everyone else and that was wrong. To my teammates: When this team struggles, that is on me. But because that is on me, I will call you out. I will push you to be better every day. If you don’t like it then play better. I’m here to win games, not make friends. There is a lot of season left and we have a chance to be something special. We have a chance to make history for this university and for our fans. [Rahim removes microphone from podium and walks out from behind it.] And speaking of the fans, you are the people who really deserve an apology. We were off to the best start in school history and you got excited. We did too. But we let you down. I let you down. Our level of play was unacceptable. On offense we just didn’t do that things we talked about doing at halftime and the game got away from us. That starts and ends with me. I have to be better than that. When the QB stinks you aren’t going to win many games. We are here on a scholarship for 4 years and we have 1 job to do and we didn’t do it. You are fans for a lifetime. You bleed the purple and silver. You live and breathe Wildcat football. And you have stuck with this university for years despite the fact we have never had a winning season. You packed out this stadium every week in 2015 when we lost every game. You have never had a chance to experience a bowl win. And yet you are here every freakin’ Thursday night to cheer us on. You deserve better, and better is coming. My promise to you is that this game, my performance, my comments, do NOT mark the end of this season’s dream. I will never stop pushing myself to be better. You won’t see another player in the country work as hard as I will work the rest of this season to deliver for you. You will never see someone push his teammates as hard as I will push mine. They may not like me by the end of the season, but they will respect me and go to war with me every week. We will rise from this. We will be better because of this. So pack out that stadium in week 8 when we host Baylor, because we are coming ready to play. Whatever you do, don’t give up on us. But even if you do, we will never ever quit on you.
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    Neal Davis: Hello and welcome back to 94.1 WIP radio. Today we have an inside scoop for you. Following the devastating loss to the TCU Horned Frogs on Thursday night, I was in the athletic facility talking with some of my former coaches. As the players came out of the locker room I got the opportunity to talk to a few of them, most notably QB Rahim Murrell. What Rahim had to say to me could be described as shocking at best. So we have an audio clip we are going to roll for you. And just a warning before we hit play this clip is NSFW. Neal: So there you have it folks. A very irate Rahim Murrell live and unfiltered after the loss to TCU Thursday night. The clip continues for a few more minutes, but there was nothing else noteworthy said. I went on to give Rahim multiple chances to shoulder some of the responsibility for the loss but he never did, and got increasingly hostile towards me as the conversation came to a close. We all know that Rahim is a very vocal and emotionally charged leader. His history is well chronicled from his players tribune posts, I am the Greatest and I am Still the Greatest, to his previous interview with 94.1 WIP radio where he called out Missouri QB Tucker Dowden and coach vtgorilla. There is no doubt he has faced adversity in his football career, but never on this big of a stage. With the first 3-0 start in KSU history, Rahim was vaulted into a bigger spotlight than he appears ready to handle, as evidenced by his post-game meltdown. What remains to be seen now is how Coach HAFFnHAFF will address this situation and if he can regain control of the locker room. Will this drive a wedge in the team and split the locker room leading to a lost season? Or will he be able to find a way to sidestep the controversy, rally the troops, and preserve the Wildcats’ bowl dreams? There is a storm brewing in Manhattan and for the first time in his young coaching career, Coach HAFFnHAFF is being thrust into the national spotlight. One thing is for sure, his interview next week should be very interesting.
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    After the hectic display that was week 4, week 5 presents a simpler layout: two conference games (one per weeknight), and two non-conference games (both on Saturday afternoon). The battle of the purples kicks off the week, as undefeated Kansas State (have you talked to your kids yet?) takes on TCU. Former Big XII North foes Kansas and Iowa State follow that up on Friday. On Saturday, Oklahoma looks to cool down a red-hot Pittsburgh, while red-hot Texas Tech looks to stay undefeated at Washington. It should be yet another great week of football in the nation's most exciting conference, so let's talk about the games. Thursday Night TCU (1-2) at Kansas State (3-0)* In the closing weeks of the 2018 season, TCU rode a 13-game winning streak into a showdown with a 1-8 Kansas State. After the Frogs stormed out to a 10-0 lead, Kansas State rallied to give them a fight before falling 37-34 in Manhattan. That was the penultimate win of TCU's 15-game win streak, and a sign of things to come for TCU. Kansas State wasn't able to parlay that near-miss into any further momentum--but they can still use it as motivation in their next meeting. It's possible that this is the most important game of football Kansas State has played since the 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl. With a school-best 3-0 start in hand in non-conference play, Kansas State has a very real path to the postseason so long as they can find a way to snap their 16-game losing streak in conference play. This is a bellwether game in both directions: if Kansas State can beat TCU, then they have a path to 6-6; if TCU can't beat Kansas State, their path gets significantly narrower. So how will this go down? Any number of ways. Both teams have parts of this matchup that they love. Kansas State should be excited to throw on a TCU secondary that's given up more than 300 yards through the air per game; TCU should be ecstatic for Shamar Burroughs to run against a Wildcat defense that's given up more than 5 yards per carry and nearly 120 yards per game on the ground. They also each have parts of this matchup that they hate. Sam Milner's 116.0 passer rating is the second-lowest in the Big XII, just as Kansas State's 106.0 passer rating allowed is the second-lowest in the conference. Kansas State is going to give Elijah Humphrey carries as usual, but that comes against a TCU defense that's given up 3.7 yards per carry and 53.0 rushing yards per game so far, the best in the conference in both categories. I think that's actually going to be what decides this game. If TCU can force Kansas State into long 2nd and 3rd downs, that puts more of the game on Rahim Murrell's shoulders, and Murrell's performances have been up-and-down at best against bad competition. TCU's held up reasonably well for having had to face Jamel Armstrong, Andre Webb, and Eric McLean; Murrell isn't consistently in that tier yet. Meanwhile, Burroughs is probably going to get the TCU offense better set up for those passing downs, taking some of the pressure off of Milner. I think TCU will win the line of scrimmage, win the run game on both sides, and use that to remain undefeated against Kansas State. TCU 28, Kansas State 17 Friday Night Kansas (1-2) at Iowa State (1-2)* Iowa State and Kansas met last year as ranked teams, with the 20th-ranked Cyclones finally snapping their oh-fer against the #5 Jayhawks in a 29-24 upset win. Since that game, though, both teams have hit rough patches. They won their bowl games, sure, but neither team finished the season ranked. And now, they meet in 2020 as 1-2 teams who need this win if a bowl game is to be in the cards. Both have had some serious issues crop up in non-conference play. Kansas has dealt with inconsistency in the passing game, as freshman quarterback Christian Graham fired off 3 interceptions in his most recent outing against Notre Dame, bringing his season total to a conference-high 6 picks. With a completion percentage of 62.1% and a passer rating of 130.4, Kansas isn't getting the positive production they need out of him. That's a problem coming against an Iowa State defense that's been lockdown this season, holding opponents to 18.3 points per game and finding success against both the pass (165.0 YPGA, 109.1 passer rating allowed) and the run (4.04 YPCA). The Cyclones can get pressure and force turnovers, and it won't matter how open Malcolm Davis and Noah Hills can get against the Iowa State secondary if Graham can't get the ball to them and the slumping offensive line can't keep Mekhi Tolbert, Jalen Pittman, and Kai Voss out of the backfield. Adding to Kansas's sense of urgency on offense is their defensive struggles: they're giving up 31.3 points per game, they're giving up a lot of yardage per pass (7.72) and per carry (5.14), they're not really getting sacks or forcing turnovers at an above-average rate, and they most recently gave up 40 points to Notre Dame. However, Iowa State's been spinning its wheels on offense. After scoring 7 points on Minnesota, they benched