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  1. 20 likes
    First win against a #1 team in Pitt history! Fuck Penn State!
  2. 19 likes
    Big shoutout to @smckenz3 for writing up my crappy rankings last week...he poured a ton of time into that and it is much appreciated. Just another of the great guys on this site...thanks! Some serious movement in the top half of the rankings this week, and a bit toward the bottom as well. While we're certainly seeing a clearing of top-tier teams from the herd, the great middle is muddled as ever. This week, I'm gonna provide one stat per team that points to why I have them ranked as such. Enjoy! Remember, if you don't like where you are in these rankings...play better! CCG Favorites--Pick Range: #29-32 1. Los Angeles Rams Why: The Rams lead the League in 15 statistical categories, but we'll go with Best DYPP defense in the League (22.03), 3 points clear of 2nd place (19.51), where 3rd place is 18.67. Wow. Good luck, everyone else. 2. Carolina Panthers Why: Best 3rd Down % in the League (39.84%). Skaggs won't let them punt. And the 2nd best scoring team in the League. 3. Indianapolis Colts Why: 7 straight wins, is ridiculous, but par for the course for the team with League's highest rated QB (minimum 150 passes): 117.28, 25-4 TD-INT ratio. 4. New York Jets Why: Discipline and efficient balance. 2nd fewest penalties in the League, #4 in OYPP, #8 in DYPP. Those numbers equate to good coaching. Playoff-caliber Teams, One Could Get Hot and Win It All--Pick Range: #21-29 5. Detroit Lions Why: League's best YPCA (3.77) and YPGA (72.7) means you can't run on the Lions. If you have to pass, that's when Keyshawn and Cam Jones smile. 6. Dallas Cowboys Why: League's best OLine rating (8.32) and fewest sacks allowed (11) plus 3rd best DYPP means that Dallas wins both sides of the line of scrimmage. 7. Green Bay Packers Why: Offensive Efficiency. The Pack are only team in the League under 11 OYPP (10.5). In this League, offense usually wins. 8. San Francisco 49ers Why: 2nd best YPG/YPGA ratio in the League. Coach Duncan knows that field position wins games in the Playoffs. 9. Jacksonville Jaguars Why: Fewest Turnovers in the League. Barkley & Co. have turned it over only 5 times (all INTs). 10. Atlanta Falcons Why: Stingiest 3rd Down % Defense in the League (22.14%) plus 2nd most sacks in the League. RIP QBs on 3rd down. 11. Philadelphia Eagles Why: Best YPGA (218.6) and Most defensive TDs means the Eagles have playmakers all over the D. Combine that with the League's 2nd best 3rd Down % on O. 12. Denver Broncos Why: 2nd best YPAA in the League (7.1) in the pass-happy AFC West is solid. 13. Seattle Seahawks Why: By many measures, the Hawks have the League's 2nd best defense, highlighted by their insane 6.43 YPAA. Edge of the Playoffs--Pick Range: #14-20 14. Oakland Raiders Why: Most safeties in the League (2) is mitigated by giving up as many points as they score (0 score differential, 238 each way). 15. Miami Dolphins Why: Excellent trench warfare. Dolphins have given up only 13 sacks, and are #4 in the League with 27 sacks in their own right. 16. Houston Texans Why: Offensive efficient is good (6th in OYPP, 4th in 3rd%), but overall YPG is 30th. Get those guys playing a little faster, eh? 17. Cleveland Browns Why: Top yardage defense in the League (302.5 YPGA) and solid YPCA is balanced 5th worst YPC. Apparently, a game against CLE is a giant stalemate. 18. Cincinnati Bengals Why: The number 15 is rough for the Cincy offense: 15 INTs ties for 2nd worst in the League, and 15 drops IS the worst. 9.49 YPAA is also the worst mark in the League. 19. Kansas City Chiefs Why: Chiefs can't get to the QB. Fewest sacks in the League (9) leaves lots of time for opposing QBs to pick apart their secondary (-20 YPGD). Economy Seats on the Airplane of NFLHC--Pick Range: #5-13 20. New Orleans Saints Why: Worst pass yardage and overall yardage defense in the League outweighs being tied for 6th in offensive yardage (366.1 yards per game). 21. Baltimore Ravens Why: Ravens can stop the run (2nd best YPCA in the League) but not the pass (2nd worst YPAA). Opposing coaches, you know what to do. 22. Pittsburgh Steelers Why: Causality. PIT can't get to the QB (4th fewest sacks), which means QBs pick them apart (4th worst YPAA). 23. Arizona Cardinals Why: Offensive efficiency starts up front. Cards have 3rd worst OLine rating (7.43) and the 3rd worst OYPP and 3rd Down %. 24. Tennessee Titans Why: The Titans are almost the League's most average team, except for their point differential (-59, with 18 TDs scored and 27 allowed). 25. New York Giants Why: Giants see the fewest plays on defense in the League, but need to stay on the field during 3rd downs on offense (5th worst 3rd down %). 26. New England Patriots Why: Pats are a sieve in run defense. Worst rush yardage team by a mile (115 per game, 5.4 per rush) kills a good pass defense (225 yards pass per game). 27. Chicago Bears Why: Most sacks in the League (34) matches the number of TDs given up (34, tied for 5th worst). 2nd worst rushing offense (60 ypg) doesn't help. Possibly Picking #1 Overall-- 28. Buffalo Bills Why: Buffalo's 3rd down offense is atrocious (only team under 20%) and their passing offensive is 2nd worst in the League (#31 in YPG and YPA). 29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Why: Points are hard to come by for the Bucs. League's lowest scoring team per game (14.4) with the 2nd worst point differential means it doesn't get better when the Bucs move to D. 30. Minnesota Vikings Why: Worst rushing yardage offense in the League means that Vikes can't get into the end zone (4th lowest scoring per game). 31. Los Angeles Chargers Why: The ball is precious and the Chargers don't like the ball. Most turnovers in the League (15 INT, 10 FL) combines with 2nd worst YPC (3.46). 32. Washington Redskins Why: All the reasons. Worst yardage offense per game, fewest total TDs, most penalties. There are areas in which the Skins aren't terrible, but they are rare.
  3. 19 likes
    You've been visited by Chaos Buffalo. Like this post 25 times to appease Chaos Buffalo. You could be next.
  4. 14 likes
    After 4 weeks of play it is time to see who's hot and who's not in the PAC-12. Let's see which teams and players made (or missed) the cut. Who’s Hot – Undefeated Teams - Washington State Cougars – The Cougars are currently the highest ranked PAC-12 team sitting at 12th. David Oates-Elijah Talley have connected 25 times for 307 yds and 4 tds. The Cougars rush defense has more turnovers (5) than TDs allowed (4) and has limited opponents to under 13 ppg. Washington State has a bye this week. - Arizona Wildcats – Defense has been the story for the 15th ranked Wildcats. The defense has yielded only 2 TDs and is allowing less than 10 ppg and only 228 total ypg. The Wildcats defense has held opponents to 14.3% 3rd down conversions and has forced 6 turnovers while the offense is yet to commit a turnover. The Wildcats will face a tough test this Saturday when they travel to Eugene to play an Oregon team desperate for a win. - California Golden Bears – QB Leonard Norris has been solid throwing for 7 TDs and only 2 interceptions. The Golden Bears have a +3 turnover margin and have outscored opponents by an average of almost 10 ppg. Cal goes out of conference to host Southern Miss on Saturday. - Stanford – The Cardinal are currently ranked 24th thanks to the play of QB Nicholas Garland who has a 4/1 TD/INT ratio. The defense has more turnovers (5) than TDs allowed (4) and has limited opponents to under 14 ppg. Stanford faces a tough test on Saturday as the high-powered UCLA Bruins come to town. Who’s not – Winless Teams - Oregon Ducks – The Duck’s 0-3 start can be blamed on poor performances by the offense. QB Jason Baum has only 2 TD passes while throwing 5 interceptions and has completed <60% of his passes. The one offensive bright spot is star RB Trevon Yeldon who is averaging over 100 ypg. The defense also has to get better having only forced 1 turnover so far. A Saturday night game at home vs #15 Arizona is the Duck's chance to turn it around. - Utah Utes – QB Donald Culver was selected as the 1st team All-Pac 12 QB but has not lived up to the hype. He has thrown as many interceptions as TDs and is completing <60% of his passes. The Utes offense is averaging only 10 ppg while the defense is giving up 32.6 ppg. Utah gets the week off to try and regroup. - Washington Huskies – The Huskies are off to an 0-3 start and turnovers have been a problem. The offense has committed 5 turnovers while the defense has only 1 take away and has allowed opponents to score 33.3 ppg. And it doesn't get any easier for the Huskies with 3-0 Texas Tech coming to town.
