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Spooky Scary Scramblers

The Ravens jump to 2-0 as the 0-2 Jets are still unable to overcome their fear of scrambling QBs.

No Luck Needed

Felix Luck leads TCU to 4th quarter victory over in-state foe Rice.

Y'all Got Any More of Them OLBs?

With W.M. Mitchell tearing his ACL, the Packers have 3 OLBs on IR just two weeks into the season.

Missouri Builds the Wall

And makes Kansas pay for it as they take home the victory in the Border War 28-14.

Battle for AW3 2... Me

After AW3's scorching debut, Clemson fans will be cheering him on while SMU hopes to show him he made the wrong decision.

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  1. 63 points
    Soluna

    Apologies

    I would like to apologize to those that have been hurt directly by my words or actions over the course of their time here. Theres probably a much larger number than the specific person I'd like to call out but please know that I do truly mean it. In particular I'd like to apologize to @deandean1998 for harmful words I've said in the past. It was taken too far and I hope this apology reaches him even if he is no longer here. I'd like to thank to Darmam in particular for talking to me personally in a responsible and friendly way. If you plan to continue to enjoy this site he can be thanked far more than what it seems. I'll be instituting some rules and site changes over the next few weeks to assure a consistent and peaceful environment on this site. Please know that I've read every single "testimonial" posted in aliens channel and every single pm I received (both on here and discord) even if I did not respond to them directly. I will spend the next few months to focus on improving the user experience on this site as a priority and hopefully we can all help in this endeavor together. Darman has had some great ideas to improve communication and general morale on the site and I can't think of a better person to help me improve the weakest aspect of this community. To those who have chosen to leave I can honestly say I'll miss you. Not everyone is my friend but I've still known some of you for quite a long time. Yes Ted even you. To those who are staying I ask only one thing, please help me in my sincere attempt to improve the site and to make sure this continues to become the best possible place for people to escape their lIves for even just a few minutes a day. To Darman, thank you for your words and thank you for lIstening. You've done far more than you can imagine. Soluna
  2. 50 points
    Soluna

    Happy 4th Birthday CFBHC

    Thank you to all who frequent and contribute to this site - it wouldn't be around without any of you. I'm happy we've made it 4 years. I'm glad I now signed up for this journey. Enjoy today and thank you for your contributions, everyone - sincerely. You guys will get a small "gift" later today. Soluna
  3. 41 points
    Soluna

    Site Fully Resumes April 12th

    All games regular. Welcome back if you're still around. Spread the message so people have ample time to plan. Soluna
  4. 39 points
    Soluna