their starting backfield, and the duo of quarterback Peter Edge and runningback Josiah Edmonds is set to start this week. Whereas Iowa State had been going with a more power-run and option-run attack for non-conference play, they bring in a starting quarterback who's more of a pure pocket man and a runningback who's less of a between-the-tackles runner and more of a corner-turner. A drastic change like that can pay dividends, but it usually takes time to iron out all the kinks. No matter what shape Kansas's defense is in, I'm not expecting Iowa State to finish that process overnight. I'll take the Jayhawks in a close one. Kansas 20, Iowa State 17 Saturday Afternoon #11 Pittsburgh (3-0) at Oklahoma (0-3) When we last checked in on Pittsburgh, they were busy racking up 44 points in Morgantown to run past rival West Virginia. Since then, the Panthers have continued their roadward prowl, hammering Virginia Tech in Blacksburg before heading to State College to end Penn State's record-tying 20-game winning streak and improve to 3-0. There are few teams in the country as hot as Pittsburgh on the offensive end, and that's obviously a bad sign for Oklahoma. The Sooners have had their fill of hot offensive teams, having already fallen to Auburn (34.3 PPG), Iowa (29.7), and Texas Tech (34.0). They haven't done much to bring down those averages either, allowing 38.7 points per game themselves. So if they want to get in the win column and continue the momentum they picked up from the Texas Tech near-miss, they have to figure out some answers defensively. As well-publicized as Eric Pope's struggles have been, the defense is the bigger issue. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 67.6% of their passes, throwing 2 touchdowns per game without an interception, and running a 162.32 passer rating against the Sooners. Ballcarriers are averaging 5.16 yards per carry, 2.3 touchdowns per game, and 141 yards per game as well. The defense has recorded 1 sack and no turnovers. Every single one of those categories (except passing touchdowns per game) ranks last in the Big XII, and Pittsburgh's not the kind of team that breaks those kinds of slumps. Grant McConnell's averaging 290 yards per game through the air with 7 touchdowns--though he's also been turnover-prone with 4 picks so far, so that's an opportunity for Oklahoma. With Adam Coles and Samuel Ritter at wideout, McConnell has plenty of devastating weapons downfield. They're also getting solid production on the ground: Jaeden Daniel isn't putting up world-beating numbers, but adding McConnell's foot speed to the mix is yet another complicating element here. Oklahoma's defense isn't really deep enough to handle all of that, and Pittsburgh should be easily able to find a way to score. So it's up to Oklahoma to run the dang ball on this Pittsburgh defense and match them score-for-score. If you weren't aware already, sophomore tailback Maurice White is very, very good at his job. Second in the Big XII with 393 yards and first with 5.46 yards per carry, White has put the team on his back. He roared his way to 166 yards on 27 carries against Texas Tech as the Sooner offense doubled down on the run. Coincidentally, Pittsburgh has also allowed 393 yards and 4 touchdowns through 3 games this season. The Panthers really aren't built to stop the run, and that's Oklahoma's best shot. I don't think it'll be quite enough, particularly if Pitt starts creeping up safeties to go all-in on stopping the run. But I think the Sooners are capable of making this one close if things go right for them on offense. #11 Pittsburgh 40, Oklahoma 28 Texas Tech (3-0) at Washington (0-3) Closing out this week's slate of games is another undefeated-versus-winless battle, as red-hot Texas Tech heads out west to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies. The Dubs have been...well, not good, and a lot of the spotlight has fallen on true freshman quarterback Jake Davis (and perhaps unfairly so). It's not that Davis has been lighting up the world--he's at 45-74 (60.8% passing) for 573 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions--but runningback Amir Copeland (72 carries for 260 yards, 3.61 YPC, 1 TD, 1 FUM) hasn't really been much help and the defense hasn't been able to keep its opponents in check. The Huskies' defense has given up more than 5.1 yards per carry for the season, and they've given up 7 passing touchdowns to 1 interception. Losing to New Mexico at home was alarming, and they followed it up with a respectable loss to Arizona State and a blowout loss to UCLA. Texas Tech's formula on offense really isn't going to change much for this one: despite a strong Washington defensive line led by Miles Slater and Julius Mercer, the Red Raiders should be able to replicate New Mexico's and Arizona State's success with two-headed rushing attacks. Solomon McLaughlin is the Big XII's leader in rushing yards (418) and rushing touchdowns (7), and if he can get past that initial wave then Washington's going to have a hard time slowing him down. Chase Shapiro can't be ignored on the ground either; he's already scored twice with his feet in addition to his two passing touchdowns. The one thing Texas Tech has to be worried about is if Jake Davis can get hot. He had a very solid game against Arizona State, throwing for 230 yards and a pair of scores on 16-22 passing. Luke Guy, Jason Ivy, and C.J. Hickman are a capable trio of receivers, but Texas Tech's defense has only allowed 1 touchdown through the air so far. Their run defense is more worrisome (4.88 YPC allowed), but Amir Copeland probably isn't going to be able to do anything about that. This should be a routine road win for Texas Tech, and they should be able to get to 4-0. Texas Tech 31, Washington 10 Byes: Baylor (1-2), Oklahoma State (3-0), #22 Texas (3-0), West Virginia (1-2)
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    I have no dog in this fight, but wanted to provide information for the decision makers who were not online last night. This is apparently what he means by "being a trash talker": Those were largely without provocation, though we did make fun of him for not wanting to read the coaching course and called him a troll after he posted these comments:
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    The Kafka All-Time CFBHC Team has been finalized. Below are the results. OFFENSE QB - Norris Brooksheer, Oklahoma RB - Sterling Brown, Texas RB - Asante Sowell, Wisconsin WR - Raheem Robinson, Oklahoma State WR - Tai Miller, Oklahoma TE - Danny Patrick, North Carolina OT - Grey Brown, Florida State OT - Brandon Reamon, Texas OG - Jace Brown, Florida OG - Doug Aska, Miami C - Enoch Dickinson, Minnesota DEFENSE DE - Tyler Jones, Mississippi State DE - Anthony Miller, Tennessee DT - Jeremy Miller, Texas Tech OLB - Tyrone Jones, LSU OLB - Brian Hernandez, Maryland ILB - Tunch Richardson, Alabama ILB - Phillip Moore, Houston CB - Keyshawn Thompson, Michigan State CB - Mike Gradishar, Alabama FS - Aaron Blakely, Wisconsin SS - David Pennington, Vanderbilt SPECIAL TEAMS K - Gino Chiaverini, Texas P - Steve Noonan, LSU (each post is linked above) ------- Breakdown by team: Texas - 3 Alabama - 2 LSU - 2 Oklahoma - 2 Wisconsin - 2 Florida - 1 Florida State - 1 Houston - 1 Maryland - 1 Miami - 1 Michigan State - 1 Minnesota - 1 Mississippi State - 1 North Carolina - 1 Oklahoma State - 1 Tennessee - 1 Texas Tech - 1 Vanderbilt - 1 ------- What did you think of the team? Wrong picks? Right picks? Overall thoughts?
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    We lost to a team that lost to Tampa Bay Soluna's officially on the hot seat
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    For my favorite crooting moment we'd have to go back allll the way to week 5 of the 2020 season. I had put a ton of points on one of @Jumbo's quiet little 4.5's in Florida he thought he had a comfortable lead on and no one else had noticed. It was him versus another small MAC school, with no other Florida schools in the hunt. Well, when I woke up the next morning to check the fallout, I noticed Jambo had sent several shoutbox messages "looking" for me and to "meet him in Temecula in 40 min." Among a few other expletive laden insults there was this gem: "DStack can get fucked with a rusty pipe, seriously" I didn't even have to check the interface to see if I was leading on the croot. Edit: Absolutely nothing beats the draft. Especially that first round: live coverage, everyone tuned in, shoutbox is shoutboxing, the research and prep, the feeling of excitement or loss if your prospect falls to you or gets sniped just before you pick! "CAN'T WAIT!" - Bart Michael Scott
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    I'm not sure you ever got a fair shake out of this community, given that your only "crimes" were a political ideology that is in the minority in this community, a few bad decisions in coaching your team, and eventually inactivity. It seems to me that the CFBHC family has been eager to forgive far greater offenses in its history. I am sorry to see you leave GT, but I also am glad to see that it will be put in the hands of an active coach. I hope that you will remain active on the site, and if for any reason you don't consider me a friend, I hope you will reconsider.