  5. 13 likes
    All 14 of the prestigious SEC teams have played 3 games, lets take a look at some points of interest for each team so far! Alabama Crimson Tide Steady Bama Football - Antonio Pugh has played solid for the undefeated Crimson Tide, picking up largely from where Rory Weston left off. A.J. Edwards remains an elite deep threat and the big strength of this team is still this elite defense. Alan Tuitamalofo and Sebastian Smallwood have been beasts so far. Player of the Season (so far) - DE Sebastian Smallwood, 15 tackles, 6 sacks. Question Going Forward - Can they get a run game going? Tolani Catingub has really struggled getting anything going on the ground. Can Cade get the best out of the young running back, or will he rely more and more on Pugh? Arkansas Razorbacks Inconsistent Start - Connor Dawson has had moments of greatness, and moments of incompetence, and as he goes, so does Tyron Chambers and the rest of this offense. When he's on, Dawson is one of the best in the nation. Razorback fans are hoping he can stay hot as they get into the meat of their season. Player of the Season (so far) - WR Tyron Chambers, 24 receptions for 317 yards, 3 TDs (13.21 ypr) Question Going Forward - Who's going to step up on this defense? Robert Bleeker is living up to the billing as one of the top JUCO guys in the last cycle, but the senior corner can only do so much. Auburn Tigers Marcus Black is a Superstar - It's been amazing just how good Black's start to his sophomore season has been. He's got great pieces around him on the offense, but the way the Maestro coordinates guys like Sean Meade and Andre Curtis around him is truly remarkable. Auburn looks poised to be one of the best teams in the nation. Player of the Season (so far) - QB Marcus Black, 59 of 85 (69.41%) for 700 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs (161.88 passer rating). 14 carries for 87 yards, 2 TDs, 0 FUM (5.38 ypc) Question Going Forward - Can they stay hot? Really not much to doubt for the Auburn team. They look truly legit. Florida Gators Run the Freaking Ball - Ethan Newby has been a workhorse for the Gators as they sit tied for the lead at the SEC East, sitting at 3-0. Newby has excelled under new head coach Soluna, and looks to be one of the possible SEC Offensive Players of the Year at the end of the season. Player of the Season (so far) - RB Ethan Newby, 78 carries for 446 yards, 7 TDs, 0 FUM (5.72 ypc) Question Going Forward - Can Newby sustain this? Its been a lot of carries for Newby, a conference high 78. Can he handle this heavy workload, or is he going to wear out as the season goes along? Georgia Bulldogs Scoring Woes - Georgia's defense this season is nowhere as good as their historically great ones from 2019 and 2018. However the issue remains the same: can this Bulldogs team score enough to win? The bulk of this responsibility lies with senior QB Salvatore Tanner. He'll need to play really well as the season goes on. Player of the Season (so far) - RB Isaac Wilson, 62 carries for 269 yards, 4 TDs, 0 FUM (4.34 ypc) Question Going Forward - Is Salvatore Tanner good enough? Frankly speaking, Tanner has been the weak link for the Bulldogs all 3 years. People just aren't respecting this Bulldog passing game. If Tanner can step it up, find Ja'Wuan Howard more often, then Georgia is right there as an SEC contender. Kentucky Wildcats Starting to find their Rabid-legs - The Wildcats do not have the most talented roster, but for their key guys, Rabid has gotten the best out of them. Elijah McManus responded well to his game 1 benching, and senior linebacker Abdoul Gordon has been a machine on defense. The revelation of the year has been Quinn Walters, one of the most dangerous weapons in the SEC. Player of the Season (so far) - WR Quinn Walters, 23 receptions for 294 yards, 2 TDs (12.78 ypr) Question Going Forward - Just how much noise can they make this year? This Kentucky team showed that they have firepower in the big win against Cincinnati. Can they pull off some upsets in their conference slate? Rabid has this team feeling the chip on their shoulder, and I think they can make a big impact this season. LSU Tigers Title Contenders on a Roll - This team is starting to ball out, especially in a huge beat down of Ole Miss this week. Elias Allen-Hollis and Alexander Burton are back to their superstar form, and the supporting cast is just as deadly. This team is absolutely terrifying. I should know, I've already played them. Player of the Season (so far) - RB Jayden Huff, 67 carries for 395 yards, 6 TDs, 0 FUM (5.90 ypc) Question Going Forward - Nothing. They've already shown they can grind out games and blow teams out. Just keep doing what you're doing Tigers. Missouri Tigers Its Tucker Dowden Time - Dowden has faced his share of criticism, but those have disappeared in 2020. Dowden has been indefatigable, with an astounding 198 passer rating after three games. Dowden is the type of player that can take Missouri to the promised land of the playoffs just like Aaron Shea did a few years ago. This team is going to be a threat in the SEC East. Player of the Season (so far) - QB Tucker Dowden, 57 of 78 (73.08%) for 885 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INTs (198.00 passer rating). 20 carries for 148 yards, 2 TDs, 0 FUM (7.40 ypc). Question Going Forward - Where has FS Jamal Barnes been? One of Mizzou's best players last season just hasn't done enough through the opening 3 games. When the Tiger's best defender has been true freshman David Triplett, we just need to see more out of the veterans. Give Dowden a chance to win and he'll take it. Mississippi State Bulldogs Yet Another Strong Team - Aside from a big defeat at the hands of Heisman favorite Nico Kaufman and the Air Force Falcons, the Bulldogs have looked very strong. Ryder Shipman to Ryan Childs is deadly as ever, and Brady Christiansen is one of the top linebackers in the country. Player of the Season (so far) - OLB Brady Christiansen, 17 tackles, 1 INT Question Going Forward - Run the Ball? The Bulldogs have had a rough start on the ground with DeAndre Dyson leading the charge. Simply put, he just hasn't been good enough. The fanbase would like to see Clanga get more pass-heavy, its yet to be seen if Coach Duncan will oblige. Ole Miss Rebels We Go as Marquise Laws Goes - Two wins to start the season where Laws looked like a great QB, then a rough performance out of Laws when they dropped one to LSU, frankly one of the best teams in the nation. This team has firepower, veteran leadership, and talented defenders. Unfortunately, they just happen to be in one of the toughest divisions football has to offer. Player of the Season (so far) - TE Hunter King, 18 receptions for 290 yards, 3 TDs (16.11 ypr) Question Going Forward - Strength of Schedule? Laws and the Rebels looked awesome early on, but those teams were pretty bad. Is Laws actually that good, or did he get lucky with that bad schedule. This will get answered soon as the Rebels start getting into the meat of their conference slate. South Carolina Gamecocks Tough SEC Start - 2 SEC games out of their first 3 is rough for any team. Even more nervewracking is that these are Hagan's first games as head coach. He's obviously still working out the kinks with his roster, but results have been quietly promising. South Carolina was fantastic against UMass, but it was UMass. Player of the Season (so far) - WR Sean McDermott,14 receptions for 259 yards, 2 TDs (18.50 ypr) Question Going Forward - Can McDermott get the ball enough? Sean McDermott is the magic man for the Gamecocks. Everytime the ball is in his hands, good things happen for South Carolina. Milo Condon has his struggles but scheming up ways to get McDermott is necessary. Tennessee Volunteers Losing Record? - The Vols haven't had a losing record in SageBow's entire regime. Sitting 1-2 after 3 games is a bitter blow for Big Orange Nation. Can the Vols right the ship, or did they simply lose too much in 2019? There's been good moments for the Vols, but after the second half shutout the USF Bulls pitched this weekend, there's a lot to see how Coach Sage analyzes the performance of his team so far. Player of the Season (so far) - DE Eric Jamison, 12 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 safety Question Going Forward - Where the Veterans at? Some of the Vols best players have been freshmen (QB Adrian Goldson and ILB Marcus Coles). It begs the question, what is Nathaniel Jeffries and the rest of the senior doing? Texas A&M Aggies Jarvis Fucking Ward - The Junior Receiver is unstoppable so far this season, torching every team the Aggies play against. He's nearly 50% of this team's entire offense, and he's got the fans in College Station ecstatic. Player of the Season (so far) - WR Jarvis Ward, 25 receptions for 378 yards, 5 TDs (15.12 ypr) Question Going Forward - Just keep developing. No this isn't a question, this is simply what the Aggies need to do. Nathan Singletary is a freshman quarterback, and while he's been good getting the ball to Jarvis Ward, everything else needs to get better. Vanderbilt Commodores Defensive Juggernaut - Jordan Tucker, Damian Dailey, Adam Lovelace, all of these guys have been unstoppable for the Commodores through 3 games. Can anyone break the breach? Cause it doesn't seem anyone can. Player of the Season (so far) - OLB Damian Dailey, 17 tackles, 1 INT, 2 sacks Question Going Forward - Is Justin Malloy good enough? The signal caller for the Black and Gold has arguably the worst quarterback in the conference. Kareem McGee has done really well to make things happen for this offense and with a defense this good, they don't need to score a lot. They just need to score. What did I get right? What did I get wrong? Please feel free to comment your own thoughts below!