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Happy Thanksgiving CFBHC For one day stay off the shoutbox and enjoy the company of your friends and/or family. Eat some food, watch or play some football, be thankful for what you have and don't be bitter for what you don't. Everyone here is family - never be afraid to talk with each other. Happy Thanksgiving, Soluna
  5. 38 points
    Welcome to the Chicago Tribune's By the Numbers, a statistically minded look at the contenders and pretenders of the 2021 NFL season. We're approximately at mid-season, with the trade deadline coming up and seven or eight games in the book for all 32 teams. The playoff picture is starting to take shape, but in a lot of places it's awful jumbled--so we'll take a look at the numbers and try to make sense of it. We'll go division-by-division and team-by-team to tell you what has been, what is, and what might be. Not sure yet whether this will be a recurring series--if it is, it will likely only be occasional as opposed to weekly (and it probably won't be as long as this one). Quick note: Strength of played schedule excludes games involving the team in question. Strength of remaining schedule does not--that is, if you've already played 1 of 2 games against a division opponent, that game will be counted in strength of remaining schedule. This is just due to the fact that the former adjustment is easier to put in a spreadsheet than the latter. AFC East 1. Miami Dolphins (8-0) Scoring stats: 30.25 PF/game (2nd), 15.5 PA/game (1st), +14.75 PD/game (1st) Strength of played schedule: 25-28 (.472, 21st-hardest) Strength of remaining schedule: 26-31 (.456, 25th-hardest) Projected record: 14.0-2.0 Projected finish: 1st in AFC East, #1 seed in the AFC playoffs If you didn't get the memo, the Dolphins are good. Like, really good. Like, Super Bowl favorite good. Five of their eight wins have been by multiple possessions, and it hasn't really mattered how good their opponent is. They shot down the Jets and sailed past the Raiders, and that's just the past two weeks. With a 2.5-game lead on the rest of the conference and no sign of slowing, the Dolphins are favored to get the #1 seed in the AFC and earn their first playoff appearance since 2018. If Miami gets through the Rams without a blemish, they will be at a point where the conversation should shift to whether 16-0 is a possibility. As of now, they have a 9.9% chance of doing so; winning up to that point would get them into about the 25% range. Even if they don't go 16-0, this is the best team Miami's had since their two Super Bowl wins. Enjoy this, Miami fans. 2. New York Jets (5-2) Scoring stats: 29.71 PF/game (4th), 27.14 PA/game (25th), +2.57 PD/game (10th) Strength of played schedule: 25-22 (.532, 13th) Strength of remaining schedule: 32-34 (.485, 19th) Projected record: 10.4-5.6 Projected finish: 2nd in AFC East, #6 seed in the AFC playoffs We're coming up on six years since the New York Jets watched the playoffs on TV rather than playing in them. And more likely than not, that's not going to change this year...but for the first time in a while, there's room for doubt. The Jets started 5-0, but four of those wins came by one possession against three teams they probably should have beaten anyway (plus Jacksonville). They then were routed in the division showdown against the Dolphins before being upset at home by the Broncos in overtime. What's worrying is their defense: they're in the bottom quartile of the league, and they've given up 102 points in their last three games. As long as they can still throw points on the board, though, they'll be a playoff contender. 3. New England Patriots (4-4) Scoring stats: 27.0 PF/game (9th), 24.25 PA/game (16th), +2.75 PD/game (9th) Strength of played schedule: 27-22 (.551, 9th) Strength of remaining schedule: 29-31 (.483, 21st) Projected record: 8.0-8.0 Projected finish: 3rd in AFC East, miss playoffs, #17 overall pick unlikely to convey to Baltimore; also own Miami's projected #25-32 overall first-round pick The Pats are a bit of a strange team. Their point differential pegs them as a slightly better-than-.500 team, and the back half of their schedule shouldn't be quite as hard as the front half. But the projection still calls it a wash and expects them to essentially repeat their 4-4 first half in the second half. I think what's hidden is that there's a wide range for what New England is capable of. Maybe they pull an upset over the Jets in defense-optional mode and Old Man Reggie takes revenge against the Ravens to sneak them up to a playoff bid at 10-6. Maybe they lay a dud against San Francisco or Cleveland (either of whom could resurge down the stretch) and finish 6-10 to earn a top-10 pick. ...or maybe they do neither and finish a boring 8-8. They'll also have Miami's pick next year, so slipping down in the first round wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Maybe the next J.C. Weldon will fall to them. 4. Buffalo Bills (2-5) Scoring stats: 21.1 PF/game (24th), 27.0 PA/game (23rd), -5.86 PD/game (27th) Strength of played schedule: 25-21 (.543, 10th) Strength of remaining schedule: 31-36 (.463, 24th) Projected record: 6.3-9.7 Projected finish: 4th in AFC East, miss playoffs, #10 overall pick plus Houston's projected #9 overall pick The Bills are currently projected in a crowd of teams that are all projected between 6.0 and 6.5 wins. Despite the fact that they aren't strong on either side of the ball, a finish anywhere from 4-5 to 6-3 is certainly possible because they play a smorgasbord of beatable opponents: the entire AFC North, the under-new-management Cardinals, the hapless Chargers, and the mercurial Patriots. If they sell off any assets between now and the trade deadline, it'll serve the secondary purpose of gaining the edge over other teams they're competing with for draft position. Or maybe the primary purpose. AFC North 1. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4) Scoring stats: 22.43 PF/game (22nd), 24.14 PA/game (15th), -1.71 PD/game (19th) Strength of played schedule: 15-30 (.333, 31st) Strength of remaining schedule: 35-33 (.515, 13th) Projected record: 7.0-9.0 Projected finish: 2nd in AFC North, miss playoffs, #14 overall pick In their first seven games, the Steelers have played one team with a record above .500 (the Raiders) and one team with a .500 record (the Patriots). They haven't won a game outside the AFC North. They've provided the struggling Bills, Pats, and Lions with a win apiece. They have a sub-.500 record and a negative point differential...and they lead the division. I don't know if that's the good news or the bad news. But what's unambiguously bad news is that their schedule reverts to the mean going forward. Their next five games include 5-2 Chicago, 2-5 Cincinnati, 8-0 Miami, 7-0 Green Bay, and the 5-2 Jets. The Colts and Vikings follow, and they're capable of catching lightning in a bottle and playing better than their 2-6 record. Bottom line: the Steelers have to win tough games to stay in the division race, and that's not necessarily going to be true for everyone else in the North. 2. Baltimore Ravens (3-5) Scoring stats: 24.25 PF/game (17th), 22.63 PA/game (13th), +1.63 PD/game (13th) Strength of played schedule: 27-25 (.519, 15th) Strength of remaining schedule: 24-34 (.414, 29th) Projected record: 7.5-8.5 Projected finish: 1st in AFC North, #4 seed in the AFC playoffs, New England's projected #17 overall pick unlikely to convey The Ravens are the opposite of the Steelers. They're a game back in the loss column, but they've largely survived the hardest part of their schedule with a record that will let them compete for the division. The Bears and Jaguars are the only teams above .500 on the remainder of their schedule, but New England and Pittsburgh could be toss-up games as well. Detroit is also a wild card. They're probably going to need 8 wins to take the division, if not 9. It's going to be hard for them to get more than that, though they've been competitive in every single game other than the season-opening drubbing by Miami. The Ravens are currently the division favorite because of their potential and their schedule, but the division is so volatile that this could change again next week. 3. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5) Scoring stats: 25.71 PF/game (14th), 31.71 PA/game (31st), -6.00 PD/game (28th) Strength of played schedule: 13-33 (.283, 32nd) Strength of remaining schedule: 36-31 (.537, 8th) Projected record: 4.7-11.3 Projected finish: 4th in AFC North, miss playoffs, #3 overall pick The Bengals have played the worst schedule in the league so far and emerged with a 2-5 record from it. They upset the Bears, they outpaced the Chargers, and...that's it. The only other .500 team they played was New England, who waxed them. Most recently, they made Brad Davis and Keith Dunn look like an elite backfield. They can score, but they can't score enough to keep pace with a defense that's giving up 31.7 points per game to (again) the worst schedule in the league. The good news is that they'll be in great position to draft a premier defensive talent at the top of the draft. 4. Cleveland Browns (1-7) Scoring stats: 20.25 PF/game (26th), 25.13 PA/game (18th), -4.88 PD/game (24th) Strength of played schedule: 31-19 (.620, 3rd) Strength of remaining schedule: 21-38 (.356, 32nd) Projected record: 5.2-10.8 Projected finish: 3rd in AFC North, miss playoffs, #4 overall pick In week 1, the Browns beat the Bengals. Since then, they haven't beaten anybody--but their opponents have included six projected playoff teams and the Steelers. They've lost four games by 3 or fewer points. And going forward, the 4-4 Patriots are the only team on their remaining schedule with a .500 or better record. If there's a team that's a candidate for a second-half turnaround, it's the Browns--the problem is that any turnaround starts from a 1-7 position. If they were to go an unlikely 6-2 with wins over the Bills, Texans, Vikings, Ravens, Steelers, and Bengals, then they probably still finish a game short of the division at 7-9. A perfect run would give them a shot at the playoffs, and they play good enough defense to do it. But unless they can start to score more, we're talking about the difference between a top-5 pick and a top-10 pick. AFC South 1. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2) Scoring stats: 30.14 PF/game (3rd), 20.71 PA/game (7th), +9.43 PD/game (7th) Strength of played schedule: 21-23 (.477, 20th) Strength of remaining schedule: 36-33 (.522, 11th) Projected record: 10.0-6.0 Projected finish: 1st in AFC South, #3 seed in the AFC playoffs What kind of CAR runs the quickest? A Jaguar, of course. The trio of Christian Barkley, Asante Sowell, and Raheem Robinson pace the third highest scoring offense in the league, and they've established the early pole position for what is currently the most important division race in the AFC. (The second place finisher is not a projected playoff team, so as of now it's win the division or go home in the South.) The biggest thorn in Jacksonville's side right now is their home loss to Tennessee on Thursday night of week 2. They followed that up with a Sunday night loss to the Jets. Other than that, they've taken care of business--including a potentially valuable win over fellow AFC contender Kansas City. Jacksonville's performance also holds up when adjusting for opponent performance moreso than any AFC team not named Miami or Las Vegas. Their schedule gets tougher down the stretch with 7 potential playoff contenders in their final 9 games. They don't have to win them all; they just have to win enough of them. 2. Tennessee Titans (5-3) Scoring stats: 29.50 PF/game (6th), 25.75 PA/game (21st), +3.75 PD/game (8th) Strength of played schedule: 23-27 (.460, 22nd) Strength of remaining schedule: 29-30 (.492, 17th) Projected record: 9.6-6.4 Projected finish: 2nd in AFC South, miss playoffs, #20 overall pick If the Titans miss the playoffs by a game, their baffling 35-20 week 3 loss to the Bills will loom large. They beat the Jaguars on the road. They've otherwise taken care of business against non-contenders, though they were gored by the Raiders and edged by the Panthers. With Wheelin' Dealin' Wheeler at the helm and a stable of wide receivers that can run wild on anybody in the league, Tennessee is capable of scoring--but they're not unstoppable, and their defense is prone to lapses. Their next four games are against teams that are .500 or better--including the home game against the Jaguars. That's likely going to be their make-or-break stretch. 3. Houston Texans (3-4) Scoring stats: 26.29 PF/game (11th), 30.86 PA/game (30th), -4.57 PD/game (23rd) Strength of played schedule: 21-26 (.447, 24th) Strength of remaining schedule: 35-32 (.522, 9th) Projected record: 6.3-9.7 Projected finish: 3rd in AFC South, miss playoffs, #9 overall pick conveyed to Buffalo The Texans have given up 94 points in their last two games, which is less than ideal. It could be worse, because one of those games was a 45-42 win over Indianapolis (hold that thought). But the defense is getting rung like a bell and things are only going to get worse with Frederick Fain out for the rest of the season. This is a very high-scoring, low-defense division with all four teams in the top 12 in over/under per game. But Houston's surprisingly solid offense and usually absent defense make them the 2nd most shootout-prone team in the whole NFL. Again, it could be worse. They'll sell a lot of tickets that way, fans will come to watch Leshoure row, and they won't have to think about the fact that Buffalo owns their next first-rounder too. 4. Indianapolis Colts (2-6) Scoring stats: 24.5 PF/game (16th), 29.88 PA/game (29th), -5.38 PD/game (25th) Strength of played schedule: 33-19 (.635, 2nd) Strength of remaining schedule: 29-29 (.500, 14th) Projected record: 6.1-9.9 Projected finish: 4th in AFC South, miss playoffs, #8 overall pick conveyed to LA Chargers Much has been made of the Colts' runningback situation, and their lack of 1st- or 2nd-round pick will make it tough to address that problem next season. While their offense ranks ahead of their defense by a lot, it's fair to place that kind of emphasis on the run game because otherwise they have the tools for a top-5 offense. They have one of the best regular-season quarterbacks in the league and a ridiculously talented set of receivers. But they still score at an average rate, and they don't hold the ball long enough to give their defense time to rest. Even with a run game, they won't win if they're allowing 30 points a game. They should get some much-needed regression to the mean with their second-half schedule, but they would need a perfect second half (and some luck) to even think about the playoffs. They're in talks to sell assets (including trading Jeremy Bell), so the front office seems to see the writing on the wall already. AFC West T-1. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) Scoring stats: 23.29 PF/game (20th), 21.71 PA/game (10th), +1.57 PD/game (14th) Strength of played schedule: 25-20 (.556, 8th) Strength of remaining schedule: 26-41 (.388, 31st) Projected record: 10.6-5.4 Projected finish: 2nd in AFC West, #5 seed in the AFC playoffs Run the dang ball, and good things will happen. The Chiefs' two-headed bull-headed attack has worked wonders with the departure of Thomas Wheeler. Perhaps part of its success is actually just the fact that it keeps the opposing offense off the field considering that the Chiefs are still just 20th in scoring, but it's pretty frickin' hard to argue with wins over the Raiders and the Eagles. The Raiders win will be particularly valuable if things come down to a division tiebreaker; however, the loss to the Jaguars could bite them in a wild card tiebreaker scenario. Truly the best thing the Chiefs have going for them (other than being a solid team) is that their remaining schedule is favorable. They have as many games remaining against teams above .500 as they have games remaining against the Chargers (2). A win over the Titans would put them in enviable playoff position; a loss wouldn't necessarily eliminate them. T-1. Las Vegas Raiders (5-2) Scoring stats: 32.0 PF/game (1st), 19.29 PA/game (6th), +12.71 PD/game (2nd) Strength of played schedule: 25-21 (.543, 10th) Strength of remaining schedule: 32-33 (.492, 16th) Projected record: 11.4-4.6 Projected finish: 1st in AFC West, #2 seed in the AFC playoffs The Raiders possess the point differential of a team that should be 6-1 or 7-0; instead, they're on the short end of the tiebreaker with the Chiefs. Their two losses have been reasonable: a 3-point defeat to the Chiefs, and a 7-point loss to the white-hot Dolphins. They have one other competitive game on their résumé, a 30-24 win over the Colts. Other than that? They crushed the Chargers and Steelers, they smothered the Broncos, and they opted not to remember the Titans. This team has that extra gear that a contender needs, but their baseline is so high that they don't usually have to rely on it. Barring health problems, expect the Raiders to kick it up in the second half; it would be surprising (though not impossible) for them to earn anything less than a first-round bye. 3. Denver Broncos (4-4) Scoring stats: 19.63 PF/game (27th), 21.0 PA/game (8th), -1.38 PD/game (18th) Strength of played schedule: 21-29 (.420...I see what you did there, Denver) Strength of remaining schedule: 33-25 (.569, 4th) Projected record: 7.9-8.1 Projected finish: 3rd in AFC West, miss playoffs, #15 overall pick The Broncos have had a solid couple of weeks, dismissing the Chargers in week 7 before going on the road to stun the Jets in overtime in the early-going this past Sunday. If they're finding their offensive footing with 69 points in two weeks (nice), this is a really good sign for them...for next year. They just don't have a route to the playoffs at this point, even at a respectable 4-4. It's likely going to take 10 or 11 wins to get a wild card spot, and the Broncos have one of the toughest slates remaining. They have the Giants and Chargers, yes. Apart from those two, their other six remaining opponents all have winning records. That includes the Eagles, Jaguars, and Raiders once each and the Chiefs twice. And in order to truly turn up the heat down the stretch, they'll need to keep up that level of offense against opponents that aren't 32nd and 25th in scoring defense like the Chargers and Jets are. Does Todd Jennings have it in him? 4. Los Angeles Chargers (0-7) Scoring stats: 15.71 PF/game (31st), 35.43 PA/game (32nd), -19.71 PD/game (T-31st) Strength of played schedule: 18-26 (.409, 28th) Strength of remaining schedule: 37-29 (.561, 5th) Projected record: 1.2-14.8 Projected finish: 4th in AFC West, miss playoffs, #1 overall pick plus the Colts' projected #8 overall pick The Chargers are the last winless team in the NFL and currently riding a 22-game losing streak. There's about a 29% chance that they finish the season without breaking that streak. Their best chance is probably their home game against Buffalo week 12; maybe they get lucky and the Eagles or Chiefs rest starters at the end of the season. Their only competitive games so far have been against the Bengals and Giants. They still have the Raiders again, the Chiefs twice, the Eagles, and the Cowboys. They should begin considering who they want with the #1 overall pick. Projected AFC playoffs: #3 Jacksonville Jaguars over #6 New York Jets #5 Kansas City Chiefs over #4 Baltimore Ravens #1 Miami Dolphins over #5 Kansas City Chiefs #2 Las Vegas Raiders over #3 Jacksonville Jaguars #1 Miami Dolphins over #2 Las Vegas Raiders ************************************************************************************************************************************ NFC East 1. Philadelphia Eagles (7-1) Scoring stats: 29.63 PF/game (5th), 18.13 PA/game (5th), +11.5 PD/game (3rd) Strength of played schedule: 25-24 (.510, 17th) Strength of remaining schedule: 25-33 (.431, 28th) Projected record: 12.5-3.5 Projected finish: 1st in NFC East, #2 seed in the NFC playoffs By adjusted margin of victory, the Eagles are the second-best team in their own division. Part of that is owed to closer-than-expected wins against struggling Detroit and San Francisco in the past two weeks. We'll get into why Dallas is so highly rated in their own section, but let's not sleep on Philly. They're certainly one of the two best teams in the NFC, and only the Packers' undefeated record keeps the Eagles from being a projected 1-seed. They have an early 2.5-game lead in the division (2 games in the loss column), and the NFC isn't particularly deep this year. The Eagles are playing well on both ends of the field, one of 5 teams in the entire league to rank in the top 10 in scoring offense and scoring defense. They're a playoff team, and they're probably getting a bye. 2. Dallas Cowboys (4-3) Scoring stats: 26.14 PF/game (12th), 15.71 PA/game (2nd), +10.43 PD/game (5th) Strength of played schedule: 29-15 (.659, 1st) Strength of remaining schedule: 33-33 (.500, 14th) Projected record: 10.5-5.5 Projected finish: 2nd in NFC East, #5 seed in the NFC playoffs When the Cowboys win, they're dominant. They held the Giants to 3 points, Washington to 9, and both Denver and Kansas City to 6. Two of their three losses have come by one possession, and all three have come to elite teams. So adjusted margin of victory is quite kind to the Cowboys, who are rated as the 2nd-best team by that metric when their record doesn't back that up. Essentially, how much you want to believe in the Cowboys depends entirely on how much weight you put on their schedule and how much weight you put on their potential. The back half of their schedule isn't easy by any means--their next five opponents are all over .500, though none of their final four games are. There aren't that many teams they need to outpace; if they go 3-1 against the NFC South, sweep the Chargers and Giants, and find another win or two anywhere else on the schedule, they should be in the playoffs. 