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    The early returns in this week of Big XII play came in strong, with five straight wins heading into early Saturday afternoon. The remainder of the slate wasn't so hot, with Iowa State, Kansas, and Baylor all dropping non-conference contests to leave the conference at 5-3 against the rest of the country this week. But in the meantime, Oklahoma and Texas Tech opened up conference play in the nation's most exciting conference with one of the best games of the season so far: a 33-30 double-overtime barn-burner in run-first heaven. Every team was in action this week, and every team's going to have some celebrating, some soul-searching--or both. The players who made that happen: Offensive Player of the Week: Maurice White, OKLA, 27 for 166 yards, 2 TD Defensive Player of the Week: Damani Jeffries, TEX, 2 INT, 3 Tackles Special Teams Player of the Week: Andrew Trimble, TCU, 44.6-yard punting average And now, let's talk about the games. Thursday Night Texas 37, Texas A&M 17 The good news: Almost everything for Texas. Kyler Tackett was sharp as a...no, I'm not gonna make that pun just yet. But the first-year starter finished over 70% for the third straight game, accounting for three touchdowns in the past. Steven Maloney made up for a lack of wide receiver production, soaking up half the team's receptions and receiving yards. Simeon Wells added 117 on the ground with a touchdown. On defense, Texas locked down the A&M offense, holding Nathan Singletary to 20-36 passing with two interceptions from Damani Jeffries. All told, they beat down rival Texas A&M for their first win in the series. The bad news: Not much to report. They didn't get a lot out of their actual wide receivers (Abdoul Causey, where art thou?), and they struggled on 3rd downs. But they more than made up for it in just about every other phase of the game, and an upset bid was never in the cards. The bottom line: Texas is looking better and better with each passing week, recording their first truly dominant win of the season. They showed a diverse offensive portfolio, and the duo of Kyler Tackett and Simeon Wells has been the best QB-RB tandem in the Big XII. At 3-0, they're already halfway to bowl eligibility and puts another bullet point on their résumé to make up for Oregon's slide. This is the kind of non-conference win that a team capable of winning the Big XII this year gets. TCU 30, Rice 27 The good news: TCU is on the board, breaking up a 3-game losing streak dating back to last season and earning their 4th win in the past 18 games. They kept Eric McLean reasonably in check--not shutting him down, but preventing him from putting together a truly explosive effort. They brought him down 3 times, pressured him into an interception to Matthew Dyson, and swarmed Nate Wooten the few times he carried the ball. They didn't let Rice extend drives on 3rd downs, and they took advantage of more than 100 yards' worth of Owl penalties. The bad news: Sam Milner continued his up-and-down start with another up-and-down game. On the bright side, he was in the plus column when it came to TD/INT ratio. On the other side, he finished 15-28 (53.6%) and managed just 144 yards through the air, posting a third straight passer rating in the 110-120 range (conference average is 142.1). He hasn't been helped by a lack of a clear go-to target. Every Big XII team but Texas Tech and TCU has a player with at least 200 receiving yards so far. Even Texas Tech has a 150-yard receiver. TCU's leading receiver, tight end Kana Tagata, ranks 20th in the Big XII with 121 receiving yards. This is a lineup that will have years to coalesce, but that youth is costing TCU right now. The bottom line: A win is a win, of course, but this is a big one for TCU. A loss would have made bowl eligibility a serious uphill battle from 0-3, and Rice is not a cupcake--especially not on the road. I'm being hard on Sam Milner in this article, but it's notable that TCU's still scored 30 points each of their last two times out despite Milner's struggles. The most encouraging sign for TCU is their defensive performance: three sacks and an interception. The big-play element has been missing for the Frogs as of late, and if they can restore that part of their defensive identity then they're going to be dangerous again this year. Friday Night West Virginia 27, Arkansas 16 The good news: West Virginia had a serious challenge going up against Arkansas, and they passed it with flying colors. Mohammed Foster was locked-in from the get-go and turned in a stellar performance (20-25 passing, 337 total yards, 3 total touchdown), Jason Dupree and J.C. Weldon were unanswerable, and the defense came out ready to barbecue the Flying Pig offense. They held Connor Dawson to 27-50 passing, picking him off twice and sacking him four times (including two takedowns by Hudson Adam), and seized control with a 13-3 first quarter that the Razorbacks never recovered from. If you had to draw up a perfect game for West Virginia, this was close to it. The bad news: And the only reasons it wasn't absolutely perfect were Mohammed Foster's one interception, a 3-10 effort on third down, and an inability to change field position with a 37.9 punting average. All of which come off as relatively minor concerns. The bottom line: This was a much-needed win for the Mountaineers after a rough opening slate, and a big feather in the cap for a West Virginia defense that hadn't held anybody to 16 points or fewer since quarterback-challenged Oklahoma State in 2018. Like TCU's win, this was also important for their bowl hopes and important because it demonstrated a new edge to the defense that hadn't really been evident until this weekend. Time to buy West Virginia stock? Kansas State 31, Wyoming 10 The good news: The Wildcat defense continued to eat opposing passers alive, making Jasiah Howard's day a waking nightmare. They held him to 138 yards on 15-27 (55.6%) passing, intercepting him twice. Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Shawn Reyes continued his red-hot start to the season, intercepting a pass for the second straight game and running his tackle total to 15 in three games. Defensive end Javier Tovar even managed a pick, causing the K-State sideline to erupt. The offensive balanced remained a strength, with two touchdowns apiece coming from Rahim Murrell and Elijah Humphrey. And Kansas State keeps rolling on. The bad news: After his scintillating debut, Rahim Murrell hasn't been able to follow up his performance. He finished the day with just 180 yards on 17-30 (56.7%) passing, matching his two touchdowns with two interceptions the other way--and it really isn't a good sign to struggle against Wyoming. This was a 3-3 game at halftime, and Murrell's struggles had Kansas State looking all sorts of out of sorts. Fortunately for Murrell and the Wildcats, he was able to get it together in the second half and put the ballgame well away. The bottom line: Parents, it's time to talk to your kids about an undefeated Kansas State. The Wildcats are now 3-0, have swept their non-conference schedule, and are halfway to bowl eligibility. This was easily the most convincing of their three wins so far, and the 28-7 second half was their best half of football so far this season. They've now climbed to 6th in the Big XII power rankings and earned a vote in the Coaches' Poll. This was the easy part, but it's important to note that Kansas State hasn't always taken care of the easy part before (see: Louisiana Tech 2018). This next game against TCU may well be the program's most important game since the Sunflower Showdown in 2016. Saturday Afternoon Oklahoma State 30, Virginia Tech 27 The good news: In their first game against Power 5 competition, Oklahoma State got the dubya and became the third Big XII team to hit 3-0 in a topsy-turvy game. It's hard to point to one thing Oklahoma State did as the primary cause of victory, but they did most things well enough to get the win. Jay Dunn stayed atop the Big XII receiving leaderboard with 81 yards and a score. Ralph Hinson's three field goals were a difference-maker--particularly since Virginia Tech's Declan Havens missed one. They intercepted Ralph Westfall once and sacked him twice. Perhaps most important was the fact that they stayed on the field, converting 6 of 13 third down opportunities and wearing down the Hokie defense all the way to the end. The bad news: Chester Brenner finally looked mortal. After throwing for 5 touchdowns in back-to-back games to open the season, Brenner was limited to 62.2% passing and threw a pair of interceptions to counteract his two touchdowns. Oklahoma State had appeared to seize control of this one with a 27-17 lead after three quarters, only to let Virginia Tech right back into it in the fourth. Running the ball wasn't very effective, with Khalil Bell averaging just over 3.6 yards per carry. They gave the Hokies opportunities; Virginia Tech didn't take advantage of them. The bottom line: Three games, three wins, three offensive efforts of 30 points or more. Oklahoma State's offense may have looked imperfect for the first time this week, but it's still dropping points with all deliberate haste. The