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    With the college football season more than halfway over, it's never too early to start thinking about, dreaming about, or planning for the postseason. So with that in mind, the Chicago Tribune data labs have been hard at work developing a projection model for the remainder of the season. It's based heavily on the Adjusted Margin of Victory model, and it essentially translates the point spread into a win probability using historical data. Those win probabilities are added to each team's current win-loss record for the full schedule for the remainder of the season to project each team's end-of-season total. The win probability for every game and resulting projected standings can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uKLNz0JnOeQmyFaxqLpWtidXTx1VbvleVH0x9nmPldQ/edit?usp=sharing And with that, we'll go into a deep dive into the projected picture for every division. We'll look at the numbers and the schedules, using them to paint as complete a picture as possible of each division's championship race as well as break down which teams are in the bowl hunt. We'll highlight some teams that aren't obvious, take a look at the work teams need to do, point out areas where the numbers don't tell the whole story--and point out areas where the numbers might tell a different story than the eye test. And, of course, we'll make our best guesses for who will be the nine conference champions this season. AAC East 1. UCF (11.04-0.97, 7.07-0.93 AAC) 2. USF (10.74-1.26, 6.74-1.26 AAC) 3. Temple (8.2-3.81, 6.2-1.81 AAC) 4. East Carolina (7.31-4.69, 4.31-3.69 AAC) 5. Connecticut (4.65-7.35, 2.85-5.15 AAC) 6. Cincinnati (2.81-9.19, 1.21-6.8 AAC) The AAC East is top-heavy, but its top layer manages to make up half the division. UCF and USF are both undefeated and stand nonzero chances of remaining undefeated through the end of the season--though we expect Temple to interrupt at least one of them and challenge for the East crown. In fact, we give the Owls a 40.6% shot to knock off the Bulls and even a 32.3% chance to defeat the Knights. Either would be a minor upset, but there's a reason Temple's projected to win 6.2 conference games. East Carolina is probably not going to win the division because it'll likely take a 7-1 record (or 6-2 with a tiebreaker) and ECU's already dropped two games--but they could play spoiler against UCF (19.4%) or Temple (35.9%). Both UCF and USF have clinched bowl appearances, Temple's on the cusp at 5-2 with Cincinnati and Navy still on the schedule, and East Carolina's in strong position at 4-3 with Tulane, UMass, and Memphis all left. UConn's probably out of the bowl hunt due to facing SMU, UCF, and USF in the back half and already sitting at 2-4; Cincinnati's 1-6 but could still snag another win or two before season's end even if they won't be headed to a bowl game. AAC West 1. SMU (10.1-1.9, 6.1-1.9 AAC) 2. Houston (6.82-5.18, 3.82-4.18 AAC) 3. Tulsa (3.56-8.44, 2.9-5.1 AAC) 4. Navy (2.74-9.26, 2.37-5.63 AAC) 5. Memphis (4.33-7.67, 2.33-5.67 AAC) 6. Tulane (2.36-9.65, 2.11-5.89 AAC) SMU is probably going to win the AAC West, and not just because they're the best team in the division. They've been one of the biggest misses in the preseason projections, floating around the mid-50s after their loss to UCF instead of the upper echelon as projected. But the rest of the division's been awful, with Houston (4-3) being the only other team with a winning record. And consequently, SMU's remaining schedule is a cakewalk: the Mustangs' next 4 opponents have 7 combined wins (Memphis has 3 of them). They could sweep those and clinch the division before playing Houston in the only division game in which they might break a sweat--and even then, we give them a 74.6% chance of winning. The only way SMU could lose the division is if Houston runs the table, and the Cougars still have a road date at USF (11.4% for Houston). SMU has already clinched a bowl bid. Houston can clinch with a win over UMass (virtually assured) plus a win over either Memphis or Tulsa (favored in both). Don't rule out a Memphis bowl just yet: they're only 3-4, but if they knock out Navy and UConn in their next two games as slight underdogs then they'll just be one upset away. Our pick: UCF (87.1%) over SMU ACC Atlantic 1. Clemson (8.98-3.02, 6.25-1.75 ACC) 2. Louisville (7.82-4.19, 4.82-3.19 ACC) 3. Syracuse (5.95-6.05, 4.65-3.35 ACC) 4. Florida State (6.39-5.61, 3.92-4.08 ACC) 5. Boston College (3.73-8.28, 3.73-4.28 ACC) 6. Wake Forest (3.14-8.86, 2.14-5.86 ACC) 7. NC State (2.09-9.91, 1.09-6.91 ACC) The biggest story in ACC territory has been the rise of the Coastal and the fall of the Atlantic. With Clemson taking a stumble, Florida State and Syracuse falling off a ledge, and Boston College falling off a cliff entirely, that's left nobody to be a standard-bearer and it's left a wide-open division. Louisville got hot with a 5-game winning streak that included wins over BC and Clemson, only for FSU to get their first ACC win against the Cardinals. The Tribune numbers still like Clemson despite the Louisville loss for a couple reasons: it's arguable whether or not they're the best team in the Atlantic, but they're easily the most likely to get to a 6-2 conference record. They've got 3 in the books, they haven't played Wake Forest, NC State, or Boston College, and they've already won their cross-division games. Florida State is their most challenging game left by far (63.1% for Clemson), whereas Louisville has Virginia (10.9% for Louisville) and Syracuse has Pittsburgh (6.3% for Syracuse). Keep in mind, though, that Louisville and Syracuse play each other in a coin-flip game--one of them will be knocked out in week 12 while the other will have a shot at the division crown if they run the table (or if Clemson stumbles). As an aside, Florida State is probably out of the race already with a 1-3 conference record, though they'd be competitive in a four-way 5-3 logjam with Louisville, Clemson, and Syracuse as long as Louisville beats Syracuse. Florida State (3-4) is one of three teams in the country that is under .500 but is projected to make a bowl game--having NC State, Wake Forest, and Miami on their schedule certainly helps out with that and I'd be surprised if they didn't make it. Clemson and Louisville are near-locks to go bowling at 5-2. Syracuse (3-3) needs to win one of their next two games (moderate underdogs against Notre Dame, slight favorites against Boston College) to have a good shot; win both and they'll be a near-lock. Boston College is in too deep a hole to climb out of, and neither of the Tobacco Road schools are in the conversation. ACC Coastal 1. Virginia (11.73-0.27, 7.73-0.27 ACC) 2. Pittsburgh (10.73-1.27, 6.73-1.27 ACC) 3. Duke (9.43-2.57, 5.43-2.57 ACC) 4. Virginia Tech (5.58-6.42, 3.58-4.42 ACC) 5. North Carolina (5.15-6.85, 3.1-4.9 ACC) 6. Miami (FL) (1.71-10.29, 1.45-6.55 ACC) 7. Georgia Tech (2.39-9.61, 1.38-6.62 ACC) One of the surprises when reviewing these numbers was Virginia's projected win total nearly matching Air Force's. But at 7-0 with their best opponents already in the dust, it would be a true upset if Virginia were to lose any of the remaining games on their schedule. Their road date with Louisville is their best chance to lose (and again, only a 10.9% chance of losing), but the Cavs are a real-deal team with a tiebreaker over Pittsburgh and Duke. They don't actually need to win that game to win the division. Meanwhile, Pitt actually ranks #1 in the ACC in Adjusted Margin of Victory, so they're by definition expected to win the remainder of their games as well. They're 79.9% favorites at Duke, they're on pace to be near-locks to win at Syracuse, and the remaining three teams they play--Miami, Georgia Tech, NC State--don't have a pulse. Duke should be able to finish 3rd even if they don't beat Pitt--their last four opponents are Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina. They could see an upset in that stretch and still finish 9-3 (5-3), and that would still be an historic season for the program. Virginia, Pitt, and Duke have all clinched bowl bids. Miami and Georgia Tech will almost certainly be staying home, but Virginia Tech and North Carolina are still in limbo. The Hokies have a path to it: beat Georgia Tech, Miami, and either Duke or Boston College. But that's easier said than done considering that the BC game is a toss-up and they'd be 34.9% underdogs against the Blue Devils. North Carolina only needs two wins, but they also are about to hit the meat of their schedule: Virginia, Louisville, Vanderbilt, and Duke before they close against NC State. I'm not sure which of the two has the harder path. Our pick: Virginia (74.6%) over Clemson Big Ten East 1. Penn State (10.57-1.43, 8.57-0.43 Big Ten) 2. Michigan State (9.51-2.49, 6.51-2.49 Big Ten) 3. Michigan (9.21-2.79, 6.21-2.79 Big Ten) 4. Maryland (8.00-4.00, 5.00-4.00 Big Ten) 5. Ohio State (2.67-9.33, 2.67-6.33 Big Ten) 6. Indiana (3.29-8.71, 1.29-7.71 Big Ten) 7. Rutgers (1.75-10.25, 0.75-8.25 Big Ten) Penn State already has a leg up on the rest of the division with an unblemished 4-0 conference record. But Michigan, Michigan State, and Maryland aren't far behind right now (all 3-1) and have a legitimate shot at the division. Maryland's expected to fall behind as the season goes on, but this division is likely to come down to head-to-head and cross-division play. Michigan scored the first blow in the former, knocking Michigan State from the ranks of the undefeated. But the Wolverines' next four games are not enviable: at Maryland, Minnesota, at Penn State, at Wisconsin. Michigan State's two toughest games remaining are Maryland and Penn State at home. Penn State's already won two cross-division games and shouldn't have a problem with Nebraska, but they also don't face any of their division challengers until after week 12--and then they face all three in a row to close the season. If Michigan stumbles in their next four games (particularly against Penn State), then we could have a showdown for the division between Penn State and Michigan State in East Lansing during week 16--and Penn State is projected to be heavily favored at 89.3%. The bowl picture is simple: the top four teams have all clinched bowl spots, and the bottom three will not make it. Ohio State is on pace for their worst season ever, by far. They're 1-5 right now without having played Illinois, Michigan State, or Michigan. This will likely be their first-ever season in which they've been ineligible entirely for a bowl. Big Ten West 1. Purdue (10.92-1.08, 7.92-1.08 Big Ten) 2. Illinois (10.12-1.88, 7.12-1.88 Big Ten) 3. Iowa (7.26-4.74, 5.26-3.74 Big Ten) 4. Wisconsin (6.68-5.32, 4.68-4.32 Big Ten) 5. Minnesota (7.27-4.73, 4.27-4.73 Big Ten) 6. Nebraska (3.97-8.03, 2.23-6.77 Big Ten) 7. Northwestern (0.64-11.36, 0.53-8.48 Big Ten) The West is the deeper division in the Big Ten, with five teams over .500 and two projected 10-win teams. Purdue has been scoring like there's no tomorrow and Illinois's been defending like crazy--and their loss to Iowa looks less weird given how close Iowa played Penn State. The Illini are the only team currently within a game of the Boilermakers, and it's likely that the division will be decided between the two in West Lafayette in week 11. If Purdue wins that one (they have a 60.6% chance to do so), they would be two games up on the whole division with three games to play--and one of those is against Indiana. They would have to lose to both Minnesota and Iowa, and then lose the tiebreaker. If Illinois wins it, then they close with Ohio State, Indiana, Rutgers, and Northwestern--4 teams that have combined for 4 wins--and they could easily finish 8-1 with the tiebreaker over Purdue. Iowa or Minnesota would need to run the table and get lucky to even have a shot. Purdue and Illinois have clinched bowl bids. Minnesota is on the cusp at 5-2 and should be able to close it out against Northwestern--which is fortunate, because their final four games (Michigan, Purdue, Iowa, Wisconsin) are no gimmes. Iowa and Wisconsin are each sitting at 4-3. Both should reach a fifth win in week 10 (Iowa at Nebraska, Wisconsin at Indiana), and Iowa ought to be able to secure it in week 11 against Ohio State. They also play each other in week 13, so one of them will almost assuredly be in the postseason. Wisconsin also has Maryland week 11, Michigan week 15, and Minnesota week 16--none of which are gimmes, but none of which are unwinnable. Lastly, don't rule out 2-5 Nebraska! They have a huge uphill battle. They have to beat either Iowa or Penn State--if they lose both, they're mathematically eliminated. But after that, Ohio State, Miami, and Northwestern lurk. All of those are winnable. Don't bet on it without getting some nice odds, but don't rule it out either. Our pick: Penn State (75.1%) over Purdue Big XII Conference 1. West Virginia (8.81-3.19, 7.81-1.19 Big XII) 2. Kansas (7.18-4.82, 6.18-2.82 Big XII) 3. Oklahoma State (9.15-2.85, 6.15-2.85 Big XII) 4. TCU (6.65-5.35, 5.65-3.35 Big XII) 5. Baylor (6.07-5.93, 5.07-3.93 Big XII) 6. Texas Tech (7.12-4.88, 4.12-4.88 Big XII) 7. Texas (6.23-5.77, 3.23-5.77 Big XII) 8. Oklahoma (3.22-8.78, 3.22-5.78 Big XII) 9. Kansas State (5.61-6.39, 2.61-6.39 Big XII) 10. Iowa State (1.95-10.05, 0.95-8.05 Big XII) The Big XII is a logjam right now, and it's projected to remain a logjam by season's end: four teams are projected to win between 5.0 and 6.2 games in conference play to earn the right to play West Virginia in the conference title game. The Mountaineers are runaway conference favorites but not invulnerable ones--they're favored in every remaining individual game, but they're not favored to win all of them as a whole. That's okay, though: they'd have to hit a serious slump to do worse than the 7-2 record that would probably be good enough to get into the Big XII Championship Game. Whether any of the next four can hit 7-2 is the big question--otherwise, it'll likely come down to a tiebreaker at 6-3. The second highest-rated team by AMoV is already virtually eliminated from title contention--#29 Texas Tech is 1-3 and still hasn't played TCU or West Virginia. #33 Oklahoma State is next but loses the tiebreaker to #34 Kansas, who loses the tiebreaker to #43 TCU. And #46 Baylor is in the mix in theory, but their loss to Kansas State could keep them a game back and a game out. Meanwhile, the Big XII could get as many as 8 teams into bowl games--but 6 of them have a margin of error of 1.2 games or fewer. Oklahoma State's clinched a bowl bid at 6-1. West Virginia's 4-2 but should be able to make it without a problem. Kansas, Texas, and Texas Tech are all 4-3 and have a good shot--Texas's lower projection is because they only have one of the Kansas State-Iowa State-Oklahoma trio remaining whereas the other two have two apiece. Baylor's 3-3 and on a razor's edge at this point. They don't have an easy path to 6 wins, but they don't have an impossible one either. (If they don't beat Oklahoma on Thursday, it does become impossible.) TCU is also 3-3, but they should be able to sweep Iowa State and Oklahoma and find one more win somewhere. Kansas State is the weird one on this list: they're not projected for a bowl game despite already being 5-2. They just haven't been able to move the Adjusted Margin of Victory needle at all, mainly because they've beaten bad teams close (which the stat is literally designed to punish). When they beat Baylor, they were 20-point underdogs. As of now, they're 32.3% underdogs against Oklahoma and 6%-12% underdogs in each game on the rest of their schedule. But being at 5.6 projected wins means that it's still reasonable to expect the Wildcats will pull one more upset this season--and one is all they need. Our pick: West Virginia (67.7%) over Kansas C-USA East 1. Western Kentucky (7.09-4.91, 7.09-0.91 C-USA) 2. Florida Atlantic (5.59-6.41, 5.59-2.41 C-USA) 3. Old Dominion (4.65-7.35, 4.65-3.35 C-USA) 4. Charlotte (3.19-8.81, 3.19-4.81 C-USA) 5. Marshall (3.14-8.86, 3.14-4.86 C-USA) 6. Middle Tennessee (3.08-8.92, 3.08-4.92 C-USA) 7. Florida International (1.47-10.53, 1.47-6.53 C-USA) With Marshall in freefall, the East was set to become a free-for-all. So far, Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic have risen out of the chaos, racing off to twin 3-0 starts in conference play. The numbers tend to favor Western Kentucky, who played Oklahoma State and East Carolina close and collected their three wins by an average of 12.3 points per win--though it doesn't have a way to account for FAU seeming to get hot over these last few weeks. They don't play each other until week 15 in Bowling Green, where the Hilltoppers are a 77.4% favorite. The division has a wide middle class, though, which means that either team (or both teams) could easily be tripped up once or twice before that game comes to pass. The Hilltoppers already have a win over Old Dominion, who is now Florida Atlantic's next-biggest remaining stumbling block in week 14. If the WKU-FAU game were played today, I'd take the Hilltoppers. But if we hit week 15 and that game's still a showdown for the division, it'll mean that the gap probably narrowed and Florida Atlantic would have a real shot at the crown. As for the bowl picture, the division winner will probably be a bowl team. Whoever finishes second might or might not join them--though I'd bet yes for now. Outside of that, the rest of the division will probably be staying home. C-USA West 1. Rice (7.53-4.47, 6.03-1.97 C-USA) 2. Southern Miss (6.68-5.32, 5.68-2.32 C-USA) 3. North Texas (6.28-5.72, 5.03-2.97 C-USA) 4. UTSA (5.77-6.23, 4.77-3.23 C-USA) 5. UTEP (3.59-8.41, 3.59-4.41 C-USA) 6. Louisiana Tech (1.76-10.24, 1.76-6.24 C-USA) 7. UAB (0.93-11.07, 0.93-7.08 C-USA) Rice's loss to Florida Atlantic, their first-ever C-USA loss, opened up the division. The Owls of Houston are no longer invulnerable, and they're not even technically in first place right now--that honor belongs to 2-0 UTSA. But UTSA, while not a nonfactor, is probably a longshot unless they knock off Southern Miss this week. The most likely contenders are Rice, Southern Miss, and North Texas. The Mean Green knocked off Southern Miss on the road a few weeks back, and they get Rice at home. However, they also cost themselves a real opportunity to take control of the division with their week 9 loss to FAU. Either way, the division will probably be decided between weeks 13 and 16, and it's going to hinge on Rice's performance. The Owls begin that stretch by hosting Southern Miss (57.4% Rice), follow it up with a road trip to North Texas (75.5% Rice), and close the season hosting UTSA (also 75.5% Rice). Until proven otherwise, this is Rice's division--the gap just isn't as wide as it used to be. The West could have as many as four bowl teams, but nobody's a shoo-in based on their record. Their top four projected teams are all either 4-3 or 3-4 right now, and any number of things could go wrong between now and end-of-season. I'd be surprised if 4-3 Rice and 4-3 North Texas didn't make it to a bowl. Southern Miss should be able to get there even if they lose to UTSA and Rice--but that's their whole margin of error. I think UTSA's a coin flip to get there from 3-3. Nobody else in the division has more than 1 win, so that's it. Our pick: Rice (60.6%) over Western Kentucky MAC East 1. Ohio (7.91-4.09, 6.41-1.59 MAC) 2. Miami (OH) (8.62-3.38, 4.88-3.12 MAC) 3. Buffalo (8.47-3.53, 4.47-3.53 MAC) 4. Akron (7.47-4.53, 4.11-3.89 MAC) 5. Kent State (5.02-6.98, 3.7-4.3 MAC) 6. Bowling Green (3.86-8.14, 1.9-6.1 MAC) With Miami and Akron's respective hot starts and Buffalo's hype drawing attention nationally, it's the Ohio Bobcats that project to win the MAC East after week 9. Why? Because they've been the one to knock off Buffalo (on the road) and Miami (at home), and the rest of the division's beaten up on itself. The Bobcats are 3-0 in conference play, and Akron (6-1, 3-1) is the only other team that hasn't already picked up two conference losses. Don't expect Ohio's undefeated run to last any longer since they play Toledo (22.6% for Ohio), but they'll almost certainly run their conference record to 6-1 against Kent State, Eastern Michigan, and Central Michigan before their season finale against Akron (60.6% for the Bobcats). Meanwhile, Akron still has Buffalo, Western Michigan, and Toledo left--their schedule accounts for their fourth-place projection. Miami can climb back in if they beat Buffalo (50-50) and proceed to run the table; Buffalo can do the same if they beat Miami (still 50-50) and Akron (61.9% for Buffalo). Either of them would have to make up what's effectively a three-loss deficit, though, since Ohio owns head-to-head with both. So it's safe to say that Ohio's in the driver's seat for now. As many as five MAC East teams could make a bowl game. Akron's already clinched one. The Miami-Buffalo winner will clinch one this week, and the loser will probably do so in a few weeks. Ohio will do it against a directional Michigan--unless they do it earlier by knocking off Arizona State (numbers say that's a 50-50 game, so keep an eye on that). Kent State doesn't have an easy path. They need to beat Northern Illinois and Central Michigan for sure. They also need to find a third win against Ohio, Ole Miss, or Miami (OH). Don't rule it out. But don't bet on it. MAC West 1. Western Michigan (10.15-1.85, 7.2-0.8 MAC) 2. Toledo (10.12-1.88, 7.12-0.88 MAC) 3. Ball State (3.04-8.96, 2.69-5.31 MAC) 4. Northern Illinois (3.33-8.67, 2.33-5.67 MAC) 5. Central Michigan (1.79-10.21, 1.79-6.21 MAC) 6. Eastern Michigan (1.67-10.33, 1.4-6.6 MAC) This division is simple: Unless