3. Washington Football Club (3-4) Scoring stats: 24.14 PF/game (18th), 22.29 PA/game (12th), +1.86 PD/game (12th) Strength of played schedule: 25-21 (.543, 10th) Strength of remaining schedule: 31-34 (.477, 22nd) Projected record: 7.9-8.1 Projected finish: 3rd in NFC East, miss playoffs, #16 overall pick Washington probably isn't a playoff team this year, but that's okay. There were exactly two things that mattered this season: Tanner Bowman's development, and the team's ability to build around him. They're showing positive signs on both fronts. Bowman's been solid as a rookie, and their offense has improved by 8.7 points per game. The defense has quietly snuck into average (or maybe slightly above-average) territory. They'll want to grab a signature win to build on, but they've got the makings of a solid future in the nation's capital. Watch this space next year. 4. New York Giants (1-6) Scoring stats: 9.43 PF/game (32nd), 29.14 PA/game (28th), -19.71 PD/game (T-31st) Strength of played schedule: 19-25 (.432, 25th) Strength of remaining schedule: 42-25 (.627, 2nd) Projected record: 2.2-13.8 Projected finish: 4th in NFC East, miss playoffs, #2 overall pick They won a game. In scoring a season-high 19 points (which is a horrifying phrase to write) despite David Brezina's 10 of 21 effort for 75 yards and 2 interceptions, the Giants pushed past the Chargers to earn their first win of the season. They might win another one, though it's actually harder to pick a most winnable game for the Giants than it is for the Chargers. Washington is the only remaining sub-.500 team they play. The real drama will come down to two questions: will the Giants average a double-digit point total this season, and will they find a way to sneak back ahead of the Chargers for the #1 overall pick? NFC North 1. Green Bay Packers (7-0) Scoring stats: 25.71 PF/game (14th), 15.71 PA/game (2nd), +10.0 PD/game (6th) Strength of played schedule: 20-27 (.426, 26th) Strength of remaining schedule: 29-35 (.453, 26th) Projected record: 13.3-2.7 Projected finish: 1st in NFC North, #1 seed in the NFC playoffs Green Bay is one of three teams that are clearly above the NFC pa--er, above the NFC fray. It's their defense that's been leading the way, spearheaded by Marquise Reed and Julio Barnes in the secondary. The median team in the NFL gives up about 24.4 points per game; the Packers have held every single opponent they've played below that mark. (In fairness, three of them scored 23 or 24 points. But that's the most of anybody.) What's scary is that it's hard to say whether the Packers are playing at their full potential. Dan Nomellini's been overshadowed, and Jaz Durant has tailed off. But they're winning their games, they've beaten the good teams they've played, they've beaten the bad teams they've played, and their schedule favors them the rest of the way. Expect Green Bay to get a top-3 seed, if not a bye. 2. Chicago Bears (5-2) Scoring stats: 23.0 PF/game (21st), 22.86 PA/game (14th), +0.14 PD/game (17th) Strength of played schedule: 16-29 (.356, 30th) Strength of remaining schedule; 31-34 (.477, 22nd) Projected record: 9.4-6.6 Projected finish: 2nd in NFC North, #6 seed in the NFC playoffs Like the Titans, the Bears will have one game that they look upon with regret if they miss the playoffs by a game: a defense that's normally been solid this year gave up 34 points to the Bengals for one of Chicago's two losses. The Bears are 5-2 in large part because of several close wins, a sweep of the Vikings, and a 28-14 rout of the Rams on the road--but we're still talking about a team that struggles to block, struggles in the backfield, and relies almost entirely on receiving and defense. The good news for the Bears is that they don't need to be perfect, and they might not even need to be that good depending on how the NFC South and the Dallas Cowboys shake out. Again, the NFC's not that deep this year. A 10-win season in 2018 left them short; 10 wins this year could get them in. Taking a game from the Packers would also go a long way, though they'll also need to beat back the Lions at least once to prevent any pursuit from behind. This may well be Norris Brooksheer's last opportunity to make the playoffs as a Bear, and exceeding last year's win total in the first half of the season is a good start. 3. Detroit Lions (2-5) Scoring stats: 15.86 PF/game (30th), 21.43 PA/game (9th), -5.57 PD/game (26th) Strength of played schedule: 25-19 (.568, 7th) Strength of remaining schedule: 30-37 (.448, 27th) Projected record: 6.4-9.6 Projected finish: 3rd in NFC North, miss playoffs, #12 overall pick Like the Colts, the Lions' 4-year playoff streak is in serious jeopardy after an ice-cold start. The difference is that the cavalry is coming for Detroit in a way that it couldn't for Indianapolis. Keyshawn Thompson missed time with a foot fracture, but he's back now. Rob LeCount has been out with a wrist fracture, but he's reportedly medically cleared to play and questionable for Sunday's game against Cleveland. Blake Shell has been a serviceable stopgap, but the Lions' offense simply doesn't have a big-time playmaker without LeCount. With him, their offense moves up to the ranks of the average. That said, average offense and great defense can make a playoff team, and the Lions' defense has been unwavering. This is a team that will be dangerous from here to the end of the season. A 2-5 start is probably too much of a hole to dig out of and they essentially can't afford a loss, but it's not like there's an unwinnable game on their schedule. 4. Minnesota Vikings (2-6) Scoring stats: 19.5 PF/game (28th), 27.75 PA/game (27th), -8.25 PD/game (30th) Strength of played schedule: 29-21 (.580, 6th) Strength of remaining schedule: 23-35 (.397, 30th) Projected record: 5.2-10.8 Projected finish: 4th in NFC North, miss playoffs, #6 overall pick The Vikings seem to have taken all the misfortunes of the NFC North and rolled them into one package: their offense wasn't loaded with playmakers in the first place. Both sides of the ball are dealing with serious injury issues. They're not scoring, they're not defending, and they're not winning. Except when they're playing the Bengals or the Cardinals, apparently. While the first half was the tougher half of their schedule, being down six players for the season is going to make it difficult to actually do anything about the cakelike second half. They'll get Brian Vardell back in the next few weeks, but what good will that do? Prized rookie Luke Cobb is done for the year, so there's no connection to establish between him and Vardell. There's not much to play for other than pride. That might be enough. NFC South T-1. New Orleans Saints (5-3) Scoring stats: 27.0 PF/game (9th), 25.63 PA/game (20th), +1.38 PD/game (15th) Strength of played schedule: 27-24 (.529, 14th) Strength of remaining schedule: 29-30 (.492, 17th) Projected record: 9.1-6.9 Projected finish: 3rd in NFC South, miss playoffs, #18 overall pick The NFC South is by far the most competitive division in the league. Need evidence other than the fact that every team is within 1.5 games of the top? How about the fact that the Saints are projected to be within 0.2 wins of the division lead...which is still only the third-best projection in the division. Despite injuries to their receivers, the Devereaux and Jenkins (and Jamaal Brown-Sanderson) Show is continuing to light up scoreboards leaguewide. And more importantly, they're playing a modicum of defense! Sure, it's league-average defense at best, but that's the difference between them and the reeling Colts. The Saints are 2-2 in division play: a split with Atlanta, a home win over Carolina, and a home loss to Tampa Bay. Their next six games are all non-divisional, so they'll likely have a shot heading into the final two weeks of the season. Given that both those games are on the road, they will likely need to be 1 game up entering that stretch. T-1. Carolina Panthers (5-3) Scoring stats: 25.88 PF/game (13th), 25.25 PA/game (19th), +0.63 PD/game (16th) Strength of played schedule: 31-20 (.608, 5th) Strength of remaining schedule: 32-26 (.552, 6th) Projected record: 9.3-6.7 Projected finish: 1st in NFC South, #4 seed in the NFC playoffs It is tough to imagine a playoff without Christian Skaggs, who has led the Panthers to the postseason for each of the past 5 seasons now. It's the second-longest streak in the league, and it's in danger this season. The Panthers are a solid offensive team, but not the elite unit you'd expect with the Skaggs-Latta-Jackson-Henry quartet. When adjusting for opponent, the Panthers are also a pretty solid defensive unit, but not an elite one there either. They've had one of the toughest schedules, with a loss to Green Bay and division losses to both New Orleans and Tampa Bay--the latter two could come back to haunt them. They've also picked up wins over the Rams, Falcons, and Titans, so we're still not talking about a team of scrubs. The problem is that they've had a tough schedule already, and they have a tough remaining schedule. Jacksonville, Philadelphia, and Dallas are three of their next four games; they also have to play each division opponent again. They have been in discussions to move either Jacoby Seaverns or Mike Latta, which would be surprising for a team that needs all the help it can get to stay playoff-bound in a division that could be decided by something as simple as a shift of the wind on a field goal attempt in week 17. 3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3) Scoring stats: 28.86 PF/game (7th), 26.71 PA/game (22nd), +2.14 PD/game (11th) Strength of played schedule: 29-18 (.617, 4th) Strength of remaining schedule: 32-34 (.485, 19th) Projected record: 9.1-6.9 Projected finish: 2nd in NFC South, miss playoffs, #19 overall pick Tampa Bay is only going to go as far as Taylor Heiden takes them. When they're good, they can be really good. They're scoring an extra 4.8 points per game above what their opponents typically allow. The only team so far to hold them to fewer than 27 points in a game was the Eagles, who we've already established are pretty dang good this year. They followed up that 10-point effort with a 38-13 demolition of the Falcons, and they have a 3-0 record in division play. But even with a similar scoring defense ranking to their divisional compatriots, they've been more vulnerable to outright defensive collapses. They let up 45 to Tennessee and 38 to Philadelphia as their opening act. They've given up 35 to Indianapolis and 28 to New Orleans in their two most recent games. Good offenses don't just score on them, they torch them. But their offense is every bit as explosive as the Saints' offense, so they'll have a shot. Their schedule is chock full of games that are winnable but certainly not easy. That's the story of the NFC South, though: whoever wins those toss-up games is going to win the division. 4. Atlanta Falcons (3-4) Scoring stats: 22.43 PF/game (22nd), 25.00 PA/game (17th), -2.57 PD/game (20th) Strength of played schedule: 23-22 (.511, 16th) Strength of remaining schedule: 35-32 (.522, 9th) Projected record: 6.6-9.4 Projected finish: 4th in NFC South, miss playoffs, #13 overall pick Whereas the rest of the division is offense-first, defense-second, the Falcons have historically inverted that trend in the NFC South. That looked like a promising formula during a 2-0 start to the season with wins over the Niners and Saints. Since then, the Falcons have lost 4 of 5. They've given up 27 points or more in all four losses and 31 or more in two--that spoiled what has otherwise been a surprisingly solid offensive effort over that stretch. Three of those losses have come in division play, erasing the advantage they earned from the Saints win. And their remaining schedule doesn't have a single easy win on it given that the Lions can defend and the Colts can attack. The Falcons haven't made the playoffs since their Super Bowl run, though they came tantalizingly close last year. This skid has seriously damaged their chances of getting back. They're not in this predicament because their schedule's been overly tough; it's because they haven't been able to win enough toss-up games. Turn that around, and they're still not totally out of the running yet. NFC West 1. Los Angeles Rams (5-2) Scoring stats: 28.57 PF/game (8th), 17.29 PA/game (4th), +11.29 PD/game (4th) Strength of played schedule: 22-23 (.489, 19th) Strength of remaining schedule: 36-30 (.545, 7th) Projected record: 10.8-5.2 Projected finish: 1st in NFC West, #3 seed in the NFC playoffs If you told me that I had to pick one team to make the playoffs upon penalty of being exiled to Missouri, I'd pick the Rams. They're far and away the best team in their division. They've already built a 2-game lead, and the only other team that is capable of challenging them is stuck in third. They've earned both halves of their 5-2 record. On the one hand, they demolished Detroit (less impressive in retrospect) and routed Dallas (which I expect to look better by season's end). On the other, they dropped back-to-back games early to Chicago and Carolina and they don't have any other particularly notable wins. What's crucial to understanding their season is the fact that they've played bad opponents and beaten them by a lot. That matters! Their schedule's going to get harder in the second half, with the entire AFC East plus the Packers on their schedule. Does it matter? Probably not. If they take care of business in their four remaining division games, they likely don't even need to win any of those. Win those four division games and beat 2-5 Buffalo, and that would mathematically be enough to clinch the division. They've been elite on both sides of the ball for years. Nobody else in their division is top-10 in scoring defense or top-16 in scoring offense. The Rams will win the division by a lot. 2. Arizona Cardinals (3-4) Scoring stats: 20.57 PF/game (25th), 27.29 PA/game (26th), -6.71 PD/game (29th) Strength of played schedule: 17-28 (.378, 29th) Strength of remaining schedule: 42-24 (.636, 1st) Projected record: 6.1-9.9 Projected finish: 3rd in NFC West, miss playoffs, #7 overall pick plus Seattle's projected #11 overall pick Things started off very promising in Arizona after back-to-back wins over Seattle and Detroit to start the season. The results since then have indicated that their early success was a mirage. Both of those opponents have struggled mightily, and the Redbirds have dropped four of five since then. That's a similar arc to the Falcons, except for the fact that the Cards have lost to teams that their ornithological relatives would have beaten. It's no shame that they were routed by Los Angeles. A loss to New England makes sense. Getting routed by Washington and Minnesota, though? That's...not ideal. With a new ownership group, the Cardinals are looking to elicit a cultur3 change--but it'll be hard to pull that off given that their schedule gets ridiculously hard in the second half. The Rams are the only team above .500 that they've played so far. They'll play the Dolphins, Bears, Rams, Jets, Saints, and Packers between now and season's end. It's a young team that wasn't expected to do well, and being at 3-4 right now would have been a positive sign at season's dawn. They also own Seattle's pick that's currently trending toward the upper half of the first round. But this is probably as good as it's going to get for them this year. 3. Seattle Seahawks (3-5) Scoring stats: 17.75 PF/game (29th), 22.25 PA/game (11th), -4.5 PD/game (22nd) Strength of played schedule: 25-24 (.510, 17th) Strength of remaining schedule: 30-28 (.517, 12th) Projected record: 6.4-9.6 Projected finish: 2nd in NFC West, miss playoffs, #11 overall pick conveyed to Arizona The good news for Seattle is that they've finally figured out how to score points. Their point total failed to eclipse the legal drinking age in any of their first six games of the season. On Monday night of week 7 in Los Angeles, though, they put up an impressive 30 points on the Rams. (They lost, but still.) They followed that up by scoring 28 against Buffalo, accompanied by the return of their stout defense. Their remaining schedule isn't so strong that they're out of the hunt yet. They don't need their offense to become elite; they just need to not be at the very bottom of the league. As of now, they have 13 touchdowns and 12 turnovers, they've given up 20 sacks, and their 17.3 yards per point is the third-worst in the NFL. They're averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 7.5 yards per pass attempt, so there's a spark there. They just have to commit fewer turnovers, take fewer sacks, and convert more third downs to keep drives alive. Their defense will take care of itself. It may be too late to make a charge for the division, but the wild card race is wide open because (all together now) the NFC is not that deep this year. 4. San Francisco 49ers (2-5) Scoring stats: 23.57 PF/game (19th), 27.0 PA/game (23rd), -3.43 PD/game (21st) Strength of played schedule: 20-24 (.455, 23rd) Strength of remaining schedule: 42-25 (.627, 2nd) Projected record: 5.2-10.8 Projected finish: 4th in NFC West, miss playoffs, #5 overall pick Oh, Niners. Poor Niners. I'm not sure they're really as bad as their 2-5 record suggests. Adjusting for opponent, they're literally the opposite of the Seahawks: they're scoring reasonably well, but not really playing much defense. They have spots of hope, such as their close loss to Philadelphia on Monday night. They also have moments that show just how much things can change in 2 years, such as their blowout loss to Arizona. Their wins so far are against Seattle and Buffalo, neither of whom are particularly fervent believers in scoring. And they ain't seen nothin' yet: their next six opponents are all .500 or better, including the undefeated Packers and Dolphins. And the Rams. And the Rams again. And the Jets. All of those teams can score, and all of them ought to score. It's not going to be a fun stretch, but it'll at least outline exactly where the former champs need to improve this offseason. They'll be back soon enough. Projected NFC Playoffs: #3 Los Angeles Rams over #6 Chicago Bears #5 Dallas Cowboys over #4 Carolina Panthers #5 Dallas Cowboys over #1 Green Bay Packers #2 Philadelphia Eagles over #5 Los Angeles Rams #5 Dallas Cowboys over #2 Philadelphia Eagles ************************************************************************************************************************************ Projected Super Bowl Miami Dolphins over Dallas Cowboys That does it for this edition of By the Numbers. Until next time, whenever that time may be!
  6. 36 points
    Soluna