  6. 10 likes
    The early returns in this week of Big XII play came in strong, with five straight wins heading into early Saturday afternoon. The remainder of the slate wasn't so hot, with Iowa State, Kansas, and Baylor all dropping non-conference contests to leave the conference at 5-3 against the rest of the country this week. But in the meantime, Oklahoma and Texas Tech opened up conference play in the nation's most exciting conference with one of the best games of the season so far: a 33-30 double-overtime barn-burner in run-first heaven. Every team was in action this week, and every team's going to have some celebrating, some soul-searching--or both. The players who made that happen: Offensive Player of the Week: Maurice White, OKLA, 27 for 166 yards, 2 TD Defensive Player of the Week: Damani Jeffries, TEX, 2 INT, 3 Tackles Special Teams Player of the Week: Andrew Trimble, TCU, 44.6-yard punting average And now, let's talk about the games. Thursday Night Texas 37, Texas A&M 17 The good news: Almost everything for Texas. Kyler Tackett was sharp as a...no, I'm not gonna make that pun just yet. But the first-year starter finished over 70% for the third straight game, accounting for three touchdowns in the past. Steven Maloney made up for a lack of wide receiver production, soaking up half the team's receptions and receiving yards. Simeon Wells added 117 on the ground with a touchdown. On defense, Texas locked down the A&M offense, holding Nathan Singletary to 20-36 passing with two interceptions from Damani Jeffries. All told, they beat down rival Texas A&M for their first win in the series. The bad news: Not much to report. They didn't get a lot out of their actual wide receivers (Abdoul Causey, where art thou?), and they struggled on 3rd downs. But they more than made up for it in just about every other phase of the game, and an upset bid was never in the cards. The bottom line: Texas is looking better and better with each passing week, recording their first truly dominant win of the season. They showed a diverse offensive portfolio, and the duo of Kyler Tackett and Simeon Wells has been the best QB-RB tandem in the Big XII. At 3-0, they're already halfway to bowl eligibility and puts another bullet point on their résumé to make up for Oregon's slide. This is the kind of non-conference win that a team capable of winning the Big XII this year gets. TCU 30, Rice 27 The good news: TCU is on the board, breaking up a 3-game losing streak dating back to last season and earning their 4th win in the past 18 games. They kept Eric McLean reasonably in check--not shutting him down, but preventing him from putting together a truly explosive effort. They brought him down 3 times, pressured him into an interception to Matthew Dyson, and swarmed Nate Wooten the few times he carried the ball. They didn't let Rice extend drives on 3rd downs, and they took advantage of more than 100 yards' worth of Owl penalties. The bad news: Sam Milner continued his up-and-down start with another up-and-down game. On the bright side, he was in the plus column when it came to TD/INT ratio. On the other side, he finished 15-28 (53.6%) and managed just 144 yards through the air, posting a third straight passer rating in the 110-120 range (conference average is 142.1). He hasn't been helped by a lack of a clear go-to target. Every Big XII team but Texas Tech and TCU has a player with at least 200 receiving yards so far. Even Texas Tech has a 150-yard receiver. TCU's leading receiver, tight end Kana Tagata, ranks 20th in the Big XII with 121 receiving yards. This is a lineup that will have years to coalesce, but that youth is costing TCU right now. The bottom line: A win is a win, of course, but this is a big one for TCU. A loss would have made bowl eligibility a serious uphill battle from 0-3, and Rice is not a cupcake--especially not on the road. I'm being hard on Sam Milner in this article, but it's notable that TCU's still scored 30 points each of their last two times out despite Milner's struggles. The most encouraging sign for TCU is their defensive performance: three sacks and an interception. The big-play element has been missing for the Frogs as of late, and if they can restore that part of their defensive identity then they're going to be dangerous again this year. Friday Night West Virginia 27, Arkansas 16 The good news: West Virginia had a serious challenge going up against Arkansas, and they passed it with flying colors. Mohammed Foster was locked-in from the get-go and turned in a stellar performance (20-25 passing, 337 total yards, 3 total touchdown), Jason Dupree and J.C. Weldon were unanswerable, and the defense came out ready to barbecue the Flying Pig offense. They held Connor Dawson to 27-50 passing, picking him off twice and sacking him four times (including two takedowns by Hudson Adam), and seized control with a 13-3 first quarter that the Razorbacks never recovered from. If you had to draw up a perfect game for West Virginia, this was close to it. The bad news: And the only reasons it wasn't absolutely perfect were Mohammed Foster's one interception, a 3-10 effort on third down, and an inability to change field position with a 37.9 punting average. All of which come off as relatively minor concerns. The bottom line: This was a much-needed win for the Mountaineers after a rough opening slate, and a big feather in the cap for a West Virginia defense that hadn't held anybody to 16 points or fewer since quarterback-challenged Oklahoma State in 2018. Like TCU's win, this was also important for their bowl hopes and important because it demonstrated a new edge to the defense that hadn't really been evident until this weekend. Time to buy West Virginia stock? Kansas State 31, Wyoming 10 The good news: The Wildcat defense continued to eat opposing passers alive, making Jasiah Howard's day a waking nightmare. They held him to 138 yards on 15-27 (55.6%) passing, intercepting him twice. Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Shawn Reyes continued his red-hot start to the season, intercepting a pass for the second straight game and running his tackle total to 15 in three games. Defensive end Javier Tovar even managed a pick, causing the K-State sideline to erupt. The offensive balanced remained a strength, with two touchdowns apiece coming from Rahim Murrell and Elijah Humphrey. And Kansas State keeps rolling on. The bad news: After his scintillating debut, Rahim Murrell hasn't been able to follow up his performance. He finished the day with just 180 yards on 17-30 (56.7%) passing, matching his two touchdowns with two interceptions the other way--and it really isn't a good sign to struggle against Wyoming. This was a 3-3 game at halftime, and Murrell's struggles had Kansas State looking all sorts of out of sorts. Fortunately for Murrell and the Wildcats, he was able to get it together in the second half and put the ballgame well away. The bottom line: Parents, it's time to talk to your kids about an undefeated Kansas State. The Wildcats are now 3-0, have swept their non-conference schedule, and are halfway to bowl eligibility. This was easily the most convincing of their three wins so far, and the 28-7 second half was their best half of football so far this season. They've now climbed to 6th in the Big XII power rankings and earned a vote in the Coaches' Poll. This was the easy part, but it's important to note that Kansas State hasn't always taken care of the easy part before (see: Louisiana Tech 2018). This next game against TCU may well be the program's most important game since the Sunflower Showdown in 2016. Saturday Afternoon Oklahoma State 30, Virginia Tech 27 The good news: In their first game against Power 5 competition, Oklahoma State got the dubya and became the third Big XII team to hit 3-0 in a topsy-turvy game. It's hard to point to one thing Oklahoma State did as the primary cause of victory, but they did most things well enough to get the win. Jay Dunn stayed atop the Big XII receiving leaderboard with 81 yards and a score. Ralph Hinson's three field goals were a difference-maker--particularly since Virginia Tech's Declan Havens missed one. They intercepted Ralph Westfall once and sacked him twice. Perhaps most important was the fact that they stayed on the field, converting 6 of 13 third down opportunities and wearing down the Hokie defense all the way to the end. The bad news: Chester Brenner finally looked mortal. After throwing for 5 touchdowns in back-to-back games to open the season, Brenner was limited to 62.2% passing and threw a pair of interceptions to counteract his two touchdowns. Oklahoma State had appeared to seize control of this one with a 27-17 lead after three quarters, only to let Virginia Tech right back into it in the fourth. Running the ball wasn't very effective, with Khalil Bell averaging just over 3.6 yards per carry. They gave the Hokies opportunities; Virginia Tech didn't take advantage of them. The bottom line: Three games, three wins, three offensive efforts of 30 points or more. Oklahoma State's offense may have looked imperfect for the first time this week, but it's still dropping points with all deliberate haste. The defense is looking like it's mostly recovered from the Western Kentucky near-disaster, keeping a capable Virginia Tech offense from replicating the 45-point Hilltopper