Toledo manages to lose to both Ohio and Akron, then the winner of Western Michigan's week 13 visit to Toledo will be the division winner. These two teams are first and second in the MAC power rankings. They are far and away the best teams in the division. Heck, each team alone has more wins than the bottom four teams in the division combined. Western Michigan is ranked 1st in these projections because they see fewer opportunities for an upset outside of the Toledo game, but we give Toledo a 51.2% chance of winning this game--so we're actually picking the Rockets to win the division. The bowl picture is even simpler than the division picture: Toledo and Western Michigan will go bowling, and everyone else in the division will stay home. Our pick: Toledo (77.4%) over Ohio MWC Mountain 1. Air Force (11.85-0.15, 7.85-0.15 MWC) 2. Boise State (7.81-4.2, 5.81-2.2 MWC) 3. Utah State (5.32-6.68, 4.05-3.95 MWC) 4. Colorado State (7.02-4.98, 3.48-4.52 MWC) 5. New Mexico (4.55-7.45, 2.55-5.45 MWC) 6. Wyoming (0.23-11.77, 0.23-7.77 MWC) The only thing that could stop Air Force from wrapping up the division in the next couple of weeks is the fact that Nevada's their only conference game before week 15. They're 5-0 in conference play, which is as many conference wins as the entire rest of their division combined. Boise State's the only other team with 1 loss or fewer, and that 1 loss was to Air Force. The Falcons are massive favorites in every game but the Nevada game--and against the Wolf Pack, they're mere 14-point favorites, which translates to a 92.4% chance of winning. It would be very surprising if Air Force didn't finish 12-0, and we estimate a better than 92% probability that they run the table. Air Force is also the only team in the Mountain Division to clinch bowl eligibility, but as many as four other teams have a nonzero shot at it. Boise State and Colorado State are both 4-3 and both have Wyoming and Utah State still on the schedule. Boise also draws San Diego State while Colorado State gets New Mexico--these games are not guarantees, but they're an extra should-get opportunity if they get upset. Utah State and New Mexico have uphill battles. The Aggies are 3-4 and still have both San Jose State and Wyoming on the schedule. But even if they get those two wins, finding a 6th would take a big upset--they're much like Kansas State in that regard, but with a narrower path. New Mexico's 2-5 right now, but none of their remaining opponents are unbeatable except maybe Colorado State. Again, worth keeping an eye on but not worth betting on. MWC West 1. Hawaii (10.91-1.09, 7.38-0.62 MWC) 2. Nevada (7.15-4.85, 6.15-1.85 MWC) 3. Fresno State (6.56-5.44, 4.56-3.44 MWC) 4. San Diego State (5.53-6.47, 2.53-5.47 MWC) 5. San Jose State (3.86-8.14, 2.52-5.48 MWC) 6. UNLV (1.89-10.11, 0.89-7.11 MWC) The Rainbow Warriors! Hawaii's been partying like it's early 2015 with their 6-0 start, but the next three weeks will determine whether or not they're able to make it to the finish line whole this time. They shouldn't have a problem with UNLV. But after that, they hit the road to play Nevada, then play host to Fresno State. Hawaii, Nevada, and Fresno are the three remaining West teams undefeated in MWC play, and unsurprisingly they're the three big threats to win the division. This model sees Hawaii-Nevada as a pure toss-up, which is more of a problem for Nevada than for Hawaii. Why? Because Nevada's remaining schedule includes Air Force and road trips to Fresno State and Boise State. Hawaii gets Fresno at home and shouldn't be challenged by Wyoming or San Jose State. If Nevada can beat Hawaii, the Rainbow Warriors can still backdoor their way into the division title. If Hawaii wins, Nevada is probably out. As for Fresno State, an upset over Hawaii would go a long way for them--but as of now, Hawaii checks in as a 98.1% favorite in that game. Hawaii has clinched a bowl game, and Fresno State's low ceiling is mitigated by a high floor. They should be able to beat UNLV and either San Jose State or New Mexico to get to 6 (and frankly, they should get to 7). Nevada could earn a bowl game with a near-guarantee over UNLV and a tougher win over Boise, Fresno, or Hawaii. San Jose State's at 3-4 now, but they would have to win each of their next three games because they're not beating Hawaii or Fresno. San Diego State's on the edge. They can beat San Jose State and UNLV for sure, and they'll need to find a win over Boise State, New Mexico, or Air For--excuse me, over Boise State or New Mexico. Which means we'll know in the next two weeks if San Diego State can make a bowl. Our pick: Air Force (83.5%) over Hawaii Pac-12 North 1. Oregon (7.11-4.89, 7.11-1.89 Pac-12) 2. Stanford (7.81-4.19, 6.81-2.19 Pac-12) 3. Washington State (9.23-2.77, 6.73-2.27 Pac-12) 4. California (6.01-5.99, 3.01-5.99 Pac-12) 5. Washington (2.96-9.04, 2.96-6.04 Pac-12) 6. Oregon State (1.49-10.51, 0.24-8.76 Pac-12) The Pac-12 North race has to rank among the most compelling races of the remainder of the season. Oregon, left for dead after an 0-3 start in non-conference play, has won their last three in a row with an important win over Washington State. Stanford, one of the surprises of the season, is also undefeated in conference play and a 53.4% favorite to beat Oregon in week 10. And Wazzu, defending Pac-12 champion, sits back a game in the loss column with road games at USC (18.4% for Wazzu) and Stanford (60.6%) still on the calendar. The three teams are all projected within 0.4 wins of each other, and all are expected to pick up another loss or two along the way. That means lots of unpredictability! Why is Oregon favored to win the division if they're an underdog against 4-0 Stanford and also rated third in the division by AMoV? Two reasons: first, they're undefeated with a win over Washington State in the bank, whereas Stanford still has to play both contenders and Washington State just plain isn't undefeated. Second, Oregon dodges USC this season whereas Washington State and Stanford play them both on the road. Cross-division fights against UCLA (51.2% for Oregon) and Arizona State (60.6%) are potential tripping points for the Ducks--they're very mild favorites in both games, and could be underdogs on gameday. Stanford and Washington State aren't expected to face much resistance outside of each other and USC. Oregon has the highest ceiling but the lowest floor, and if they navigate this tightrope then the division can be theirs even without a win over Stanford. But if they stumble, then the Washington State-Stanford matchup in week 15 will decide the division--and as of now, that's just a bit better than a coin flip in Wazzu's favor. The bowl picture is essentially the same as the division picture, except with Cal in the mix as well. The Golden Bears need two wins, and Washington and Colorado are their best opportunities. They're favorites in both of those games, but those are not guarantees. We give them about a 75% chance of beating Washington and a 60% chance to beat Colorado--but if they drop one of those games, they still have a better-than-40% shot to beat UCLA and a 20% chance at upsetting Arizona. It's pretty much a coin flip whether they'll get in or not. Washington State has clinched a bowl game, and Stanford should clinch it with a win over one of the two Oregon schools. The Ducks are 3-3, so nothing's assured for them. If they lost to Stanford, UCLA, and Arizona State, they'd be one upset away from ineligibility--and given that they lost to North Carolina, an upset cannot be ruled out. But they could also wrap it up in their next four games with three wins over Stanford, Washington, UCLA, and Utah. Pac-12 South 1. USC (10.46-1.54, 8.46-0.54 Pac-12) 2. Arizona (8.04-3.96, 5.56-3.44 Pac-12) 3. UCLA (5.57-6.43, 4.57-4.43 Pac-12) 4. Arizona State (6.27-5.73, 4.23-4.77 Pac-12) 5. Colorado (6-6.01, 3.53-5.47 Pac-12) 6. Utah (1.09-10.91, 0.79-8.21 Pac-12) USC's quietly been humming along after their stunning loss to Notre Dame, and the result is that they're the projected runaway favorite in the Pac-12 South. Even with Washington State and Stanford still on the calendar, even with Cal on the road, UCLA on the road, and Arizona on the road, USC's projected to take the division by nearly 3 full games. They rank 3rd in the country in Adjusted Margin of Victory: they've had a below-average slate of opponents, but they've also hammered them by an average score of 40.2-14.3 and haven't won a game by fewer than 10 points. This team will be tested in the back half of their schedule, but they also have such a large cushion that they can afford to lose a game, maybe two, possibly three, and still win the division. They're already up two games in the loss column, nobody else in the division is particularly inspiring, and they'd have to have a huge downturn in order for any of that to change. And that would be so unlike USC to have a random midseason slump like that, wouldn't it? The bowl picture is more interesting. Nobody's locked in yet, though poor Utah's guaranteed to stay home. USC and Arizona are surefire at 5-2 with Utah still on the docket. Arizona State's at 4-3 with opportunities against Bowling Green, Colorado, and Ohio on the road--and they're surprisingly small favorites against all three with a 50-57% chance of winning each game. With Oregon and Arizona following after that, they probably need to win two of those three. Colorado's 3-3, and they range from mild favorites to mild underdogs in every single one of their remaining games. They're about a touchdown per game away from going 9-3, and a touchdown per game away from going 3-9. Fittingly, they settle almost exactly in the middle at 5.995-6.005. UCLA's sitting at 3-4, and they should be able to even up their record against Utah in week 11. With Oregon, Colorado, USC, and California coming up, they'll need to win two of those final four. Oregon is a hair under a toss-up at 48.8%, Colorado (65.1%) and California (57.4%) lean mildly for UCLA, and USC (5.0%) is probably a loss. Our pick: USC (91.4%) over Oregon SEC East 1. Vanderbilt (9.66-2.34, 5.84-2.16 SEC) 2. Georgia (9.17-2.83, 5.19-2.81 SEC) 3. Tennessee (8.03-3.97, 5.03-2.97 SEC) 4. Florida (8.21-3.79, 4.67-3.33 SEC) 5. Missouri (5.31-6.69, 3.31-4.69 SEC) 6. South Carolina (5.51-6.49, 2.6-5.4 SEC) 7. Kentucky (1.94-10.06, 0.94-7.06 SEC) One running theme so far is that teams with wins in the bank have a leg up on their competition (for good reason), and that remains true in a deep SEC East. With four teams with 1 loss in conference play, the only 4-1 team is the projected division leader. So far, we've seen very few games by the top four against each other--Georgia beat Vanderbilt who beat Florida, and that's it. Only Florida's had a date with fifth-projected Missouri so far (a Gator win); the Tigers will take on the other three in consecutive games from weeks 12-15. It's way too early to rule Missouri out given that they're only a game back in the loss column. They're going to need to start turning close losses into actual wins sooner rather than later if they want to make a run at the division, but I would bet on them spoiling at least one team's bid considering that they have a 32.3-38.1% chance to win each of those three big games. (South Carolina has a similar projected record to Missouri, but I don't think they have anywhere near the same ceiling.) The cross-division matchups are also going to play a huge role: Florida still has Texas A&M and LSU, Georgia still has Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt still has Alabama; at the same time, Missouri only has Arkansas left and Tennessee has already played both cross-division games. This division's going to play out very slowly, with week 10 being the only remaining week that doesn't feature an important head-to-head or cross-division matchup. Strap on in for the ride. The only real mystery in terms of bowl contention is whether Missouri or South Carolina will make it. Vanderbilt and Florida already have 6 wins, and Tennessee and Georgia have 5 wins plus Kentucky on the schedule. Georgia also has Georgia Tech, so if they go on a skid they still have a backstop; Tennessee doesn't have that luxury if the bottom falls out. But back to the Tigers and Gamecocks. The pair of 3-4 teams square off in week 11, a game in which Missouri is a 61.9% favorite. Missouri has more to lose than South Carolina does, because their remaining schedule's much harder. In fact, even with that win the Tigers would still need to beat Arkansas (65.1% Missouri) and score a mild upset over a top-three projected East team to go bowling. South Carolina will have Arkansas (51.2% SCar), Akron (64.1% SCar), and Kentucky (70.3% SCar) all in a row after the Missouri game, so they could plausibly win up to 7 games before they have to go to Clemson. South Carolina has the higher floor, even if Missouri has the higher ceiling. But it's very plausible that both teams could go bowling. SEC West 1. Auburn (11.01-0.99, 7.01-0.99 SEC) 2. Mississippi State (9.17-2.83, 6.17-1.83 SEC) 3. LSU (9.8-2.2, 5.8-2.2 SEC) 4. Alabama (7.82-4.18, 4.32-3.68 SEC) 5. Ole Miss (5.99-6.01, 2.31-5.69 SEC) 6. Arkansas (4.07-7.93, 2.07-5.93 SEC) 7. Texas A&M (2.65-9.35, 0.75-7.25 SEC) Last but not least, the ultracompetitive SEC West. Like its eastern counterpart, the West is a division that's going to be decided in stages over the final few weeks of the season. Alabama's win over LSU is keeping the Crimson Tide in the division race, though their subsequent losses to Tennessee and Mississippi State put them back two games in the loss column with road games against Vanderbilt (36.9%) and Auburn (17.4%) remaining on the schedule. The numbers just don't like Alabama, which ranks 31st in Adjusted Margin of Victory in a division where the top three teams are all in the top 10. And the numbers do like Auburn, but not so much as to make them more than a modest favorite. The Tigers will be favored to win out, but they're given a 64.1% chance to beat Mississippi State and just a 54.3% chance to knock off LSU. They can probably survive one loss, and they would even prefer for that loss to come to LSU because of the Bayou Bengals' loss to Bama. But if Auburn does stumble, then LSU and Mississippi State's matchup in Starkville in week 15 (54.3% LSU) could be decisive. Auburn has two significant advantages in its pocket: a 4-0 conference record in the bank (Mississippi State is 2-0, LSU is 4-1, Alabama is 3-2), and a cleared-out cross-division schedule. Mississippi State still has to go to Georgia (57.4% MSU), Alabama still has to go to Vanderbilt (63.1% Vanderbilt), and LSU still has to host Florida (79.9% LSU). I would expect Auburn to get out of this division, because they're scary good and still undefeated. But the SEC West has already bucked expectations plenty this year, and it would be even more surprising if the division suddenly stopped doing that. Auburn and LSU are already bowl-eligible, and 5-win Mississippi State and Alabama should both be able to wrap it up in their next game. Arkansas has a nonzero shot at a bowl game, but they're likely to fall to 2-6 after the Mississippi State game and would need to run the table against South Carolina (48.8% chance), Texas A&M (52.5%), Ole Miss (57.4%), and Missouri (34.9%) at that point. Texas A&M will be knocked out this week by Auburn, which leaves Ole Miss as the only remaining bowl drama in the division. The 4-3 Rebels will essentially have three opportunities: at Kentucky (57.4%), at Kent State (67.7%), or Arkansas at home (42.6%). Kentucky's a bellwether game--if they win it, they're probably good enough to beat Kent State. If they lose it, they're probably not good enough to beat Arkansas even if they do beat Kent State. Given that their projection is 5.99-6.01, the numbers think they're a definite maybe. Our pick: Auburn (73.8%) over Vanderbilt CFBHC Independents 1. Army (8.18-3.82) 2. Notre Dame (7.34-4.66) 2. BYU (6.64-5.36) 4. Georgia State (5.11-6.89) 5. UMass (0.01-12) As many as four of the five independent teams have a shot to go bowling. UMass isn't one of them: they range from a 24-point underdog to a 50.5-point underdog in their remaining games, so they're probably not going to win a game at all. Poor UMass. Notre Dame ought to join the ranks of the bowl-eligible, with a 4-3 record and status as favorites against Syracuse, Texas A&M, and Northwestern. Heck, they're even coin-flip bets against Washington State and Alabama. Georgia State is 3-4 and is a heavy favorite against both Eastern Michigan (73.8%) and UMass (>99.9%), but they're also heavy underdogs against Western Michigan (5%) and Auburn (<0.1%). Their bowl hopes rest almost entirely on a 32.3% shot at upsetting BYU in week 11. BYU would love to collect that win, follow it up with two wins over some combination of Utah State (73.0%), Cincinnati (65.1%), Oregon State (75.1%), or regular Utah (70.3%)--games in which they're significant but not overwhelming favorites. And to close out on a positive note, Army has already clinched a bowl bid, the first in program history.
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    Have you ever felt like there just wasn't enough hours in the day and so much to do. I sure did. Lets take a quick glance at the hats I've been wearing: Head Football Coach for the Tennessee Volunteers General Manager for the Atlanta Falcons Owner and General Manager for the Nashville Predators Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference Son and Heir to the Bow Family Corporation There really is just too much going on in my life, and back in December, I just had a breakdown. I flew to Malaysia and stayed there for 3 weeks, trying to reorient myself and my life and where I wanted to go and be. I realized that I was just too busy to do any of my jobs correctly, and I had to do something to keep my sanity. After long discussions with the Atlanta Falcon front office and their great owner Acewulf, I now contemplate life after professional football. Yes, I am retiring from NFLHC. It's been an amazing 5 seasons, including a super bowl trip in 2015 with the then St. Louis Rams, the excitement of selecting Shawn Anderson and marketing him as the Ram's savior on offense, trading up to the #1 overall pick to snag Early Davis, and watching the Atlanta Falcons secure their first double digit win total in nearly 4 years today. I can say I've been very proud of what this team has accomplished, and I'm ecstatic at the futures of both the Falcons and the Rams, who I was heavily involved with in 3 prior years. That being said, I feel like I've set a standard for greatness. The Falcons have had two solid drafts, and I'm personally coming off a 2019 Executive of the Year award. As I've become more and more involved in my family's business, I've found myself unable to do the intense scouting and roster planning that I feel sets me apart from the other general managers in the league. Its not fair to this team, the ownership, and especially the fans for there GM to not be giving it his all. Will I return to NFLHC? Frankly the answer is no. I will not be accepting any job offers from any other organizations in the league. This is a permanent retirement from pro football as I try to focus on making the Vols, Preds, and SEC the best they can be. It's been a great ride in the pros, but all good things come to an end. SAGEBOW / CONTRIBUTOR
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    I’d like to thank the Seattle Seahawks fan base for putting their trust in me not only during the past four years as their owner but as their head coach this year as well. Being head coach is an experience is something I think everyone should partake in for NFLHC. It’s a different game itself, and it stands alongside CFBHC as one of the reasons I love this site and community. I look forward to Sundays for gameday, and just seeing how our team competes week in and week out. We’ve had some fantastic games this season, and we’ve had some great downfalls. Having seen the final results, I would like to announce my resignation from the Seahawks as Owner and Head Coach. The reasons behind this resignation are not due to my performance, or anything internal in our organization. I've been thinking long term on what I want to do in my life. In order to advance my career, I'm considering whether I need to attend grad-school or not. And if I do, I would have to set aside time to focus on killing the GMAT and academics. Along with this, I want to become more serious as a writer and be able to share stories with all of you one day. In order to prepare for these endeavors, I believe that stepping away from NFLHC is the right solution. I enjoy working with LamboThrone and collaborating with him to build a team we believe has the capability to make the playoffs in the long term. I would continue my position as Owner and Head Coach, if I wasn’t considering graduate school or my writing. For the rest of the season and offseason, I will be helping LamboThrone with finding my next successor for the Seahawks head coach-- someone I’m hoping who has the same passion and vision we have for the organization. I want to thank the NFLHC community for letting me participate in this function of the site. NFLHC is a lot more than what I expected it to be, and I wish I had the time to coach next season and rebound from our losing streak. ~TuscanSota In regards to CFBHC: I plan to coach for the Baylor Bears through the rest of this season and possibly through 2021. The HC position is not up for grabs, but I will be looking around for a potential successor. Do not expect any media from me except for the eventual series of articles I already have planned.