    CFBHC v1.5a

    CFBHC v1.5a Differentiation of Conferences / Unique Experiences Update May 25th, 2018 Pre-Release v1.5.0.7 Notes: Thanks to all those who helped testing and recommended stuff as usual. I will be changing the release schedule for the 1.5 update this year a little bit. First of all, you guys can expect the big patches to happen and activate in the off-season between each season. So 1.5 will be after the 2021 season, 1.6 after the 2022 season, etc. This does not count for smaller balance changes. Additionally instead of revealing everything with one giant 1.5 patch note post there will be several component parts (a-...) that each reveal part of the patch. General Info / Idea I've come to the point with the sim that I'm fairly happy with the backbone of how stuff is running and the features that are offered so I would like to focus on providing interest to differentiate the experience for users depending on the teams they coach and provide objectives for users to meet that are not just "win a national championship". There are 130 teams and only one champion so the majority of users will never see a title. I want to provide those users with other fun objectives to fulfill and to give them a chance to prove their worth in a variety of other ways. This update will begin to address that. Except there to be more stuff to make each conference feel totally unique and provide different gameplay and goals depending on where you are playing. CFBHC * Added a second recruiting master list of fewer total players than the main master list that goes only to 4.0 skill (with very few 4.0s) that is only accessible to member schools from the following conferences: AAC, MWC, MAC, CUSA, Sun Belt, and Independents This list of players will be added after the main master list is completed and will be active for the 2022 season. Schools from the before listed schools will be able to put points into either the regular master list or the G5 master list as they please. The G5 Recruits list will work entirely the same as the other one. Total numbers of recruits was already reduced in the main list to make it more competitive for the top talents and to allow for this new G5 list for the smaller schools. With the exception of the restriction for which school have access to this list it will function exactly the same as the other. Points/Visits/etc are shared between the two. This list represents those players who would rather play at a smaller school than sit on the bench at a bigger program. While not common, this does happen. * In the recruiting interface, all schools that have ever put points on a player should be listed when hovering over the "+" at the end of the display. Not their point values, just the name of the schools (@inspiral).
  7. 35 points
    Welcome to Preseason Week 2.5 of Franz's Facts: MISCUES: INTERCEPTIONS AND FUMBLES AND DROPS, OH MY! This mid-week edition will focus on notable miscues through two and a half weeks of pre-season action. PREASEASON TOTALS (note: some teams have played a third game already***) Interceptions thrown Devin Conroy, TB - 5 Jon Wilson, KC - 4 Greg Cunningham, DEN - 4 Sean Hamilton, CAR - 4 Fumbles lost Greg Hadnot, SF - 2 Jayden Huff, DAL - 2 Kevin Muse, PHI - 2 Drops Dwayne Maddox, CHI - 3 Aaron Kotar, NYJ - 2 Billy Rodgers, CAR - 2 Brandon Lane, CIN - 2 Bruce Riley, NO - 2 Francisco Gibson, DAL - 2 James Montgomery, SF - 2 Nate Blue, MIN - 2 Robert Curtis, LAC - 2 Roy Davis, PHI - 2 Steve Warner, SEA - 2 Tommy Pottios, LAC - 2 Tyrus Wilson, ATL - 2 William Doherty, DEN - 2 William Johnson, TB - 2 Willie Hodge, LV - 2 Teams with multiple interception-throwing QBs *** Aaron Devereaux (2), Donald Caldwell (1), Nicholas Garland (1) *** Davis Oates (2), Charlie Walter (2) *** Luke Williams (2), Graham Burnett (1) Doug Kirby (2), Alex Rodgers (1) Cody Albright (2), Brian Vardell (1) Greg Shipp (1), Matteo Rook (1) Teams with at least four drops 5 5 5 5 *** 5 4 *** 4 4 *** 4 4 Teams with at least two lost fumbles *** 4 3 2 2 *** 2 2 2 Teams with 8+ INT thrown, fumbles lost, and drops *** 13 *** 9 *** 9 9 8 8 Teams with 5+ giveaways *** 8 *** 5 *** 5 5 Teams with 3+ players with a drop Steve Warner (2), Alex Kauffman (1), Evan Medley (1), Jim Umenyiora (1) *** Willie Hodge (2), Brian Becker (1), Michael Allen (1), Malcolm Davis (1) Aaron Kotar (2), Eugene Sanders (1), Marcus Ratterman (1), Phillip Fuller (1) Dwayne Maddox (3), Glenn Franckowiak (1), Obafemi Chamberlin (1) Robert Curtis (2), Tommy Pottios (2), Gerald Morrison (1) Billy Rodgers (2), Monte Jackson (1), Chip Johnson (1) Brandon Lane (2), Adrian Jankowski (1), Steven Maloney (1) *** Francisco Gibson (2), Benjamin Franklin (1), Michael Baxter (1) *** Bruce Riley (2), Patrick Lambert (1), Jamaal Brown-Sanderson (1) William Johnson (2), Anthony McCardell (1), James Richardson (1) Harry Whiteside (1), Jariel Rosario (1), Lindsey Thomas (1) For every like this post receives, $0.50 will be donated to the 2018 Annual Funding
  8. 34 points
    The CFBHC Member of the Month Spotlight is an award created to recognize and thank members of the CFBHC community for their supportive efforts to the site's development and future endeavors. Coaches can submit a vote for any member on the sidebar each month and a deserving member of the month will be awarded the first one of the next month. Members of the month will be eligible to receive a CFBHC goodie box once the design has been established and the member is willing to forward me their address. October 2017: Jieret, Western Michigan Broncos/ Denver Broncos Jieret joined CFBHC on July 5, 2016, and quickly established himself as a cornerstone of the community. Known for his willingness to help, his ability to moderate, and his steadfast attitude in helping the community grow has made him deserving of the first MotM award. Whether taking it upon himself to run the NHLHC statbook or fill in with statistical/wiki/or feedback work when few others did, Jieret always outdoes himself in his efforts toward the site and for that I am forever thankful. Without helpful, friendly, and determined members like him this community would just be me and my 38 alts; functioning but without a heart. It may be overwhelming for some newer users to integrate into the established community but Jieret has shown that it's possible. Only a year after he's joined it would feel that if he were to ever be lost to us he'd at least be one of those users the shoutbox would say "wtf happened to him". Whether that means anything I don't know but Jieret you are the man. Jieret received 14 votes for Member of the Month for October 2017.
  9. 32 points
    Soluna