outburst. A 3-0 start in non-conference play puts them in commanding position for a bowl bid, and they'll get a huge test their next time out with currently undefeated Texas Tech in week 6. #16 Minnesota 14, Iowa State 7 The good news: This was a stellar defensive effort by the Cyclones, making Minnesota fight for every yard and every point. Robbie Duffy was a non-factor in the run game, netting just 55 yards on 16 carries. Robbie Koehler made up the difference, but even his day was marred by interceptions to cornerbacks David Tolliver and Israel McKenzie. Redshirt freshman Paul Bryant mauled the Minnesota offense like a bear, racking up a team-high 8 tackles. Kai Voss also recorded a sack, which by now is par for the course for him. They held a potent Minnesota offense to just 14 points, and because of that they had a real shot to take this one. The bad news: When an offensive effort gets the starting quarterback, starting runningback, and starting kicker benched, it was a particularly bad offensive effort. August Blank averaged 4.7 yards per attempt, completing 20-36 passes for 170 yards for the Cyclones' only touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Sincere Spikes and Elliott Efi both had solid games, but nobody else had more than 20 yards receiving. The ground game managed to be even worse, with Avery Jeffries managing just 38 yards on 14 carries, keeping Iowa State in 2nd-and-long and 3rd-and-long situations all day. Special teams let Iowa State down as much as anything. They couldn't affect field position in the punting game, and Daniel Craft missed both of his field goal attempts--which would have given Iowa State a chance to win with a field goal if Craft had converted. The bottom line: This was Iowa State's lowest offensive output since scoring 6 points in week 6 of the 2017 season against Miami, and it was bad enough that coach Minnowsotan felt the need to make major changes. Peter Edge takes over for quarterback August Blank, Josiah Edmonds takes over for runningback Avery Jeffries, and Mendy D'Angelo takes over for kicker Daniel Craft (who is 5-8 for the year and 2-5 from 40+ yards). From an expectations standpoint, it's not a bad loss for the Cyclones. Minnesota is legit, and keeping it close against them is a good sign overall. But at this point, it's clear that the offense isn't working right. It's a risk to make such major changes heading into conference play, but sometimes a risk needs to be taken. Notre Dame 40, #23 Kansas 21 The good news: Very little. Rod Fulton averaged more than 5 yards per carry (but on only 16 carries), Christian Graham threw 2 touchdown passes (but had a bad game otherwise), and Aden Evans averaged more than 43 yards per punt (but Hunter Smallwood averaged even more). This just plain wasn't a good game for Kansas. The bad news: Notre Dame bet that they could disrupt Christian Graham. Kansas bet that they could disrupt the Notre Dame run game. Only one bet was cashed in. Notre Dame ran for 207 yards on the Jayhawk defense, intercepted Christian Graham three times, sacked him three times, and became the fourth team to hang a 40-spot on Kansas in regulation. Kalei Keil nabbed 133 yards and a score on 26 carries, but quarterback Owen Sorensen added 74 and a score of his own on 8 rushes. But in addition, he had an efficient day through the air, completing 15-19 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns through the air. When Notre Dame wasn't in the endzone, they were kicking four field goals. Kansas wasn't--Joel Hawley missed his only field goal attempt of the day. The Jayhawk line looked uncharacteristically bad, with right end Eric Samuels (1.5 sacks) working over left tackle Ben Goode. None of this is something that Kansas can afford to have repeat in conference play. The bottom line: This is an expectation-changing loss for Kansas, no two ways about it. It's not just that they fall to 1-2; it's more the way that the Jayhawks lost this one. They can't afford to have all their question marks--Christian Graham's youth, the defense's ability to defend things--come back with bad answers. But alarmingly, even things that were in their strengths column--namely, the offensive line--have slid into question mark territory. It's a serious wake-up call before conference play, and it turns the Iowa State matchup into a must-win game. If Kansas doesn't beat a vulnerable Iowa State, they will be staying home this winter. Texas Tech 33, Oklahoma 30 (2OT) The good news/ The bad news: This game took a lot of guts from Texas Tech, and they were able to dig deep and win this one in double overtime. Solomon McLaughlin continued his sensational start, posting another 133 yards (which is actually a season low!) and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries. Chase Shapiro had one of his better efforts of his career, going a season-best 11-16 for 109 yards and a touchdown while maintaining his interception-free streak this season. Oklahoma's thin front seven really didn't have an answer for Texas Tech's ability to get chunks of yardage on the ground. The bad news/ The good news: Maurice White is now officially the most feared man in Lubbock, as the sophomore tailback ripped through the Red Raider defense to the tune of 166 yards and 2 touchdowns on 27 carries--the most yardage any Big XII player has earned on the ground since White hit up Texas Tech for 238 last season. The most encouraging sign for Oklahoma, though, was the play of Eric Pope. He didn't have a good debut, and his second game wasn't much better. But Oklahoma made some adjustments, followed Texas Tech's lead in the rushing revolution, and Pope put up a solid statline: 9-12 for 104 yards, 1 touchdown, and 59 rushing yards on 10 carries. If they can get that out of Pope going forward, Oklahoma's got a chance to turn things around. The bottom line: The first conference game of the season was exactly as much fun as expected. Two high-caliber rushing attacks did exactly what they do best, trading punch for punch until the Red Raiders were finally able to get one stop that Oklahoma couldn't match in the second overtime period. Both teams should probably feel good about the result to a degree. Oklahoma doesn't really revel in moral victories (especially since the loss drops them to 0-3 for the first time ever), but they found an offensive formula that worked and can build on that going forward as they face a must-win against Pittsburgh. Texas Tech, meanwhile, gets up to 3-0. This is their third 3-0 start in school history, and the previous two ended with the Red Raiders in the top 8. They'll enjoy a 1-0 foothold in conference play and look to wrap up non-conference play with a road date at Washington. Saturday Evening California 23, Baylor 21 The good news: Baylor had some fine individual performances, starting with Marcus Swartz. The senior quarterback was the offense, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another to account for all of Baylor's scoring. Hastin Rider and Lamont Wilder were reliable targets, though there wasn't any third player who stepped up. On defense, Julian Neville had a DPOTW-worthy game--if Damani Jeffries didn't beat him out for it. Neville picked off Leonard Norris, added a sack, and had 5 tackles as well. Darius Wilkes added the Bears' other sack, and Ned Denny was all over the place with 8 tackles. Most importantly, they were able to stop their pass defense's bleeding. After allowing 374 yards per game through the air for the first two weeks, they kept California to a more reasonable 235. The bad news: But at the same time, Leonard Norris still completed 75% of his passes, got his 235 yards on just 24 attempts, and threw a pair of scores in the second quarter that provided the backbone for Cal's offensive efforts. The defense was good enough to give Baylor a chance, but special teams ended up making the difference in this one. Jesse Cantrell missed his only field goal attempt from the game. Sam Walsh hit from 51, 43, and what would effectively be the decisive field goal from 48 yards in the fourth quarter. The bottom line: Baylor's now played three close games, and for the second straight time they've come out on the wrong end of it--which means that they're now 1-2 after a slate in which they were probably the favorite all three times out. It's a heartbreaker to lose this one, and it brings a lot of questions to the forefront for the Bear defense. This game was a test because Baylor won't face in conference play the pass-heavy attacks that UCLA and Arkansas brought to the table, and giving up 75% passing and nearly 10 yards per attempt isn't an encouraging sign at all. Their next three weeks are a bye, a trip to Iowa State, and a home date with Texas Tech, so they at the very least will not be tested against the pass for a while yet. Byes: None