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    I have been tracking every QBs performance this season alongside how many times they were sacked and their OL rating in that game in this spreadsheet. Using this info, I made a scatter plot for the league to see how QB Rating in a game was affected by OL Rating. I was surprised how much OL Rating had an effect. For every 0.1 increase in OL rating, there is a ~2.5 increase in QB rating. Doesn't sound like much but when you see that Matty Swift had an average OL rating of 7.0 when he started and Taylor Rodriguez had an average OL rating of 8.36, Swift would be expected to have a 36 point increase in QB rating if he had the Cowboys OL. To make this point clearer, here is a chart showing what the expected QB Rating to be in a game with that OL Rating: Next, I looked at individual QBs to see who isn't affected by OL rating and who is most affected by OL rating. Some QBs don't seem to mind the pressure while others QB ratings drop drastically if their OL Rating is in the low 7.0s. Please note that this is a very small sample size for each QB (max of 16) so make your own judgements. Positively Affected by Pressure (>+10% increase in QB Rating when OL rating decreases by 1.0) Thomas Wheeler (KC): +47.0% Matty Swift (LAC): +23.5% Joel King (CIN): +13.0% Brian Brown (MIA): +9.8% Not Affected by Pressure (+10% to -10% increase/decrease in QB Rating when OL rating decreases by 1.0) Joaquin Younger (BUF): +5.1% Norris Brooksheer (CHI): +4.3% Nick Hall (OAK): -0.7% David Kaplan (BUF): -4.5% Reggie Watkins (BAL): -4.8% Brian Vardell (MIN): -5.4% Rory Weston (ARI): -6.3% Mildly Negatively Affected by Pressure (-10% to -25% decrease in QB Rating when OL rating decreases by 1.0) Brad Davis (NE): -10.5% Javier Fields (WAS): -13.8% Alex Leshoure (HOU): -14.0% Allan Taylor (PHI): -17.0% Rob Corp (PIT): -18.4% Jason Johnson (GB): -19.0% Paul Davenport (PIT): -20.7% Todd Jennings (DEN): -23.5% Moderately Negatively Affected by Pressure (-25% to -40% decrease in QB Rating when OL rating decreases by 1.0) Aaron Devereaux (NO): -26.9% Todd Lester (SF): -27.2% Erik Wegert (NYJ): -28.5% Taylor Heiden (TB): -31.2% Rob LeCount (DET): -31.8% Bobby Kolodziej (TEN): -32.1% R.J. Stanford (NYG): -36.3% Christian Barkley (JAX): -37.5% A.J. Jefferson (ATL): -38.1% Very Negatively Affected by Pressure (>-40% decrease in QB Rating when OL rating decreases by 1.0) Darrell Murphy (LAR): -40.6% Alexander Williams (TEN): -42.8% Aaron Shea (IND): -46.0% Taylor Rodriguez (DAL): -48.7% Will Thompson (LAC): -62.3% Kareem Taylor (ARI): -63.8% Jarius Jones (SEA): -65.1% Ryan Clark (CLE): -65.5% Christian Skaggs (CAR): -68.1% Lawyer Johnson (NE): -71.4%
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    With the regular season in the books, we here at the Roman News NetworkTM have decided to look back at the individual seasons each AFC team had and examine it in detail. Without further adieu. The AFC North The AFCN is the perennial laughing stock of the league. This is due to a number of factors, mainly based on the vocal nature of three of the franchises housed in this division. With every other division wanting to draw them on their yearly slate and constant preseason wondering if their division winner will be sub .500, it's easy to see why the members of this division would be frustrated with how they're portrayed. Cleveland Browns Record: 8-8 SOS+: 28th Home Record: 3-5 Road Record: 5-3 Record vs sub .500: 6-2 Record vs .500+: 2-6 The Browns are a really odd team this year. First and foremost, they were way better on the road then they were at home. Having one of the worst strengths of schedule, it's not surprising that Cleveland dominated their sub .500 opponents. However, they were very poor against teams that were .500 or better this year, including 1-3 against their divisional opponents. This is why I'm rather concerned about Cleveland going into next year. However, as the 3rd team in the AFCN, they will draw the AFCE, NFCN, Houston, and Kansas City (I believe), which should not provide a tougher slate than it did this year. I expect a 9-7 or 10-6 record for them next year. Cincinnati Bengals Record: 5-11 SOS+: T-4th Home Record: 3-5 Road Record: 2-6 Record vs sub .500: 2-2 Record vs .500+: 3-9 Probably the #1 most shit upon team in the league, the Bengals had a rough year. With a very tough schedule, they did as well as you could probably expect them to. They were .500 against teams on their level and got mostly destroyed by teams above them. We know how happy the franchise is with Joel King's season, but their defense will either need retooling or will still be terrible with young draft picks. They do get the Los Angeles Chargers, but also the Tennessee Titans. Next season will be a mixed bag for Cincinnati, but barring some more blockbuster trading, I don't see them doing better than 7-9 next season. Baltimore Ravens Record: 10-6 SOS+: T-9th Home Record: 6-2 Road Record: 4-4 Record vs sub .500: 4-2 Record vs .500+: 6-4 Your AFCN Divisional Champions have had a somewhat surprising season. With a top 10 schedule in terms of difficulty, they actually managed to be two games up against both sub .500 and .500+ opponents on the year. With wins over Atlanta and Indianapolis, but losses to Cincinnati and Houston, there were both peaks and valleys on their road to the playoffs. They did hammer out 6 straight wins to end the season including 4 games against .500+ opponents in that stretch. There is a lot of concern about next year due to a worse pick compared to the rest of their division (considering how close the race was) and the fact they'll draw Jacksonville and Denver next year, but the Ravens should be celebrating this year until Week 1 next year. Pittsburgh Steelers Record: 9-7 SOS+: T-18th Home Record: 5-3 Road Record: 4-4 Record vs sub .500: 7-1 Record vs .500+: 2-6 If you want a team that coasted on their easy schedule, look no further than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Teams under the .500 mark accounted for 7 out of their 9 wins on the season. Their other two? Divisional rivals Baltimore and Cleveland. There is a lot to be worried about for the Steelers going into the offseason. Drawing Indianapolis and Oakland instead of Kansas City and New England will play a role in their season next year. Obviously I can be wrong, but their <.500/.500+ split looks terrible and screams "regression" next year. The AFC East The division Gravy built, the East was once a mighty group that boasted four teams with a winning record last year. This year, however, they saw a sharp decline in two of their teams while the other two stagnated a bit. This isn't bad for the top two teams as they weren't going to drastically improve on successful seasons last year, but the bottom dwellers will need a sudden, impactful turn around to avoid irrelevance next year. Miami Dolphins Record: 9-7 SOS+: 32nd Home Record: 5-3 Road Record: 4-4 Record vs sub .500: 8-2 Record vs .500+: 1-5 The easiest schedule of any team in the NFLHC landed with the Miami Dolphins. Their only victory against a team with a non-losing record? The Jets in Week 16. When you manage to get 10 games against teams that don't even touch .500, it's very surprising that the 'fins weren't any better than 9-7. If there isn't panic in Miami, the team is run by ostriches. With the Colts and Raiders on the slate next year, I don't think this level of coasting is possible again next year. Then again, they lost to the two teams they drew this year--Cincinnati and Houston. And neither of those teams were that good. New York Jets Record: 11-5 SOS+: T-29th Home Record: 6-2 Road Record: 5-3 Record vs sub .500: 7-1 Record vs .500+: 4-4 Another AFCE team with a terrible schedule (and this continues), the Jets fared significantly better against actual competition. A pretty solid follow-up season to a runner up season, the Jets are likely going to be looking to continue their dominance of the division. There seem to be some concerns about Wegert, but I'm not sure they're going to matter in the offseason. Look for them to land in the 9-11 win range again next year. And for people to mock them an offensive tackle. New England Patriots Record: 4-12 SOS+: 27th Home Record: 3-5 Road Record: 1-7 Record vs sub .500: 3-3 Record vs .500+: 1-9 What is it with the AFCE and pussy ass schedules? Providing the only win for the terrible Los Angeles Chargers, the Patriots had a very disappointing season. Their sweep of rival Buffalo provides the only bright spot at all for this season. With huge question marks at quarterback, I don't expect the Patriots to jump much next year. They get the AFCN, Houston, and Kansas City, which might provide an even tougher slate than this year. Seriously, you lost to LAC and WAS... Buffalo Bills Record: 3-13 SOS+: T-29th Home Record: 1-7 Road Record: 2-6 Record vs sub .500: 1-6 Record vs .500+: 2-7 When you have more wins against teams at .500 or better than you do sub .500, I think your season is rather strange. Getting swept by fellow all-toilet team Patriots, this was a very trying year for Buffalo. They managed to unload two veteran, expensive contracts for great picks in the next two drafts, so their future is definitely looking up. They grab LAC and TEN next year as opponents, but TEN will be a real challenge. Don't expect much as their new lynch pins will be very young. The AFC South Memes. Memes galore. Jacksonville managed to grab the #1 AFC seed running trick plays as their secondary scheme. Their core offensive weapons had 1 year of professional experience between them (Sowell and Raheem). If that doesn't tell you all you need to know about this division and the conference as a whole, I have nothing for you. Also, the Colts are pretty good, the Titans are super spooky next year, and the Texans are bad memes. Indianapolis Colts Record: 11-5 SOS+: T-9th Home Record: 6-2 Road Record: 5-3 Record vs sub .500: 6-1 Record vs .500+: 5-4 The Colts had a pretty tough schedule this year and played it well. They dominated the weak teams on their schedule and managed to go 1 game up on the good teams. Shea balled out, their running game is still awful, and I don't think their secondary is much of anything either. But they'll go 11-5 or 10-6 again next year, make the playoffs, beat whoever draws them as their opponent, and then lose to NYJ or JAX in the divisional round. Which might happen this year, too. Houston Texans Record: 6-10 SOS+: T-4th Home Record: 4-4 Road Record: 2-6 Record vs sub .500: 4-1 Record vs .500+: 2-9 Eleven games against teams over .500. While the Texans managed to do what was expected of them and beat their weaker opponents (splitting with TEN 1-1), the Texans just could not stay consistent against their good opponents. With an average margin of victory of +9 and a margin of loss of -10, good for 21st and 15th respectively, the Texans were constantly in the ball game, but could never punch it in. This would normally bode well for a team going into the next season, but their lack of draft capital is going to hamper this team hard. They will either need to splash in the free agency market or trade block to improve next year. Barring that, their ceiling next year looks to be 7-9. Jacksonville Jaguars Record: 12-4 SOS+: T-23rd Home Record: 4-4 Road Record: 8-0 Record vs sub .500: 9-0 Record vs .500+: 3-4 Ladies and Gentlemen, the Jacksonville Memes. First off, they were perfect on the road. Perfect against all the shitty teams they played, but mediocre against the good teams. With a first team slate next year, we get JAX vs BAL and NYJ, which might regress their record a bit, but they're only going to get better with progressions and drafting. It's hard to write much about the good teams, guys. Why did we let this happen? Tennessee Titans Record: 5-11 SOS+: T-23rd Home Record: 3-5 Road Record: 2-6 Record vs sub .500: 4-3 Record vs .500+: 1-8 Racked by injuries, the Titans really struggled against good teams this year. Their only win against a team at .500 or better came week one vs 8-8 Cleveland, so they really did struggle. When they did win, however, they won by just short of two touchdowns. Their progressions were fantastic, they'll hopefully get a good QB this offseason, and they draw CIN and BUF as their standing opponents next year. I think an 8-8 season for this young team is very possible and they have a bright future right now. If they can stay on the field. The AFC West The wild, wild west had quite the interesting year. A divisional title by Denver, a wildcard appearance by Oakland, a bipolar Kansas City, and perhaps the worst team ever in LAC. Quite a wild ride that should be just as entertaining next year. Oakland Raiders Record: 9-7 SOS+: T-25th Home Record: 5-3 Road Record: 4-4 Record vs sub .500: 6-1 Record vs .500+: 3-6 The Raiders had a tough year. Having traded one of their star WRs in the offseason, they took a backstep against good opponents. They still dismantled their terrible opponents, but batting .333 against teams with a pulse could mean an early playoff exit for the Raiders. They did post wins over Indianapolis and Denver, but they have to travel to Denver where they just lost two weeks ago. Next year, with some solid drafting, we should see the Raiders back at 9-7 or 10-6. They'll draw a slightly easier schedule than Denver, which may be the difference. Los Angeles Chargers Record: 1-15 SOS+: T-25th Home Record: 1-7 Road Record: 0-8 Record vs sub .500: 1-5 Record vs .500+: 0-10 Man, what a god awful year. A weaker schedule and a stunning 15 losses on the season spells gloom and doom. With a lone win over fellow awful team New England, there's really nothing to praise about this team. They were terrible on offense, terrible on defense, and probably terrible in coaching. They're looking to sell a lot of players judging from their recent trade block post, so they're going to make changes. However, this isn't the type of season that gets erased in one offseason. 5-11 is their ceiling next year, in my opinion. Denver Broncos Record: 10-6 SOS+: 31st Home Record: 5-3 Road Record: 5-3 Record vs sub .500: 7-2 Record vs .500+: 3-4 Another AFC team with a porous schedule. They took care of business for the most part (that loss to ARI is really odd) and came up just short against their good opponents. But this was all they needed to do to make the playoffs and grab another division title. With one of the better Margins of Victory and Margins of Loss (5th and 10th respectively), this team should be set up pretty well for the future. They've got a solid core going and should be contenders for the next few years. Kansas City Chiefs Record: 7-9 SOS+: T-21st Home Record: 3-5 Road Record: 4-4 Record vs sub .500: 5-0 Record vs .500+: 2-9 They swept their bad opponents. They got demolished by their good opponents. Their 0-5 opening stretch were all against teams with winning records. Their 5-1 stretch immediately following was against 4 teams that won 4 games or less all season (ARI also tied) and two teams with 10+ wins. A very bipolar season for the Chiefs to go along with their bipolar schedule. They draw CLE and NE next year along with the AFCS, so they might be set up pretty good. However, it's going to require a strong showing in the draft and by coach Nmize0 if he wants to make the playoffs next year.
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    Mountain West Candid Coaches I Hello all and welcome to a brand new series brought to you by the Mountain West Conference. In this series, coaches around the conference will be given anonymity and a prompt about their fellow coaches and teams. Coaches are encouraged to be completely honest and each edition will feature a different topic. For the first installment of the MWC Candid Coaches we just asked for mid-season thoughts on every team in the conference, and the participating coaches did not fail to deliver. Without further delay, we are proud to present the Mountain West Candid Coaches I: Air Force Boise State Colorado State New Mexico Utah State Wyoming Fresno State Hawaii Nevada San Diego State San Jose State UNLV
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    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.
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    Players highlighted in red are beginning to question possible retirement which may affect contract negotiations or future NFL events. Please continue to keep these players highlighted with red text on your team page and depth chart. Players highlighted in orange are unhappy with their situation (last season's depth chart, team performance, and/or coaching) and are somewhat vocal about it which may affect contract negotiations or future NFL events. Please continue to keep these players highlighted with yellow text on your team page and depth chart. Players highlighted in green are encourage by the some aspect of the current team (last season's depth chart, team performance, or coaching) and are somewhat vocal about it which may affect contract negotiations or future NFL events. Please continue to keep these players highlighted with yellow text on your team page and depth chart. Atlanta Falcons Arizona Cardinals Chicago Bears Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Houston Texans Los Angeles Chargers Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints Philadelphia Eagles Seattle Seahawks Tennessee Titans Retirements
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    I tracked every sack this season by position and against which team here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NpItLtUyzXFaliMaY7YiVCatW0D3ZrfQjrq-brFyo7g/edit?usp=sharing Using this info, I totaled how many sacks were gotten by each position: One problem with this is that not every sack shows up on the statsheet. League-wide only 63% of sacks are shown on the statsheet. Using this number, I adjusted the sack numbers to account for sacks not on the statsheet. This does assume that the same distribution of sacks is seen on the statsheet and off the statsheet. Next, I totaled the sacks by position for each team. Then I calculated the pass attempts per sack for each position for each team. I compared these with the values above (the non-adjusted values) to see where teams were giving up more sacks than the league average. Green means it is above the league average, green is good. Red means it is below the league average, red is bad. The number is how many pass attempts it would take to get 1 sack on the statsheet by that position. For example, Arizona has 123 under RDE. That means it took 123 pass attempts for the RDE to get 1 sack on the statsheet against Arizona this season. The box is green because the league average is for an RDE to get a sack every 86 pass attempts (table 1). High numbers are good. N/A means that team did not allow a sack to that position this season. If you would rather compare the numbers against the adjusted sacks (table 2) to account for off-statsheet sacks, I think you can just multiply the numbers in the boxes by 0.63. Arizona Cardinals Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs
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    Season records that have already been broken: Season records that may be broken this week:
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    Welcome to another edition of Five By Five, the Chicago Tribune's most requested 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 serwendel from Vanderbilt, Weeze56m from East Carolina, thatfunk from Arkansas, 2014 Home Depot National Coach of the Year SlinkyJr from Michigan State, and HAFFnHAFF from Kansas State. Each coach will begin by answering the same four questions along with a fifth question unique to their program. Q1: We're exactly halfway through the season now. Did the first half go about the way you expected it to? serwendel, Vanderbilt: Honestly, the first half of the season went a bit better than I had expected it to. I figured that we'd drop one or two games against Oregon, Kansas, and Georgia. The fact that we were one quarter away from beating Georgia makes me really proud of this team. The second half is the real challenge though, we've got plenty of tough teams on the schedule, especially the last two against Alabama and Tennessee. Weeze56m, East Carolina: You know, we were really hoping to get that win against Houston, and to go into our mid-season bye with a 3-0 conference record. Especially with two huge games coming up for us, that would have just put us in a much better situation. But we've learned from our mistakes, and we sit 4-2 on the season. We are still in place to make it to a bowl, and we aren't out of the conference Championship race. Thats all that matters right now. thatfunk, Arkansas: I would have to say Yes. This is a good roster, but it's not one that's built at the moment to compete with the top tier teams in our conference. We've played three teams that are currently ranked in the top ten, including two in our division. Thankfully we have stepped up recruiting-wise this season, with a current ranking of 8th, and believe we have found some players around whom we can build a foundation of success. SlinkyJr, Michigan State: It may be a bit surprising to hear, but yeah this first half actually did go the way I thought it would. This isn't my most talented team ever but it's far from my worst. When I looked at my players, and what happened last year, and the scheme that had been run, I knew this team had underperformed both on offense and defense. I will say I don't think I've faced my toughest challenges yet, but I think this team could continue to surprise some people as the season goes on. HAFFnHAFF, Kansas State: To be honest I had no idea what to expect from this team. My goal coming into the season was to sweep my non-conference schedule and try to find a way to win 3 conference games to become bowl eligible. But I had no idea if that was realistic. The spring game shook my confidence when Rahim Murrell looked so bad in my offense from last season. So I had to tweak a lot of things and so far it has turned out really well for me. Q2: What player has been your biggest surprise of the season? serwendel, Vanderbilt: I honestly did not think that Damian Dailey would become this good this quickly. In the past, our linebackers sort of eased into their roles, but Dailey really has put his game on the same level as our other linebackers. That's incredible at this point in his career. Weeze56m, East Carolina: Its hard to pick just one. Both OLB Arthur Rossi and DE Isiah Townsend have played really good football for us. Neither started last season, and both are making cases that they should have. But if I had to pick one, I suppose I would say Townsend. He is leading our teams in sacks and is on pace to set a single season record for ECU in Sacks. I'm extremely proud of him and can't wait to see how much better he is next season when he has a strong partner pulling some of his blockers. thatfunk, Arkansas: I think Noel Lujan might fit the bill. Between Tyron Chambers and Dillon Scott, Noel was the forgotten man in our receiving group. The double teams Chambers constantly sees has allowed Noel an opportunity to shine and he has taken full advantage. SlinkyJr, Michigan State: Henry Oswald, he's not lighting the world on fire, but he's a walk on that has stepped into the WR3 role and done exactly what I've asked of him. It's good to see because next year is going to be quite the experiment with the wr group and he just might end up being the top guy. HAFFnHAFF, Kansas State: I think almost everyone would expect me to say Rahim. But hands down my biggest surprise player has been OLB Shawn Reyes. Shawn was the prize recruit from my first recruiting class and redshirted last season. Now he is starting as a 3.0/3.5 redshirt freshman and has had a great year! He is 2nd on the team in tackles (25), leads the team in INTs (3), and has a defensive TD that sealed the game against Iowa State last week. Q3: Other than your team, who do you think is gonna carry the banner for your conference this season? serwendel, Vanderbilt: Right now it looks like Auburn is going to be leading the way for the SEC. Jumanji's been running a great team there with some really talented players and great coaching. They do still have to play LSU, but it looks to me like Auburn is the team to beat in the SEC west. Weeze56m, East Carolina: As of right now, I think the conference is still wide open. Most believe, especially after their stellar game against SMU, that UCF will come away with the trophy at the end of the year. While I can see that, they still have to play USF, which had a bad game recently, but has been explosive the last few years. Of course you also can't ignore Temple or Houston who can easily sneak their way in should some of the top dogs stumble a little. thatfunk, Arkansas: Our conference has some incredibly strong teams at the top. LSU and Alabama were two I thought might end up with one loss between the two of them. Alabama has slipped up recently and LSU has lost one but they are still formidable opponents. Obviously Auburn is at the top right now, and for good reason. I'll be cheering for them the rest of the way and hopefully they can bring another national championship to the SEC. SlinkyJr, Michigan State: Purdue, I just think inspiral has built that team really well. Matt Jones is one heck of a QB, his defense is solid, and they don't make many mistakes. It's awesome to see how he's taken that team and where they were when he started and where they are now. One of the best, if not the best team builds in the game. HAFFnHAFF, Kansas State: West Virginia. I'm a little bias because I used to work with smckenz in NFL and currently work with him in NHL. But I was on the West Virginia bandwagon before the season started. When the Big XII media picked them to go 6-6 we had a good laugh about that. People outside the Big XII look at them now and just see 2 losses (which is reflected in their placement in the polls.) But people inside the conference know the circumstances of those 2 losses and have seen them destroy everyone in sight since. It is a travesty they are rated so low nationally. Q4: Do you have any walk ons who've managed to earn themselves a role on the field, including on special teams? serwendel, Vanderbilt: Unfortunately, our walkons haven't made a significant impact yet. The state of Tennessee gets pretty picked over during recruiting season, and to be honest most people willing to walk on to our program would rather spend that time studying. Our academic requirements are pretty strict and that weeds out people looking to only play football in college. Weeze56m, East Carolina: No walk ons, but true Freshman Leon Burris has shown amazing athleticism and real explosiveness at the wide receiver position. While he doesn't have the same level of production as the two seniors, there has already been a couple games when he has matched their level of play. As he grows, as he develops, we should see even better from him. We are all very excited to see him grow. thatfunk, Arkansas: Not that I'm aware of. SlinkyJr, Michigan State: My offense has 3 of them. Henry Oswald who I mentioned is playing WR3, Finn Chase is my starting TE and Carter Mobley is starting at Right Guard as a redshirt freshman. All three have played a pretty big part in my offense and I have been very happy with their ability to step into the role and perform. HAFFnHAFF, Kansas State: FB Kai Weber comes to mind. He came to KSU and walked on before I was here, when the smash-mouth offense was alive and well led by Dylan Stewart. And why not? Every FB's dream is to play in an offense like that. But halfway through Stewart's Sr. year, which was my first year as coach, we moved to a more balanced offense. But Weber has played his way onto the field on special teams. He is a good blocker but he really comes alive on kick and punt coverage. He just loves to put his head down and light people up. Q5 to serwendel: You have a star-studded defense that's been living up to its potential as one of the best in the country. How did that unit come together, and who's been the most critical player in taking this defense to another level? serwendel, Vanderbilt: Since the recruitment of David Pennington, we've made it a point to try to bring in new great defensive players every season. It now looks like we've gained the rewards from those classes now. We have a good defensive line backed by some monster linebackers. Our CBs are experienced, proven playmakers, and our safeties are just as good as our linebackers, just less hyped. The most critical player to our defense is our star cornerback Jordan Tucker. A lot of teams feel like our corners are week, which makes Tucker even more valuable. He got off to a great start this season and I hope that he continues to move forward every game. Q5 to Weeze56m: The Pirates have one of their toughest games--and certainly the most important games--of the season to date. What is it like to prepare for a team like USF, and what would a win mean for your program? Weeze56m, East Carolina: Its tough. Real tough. They are an explosive offense that got better on defense this season. They had an off game last week, which only means that defense is gonna wanna come out hungry and ready to go. ECU does have a history of beating ranked opponents. We did it last season, and we hope to do it twice this season. But a win for us would mean a real shot at going back to the Championship game for the 2nd time in 3 years. That would be an amazing thing for our program, and we are trying to build a national contender here at ECU. Q5 to thatfunk: Arkansas has had a traditionally strong passing attack behind guys like RJ Stanford and Sean Sitton. How does Connor Dawson fit in that role? thatfunk, Arkansas: Well Connor is a true pocket passer and we are trying to find an offense that works to his strengths. Connor and I are both new this year, and he had a late start to learning the offense so we are still working on gelling with each other. Once that happens I don't see why Connor couldn't be as prolific as those two guys you mentioned. Q5 to SlinkyJr: You're in the process of engineering yet another huge turnaround for the Michigan State program after coming out of retirement. How much does that mean to you? SlinkyJr, Michigan State: This has been one of the most satisfying seasons since I've been here for the reason you mentioned. When I left MSU, it was because I no longer enjoyed what i was doing. I didn't have the connection to my players like I did with Bobby Viger, Michael Duckworth, Brandon Sauter, Keyshawn Thompson, etc etc. I wasn't putting in the effort I used to, and I was just going through the motions. But this team feels like that old team. My love for guys like KD and Thurston, Joel Snow, and my whole secondary has brought back the joy. It hurt to see where MSU was trending, and I was a big part of that, probably bigger than the coach that took over after me. When I came back, I still wasn't confident I would be able to get that trend going back up, so to have some success this season has shown me that maybe I can do this. I just have to figure out how to not be total ass at recruiting. Q5 to HAFFnHAFF: With Thursday's win over Iowa State, you're 5-2 and on the precipice of bowling. You've got West Virginia, the two Oklahomas, Texas Tech, and Kansas left on the schedule. The last win is always the hardest--what's it going to take to get over the top? HAFFnHAFF, Kansas State: It is going to take both units playing well in the same game. We started the season with the offense playing well and the defense really struggling. Then there were signs of life in the Wyoming game where both units played well. Then we played TCU and both units played poorly. Against Texas our offense was lights out but our defense couldn't stop anyone. That game is going to haunt me if we end up missing a bowl. We were so close to getting that win in Austin. But that is just one of those games where whoever had the ball last was going to win and Texas had the ball last. Looking at our last 2 games, the defense has been great! They really had a fire lit under them after being embarrassed by Texas. But in both of those games our offense has really struggled. If we can put together some games where both units play well I think we will claim win #6.