    CFBHC v1.5b

    CFBHC v1.5b Differentiation of Conferences / Unique Experiences Update Part 2: Recruiting - Happy Birthday @DangerZoneh and @stormstopper June 5th, 2018 Pre-Release v1.5.0.15 Notes: Thanks to all those who helped testing and recommended stuff as usual. General Info / Idea I got a ton of feedback about how much the recruiting tiers were loved and how people wish they could adapt custom strategies more easily. I received several ideas from discord/PM/and feedback forums that I've integrated into our system. Additionally, inspiral provided me data on which talents were chosen by which schools so I've rebalanced a lot of the tiers aside from the updates. @inspiral I'm assuming this might be too complicated (although I'm not sure) in which case we could just do it via excel sheet and then tell you the value each school has for each variable instead of making it a GUI thing. Up to you - I know it's a lot of work and appreciate what you've already done. We can discuss details via PM. CFBHC * Recruiting Tiers now scale with the number of wins. Tier 1 is available upon reaching 1 win. Tier 2 is available upon reaching 4 wins. Tier 3 is available upon reaching 7 wins. Tier 4 is available upon reaching 10 wins. A new choice has been added for each tier that is only available for the teams that have reached the maximum number of wins in that tier (called Tier Mastery Talents). (For example if you have 1 win, your choice for the first tier below would be +1 point/+1 school visit/+1 coach visit and the mastery talent would be unavailable as a choice until you made 3 wins.) Tier 1 Choices (1 Win/2 Wins/3 Wins): OLD: (at 2 wins): +3 weekly points OR +3 school visits OR +2 coaches visits Strong Recruiter: +1/+2/+2 weekly recruiting points. School Spirit: +1/+2/+3 school visits. Well Traveled: +1/+2/+2 coaches visits. (New - Mastery Talent) Diversified Recruiting: Gain +1 weekly recruiting points. +1 school visit, and +1 coaches visit. Tier 2 Choices (4 Wins/5 Wins/6 Wins): OLD: (at 5 wins): 25% bonus on host camp recruits (instead of 15%) OR three additional team needs slots OR add a border state and receive 12 points on each recruit there if at least 5 are put on them Quality over Quantity: 22%/24%/26% Supreme Need: 2 extra slots/3 extra slots/3 extra slots Expansive Camps: 12 points/14 points/16 points (NEW - Mastery Talent) International Recruiting: Opt-in to participate in a tertiary, complete independent recruiting that allows you to fight over international recruits with only schools who have selected this as well. Points are shared with primary or secondary (G5) recruiting and visits may NOT be used. (recruits will be posted beforehand, there will be approximately 100 at normal distributions) Tier 3 Choices (7 Wins/8 Wins/9 Wins): OLD: (at 8 wins): home state recruits start with 30 points if at least 5 are put on them (instead of 25) OR bordering state recruits start with 18 points if at least 5 are put on them (instead of 12) OR ensure two JuCo recruits prefer your program. Home State Fortress: 29 points on in-state/31 points on in-state/33 points on in-state Regional Power: 19 points on bordering/21 points on bordering/23 points on bordering National Expsure: 1 JuCo prefers your program/2 JuCos prefer your program/2 JuCos prefer your gram and one further JuCo will have a secondary preference of your school (NEW - Mastery Talent) Over the Top: Improves JuCo Scholarships from +18 to +30 and JuCo Visits from +16 to +30. Receive an additional JuCo Scholarship and reduce your weekly recruiting points by -5. Tier 4 Choices (10 Wins/11 Wins/12 Wins): OLD: (at 11 wins): two star players at 12 points per week OR scholarships up to +25 (from 20) OR instantly claim a 1.0/5.0 or lower player and a 1.0/3.5 or lower player from your home state Rising Star: 2 Star Players at 8 weekly points/2 Star Players at 10 weekly points/2 Star Players at 12 weeekly points Strong Academics: Scholarships are +27/+29/+31 (instead of regular +20) Legacy Locks: Claim two 1.0/4.0 players (or lower) from your state instantly/Claim a 1.0/4.5 and a 1.0/4.0 (or lower) from your state instantly/Claim a 2.0/4.5 and a 1.5/4.0 (or lower) from your state instantly (New - Mastery Talent) Undiscovered Talent: Create a recruit (there will be a thread - subject to name and school approval by Soluna) and receive him as part of your recruiting class instantly. Max skill/potential for each position: QB (2.5/4.5), RB (2.5/4.5), FB (1.0/5.0) WR (1.0/5.0), TE (1.0/5.0), OT (2.5/4.5), OG (1.0/5.0), C (1.0/5.0), DE (2.5/4.5), DT (1.0/5.0), ILB (1.0/5.0), OLB (1.0/5.0), CB (1.0/5.0), FS (1.0/5.0), SS (1.0/5.0), K (2.5/4.5), P (1.5/5.0), LS (1.5/5.0), KR (1.0/5.0), PR (1.0/5.0)
  10. 32 points
    Ryan White, Nordic Network Auburn, Alabama Social media’s influence on the sports world has never been greater. In fact, just today, all of the top Twitter trends happened to revolve around the world of collegiate football. So it should come to no one’s surprise that…. Twitter is changing tradition. Tonight, the Iowa Hawkeyes (2-2) travel to Auburn to take on the undefeated Tigers, in a battle that could shape the season for either team. Iowa, still reeling from a loss at Indiana last Saturday Evening, is desperate for a win, and will rely on the arm and legs of redshirt senior quarterback Mikeal Black to carry them to victory. Auburn, with National Title hopes, will look to their own promising quarterback – Marcus Black. The fact that both quarterbacks have the last name Black is entirely coincidental; Twitter superfans dubbing this the #BLACKOUT, as seen at the top of the trending list, is not. As early as last Wednesday, fans of both Auburn and Iowa began a friendly twitter competition, noticing the shared surname, and then comparing the two Blacks, and eventually, some notable alums weighed in. Heisman trophy winning running back, former Auburn Tiger and current Green Bay Packer, Jaz Durant, supported his former teammate: Meanwhile, a few others, of Iowa fame, threw their names into the backing of Mikeal: Recognizing the friendly rivalry between his two Minnesota Vikings teammates Jared Lee and Jacory Kessler, but also recognizing the charity work both Marcus and Mikeal Black do around their communities, Vikings wide receiver Aaron Ayala decided to expand the challenge, extending the bet from Jaz Durant, Jared Lee, and Jacory Kessler to the entirety of both fan Iowa and Auburn fan bases. Shirts for the game can be picked up at shopncaasports.com/BLACKOUT, or in a limited supply at the game tonight. Each shirt (pictured below) comes in sizes S-XXL, choosing Iowa or Auburn, and will take $19.99 plus applicable tax out of your wallet. The front of each shirt features a commemorative logo, featuring images of both Mikeal Black and Marcus Black, along with basic information surrounding the game. The back of each shirt is unique to each school, showing allegiance to either Mikeal or Marcus Black. With all of the surrounding hype, inspired by the competition between the fan bases, and by Aaron Ayala’s recognition of their student-athletes, the University of Iowa and Auburn University decided to come together to do something special. Iowa is no stranger to wearing different uniforms. They’ve experimented in the past, wearing alternates against Minnesota. Mikeal Black scrambles against Minnesota during their Week 4, 2021 matchup, donning an alternate "Midnight" design. But Auburn has yet to change it up. They haven’t even worn white unis at home before, proudly wearing their Navy Blues at Jordan-Hare since 2013. This week, social media has changed tradition. Auburn, as the home team, will be wearing white uniforms. In honor of the two QBs taking the national spotlight, Auburn will be wearing all-whites, with black and gray trim, with an emphasis on the black. They’ve even pealed the typical Burnt Orange and Navy Blue decals off of their white helmets, opting for black and gray. And Iowa will be wearing almost entirely black unis, with a light gray trim and a steal-like numerical pattern, and charcoal gray helmets. Following the game, all uniforms from both teams will be auctioned off, with the proceeds joining Aaron Ayala’s t-shirt sale donations to Marcus and Mikeal’s causes. Players from Iowa and Auburn enjoyed taking part in a special photo shoot surrounding their alternate uniforms. Pictured are action models, ILB Elias French (left, Iowa) and Sean Meade (right, Auburn) “I never knew a last name could have this much importance,” laughed Mikeal Black in an interview earlier this week. “Now the university president is reaching out to me – the Auburn University president.” No matter the result this weekend, Twitter has shown the good-natured abilities and the reach of college football’s culture.
  11. 32 points
    Soluna