defense is looking like it's mostly recovered from the Western Kentucky near-disaster, keeping a capable Virginia Tech offense from replicating the 45-point Hilltopper outburst. A 3-0 start in non-conference play puts them in commanding position for a bowl bid, and they'll get a huge test their next time out with currently undefeated Texas Tech in week 6. #16 Minnesota 14, Iowa State 7 The good news: This was a stellar defensive effort by the Cyclones, making Minnesota fight for every yard and every point. Robbie Duffy was a non-factor in the run game, netting just 55 yards on 16 carries. Robbie Koehler made up the difference, but even his day was marred by interceptions to cornerbacks David Tolliver and Israel McKenzie. Redshirt freshman Paul Bryant mauled the Minnesota offense like a bear, racking up a team-high 8 tackles. Kai Voss also recorded a sack, which by now is par for the course for him. They held a potent Minnesota offense to just 14 points, and because of that they had a real shot to take this one. The bad news: When an offensive effort gets the starting quarterback, starting runningback, and starting kicker benched, it was a particularly bad offensive effort. August Blank averaged 4.7 yards per attempt, completing 20-36 passes for 170 yards for the Cyclones' only touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Sincere Spikes and Elliott Efi both had solid games, but nobody else had more than 20 yards receiving. The ground game managed to be even worse, with Avery Jeffries managing just 38 yards on 14 carries, keeping Iowa State in 2nd-and-long and 3rd-and-long situations all day. Special teams let Iowa State down as much as anything. They couldn't affect field position in the punting game, and Daniel Craft missed both of his field goal attempts--which would have given Iowa State a chance to win with a field goal if Craft had converted. The bottom line: This was Iowa State's lowest offensive output since scoring 6 points in week 6 of the 2017 season against Miami, and it was bad enough that coach Minnowsotan felt the need to make major changes. Peter Edge takes over for quarterback August Blank, Josiah Edmonds takes over for runningback Avery Jeffries, and Mendy D'Angelo takes over for kicker Daniel Craft (who is 5-8 for the year and 2-5 from 40+ yards). From an expectations standpoint, it's not a bad loss for the Cyclones. Minnesota is legit, and keeping it close against them is a good sign overall. But at this point, it's clear that the offense isn't working right. It's a risk to make such major changes heading into conference play, but sometimes a risk needs to be taken. Notre Dame 40, #23 Kansas 21 The good news: Very little. Rod Fulton averaged more than 5 yards per carry (but on only 16 carries), Christian Graham threw 2 touchdown passes (but had a bad game otherwise), and Aden Evans averaged more than 43 yards per punt (but Hunter Smallwood averaged even more). This just plain wasn't a good game for Kansas. The bad news: Notre Dame bet that they could disrupt Christian Graham. Kansas bet that they could disrupt the Notre Dame run game. Only one bet was cashed in. Notre Dame ran for 207 yards on the Jayhawk defense, intercepted Christian Graham three times, sacked him three times, and became the fourth team to hang a 40-spot on Kansas in regulation. Kalei Keil nabbed 133 yards and a score on 26 carries, but quarterback Owen Sorensen added 74 and a score of his own on 8 rushes. But in addition, he had an efficient day through the air, completing 15-19 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns through the air. When Notre Dame wasn't in the endzone, they were kicking four field goals. Kansas wasn't--Joel Hawley missed his only field goal attempt of the day. The Jayhawk line looked uncharacteristically bad, with right end Eric Samuels (1.5 sacks) working over left tackle Ben Goode. None of this is something that Kansas can afford to have repeat in conference play. The bottom line: This is an expectation-changing loss for Kansas, no two ways about it. It's not just that they fall to 1-2; it's more the way that the Jayhawks lost this one. They can't afford to have all their question marks--Christian Graham's youth, the defense's ability to defend things--come back with bad answers. But alarmingly, even things that were in their strengths column--namely, the offensive line--have slid into question mark territory. It's a serious wake-up call before conference play, and it turns the Iowa State matchup into a must-win game. If Kansas doesn't beat a vulnerable Iowa State, they will be staying home this winter. Texas Tech 33, Oklahoma 30 (2OT) The good news/ The bad news: This game took a lot of guts from Texas Tech, and they were able to dig deep and win this one in double overtime. Solomon McLaughlin continued his sensational start, posting another 133 yards (which is actually a season low!) and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries. Chase Shapiro had one of his better efforts of his career, going a season-best 11-16 for 109 yards and a touchdown while maintaining his interception-free streak this season. Oklahoma's thin front seven really didn't have an answer for Texas Tech's ability to get chunks of yardage on the ground. The bad news/ The good news: Maurice White is now officially the most feared man in Lubbock, as the sophomore tailback ripped through the Red Raider defense to the tune of 166 yards and 2 touchdowns on 27 carries--the most yardage any Big XII player has earned on the ground since White hit up Texas Tech for 238 last season. The most encouraging sign for Oklahoma, though, was the play of Eric Pope. He didn't have a good debut, and his second game wasn't much better. But Oklahoma made some adjustments, followed Texas Tech's lead in the rushing revolution, and Pope put up a solid statline: 9-12 for 104 yards, 1 touchdown, and 59 rushing yards on 10 carries. If they can get that out of Pope going forward, Oklahoma's got a chance to turn things around. The bottom line: The first conference game of the season was exactly as much fun as expected. Two high-caliber rushing attacks did exactly what they do best, trading punch for punch until the Red Raiders were finally able to get one stop that Oklahoma couldn't match in the second overtime period. Both teams should probably feel good about the result to a degree. Oklahoma doesn't really revel in moral victories (especially since the loss drops them to 0-3 for the first time ever), but they found an offensive formula that worked and can build on that going forward as they face a must-win against Pittsburgh. Texas Tech, meanwhile, gets up to 3-0. This is their third 3-0 start in school history, and the previous two ended with the Red Raiders in the top 8. They'll enjoy a 1-0 foothold in conference play and look to wrap up non-conference play with a road date at Washington. Saturday Evening California 23, Baylor 21 The good news: Baylor had some fine individual performances, starting with Marcus Swartz. The senior quarterback was the offense, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another to account for all of Baylor's scoring. Hastin Rider and Lamont Wilder were reliable targets, though there wasn't any third player who stepped up. On defense, Julian Neville had a DPOTW-worthy game--if Damani Jeffries didn't beat him out for it. Neville picked off Leonard Norris, added a sack, and had 5 tackles as well. Darius Wilkes added the Bears' other sack, and Ned Denny was all over the place with 8 tackles. Most importantly, they were able to stop their pass defense's bleeding. After allowing 374 yards per game through the air for the first two weeks, they kept California to a more reasonable 235. The bad news: But at the same time, Leonard Norris still completed 75% of his passes, got his 235 yards on just 24 attempts, and threw a pair of scores in the second quarter that provided the backbone for Cal's offensive efforts. The defense was good enough to give Baylor a chance, but special teams ended up making the difference in this one. Jesse Cantrell missed his only field goal attempt from the game. Sam Walsh hit from 51, 43, and what would effectively be the decisive field goal from 48 yards in the fourth quarter. The bottom line: Baylor's now played three close games, and for the second straight time they've come out on the wrong end of it--which means that they're now 1-2 after a slate in which they were probably the favorite all three times out. It's a heartbreaker to lose this one, and it brings a lot of questions to the forefront for the Bear defense. This game was a test because Baylor won't face in conference play the pass-heavy attacks that UCLA and Arkansas brought to the table, and giving up 75% passing and nearly 10 yards per attempt isn't an encouraging sign at all. Their next three weeks are a bye, a trip to Iowa State, and a home date with Texas Tech, so they at the very least will not be tested against the pass for a while yet. Byes: None
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    I remember when people took forever in the 2021 NHLHC Expansion Draft. It was horrible. I love the part where you endlessly canvass people to make their pick/protect.