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    Purdue survives an upset bid from Notre Dame in Week 8 Purdue Boilermakers These guys are totally deserving of #1. They’ve won against tough competition in great fashion. They’ve held off an upset bid from Notre Dame, handled Michigan and took down Wisconsin in Madison. They avoid Penn State and Michigan State this regular season, and the only close games left looks to be Maryland and the surprising squad from Champaign, Illinois. Auburn Tigers As much as I hate to say it, the Barners deserve the #2 ranking. Marcus Black is an Heisman favorite, and this team is loaded with talent. They haven’t faced the toughest of schedules but they did take down Clemson, who is a great team in their own right. The last two games of Auburn’s season are @LSU and at home against my Alabama Crimson Tide. If Marcus Black can lead them to victory, look for the Tigers to take home the SEC crown, and likely reach the CFBHC championship. Air Force Falcons Here we are at week 9 of the season, and Air Force is still undefeated. Air Force hasn’t had the toughest of schedules, but they’re winning with style. Nico Kaufman is my midseason pick for the Heisman trophy, and he looks to lead this Air Force team to their first championship. Air Force handled Notre Dame considerably better than Purdue, as well as giving Mississippi State the business in their first game. They pass the eye test so far, and have an easy schedule from here on out. Virginia Cavaliers Who would have guessed that the Cavaliers would be the favorites in the ACC? Well, being undefeated through week 8, and taking down Pitt, I have them in the drivers seat. They won’t face Clemson unless they meet in the conference championship game, and I really like their chances in every game from here on out. Matteo Rook might just lead this team to a spot in the CFBHC playoff, but I’m not sure if they could win it. For now, they’re my #4 team. UCF Golden Knights I really struggled between UCF and Virginia at 4 and 5, but I gave Virginia the nod due to their win over Pitt. However, not to be overlooked, UCF just took down an undefeated SMU team. Denorris Jackson is pounding his way to victory week in and week out. The UCF offensive line isn’t too shabby either. The defense looks solid, and I see UCF as a real contender. I think they should be just fine until they hit their last two games, Temple and USF. Temple has some talent, but I expect UCF to win that game, but it might be close. If that game takes a lot out of them, look for a possible upset by currently undefeated USF in the last week of the regular season. Penn State Nittany Lions My first one loss team comes in at #6, the defending champion Penn State. Penn State was handed a loss at home by Pittsburgh, who lost to Virginia. However, I think that coach grv has got the team sorted out and has righted the ship. They smacked Ohio State last week, and probably won’t be tested again until they face Maryland. Bowman looks like a potential #1 pick in the next NFLHC draft, and hopes to lead this team to the promised land one last time. Michigan State Spartans Back to the undefeateds, we have Sparty. Slinky is back with his old team, and they look to contend for the Big Ten once again. This week will be the real test as they face Michigan, who’s faltered a bit but still is a very good team. If they can get past their in state rivals, look to the end of their schedule to see if they are really legit. Illinois Fighting Illini Seems like I’m putting a lot of Big Ten teams at the top of my rankings, but darn do they look good. Illinois just squeaked out a win over a tough Minnesota team, 14-7. You gotta respect winning a defensive battle like that. The loss to Iowa is a tad surprising, and has me a little cautious about having them this high. Hopefully that defense can carry them through a strong conference and keep their dream season alive. LSU Tigers Here we have the second SEC team, LSU. LSU was once at the very top, but has stumbled in their bid to win the SEC West. The door was left open when they lost to my team in week 5. It was on the road though, and this team is deep with talent. As long as they can avoid any more mishaps, they should challenge Auburn late in the season for the division title. I also like that that game is a home game for them. However, if LSU couldn’t contain Alabama, how will they fare against a team with weapons like Auburn? Only time will tell. Pittsburgh Panthers Rounding out the top ten we have Jumbo’s Pitt Panthers. They dethroned the former champs, and were cruising until they were stunned by Virginia. This launched Virginia up the ranks, but I don’t think Pitt deserves to fall very far. They still look like a great team capable of winning against some great teams, but they no longer control their own destiny. I’m sure Jumbo will be closely following Virginia’s schedule in hopes that Pitt can regain their way into the ACC title game. @ Duke might give them a scare though, so beware. USC Trojans Alright, I’ll say it. Every year the Trojans look full of talent, but we never know if they’re really legit. Unfortunately I don’t know if we’re gonna find out until late in the season. They lost to a good Notre Dame team, but Notre Dame was handled by a true contender in Air Force, and lost a close one to #1 Purdue. USC will get their real test at the end of the season when they play @Cal, @UCLA, and @Arizona. Michigan Wolverines Michigan only has one loss so far, and it’s to current #1 Purdue. This is a very talented team, that’s getting pushed down by a lot of quality at the top. If they beat Michigan State, they should easily crack the top 10. It will be a tough game when they head to Happy Valley and face Penn State, but I think they have a good chance to pull out the win. The race for the Big Ten, especially the Big Ten West will definitely be interesting. USF Bulls Another undefeated team, we have the Bulls from South Florida. They’re untested so far besides a win over Tennessee, and I’m not sure they’re legit. For now, they sit outside the top ten, but if they can win out and win the AAC, you’ll find them in the playoffs just the same. I’ve got the game against Denorris Jackson and UCF circled on my calendar. They also lose points for having played UMass because that’s basically like playing College of Faith at this point. Washington State Cougars The Cougs have some real ballers on their squad. David Oates has quickly surpassed Raoul Gomez as best QB in Cougar history, and is hoping to lead his team to back to back PAC-12 titles. At first glance, losing to Oregon may not seem great, but I can vouch that Oregon is better than their record. The Cougs are still my favorite to win the North, but they have to be careful to not slip up @Stanford late in the season. Mississippi State Bulldogs The Bulldogs have really turned it around since losing to #3 Air Force early this season. HC Duncan seems to have figured this team out, and might just cause chaos in the SEC West. They have to travel to Auburn, but they get LSU at home, where they just took down Alabama. Do you see what I’m getting at? LSU seems like they might have trouble on the road, and the Bulldogs would love to play spoiler. Who knows, wouldn’t it be wild to see the Bulldogs win the West? Georgia Bulldogs Georgia is always a good team, but I’m pretty confident they don’t have the team to beat any of the teams likely to win the SEC West, should they win their own division. Beating Vandy was definitely a step in the right direction, but Florida still stands in their way. @ Tennessee won’t be easy either. Salvatore Tanner just doesn’t scream winner to me, and I think he struggles headed down the stretch. Either way, so far they’ve only lost to the #2 Auburn Tigers, so this is where I’ve got them. Vanderbilt Commodores Vandy has a great defense, but I’m not sure if they have the offensive weapons to stay near the top this season. Their linebacking corps is one of the best we’ve ever seen, but there’s other holes to exploit. I liked their performance versus Florida, but I could see them dropping a game against Mizzou, Alabama or Tennessee. The SEC East is really more of a contest of who gets to lose to Auburn or LSU anyways, so maybe Vandy will be the lucky contestant. Arizona Wildcats Similar to Washington State, the Wildcats single loss was to Oregon. They beat UCLA last week, which was a impressive win. The make or break game is this week against the Cougs. Washington State needs this game just as bad as they do, so we should see a top level effort from both sides. If Arizona can pull it out, I think they could challenge USC for the PAC-12 South. Another interesting matchup to look forward to for Arizona is a late season matchup against Hawaii, who is currently undefeated. Clemson Tigers 19 may be a little low for the Tigers, but I have them down since after they lost their second game of the season when they were stunned by Louisville. I expect them to climb back up the ranks as the teams ahead of them start to drop games, especially since a lot of the higher teams play each other. If Jamel Armstrong can avoid turning the ball over, I expect them to win out the rest of their games. Alabama Crimson Tide I’m not gonna bother with talking about myself too much, but I do believe a win over LSU is worth being ranked. Hopefully I can right the ship and get the team back on track before the Iron Bowl. Oklahoma State Cowboys I was pretty surprised when OKST lost to Kansas last week. The Big 12 is one huge clusterfuck right now, and I have no idea how it’s gonna turn out. I think this team is pretty good, and since their rivals just took down Texas, they should be optimistic about their chances to win the conference going forward. However, they can’t drop any more games, or chaos will reign. Maryland Terrapins Yet another Big Ten team in the rankings. Maryland has quietly found themselves at 5-1 at week 9. However, their schedule so far isn’t very impressive. The best team that they’ve played so far, Minnesota, dominated them in week 3. Going forward, the Terps have to face Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State, all ranked higher than they are. They probably won’t be the favorite in any of those games, but I wouldn’t count them out either. SMU Mustangs SMU did not look good at all last week against UCF. 0 sacks, a sub 6 offensive line rating, throwing 2 picks, 1 offensive touchdown, and a missed field goal does not show me that they have what it takes to stick around in these rankings. However, they have a pretty easy schedule in the AAC, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they meme their way to victory and climb up the coaches poll just to get smacked around by UCF again in the title game. Florida Gators Florida is an very one dimensional team, but they’re getting it done so far. They have a kick ass offensive line, and their running back is feasting behind them. It says a lot that they are able to win even though opposing defenses should know what’s coming. The Gators have a chance to compete in the SEC East if they can continue to pound the ball when they face Georgia. They already took down Tucker Dowden and Mizzou, so I give them a solid shot. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Alright, I honestly feel like I’m kind of disrespecting Hawaii by having them this low. They haven’t lost a game yet, and are behind some one and two loss teams. When they start to play against some real competition, we’ll find out if they’re legit. They only beat Utah State by 1 point though, so I’m not sure if they have real staying power.
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    I have been tracking WR/CB matchups this season in order to find the best CB's in NFLHC. Using the logic that the #1 CB covers the #1 WR and the #2 CB covers the #2 WR, I compiled how many receptions, yards, and TDs each #1 and #2 CB have given up based on who they faced that week. I have accounted for injuries and depth chart changes weekly. Obviously, assuming that the #1 CB is responsible for everything that the #1 WR does have flaws and can't account for some things but I believe it's still a pretty good indicator of CB coverage performance. DISCLAIMER: Please use your own judgement. These stats do not factor in many things like: safety help, zone coverage, #1 CB's don't always match up on #1 WR's, quality of QB/WR faced, etc. HERE ARE THE FULL STATS: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HkDLoaI8TetegCf0yavVG1HekhwoLj3V3prprccZRnI/edit?usp=sharing Make sure to check the tabs at the bottom to sort stats and see estimated QB Rating against each player. Bubada's Cornerback Awards Best Overall CB: Dave Stokley, NE Runner-up: Justin Davis, MIA Best #2 CB: T.J. Hunter, DAL Runner-up: Stephen Mitchell-Morrison, NYG Best Rookie CB: Marquise Reed, GB Runner-up: Blake Turner, CIN Best CB Duo: Matt Cowan and Corey Quinn, SEA Runner-up: Isaiah Polsfoot and Thomas Patterson, LAR Most Surprising CB: Isaiah Polsfoot, LAR Runner-up: Jack Ramsey, TEN Most Disappointing CB: Cameron Newhouse, TB Runner-up: Ivory Hull, CHI Worst Overall CB: George Brady, NO Runner-up: Joel Prince, PIT
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    This might be blasphemous, but I like the idea of a lottery draft for NFLHC. We joke about it, we shit on it, but tanking is definitely something that people at least hope for, if not active coach for. But instead of just talking about this in the shoutbox, I want to look at what could happen if we implemented this for the upcoming draft. So the following is that look. Given concerns about teams benching key players in the final weeks, making drastic changes like running trick plays, and other various methodologies that could be seen as tanking in disguise, NFLHC Commissioner Alienufo has decided that the NFLHC draft will have the top 3 picks determined by lottery like NHLHC is. While this will not stamp out tanking, it will help deter it by creating risk in the strategy. He has passed off the work to NFLHC assistant Rome, who's work is outlined here. Methodology The NFLHC Draft Lottery is a hybridization of the NBA and NHL lottery drafts. The spread of chances are ripped straight from the NBA draft lottery, but the actual process is lifted from the NHL. Given that the NFLHC has way more teams missing the playoffs than either of those two leagues, we had to adapt the numbers a bit. The NBA lottery split reduces in this trend line: y = 399.21e^(-0.332x) Now, given that we have more teams, I adapted the exponent to -0.222x, which I think provided a better spread of chances. Also, the order of the teams remain the same as in the NFL--record with strength of schedule being the tiebreaker. Given this, we end up with the following chart: As you can see, the bottom six teams don't even have a 1% chance of the top pick. I feel that this is a satisfying handicap as we have teams like ATL and PHI that just missed the playoffs, winning 10 out of 16 of their games. But it only gives the worst team--historically bad Los Angeles Chargers--only a 1 in 5 chance of actually getting that top pick. Picks 1, 2, and 3 will be selected in order. The first selection will be for the #1 overall pick. The team that wins this pick will be removed from the pool and pick #2 will be selected. Like wise for pick #3. Then the order will be set by the remaining teams in their default order (record and SOS as a tiebreaker), while rounds 2 thru 7 will be completely set by this order. This is a relatively simple set up and should be easy to follow for all those would-be conspiracy theorists. Selection Without further adieu, here is our number #1 overall selection, as picked by random.org. Random.org selects 768 -- The BUFFALO BILLS will have the #1 Overall Selection of the 2021 NFLHC Draft! Random.org selects 115 -- The LOS ANGELES CHARGERS will have the #2 Overall Selection of the 2021 NFLHC Draft! Random. org selects 453 -- The CHICAGO BEARS will have the #3 Overall Selection of the 2021 NFLHC Draft! Therefore, your NFLHC Draft Order for Round 1 will be: 1. BUF 2. LAC 3. CHI 4. WAS 5. NE 6. MIN 7. ARI 8. TEN 9. NO 10. TB 11. CIN 12. NYG 13. HOU 14. KC 15. CLE 16. MIA 17. SEA 18. PIT 19. ATL 20. PHI Tune in for the 2021 NFLHC Draft at 8pm EST, November 23rd, 2017!
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    When a player signs a new contract, the guaranteed money on the first year is now considered a signing bonus, and is guaranteed on the team's salary cap for the first year of the contract. This means that if the player is then traded, the team he signed the contract with is on the hook for that signing bonus, but is not on the hook for anything past the first year. The team receiving the player in the trade will not have to pay any of the guaranteed money the first year, only the salary portion. The team receiving the player in a trade may offer to take on a portion of the signing bonus, up to 50%, in part of the trade. Example: Brian Brown signs a 5 year, 100 million dollar contract with Miami during the 2021 offseason: 5 years // 100.0 million // 50.00% Guaranteed G//10.0//10.0//10.0//10.0//10.0//Total:50.0 $//10.0//10.0//10.0//10.0//10.0//Total:50.0 Total//20.0//20.0//20.0//20.0//20.0//Total:100.0 and is immediately traded to the Bills. Miami will be on the hook in 2021 for $10 million. The Bills would be on the hook for 10 million in salary for 2021 and the full amount for every other year. Miami could make a deal for the bills to take on 5 million of the guaranteed money, in which case Miami would owe Brown 5 million on their cap in 2021, and the bills would owe 15 million (5 mil of which is guaranteed). This does not apply to rookies. This will take effect immediately during the 2021 offseason.
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    Most Pro Bowl Appearances 7 appearances: Christian Skaggs 6 appearances: Chester Henson, Vaughn Abraham, Dan Nomellini, Marcellus Peterson, Quentin Smith, Alvis Brumm, Rodney Galbreath, Andre Brooks, Gary Faneca, David Wilson, Tyrone Jones, Sean Burton Streaks 7 year streak: Christian Skaggs 6 year streak: Tyrone Jones, Sean Burton 5 year streak: Jace Brown 4 year streak: Mosi Bartos, Sid Henson, LaMarcus Smith, David Doherty, Justin Davis, Dane Wilson 3 year streak: Aaron Shea, Tai Miller, Jon Zatkoff, Ron Rice, Matt Cowan, Darius Jones Breaking a 6 year streak of being in Pro Bowl: Dan Nomellini, Marcellus Peterson, Quentin Smith, Alvis Brumm, Rodney Galbreath, Andre Brooks Breaking a 5 year streak of being in Pro Bowl: Mike Tripplett Breaking a 4 year streak of being in Pro Bowl: Curtis Lewis, Nick Hall, Scott Howard, Forrest Garrett Breaking a 3 year streak of being in Pro Bowl: Adam Newman, Jeff Mangum
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    The NFC Playoff teams are set: The seeding with the most iterations is: #3 DAL vs. #6 SF #4 LAR vs. #5 GB - #1 CAR vs. DAL/SF #2 DET vs. LAR/GB CAR @ TB PHI @ DAL GB @ DET SF @ SEA LAR @ ARI 1 2 3 4 5 6 CAR PHI GB SEA ARI CAR GB DAL LAR DET SF CAR PHI GB SEA LAR CAR GB LAR DAL DET SF CAR PHI GB SF ARI CAR GB SF DAL DET LAR CAR PHI GB SF LAR CAR GB LAR DAL DET SF CAR PHI DET SEA ARI CAR DET DAL LAR GB SF CAR PHI DET SEA LAR CAR DET LAR DAL GB SF CAR PHI DET SF ARI CAR DET SF DAL GB LAR CAR PHI DET SF LAR CAR DET LAR DAL GB SF CAR DAL GB SEA ARI CAR DAL GB LAR DET SF CAR DAL GB SEA LAR CAR DAL GB LAR DET SF CAR DAL GB SF ARI CAR DAL GB SF DET LAR CAR DAL GB SF LAR CAR DAL GB LAR DET SF CAR DAL DET SEA ARI CAR DET DAL LAR GB SF CAR DAL DET SEA LAR CAR DET DAL LAR GB SF CAR DAL DET SF ARI CAR DET DAL SF GB LAR CAR DAL DET SF LAR CAR DET DAL LAR GB SF TB PHI GB SEA ARI GB CAR DAL LAR DET SF TB PHI GB SEA LAR CAR GB LAR DAL DET SF TB PHI GB SF ARI GB CAR DAL LAR DET SF TB PHI GB SF LAR CAR GB LAR DAL DET SF TB PHI DET SEA ARI CAR DET DAL LAR GB SF TB PHI DET SEA LAR DET CAR LAR DAL GB SF TB PHI DET SF ARI CAR DET SF DAL GB LAR TB PHI DET SF LAR DET CAR LAR DAL GB SF TB DAL GB SEA ARI CAR DAL GB LAR DET SF TB DAL GB SEA LAR CAR DAL GB LAR DET SF TB DAL GB SF ARI CAR DAL GB SF DET LAR TB DAL GB SF LAR CAR DAL GB LAR DET SF TB DAL DET SEA ARI DET CAR DAL LAR GB SF TB DAL DET SEA LAR DET CAR DAL LAR GB SF TB DAL DET SF ARI DET CAR DAL LAR GB SF TB DAL DET SF LAR DET CAR DAL LAR GB SF #1 seed Panthers 24/32 Lions 6/32 Packers 2/32 #2 seed Lions 10/32 Cowboys 8/32 Panthers 8/32 Packers 6/32 #3 seed Cowboys 13/32 Packers 8/32 Rams 8/32 49ers 3/32 #4 seed Rams 18/32 Cowboys 11/32 49ers 3/32 #5 seed Lions 16/32 Packers 16/32 #6 seed 49ers 26/32 Rams 6/32 Panthers #1 seed - 24/32 #2 seed - 8/32 Lions #1 seed - 6/32 #2 seed - 10/32 #5 seed - 16/32 Packers #1 seed - 2/32 #2 seed - 6/32 #3 seed - 8/32 #5 seed - 16/32 Cowboys #2 seed - 8/32 #3 seed - 13/32 #4 seed - 11/32 49ers #3 seed - 3/32 #4 seed - 3/32 #6 seed - 26/32 Rams #3 seed - 8/32 #4 seed - 18/32 #6 seed - 6/32 *************NOTE************* The tiebreakers between certain teams are within tenths of a percent and come down to strength of victory. The current chart is who is currently in the playoffs, based on games played. This could literally come down to a random AFC game breaking a tie in seeding and is subject to change.