    Happy 2018

    Have a happy new year CFBHC. Make the most of your goals. Hopefully I'll see all of you guys here in a year for 2019. I raised a cup to all of my friends on here tonight. Soluna
  12. 32 points
    Cupcakes and Hellscapes 2021 OOC and Independent Schedule Rankings Out of Conference Rankings: Each team's out of conference schedule difficultly was determined by averaging out the team ratings of each team they play. An adjusted ranking was also created to represent relative difficulty given the rating of the team vs the average rating of their opponent. This was calculated using team rating - average OOC opponent rating. A negative value means that their OOC opponents are a better team rating-wise than they are. The Top 10 Hardest OOC Schedules: USC Trojans (353.7 Opponent Average Rating) Clemson Tigers (349.2 Opponent Average Rating) TCU Horned Frogs (347.8 Opponent Average Rating) Iowa Hawkeyes (339.5 Opponent Average Rating) Virginia Tech Hokies (338.9 Opponent Average Rating) UAB Blazers (336.25 Opponent Average Rating) Iowa State Cyclones (335.5 Opponent Average Rating) Baylor Bears (334.3 Opponent Average Rating) Tennessee Volunteers (333.6 Opponent Average Rating) North Carolina Tar Heels (333.125 Opponent Average Rating) The Bottom 10 Easiest OOC Schedules: Southern Miss Golden Eagles (220.4 Opponent Average Rating) Nevada Wolf Pack (224.6 Opponent Average Rating) Connecticut Huskies (231.7 Opponent Average Rating) Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (250.6 Opponent Average Rating) UTEP Minors (255.8 Opponent Average Rating) East Carolina Pirates (256.1 Opponent Average Rating) Miami (OH) Redhawks (257 Opponent Average Rating) Oregon State Beavers (259.5 Opponent Average Rating) Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (262.2 Opponent Average Rating) UCLA Bruins (263 Opponent Average Rating) The Top 10 Hardest Adjusted OOC Schedules: South Alabama Jaguars (-113.8 Adjusted Rating) Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (-109.1 Adjusted Rating) Texas State Bobcats (-108.5 Adjusted Rating) Georgia Southern Eagles (-105.1 Adjusted Rating) Troy Trojans (-104.6 Adjusted Rating) Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (-74.3 Adjusted Rating) UAB Blazers (-69.2 Adjusted Rating) Kent State Golden Flashes (-65.4 Adjusted Rating) Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-60.4 Adjusted Rating) Florida Atlantic Owls (-48.3 Adjusted Rating) As you can see, the Sun Belt dominates these rankings due to having the lowest average ratings in the nation since they're totally new teams. Here are what the ratings look like without the Sun Belt: The Top 10 Hardest Adjusted OOC Schedules (Without the Sun Belt): UAB Blazers (-69.2 Adjusted Rating) Kent State Golden Flashes (-65.4 Adjusted Rating) Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-60.4 Adjusted Rating) Florida Atlantic Owls (-48.3 Adjusted Rating) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (-47.6 Adjusted Rating) UNLV Rebels (-34.8 Adjusted Rating) North Carolina Tar Heels (-34.8 Adjusted Rating) Syracuse Orange (-30.9 Adjusted Rating) Charlotte 49ers (-30.4 Adjusted Rating) Utah State Aggies (-29.1 Adjusted Rating) The Bottom 10 Easiest Adjusted OOC Schedules: Nevada Wolf Pack (131.0 Adjusted Rating) Michigan Wolverines (92.4 Adjusted Rating) Alabama Crimson Tide (92.4 Adjusted Rating) UCLA Bruins (84.9 Adjusted Rating) Southern Miss Golden Eagles (74.8 Adjusted Rating) South Carolina Gamecocks (72.3 Adjusted Rating) Georgia Bulldogs (69.6 Adjusted Rating) Miami (OH) Redhawks (67.4 Adjusted Rating) Connecticut Huskies (66.1 Adjusted Rating) Penn State Nittany Lions (64.6 Adjusted Rating) To put it simply, Nevada's rating is 131 better than the average rating of their opponents. South Alabama is 113.8 worse than the average rating of their average opponents. Independent Schedule Rankings: Why should everyone else have all the fun? Since Independents don't have an OOC schedule, their entire schedule was averaged and ranked. They were also adjusted using the same methodology. The Independent Schedule Rankings: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (322.9 Opponent Average Rating) Army Black Knights (314.0 Opponent Average Rating) Liberty Flames (295.5 Opponent Average Rating) UMASS Minutemen (282.9 Opponent Average Rating) New Mexico State Aggies (271.4 Opponent Average Rating) BYU Cougars (271.4 Opponent Average Rating) The Adjusted Independent Schedule Rankings: New Mexico State Aggies (-78.6 Adjusted Rating) Liberty Flames (-74.3 Adjusted Rating) UMASS Minutemen (-50.2 Adjusted Rating) Army Black Knights (-17.2 Adjusted Rating) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3.6 Adjusted Rating) BYU Cougars (22.8 Adjusted Rating) Unsurprisingly, the new teams again have much harder adjusted schedules than the other independents due to their low starting ratings. Full rankings can now be found here!
  13. 29 points
    Welcome to another edition of the Chicago Tribune's By the Numbers, a statistically minded look at the contenders and pretenders of the 2021 NFL season. We're through 12 weeks of the season, and every team has 11 games in the books. Some teams are fading, some are surging, and most are right on track heading into the all-important final five. As usual, we'll take a look at the numbers to try and get a sense of where everybody's going to be where the dust settles--and also note where everyone's win projection has moved since last time. Quick note: Strength of played schedule excludes games involving the team in question. Strength of remaining schedule does not--that is, if you've already played 1 of 2 games against a division opponent, that game will be counted in strength of remaining schedule. This is just due to the fact that the former adjustment is easier to put in a spreadsheet than the latter. No blurbs this time due to time constraints, but all the numbers remain. AFC East 1. Miami Dolphins (10-1) Scoring stats: 29.64 PF/game (5th), 15.64 PA/game (1st), +14.00 PD/game (1st) Strength of played schedule: 55-55 (0.500, 13th) Strength of remaining schedule: 21-34 (.382, 30th) Projected record: 13.8-2.2 (Δ -0.2 from midseason) Projected finish: 1st in AFC East, #1 seed in AFC playoffs 2. New York Jets (8-3) Scoring stats: 30.18 PF/game (2nd), 24.82 PA/game (18th), +5.36 PD/game (8th) Strength of played schedule: 48-62 (0.436, 29th) Strength of remaining schedule: 31-24 (.564, 7th) Projected record: 10.6-5.4 (Δ +0.2 from midseason) Projected finish: 2nd in AFC East, #5 seed in AFC playoffs 3. New England Patriots (5-6) Scoring stats: 26.45 PF/game (11th), 25.27 PA/game (20th), +1.18 PD/game (13th) Strength of played schedule: 58-52 (0.527, 9th) Strength of remaining schedule: 25-30 (.455, 22nd) Projected record: 7.6-8.4 (Δ -0.4 from midseason) Projected finish: 3rd in AFC East, miss playoffs, #14 overall pick plus Miami's projected #32 overall pick; Baltimore's projected #13 overall pick unlikely to convey 4. Buffalo Bills (3-8) Scoring stats: 18.09 PF/game (30th), 26.64 PA/game (26th), -8.55 PD/game (29th) Strength of played schedule: 52-58 (0.473, 22nd) Strength of remaining schedule: 30-25 (.545, 8th) Projected record: 4.9-11.1 (Δ -1.4 from midseason) Projected finish: 4th in AFC East, miss playoffs, #5 overall pick, plus Arizona's projected #8 overall pick, plus Houston's projected #12 overall pick AFC North T-1. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6) Scoring stats: 21.09 PF/game (25th), 20.45 PA/game (6th), +0.64 PD/game Strength of played schedule: 52-58 (0.473, 22nd) Strength of remaining schedule: 24-31 (.436, 23rd) Projected record: 7.7-8.3 (Δ +0.7 from midseason) Projected finish: 1st in AFC North, #4 seed in AFC playoffs T-1. Baltimore Ravens (5-6) Scoring stats: 24.09 PF/game (16th), 24.55 PA/game (17th), -0.45 PD/game (18th) Strength of played schedule: 55-55 (0.500, 13th) Strength of remaining schedule: 22-33 (.400, 27th) Projected record: 7.5-8.5 (Δ +/- 0.0 from midseason) Projected finish: 2nd in AFC North, miss playoffs, #13 overall pick 3. Cleveland Browns (4-7) Scoring stats: 22.27 PF/game (21st), 22.45 PA/game (12th), -0.18 PD/game (16th) Strength of played schedule: 58-52 (0.527, 9th) Strength of remaining schedule: 21-34 (.382, 30th) Projected record: 6.7-9.3 (Δ +1.5 from midseason) Projected finish: 3rd in AFC North, miss playoffs, #11 overall pick 4. Cincinnati Bengals (2-9) Scoring stats: 22.64 PF/game (20th), 32.09 PA/game (31st), -9.45 PD/game (30th) Strength of played schedule: 49-61 (0.445, 27th) Strength of remaining schedule: 29-26 (.527, 13th) Projected record: 3.6-12.4 (Δ -1.1 from midseason) Projected finish: 4th in AFC North, miss playoffs, #3 overall pick AFC South 1. Tennessee Titans (8-3) Scoring stats: 29.73 PF/game (4th), 23.45 PA/game (13th), +6.27 PD/game (7th) Strength of played schedule: 53-57 (0.482, 18th) Strength of remaining schedule: 23-32 (.418, 25th) Projected record: 11.2-4.8 (Δ +1.6 from midseason) Projected finish: 1st in AFC South, #2 seed in AFC playoffs T-2. Houston Texans (5-6) Scoring stats: 27.82 PF/game (8th), 30.55 PA/game (30th), -2.73 PD/game (23rd) Strength of played schedule: 51-59 (0.464, 25th) Strength of remaining schedule: 32-23 (.582, 5th) Projected record: 6.9-9.1 (Δ +0.6 from midseason) Projected finish: 3rd in AFC South, miss playoffs, #12 overall pick conveyed to Buffalo T-2. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-6) Scoring stats: 29.82 PF/game (3rd), 25.82 PA/game (22nd), +4.0 PD/game (9th) Strength of played schedule: 60-50 (0.545, 6th) Strength of remaining schedule: 27-28 (.491, 18th) Projected record: 7.9-8.1 (Δ -2.1 from midseason) Projected finish: 2nd in AFC South, miss playoffs, #15 overall pick 4. Indianapolis Colts (3-8) Scoring stats: 25.18 PF/game (12th), 28.18 PA/game (27th), -3.00 PD/game (24th) Strength of played schedule: 61-49 (0.555, 4th) Strength of remaining schedule: 30-25 (.545, 8th) Projected record: 5.3-10.7 (Δ -0.8 from midseason) Projected finish: 4th in AFC South, miss playoffs, #7 overall pick conveyed to Los Angeles Chargers AFC West T-1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) Scoring stats: 21.82 PF/game (23rd), 22.00 PA/game (10th), -0.18 PD/game (16th) Strength of played schedule: 53-57 (0.482, 18th) Strength of remaining schedule: 23-32 (.418, 25th) Projected record: 9.6-6.4 (Δ -1.0 from midseason) Projected finish: 2nd in AFC West, #6 seed in AFC playoffs T-1. Las Vegas Raiders (7-4) Scoring stats: 32.09 PF/game (1st), 20.82 PA/game (7th), +11.27 PD/game (3rd) Strength of played schedule: 55-55 (0.500, 13th) Strength of remaining schedule: 27-28 (.491, 18th) Projected record: 10.5-5.5 (Δ -0.9 from midseason) Projected finish: 1st in AFC West, #3 seed in AFC playoffs 3. Denver Broncos (6-5) Scoring stats: 20.18 PF/game (26th), 21.00 PA/game (8th), -0.82 PD/game (19th) Strength of played schedule: 53-57 (0.482, 18th) Strength of remaining schedule: 28-27 (.509, 15th) Projected record: 8.4-7.6 (Δ +0.5 from midseason) Projected finish: 3rd in AFC West, miss playoffs, #17 overall pick 4. Los Angeles Chargers (1-10) Scoring stats: 18.27 PF/game (29th), 33.73 PA/game (32nd), -15.45 PD/game (31st) Strength of played schedule: 44-66 (0.400, 32nd) Strength of remaining schedule: 34-21 (.618, 3rd) Projected record: 2.1-13.9 (Δ +0.9 from midseason) Projected finish: 4th in AFC West, miss playoffs, #2 overall pick plus Indianapolis's projected #7 overall pick Projected AFC Playoffs #3 Las Vegas Raiders (-7) over #6 Kansas City Chiefs #5 New York Jets over #4 Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) #1 Miami Dolphins (-6.5) over #5 New York Jets #3 Las Vegas Raiders over #2 Tennessee Titans (+2) #1 Miami Dolphins (-3) over #3 Las Vegas Raiders ************************************************************************************************************************************ NFC East 1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) Scoring stats: 27.27 PF/game (9th), 19.45 PA/game (5th), +7.82 PD/game (5th) Strength of played schedule: 58-52 (0.527, 9th) Strength of remaining schedule: 22-33 (.400, 27th) Projected record: 11.4-4.6 (Δ -1.1 from midseason) Projected finish: 1st in NFC East, #3 seed in NFC playoffs 2. Dallas Cowboys (7-4) Scoring stats: 24.55 PF/game (14th), 16.64 PA/game (2nd), +7.91 PD/game (4th) Strength of played schedule: 71-39 (0.645, 1st) Strength of remaining schedule: 22-33 (.400, 27th) Projected record: 10.7-5.3 (Δ +0.2 from midseason) Projected finish: 2nd in NFC East, #5 seed in NFC playoffs 3. Washington Football Club (6-5) Scoring stats: 23.91 PF/game (19th), 23.55 PA/game (15th), +0.36 PD/game (15th) Strength of played schedule: 53-57 (0.482, 18th) Strength of remaining schedule: 30-25 (.545, 8th) Projected record: 8.3-7.7 (Δ +0.4 from midseason) Projected finish: 3rd in NFC East, miss playoffs, #16 overall pick 4. New York Giants (1-10) Scoring stats: 13.82 PF/game (32nd), 29.91 PA/game (29th), -16.09 PD/game (32nd) Strength of played schedule: 55-55 (0.500, 13th) Strength of remaining schedule: 34-21 (.618, 3rd) Projected record: 1.9-14.1 (Δ -0.3 from midseason) Projected finish: #4 in NFC East, miss playoffs, #1 overall pick NFC North 1. Green Bay Packers (10-1) Scoring stats: 24.00 PF/game (18th), 16.73 PA/game (3rd), +7.27 PD/game (6th) Strength of played schedule: 47-63 (0.427, 30th) Strength of remaining schedule: 29-26 (.527, 13th) Projected record: 13.0-3.0 (Δ -0.3 from midseason) Projected finish: 1st in NFC North, #1 seed in NFC playoffs 2. Chicago Bears (6-5) Scoring stats: 22.09 PF/game (22nd), 24.36 PA/game (16th), -2.27 PD/game (21st) Strength of played schedule: 46-64 (0.418, 31st) Strength of remaining schedule: 28-27 (.509, 15th) Projected record: 8.5-7.5 (Δ -0.9 from midseason) Projected finish: 2nd in NFC North, miss playoffs, #18 overall pick T-3. Detroit Lions (4-7) Scoring stats: 19.73 PF/game (27th), 22.00 PA/game (10th), -2.27 PD/game (21st) Strength of played schedule: 57-53 (0.518, 12th) Strength of remaining schedule: 26-29 (.473, 21st) Projected record: 6.7-9.3 (Δ +0.3 from midseason) Projected finish: 3rd in NFC North, miss playoffs, #10 overall pick T-3. Minnesota Vikings (4-7) Scoring stats: 21.18 PF/game (24th), 26.36 PA/game (24th), -5.18 PD/game (26th) Strength of played schedule: 60-50 (0.545, 6th) Strength of remaining schedule: 20-35 (.364, 32nd) Projected record: 6.1-9.9 (Δ +0.9 from midseason) Projected finish: 4th in NFC North, miss playoffs, #9 overall pick NFC South T-1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4) Scoring stats: 28.00 PF/game (7th), 25.27 PA/game (20th), +2.73 PD/game (10th) Strength of played schedule: 61-49 (0.555, 4th) Strength of remaining schedule: 27-28 (.491, 18th) Projected record: 9.67-6.33 (Δ +0.6 from midseason) Projected finish: 2nd in NFC South, #6 seed in NFC playoffs T-1. Atlanta Falcons (7-4) Scoring stats: 24.45 PF/game (15th), 21.91 PA/game (9th), +2.55 PD/game (11th) Strength of played schedule: 51-59 (0.464, 25th) Strength of remaining schedule: 35-20 (.636, 2nd) Projected record: 9.2-6.8 (Δ +2.6 from midseason) Projected finish: 3rd in NFC South, miss playoffs, #20 overall pick T-1. Carolina Panthers (7-4) Scoring stats: 27.27 PF/game (9th), 24.91 PA/game (19th), +2.36 PD/game (12th) Strength of played schedule: 66-44 (0.600, 2nd) Strength of remaining schedule: 32-23 (.582, 5th) Projected record: 9.72-6.28 (Δ +0.4 from midseason) Projected finish: 1st in NFC South, #4 seed in NFC playoffs 4. New Orleans Saints (6-5) Scoring stats: 24.91 PF/game (13th), 26.55 PA/game (25th), -1.64 PD/game (20th) Strength of played schedule: 64-46 (0.582, 3rd) Strength of remaining schedule: 24-31 (.436, 23rd) Projected record: 8.7-7.3 (Δ -0.4 from midseason) Projected finish: 4th in NFC South, miss playoffs, #19 overall pick NFC West 1. Los Angeles Rams (9-2) Scoring stats: 29.64 PF/game (5th), 17.36 PA/game (4th), +12.27 PD/game (2nd) Strength of played schedule: 54-56 (0.491, 17th) Strength of remaining schedule: 28-27 (.509, 15th) Projected record: 12.5-3.5 (Δ +1.7 from midseason) Projected finish: #1 in NFC West, #2 seed in NFC playoffs 2. Arizona Cardinals (4-7) Scoring stats: 18.55 PF/game (28th), 26.18 PA/game (23rd), -7.64 PD/game (28th) Strength of played schedule: 49-61 (0.445, 27th) Strength of remaining schedule: 36-19 (.655, 1st) Projected record: 5.6-10.4 (Δ -0.5 from midseason) Projected finish: 2nd in NFC west, miss playoffs, #8 overall pick conveyed to Buffalo, offset by the addition of Seattle's projected #4 overall pick T-3. San Francisco 49ers (3-8) Scoring stats: 24.09 PF/game (16th), 28.36 PA/game (28th), -4.27 PD/game (25th) Strength of played schedule: 59-51 (0.536, 8th) Strength of remaining schedule: 30-25 (.545, 8th) Projected record: 5.1-10.9 (Δ -0.1 from midseason) Projected finish: 3rd in NFC West, miss playoffs, #6 overall pick T-3. Seattle Seahawks (3-8) Scoring stats: 17.64 PF/game (31st), 23.45 PA/game (13th), -5.82 PD/game (27th) Strength of played schedule: 52-58 (0.473, 22nd) Strength of remaining schedule: 30-25 (.545, 8th) Projected record: 4.8-11.2 (Δ -1.6 from midseason) Projected finish: 4th in NFC West, miss playoffs, #4 overall pick conveyed to Arizona Projected NFC Playoffs #3 Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) over #6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers #5 Dallas Cowboys over #4 Carolina Panthers (+2.5) #2 Los Angeles Rams (-3) over #3 Philadelphia Eagles #5 Dallas Cowboys over #1 Green Bay Packers (+2) #2 Los Angeles Rams (-1.5) over #5 Dallas Cowboys ************************************************************************************************************************************ Projected Super Bowl Miami Dolphins (-2) over Los Angeles Rams That does it for this edition of By the Numbers. Until next time, whenever that time may be!
  14. 28 points
    Akiem Williams III, affectionally known as AW3 has captured the hearts and minds of football fans in Clemson, SC, Dallas, TX, and everywhere in-between. The junior college star quarterback will be making his final decision any day now, with Clemson and SMU as his two finalists. We spoke to national recruiting analysts and experts to breakdown his game and predict where the nation's top junior college player will sign. Frankie Thornton, 247sports.com When I look at Akiem Williams, I see an instant impact type player. He's got all the intangibles in the world and will immediately be atop the depth chart at whichever school he attends. His biggest strength by far is his size. He's every bit of 6'3" 235 lbs and is a terror for defensive players to bring down. When he gets into the open field, he doesn't shy away from contact and uses his linebacker frame to punish opposing defenders. He might not have track speed, but with his skillset he certainly doesn't need it. PREDICTION: SMU John Blever, Rivals.com Williams is elite - there's no other way to put it. He's big enough, strong enough, and has all the tools to be an NFLHC quarterback someday. A lot of folks talk about his ability to extend plays with his legs, but I think his arm strength doesn't get talked about enough. He's got a Howitzer attached to his right shoulder and he's not afraid to use it. Does that mean he sometimes tries to fit throws into tight spaces? Sure, but more often than not, he's right on the money. He'll bring an immediate boost to whichever roster he picks and already has NFLHC scouts salivating. PREDICTION: Clemson SCHOOL COMPARISON (all ratings before progressions and * denotes a signee) Biggest competition: QB Frederick Snyder 6-4 227 Fr Grady (Atlanta GA) 3.0 of 4.0 [Hybrid] - QB Marcus Burden 6-5 229 Fr Van Alstyne (Van Alstyne TX) 1.0 of 5.0 [Hybrid] - ADVANTAGE: NEITHER Best weapons WR Andrew Harrison 6-0 230 (Fr) Orangeburg-Wilkinson (Orangeburg SC) 2.0 of 5.0 [Target] WR Theo Chamberlain 6-5 213 Fr Hoggard (Wilmington NC) 3.0 of 5.0 [Target]* WR Sawyer Vogel 6-5 233 Fr Tucker (Tucker GA) 1.0 of 4.5 [Target] - WR Gabriel Munson 6-1 204 Jr Arkansas Baptist (Little Rock AR) 4.0 of 4.5 [Target]* WR Aidan Blount 5-10 178 (So) Bonham (Bonham, TX) 3.0 of 4.5 [Speed] WR Devin Samuel 6-1 220 Fr Willowridge (Sugar Land TX) 1.0 of 5.0 [Target] RB Josiah Brock 5-6 193 (Fr) White Knoll (Lexington SC) 2.0 of 4.5 [Speed] - RB Stephen Cunningham 5-11 194 (Fr) Henrietta (Henrietta TX) 2.5 of 5.0 [Power] TE Kisona Vailopa 6-3 239 Fr Meigs County (Decatur TN) 3.0 of 5.0 [Blocking] - TE Timothy Jennings 6-0 242 (Fr) Iraan (Iraan TX) 2.0 of 5.0 [Blocking] - ADVANTAGE: Offensive line OT Matt Maynard 6-6 314 Fr Cook (Adel GA) 1.0 of 5.0 [Pass Blocking] OG Philip Bowden 6-7 272 Fr Loganville (Loganville GA) 1.0 of 5.0 [Pass Blocking] C Byron Alexander 6-3 299 Fr Rock Hill (Rock Hill SC) 3.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking] OG Philip Bowden 6-7 272 Fr Loganville (Loganville GA) 1.0 of 5.0 [Pass Blocking] OT Ivan Schultz 6-7 303 (Fr) Crescent (Iva SC) 2.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] - OT Terrell McRae 6-4 276 (Jr) Quinton (Quinton, OK) 4.5 of 4.5 [Pass Blocking] OG Derek Quintana 6-4 338 Fr Mesquite (Mesquite TX) 3.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking] C Martin Rush 6-1 255 Fr Longview (Longview TX) 3.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] OG Jeremiah Berman 6-1 263 (Jr) Joaquin (Joaquin, TX) 4.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking] OT Jonathan Lang 6-3 322 Fr Robert E. Lee (Midland TX) 1.0 of 5.0 [Pass Blocking] - ADVANTAGE: Distance: - 871 miles (Clemson, SC -> Hutchinson, KS) - 367 miles (Dallas, TX -> Hutchinson, KS) - ADVANTAGE: Williams says his decision could come "any day now" Stay tuned.
  15. 28 points
    Sometimes in life, you have to learn to embrace the suck. Every team wants its fair share of fame and glory, winning trophies and becoming household names. Here's a chance for the little guys to get just that, if by trophies you mean a leather boot or something, and if by household names, you mean on the tip of everyone's tongue when "The Bottom 10" is brought up in conversation. Yes, this is truly the best of the best worst of the worst; a truly magical place where the forgettable 1-2 win teams can finally be remembered. Our Week 1 list is sponsored by Paul Davenport Fund, whose sole purpose is to provide the Giants with enough money to end the Davenport holdout. Also included in our sponsors is, as always, Imposter Studios. Now on to our coveted list. *Disclaimer: this list is all satire and not meant to call coaches out for being bad or to hop on the circle jerk against people. This is my list simply to poke fun at teams for either being bad or for having very questionable results. 1. Charlotte 0-and-1ers (0-1) I found myself amongst a crowd of Charlotte fans while studying for finals. As it turns out, they were just waiting for the Hornets' game to come on, but they all gasped when offensive tackle Elliot Doss went down with a "notable" injury. I looked over to see a few shrugs and hear a few groans, but a certain fan approached me and asked a very eye-opening question. "Where would we be without Billings?" Well, I can tell you that you guys are losing to App State with Billings, so I don't want you to think about where you'd be without him. But hey, I heard the Giants are looking for a quarterback, Chris. At least they have an offensive line to protect you! 2. South Alabama Baguars (0-1) There weren't many disastrous results in these opening weeks, but something tells me that the people of Mobile, Alabama and Columbia, South Carolina have a thing for the antichrist. Whereas the Gamecocks found pleasure in taking a stick to the new kids in the South, the Baguars found immense pleasure in sacrificing their possession to appease their god, which at this point might be Khan, the three-year old jaguar located in Birmingham. 3. UMess Minutemen (0-1) They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. The mighty offense of UMess tried to ignore that saying, switching up offensive schemes from the smashmouth-like style from a year ago to a more air raid-like style to open this season. Unsurprisingly, UMess continued to look like a mess, turning the ball over a stunning four times as those pesky Wolf Pack out of Reno ran away in their home opener. Look on the bright side UMess! You might've affected their game against Troy next week. That's a win, right? 4. Liberty Flamed Out (0-1) It's not often that I complement a new team for a performance. After all, Liberty was expected to get blown out in most of their games this year. Through the first quarter, they were looking legit enough to possibly win a game or two. Then came the dreaded second quarter, where the offensive line lived up to the team name and flamed out. It was truly a sight to behold; it was so mesmerizing that I just had to include Liberty on here. 5. UNLV Reb-Ls (0-1) Noel Minor was a major part of whatever this team called an offense. His departure last season left the Reb-Ls with the classy Emmanuel Turner-Darby, giving UNLV a goal to meet in every game. If the Reb-Ls can score more points than Turner-Darby has names, they can consider that game a moral victory. So really they should be 1-0 after doubling that count against BYU, yes? 6. UAB Blamers (0-1) Similarly to the Reb-Ls, the Blamers also brought in a three-named player to run the offense, this time in radioactive quarterback Elijah Currie-Madison, who also happens to be majoring in chemistry at the university. After watching Currie-Madison and the Lamers struggle early and often to keep up with Oregon State, I had to ask myself why Currie-Madison doesn't make radioactive spiders or something and help his team figure out how to play football. Then I realized that movies don't define real life and I should stick to watching football. Then I realized that football wasn't being played in this game. 7. Tulame (0-1) The Green Wave of Tulame had to make the short-ish trip to Houston to play the Rice Owls this weekend. I've heard from my always-reliable sources in New Orleans that Tulame likes to enter the stadium on actual waves, which is pretty sweet in theory. Unfortunately, you can lose stuff in the waves if you're not careful, and Tulame just happened to lose their entire defense before stepping on to the field. 8. Boys of Troy (0-1) People stressed their concern about this list being full of Sun Belt teams. I'm not that much of a hater, but I had to select the Boys of Troy Trojans after losing arguably the most winnable game on their schedule in ULM, and in overtime nonetheless. Fear not, Boys of Troy. The people of CFBHC are already circling the Bottom Ten Game of the Year in Week 12, when your Boys of Troy travel to Amherst to take on might UMess. 9. FA-Yew Fighting Randys (0-1) It sucks to end up on here because your coach left you for a better team right before the opening of the season. It's like a bad breakup from your end while your partner really couldn't care less after only being there for a season. They may have been winners on the recruiting trail last year, but it's still going to take a while for that to show on the field, so we're gonna get to see the FA-Yew of old for a long time, assuming they don't find a coach somehow. FA-Yew was never going to be great, but surely they wouldn't have lost to Utah State if randy was there, right? Right?! 10. South Flawrida (0-1) The Bulls of South Flawrida recruited the help of Wile E. Coyote after losing a lot of talent from their 11-win season last year. The traps they set for the UTSA Roadrunners were about as effective as they were when Mr. Coyote deployed them against Road Runner. For anyone without a sense of culture, this means that UTSA pretty much avoided these traps en route to a victory over South Flawrida. Needless to say, USF should probably get rid of Mr. Coyote if they expect to win games they're supposed to win this year. Honorable Mentions: Cincinnati Bearcats Redhawks (0-1), O-1DU (0-1), Tulsa Golden HurriCanes (0-1), State of Kent (0-1), Build-An-OLineTM (0-1) Editor's Note: Let me know what you think in the comments and what I can improve on when it comes to these. I'm always looking to improve the media I put out!
  16. 28 points
    bingo415