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    After the hectic display that was week 4, week 5 presents a simpler layout: two conference games (one per weeknight), and two non-conference games (both on Saturday afternoon). The battle of the purples kicks off the week, as undefeated Kansas State (have you talked to your kids yet?) takes on TCU. Former Big XII North foes Kansas and Iowa State follow that up on Friday. On Saturday, Oklahoma looks to cool down a red-hot Pittsburgh, while red-hot Texas Tech looks to stay undefeated at Washington. It should be yet another great week of football in the nation's most exciting conference, so let's talk about the games. Thursday Night TCU (1-2) at Kansas State (3-0)* In the closing weeks of the 2018 season, TCU rode a 13-game winning streak into a showdown with a 1-8 Kansas State. After the Frogs stormed out to a 10-0 lead, Kansas State rallied to give them a fight before falling 37-34 in Manhattan. That was the penultimate win of TCU's 15-game win streak, and a sign of things to come for TCU. Kansas State wasn't able to parlay that near-miss into any further momentum--but they can still use it as motivation in their next meeting. It's possible that this is the most important game of football Kansas State has played since the 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl. With a school-best 3-0 start in hand in non-conference play, Kansas State has a very real path to the postseason so long as they can find a way to snap their 16-game losing streak in conference play. This is a bellwether game in both directions: if Kansas State can beat TCU, then they have a path to 6-6; if TCU can't beat Kansas State, their path gets significantly narrower. So how will this go down? Any number of ways. Both teams have parts of this matchup that they love. Kansas State should be excited to throw on a TCU secondary that's given up more than 300 yards through the air per game; TCU should be ecstatic for Shamar Burroughs to run against a Wildcat defense that's given up more than 5 yards per carry and nearly 120 yards per game on the ground. They also each have parts of this matchup that they hate. Sam Milner's 116.0 passer rating is the second-lowest in the Big XII, just as Kansas State's 106.0 passer rating allowed is the second-lowest in the conference. Kansas State is going to give Elijah Humphrey carries as usual, but that comes against a TCU defense that's given up 3.7 yards per carry and 53.0 rushing yards per game so far, the best in the conference in both categories. I think that's actually going to be what decides this game. If TCU can force Kansas State into long 2nd and 3rd downs, that puts more of the game on Rahim Murrell's shoulders, and Murrell's performances have been up-and-down at best against bad competition. TCU's held up reasonably well for having had to face Jamel Armstrong, Andre Webb, and Eric McLean; Murrell isn't consistently in that tier yet. Meanwhile, Burroughs is probably going to get the TCU offense better set up for those passing downs, taking some of the pressure off of Milner. I think TCU will win the line of scrimmage, win the run game on both sides, and use that to remain undefeated against Kansas State. TCU 28, Kansas State 17 Friday Night Kansas (1-2) at Iowa State (1-2)* Iowa State and Kansas met last year as ranked teams, with the 20th-ranked Cyclones finally snapping their oh-fer against the #5 Jayhawks in a 29-24 upset win. Since that game, though, both teams have hit rough patches. They won their bowl games, sure, but neither team finished the season ranked. And now, they meet in 2020 as 1-2 teams who need this win if a bowl game is to be in the cards. Both have had some serious issues crop up in non-conference play. Kansas has dealt with inconsistency in the passing game, as freshman quarterback Christian Graham fired off 3 interceptions in his most recent outing against Notre Dame, bringing his season total to a conference-high 6 picks. With a completion percentage of 62.1% and a passer rating of 130.4, Kansas isn't getting the positive production they need out of him. That's a problem coming against an Iowa State defense that's been lockdown this season, holding opponents to 18.3 points per game and finding success against both the pass (165.0 YPGA, 109.1 passer rating allowed) and the run (4.04 YPCA). The Cyclones can get pressure and force turnovers, and it won't matter how open Malcolm Davis and Noah Hills can get against the Iowa State secondary if Graham can't get the ball to them and the slumping offensive line can't keep Mekhi Tolbert, Jalen Pittman, and Kai Voss out of the backfield. Adding to Kansas's sense of urgency on offense is their defensive struggles: they're giving up 31.3 points per game, they're giving up a lot of yardage per pass (7.72) and per carry (5.14), they're not really getting sacks or forcing turnovers at an above-average rate, and they most recently gave up 40 points to Notre Dame. However, Iowa State's been spinning its wheels on offense. After scoring 7 points on Minnesota, they benched their starting backfield, and the duo of quarterback Peter Edge and runningback Josiah Edmonds is set to start this week. Whereas Iowa State had been going with a more power-run and option-run attack for non-conference play, they bring in a starting quarterback who's more of a pure pocket man and a runningback who's less of a between-the-tackles runner and more of a corner-turner. A drastic change like that can pay dividends, but it usually takes time to iron out all the kinks. No matter what shape Kansas's defense is in, I'm not expecting Iowa State to finish that process overnight. I'll take the Jayhawks in a close one. Kansas 20, Iowa State 17 Saturday Afternoon #11 Pittsburgh (3-0) at Oklahoma (0-3) When we last checked in on Pittsburgh, they were busy racking up 44 points in Morgantown to run past rival West Virginia. Since then, the Panthers have continued their roadward prowl, hammering Virginia Tech in Blacksburg before heading to State College to end Penn State's record-tying 20-game winning streak and improve to 3-0. There are few teams in the country as hot as Pittsburgh on the offensive end, and that's obviously a bad sign for Oklahoma. The Sooners have had their fill of hot offensive teams, having already fallen to Auburn (34.3 PPG), Iowa (29.7), and Texas Tech (34.0). They haven't done much to bring down those averages either, allowing 38.7 points per game themselves. So if they want to get in the win column and continue the momentum they picked up from the Texas Tech near-miss, they have to figure out some answers defensively. As well-publicized as Eric Pope's struggles have been, the defense is the bigger issue. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 67.6% of their passes, throwing 2 touchdowns per game without an interception, and running a 162.32 passer rating against the Sooners. Ballcarriers are averaging 5.16 yards per carry, 2.3 touchdowns per game, and 141 yards per game as well. The defense has recorded 1 sack and no turnovers. Every single one of those categories (except passing touchdowns per game) ranks last in the Big XII, and Pittsburgh's not the kind of team that breaks those kinds of slumps. Grant McConnell's averaging 290 yards per game through the air with 7 touchdowns--though he's also been turnover-prone with 4 picks so far, so that's an opportunity for Oklahoma. With Adam Coles and Samuel Ritter at wideout, McConnell has plenty of devastating weapons downfield. They're also getting solid production on the ground: Jaeden Daniel isn't putting up world-beating numbers, but adding McConnell's foot speed to the mix is yet another complicating element here. Oklahoma's defense isn't really deep enough to handle all of that, and Pittsburgh should be easily able to find a way to score. So it's up to Oklahoma to run the dang ball on this Pittsburgh defense and match them score-for-score. If you weren't aware already, sophomore tailback Maurice White is very, very good at his job. Second in the Big XII with 393 yards and first with 5.46 yards per carry, White has put the team on his back. He roared his way to 166 yards on 27 carries against Texas Tech as the Sooner offense doubled down on the run. Coincidentally, Pittsburgh has also allowed 393 yards and 4 touchdowns through 3 games this season. The Panthers really aren't built to stop the run, and that's Oklahoma's best shot. I don't think it'll be quite enough, particularly if Pitt starts creeping up safeties to go all-in on stopping the run. But I think the Sooners are capable of making this one close if things go right for them on offense. #11 Pittsburgh 40, Oklahoma 28 Texas Tech (3-0) at Washington (0-3) Closing out this week's slate of games is another undefeated-versus-winless battle, as red-hot Texas Tech heads out west to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies. The Dubs have been...well, not good, and a lot of the spotlight has fallen on true freshman quarterback Jake Davis (and perhaps unfairly so). It's not that Davis has been lighting up the world--he's at 45-74 (60.8% passing) for 573 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions--but runningback Amir Copeland (72 carries for 260 yards, 3.61 YPC, 1 TD, 1 FUM) hasn't really been much help and the defense hasn't been able to keep its opponents in check. The Huskies' defense has given up more than 5.1 yards per carry for the season, and they've given up 7 passing touchdowns to 1 interception. Losing to New Mexico at home was alarming, and they followed it up with a respectable loss to Arizona State and a blowout loss to UCLA. Texas Tech's formula on offense really isn't going to change much for this one: despite a strong Washington defensive line led by Miles Slater and Julius Mercer, the Red Raiders should be able to replicate New Mexico's and Arizona State's success with two-headed rushing attacks. Solomon McLaughlin is the Big XII's leader in rushing yards (418) and rushing touchdowns (7), and if he can get past that initial wave then Washington's going to have a hard time slowing him down. Chase Shapiro can't be ignored on the ground either; he's already scored twice with his feet in addition to his two passing touchdowns. The one thing Texas Tech has to be worried about is if Jake Davis can get hot. He had a very solid game against Arizona State, throwing for 230 yards and a pair of scores on 16-22 passing. Luke Guy, Jason Ivy, and C.J. Hickman are a capable trio of receivers, but Texas Tech's defense has only allowed 1 touchdown through the air so far. Their run defense is more worrisome (4.88 YPC allowed), but Amir Copeland probably isn't going to be able to do anything about that. This should be a routine road win for Texas Tech, and they should be able to get to 4-0. Texas Tech 31, Washington 10 Byes: Baylor (1-2), Oklahoma State (3-0), #22 Texas (3-0), West Virginia (1-2)