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    Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building
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    The Dangerous Path of North Carolina Football -- Lewis Stephenson The University of North Carolina has a storied history in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 2014, the Tar Heels won the Coastal division before falling in the ACC Championship game to the eventual National Runner Up Florida State. In 2015, North Carolina again had the best record in the Coastal division, but they were not eligible for post season play that season and had to watch the Seminoles win a second consecutive ACC Crown. In 2016, the Tar Heels were the co champions of the ACC Coastal Division, but Miami had the honor of playing in the Championship game. In 2017, the Tar Heels finished second in the Coastal Division after losing a head to head tie breaker with division winner Virginia Tech. In that 4 year stretch, UNC went 35-17 (67.3% win percentage) and had a 24-5 (82.8%) record in conference, including a perfect regular season in conference in 2015. Since then, the Tar Heels have gone 9-15 (37.5%) and have a 4-10 conference record (28.6%). The Tar Heels have sent plenty of players to the NFL. They have had 22 players drafted into the NFL, including 3 first round picks including college star A.J. Jefferson. They have a potential top 10 pick on their team in defensive end Josiah Harden. Star QB A.J. Jefferson in the glory days at UNC Over the past few years, the University of North Carolina program has gone from a proud program, to one on the brink of disaster. Since the end of the 2017 season, the Tar Heels have had four different coaches, and multiple coaching vacancies. Even the coaches who got hired were criticized for being inattentive, and inactive with the program, with none of those four coaches lasting more than one season. This inattentiveness and inactivity showed up first in recruiting. From 2014-2017, the Tar Heels’ recruiting ranked 61st, 4th, 23rd, and 41st in the nation. The four year average for these classes was around 32nd in the country. Not elite, but also would be good enough to keep a program competitive, especially in a tough area to recruit like North Carolina has been at times. In 2018 and 2019, the Tar Heels recruiting has been very disappointing. In 2018, they ranked last in the nation in the recruiting rankings, at 117th in the country out of 117 programs. In 2019, they ranked 107th out of 118 programs. The average for this two year stretch was a rank of 112. These two years produced a total of one recruit who was ranked as having a potential above a 4.5. This lone 4.5 is also a kicker. The nightmare at UNC gets worse after this season. The Tar Heels graduate nine senior starters, including star defensive end Josiah Harden and quarterback Max Laws. Josiah Harden is the only 5.0 potential player on the roster currently, and of the seniors leaving, four of them are 4.0+ potential players as well. While UNC will have seven 4.0+ potential players returning from last year, the well runs even drier after this season with only one freshman above a 4.0 potential, and no player redshirting this year even at a 3.5 potential. Adding on to that, the current recruiting class for UNC may not be able to help them out now or in the future. New North Carollina coach, Carl345 averted a disaster this offseason by recruiting Sebastian Norwood, who is a QB who should be the starter next season for the Tar Heels. This was a potentially explosive situation, because UNC currently has three senior QBs, and for some reason none were redshirted this year. If Norwood had not been recruited, UNC was facing a possibility of graduating all of their QBs and having none recruited. Thankfully, Carl was able to avoid that disaster. However, this recruiting cycle still has a great chance of being another poor one. Currently, UNC has four commitments, and none of them are above a 4.0 potential. UNC is engaged in a battle for star QB recruit Kyler Wilson, in a move that many people have called unwise. The Wilson battle with ECU is one of the most hotly contested battles in the country, and while Wilson hasn’t committed yet to either school, ECU is rumored to have the edge in that battle. The more pressing concern is that UNC is only in real battles for a couple other 4.0 recruits, and is serious danger of losing one of them to rival Duke. Coaches from across the nation have taken notice of the Tar Heels down turn. One anonymous coach said that the North Carolina program’s “lack of acceptable recruiting is going to haunt that school for years to come.” On the field this year UNC has been solid, picking up a 4-3 record and a 2-2 in conference mark, mostly behind a resurgent Max Laws. Max Laws is part of the talented group of seniors who could be making a last stand for the Tar Heels. Tar Heel Outlook: The North Carolina Tar Heels have a 4-3 record this season behind solid play at the QB position and outside of a poor opening performance against Texas Tech, a solid defense. The Tar Heels graduate 10 starters this year, and they replace them with 2 4.0 potential players. They will have 4 starters with a 4.0 potential or higher coming back for next season. The Tar Heels currently lead on 1 4.0 recruit, and have had 0 commit to their team so far. The cupboard will be dry soon for the Tar Heels, and the future is not so bright in Chapel Hill.
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    That's a lot of stars to just tell Tennessee that they aren't good enough to be ranked
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    So which is more embarrassing? Losing 48-0 to Miami to end the season or Being the Chargers only win all season At least the Patriots don't have to decide - they achieved both.
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    1. Please list your email address and/or your reddit username at which you can be contacted. Hoffx54@gmail.com 2. Before continuing, please thoroughly read the coaching course and feel free to ask questions. Confirm that you have read the coaching course by writing "Confirmed" below. Confirmed. 3. What team do you want to coach? Florida International 4. Please select two backup teams (in descending order of preference) in case your first choice is unavailable. LA Tech, UTEP 5. In three or more sentences, tell us a little about yourself. How old are you, what do you do, where are you from, why would you be a good fit here, etc. I am 24 years old and originally from Pennsylvania but currently living in Maryland. I played DIII football and am a former HS coach; I currently broadcast football games for local high schools as a color announcer. I believe I would be a good fit in the community here due to my experience and love of football, along with a strong commitment to any project that I start. 6. This site can be as time consuming as you want it to be. Weekly duties can be completed in 30 minutes or less, however interacting with your fellow players throughout the week makes it more enjoyable for most people. Approximately, how much free time do you have during a typical week? I have about 5-6 hours per week I can comfortably spare. 7. Losing games is an inevitable reality on this site, especially when accepting newer teams. Do you believe you can handle losing? Disappointment is expected, however we have had issues with people freaking out, and even leaving the site because of losing. Sometimes you lose. While it stings, it merely provides motivation to try harder, and push father. Plus, it is still only a game and needs to be put in perspective. 8. How did you find out about this site? If recommended by a friend, please post his/her username. I stumbled across this site in an attempt to satisfy my addiction to football. I am glad I did, and I look forward to interacting with the community here!
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    SEATTLE SEAHAWKS STAFF MAY SUBMIT A RESPONSE UNTIL 8/17/17 at 11:59 PM EST. Gary Faneca, wide receiver for the Seahawks, recently began enjoying his early offseason in Whistler, British Columbia. Faneca and several of his close personal friends hit the ski slopes early. Faneca enjoyed his time away from football and is already looking forward to the 2021 season. Unfortunately, following the return to Seattle, Faneca noticed some issues with his back that may or may not have come from the ski trip and has come to his team to talk about the issue. However, Faneca gained 5% fitness from his outdoor adventure. 1) Have Faneca checked out by a doctor. (-10% fitness.) 2) Advise Faneca not to spend his offseason with dangerous activities and wish him well. (-10% happiness) 3) It's nothing. (+5% happiness)
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    Morgantown, WV - West Virginia University is excited to announce the first ever member of the WVU Football Hall of Fame. Todd Sykes - WR (2013-2017) Todd Sykes played wide receiver at West Virginia University from 2013-2017 and became WVU’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Playing at WVU from 2013 to 2017, Sykes hauled in 109 receptions for 1,244 yards and 13 touchdowns during a stellar sophomore campaign that is the gold-standard for Mountaineer receivers. Sykes completed his record-setting career at West Virginia by leading the Mountaineers to the Big XII conference championship game in 2017 with a team-high 84 receptions for 1,164 yards and 9 TDs. He became the most decorated alumni, earning three career records during his tenure. Sykes graduated as WVU’s career reception (300), receiving yards (3,609), and receiving touchdown (31) leader. Sykes’ 2014 season saw him finish 2nd in the nation in receptions (109) and 13th in the nation (84) in 2017. He was named captain of the 2017 team that would rise as high as #2 in the polls and captivated the nation with their wild ride to an 11-3 overall finish. The Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins would take Sykes in the 6th round of the 2018 NFLHC Draft. A native of Baker, West Virginia and East Hardy High School, Sykes earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from WVU in 2017. Sykes and his wife, Clara, have two children, Laura (2) and Devin (1). Since graduation, he has played for the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers of the NFLHC and currently plays for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL.
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    Editor's Note: After a summer hiatus, I will be looking to continue this series. On the docket are Kent St and Akron. If you would like a specific player chosen for your team, please PM me or post here. Otherwise, Miami (OH) will have an article after Akron. Chan Pease makes an acrobatic grab in warmups prior to their game vs. Central Michigan "They always told me, get a scholarship or go into the military. Either way, just get out." Chan Pease is stocky for a receiver. At 6 foot 1, 230 pounds, he looks more like a middle linebacker than anything. Something about him makes it seem like he's playing the wrong position. Normally a position reserved for the prima donnas, Chan Pease refuses to conform. He sits in front of me with his brow furrowed and a steely, determined glint in his eyes. "I listened. I got out. Took me longer than I expected, but I'm out." He is referring to his home of Independence, Kansas. It's a town of less than 10,000 people that sits in the southeast corner of the state, two hours from Wichita. His house was tucked into a small, middle class neighborhood, which disguised the turmoil Pease grew up in. His mother, Tracy Hicks, rented the house from his father. "It was a strange situation," she says. "His father wanted nothing to do with us, but felt obligated to help us because he was in the public eye. He knew that helping us helped him, and so he bought the house and made us pay rent secretly while he lived downtown." Chandler Pease was the mayor of Independence for three terms and on the city council for two. Before Chan was born, he was a sheriff, and had risen to relative fame when he rescued two children who had been kidnapped. "He was a man our town looked up to," explains Tracy. "But he had issues. He was a man, and he made mistakes. They caught up with him eventually, and it was hard to see if you were on the outside. I loved him for who he was, but who he was killed him." When pressed, Chan Pease changes the subject. "I don't talk about him much. He didn't want nothing to do with me, so now I return the favor. My mom is the one who raised me. Plain and simple. He just used me when it helped him campaigning, and other than that, I never saw him." When Pease was twelve, his father died in a car wreck. He had a BAC of .16, twice the legal limit, and cocaine was found in his console. The death rocked the community, and it rocked the young Pease too. He went from a straight A student to one struggling to pass, and in 7th grade he was held back due to poor performance. The trouble didn't stop there. By his senior year of high school, he'd already been arrested five times, for various issues ranging from possession of marijuana to assault and grand larceny. He'd been put on probation, he and his mother had moved five times, and he had been to a drug rehab facility. Through all of it, football was his constant. "When I wasn't suspended, I lead my team in receiving all four years of high school. I missed half the games my sophomore and junior years because of the trouble I was getting into, but I still was an All-District selection, and as a senior, I was All-State. I was damn good." Pease sprints towards the endzone against Bowling Green, 2019. The accolades came, but the scholarships didn't. Pease had a criminal record by the time he was 18 that already featured a felony charge, and it scared away most teams. The others were scared because he wasn't the prototypical superathlete many teams were looking for in an outside receiver. Still, Pease knew that football was his ticket out of Independence. "From the time he was old enough to understand, I tried to drill it into him that he had to get out." Tracy Hicks worked nights at the hospital as a desk clerk. Most of her money went to taking care of her son and paying off her own debts. "I was stuck, but I knew he had the ability to do what I'd never done: leave." His offers after his senior season were few and far between. Six NAIA schools came knocking and came away without his commitment. "I knew I was better than NAIA," Pease says simply when I asked him why he didn't take their offers. "I chose to stay in Independence and go to ICC, because I knew in the long run it would give me a better chance at getting out." He kept his head down while attending Independence Community College. In fact, his schedule was so rigid that many of his teammates barely knew him. He would practice, work out, go to class, and then go home to spend time with his mom before she had to leave for work. He didn't talk much when he was with his team, either. Some former teammates said they didn't know his first name until they saw it in the boxscores, he talked that little. Pease brushes that off. "I had a one track mind. Everything else was a distraction." After not receiving a single D1 offer out of high school despite being a three star recruit, Pease had 10 by the time his freshman year was done at ICC. He'd set Kansas records for yards and catches in a season, with 1474 on 101 grabs to go along with 8 touchdowns. Kansas and Colorado State were widely viewed as the most likely landing spots for him, with darkhorse contenders Oklahoma State and Missouri also seen as possible landing spots. When all was said and done, Pease shocked the recruiting world and chose Ball State. Despite not giving an interview on his choice at the time, his mother told the local newspaper that he "was serious about getting as far away from Independence as possible. If Oxford had offered him, he'd be on a plane to England." Pease corroborates this story now. "Ball State was in Indiana, and I'd never been there. I didn't even need to take a visit to know it's where I wanted to be. They came to my house once. I liked the coaching staff, and I liked that it wasn't Kansas. So off I went, and here I am." Pease stretches out for an acrobatic grab, the kind BSU fans have grown accustomed to. Unfortunately the transition wasn't easy for Pease, at least off the field. On the field, his talent was apparent. But Pease didn't see the field until Week 8 of 2018, his first season at BSU, thanks to some off the field issues that once again cropped up. The details remain murky to this day. Pease explains, "I wasn't focused. I thought I took football seriously, but I wasn't focused in the classroom or in practice. Coach suspended me two games at the beginning of the season for it, and told me if I didn't work my ass off I wouldn't be part of the program come the end of the season. Then I got back from my suspension and he had me listed as the 7th wide receiver on the depth chart. Didn't matter that I was a better receiver than them. I had to earn it." There was speculation at that point that Pease was going to transfer- that he had fallen out of favor with his coaching staff, didn't want to be at Ball State, and some reports went as far as to say he had already quit the team and was waiting for them to grant him a release. But that wasn't the case. Instead, Pease was at practice, and after a bye week and the suspension that made for juicy rumors, he was suited up for the next game. Pease clenches his jaw as he recalls the articles. "I'm not a quitter," he says simply. Weeks of slaving away in practice saw him rise up the list of receivers. By week 8, he was listed as number three. Unfortunately, Ball State ran 2 receiver sets almost exclusively and so Pease only saw two targets come his way. He caught both, including a touchdown. It was his first catch in Division 1. His mother remembers watching the play unfold. "I started crying when he caught it," she explains. "It wasn't a special catch; he was open in the endzone on a short route. But my son had caught a touchdown. My son. My son." She tears up as she recalls the moment and dabs at her eyes. "It was a proud moment for me. After all he'd fought through, he'd made it." Pease feels very differently about the moment. "I broke my route off the play before and nearly caused a turnover. That touchdown was me taking care of business. I had a long way to go still." He didn't look back. After a bye week, Pease was promoted to the first string, and made the most of it. He finished the game versus Western Michigan with 6 catches for 94 yards and another score. Despite only playing in four more games after that, he ended the season leading Ball State in every major receiving statistic. He did the same in 2019, when he had a full season as the number one option through the air, and now he is doing the same in 2020. Pease has established himself as one of the best receivers in the MAC and has his sights set on the NFL after the season. Even there, he knows he will have obstacles to overcome. Pease takes a knee in front of the student section and prays before every game. "I'm thankful for my blessings." "Honestly, I'm ready. I am ready to prove myself again. I've done it every level, every year- I have to prove that I'm good enough, or that my head is screwed on straight, or that I'm committed to the program. Whether the concerns are warranted or not, they're things I have to fight. And I get why you may have concerns. But I'll be damned if I prove those right." Scouts I have talked too have mixed feelings about Pease. One lists his relatively modest numbers in a weaker conference as cause for concern, but most point to the fact that he is, at best, an average athlete with off the field concerns that still haunt him. Some mention that he gets beat on 50/50 balls, while others see his lack of speed as a barrier to success at the next level. Pease doesn't buy it. He dismisses the scouting reports with a scoff and a promise: "I'm not the biggest or the fastest guy on the field. I can't out-jump every cornerback. But that doesn't matter- I'll beat you anyways."
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    -Eagan, Minnesota It was a day of mixed emotions at Vikings headquarters, as owner paperllamasunited announced to a closed group of the closest team press that he would be taking a step back in the organization, passing general management duties on to current Vikings head coach bellwoodbomb611. A quick interview with the owner on KFAN shed some light on the move. "The goal was never to run the Vikings on my own, I came from an organizational approach in Cleveland and Baltimore, to running a one-man show at first here in Minnesota, and I myself can see the vast differences between my two major roles; rising contender who made the playoffs and drafted a fan favorite in Baltimore, versus a team seemingly on the rapid downswing with moving away a fan favorite here in Minnesota." said llamas on Paul Allen's 9 to Noon radio show. "Upon first meeting coach bellwood, it seemed like an instant mesh between us, and so I'm confident in the direction this organization is going with him at the helm, the philosophies won't change. He overcame the obstacle of never being involved in NFLHC before and having to come in right away as the coach, on a depleted roster that was no fault of his own, and it took a little while to right the ship, but he got it going as the season went on. We've mutually determined that he's better suited in a management role, but now he's got that coaching experience under his belt, which makes him versatile, and that brings a lot of value to this organization. I think this is a move the fans will fully appreciate, the players will appreciate, and it's certainly a move that I appreciate. I'm hoping to have more time to work on media, which I love to create, and be more heavily involved in other aspects of the community." With llamas stepping out of the picture as far as most roster management duties go, some question remains surrounding the coaching situation in Minnesota, as coach bellwood's contract as head coach is set to expire following the conclusion of the 2020 league year. Interested members may inquire about the position by PMing coach bellwood. The Vikings have made coach bellwood and llamas available for open interview.