    [2021] Pre-Week 1 Power Rankings

    Lots of changes this offseason. Lots of changes in the inner-workings of the NFLHC system, and plenty of changes to franchise front offices and personnel. That makes for the most wide-open season in recent memory. By my reckoning, any of about 8 teams can win the title...and that's NOT counting a Green Bay-like rise from the ashes. Here's to a new season, full of ups and downs, heartbreaks and happy endings. Let's get it on! 1. Green Bay Packers Call me crazy, but render unto Caesar what is rightfully Caesar’s. Absolutely no one saw the Packers winning it all last season at the start of 2020--an incredible job by inspiral in two short seasons with his beloved Pack. 2. Oakland Las Vegas Raiders Ugh. Although it seems impossible, the Raiders actually got better in the offseason. Nick Hall has an actual back-up QB in Lawyer Johnson, Major Morris and Shah Vereen have a year of seasoning (a recurring theme in this Rankings), and Malcolm Davis and A’Shawn Ellison look like two fantastic prospects on offense and defense, respectively. God, I hate the Raiders. 3. Los Angeles Rams Arguably the best regular season team in 2020, the Rams doubled-down on their pass-first offense by re-signing all their big names. True, they didn’t really address the run game, but it may not matter since basically everybody is back, including the Front Office. Look for the Rams to fly high again. 4. Jacksonville Jaguars A big jump up for a team that made serious moves in the offseason AND let all their young talent develop together. Soluna and UBL’s men could very well upset the AFC apple cart of Raiders/Jets/Colts and win it all this season. The addition of Ron Rice may be just the piece they need. 5. Indianapolis Colts The other marquee AFC South team to add an impact DE this offseason, the Colts and Anthony Miller are almost TOO good a fit. Aaron Shea has MVP written all over him, and the addition of a serviceable running game may ultimately bring balance to this force of nature squad. 6. Carolina Panthers The Panthers did…basically nothing this offseason, choosing to go for broke with the unified team that lead them to the #1 seed in the loaded NFC last year. Losing Rice will hurt, no doubt, but Skaggs finally got the Playoff Win monkey off his back. Will that free him up to be EVEN MORE SKAGGS? Is that even possible? While the PanthStars are #6 right now, look for them to finish somewhere in the Top 10, but not in the Top 5…(hot take). 7. New York Jets The Jets lost some pieces in the offseason, some by choice (Charlie Paul), some not (Zion Adakwa), so it remains to be seen how the new pieces (a couple excellent new WR options) adjust to new surroundings. However, I wouldn’t bet against Jumbo and Gravy. They’ve been too good for too long. Though they’ll have to hold off the hard-charging Dolphins in the East to keep their crown. 8. Philadelphia Eagles I have basically no proof for this selection, seeing as they missed the playoffs and didn’t REALLY have a big offseason. But they just have so much amassed talent, both on offense (where the passing game should improve due to a more reliable running back committee) and defense (Martin Whiting and Rodrick Milligan are two of the best LBs in the conference). Eagles gonna fly this year, methinks. 9. Miami Dolphins No team had a BETTER offseason than Miami. They got all their top talent re-signed. They drafted incredibly well (hello JC Weldon!), and had all the right free agent and training camp info break their way. Plus, Smackems is figuring out this team. A little birdie says that the Dolphins will be battling the Colts, Jags, and Raiders for supremacy in the AFC this season. 10. Dallas Cowboys Some unknowns dot the Cowboys landscape this season, but there is enough on the good side of the ledger to not drop them too far from their second round playoff exit. Graham Burnett could very well be the real deal, but we just don’t know. At least TRod, with his lower ceiling but higher floor, was a known quantity. But really, it doesn’t matter when you’re gonna hand off to Abraham and Robinson running behind that Offensive Line. 11. Detroit Lions Lurking in the background this offseason, the biggest tremor for the Lions was losing Franz Kafka from the GM seat. The Lions have some excellent pieces and we now know Rob LeCount’s ceiling (12 wins, maybe a Playoff win or two), so it will be interesting to see if the talent around him develops or stagnates. Slinky/Jacobs are still a formidable combo in the FO, but have they given their team enough JUICE this offseason? 12. San Francisco 49ers This is another NFC team that seemed to float a bit this offseason: no marquee moves, no grand turnover, just trusting the development of a solid roster (even if McCray seems to have stalled, slightly). The Front Office is great, Duncan is a consistently solid coach, this feels a bit like the Jets of the NFC. The ONLY question mark: how will the rookie at Center handle the burden of directing the OLine at this increased speed of the pros? 13. Denver Broncos A talented team that has endured a bit of a rocky offseason. Training Camp sluggishness and a shift in the Front Office right before the draft leaves a distinctly acrid aroma around the Mile High HQ entering 2021. The staff feels good about Deyonte Davis bookending Chuck Johnson, and we love the offensive skill positions plus the line. The defensive secondary will once again be the great unknown for this team. In Jieret We Trust, and if he can figure out the backend, this team could be special. 14. Tennessee Titans The Titans got a LOT better this offseason, picking up a QB, further building around Tyler Jones (who WILL be the Defensive MOP this season), and simply getting healthy. Wheeler is gonna LOVE throwing to Kevin Williams and company, and Bubada’s stat-laden roster building will begin to see some serious upside very soon. Just too damn bad they play in the same division as the Colts/Jags. Otherwise… 15. Atlanta Falcons This may be way too low for the Falcons, who still have a roster littered with studs. The loss of R.C. Rone will be bigger than some realize, as he held that entire unit together. But that may be offset slightly by the emergence of Eric Jennings on the DLine opposite Early Davis. And…it appears Akili Wallace is going to get to 10 wins or he’ll strangle someone. 16. Seattle Seahawks Team Transition in the NFC West sees a sea change in their roster entering 2021. Jarius Jones was very good when healthy last season, and the defense surprised with sack masters Jordan and Glenn. But Jordan left in free agency, and the Hawks are pinning some big hopes on Josiah McCray at WR2. Here’s hoping their young but promising OLine keeps Jones upright and creates some seams for Booker T. and Marcus Williams. Their stellar LBs may have to have career seasons AGAIN for them to stay with opposing offenses in the toughest division in football. 17. Baltimore Ravens While the Ravens won the ‘competitive’ AFC North last season and had a good showing in the Playoffs, getting rid of Watkins and relying on Brett Fisher might be too much a change this season to remain in that lofty place. While I certainly think it is the best move for the future of the franchise, I think the Ravens simply take a step back this year. I see 7-9, 8-8 if their lucky, and on the strength of that defense. 18. Houston Texans Rome, in his ever-tinkering fashion, has his hands on some seriously impressive chess pieces. Can he put together the right series of moves to deliver what cmcgill is looking for in Houston: the Playoffs? Here’s guessing the answer to that question is “yes…eventually.” I see 9-7 for the Texans, with their incredibly tough division slate hindering what will otherwise be a solid campaign. Leshoure for MVP…in 2025. 19. Arizona Cardinals This is the hardest team in the league to rank. There’s really amazing stuff happening in Arizona, with a great GM and a consistently good head coach. But the pieces seem to be individually greater than the sum of their parts. Will Taylor Rodriguez equally his under-the-radar efficiency of 2020 throwing to THIS crew of WRs? Will the investments on defense turn into a cohesive unit that flies to the ball? Obviously, the youthful talent is intriguing, but it seems that 2021 will be more of the same as 2020, but with a bit more stability in the QB slot. 20. Kansas City Chiefs Another tinkerer, Mimsy is seriously rolling the dice this year: Is Erasmus McCready a starting QB in the AFC West? Does it matter, when you have Terrence Rodgers (who absolutely MUST get 25 carries a game)? How will the reshaped defense hold up facing the Broncos and Raiders 4 total times? Anything from 4-12 to 10-6 is possible with this team…I’m dead serious. Here’s guessing it is closer to the former than the latter. 21. Washington Football Team Hello, Football Player! Meet your new teammate! All the new faces around D.C. must feel like the first weeks of college—new QB Tanner Bowman being protected by new LT Walter Adair is just the most critical of the new teammate interactions in the early part of this season. Washington opens with a tricky schedule—first action versus a Denver team that knows itself pretty well. They’ll find out quickly if they have the right stuff cooking there on the Potomac. 22. New Orleans Saints The Saints are my pick for Most Pleasant Surprise of 2021, for two reasons: the defense can’t be worse (and in fact will be better…Garrett Holliday will help there), and Vollmagnet is the coach. Voll just gets it. He’s the primary reason why Devereaux-Jenkins-Brown-Miller-Delaney will get to…ready for it…8 wins. The Saints are back, and they’ll have some stinkers, but they’ll also sneak up and bite a few folks. 23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Like their NFC South brothers in New Orleans, the Bucs appear to ready for a little renaissance as well. How much of a bump up will depend on how much Weeze56m relies on DNJ to take the heat off of Taylor Heiden. It really is Heiden’s put up or shut up year. Can he will this team back to respectability? Will he allow Jackson to help? Can the defense, which still has unreal talent in places, stiffen up and stop letting folks walk all over them? Says here the Bucs have a nice year. I sure hope so. 24. Cleveland Browns Honestly, this is the LEAST volatile team in the most volatile division in the League. Just with slightly less high a ceiling as the Ravens. Since the Clark holdout, the Browns have mostly made the right moves. We’ll see if it pays off. But even then, this roster seems tailor made for 6-10. So, given their division, I’ll say 5-11 seems right. 25. Minnesota Vikings This very much feels like Vardell’s last shot at a big splash. The Vikings, in an unusual display of clarity, went out and drafted Vardell a real weapon in Luke Cobb. Currently in the slot, Cobb should provide a boost…how big of one is up to the OLine, which is long in the tooth. The defense MUST get pressure on opposing QBs or its going to be a long season on that side of the ball. The Vikes could jump up to 7 wins…maybe. The NFC North got better, mostly, so we’ll see how that impacts the Vikings as the 3rd best team there. 26. Pittsburgh Steelers The ownership struggles one week before the season starts are just too damn bad. Letting Davenport hold out for a whole year is crushing to morale, and probably the least smart roster move by talent: Rob Corp is serviceable, Davenport is special. Yes, he wanted too much money, but you gotta get something out a talent like his… Whomever goes on to own and coach this team will have some work to do, but will have a solid roster to do it with--IF they can put it all together. BIG IF. 27. Los Angeles Chargers I’m happy to say that this is probably too low for the La Jolla Chargers of Los Angeles County. They had a tremendous offseason—easy to do when drafting Shane Easley—and while it’s too bad to let Anthony Miller go, it may be addition by subtraction, given the scheme shift. Matty Swift is going to have ups and downs again, but little by little, Pumph is doing good things here. I’d say 4 wins would be pretty solid, and 5 would be darn magic spell. Take it and run with it. 28. Chicago Bears This is definitely too low for the Bears, but the Brooksheer/MoFo conundrum is too much to overlook. The Bears needed playmakers on defense (outside of Ivory Hall) and they needed help on the OLine. They really got neither in the draft and none in free agency. So…how did they get better? Remains to be seen. Right now, I’ve got them slotted into the penultimate spot in the NFC rankings. 29. New England Patriots Werner or Watkins? Which octogenarian will be slinging the rock in Foxboro? Does it matter, since the organization seems forever on the cusp of derailing. Plus they have to play the Dolphins twice, the Jets twice, and do so without any semblance of an identity, on offense or defense. 30. Buffalo Bills See: New England Patriots. 31. New York Giants This team is in a free-fall. Ownership change, bad player and cap management, and iffy coaching have left the Giants in the basement of the NFC. In fact they are indeed lucky that the following team just imploded… 32. Cincinnati Bengals Cancelled games? Really?! C’mon, man. Even after the change in ownership, there are still doubts that this team will be run effectively. Hell, I’m concerned we may have cancelled REGULAR SEASON games when the Bengals are involved. All that talent, and no way out…
  17. 26 points
    10 Things I Like and Don’t Like, Inaugural and Preseason Edition What a week this was in the land of sports! Now, Ten Things I like and Don’t like this week: 1) Randye Returns to big time football Of couse, legendary 2 time national champion Randye had never fully left coaching. I don’t think he could do that if he tried. Football runs in his veins. He needs football, but not more than football needs him. And that is why everyone involved with college football is ecstatic at the return of Coach Randye to the national stage. Randye had spent one season at FAU in an almost self imposed exile, and many people thought this could be his last stop. But with the abrupt retirement of Coach Panther from Oklahoma State, Coach Randye chose to join the Big 12. Randye joining the team will help shake up the race for the Big 12 this year, and change the course of the conference. Oklahoma State fans have to be excited about getting a huge upgrade of a coach. And we around college football are all excited to have Coach Randye back in the spotlight. *update, Oklahoma State lost their first game with Randye officially as coach. No clue if he was able to gameplan 2) Pulled Pork vs Brisket America is the best country in the world. There are certain things that make America the best country in the world. Democracy, Beyonce, Jazz Music, The Iphone, the 101st Airborne. Down here in North Carolina, we know that arguably the greatest accomplishment in American History (yes, including the Moon Landing), is Pulled Pork Barbecue. Now Brisket will make a good meal from time to time. However, in the opinion of most civilized people, Pork is King. Brisket is like a Count. 3) The Giants trade for Kicker Tyler Oliva Trading for a kicker can sometimes be a great deal. Take the trade the Panthers made for Skip Gibson as an example. The Panthers fixed a major hole in their team, in exchange for an outstanding kicker. Usually trading a future 7th round pick shouldn’t make a blip on the radar of the league. But this trade the New York Giants made for rookie, undrafted kicker Tyler Oliva was one of the most talked about trades of the last week. Trading a future 7th round pick for a guy who was going to be waived, seems short sighted. The 7th round pick by itself may not have been super valuable, but in a trade package it could have more value. Maybe Oliva could be a solid future NFL player. But he’s a project. And is it worth it to have a project at the kicker position? Only time can tell, but I don’t believe in just throwing away picks and seeing what sticks. *update, Oliva was 0/2 on field goals in week 1 4) QBs changing teams New New England Patriots QB Reggie Watkins is one of the most respected players in the league. He isn’t a star player in the NFLHC, but he is someone who could contend for the Man of the Year Award every year, and he is a solid football player. The Ravens were obviously very conflicted over whether they should start Reggie Watkins or Brett Fisher start this year, and ultimately they made the choice to go young. This decision is probably wise especially with the injuries the Ravens have. While they have a chance at a division spot, it is hard to imagine them making a playoff run. Getting Fisher some run could be good. Another QB that changed teams recently was Paul Davenport. Davenport was engaged in a hold out with the Steelers, and the Steelers seemed to have forgotten about them. After the surprise sale of the Steelers to SageBow, Davenport was shortly on the move to the Giants. While the Giants had already traded for a QB (who did not perform well week one), the Giants were able to get him at a low cost. Since RJ Stanford was slated to be a backup this season, and likely had no future with the team, trading him for Davenport was a low risk situation. The only pressure on the Giants now is trying to get Davenport to play this year, which isn’t a given. It is hard to believe that Davenport would sit out a whole season. It would be good of him to play some this year to give an audition for his new ball club, as well for other prospective teams in free agency. 5) QB Market Now that Davenport and Watkins are off the market, we should look at some other QBs who could be targets for teams if injuries strike. First of all, there are teams that have confidence in their backup QBs, and others who might not prioritize winning should their starter get hurt, and other teams are openly tanking and wouldn’t trade for a QB regardless. The only teams that would realistically trade for a starter quality QB, or sign a QB to be a starter midseason, are teams that are playoff contenders. And then there are teams that simply wouldn’t pay the price that some teams may set What all that means, is that only a few teams could possibly need to trade for or sign a QB, and it is possible that no teams will have the need or want to do so. But we can talk about it anyways. Thomas Wheeler was probably the biggest name in free agency this year, and he got snapped up with a large contract. No other QBs garned much interest in free agency, and received very small contracts this year. Former Pat Lawyer Johnson, and former Brown and Seahawk Alexander Williams both ended up as backups on cheap deals. Blake Shell is still currently a free agent, but former Falcon and Redskin Javier Fields is on the verge of being signed. In 2020, Shell was a backup and Fields, Williams, and Johnson were all bad. It is tough to imagine a team making a move for one of them. This leads us to the QBs on current rosters, where the list is fairly clear on who could be a target. The clear 2 best possible “available” QBs currently on NFL rosters are most likely Norris Brooksheer and Alex Bridgewater. If a team tries to trade for one of them, there will most likely be a high price tag however. Alternatively, QBs like Darren Werner or Kareem Taylor could be an option at a lower price. It is hard at this point to imagine a team trading for a QB due to an injury, but with no options in free agency, if a team doesn’t trust the backup, heavy prices may have to be paid. But ultimately, a trade would only seem likely if that team has a chance at the playoffs, and most likely would only happen if that team’s QB had a chance to come back, or the team felt they were only a solid QB performance away from contending. 6) Fun Belt action Winning will not come much for Sun Belt teams when they play against non conference opponents this year. Growing pains are to be expected for this infant conference, especially as teams lept to play them, in order to get an easy win against overmatched competition. Most teams were able to follow this script easily. But of course, sometimes God laughs when we tell him of our plans. And that was the case for the Charlotte 49ers, who became Appalachian State’s first victim in their program’s history. While Charlotte is not a particularly talented team, losing to the Mountaineers, at home too, will make fans very pessimistic to start the season. For App State fans, this win will make you feel good. Teams rarely get to have perfect all time records, and App State should relish this moment. 7) Happy Birthday CFBHC We recently had the birthday of CFBHC. This site has been a great addition to many people’s lives, a great social platform, and a great place to share our passion for sports. While some of us may hide this site from girlfriends and others have no love life to speak of, we can all find common ground in our appreciation for this site. Thank you Soluna, and Happy Birthday CFBHC. 8) Wyoming Football The Ghost of GK is present in everyday life in the plains of Wyoming. Wyoming has been considered an untouchable job, even before GK swept through there. Recent Wyoming history has been focused on GK’s surprising decision to move there from LA Tech, and the barren wasteland that is Wyoming recruiting. Moral victories can often seem hollow in sports, where wins and losses are the only thing recorded in the record books. But Wyoming’s performance against Georgia in AlexFall’s debut, will inject new energy into the program even in a loss. Wyoming is a program that is always close to fading into obscurity, but at least for 1 week, AlexFall’s Wyoming team will get some shine. No one knows how long he will be at Wyoming, but I’m sure from now on, his games will be watched with great interest for the next few weeks. 9) Rollin up the suspensions The Miami Hurricanes were forced to suspend 2 student athletes for one game after they were found with marijuana in campus housing. There are people who may defend the players, saying that our policies for marijuana are misguided. While there may be truth to that idea, the student athletes’ actions more than warranted this suspension. Students generally know their campuses policy on marijuana usage, and student athletes need to be extra certain of these policies. The biggest issue I have with the student athletes behavior, isn’t the use of marijuana strictly. The biggest issues are, one the players made decisions that hurt their team and could harm their future. One of the student athletes likely would not receive much significant playing time in general, either now or in the future, but the other one had pro aspirations and likely hurt his chances of playing on Sundays by being caught. Secondly, the student athletes made the decision to use marijuana on school property, and in an area where detection was very likely. Coach ajyoungmark’s suspension of 1 game for these two student athletes is fair, I guess, but it was an easy decision for Coach to make. *this publication does not mention names of players suspended 10) NFLHC has started The 2021 NFLHC season has officially started. When season’s start, many teams think that they have that magic formula to win a Super Bowl. Some teams have no hope in their team. Others really don’t know what to expect. Unfortunately for most of the teams that think they have the magic formula to win, your season is already over. It is silly to predict a winner in NFLHC this soon into the season. However I will predict the Super Bowl Winner for the 2021 NFLHC Season. I fully expect to have this thrown in my face when it is inevitably wrong. This team has one of the most underappreciated QBs in the NFLHC (in my opinion), and has a staff that people can only dream of having as a part of their organization. I speak, of course, of future NFLHC Super Bowl Champions…. Los Angeles Rams.
  18. 25 points
    Time