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    Neal Davis: Good morning and welcome back to 94.1 WIP radio. We have a special segment for you this morning as we preview the other side of Thursday night's game in a segment we call, Know Your Foe. Joining us today we have the the head coach and legendary recruiter of TCU, @DangerZoneh. Welcome to the Wildcat Den coach! DangerZoneh: Very glad to be here! I love any chance I get to talk about my team, and it's a great opportunity to get a look at my upcoming game. Neal: Freshman QB Sam Milner has had an up and down start to the year. But last week against Rice he posted his first positive TD:INT ratio in a game. What did you do to set him up for success in that game? DZ: Honestly? The biggest thing we did to set him up for success was not playing in Death Valley or in Dallas. Clemson and SMU are pretty stout teams and he was in a tough place to start as a true freshman. He's young but I've already seen definite improvements in his game from week one to now. The biggest key is to keep the game plan simple for him and to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers around him - unfortunately they're just as young! [laughs] Neal: Speaking of that, you have become synonymous nationwide with the youth movement for the amazing amount of underclassmen in your starting lineup every season. How do you approach coaching such a young team to maximize development and potential but minimize mistakes? DZ: With young guys, mistakes are going to happen. It's hard to take the approach of trying to limit them. Rather, let them happen and show the players WHY they happened and how they can learn from it. If they're too worried about making mistakes, they'll play cautiously and that will hamper their development. As far as maximizing development, I've seen some different approaches to this. If you look across the state at the Jayhawks and Christian Graham or in Tennessee with Adrian Golson, both of their coaches have placed some incredible support around their young guns to help them develop and play well early in their career. With Milner this year, I tried to take as many young guys as I could and put them on the field together. It's a struggle now, but I think we should be seeing dividends 2-3 years from now. Neal: Who have you seen stepping up both in the locker room and on the field as the leaders of this team? DZ: I'm gonna be honest, the biggest influence was a guy I didn't expect - Shamar Burroughs. As a coach, you always have faith in your players, but sometimes you need to look at other options. Burroughs took it as a personal insult with how heavily I tried to recruit Solomon McLaughlin, and he's stepped up as a result. Over the offseason, I saw an incredible change in his demeanor and how he handled himself. He had been really down since his fumble in the Big XII championship game. He thought he cost the team that game, and I'll admit that I didn't do enough to help him get through it. He's definitely proved himself on the field, though. Defensively, it's gotta be Adriel Sierra. Dude is a monster and his play helps the entire defense out. He's quiet, but a leader on the field and makes great plays. He's going to play on Sundays. Neal: So you enter conference play at 1-2 with both losses to very good teams as you pointed out. What are your expectations for the rest of this season as you face off against Big XII opponents? DZ: I'm very optimistic for the rest of the season. Then again, have you known me to ever be anything but optimistic? The Big XII is incredibly wide open this year and I think my guys have as good of a chance to win it as anyone else. That being said, with young guys, you're playing with fire. I don't think there's a team in the conference that we can't beat, I also don't think that there's a team in the conference that we can't lose to. I'm not going to make a record prediction, but I do think we'll make a bowl this year, which will be an incredible step forward in the development of this team. Neal: Kansas State enters conference play undefeated for the first time in school history, but hasn't really faced a team of power 5 quality. What do you make of this Kansas State team? DZ: Kansas State has a lot to like, but there's still some questions to be answered. I talked about them a bit on the Big XII podcast, but their pass defense has been incredibly impressive. I didn't expect that, but even against tougher opponents, I can see it keeping up. I'm not excited about having to face this defense! On the other side of the ball, Rahim Murrell might already be one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the conference. Watching their game, he can make any throw he needs to, just needs someone to catch it! He's definitely the best quarterback Kansas State has had since that Fagan fellow. This team is obviously not without it's faults, but they're harder to see with their current slate of games. Neal: I played against Harvey Fagan myself and never looked forward to best on best practices. He made me look like a fool more then a couple of times. So what do you expect to see happen on Saturday? DZ: I expect to see a much lower scoring game than I think either team has been used to this season. I think Murrell has his work cut out for him with this secondary, though the QBs we've faced so far have had some good days. I think the same holds true for Milner and I can see him struggling pretty significantly throughout the game. I think in the end, it'll come down to who can run the ball better and grind out the first downs when they need to. I'm not going to make a prediction, but it's definitely a game the whole conference should have their eye on. Neal: I would be remiss if I didn't ask you for a comment on your recruiting class thus far. Have you been able to speak with your signees yet? And what are your goals for the rest of the class? DZ: Hah, I'm incredibly excited about this group of guys! We had 6 guys take advantage of the early signing period and put their name on paper for us this week. I called each one of them up when the news came in, even though we've known a few of them were coming for a while. We sealed up our defensive line in the future. Kwon Shaw was our top guy, and the top DT in the country. Once we got him on board, he turned out to be an incredible recruiter. He met Hooker Jackson at a camp and was in his ear the whole time. Jackson is probably the 3rd or 4th best defensive tackle in the country, so the two of them are gonna be exciting to see gum up the middle. Matteo Cates and FT Grady are going to be incredible options in our offense, and they'll be in their redshirt sophomore year when the current group are seniors, so they'll be able to make an impact with these current guys. We also managed to get an immediate starter on the offensive line with Kaplan and another big hitter in the secondary with Worley. Moving forward, we still need a linebacker, and more bodies along the OL. Always need big guys. Neal: Coach HAFFnHAFF was on yesterday and he expressed a lot of frustration with his recruiting efforts. Then we look at guys like you that make it look so easy year after year. How do you do it? DZ: I remember talking to HAFF about this. Part of it is simply being in Texas and having studs playing at every high school down the street. Outside of that, you have to have everyone on board. The players, the coaches, the trainers - everyone. Make the program a place that high schoolers want to be a part of. Even if we're not winning a ton that year for one reason or another, guys will see where the team is going and know they can be a part of something special. It also helps when we play so many young guys, telling someone they can contribute early is not an empty promise - guys can come in and immediately challenge the starters if they're good enough and we've seen guys do this time and time again. Neal: Thats great stuff. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by and chat with us today. We never know what to expect when an opposing coach stops by, but this was a fascinating interview. Best of luck to you tomorrow night. [laughing] I hope you guys have a great showing that you feel good about and lose an epic game by 3. DZ: [laughing] Thanks a lot for the opportunity to be here Neal! And go Frogs!