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    Hello there. With the 2020 college football season coming to a halfway point I thought it is time to take a look at how the all the Big Ten teams are doing on the recruiting trail. Several changes were made to the recruiting system in this cycle, so coaches had to come up with new strategies if they wanted to be successful. Let's see how the classes look after Week 9 of the 2020 season: Conference rank Team National rank Sub-3.5 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 Total recruits 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers 16 0 4 4 3 1 12 2 Penn State Nittany Lions 23 0 1 5 0 2 8 3 Purdue Boilermakers 27 4 3 4 1 1 13 4 Illinois Fighting Illini 32 0 2 6 0 1 9 5 Wisconsin Badgers 44 2 4 0 0 2 8 6 Maryland Terrapins 45 2 4 3 0 1 10 7 Nebraska Cornhuskers 68 4 3 1 0 1 9 8 Michigan Wolverines 81 2 0 2 1 0 5 9 Ohio State Buckeyes 82 1 0 1 0 1 3 10 Northwestern Wildcats 90 2 2 0 0 1 5 11 Indiana Hoosiers 95 0 0 1 1 0 2 12 Iowa Hawkeyes 107 0 5 1 0 0 6 13 Michigan State Spartans 112 12 4 0 0 0 16 14 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 116 0 2 0 0 0 2 As you can see the results are a bit of a mixed bag. We have everything from top 25 classes to decent middle-of-the-pack classes to struggling teams. Now I am going to do a more detailed review of each program's class, starting at the top of the rankings. 1. Minnesota Golden Gophers Notable recruits: C Benjamin Simpson 6-2 243 Fr Benilde-St. Margaret's ( MN) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] LS Jordy Marquez 6-0 263 Fr Benilde-St. Margaret's ( MN) 2.0 of 4.5 [Specialized] FS Shiloh Calhoun 5-10 204 Fr Minot (Minot ND) 1.0 of 4.5 [Man Coverage] DT Louis James 6-7 287 Fr Kee (Lansing IA) 1.0 of 3.5 [2-Gap] DT John Stanton 6-2 307 Fr Oak Forest Academy (Amite LA) 1.0 of 4.0 [2-Gap] FS Jabari Harley 5-10 200 Fr Northfield (Northfield MN) 1.0 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] ILB Tracy Quarless 6-2 231 Fr Pine Island (Pine Island MN) 1.0 of 4.0 [Will] DT Savion Cunningham 6-0 292 Fr Central Catholic (Morgan City LA) 1.5 of 3.5 [1-Gap] TE Alan Martin 6-3 242 Fr Northfield (Northfield MN) 1.0 of 4.0 [Blocking] SS Da'Quan Haywood 6-2 201 Fr Elgin-Millville (Elgin MN) 1.0 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage] RB Tredaveon Jennings 5-11 196 Fr Perham (Perham MN) 2.0 of 4.5 [Power] OLB Jermon Pendleton 6-1 229 Fr Pine Island (Pine Island MN) 2.0 of 5.0 [Blitz] Head Coach lucas95 inherited a team that had the #1 class in 2019, and it looks like he is able to add another great class to the Gophers roster this season. Minnesota is doing a good job of keeping the best in-state recruits like Jermon Pendleton or Tredaveon Jennings at home which will be more than enough to compete in the conference if the state of Minnesota keeps producing such talent in the following years. Surprisingly they signed two players from Louisiana, although the amount of talented football players in the South is so high that it is inevitable that some of them don't stay home I guess. To summarize, this Gopher class looks great and will probably stay the #1 class in the Big Ten. 2. Penn State Nittany Lions Notable recruits: OLB Buster Brown 6-0 234 Fr Jupiter (Jupiter FL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Coverage] CB John Kirkland 5-9 188 Fr Jasper County (Monticello GA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] C Alex Ness 6-4 290 Fr L.E. Dieruff (Allentown PA) 1.0 of 5.0 [Run Blocking] QB Dillon Sneed 5-11 187 Fr Eastmoor Academy (Columbus OH) 1.5 of 5.0 [Hybrid] ILB Khalid Hanson 6-3 253 Fr Johnson City (Johnson City TX) 3.0 of 3.5 [Mike] RB Aden McDonough 6-1 184 Fr Dwight Englewood (Englewood NJ) 1.0 of 4.0 [Speed] CB Bronson Sampson 5-9 168 Fr Unionville (Kennett Square PA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] QB Jack Ramey 6-6 218 Fr Pocono Mountain West ( PA) 3.0 of 4.0 [Pocket] The defending champions have a ton of points to spend, but they also have to replace a lot of impact players who will leave after this season or the next. Coach grv413 has already found Tanner Bowman's heir at the QB position: Ohio recruit Dillon Sneed has already committed to the Nittany Lions. However, it is very likely that Sneed will be redshirted, and Jack Ramey -another prized QB recruit- will be the one under center in the 2021 season. Penn State's class is shaping up very nicely, although they still have some work to do if they want to maintain the level of talent that is on the roster now. 3. Purdue Boilermakers Notable recruits: DT Gregory Suggs 6-1 307 Fr Clay (South Bend IN) 1.0 of 3.5 [1-Gap] CB Preston Bowden 6-1 168 Fr Metairie Park Country Day ( LA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] K Hugo Rendon 6-3 177 Fr Ben Davis (Indianapolis IN) 1.0 of 3.5 [Accuracy] ILB Michael Felder 6-1 218 Fr Loganville (Loganville GA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Will] SS Eli Wilson 6-2 199 Fr Cardinal Ritter (Indianapolis IN) 1.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] DE Landon Crowder 6-0 242 Fr Rising Star (Rising Star TX) 2.0 of 5.0 [Contain] ATH Justin Kirkland 6-3 222 Fr Blissfield (Blissfield MI) 3.0 of 4.0 [Scrambling] TE Alexis Ochoa 6-2 226 Fr Warner Robins (Warner Robins GA) 1.0 of 4.5 [Blocking] OG David Franz 6-1 336 Fr Munroe Day (Quincy FL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Run Blocking] Purdue's 2020 class proves that remaining in your state is not the only way to sign good players and recruit well. Coach inspiral has signed prized recruits from Texas, Florida, and Georgia which shows that those players in the South are not untouchable to other teams. An important thing to note is that Justin Kirkland will probably be the guy who succeeds Matt Jones, and he is capable of doing that even in 2021 (if Jones decides to declare early for the NFL Draft). It will be interesting to see how many more of those Southern recruits can Purdue sign; even if they won't have much success in the second part of the season they have already done a good job in recruiting. 4. Illinois Fighting Illini Notable recruits: CB Ron Riggins 5-11 204 Fr Roberto Clemente Academy ( IL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] OLB Terrell McNeill 6-2 230 Fr Georgetown Ridge Farm ( IL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Blitz] FS Donte Murphy-Neal 5-10 210 Fr Georgetown Ridge Farm ( IL) 1.5 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] WR Rory Cooley 6-5 214 Fr Normal Community (Normal IL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Target] CB Jeremiah Lyles 5-11 189 Fr Normal Community (Normal IL) 1.5 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] QB Jordan Harrison 5-11 188 Fr Central Community (Breese IL) 2.5 of 5.0 [Pocket] FS Jaden Hobson 6-1 190 Fr Hall (Spring Valley IL) 1.0 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] SS Ian Barber 5-10 183 Fr Morgan Park (Chicago IL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] OG Steven Currie 6-3 328 Fr Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey NJ) 1.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking] The Fighting Illini didn't have much success bringing in out-of-state talent, but at least they are signing some talented players from the state of Illinois. The biggest fish in this class is QB Jordan Harrison who might be able to change the perception of Illinois being a defense-first team in the future, given that he has the right pieces around him. On the other hand, coach FlutieFlakes has to all those starters on defense who will graduate in a year or two. Building a balanced team will be challenging in Champaign, especially with so many neighboring teams trying to lure away talented Illinois recruits. 5. Wisconsin Badgers Notable recruits: ILB Alan Harman 6-0 230 Fr Pacelli (Stevens Point WI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Will] FS Jermaine Mingo 6-0 197 Fr P.L. Julian (Chicago IL) 1.0 of 5.0 [Zone Coverage] P Bill Jansen 5-9 170 Fr John Marshall (Chicago IL) 2.5 of 3.5 [Accuracy] QB Nathan Abrams 6-2 230 Fr Baker (Mobile AL) 2.0 of 3.5 [Hybrid] C Jeremiah Glass 6-3 257 Fr Rice Lake (Rice Lake WI) 1.0 of 5.0 [Run Blocking] TE David Steward 6-2 235 Fr Cannon Valley Lutheran ( MN) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blocking] It looks like Wisconsin is trying to recruit both quality and depth this season which can definitely be a good combination, especially with the possible return of injuries next year. The most hyped recruit of this class is probably Jermaine Mingo who has big shoes to fill if he wants to be compared to Badger legend Aaron Blakely. The other 5.0 potential player of this class is C Jeremiah Glass who will anchor a traditionally great Wisconsin offensive line in a couple years. This class might look a bit thin at the moment, but there is plenty of time left from the recruiting season, and I'm sure that Coach taffyowner will add some good players to the roster. 6. Maryland Terrapins Notable recruits: ILB Charlie Vazquez 6-1 262 Fr Gilman School (Baltimore MD) 3.0 of 4.0 [Mike] TE Jamel Heard 6-4 205 Fr Good Counsel (Wheaton MD) 1.0 of 3.5 [Receiving] SS Nazir Bell 6-1 183 Fr Clairton (Clairton PA) 2.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] CB Isaiah Simpkins 6-1 164 Fr Elkton (Elkton MD) 1.0 of 5.0 [Zone Coverage] DE Chris Kern 6-2 267 Fr Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens FL) 2.0 of 3.5 [Contain] DE Noel Littlejohn 6-4 266 Fr New Deal (New Deal TX) 1.0 of 4.0 [Contain] OLB Jahmir Simmons 6-3 243 Fr Indian River (Chesapeake VA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz] RB Hudson Gagnon 6-0 212 Fr Northwestern (Hyattsville MD) 1.0 of 3.5 [Speed] In the game of B1G you either recruit well or you won't even make a bowl game. Coach TheSam knows this very well, so he is doing everything he can in order to remain competitive with his Terps. This class looks pretty solid so far, I really like the addition of those 3.5 potential players who will be very valuable to the team either as starters or backups. The crown jewel of this class is CB Isaiah Simpkins who will no doubt lead the Terps secondary in the future. Baltimore recruit Charlie Vazquez is also a very solid addition who can play at the ILB position as a true freshman if needed. If Maryland can add some more players to this class they can ensure that they remain a player in the B1G East in the upcoming years. 7. Nebraska Cornhuskers Notable recruits: DT Shiloh McNeill 6-3 298 Fr Maplewood-Richmond Heights ( MO) 1.0 of 3.5 [1-Gap] DT Alan Connell 6-1 272 Fr Ritenour (Overland MO) 1.0 of 3.5 [1-Gap] QB Chase Culver 6-0 201 Fr DeLand (DeLand FL) 1.5 of 3.5 [Pocket] WR Calvin McKay 6-4 207 Fr York (York NE) 3.0 of 5.0 [Target] OG Seantrel Moss 6-6 331 Fr Chadron (Chadron NE) 1.5 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] At the end of last season Nebraska lost an incerdible amount of talent after 10 Husker players were taken in the 2020 NFLHC draft. Refilling the roster with that many talented players is almost impossible, so new coach Dean_Craig_Pelton definitely has his work cut out for him. He already mad a very important signing: star WR recruit Calvin McKay arrives at a position that was a need for Nebraska for a long time, so he will probably be a starter in his true freshman year. The Huskers have also added some good talent to both the offensive and defensive line. However, I think that the current strength of this class needs to be improved if Nebraska wants to return to the top of the B1G West; this season it already showed that they need more talent to compete and that will probably not change in the next few seasons. 8. Michigan Wolverines Notable recruits: ILB Nathan Craig 6-4 252 Fr Coleman (Coleman MI) 1.0 of 4.0 [Mike] SS Paul Cline 6-0 193 Fr Bentley (Burton MI) 1.0 of 4.5 [Man Coverage] DE Arthur Trahan 6-5 254 Fr St. Philip Catholic Central ( MI) 1.0 of 4.0 [Blitz] Michigan is traditionally a team that recruits very well, but they have not lived up to those standards in the first half of the season. Sure, they have signed some quality players, but they are going to need a much more deeper class if they want to stay at the top of the conference. One important thing to note is that the Wolverines are still battling for star CB Victor Austin; signing him would improve this class massively. There is also JuCo recruiting which can always better a recruiting class by a lot. 9. Ohio State Buckeyes Notable recruits: OT Cyrus Hewitt 6-5 307 Fr South (Cleveland OH) 1.0 of 4.0 [Run Blocking] RB Julius Wesley Jr. 5-6 193 Fr J.B. Conant (Hoffman Estates IL) 3.0 of 5.0 [Power] Similarly to Nebraska the Buckeyes are a team that fell from the top of the conference after a bunch of great players graduated. It is very hard to replace those players, but coach fever_ful might have addressed the problem at the running back position: 5-star recruit Julius Wesley Jr. will no doubt be compared to former Buckeye great Moussa Goode. However, Ohio State nedds to get some work done at the second half of the season if they want to return to prominence. 10. Northwestern Wildcats Notable recruits: ILB Griffin Paul 6-2 230 Fr John Marshall (Chicago IL) 1.0 of 5.0 [Mike] OG Marc Watson 6-5 298 Fr Rice Lake (Rice Lake WI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] CB Luke Oliver 5-11 197 Fr Whiteface (Whiteface TX) 1.0 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage] Northwestern has always been a team that struggled in conference play, and one of the main reasons for that always was the lack of elite talent on the roster. However, they brought in decent classes in the last couple years, so the Wildcats have a young team that could finally make a breakthrough in the Big Ten. In order to do that Northwestern needs to continue bringing in several solid players, but this year it has been a bit of a struggle for them. ILB Griffin Paul looks great and will lead the Wildcat defense in the next years, but he won't be able to win games alone. I'm sure coach robcarlson77 will make an effort to bring in more recruits, and if he does, who knows: we might see Northwestern making waves in the B1G one day. 11. Indiana Hoosiers Notable recruits: DE Vondrae Ledbetter 6-6 266 Fr New Deal (New Deal TX) 2.0 of 4.5 [Blitz] C Ayden Washburn 6-4 263 Fr Paoli (Paoli IN) 1.0 of 4.0 [Run Blocking] Indiana is not in a good spot when it comes to recruiting (they have to battle with the likes of Purdue or Notre Dame for players), but that alone cannot be an excuse for signing only two players in nine weeks. They might have to switch strategy and go for depth players in the second half of the season because walk-ons will not be enough to fill up this class. Bringing in lower rated athletes from states like Texas or Florida could also be a way to save this class. One thing is sure: I would not be in coach LDYo's shoes at the moment. 12. Iowa Hawkeyes Notable recruits: DE Joe Hanley 6-7 263 Fr Adel-DeSoto-Minburn (Adel IA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz] DE Charles Hyman 6-0 260 Fr Kee (Lansing IA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Contain] OG Mordechai King 6-3 273 Fr Benilde-St. Margaret's ( MN) 1.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking] TE Alec Rowell 6-3 209 Fr Pineville (Pineville LA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Receiving] TE Julius Harvey 6-3 195 Fr Mayer Lutheran (Mayer MN) 1.0 of 3.5 [Receiving] C Noel Scruggs 6-3 277 Fr Southeast Warren (Liberty Center IA) 1.5 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] Don't let the ranking fool you; this is actually a decent-looking class for Iowa. Most of these players will be solid starters on the team, or they will provide much-needed depth (especially if injuries come back). Also the Hawkeyes are battling with their in-state rival for several recruits. If they only add half of those players then I'm sure coach paperllamasunited won't have sleepless night because of recruiting. 13. Michigan State Spartans Notable recruits: ILB Donte White 6-3 209 Fr Muskegon (Muskegon MI) 2.5 of 3.5 [Will] FB Mario Vogel 5-11 239 Fr East (Cleveland OH) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] QB Moussa Booker 6-0 235 Fr Frankfort (Frankfort IN) 1.0 of 3.5 [Hybrid] RB Gabe Geiger 6-1 216 Fr Glen Lake (Maple City MI) 1.5 of 3.5 [Power] Coach SlinkyJr chose a way different strategy than most coaches in the country: in addition to signing some soild 3.5 potential players he brought in a dozen lower rated athletes so far which will ensure that fatigue or injuries will not hurt this team as much as some rivals in the upcoming years. However, it is concerning to see the lack of star power in this class: I'm not sure any team can compete in the Big Ten without some elite talent, no matter how good the coaching is. 14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights Notable recruits: QB Walt Stearns 6-5 217 Fr Wayne Hills (Wayne NJ) 1.5 of 3.5 [Scrambling] SS Dillon Shields 5-11 185 Fr Ocean City (Ocean City NJ) 1.0 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage] Remember the glory days of Elijah Moffett and Benjamin Franklin stomping opposing defenses? Well those times are gone, and they are not coming back in the near future if Rutgers continues to head in the direction they are going now. Having an inactive coach or not having a coach at all can really hurt a program, and the Scarlet Knights have yet to find the stability they had with coach vollmagnet. A day will come when Rutgers is considered good again...but it is not this day. I hope you enjoyed the article; thank you for reading and see you next time.
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    Notes: Open to changes due to certain tiebreakers.
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    This one, UCF 31 SMU 10 Why not the 2016 CCG? Or USF? Or other miscellaneous upsets? Because in 2016, when UCF went 12-3 to win the AAC and make the playoffs, the team was already put together for me. Buzz Etcheverry, James Mitchell, everyone was already there from previous coaches, all I did was pick a scheme that actually used a RB and ran with it. Literally. This game, four years later, is a different story. Yes, DNJ and Kevin McQueen and Justice Pierre and the rest of the (Sr) class were all recruited before I got here, but they're players I developed, that I have a real connection to. The rest of the team minus those ten, including future stars like James Munnerlyn and the best damn defensive line in the American, are all me. This year I really feel like UCF is where it is because of me. Yes, not 100% because of me, but still. After the 2016 season UCF floundered for a bit. 2017 we went 8-0 before losing out the rest of the season, missing the American CCG in a heartbreaking loss to USF in rivalry week (which, by the way, is the loss that was hardest to take). The next two years UCF put up back-to-back mediocre 7-5 seasons, essentially winning the games we were supposed to and losing the games we were supposed to (and others we weren't) I'm a very anxious person in real life. I worry about every little thing going on, no matter how minuscule, so UCF has been a ride. I'm never confident about playing a team, including the "easy" wins like Eastern Michigan or Cincinnati. EMU played me close in our bowl game in 2018, and in my first game against then-coachless Cincy they blew me out 3-35. Every win is exhilarating, every win means something. It's great to see UCF in a position it's never been before. The team just beat the #7 conference favorite on the road. The team has more draft-eligible players (I believe it's five?) this year than ever before. We have a legitimate Heisman candidate (and Week 8 OPOTW) who is set to become a household name in the NFL. The team has it's highest ranking ever, and the first in the Top 10. And while this graduating class is going to sting, the team is in a good position for the future. There are a few defensive and offensive pieces that are going to be missing next season, but once those are filled our current Sophomores and Juniors are set to dominate once again. This is a team that was 3-9 when I joined December 31st, 2014, right before the first game of the 2016 season against Stanford. Since then they have gone 43-17, won four straight bowl games, lost a playoff game, won a conference championship, and made it to the Top 8, at least now. The SMU game proved that this team isn't just a fluke, it's a real program, and the heart and effort I've put into it has been worth it. I love it here.
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    Akron has set a new school record for wins in a season and has become bowl eligible for the first time. Great work @darkage!
  37. 11 likes
    An inside look at recruiting for the 25 schools west of Texas. And sure, UTEP is technically farther west than four of these schools, but being in Texas, they are not considered to be part of the West for the purposes of this article. (As of the end of Week 7) Air Force A talented team desperate for secondary help gets key pieces in Hemphill and Harley, but you will probably see them go hard after some experienced defensive backs in the Juco process. Everyone in Colorado Springs is hoping that Ted Blake can be the next Nico Kauffman. QB Ted Blake 6-5 222 Fr Eaglecrest (Centennial CO) 1.0 of 4.0 [Scrambling] ILB Simon Waddell 6-4 248 Fr Millard North (Omaha NE) 1.0 of 3.5 [Mike] WR Cooper Humphrey 6-2 153 Fr J.K. Mullen (Denver CO) 1.0 of 3.0 [Speed] CB Joshua Donohue 6-1 203 Fr Grand Junction (Grand Junction CO) 1.0 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] SS Cameron Harley 5-10 216 Fr Elizabeth (Elizabeth CO) 1.0 of 4.0 [Man Coverage] RB Bobby Crews 5-10 195 Fr Eaglecrest (Centennial CO) 1.0 of 3.5 [Power] FB Elijah Peters 5-11 205 Fr Ainsworth (Ainsworth NE) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] CB Raekwon Hemphill 5-9 198 Fr Southwest (San Diego CA) 1.0 of 4.5 [Zone Coverage] OLB Kameron Durham 6-3 218 Fr Alliance (Alliance NE) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz] WR Benjamin Schuler 6-2 185 Fr Fontana (Fontana CA) 1.5 of 3.0 [Speed] OLB Joel Decker 6-0 224 Fr D'Evelyn (Denver CO) 1.5 of 4.0 [Blitz] Arizona Not an elite class so far, with only one player with NFLHC potential. Arizona still has a couple of battles to fight and will need to win them to threaten the top half of the PAC-12. OLB Kieran Skaggs currently favors the offer from the Wildcats, but still has visits scheduled with both UCLA and Stanford. TE Larry Cooke 6-6 199 Fr Hayfork (Hayfork CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Receiving] OT Bart Mahan 6-3 296 Fr Mountain Pointe (Phoenix AZ) 1.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking] WR Zion Carroll 6-1 160 Fr East Fork Lutheran (Whiteriver AZ) 1.0 of 3.5 [Speed] ILB Terrence McIntosh 6-1 255 Fr Holbrook (Holbrook AZ) 1.0 of 4.0 [Mike] DT Bronson Epps 6-3 288 Fr Thatcher (Thatcher AZ) 1.0 of 3.5 [2-Gap] DE Gavin Traylor 6-4 245 Fr Valley (Bakersfield CA) 1.5 of 3.5 [Contain] KR Zaire Joyner 5-10 159 Fr St. Mary's College (Berkeley CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Hybrid] Arizona State Arizona State has only signed one player, and while Kirksey is an elite talent, he can only play one position. The Sun Devils are going to be in trouble if they cannot add some depth to this class. WR Deon Kirksey 6-3 204 Fr Argonaut (Jackson CA) 1.5 of 5.0 [Target] Boise State The Broncos have done what they needed to do with this class, and that is bring in depth across the board. Looking to Washington and California, Boise State was able to pull some players in that will help them stay relevant in the Mountain West. Snell will be a different maker along the defensive front. A key battle for them is developing with Oregon State over a quality RB in Jayden Frey. ILB Micah Wahl 6-1 208 Fr Shelton (Shelton WA) 3.0 of 3.0 [Will] SS Isiah Reid 5-10 193 Fr Decatur (Federal Way WA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] SS Nasir Hayes 6-1 205 Fr Concrete (Concrete WA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] OT Nathan Dozier 6-1 303 Fr Long Beach Polytechnic ( CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] QB Finn Lantz 6-4 190 Fr Capital (Boise ID) 2.0 of 3.5 [Pocket] OT Richard Frey 6-5 315 Fr Filer (Filer ID) 1.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking] CB Amir McNeill 6-0 196 Fr Charles Wright (Tacoma WA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Zone Coverage] OG Cameron Adler 6-1 265 Fr Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] DE Julian Marion 6-7 245 Fr Montesano (Montesano WA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz] FS Janoris Bush 6-0 198 Fr North Thurston (Lacey WA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Man Coverage] RB Derrick Moffett 5-7 217 Fr Renton (Renton WA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Power] DE Jon Snell 6-7 244 Fr Williams (Williams CA) 1.0 of 4.5 [Contain] WR Jamir Ellington 5-11 158 Fr Madison (Rexburg ID) 1.0 of 3.0 [Speed] BYU One of the more surprising classes in the country, BYU has brought in a lot of quality talent. The Cougars landed a pair of mammoth receivers and three solid cornerback prospects along with several other players scattered around the roster to provide not only depth, but potential NFLHC prospects to start for them. If the Cougars do not sign another player, it is already a successful class for them. CB Darrelle Booker 6-1 188 Fr San Juan (Blanding UT) 1.0 of 4.0 [Man Coverage] K Leonard Denton 6-4 157 Fr Granite (Salt Lake City UT) 1.0 of 3.5 [Accuracy] FB Albert Hacker 6-1 224 Fr San Juan (Blanding UT) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] P Isaako Kini 6-0 197 Fr Boulder City (Boulder City NV) 3.0 of 3.0 [Power] QB Steven Barber 6-3 225 Fr Pingree-Buchanan (Pingree ND) 2.0 of 3.5 [Scrambling] ILB Joel Parish Jr. 6-3 264 Fr Woods Cross (Woods Cross UT) 1.0 of 3.0 [Mike] OT Walter Mayer 6-1 321 Fr Payson (Payson UT) 1.0 of 4.0 [Run Blocking] WR Richard Wyatt 6-5 227 Fr Tonopah (Tonopah NV) 1.0 of 4.0 [Target] OT Ivan Dickey 6-6 293 Fr Gabbs (Gabbs NV) 1.5 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] RB Adarius Galloway 5-10 211 Fr Provo (Provo UT) 1.0 of 4.0 [Power] CB Jalen Lovett 5-11 185 Fr San Juan (Blanding UT) 1.0 of 4.0 [Man Coverage] CB John Jordan 5-10 191 Fr San Juan (Blanding UT) 1.0 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage] WR Justin Dobbs 6-5 234 Fr Judge Memorial (Salt Lake City UT) 1.5 of 4.0 [Target] OLB Brayden Reeder 5-11 216 Fr Kearns (Kearns UT) 1.0 of 4.0 [Blitz] California The Golden Bears have been embroiled in several high-profile battles over some big-time recruits. The juice will certainly be worth the squeeze in landing Engel, a stud tackle to anchor their line. Cal dipped into Texas and pulled out a special teamer that could potentially play right away. Hightower was one of three marquee WR out of the state of California this year, and he committed early to Berkeley. Signing Engel and Hightower early in the process should free the coaching staff up to look after other recruits. OT Philip Engel 6-2 301 Fr Golden Valley (Merced CA) 1.5 of 5.0 [Run Blocking] K Patrick Kane 5-8 185 Fr Prestonwood Christian Academy ( TX) 3.0 of 3.5 [Accuracy] PR Rafael Anaya 6-4 226 Fr Valley Christian (San Jose CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Specialist] FB Lorenzo Shearer 5-9 229 Fr Valley Christian (San Jose CA) 1.5 of 4.0 [Run Blocking] WR Marcus Hightower 6-3 192 Fr Glendale (Glendale CA) 1.0 of 5.0 [Speed] Colorado The Buffs coaching staff has spread themselves all over the country this year, looking for talent. The returns so far are just four players, but ones that will help the program. Beck was considered by many as the best OG prospect in the country, while McCrary has won accolades as one of the nation’s top high school TEs. DE Frank Hinson 6-7 238 Fr Munroe Day (Quincy FL) 2.5 of 3.5 [Contain] OG Wyatt Beck 6-4 288 Fr Hilltop (Chula Vista CA) 3.