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    We are at the Quarter Point in the Season and it's time for Power Rankings. These rankings were made by @Darman, @ImposterCauster, and I. We don't necessarily think this is a ranking of best teams in the conference exactly, but a mixture of on paper talent, game performance, and schedule toughness. Let's get to the Rankings: 1. Not only has Pittsburgh played the toughest schedule, they've beaten everyone so far. This was a no brainer to us. Pitt has played the best out of anyone in the conference to date and they deserve the #1 spot. Grant McConnell is tearing up the competition and looks like a Heisman Candidate early in the season. 2. Clemson gets our #2 spot based on their schedule and talent. Even though they stumbled a little last week, they preserved a win. Their only loss is on the road at Auburn. They are the best team in the Atlantic right now and are favorites to make it back to the ACC Championship Game. 3. Darman has brought this team to life and they are showing it on the field so far this season. Duke has played very well and consistently, and has slain a giant in the conference with their win over FSU last week. Duke is on a roll and should get their first Bowl Game in school history this season. 4. UVA has played well, but against inferior competition. The difference between Duke's schedule and UVA's schedule was our main reason for putting Duke 3 and UVA 4. 5. The first ACC teams to 2 Conference Wins! And the only team without a coach. Syracuse has done well, earning victories of FSU and NCSU. 6. Our last team over .500, Louisville has won more games than they lost. There weren't high expectations for this team, but they seem to be beating those expectations early on. 7. Yes, even with their two game losing streak, we put FSU over Virginia Tech and North Carolina. We felt their on paper talent was justification enough to put them over the Hokies and Heels. FSU will rebound and will get back to a Bowl Game this year. 8. The Hokies lack a certain amount of talent, but they have won 50% of their games so far. Tough losses to Pitt and Oklahoma State and a win over North Carolina gets them to #8. 9. The Heels have surprised many with their play so far. Max Laws has improved mightily and looks like he could be an asset to this team finally. 10. The Jackets have played at Alabama and at Clemson. They fought Alabama tooth and nail, losing by 9 points. They didn't put up a fight against Clemson. They did beat Georgia State, which is an OK win. The Jackets could make moves in the Coastal this year, watch out for them. 11. The Demon Deacons have a win! Which is more than I thought they would have at season's end. They're still not very good however and that one win will most likely be their only win. 12. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Boston College is 0-4, although they've played some good teams and played them hard. They just can't make the plays at the end of the game to finish it off. BC is in serious trouble of not going Bowling. 13. Last year's surprise team in the ACC have come back down to earth. At 0-4, the Wolfpack are feeling a bit uneasy. Not making a Bowl Game this year will hurt, what they should focus on now is dominating recruiting. 14. They might be the worst Power 5 team in the country right now. A couple years of instability at the coaching position has left this team cratered for talent. They can't seem to avoid getting blown out. Fortunately for Canes fans, they are cleaning house in recruiting right now. Please let us know in the comments what changes you would make.
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    Who were this week's studs and duds? STUDS Darrell Murphy, QB 29/33, 478 yards, 5 TD Perhaps the greatest statline for a QB in NFLHC history. Detroit's secondary 0 TD allowed, 2 INT, held A.J. Jefferson to 38.8 QBR Ronyell Buchanon and Keith Farr tallied INTs to help stymie the Falcons. Paul Davenport, QB 15/20, 249 yards, 3 TD 6 carries, 51 yards, TD Davenport was Mr. Everything in Pittsburgh's rout of Cincinnati. Christian Skaggs, QB 30/40, 370 yards, 5 TD, INT This kills the Saints. Raheem Robinson, WR 7 catches, 108 yards, TD 3 carries, 41 yards, TD Raheem continues to put the Jaguars on his back. Spec Davidson, TE 10 catches, 122 yards, 2 TD Spec was all over the field for Kansas City in their big win over Seattle. Taylor Heiden, QB 26/42, 309 yards, 4 TD, INT 4 carries, 19 yards Heiden turned back the clock with this stellar performance against the Pack. Skip Gibson, K 3/3 FG (41, 54, 56) In a game decided by six points, the Skipper was the difference. Forest Garrett, P 52.3 yards/punt Garrett helped Tampa Bay control field position all afternoon. Daleroy Smart, ILB FF, 10 tackles The league's top inside linebacker proved his worth yet again. DUDS Defensive players on and 72 points, 852 yards, 0 takeaways, 2 sacks. Ew. Willie Gaffney, K 1/3 FG (43 -- 38, 46) In the "kicker switch" game, Gaffney was on the wrong end. He's been more than a liability for New Orleans. Los Angeles Chargers Offense: 218 yards, 10 points, 2 turnovers Defense: 645 yards allowed, 55 points allowed, 0 impact plays I literally can't even describe this performance. A.J. Jefferson, QB 16/34, 180 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT - 38.8 QBR TDJudas was in full effect. Washington's offensive line 7.0 OL rating With a measly 7.0 rating, it's no wonder their offensive line couldn't get any push. Denver's rushing attack 25 carries, 73 yards, TD The Broncos need Blacknall back in a hurry. Ryan Clark, QB 21/33, 240 yards, TD, 2 INT 4 carries, 14 yards, fumble lost Three turnovers and almost nothing on the ground. Chicago's (lack of) clutch plays 4/16 on third downs 9 penalties for 78 yards Missed 36 yard FG Chicago was close, but made too many mistakes at crucial times against Tennessee
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    2020 SEC Midseason Impact Players Auburn QB Marcus Black 103/146 (70.55%) 1288 yards, 12 TD, 1 INT, 112 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs Marcus Black has been the most explosive QB this season and the leader of the Auburn offense. Currently ranked #2 in the country, and with the fall of Alabama last week to rival Tennessee, there is no doubt Auburn is currently the best in the SEC. As a redshirt sophomore, Black has the opportunity to have a special career with the Tigers. With Auburn losing 3 WR's next year to graduation or possibly the draft, will Black be able to pick up the slack with a younger less experienced group of WR. With 15 overall TDs, he is second only to Tucker Dowden who is just as explosive and dangerous. Texas A&M WR Jarvis Ward 41 catches, 590 yards, 8 TDs, 118 ypg The Speed Demon of Aggieland has been blasting through SEC defenses all throughout the 2020 season. If you don't have a solid defense to cover him, he will drop huge numbers. Sadly, Texas A&M is currently 0-5 and doesn't look like they'll pull off bowl eligibility unless they really pull a complete 180 this season. Despite this, Ward has been absolutely topping the charts in almost every category receiving. LSU RB Jayden Huff 717 yards, 11 TDs, 5.60 ypc, 52 yards rec, 1 rec TD Jayden Huff, the senior RB for the LSU Tigers has put on a show this season. The combo of Huff and Allen-Hollis has led to one of the more explosive offenses in the SEC this season. The ability to run and throw the ball very effectively has been a big difference maker this season. After dropping a game away at Bryant-Denny, an SEC Championship might be a longshot, but a CFBHC Playoff run isn't out of the question for the Tigers. Alabama DE Sebastian Smallwood 22 tackles, 8.0 sacks The leader of the Crimson Tide defense, Smallwood has made waves this season with his dominant play. He makes QB's terrified with his outstanding speed. With still one more year of eligability, it is possible that Smallwood will end up in the top 5 in the 2021 Draft. Alabama HC @CadeRich5 has really brought this defense together and Smallwood has been the catalyst for big plays, motivating the defense. Vandy OLB Damian Dailey 27 tackles, 1 INT, 3.0 sacks Damian Dailey has been the most well rounded linebacker the SEC has seen this season. The redshirt sophomore can blitz, make tackles, and stay in coverage when needed. The INT on top of his 3.0 sacks is the icing on the cake. While some linebackers have more tackles, or more INTs, Dailey and Vandy's linebacking core have been simply outstanding! Vandy's defense is one of the best in the country and all eyes should be on them. Dailey will be a player to watch for the next few years in the SEC.