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    Welcome everyone to the first MAC Recruiting Recap show! I am your host Tim Timms, and I am happy to be with you for my first appearance on the Network! After the first round of signings, the MAC had a total of 27 recruits commit, and some of these players are almost guaranteed to become big names in the MAC, and maybe take their talents to the pro game. Only two teams didn't have a signing, but these teams don't have too much to worry about, as they are 3-0 Miami (Best!Miami) and 2-1 Toledo . A couple of trends that seem to be coming through are the desire for a strong rushing presence in the conference, with 4 4-star or higher backs already signed, and 3 of these of are strong between the tackle runners, possibly taking the torch from veterans of the conference like Mamadou Wynn. Also, it seems that there was a strong need for outside backers, particularly in the City of Good Neighbours, where they grabbed 3 early on. Below is a chart of all teams recruits so far by potential, ranked by highest average potential. Total Recruits Team 2.5-Star 3-Star 3.5-Star 4-Star 4.5-Star 5-Star Total Tot. Stars Avg. Stars 1 Ohio 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 5 2 Eastern Michigan 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 8.5 4.25 2 Kent State 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 8.5 4.25 4 Central Michigan 0 0 2 1 1 0 4 15.5 3.875 2 Ball State 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 7.5 3.75 4 Buffalo 0 0 3 0 1 0 3 15 3.75 1 Western Michigan 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3.5 3.5 6 Akron 1 1 3 1 0 0 6 20 3.33 3 Bowling Green 0 2 0 1 0 0 3 10 3.33 2 Northern Illinois 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 6.5 3.25 0 Miami (OH) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Toledo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Luckily for me, I was able to talk to a few coaches about their thoughts on the early days of this recruiting cycle. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we could only fit one interview into the program, so here is Jieret, coach of the Western Michigan Broncos. Tim Timms: Good to have you here coach, welcome to the first recruiting recap show for 2020! Coach Jieret: Thanks for having me here Tim. Tim: Now, lets get into the questions. What was your strategy going into the recruiting season? Coach Jieret: Filling positions of need, definitely. Most recruits aren't ready to contribute until year two at the earliest, so you have to look ahead and see the roster holes at least that far away. Tim: Where do you think your recruiting efforts rank compared to the rest of the MAC? Coach Jieret: I think the overall caliber of player I'm going for is a little higher than most of the MAC, but that's a bit misleading. I feel my roster is in the upper half of the conference, so I can aim a little higher. Tim: Did you have any goals for this class in terms of when they will impact your roster? Coach Jieret: It's about building into the future. I have a good roster now, but I ultimately want a roster that is competitive year in and year out. I'm not at the point that I can just grab one or two impact players and go for it next year. Tim: Has your plan and strategy changed much from your initial goal? Coach Jieret: No, not yet. Tim: Finally, are you happy with how recruiting is shaping up for you? Coach Jieret: For the most part, yes. I do regret wasting a couple of scholarships early, and I believe I have the least amount of committed players at this point. But I expected most of my recruiting to be a long-term process, so I'm not too worried yet. We thank coach Jieret for his time and wish WMU the best for the season. Now, a quick look at some major recruiting battles over highly touted prospects with MAC teams involved. WR Jordan Barnes, Target, 1.5/4.5 Top Teams: , The Bobcats are looking to bring in another fantastic recruit in Barnes to complement their 5-star DE, Nicholas Blackwell. They look to be in the lead over the Buckeyes, and with visits coming up and the Bobcats having a stronger recruiting department, it looks like Ohio will be addressing a major need, as their top 4 receivers are upperclassmen. A very solid start to recruiting for Beeznik. OT Isaac Decker, Run Blocking, 2.0/5.0 Top Teams: , Toledo are just unstoppable on the recruiting path it seems, as they are on their way to adding another 5-star recruit in Decker, who could quite possibly start next year at Right Tackle. The main weakness of this Toledo squad is their o-line, but already they have one young and talented bookend, getting two would make this a scary team in years to come. Next year they would have Ciamo and Thompson ready to dominate with a better line than this year. #Toledo2021 OLB Bradley Lloyd, Coverage, 1.0/4/0 Top Teams: , This could be very interesting, with CMU in the lead for a player who could get a lot of playing time in a few years, with both starting outside linebackers on the depth chart being upperclassmen. The only problem is that they are competing with Michigan, who always have the draw of being a big school. This could be a very important battle for the Chips to win, and will require some strong persuasion to get Llyod to Mt. Pleasant. WR Ajani Jennings, Target, 1.0/4.0 Top Teams: , A very tight battle here, and one that EMU is clearly keen to win, as Daniel Lentz will have just graduated if Jennings is redshirted, giving the Eagles a strong future number 1 receiver to work with. However, the Spartans are always going to have the advantage being the bigger school, so EMU will have to make a strong push to secure Jennings. And to finish the program, some MAC recruiting battles QB Misu Curtis, Hybrid, 1.5/4.0 Top Teams: , Having dominated the rushing scene in the MAC for years, the Broncos are looking to get a local signal caller to take over for Chase Sims after his graduation, and Curtis would have time to sit and develop. Meanwhile, at NIU, Charlie Sanford has been benched after some poor performances, and Coach Noobie is already looking for his successor in Curtis. A battle like this could have significant impacts on the future of the MAC, definitely one to keep an eye on. CB Cooper Rainey, Man Coverage, 1.0/4.0 Top Teams: , As discussed in the preseason previews for each MAC team, the lack of strong cornerbacks in the MAC is a major issue for many teams, and Beeznik is looking to get a future rock. The only team with any depth past their number 1 is the Broncos, and they are looking to add to that, and if they can continue adding to their perennial strength and depth at corner while denying other conference teams, it will be a huge win for Jieret. ILB Gregory Wilkins, Will, 1.0/4.5 Top Teams: , Ball state's star recruit is receiving some attention from Coach Darkage, and it looks like Wilkins is showing a bit of interest back. If Akron could manage to get Wilkins, it would be huge for them, with both starting ILBs graduating in the next 2 years, and they could give him a redshirt season without a major loss at the position. While this would be great for Akron, chances are Wilkins is going to Ball State, who have some young linebackers, but a player of Wilkins quality can't be passed up, and with a strong class last year, this signing could set up the Cardinals for a strong team in the near future. Thanks for tuning in to the MAC Network, Goodbye from me, and good luck to all MAC teams playing this week!
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    Probably my biggest win since 2017 on this site. gg Sage. Also RIP gravy to losing to your GM.
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    Week #4 OPOTW WR Adam Coles, Pittsburgh 9 receptions for 118 yards, 1 TD vs #1 Penn State Down goes #1 as Pitt's star receiver Adam Coles wins POTW. He was able to have a short interview with SageBow. Hey Adam, thanks for coming down to the interview. You were part of that huge upset victory against Penn State. Just what did that win mean to you? It means a lot. After we lost Mike [McBride] and Corey [Davis] to the pros a lot of people expected us to take a step back this season. To go into the home stadium of our biggest rivals, the #1 team in the country, and come away with the victory is just huge for our program. All the credit to Grant McConnell for this one, he held steady and even after a tough first half he never lost faith that we could win. We all went nuts when he ran into the end zone to ice the victory. But even more important than this victory is continuing to play well throughout the season - we still have plenty of difficult games to go. This is your first time in the national limelight since being a hotly recruited high schooler. Now, many evaluators around the nation say you are the most talented player on this Pitt team. Do you agree with that assessment? I don't know if I would say that. The great thing about this team is that there's no one who's "the guy." We're all coached to act as one cohesive unit and everyone has to work and perform to keep their job. I would say that I'm a very talented player, but there are a lot of talented players to compete with on this team. So to give an answer to your trap question, I'll say "maybe." Pitt looks on the way to an ACC title this season. Who do you think is the toughest team in conference that may slow the Panthers? Virginia and Duke are definitely looking like are toughest competition so far. They're our roadblocks to winning the Coastal, but if we can beat them we'll have a good shot at repeating at division champions. And Clemson is of course always tough if we can make it to face them in the ACC Championship Game again. Being an elite receiver, what's it like being the big dog on campus? Do you like the attention, or do you enjoy being more low-key. Any notable fan interaction stories? Can't say I don't enjoy getting recognized - it's still a bizarre feeling for me even though I'm kind of used to it now. It is kind of weird when people just walk by you on the street and point but don't say anything. People are mostly nice about it, though - I don't really get disturbed in class or anything like that. Last year this random dude came up to me during warm-ups before the ACC Championship Game and started a conversation about what it was like to be a receiver for Pitt, how honored I should be to be here, how the 2015 team messed up their chance to take this game and we needed to make sure we did a better job. It was a bit out of left field since I had no idea who this guy was and how he even got on the field. Turns out, I was talking to Jermaine Bishop. He plays for the Carolina Panthers now and came to watch us out of the blue. I had no idea and I felt so bad. I'm sorry Jermaine! Thanks for the interview Adam! Before I leave do you have any shout outs? Just wanted to give a big shoutout to my teammates for their constant hard work and support. Hail to Pitt! -------------------------------------------------------------------- Week #4 DPOTW CB Damani Jeffries, Texas 2 INT, 3 Tackles vs Texas A&M Texas beat the Aggies of College Station, lots of it due to Damani Jeffries's excellent play against A&M's star receiver Jarvis Ward. He was unable to sit down for an interview this week. Thanks to Jumbo for his interview this week. Best of luck to all the players in Week 5! Previous National POTW Award Winners
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    Listen in as DangerZoneh and TuscanSota discuss the ins and outs of Big XII recruiting! It was a wild week in week 4 with over 30 recruits committing to Big XII schools!