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking] OLB Frederick Grant III 5-11 227 Fr Limon (Limon CO) 2.0 of 4.5 [Blitz] TE Kameron McCrary 6-5 200 Fr Brookhaven (Brookhaven MS) 2.5 of 4.5 [Receiving] Colorado State Colorado State is another school that knows no borders in recruiting, having landed eight players thus far from seven different states. There are whispers that Reeves could be just as good, if not better than CSU’s all-time leading receiver Jeremy Scarborough. With David Barrow, who chose the Rams over Georgia Tech because the coaching staff was much more attentive to him, slinging the ball, Reeves may have a chance to approach some of Scarborough’s numbers. If the Rams are able to beat out Iowa for 4-star RB Davien Dickens, the offense in Fort Collins will be a force to be reckoned with. On the other side of the ball, Whalen teams up with Alexander Yeager and Milo Jewell to form a formidable linebacking corps. Not to be discounted, they also have two of the better names in the country signed as bookend offensive tackles, Ranoris Neru and Lagi Tagata. OLB Peter Whalen 6-4 217 Fr Adams City (Commerce City CO) 2.5 of 4.0 [Coverage] DT Jake Stout 6-4 304 Fr Friends (Wilmington DE) 1.0 of 3.5 [1-Gap] OT Ranoris Neru 6-4 323 Fr Collinwood (Collinwood TN) 3.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking] P Asher Goldsmith 5-7 163 Fr Bountiful (Bountiful UT) 1.0 of 3.5 [Accuracy] OT Noah Gross 6-7 261 Fr Manti (Manti UT) 2.0 of 3.0 [Run Blocking] QB David Barrow 6-1 225 Fr Brevard Christian ( FL) 2.0 of 4.0 [Pocket] DT Noah Dotson 6-5 301 Fr Flatonia (Flatonia TX) 3.0 of 3.0 [1-Gap] WR Marion Reeves 6-3 226 Fr Aspen (Aspen CO) 1.0 of 5.0 [Target] OT Lagi Tagata 6-2 257 Fr Beau Chene (Arnaudville LA) 3.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking] Fresno State An impressive class on the defensive side of the ball, with Gilchrist, their star recruit at CB, and Alshon Wooten, who was sniped from Oregon late, coming off of the edge. The key to this class though may be Schultz, who fell into Fresno’s lap without any competition within the first couple of weeks. Future signal-caller Teddy Cagle will need some weapons around him, and will have a hard time replacing Ryan Harris, but fans of the Bulldogs will be thrilled with this class, which could be bolstered by the additional signings of DT Jared McCormack and WR August Kenney, among others in coming weeks. WR Donovan Francis 6-2 196 Fr St. Mary's College (Berkeley CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Speed] QB Teddy Cagle 5-11 215 Fr Sonoma Valley (Sonoma CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pocket] DT Phillip Britton 6-1 300 Fr Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland CA) 1.5 of 3.0 [1-Gap] ILB Jon Baumgartner 6-3 228 Fr Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Mike] OLB Calvin Heath 6-1 224 Fr Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks CA) 2.5 of 3.0 [Coverage] DT Kahawai Konishiki 6-1 273 Fr Edison (Stockton CA) 1.5 of 3.0 [1-Gap] DE Malik Goins 6-1 265 Fr Argonaut (Jackson CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Contain] CB Jason Raji 5-10 181 Fr De La Salle (Concord CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Man Coverage] OG Jeremy Oliveira 6-4 306 Fr Mission San Jose (Fremont CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking] OG Janoris Lemon 6-4 297 Fr D.S. Jordan (Los Angeles CA) 2.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking] OG Raymond Sneed 6-5 276 Fr Serra (San Diego CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] WR Ajani Walker 5-10 195 Fr Mammoth (Mammoth Lakes CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Speed] ILB Garrett Schulz 5-11 240 Fr D.S. Jordan (Los Angeles CA) 1.0 of 5.0 [Will] DE Alshon Wooten 6-6 269 Fr South (Bakersfield CA) 2.0 of 4.0 [Contain] CB A.J. Gilchrist 6-1 184 Fr Temecula Valley (Temecula CA) 1.5 of 5.0 [Zone Coverage] Hawai'i I do not think anyone expected the Rainbow Warriors to be able to follow up last year’s bumper crop of recruits with another similar class. And while this class may be short on star quality, there are still some important pieces that have been added. The interior line will be anchored by Weathers and Edmondson, giving Hawai’i a strong presence up front. Hickman was one of the better OLB prospects on the west coast, and the team is trying to persuade ILB Shawn Mason to line up alongside him, though he currently is leaning towards Boise State. OLB Mohammed Gregory 6-4 221 Fr Konawaena (Kealakekua HI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz] OLB Leon Hickman 5-11 220 Fr St. Mary's College (Berkeley CA) 2.0 of 4.0 [Blitz] OG Jerraud Weathers 6-3 275 Fr Argonaut (Jackson CA) 2.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking] C Raymond Hutchins 6-1 273 Fr Orange Glen (Escondido CA) 3.0 of 3.0 [Run Blocking] OT Marc Savage 6-1 275 Fr Kamehameha (Honolulu HI) 1.5 of 3.0 [Run Blocking] OT Jaheim Parham 6-5 260 Fr Konawaena (Kealakekua HI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] OG Kieran Edmondson 6-2 324 Fr Serra (San Diego CA) 1.0 of 4.5 [Pass Blocking] FS Nicolas Bradford 6-0 198 Fr Argonaut (Jackson CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Zone Coverage] SS Evan Holman 6-0 187 Fr Mid-Pacific Institute (Honolulu HI) 1.5 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] RB Kevin Little 5-11 192 Fr Konawaena (Kealakekua HI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Speed] LS Luke Ocampo 6-0 244 Fr El Dorado (Placerville CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Specialized] Nevada Nevada has struggled to get commitments from some of their targets, but those that have signed on are top-notch football players. Spangler could be a 4-year starter, while Bower and Livingston will team up to man the interior line for them in a few short years. A key battle for the Wolf Pack to keep an eye on is for RB Bronson Willingham. The blue-chip speed back out of Gabbs, Nevada, has waffled back and forth between Nevada and UNLV, and his decision might come down to the wire. The same two schools are fighting over OT Avery Drew and CB Kaden Hairston as well. ILB Jacoby Spangler 6-0 235 Fr Seton Catholic (Chandler AZ) 3.0 of 4.5 [Will] OG Greg Livingston 6-2 322 Fr Shadow Ridge (Las Vegas NV) 1.5 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] C Damien Bower 6-3 282 Fr Mt. Diablo (Concord CA) 2.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] New Mexico What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Lobos enjoyed having a talent-rich state to themselves, and brought in a bevy of talented young players. This year, they have signed a punter and an undersized defensive end. Saving face with their alumni will be important, and stealing OLB J.T. Raji from Arizona could be a start for them. DE Adam Myrick 6-0 253 Fr Thoreau (Thoreau NM) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz] P Marshal Altman 6-1 161 Fr Crowell (Crowell TX) 1.0 of 3.5 [Accuracy] Oregon Having fought off Fresno State to win the services of Gaines, the Ducks have captured their first blue-chip OLB since 2015. The PAC-12 North arms race sees intense battles between Oregon and Cal over three different players, FS Carter Vareen, DE Jamal Dorsey, and TE Kahiau Alama. The Golden Bears appear to have the inside track on Alama and Dorsey. Perhaps the potential signing of DE Shia Abernathy has Dorsey concerned over playing time issues? The Ducks have been after several other LB prospects, currently positioning themselves in talks with ILB Robert Dodson and OLB Brody Aldridge. The commitment of McMedley gives the Ducks something to quack about, while Trujillo was one of a very select group of talented WRs on the west coast this season, so keeping him home was important. The recruitment of QB Savion Knox has been lukewarm, at best, but currently it seems like he prefers to wear neon. ILB Bill Talbot 6-1 253 Fr Beaverton (Beaverton OR) 1.0 of 3.5 [Mike] CB Kyle Stuckey 6-2 171 Fr Vernon Kilpatrick (Malibu CA) 3.0 of 3.0 [Man Coverage] OLB Jacob Gaines 5-11 227 Fr Newberg (Newberg OR) 1.0 of 5.0 [Coverage] WR Gael Trujillo 6-2 155 Fr Harrisburg (Harrisburg OR) 1.0 of 4.0 [Speed] C Brian McMedley 6-3 304 Fr Kahuku (Kahuku HI) 1.5 of 4.5 [Run Blocking] TE Carter Eubanks 6-3 237 Fr Dallas (Dallas OR) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blocking] OT Lagi Esera 6-6 311 Fr Hayfork (Hayfork CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking] Oregon State This is a surprisingly positive class so far for the Beavers, who coming off of an 0-12 season, have little to sell potential recruits on. The team has systematically added players that can come in and help the program. There are plenty of teams that would have wanted to add players like Baumgartner and Swain, and if Oregon State can bring home CB Dylan Talbert and RB Jayden Frey, the future of OSU Football will be much brighter than it was just a few short months ago. CB Jordan Nunn 5-11 177 Fr Liberty (Bakersfield CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] TE Mason Hamm 6-6 193 Fr Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Receiving] OLB Jacob Cotton 6-0 222 Fr Mission San Jose (Fremont CA) 1.5 of 3.5 [Blitz] OT Nathan Baumgartner 6-3 267 Fr Harper (Harper OR) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] OLB Jamir Burroughs 6-4 244 Fr Temecula Valley (Temecula CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz] OLB Ronan Ulrich 6-2 236 Fr Lompoc (Lompoc CA) 1.5 of 3.5 [Blitz] DE Larry Swain 6-1 242 Fr Blanchet Catholic (Salem OR) 1.0 of 4.0 [Blitz] OG Brody Harvey 6-1 283 Fr East Bakersfield (Bakersfield CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] San Diego State After bringing in one of the best recruiting classes in the country last season, the Aztecs are at it again, landing several key pieces to their program. Spear is one of the top DT prospects in the country and fills a gaping hole in the Aztec defense. McBride was another much-celebrated signing for the program. San Diego State stole Doss from under UCLA’s noses, and he will pair with last year’s top WR recruit, Zion Payton, to form a dangerous tandem for QB David Edmondson. The Aztecs fought off Hawai’i to win the services of Haney, and beat out USC to grab Richard. There is still a little meat left on the bone for the Aztecs, as they target DT Jared McCormack to play alongside Spear, and are looking to sign a kicker in Aleksandr Vasiliev, to keep him away from conference rival Air Force, while adding depth at other positions. WR Eddie Doss 5-10 172 Fr D.S. Jordan (Los Angeles CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Speed] OLB Joaquin Haney 6-3 224 Fr Williams (Williams CA) 1.0 of 4.5 [Blitz] FB Liam Bearden 5-10 222 Fr Sonoma Valley (Sonoma CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Run Blocking] QB Rocco Duggan 6-1 192 Fr Golden Valley (Merced CA) 3.0 of 3.5 [Scrambling] DT Graham Spear 6-4 289 Fr Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks CA) 2.0 of 5.0 [1-Gap] OT Quinton Richard 6-3 325 Fr Oakdale (Oakdale CA) 2.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking] DE Larry McBride 6-3 259 Fr Chula Vista (Chula Vista CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Blitz] San Jose State Not an exciting class by any means for the Spartans, but you have to start somewhere. The Spartans started by signing a player who many regarded as the top center in the country, Vaikauskas. A certain four-year starter, he will be the building block the program hopes to surround with talent. Clinton gives the team a ray of hope, but he will need weapons to be successful. Hargrove was one of the better CB available, and it is a bit of a surprise that he committed so early to San Jose State, when larger programs would certainly have been calling. QB Travis Clinton 6-5 195 Fr Oakdale (Oakdale CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pocket] DE Noel Mulligan 6-4 239 Fr Glendale (Glendale CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Contain] CB Jamari Hargrove 6-2 194 Fr El Dorado (Placerville CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Man Coverage] OT Kyle Brower 6-3 259 Fr De La Salle (Concord CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] DE Lavonte Fountain 6-1 243 Fr Oakdale (Oakdale CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Contain] OG Spencer Corbin 6-3 260 Fr Desert (Edwards CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] RB Nigel Stewart 5-8 176 Fr Mission San Jose (Fremont CA) 2.0 of 3.0 [Speed] K Johnny Shaw 6-1 206 Fr Galileo Academy (San Francisco CA) 1.5 of 3.5 [Power] CB Justice Strong 6-2 179 Fr Hayfork (Hayfork CA) 1.5 of 3.0 [Zone Coverage] OG Ralph Kenney 6-6 286 Fr West Valley (Hemet CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] ILB Isaac Langston 6-4 242 Fr Mission San Jose (Fremont CA) 1.5 of 3.0 [Mike] CB Byron Blake 5-10 184 Fr Mt. Diablo (Concord CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Zone Coverage] ILB Billy Gallagher 6-2 234 Fr Trabuco Hills (Mission Viejo CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Mike] C Nick Vaikauskas 6-3 293 Fr Lompoc (Lompoc CA) 3.5 of 5.0 [Pass Blocking] WR Martin Collazo 6-3 153 Fr Powers (Powers OR) 1.5 of 3.0 [Speed] UCLA It is hard to come down on a program after signing one of the top 10 QBs in the country, but aside from the obvious stroke of good fortune in signing Harden, this recruiting season has to be considered a failure thus far by the Bruins. UCLA has not been able to ink any other impact players. OT Shane Reese may be signing soon, but I feel like the Bruins will need to get a commitment from OLB Kieran Skaggs in order to save face. They have invested heavily in his recruitment, and are neck-and-neck with PAC-12 rival, Arizona on getting his signature. The Bruins have several other players they are talking to, but few are seen as future NFLHC prospects. C Elki StJohn 6-2 273 Fr St. Mary's College (Berkeley CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking] WR James Dye III 6-4 212 Fr Chula Vista (Chula Vista CA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Target] DE Shiloh Rowe 6-0 257 Fr Vernon Kilpatrick (Malibu CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz] P Alex Kern 6-3 204 Fr Southwest (San Diego CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Power] QB Aaron Harden 6-3 218 Fr Fontana (Fontana CA) 1.0 of 5.0 [Scrambling] UNLV The tale of the 2020 UNLV recruiting class has yet to be written. Whether this story ends with a happy ending for the Runnin’ Rebels will depend on the three key standoffs they have with in-state rival, Nevada. The decisions made by RB Bronson Willingham, OT Avery Drew, and CB Kaden Hairston will decide the fate of the Rebs. Should the team be able to secure the signings of those three, UNLV will prove they are able to eat from the same table as their bigger brother, and will put together a solid class. Should the Rebs lose out on Hairston, they may still be able to land Chad Manuel, another 6’2” CB that the team covets. Of those already signed, Lockhart gives them a quality LT candidate down the road. CB Kai Hawthorne 5-10 176 Fr Las Vegas (Las Vegas NV) 1.5 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage] QB Aleki Pita 6-0 193 Fr Glendale (Glendale CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Hybrid] QB Richard Vick 6-4 187 Fr Southwest (San Diego CA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Scrambling] ILB Daniel Sharpe 5-11 216 Fr Jackpot (Jackpot NV) 1.0 of 3.5 [Will] ILB Jeffrey Jennings 5-11 211 Fr Acalanes (Lafayette CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Will] OT Kevin Lockhart 6-5 319 Fr Jackpot (Jackpot NV) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] OT Enrique Ferreira 6-2 315 Fr McQueen (Reno NV) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking] USC Los Angeles’ other team that seems to have really struggled in recruiting this season. Sure, they landed Garrett, a ready-made MLB that should be a four-year starter. But where is everyone else? The Trojans have allowed several other key players to be signed away from them, and now it appears that FS Jacob Donald may be headed to conference foe Arizona State. Where does the bleeding stop for the Trojans? If they can’t at least sign some depth, look for the team to struggle to maintain its status among the nation’s elite teams. DE Terrell Francis 6-6 240 Fr East Fork Lutheran (Whiteriver AZ) 3.0 of 3.0 [Blitz] ILB Nate Garrett 6-2 251 Fr Vernon Kilpatrick (Malibu CA) 3.0 of 4.5 [Mike] Utah On paper, this appears to be about the weakest recruiting class in the region. Zero impact players. Zero players that can step in and fill a role in the next couple of seasons. Utah needs to get OG Raymond Cuevas to choose them over Utah State, or else the alumni will be grumbling even louder. DT Marlon Spencer 6-1 294 Fr Moon Valley (Phoenix AZ) 1.0 of 3.5 [2-Gap] WR Lucas Ragland 6-3 228 Fr Bountiful (Bountiful UT) 1.0 of 3.0 [Target] ILB Lamarr Tyler 6-1 212 Fr Bountiful (Bountiful UT) 1.0 of 3.0 [Will] TE Julian Lanier 6-2 239 Fr East Fork Lutheran (Whiteriver AZ) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blocking] Utah State The Aggies identified their QB of the future in Kieron Farmer, went out and aggressively targeted him, and got him to sign early. After that, they have been opportunistic in signing marginal prospects that give them a foundation to build on. It is not an exciting way of building a program, but you need to lay the mortar before you start stacking bricks. Signing OG Raymond Cuevas would give them another blue-chip player, albeit at guard. OT Marlon Jefferson 6-4 291 Fr Box Elder (Brigham City UT) 1.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking] SS Kembrell Joseph 5-10 210 Fr Logan (Lgan UT) 1.0 of 3.0 [Man Coverage] QB Kieron Farmer 6-5 220 Fr Bountiful (Bountiful UT) 1.0 of 4.5 [Pocket] OG Hudson Wilkes 6-6 297 Fr Ganado (Ganado AZ) 1.0 of 3.0 [Run Blocking] FS Darnell Harrison 5-10 215 Fr Grand County (Moab UT) 1.0 of 3.0 [Zone Coverage] OLB Asher Hancock 6-0 217 Fr Moon Valley (Phoenix AZ) 2.0 of 3.0 [Blitz] DT Tracy Humphrey 6-3 328 Fr San Juan (Blanding UT) 1.5 of 3.0 [2-Gap] WR Leon Boston 6-4 229 Fr Desert Eagle (Scottsdale AZ) 2.0 of 3.0 [Target] CB Preston Handy 6-1 170 Fr Payson (Payson UT) 1.0 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage] K Ronan Snow 5-10 208 Fr Willow Canyon (Surprise AZ) 1.0 of 3.5 [Power] SS Jonathan Branch 6-0 210 Fr Sahuarita (Sahuarita AZ) 3.0 of 3.0 [Man Coverage] FS D'Andre Kemp 5-11 207 Fr South Summit (Kamas UT) 1.0 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] Washington D.D. Dyson. Learn the name. One of the more bitter recruiting battles in the country ended with the Huskies landing the 6’0” receiver, and UCLA coming away with nothing. Washington will pair the talent receiver with Jake Davis and hope to put up prolific numbers in the passing game. So far, Washington has been fairly quiet in signing other talent due to the amount of time they needed to invest in Dyson. Now that D.D. has put pen to paper, we will see what else the Huskies can do to add to their talent pool. FB Louis Drummond 6-0 202 Fr Shorecrest (Seattle WA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Run Blocking] CB Kaden Carmichael 5-10 194 Fr Vernonia (Vernonia OR) 1.0 of 3.0 [Zone Coverage] WR Felipe Flores 5-9 164 Fr Brackett (Brackettville TX) 1.0 of 3.5 [Speed] CB Jaylin Coates 5-11 191 Fr Salem Academy (Salem OR) 1.0 of 3.0 [Man Coverage] WR D.D. Dyson 6-0 197 Fr Hayfork (Hayfork CA) 1.0 of 5.0 [Target] TE Bart Gregg 6-1 204 Fr Richland (Richland WA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Receiving] OLB Mario Jarvis 6-4 225 Fr Bothell (Bothell WA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Coverage] LS Bobby Heaton 6-2 271 Fr Decatur (Federal Way WA) 1.5 of 3.5 [Traditional] Washington State While their in-state rivals battled over one player, the Cougars collected signatures from several Top 300 players. Rucker will be a difference maker in both the running and passing game. Groves is going to be really, really good as a road-grading guard. Seay is one of the better run-blocking fullbacks in the country. Noticing a theme here? McMullin should be a solid passer, and if the team is able to have balance, should continue their winning ways. On the defensive side of the ball, Wazzu stealing Thomas Gay off the islands is a coup for them, and the team is still looking for poach some special teams help from Hawai’i as well. QB Matthew McMullin 6-5 221 Fr Renton (Renton WA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pocket] TE Ezekiel Rucker 6-1 218 Fr Capital (Olympia WA) 1.0 of 5.0 [Blocking] SS Thomas Gay 5-11 200 Fr Mid-Pacific Institute (Honolulu HI) 1.0 of 4.5 [Zone Coverage] FB William Seay 5-9 252 Fr St. Joseph (Brownsville TX) 2.5 of 4.5 [Run Blocking] WR Raphael Perdue 5-9 160 Fr Montesano (Montesano WA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Speed] OG Kaden Huggins 6-5 264 Fr Williams (Williams CA) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] QB Quinn Benson 5-10 217 Fr Bothell (Bothell WA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Pocket] CB Ousmane Earl 6-0 171 Fr Oak Mountain (Birmingham AL) 1.0 of 3.5 [Man Coverage] OG Will Groves 6-6 316 Fr Eastlake (Chula Vista CA) 2.0 of 5.0 [Run Blocking] Wyoming It is hard to knock the Cowboys for trying. They lost a bitter, uphill battle on CB Raekwon Hemphill to Air Force. With so much of their resources spent on that losing battle, Wyoming will lick its wounds and have to be happy with a decent TE. If they could somehow wrestle away DT Mateo Evans from Cal in the next few weeks, it would soften the sting of not getting their top target and provide them with a quality run-stuffer. QB Dominic Barragan 6-1 210 Fr Cambridge (Cambridge ID) 1.0 of 3.5 [Scrambling] TE Jay Contreras 6-2 233 Fr Eastlake (Chula Vista CA) 2.0 of 3.5 [Blocking]
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    Atlanta, GA With the retirement of our General Manager SageBow, the Atlanta Falcons are actively looking to hire a GM. Please PM me if you are interested in the position. I would also like to take this time to congratulate Sage on a successful NFLHC career and wish him a happy retirement. Having him on our staff was a joy and pleasure. We will miss him dearly. Go Falcons, acewulf
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    My games are never pretty but dammit I'm winning. GG @rocksaucesundae! I've officially doubled the all time wins for the program, and also gotten the same number of wins this season as the rest of the seasons combined.
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    Dave Stokley, star cornerback for the New England Patriots, is well-known for his elite ball-hawking and dominant coverage skills. Racking up 29 total interceptions throughout his career, he is the cornerstone of the Patriots' defense. Despite being known for taking the ball away on the field, Stokley is well-known for giving back to his community off the field. Through his foundation Stoke's Tokes, Stokley gives medical marijuana to those who need it. Through the foundation, Stokley has given almost $300,000 back to his community since the foundation's founding last year. Our very own reporter Constance Bourchier sat down for a chat with Stokley to discuss how his foundation came to be and his goals for the future. Constance Bourchier: Thanks for being here today, Dave. First of all, I have to ask the obvious question: why is your foundation dedicated to supplying medical marijuana? Dave Stokley: This is a really personal story, but in June of 2014 my dad was diagnosed with cancer. The first year was hell for him. He was in massive pain, and he always felt like crap because of the radiation and chemo. He'd constantly be vomiting and his life was just terrible. Then, in July of 2015, Minnesota started distributing medical marijuana. For my dad, it was like night and day. His pain mostly went away, and he wasn't sick nearly as often. He wound up passing last year because of the cancer, but his last four years he felt so much better because of the marijuana. I saw what it did for him, and then I read about these people, a lot of them kids, suffering from all these terrible diseases and conditions that can be treated with marijuana, and I thought “wow, I should do something to help these people.” So I did. CB: My condolences for your father. Now, tell me about who Stoke's Tokes helps. DS: Well, it helps people that need medical marijuana who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it. A lot of these people are kids, suffering from some of the roughest diseases you can imagine: cancer, ALS, seizures, you name it. Their families often don't have insurance, and they can't afford to get the marijuana without it. The foundation steps in and pays for it for them so the kid (or adult, we help a lot of them too) can have a better quality of life. CB: Now, I hate to ask, but: how do you keep people from exploiting the foundation to get free weed? DS: Minnesota actually has pretty strict laws regarding medical marijuana, you have to actually have a serious disease to get some. Beyond that, though, the foundation will occasionally check in with people to make sure it's being used in a responsible manner. CB: And the foundation also supports the legalization of medical marijuana nationwide, right? DS: Yeah it does. I've hosted several events throughout the country to help raise support for the legalization of medical marijuana. This is an issue that's really personal to me because of my dad, so I hope that we see some real change soon. CB: Well, I'm out of time and questions. Thank you very much for sitting down with me today, Dave. DS: Thanks for having me. I realize that this charity is a bit unorthodox, but we are really helping people and I hope that we can continue in the future.