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    Game Recap: Week 6 Welcome to our first ever addition to Mac Recap I'm your host Todd Greenfield. Make sure you turn in those power rankings to Jieret! And Remember IF IT'S NOT MAC ITS WACK. FUN FACT: The most hyped game this week Western Michigan vs Buffalo was the only game that wasn't decided by one possession. TNF NONE?????? FNF Western Kentucky (1-3) at Ohio (1-2, 1-0): non-conference Athens, OH - 57 F Jieret's Prediction: 34-24 Actual score: 23-20 Game summary: Ohio started the game off strong with 2 touchdowns which would happen to be the only 2 they scored this game. One on a pass play from Peters(QB) to Simpson(WR) and the other was a rush play by the one and only Owen Walton. The Hilltoppers replied with a touchdown pass of their own from West(QB) to Tate(WR). They were about to score once more in the first but the 4 star recruit Robert Mahoney wasn't having any of it and intercepted West's pass. The next to quarters were the battles of the kickers with 5! different field goals and 6! attempts. 9 for the bobcats and 6 for the Hilltoppers who would later score in the 4th with a pass to Patterson but it wasn't enough. This was a very close game that could have easily turned into an overtime if it weren't for the missed 45 yard field goal by Rodrigo Estrada. The 3-13 3rd down efficiency didn't help their case either. Both teams had a decent O-line rating but the rushing power of Owen Walton getting them into field goal position proved to be too much for the Hilltoppers. Ohio improves to 2-2 on the season whereas Western Kentucky goes down in missed field goal fashion to 1-4 on the season. Central Michigan (0-4, 0-0) at Ball State (0-4, 0-2) Muncie, IN - 56 F Jieret's Prediction: 17-13 Actual score: 20-14 Game summary: The 2 winless teams fight to be welll... the non-winless team. Central michigan still 0-0 in their conference record came in with spirits high knowing its not too late for hopes of a conference championship game in the future. The defense for ball state this game was stellar with 2 interceptions that more than likely cost Central Michigan the game. After a scoreless first quarter it was looking like it could be a very close game until Ball State scored 2 touchdowns in the second thanks to the split power of the Rb/Qb on Ball state this game. The WR Chan Pease, BST, also had a good game with his 5 for 83 yards, 1TD. In the 3rd The offense on Michigan started to wake up again with a Touchdown pass to Jaeden Lemons for the 7 points. But Ball state answered with a field goal 17-7( ). Again Michigan made a pass to Witherspoon(WR) for another 7 points and were down by a field goal but again ball state replied with another field goal 20-14(). The ball state defense would then make their mark in this game with a last drive interception to give ball state the win. Ball state improves to 1-4 on the season and 1-2 conference. Central Michigan will have to find another game to win as they drop to 0-5 and 0-1 conference. SNF Akron (3-0, 2-0) at Indiana (2-1): non-conference Bloomington, IN - 58 F Jieret's Prediction: 24-21 Actual score: 20-17 Game summary: This game was the upset of the week with a Akron squad looking to stay undefeated against a BIG 10 opponent that is not to be underestimated. Both teams started off well with a passing TD from Zamora(QB) to Burkett(WR) and the passing TD of Rupp(QB) to James(WR). Then Akron's defense held Indiana in the second and Indiana wouldn't get another chance to score until the 4th. meanwhile the 2 headed offense of Zamora and Ruff scored another touchdown in the 3rd and Josh Booth kicked a 29 yard field goal in the 2nd. 17- 7(). Indiana started to come back with a touchdown pass to Rollins(WR) and a long 42 yard field goal in the 4th. 17-17(Tied) Akron got down the field and Booth kicked a game winning field goal(34) to give Akron the 3 point lead that would not be contested. Akron improves to (4-0, 2-0) and is looking to win at Indiana next week so they can face the best Miami in a 5-0 showdown. Indiana drops to 2-2 on the season and is looking to comeback next week strong with a BYE. Toledo (2-1, 0-0) at Bowling Green (2-2, 0-2) Bowling Green, OH - 56 F Jieret's Prediction: 28-10 Actual score: 31-24 Game summary: This game was expected to be a blowout but almost ended in upset. The player of this game would go to Toledo's one and only QB Benjamin Hanson. He had a staggering 287 yards and a completion rate of 73% and 3 touchdowns... a great performance not to be diminished by his 1 interception. The game looked pretty close through the first two quarters of play with Toledo leading by a field goal 17-14( ). At the end of the second quarter Nathaniel Layne of had a chance to tie the game with a long 45 yarder that he missed after it hit the left side of the post. Bowling green took the lead against toledo in the 3rd quarter 21-17( ). Near the start of the 4th bowling Layne redemmed himself with a 28 yard field goal. Things were looking bad for Toledo who was down 24-17( ) but Hanson led his team down the field and tied the game 24-24 with his pass to Justin Evans for his 3rd TD of the game. Bowling Green had a chance to take the ball down the field for the last time but tragedy for Bowling Green struck when Levern White intercepted Connelly's pass and returned it for the game winning pick-6. Toledo improves to (3-1,1-0) on the season and Bowling Green drops to (2-3,0-3) and it looks like bowling greens mac chances are over...for now they will have to focus on getting to a bowl game. Buffalo (3-1, 0-1) at Western Michigan (3-1, 1-0) Buffalo, NY - 53 F Jieret's Prediction: 24-17 Actual score: 24-13 Game summary: This was the most hyped game for the mac this week showcasing two powerhouses of the mac going head to head. Western Michigan jumped ahead early and really would never catch back up. With two rushing touchdowns from DeSean Madison and buffalo only managing a 40 yard field goal in the the first they were down 14-3. Buffalo ended up getting a passing touchdown at the start of the second by Blair Holcomb but Western Michigan struck right back with a passing td of their own 21-10(). After the 1st half we would not see another touchdown only 1 field goal from each team... oh and a missed 42 yarder by Mohamed Saylor that didn't matter in the end. I don't think we have seen MAMADOU SMASH! shut down like this in a long time and we halve to ask ourselves... is this Western Michigan defense ever going to give...We saw them fight tooth and nail in a game against a powerful Duke team to lose by 3 points. Western Michigan improve to (4-1,2-0) as Buffalo fall further behind in the Mac race at (3-2, 0-2). BYES: Kent State (2-2), Miami (OH) (4-0), E. Michigan (0-4), N. Illinois (1-3) On behalf of the mac and our beloved mac coaches, I'm your host Todd Greenfield wishing you all good luck and a good day...and remember IF ITS NOT MAC ITS WACK! P.S. All of you! Yes you, even you, the non-MAC coach with the face! We want your MAC Power Rankings! Please send in your rankings to JIERET by Tuesday midnight EST.
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    Rahim Murrell's 80.97 passer rating is the lowest by a Big XII quarterback since Lukas Burke (12-26 for 128 yards, 2 INT, 72.12 rating) in 2018 week 16 against Oklahoma. The last 13 times a Big XII passer put up a sub-81 passer rating (min. 5 passes), it was a passer for either Kansas State or Oklahoma State.