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    This is quickly becoming my favorite media series on the site. Great job as always!
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    Coaches Poll, Week 4 Rk Team Rec Pts Trend 1 LSU Tigers (6) 3-0 243 ↑1 2 Auburn Tigers (3) 3-0 237 ↑1 3 Purdue Boilermakers 3-0 227 ↑1 4 Illinois Fighting Illini (1) 3-0 213 ↑1 5 Michigan Wolverines 3-0 199 ↑1 6 Alabama Crimson Tide 3-0 185 ↑1 7 Penn State Nittany Lions 2-1 183 ↓6 8 Air Force Falcons 3-0 181 ↑1 9 Vanderbilt Commodores 3-0 154 ↑3 10 Clemson Tigers 2-1 152 -- 11 Pittsburgh Panthers* 3-0 139 ↑10 12 Washington State Cougars** 3-0 139 ↑1 13 SMU Mustangs 3-0 130 ↓2 14 USC Trojans 2-1 125 -- 15 Arizona Wildcats 3-0 112 ↑2 16 Virginia Cavaliers 3-0 89 ↑3 17 Florida State Seminoles 2-1 80 ↓9 18 Minnesota Golden Gophers 3-0 77 ↓2 19 Wisconsin Badgers 3-0 73 ↑1 20 UCF Knights*** 3-0 58 ↑2 21 Georgia Bulldogs**** 2-1 58 ↓6 22 Texas Longhorns 3-0 35 N/A 23 Mississippi State Bulldogs 2-1 28 ↑1 24 Stanford Cardinal 3-0 22 ↑1 25 USF Bulls 3-0 21 N/A Dropped from Rankings: Tennessee (#18), Kansas (#23) Others receiving votes: Michigan State (17), Tennessee (15), Texas Tech (12), Oklahoma State (9), Maryland (8), Toledo (5), Kansas (4), Florida (4), Notre Dame (4), California (3), Hawaii (3), Duke (2), Missouri (2), Kansas State (1), West Virginia (1) *Pittsburgh highest ranking is 4th **Washington State highest ranking is 6th ***UCF highest ranking is 7th ****Georgia highest ranking is 15th
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    Number of top 25 teams by Power 5 conference: SEC - 6 BIG10 - 6 PAC 12 -4 ACC - 4 AAC - 3 Edit: 6 to 5
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    Plenty of chances to prove the voters wrong I guess. Games still with Purdue, Alabama, Air Force, and Washington St
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    The Rainforest Cafe Mountain West Player of the week wasnt even close this week. Offensive Player of the Week: While the MWC had some good performances this week but one player stood out. Sometimes it easy to over look an easy opponent. This week though Nico Kaufman had no problem showing up and performing at a top notch level. Nico Kaufman went 19 of 24 for 260 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT. Add to that a rushing stat line of 9 for 109 yards, 1 TD and it leads you to yet another gift card! Nico got his gift card this week. "Oh good God" Nico said "My girlfriend is so effing tired of the damn volcano cake." Defensive Player of the Week: Coaches preach protecting the ball and they also preach forcing the other team to turn the ball over. This week one man forced had an INT as well as a large tackle total. The gift card this week goes to Shamar Sutton. "I cant wait to go eat some cheap food!" he said "Can I buy some animals from the fish tank?" Tune in next week when the guy who is better at this returns and actually makes you laugh
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    A 5-3 record for the this week, all against OOC foes. How did our voters process the weekend slate of games and apply them to the MAC pecking order? Remember, if you don't like where you are, play better. MAC Power Rankings After Week 4 Rank (Poll Pts.) Team (First Place Votes) Record (Conf. Record) Streak Change from Last Week 1 (58) Western Michigan Broncos (3) 2-1 (1-0) W1 +1 2 (54) Miami (OH) Redhawks (2) 3-0 (0-0) W3 -1 3 (48) Toledo Rockets 2-1 (0-0) W2 - 4 (44) Akron Zips 3-0 (2-0) W3 +2 5 (42) Ohio Bobcats 1-2 (1-0) L1 - 6 (39) Buffalo Bulls 2-1 (0-1) L1 -2 7 (30) Bowling Green Falcons 1-2 (0-1) W1 - 8 (24) Kent State Golden Flashes 1-2 (0-0) W1 - 9 (19) Northern Illinois Huskies 1-2 (0-1) W1 +1 10 (17) Ball State Cardinals 0-3 (0-2) L3 -1 11 (9) Central Michigan Chippewas 0-3 (0-0) L3 - 12 (6) Eastern Michigan Eagles 0-3 (0-0) L3 - Number of voters: 5 12 points awarded for first, 11 for second, etc. Was it the 3 INT game by WMU's defense and another 100-yard game from DeSean Madison? Did overtime discount Miami's win in the eyes of the voters? We can't be sure, but the game of hot potato continues with the top spot; this week it's the Broncos who are kings of the MAC hill despite the Redhawks' undefeated start. It's kind of a shame that Miami's potent passing attack and WMU's excellent secondary don't get to play each other during this regular season, that would be a fun matchup to watch for sure. Toledo is lurking at #3, and Akron jumps past an idle Buffalo squad and an Ohio team that put up one heck of a fight against SMU (#QualityLoss). In the other half of the rankings, NIU and Ball State exchange deck chairs thanks to coach Noobie's first career win. But it's starting to look like many of these lower teams may have to wait until conference play begins in earnest before they make any serious headway up the chart.
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    Speechless Seahawks stunned following upset loss to New Orleans Saints Coach TuscanSota contemplating mistakes amidst press conference
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    We have 25 turnovers and just 4 takeaways. That's -21 for those struggling with the math. The NFL record for worst turnover margin in a season is held by the 1965 Pittsburgh Steelers, at -30 (14 games). The record for most turnovers in a season was set by the 1978 San Francisco 49ers, at 63. At least those Niners won the SuperBowl three years later, so there's a glimmer of hope.
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    First non QB to win POTW this season, and first WR in over a season.
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    Thanks for the shoutout @bingo415 I enjoyed filling in.
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    Chargers are worse than the skins imo
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    Like I'm gonna speed up and put my defense on the field even more...
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    The Todd-Father 49ers star QB scores 3 in Sunday's win over KC
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    A low voter turnout provided some ...interesting results in this weeks poll. Now that we've had that thoughtful analysis brought to us by Rainforest CafeTM, let's take a look at the rankings. 1. Air Force Falcons 3-0 --- (2.) Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 3-0 --- (2.) Colorado State Rams 2-0 +1 4. Fresno State Bulldogs 2-1 +2 5. San Diego State Aztecs 2-1 -2 6. Boise State Broncos 1-2 +1 (7.) Nevada Wolfpack 1-2 -2 (7.) New Mexico Lobos 2-1 --- 9. Utah State Aggies 1-2 +1 10. San Jose State Spartans 1-2 +1 11. Wyoming Cowboys 0-3 +1 12. UNLV Rebels 1-2 -3
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    PLUCKED! Defense Takes the Lead as Saints Stun Playoff-Contending Seattle for a Third Consecutive Win! DE John Peterson and LB Rabih Delaney take down Seattle RB Marcus Williams.
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    Nico Kaufman will be the Heisman winner. That is all.
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    Sebastian Smallwood would have made the interview. A real professional.
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    Bye Week Blues Rob LeCount working on limiting his interceptions during the bye week at practice
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    From last in the Power rankings to 20th. Not bad
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    Willis is back, Tunch is back in a couple weeks, but right now, yes, I'd put us behind the Skins. Maybe with them back we can contend for a Top 30 spot. Worse record than the Skins. Worse defense. Marginally better offense, but who could tell with all the turnovers? We've earned 32.
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    Love the rankings, bingo. I have a few quibbles here and there but I'd say these are some of the most accurate (at least IMO) I've ever seen you put out!
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    Who knows, I might just drop in while you sing for everyone else
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