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    Things I know i'll never see Tampa Bay playoffs
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    Every year in the AAC, we usually have one or two great games to look forward too during the regular season. In 2016, it was UCF versus Marshall. In 2017, it was USF versus UCF and the following year, highlights included a Houston versus Navy showdown that helped propel the Cougars into the playoffs. In 2019, we had 2 SMU and Temple showdowns - one was the conference title game which turned out not to be close and another was a regular season classic. Which sort of brings me to my next point. SMU, ever since Andre Webb started for the Mustangs for the first time in 2018, has been quite clutch. In his first ever start, Webb captured AAC POTW honors in a 33-31 shootout won on a clutch late game FG against the then-ranked Michigan State Spartans. After an up and down freshman year for SMU - and Webb- finished 8-5, but in somewhat of a down AAC in 2019, had a few clutch wins down the stretch, including an ugly win against TCU, and then as mentioned above, narrowly beat Temple thanks to clutch kicking heroics again. After going 12-2 last season, SMU has been on to somewhat of a rough start this season. In addition to only a two score win against Cincinnati, the Stangs have won three close games this year, two against arguably sub-par teams from the state of Ohio, with key field goal kicking in the 4th coming through. One reasonable conclusion can be that SMU is "lucky". Another could be SMU comes out flat each game and lets teams hang around. Another could be that SMU isn't that good, at least not as high as their ranking. Whichever theory you prescribe too, neither are exactly encouraging, as they all point to their bubble popping against UCF. Obviously, the SMU offense starts with Andre Webb behind center, but their passing game doesn't end just there. Dean Brukhart is their star wideout, with Sebastian Hatcher and Adrian Blount having their moments this season from time to time. Their offensive line isn't amazing, but all in all, it's on par with most of the top AAC teams and enough for Terrell Holland to prove he's a decent running back on paper. Defensively, SMU's defensive line is decent led by two star defensive tackles Arthur Ireland and Kahau Aveau - the latter a freshman blue chip croot and defensive end also starts Jaden Westbrook, who has gotten consideration for AAC DPOTW in the past. Linebacker-wise, SMU is uneventful. The SMU secondary is something else, however. CB Adam Young established himself as an elite AAC corner last season as a freshman, and he has help to by a trio of NFL prospects - most notably FS Sergio Munoz. Now I've spent most of this piece talking about SMU, and to be fair, they are the more intriguing team here. but maybe I think a brief mention of UCF is warranted. UCF doesn't have the passing game of SMU. Dwayne Bennett, a redshirt sophomore, has had his ups and downs. Justin Pierre is an underrated receiver, but the problem is that is all Bennett really has throwing to him. The UCF offenwive line is a little better than SMU's counterpart. The Knight's most famous piece by far is RB DeNorris Jackson - who for 4 years has plowed and terrorized front sevens left, right, and center. On the defensive side of the ball, UCF has stars too. Unlike past UCF teams, which were thin at the defensive line, the Knights D Line this year is quite talented, led by transfer DT Chase Beaver-Hildebrand and DE Devin Blakely each having at least one DPOTW in their careers with the Knights. Remember that Blakely name as he was a blue chip croot raided from Oregon a couple crooting cycles. Their linebackers crops is decent; no one outstanding but better than the Mustang's linebackers. The UCF secondary, much like SMU is their strength of their defense, which is why they match up with UCF well. Senior standout CB Kevin McQueen has been a longtime starter and top CB prospect out of this class. Reserve corners Aaden Rollins and Alex Bridges aren't too shabby either. The UCF safety tandem is led by FS James Munnerlyn, a 5 star redshirt freshman FS, but aided by NFL prospect SS Charlie Munson. UCF is still somewhat untested this year. Their out of conference schedule hasn't been too impressive but unlike past UCF teams, they've handled bad teams easily, plus they have a good win against a solid Iowa team. On paper, the teams are about even, but I feel momentum is own UCF's side as they have been playing better so far this year. Prediction: UCF 35, SMU 20, Final.
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    THANK YOU SAGE Falcons GM retires after 2 seasons of turning around the franchise. The AJC wishes him a happy retirement!
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    Colorado's Latavious Murray gets sandwiched by WSU defenders in Week 8 Starting to see the writing on the wall for most teams now, though there's a couple surprises in the early week 9 TNF games. I'll note those below. The road to the Conference Championship Game is visible for a trio of teams...can you guess which ones? Remember, if you don't like where you are in these rankings...play (and recruit) better! 1. USC Trojans 5-1 The Men of Troy have feasted on weak competition since their startling defeat to Notre Dame in week 2. Luke Trickett is already closing in on the OPOY award in the Conference of Champions, he's that good. SC still has three (well, three and a half) serious road bumps left: Wazzu, @Cal, @Arizona. All three are capable of pulling off a 'luck of the Irish' type game to catch Coach Dream's men napping. 2. Washington State Cougars 5-1 The Cougars are playing good football, but still need help as it sits in the North. The loss to Oregon has been mitigated slightly by knocking off Cal and breezing past inferior talent elsewhere. But it gets real this weekend with the Arizona Wildcats coming to town for a one-loss showdown. Says here the Cougs inch past the Cats, 24-23. 3. Arizona Wildcats 5-1 Another team that got sniped by the Ducks, but has won everything else. Shane Strong is playing very well, but it's the cumulative effect for this bunch of no-namers with game. Arizona has the talent and cohesion (not to mention solid coaching by WrigleyFan) to win the South, if they get two breaks versus Wazzu and SC. Of course, they need to beat currently undefeated Hawaii in week 14 to cash in on a prime bowl spot. 4. Oregon Ducks 3-3 Yes, this team lost it's first 3 games. But three straight wins against top-tier PAC-12 opponents (two undefeateds + Cal) put the Ducks squarely in the driver's seat in the North. Stanford was potentially a push-over without head man Notorious, but he's now back and the Cardinal may give the Ducks trouble. The UCLA Bruins and ASU Sparkies have also had moments this season, but both have fatal flaws. Barring a complete breakdown against winless Utah, and crummy little brothers Washington and Oregon State, the Ducks could navigate to the CCG...could. Who would have guessed that after 0-3?!? 5. California Golden Bears 4-2 With the Big Game coming up this weekend, the Bears are looking to regroup a bit following two straight losses that have (likely) knocked them out of contention in the North. But the Cardinal is wounded, their coach bloodied. Leonard Norris is having a very solid year and will continue to find Hakeem Black in the endzone for scores, which means the Bears could beat anyone left on their schedule on the right day. But the next three games in that remaining schedule are brutal: @Stanford, @Arizona, USC. I've got the Bears finishing at 8-4. You can guess where those two extra losses will come. 6. Stanford Cardinal 4-2 The big story here is the booting, and subsequent return, of Head Coach NotoriousBigej for recruiting violations. The Cardinal were pitiful in his week-long absence, getting blown out at home. Stanford doesn't have a lot of room for error, but has a chance at redemption--vile, unjustified redemption--both this week in the Big Game and next week at Oregon. Can the Big Red Menace throw the North on its head? (Don't really think so, but we'll see...) 7. Arizona State Sun Devils 3-3 I have no idea what to make of Sparky week to week. I know that NDunkelbarger game plans pretty well...when he game plans. And I know the Sun Devils HAVE talent, just not enough to make much of a difference in the top half of the PAC. Here's guessing the Devils will pull an upset in the final two weeks of the season (Oregon and Arizona, both in Tempe). Will it matter? Who knows? 8. UCLA Bruins 3-4* I really wanted to move the Bruins down for their suck job versus Buffalo (BUFFALO?!??!?!) in week 9 TNF. But I'm thinking that JBax forgot to game plan, given the 2-3 day delay in games. Still though, the Bruins have been Steven Gore...and that's about it. He's a hell of a QB, but where's the Defense? Where's the pride at the line of scrimmage? UCLA is sim aTm. Week 13 versus Colorado will answer my question over the #8 team in the PAC-12 Power Rankings, but that (plus Utah, duh) may be the only wins remaining for the wombats from Westwood. 9. Colorado Buffaloes 3-3 The Buffs don't really have a good win on their resume yet this season. Two crap OOC wins plus a beatdown of Oregon State doesn't really count. They've had moments, but the Buffs don't do any one thing particularly well, and that's a problem. Even Latavious Murray has taken a small step backward. The remaining schedule is a mixed bag, too: @UW, ASU, a tricky in-state battle with Colorado State, @UCLA, @Cal, and finishing with Utah. That's no bye weeks after week 9. Let's put the Buffs at 6-6 and tell them to be happy. 10. Washington Huskies 3-4* A week 9 TNF win over Utah give the Dawgs an ounce of momentum heading into the ugly part of their schedule. Colorado will be a good matchup, but Oregon, @Cal, Stanford, and Washington State in the Apple Cup all look like L's for Dean's men. Rebuilding year (or two) in Seattle. #bringonDDDyson 11. Oregon State Beavers 1-5 All is currently right in the state of Oregon, with the Ducks seemingly on the rise and the Beaver stuck in neutral. Bmlig has done some work on the croot trail, so this won't always be the case. But right now, the Beavers are leaning on Lloyd Samuel because he's really the only player they've got. And it doesn't get easier: Arizona State, USC, Stanford, @Wazzu, BYU, and Oregon all are two-touchdown favorites over Bennie's buddies. Goo... 12. Utah Utes 0-6* Arizona State nips the Utes on Thursday night in week 9, and that leaves the Utes with only three outside chances to sneak a win: Washington next week, @ Colorado, and the closer versus BYU. Donald Culver is rolling over in his very small pocket-sized coffin right now, because he's playing as though he were dead, and his OLine can't block a thing. It's ugly in Salt Lake City, and won't get better anytime soon.
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    The ACC Network has officially released the Mid-season All-ACC team along with several awards recognizing a select group of players that have played above and beyond this season. Congratulations for those players that have been recognized below, and the Atlantic Coast Conference is proud to have these players represent the best damn conference in the land. Mid-Season All-ACC Team QB Matteo Rook, (Sr), Virginia: 148-226 (65.49%) for 1920 yards, 18 TD, 3 INT, 160.48 QB Rating The heart and sole of this Cavalier offense over the past three years, Rook has been phenomenal through the first half of the season. Often criticized for turning the ball over too many times in previous years, Rook now has the fewest interceptions in the conference to go along with the second-most touchdowns, playing a huge part in the Cavaliers' 6-0 start and a meteoric rise to the Top 10 in the country. RB DeSean Dockery, (Jr), Louisville: 149 carries for 804 yards (5.40 YPC), 11 TD It's been a strong first year in Division 1 football for Dockery, who rebounded from a lackluster opening game to slice through opposing defenses. With 5 games of 100+ yards, Dockery has been the driving force behind Louisville's rise to the top of the Atlantic, gashing the likes of normal division favorites Clemson and Boston College. Reginauld Saunders gives Dockery a run for his money, but being the only back averaging more than 5 yards per carry puts the new boy over the rest. FB Giovanni Coley, Sr, Syracuse: 142 carries for 629 yards (4.43 YPC), 6 TD At the beginning of the year, I recommended that the Orange stick with Anthony Smith at running back. Coley has more than proved me wrong after getting the nod, complimenting Christian Coates and breaking out in his final season in New York. Syracuse has still taken a step back with the loss of Dylan Bishop, but with Coley playing much better this season, 'Cuse have avoided crashing altogether, still claiming wins over Florida State and Boston College. WR Luke Cobb, Sr, Florida State: 59 receptions for 826 yards (14.00 YPR), 10 TD The player we all expected to be here has indeed done what he's needed to get here. In a heavily pass-oriented offensive, Cobb has far and away been the best receiver in the conference, and maybe even the country. Cobb continues his run as a potential Heisman candidate, though even his play has not been enough to ease the pain of a really poor first half of the season. Leading the rest of the conference by 200+ yards and 3 touchdowns, expect Cobb to continue on this tear and maybe set some records along the way. WR Adam Coles, (Jr), Pittsburgh: 44 receptions for 615 yards (13.98 YPR), 6 TD For as good as Cobb has been in Tallahassee, Coles has been just as amazing for Pittsburgh's successful 2020 campaign that has included a win over the defending national champs in rivals Penn State. The Panthers' passing game has thrived this season with Coles leading the way, giving Grant McConnell that reliable target in sticky situations. With the running game somewhat lacking this season, Coles has done more than enough to rise to the occasion. TE Jeremy Patterson, Sr, North Carolina: 36 receptions for 435 yards (12.08 YPR), 5 TD With Max Laws improving a ton this season, the passing game has finally picked up, thus leading to the surprising rise of Patterson. The senior tight end leads all players at that position in receiving yards and is tied for 1st in touchdowns, which is especially surprising given the talent at that position in the conference (Jonathan Greer of UVA and Jahmir Rolle of GT to name a few). If the Tar Heels are to keep winning, they'll need Patterson to keep performing with Laws. OT Shawaun Holsey, (Sr), Virginia: Team OL Rating of 7.03 Holsey has commanded the Cavalier offensive line this season, covering Matteo Rook with great success; Virginia have not allowed a sack in conference and have given Reginald Saunders the space he needs to pick up small chunks of yardage. Holsey should be a top NFL prospect this upcoming draft. OT Caleb Pope, (Jr), Florida State: Team OL Rating of 6.37 The only junior to make this list, Pope has yet to allow a sack on the right side of the offensive line. Schuler has needed time to throw with the running game being worse than sub-par, and Pope has done just that in a rather successful junior season. OG Aden Rosas, (Sr), Virginia: Team OL Rating of 7.03 Rosas has been just as solid as Holsey on the opposite side of the line, giving Rock ample time in the pocket while providing assistance to sophomore tackle Mahamadou Hooker. It's telling how dominant Virginia's line has been compared to the rest of the conference with the likes of Rosas and Holsey leading the way. OG Nicolas Quick, Sr, Clemson: Team OL Rating of 6.68 Quick is the most experienced member of this Clemson offensive line, and his play has shown just that in what's been a mixed first half for the Tigers. Outside of a poor-ish showing in the loss against Louisville, Quick and the offensive line have given Jamel Armstrong the time he's needed to make very important throws. C Tim Kerns, (Sr), Pittsburgh: Team OL Rating of 6.92 Kerns has taken charge over a youthful offensive line, molding them into a Top 3 unit in the conference and giving quarterback Grant McConnell all the time he needs. Despite the running game woes, Kerns has developed space nicely for McConnell and Jaiden Daniel. DE Glenn Thorpe, (Fr), Clemson: 25 tackles, 1 INT, 5.5 sacks It's been a strong debut season for Thorpe, giving the Tigers a strong pass rush by terrorizing backfields everywhere. With 2 sacks against TCU and 1.5 sacks against Syracuse, Thorpe has had plenty of strong performances this season, whether it's been bringing down the quarterback or stopping the running game in its tracks. Expect more from this young man, and expect Clemson to have a great pass rush for years to come. DE Tyler Ashworth, Sr, Florida State: 17 tackles, 3.5 sacks It hasn't been a great showing from the Seminoles' defense this year, but Ashworth has been better than anticipated this season, peaking so far with his 1.5 sack performance in the loss to Boston College. Ashworth, too, is a first-time starter, and his addition to this defense has kept the 'Noles in quite a few games. Expect Ashworth to take charge in this final half of the season in hopes of getting FSU back on track. DT Marcus Brown, (Sr), Clemson: 25 tackles, 2.5 sacks Next to Thorpe and senior Ivan Castle, Brown has been more than effective in contributing to the pass rush and in stopping the run. Clemson's defensive line plays second-fiddle to a Top 10 secondary in the country, but make no mistake; with playmakers like Brown and Thorpe running the show, good luck moving the ball. DT Bryan Hendrickson, Sr, Wake Forest: 16 tackles, 4 sacks Making up half of Wake's surprising pass rush, Hendrickson is a stud when it comes to getting into the backfield. Not many expected the senior to do much this year, but Hendrickson has come alive to lead a defensive resurgence in Winston-Salem, leading all defensive tackles in conference with his 4 sacks. OLB Stuart Patterson, Jr, North Carolina State: 34 tackles, 1 sack There have been few bright spots for the Wolfpack this season, but newcomer Patterson is certainly one of those. Patterson has been the star of the show for the Pack, leading the team in tackles (with more than 10 over the next highest total), and leading all but Antoine Mayfield in conference for that same statistic. It's been rough for State's defense, but Patterson's play could hopefully inspire a few teammates down the line. OLB Austin Milner, (Sr), Georgia Tech: 26 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR Milner remains a hawk in the Yellow Jackets' midfield, halting plays in their tracks with jarring hits and enforcing his no-fly zone with charismatic power. Milner is responsible for three of the Jackets' seven turnovers on the year, having picked off quarterbacks twice and stripping the ball from none other than Evan Grant himself. ILB Beckett Ring, (So), Louisville: 25 tackles, 3 INT Louisville have lacked playmakers on defense in recent history, but Beckett Ring has filled that role in the Cardinals' rise to prominence, recording three interceptions in this first half while being a consistent tackler in the second level. Next to Prince Matos, Louisville's linebacker corp has gone from decent to great in one measly year. ILB Antoine Mayfield, Sr, Syracuse: 41 tackles, 1 INT Leading the conference in tackles, Mayfield has been a pivotal player in Syracuse's front 7. Mayfield has helped shut down relatively potent rushing attacks so far, with teams finding it difficult to hit the century mark in rushing yards. Throw in his awareness in coverage, and you've got a talented and effective leader of a surprisingly underrated defense. CB Timothy Parks, Sr, Virginia: 11 tackles, 4 INT, 1 TD Every great defense comes with a great cornerback, and sure enough, Timothy Parks is that man. The senior is tied for best in the conference in picking the ball off, notably being on the receiving end of throws from Bryce Thompson of Duke and Grant McConnell of Pitt. Despite struggling recently against the likes of Sean Spaczek and Adam Coles, Parks has more than proven just how much of a ballhawk he can be. CB Lucas Freeman, (So), Virginia Tech: 8 tackles, 3 INT, 1 TD Like Parks, Freeman has been the ballhawk that the Hokies' defense needed, rarely allowing quarterbacks to easily hit their targets on the edge. With picks on Chester Brenner and Max Laws, Freeman has shown that even higher-skilled quarterbacks aren't invulnerable to Freeman's solid play. FS D'Qwell Moore, Jr, Florida State: 17 tackles, 2 INT There's no questioning that this Florida State defense has talent, and Moore is just another example of that shining talent. With two picks and a respectable 17 tackles so far this year, Moore accounts for all but one interception by this Seminole defense. Moore's been a rock deep in this secondary, more than making up for any mishaps from less-experienced players. SS Noah Tubbs, (Sr), Syracuse: 26 tackles, 3 INT, 1 sack The MVP of this Syracuse defense, Tubbs has made play after play in a dominating first half, pulling in three interceptions and even a sack against Kentucky to compliment his 26 tackles thus far. Tubbs has unquestionably been the leader of a strong defensive side, and his performances so far have justified that. K Leonel Quezada, (Sr), North Carolina: 23/23 XP (100%), 11/11 FG (100%), 6 40-49 FG, long of 46 Quezada's gotten more work kicking for one than for three this season, but his accuracy from deep has given the Tar Heels crucial points at times this season, with more than half of his completed field goals coming from 40 yards or more. P Erik Kline, (Sr), Virginia Tech: 42.58 Punting Average, Top Single-Game Punting Average of 45.40 The ACC has quite a few punters with great legs, but Kline sits atop that mountain, having three of the four best performances by a punter this season, including averaging an incredible 45.40 yards per punt against Oklahoma State in a nail-biting loss. Mid-Season ACC Awards Offensive Player of the Mid-Season: WR Luke Cobb, Sr, Florida State: 59 receptions for 826 yards (14.00 YPR), 10 TD The preseason Heisman candidate out of Tallahassee has lived up to the hype with a few immaculate performances in this first half. It helps being Benjamin Schuler's favorite target, but his general consistency and ability to make big catches makes him the best offensive player in the conference so far. Defensive Player of the Mid-Season: DE Glenn Thorpe, (Fr), Clemson: 25 tackles, 1 INT, 5.5 sacks It's crazy to think that a freshman could earn this award in just eight weeks of play, but Thorpe has broken out in unbelievable fashion, just claiming this award over Noah Tubbs. Thorpe has exploded into opposing backfields and onto the scene as one of the country's best defensive ends. Offensive Freshman of the Mid-Season: QB Bryce Thompson, (Fr), Duke: 113-190 (59.47%) for 1308 yards, 9 TD, 4 INT, 128.72 QB Rating; 30 carries for 87 yards (2.90 YPC), 6 TDs He's been far from perfect so far, but Thompson has made play after play to lead Duke to a 5-1 record and on the verge of their first-ever bowl appearance. The dual-threat quarterback has the 2nd-fewest interceptions in the conference (tied with Ayden Steele of Louisville) and is 6th in terms of yardage. When not moving the ball through the air, Thompson has been able to pull off big runs to extend drives or, in most cases, get into the endzone, accounting for half of Duke's rushing touchdowns. Defensive Freshman of the Mid-Season: DE Glenn Thorpe, (Fr), Clemson: 25 tackles, 1 INT, 5.5 sacks It shouldn't come as a surprise after being named the Defensive Player of the Mid-Season. Thorpe has far and away been the best freshman defender this season, with his 5.5 sacks being unrivaled in the conference as a whole, let alone along freshman. Clemson should have a stud for years to come if he keeps making this kind of impact. Coach of the Mid-Season: npklemm, Virginia (6-0) This was really close between Broletariat, who has Louisville flying and on course for a first-ever birth in the ACC Championship Game, and npklemm, but klemm gets the nod thanks in part to two huge wins over up-and-coming Duke and division favorite Pittsburgh. Virginia now have a game to spare in their quest for their first appearance in the conference title game, but that seems like a consolation with Virginia threatening for a Top 4 seed in the CFBHC Playoffs. Klemm has the Cavaliers playing better than anyone expected, and we should see Virginia in the national conversation for the rest of this season.
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    I am glad you could all join me today, unfortunately the season is not headed in the right direction currently. I felt that it was necessary to change who was in control of our offense. That is why I am here to announce our new starting quarterback Oscar Strange!
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    I don't even know which Big XII game made the least sense.
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