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    Last Week’s pick record: 5-0 Pick record to date: 28-3 (Huh? How?) Welcome back! On behalf of the lovely #MACtion Jenny and special silent guest star Mac Suzuki, I’m your host Bruce Baguen. But first, the ceremonial torch lighting as performed by #MACtion Jenny: Thursday Night Still none. Cool! Friday Night Eastern Michigan (0-4 overall, 0-1 conference) at Northern Illinois (1-3, 0-1) Last Week: Both teams studied Peyton Manning’s SNL stint in preparation for his ESPY hosting duties and will present reports on his growth as a comedic actor. Presentations at halftime! (Both teams on BYE) We’re sticking with the running abilities of Dwayne Curry at QB, it looks like. The Huskie junior hasn’t lit the world on fire since taking over for Charlie Sanford but he hasn’t been worse either - both QBs are hovering around a 59 percent completion rate and 165 passing yards per game. Combine it with a switch to a more option-based attack, and the move makes sense. The bigger question might be if it unlocks Daniel Hutchins - well, more than he already is. The senior RB had a HUGE day last time out (140 rushing yards, 3 TDs) and looks to be getting into a groove as conference play starts in earnest. Eastern Michigan will surely key in on Hutchins and force him to work for those yards, but with some of EMU’s linebackers tending to attack downfield big TE Emory Johnson will look to exploit that area between the linebackers and safeties. Eagle SS Shia Russ will have to be very alert and not be overly aggressive in his reads. The EMU offense is the same as it was last year - ball control and play-action to TE Amir Nixon. But transfer RB Jamel Jamison is not finding the room to run (only 84.25 YPG) primarily due to an offensive line with a season rating just over four. In what seems to be another MAC trend, the Eagles go up against yet another talented pair of interior linemen: DTs Russel Brandt and Thierno Thomas. The undersized (6-1, 257!) Brandt uses elite quickness to slip gaps and get in the backfield while the monstrous Thomas (6-6, 334!) holds the fort at the line of scrimmage. If Jamison can get to the edge, he may have success in running behind the left side of his line against DE Raymond Hodge and ROLB Ivan Rosenberg. Who will watch for TE Amir Nixon slipping into patterns? Is it the exciting but young freshman MLB Oliver McNeal’s job or will SS Miles Grady mark him personally? We really don’t expect either cornerback group to be incredibly busy this game. Prediction: 23-17 It’s easy to forget, but Northern Illinois has some talented players such as Hutchins and Johnson that should play on Sundays. In a game where both coaches feel like they’re still getting the full measure of their teams, we default to the team with the higher talent level and that’s NIU. Utah (0-4) at Akron (4-0): non-conference Last Week: Utah got boatraced down in sunny California (L @ 3-38), while Akron showed Indiana Hoosier Daddy (W @ 20-17) (We regret nothing.) 34. That is the lowest number of times the “Mormon Lasercannon” Donald Culver has thrown the ball in a game this season. 50. That is the number of times Culver threw it last week against the Trojans. Granted, it didn’t help that Utah was behind virtually from the beginning of the game, but there’s no secret behind what they want to do - pass, and pass often. A 6.21 Yards per Attempt ratio and three touchdowns to five interceptions is not what the fine folks in Salt Lake City were hoping to see. Having said all that, this is a measuring stick for the Zips secondary. What Utah does well (or at least a lot of) is the thing Akron is worst at defending, and with a visit to Best!Miami the week after this gives coach @darkage a chance to see how his pass defense holds up under continued pressure. It will probably be a novel experience for SS Jadon Boykin to not be in the box constantly, but the Zips need their defenders to watch all the receivers; Culver is fond of spreading the ball around. Marlon Bailey (25 tackles, 3 sacks) could also crush the pocket a few times, that would work too. Why would Akron change what’s being working on offense? The Zips will probably continue to use T.J. Zamora’s dual-threat abilities along with sidekick Nathaniel Ruff to pose exhausting questions that the opposing defense hopefully can’t answer. For this game a successful run game has an additional benefit; by taking time off the clock, it minimizes the amount of time Culver gets to sling the ball. It also takes advantage of Utah’s defensive line, the weakest part of their three defensive levels. It also could bait their talented but inexperienced safeties into playing the run too much and let WRs Ahmed Fleming and Mason Burkett by them. The Utah linebacker corps led by Patrick Haines will really need to step up and keep that defense on the same page. Prediction: 31-21 What is Utah supposed to do? Without a head coach, all the assistants can do is continue the same “throw all the things” gameplan they’ve been using up to now and it makes them easy to prepare for, especially with Culver’s struggles right now. This was a much harder game on paper at the beginning of the year, but the Utes being coachless should allow the Zips to impose their will on the game even though we expect Culver to have a good day stat-wise. Saturday Morning Buffalo (3-2, 0-2) at Kent State (2-2, 1-0) Last Week: Buffalo couldn’t get much going against the Broncos (L vs. 13-24). Meanwhile Kent State watched that game intently - it featured their next two opponents. (BYE) WMU did it. Ohio did it. Now Kent State wants to do it. It? It’s suppressing the Buffalo offense by holding Blair Holcomb to a sub-60 percent completion rate and having him throw as many picks as he does TDs. It’s holding MAMADOU SMASH to around 70 yards and no TDs. Not surprisingly, the Bulls lost both of those games. There may not be a magic formula to do just that, we suspect WMU and Ohio used different gameplans to get to the same result. We’re not sure what the Golden Flashes will try, but they don’t quite have the same talent that either the Broncos or Bobcats have on defense. It will be interesting to see what Buffalo has in mind on offense, as we can see mismatches both at the line of scrimmage and in the secondary in the Bulls’ favor. We’d expect a much bigger dose of MAMADOU SMASH in this game to re-establish some of the running shine against a vulnerable Kent State interior. A heavier run game also stays away from SS Quinn Benson, whose pick-six against Bowling Green completely flipped the script. Don’t look now, but John Garland has actually had a pair of pretty good games after dying against Purdue (Combined 65.5 percent completion rate, 433 passing yards, 3/1 TD/INT ratio; 10 rushes for 87 yards and 2 TDs in the last two games). Having Harrison Mullin be a near-guaranteed 95-100 yards and a TD per game helps immensely, of course. But Buffalo will probably double-dog dare Garland to make it three games in a row and throw against SS Thomas Gordon and OLB Alexander Moffett; the Bulls defense probably focuses on limiting the rushing game this week. If Kent State can get more juice out of Mullin this week and onto the statsheet, it could bode well for them - in both Buffalo losses, they surrendered 100+ yards and two TDs to the lead back. (We know, correlation does not imply causation. But that’s no fun.) Prediction: 27-17 Kent State is somehow one of the more unpredictable MAC teams to forecast, but it’s hard not to see Buffalo having its way on the ground or through the air behind that big offensive line. It’s not the most exciting of picks, but… "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's how the smart money bets." -Damon Runyon Miami (OH) (4-0, 1-0) at Ohio (2-2, 1-0) Last Week: Miami had to place orders for a third round of Best!Miami T-shirts and bumper stickers (BYE), while the Bobcats dispatched of a game Hilltopper squad (W vs. 23-20) This is the most meaningful Battle of the Bricks in some time. The Redhawks are thinking more ambitiously than just a bowl game; they have designs on the MAC East. But as a famous philosopher once put it, “To be the man, Woo!, you’ve got to beat the man.” Ohio was in a much worse position at 1-4 last year before rebounding to win the division. But the division last year didn’t have undefeateds Akron and Best!Miami. The story for this game is defense, as in: How will each defense plan to stop what they know is coming? Six different players have made the statsheet catching passes for Miami this season, but their big three are WRs Kenneth Harrison (24 catches for 290 yards, 4 TDs), Keith Barnes (26 for 340, 4 TDs), and TE Casey Swann (23 for 303, 4 TDs). If we counted only their receiving yards, their total (933 yards) would still be more passing yards than all but four non-Miami MAC QBs. This makes life very difficult for the Bobcats. They have a good young CB in Shawn Tillman, but they would potentially match a 2.5/2.5 CB and a 1.5/3.5 SS in coverage against Barnes and WR Melvin Grubbs (who was 1st-team All-MAC in 2017 and 2nd-team All-MAC in 2018. No big). As the kids say in the business, that’s no bueno. ROLB Myles Lindsay can cover Swann, but he may not get much help from the Ohio safeties who have a lot of field to scan and cover. How will the Bobcats play this? Will they send extra blitzers to try and disrupt Cera’s timing? What? You want to know about Miami’s run game? Well, Ajani Garrett is a person. A talented one, but running backs don’t get much play in this offense (55.75 YPG, lowest in the MAC amongst current RB starters). Anything he gets is probably just gravy. Owen. Freaking. WALTON. On the other hand, is the gravy, and mashed potatoes, and a turkey leg or two also. You know he’s coming, the Bobcats know you know he’s coming, and it doesn’t matter - the bruiser still gets his 100+ yards and a TD, if not more. What you may not know is that Ohio has a pretty decent set of players to throw to (WR Dwayne Simpson, TEs Aaron Thibodeaux and Caleb Holman) but that’s because they tend not to throw that often; Stephen Peters’ forte is not orchestrating a passing game. He can occasionally hurt a defense that sells out to play the run (4 TDs to 2 INTs on the season, but only 176 YPG), but the Bobcat offense fully revolves around what Walton is capable of doing. Miami’s defense is capable but outside of DE Donte Pennel and their safety duo of Nicholas Mingo and Ian Huntley there aren’t any true standouts. Their M.O. is good, responsible, opportunistic (6 INT) team defense that has held their opponents to an impressive average of 12.5 points per game. Prediction: 34-21 Oh, we hate to bet against Owen. Freaking. WALTON. But it’s really, really hard to not look at WRs Barnes and Grubbs against Ohio’s CB2 and CB(SS)3, and not wonder if they might get 180 receiving yards between them. The FLAMETHROWER ZACK CERA is really playing at a high level right now, and while we trust in coach @beeznik’s ability to scheme it’s so hard to hide two corners. We like Miami to come out on top and set up a potential clash of unbeatens in the “BATTLE OF THE CENTURY OF THE WEEK” next week against Akron. Toledo (3-1,1-0) at Ball State (1-4, 1-2) Last Week: Toledo needed big plays from their offense and defense to put away the Falcons (W vs. 31-24), while Ball State is happy to finally have a mark on the left side of the ledger (W vs. 20-14) It seems clear at this point that this Ball State offense is Austin Laws’ offense (24 rushes for 117 yards, 1 TD), and Marquis Causey is second fiddle. Although Causey had a tidy game last week (16 of 25 for 193 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) through the air, they still aren’t stats that make a defense want to respect your passing ability. One man (outside of Laws) who will get some attention from the Toledo defense is WR Chan Pease who went 5 for 83 and a score last week. From a talent standpoint there are few MAC cornerback tandems that can match up with Pease and fellow WR Jayson Zarate-Lima, but Toledo has one in Levern White and Adam Haywood. Coach @deathcpo will feel pretty confident in leaving them on islands in order to stack the box against Laws. Speaking of Laws, the focus from the Cardinal sideline will be how to scheme their star RB and get him loose against an inconsistent LB corps. Another 1.5 sacks and 5 tackles for DT Isamaeli Afamasaga last week against Central Michigan; he and his fellow twin tower Rashaad Malcolm will need to duplicate or exceed those results if Ball State is to stand a chance of slowing down the potent Rocket offense. If Toledo has a (relative) weakness on offense, it’s that their line is prone to occasional concentration lapses. It’s imperative for the Cardinals that their front four be able to put pressure on reigning MAC OPOTW Benjamin Hanson without sending linebackers; that back seven will be busy watching the WR triplets Justin Evans (23 catches for 326 yards, 3 TDs), Justin Yang (15 for 229, 3 TDs), and Daniel Addison (14 for 189, 3 TDs). When you have Hanson slinging the ball all over the place, it somehow manages to push a talent like Gabe Ciamo out of the spotlight. But MAC coaches know that doesn’t make him any less dangerous. The 5-star redshirt sophomore (!) is averaging a tidy 114 rushing yards and a TD per game, and ensures that a defense can never fully sit back and guard exclusively against the pass. Ciamo has the speed to turn the corner quickly, and if Ball State can’t keep him from getting to the outside Ciamo can wreak serious havoc against those second and third-level defenders. Prediction: 28-13 Unfortunately for Marquis Causey, the Toledo defense is a much harder riddle to solve than Central Michigan’s. Pease and Zarate-Lima are evened out by White and Haywood, and Causey is not playing well enough to reliably put the ball where it needs to be. That leaves the Cardinal offense resting on the shoulders of Austin Laws, but Toledo knows that too. It’s the play on this side of the ball that leads us to forecasting a Rocket victory. Byes: Bowling Green (1-4), Central Michigan (0-5), Western Michigan (4-1) On behalf on #MACtion Jenny and special silent guest Mac Suzuki, I'm Bruce Baguen for the MAC Network ("If it's not MAC, it's wack!"). Until next time!
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    OH SHIT IM SO HAPPY IVE TIED THE UTAH STATE ALL TIME RECORD FOR WINS IN A SEASON. Thanks for all the help folks y'all are amazing. Great game @Numberonecoog!
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    Finally got the first win, good to know I'm not going 0-12.
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    WELL-OILED MACHINE RUNS OUT OF OIL IN LUCAS OIL Jets lose nailbiter to Colts, 19-17
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    Week 5: The Rainforest Cafe Award for Football and Jungle Valor. We’re whispering because Air Force was asleep during his bye this week, allowing us to sneak in some different guys to win the POTW awards. If we stay quiet he might not wake up to play his game for week 6 either- OH HEY GOOD MORNING BUDDY GREAT TO SEE YOU, NICO KAUFMAN SURE IS IMPRESSIVE! This week we saw the MWC go 1-3 in out of conference games, with Hawaii picking up the lone win against FAU Schwarz and UNLV giving Clemson a big ol’ spook. In conference, Fresno State put a hurting on Wyoming, Colorado State stayed undefeated against San Jose State, and Boise State continues to right the ship after its win against New Mexico. Also a huge thanks to Numberonecoog for taking over Player of the Week Duties for Week 4. But if you try to steal my job again you’ll be put on the RFC Blacklist. You’ve been warned. Without further delay, let’s dig into our dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and name some Week 5 Players of the Week for the Mountain West Conference: Offensive Player of the Week Noel Minor being all like "Get outta my Rainforest Cafe, Air Force, other people are allowed here" Noel Minor, the senior running back for UNLV, ran all over Clemson this week, putting up 143 yard on 29 attempts and racking up an impressive 3 touchdowns. Minor is also the first non-quarterback to win the MWC Offensive Player of the Week award this season. Minor’s performance was crucial in UNLV near-upset of Clemson, and has helped put the team on the map of teams to keep an eye on. Offensive Player of the Week Justin Ivy-Sewell returning an interception while lost in thought about all of the healthy salad options at his local jungle themed restaurant Boise State senior free safety Justin Ivy-Sewell shut down the New Mexico offense, recording 5 tackles and taking away a key interception. Ivy-Sewell currently has the most interceptions and second most tackles of any free safety in the Mountain West, contributing a lot to Boise State’s recent success on the field. Justin is highly deserving of the award this week and will likely bring the Broncos more success throughout the season. There you have it folks. No coupon phrases anymore- excessive use and accusations of harassment got our Arizona location shut down. Although to be honest we forgot we even still had one open in that desert wasteland. Week 6 features 1 out of conference game with UNLV taking on its second ranked ACC team in a row at Duke. Some big in-conference games are the undefeateds Hawaii and Colorado State meeting, and the now-hot Boise State hoping to put an end to Air Force’s dominant start of the season. Also San Jose State and Nevada are playing football against each other. NOT A SINGLE DAMN PLACE
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    Southern Miss' abbreviation is USM. SMU is some garbage team in Texas.
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