    Roast Me (CFBHC Edition)

    At least he hasn't slowly quickly dismantled the best program in CFBHC history into a team that's 1 gave over .500
  19. 25 points
    Oklahoma State Fans Seek Stability In Coaching Warning: Tweets below contain adult language. For fans of Oklahoma State Cowboys, the 2021 season has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride that everyone is ready to get off of. Before the season started, hype had reached heights that fans had not had in some time. Several mediocre seasons had built up to what looked to be a big leap forward for the program. Early previews already had them pegged as the one Big XII squad to really threaten the clear conference favorite, TCU. However, the season started off rocky. Following the departure of long-time coach panther553212 very early into the season, the university found themselves at a loss. Do they ride out the season with an interim and hope for the best? In this day and age, an interim coach can be a death-sentence for a program that seemed to have all the potential in the world. But what coach would take a job just after the season had begun? The school decided to start the coaching search in earnest. Well the prayers from Stillwater were quickly answered. Legendary coach and two-time national champion randye4 jumped at the opportunity to once again be in the national spotlight. The FAU coach seemed to be the perfect man for the job, but led the team to a 30-33 OT loss against a tough Virginia Tech team. However, the veteran coach got the team firing on all cylinders and stomped all competition in their way. Fan hype was again at an all time high. With a high powered team and a legendary coach at the helm, what could derail a season where fate seemed to be back on their side? Nobody coaches forever. Coaches have an ideal time where they see themselves riding off into the sunset of retirement, but life frequently has other plans. Coach randye4 stepped down following a big win over USC due to life events, leaving fans confused and wondering about the future of their team. The school once again found themselves scrambling to find another coach for the second time in a matter of weeks. It was clear they wouldn't be able to find another Hall of Famer like randye4, and the middle of the season is an even tougher time to get a new coach to come to campus. The school finally wound up picking ZackTyzwyz, the young coach from Utah State, as their third coach for the 2021 season. Largely unproven on the national scene, coach ZackTyzwyz had pulled the Aggies out of the pits of the Mountain West and gotten them to historic season capped off with a first-ever bowl appearance and victory. But the Cowboys were a different beast entirely, and needed a coach that knows how to lead a high-caliber team. Nevertheless, fan's hopes were cautiously optimistic. The administration seemed confident in their new choice, and the new coach inherited a healthy 5-1 team with a winnable game at home against the Kansas Jayhawks to ease into the new job. But the game ended up being a rout, with Kansas blowing out the Cowboys in front of a hopeful home crowd. Things once again seem desperate in Stillwater, and with a tough game at Texas looming overhead on Saturday night, it seems like this roller-coaster ride of a season isn't over yet. See fan reactions captured on social media below (some are explicit):
  20. 25 points
    I am honored to be the next commissioner of the C-USA. I would like to thank all the C-USA coaches that voted and a special thanks to Rocketcan (FIU). I am replacing Isaac829 who was the conference commissioner since the beginning of the C-USA in 2018. I would like to take the foundation he built and maximize our potential as a conference. With coaching stability, we will continue to grow as a conference. I will do my best to produce media (starting with reviving the weekly roundup), ensure that every team has an active coach, and help with the site in any way I can.
  21. 25 points
    10 Things I Like and Don’t Like, Inaugural and Preseason Edition Welcome to the Inaugural 10 Things I Like and Don’t Like. These articles are simple. It is 10 things across the sports world that I like and don’t like. So here we go: 1) The Indianapolis Colts Starting Aaron Shea week 4 of Preseason The Colts see themselves as contenders, especially in a weaker AFC. Starting their star quarterback may have been foolish, it's a definite statement. Yeah, there's a risk involved, but the Colts sent a message to the rest of the conference that Aaron Shea is ready to ball this year. Sure it was against the Chiefs, who don't have an passable pass defense. Sometimes aggressive behavior should be rewarded. And this was an aggressive move by the Colts. The Colts were prepping Shea to begin the season, and he looks to be nice and ready. 2) Multiple preseason games being cancelled this year Several franchises brought themselves to a low point during this preseason by not doing the things that they are obligated to do, and having their games cancelled. Unfortunately, the league had no choice in this. The opponents of these teams who failed in their obligations, were collateral damage and that falls solely on the organizations who did not uphold their responsibilities. One of the organizations involved was forced to change management, which overall benefits the league. It is one thing for teams to be bad, and it is one thing for teams to make bad decisions. But for an organization to be so incompetent that games are forced to be cancelled is something that should never happen. Teams should never force the league to make the decision to cancel games. 3) Several teams avoiding playing starters at all during the preseason There are teams that seem to feel like wrapping their players in bubble wrap and keeping them on the shelf for the whole preseason will be beneficial to their long-term goals. I have to disagree with that. Teams need time to build chemistry, coaches need to be able to experiment with different schemes and personnel and teams need to see if players are still capable of being starters. When teams play preseason so conservatively, it doesn't allow coaches to field the best team. Injuries are a possibility in preseason, but most teams damage their chances at a competitive team if they sit out preseason. Plus it's just downright unentertaining. 4) Addition of Week 0 Games The addition of week 0 games to college football was one of the best decisions that has been made for the game. It allows teams and players to get some hype and work our way into the season slowly. Having week 0 games gives fans a taste of college football, without overwhelming everyone. And there are some damn good football teams playing. Week zero games had a marquee matchup on Thursday, with Clemson and SMU squaring off. Both teams have pedigree and swag, and could contend for their Conference Championship. Both Friday and Saturday have games between title contenders and we'll get to see if these teams are contenders or pretenders. For some of these teams losing the game won't be a killer to their season but for the teams that win it's an immediate resume booster. 5) Zero ACC teams ranked in the Preseason Coaches Poll This one is fairly simple. To get ranked you have to earn it. To be ranked in preseason you have to be talented. The ACC will have opportunities to prove themselves this year but it is a very weak conference. Clemson played a very strong game in week zero as did Duke, but outside of these two teams, Boston College is probably the only other team that has a realistic shot of not only winning the conference, but just being ranked. All is not lost for teams in the ACC, as a weak conference slate could lead to a path to the playoffs for a couple teams. But it's hard to imagine any slip-up being allowed. 6) Money time for TCU and Toledo TCU and Toledo have become easy punching bags for a lot of people. There may be some truth to under performance by these teams over the years but these squads may be the most talented that the schools have had. TCU has a prove it game Week 0 against USC which has also been underperforming team but newly installed Coach Jumbo will help put that team in better positions to win. Toledo likely could not afford a loss this season, mostly because they do not play the same caliber team that TCU will play. They don't play a cupcake schedule by any means, but the MAC simply isn't as strong as the Big 12. Toledo lost a big nemesis this year when the Coach Beeznik left Ohio for the University of Virginia. Both Coach Danger and Coach Death have brought an impressive amount of talent to their teams but recruiting alone can't win games. Personally I believe the hype machine that Toledo and TCU creates makes for a more entertaining college landscape. This is a make-or-break year for both teams. If they do not perform on the field, they will deserve all of the criticism that they receive. 7) Coach Grv413s legacy I think even Coach Grv has started to buy into some of the doubt about his place in football legacy. Besides being a back-to-back national champion, Gravy has also been in back-to-back Super Bowls. Penn State obviously was a talented team, and you can argue they were head and shoulders more talented than the competition. But Gravy also took a team to the Super Bowl twice where that was not the case. There are many other coaches who have had teams with high levels of talent that have underwhelmed. Talent is a good start, a good coach can be the finisher. You can't take away from someone success so easily. Penn State lost a good amount of talent this offseason. If Penn State has success this season, people will have to start to give Gravy credit. 8) The Jacksonville Jaguars Trickery They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But clearly no one told Elder Soluna this. This Jaguars team targeted the players they wanted that would fit his scheme, and did what it took to get these players. Maybe opponents will figure out how to slow down the trick play offense but my bet is that this team will show that they are no one hit wonder. And the biggest secret to this team is this; even if teams can figure the tricks out, this is still a very talented football team that will give opponents lots of trouble. 9) No trade being worked out for the #1 Overall pick Maybe there truly wasn't a deal that this team liked. Maybe teams were not willing to give up that much to move up to the number one spot. However, both Tanner Bowman and Shane Easley were seeing as outstanding, franchise-changing prospects. So it is a bit strange no deal could happen. A casualty of this situation for the Chargers was Anthony Miller. Miller at one time was considered an option for the number one pick. He has a lot of talent and being able to trade down and get a haul, could setback the Chargers, as they may be forced to move more players to fit their scheme. However, this may not just be on the Chargers. There are plenty of teams that should have taken an opportunity to trade up here,but maybe they felt the Chargers were charging too much for this pick and there was a disconnect in the value. Honestly, it feels like the only team that really made out well here was the Colts, who are able to swipe Anthony Miller from the Chargers. 10) Carolina Panthers Offseason Strategy Not all aggressive decision-making should be rewarded. Maybe by the end of the season I'll have changed my tune on both the Colts and the Panthers. Either way, the Panthers, in search of talent on an already talented team, risk destabilizing their locker room. Before this off season the Panthers were easily the most talented team in their division. They remain in that pole position but will chemistry issues bring down their team to a level where others can catch them? The season is long and they still have a lot of talent and should still make the playoffs. But in a tough NFC this move may have cost the Panthers of bye for home field advantage in the playoffs.
  22. 24 points
    The CFBHC Member of the Month Spotlight is an award created to recognize and thank members of the CFBHC community for their supportive efforts to the site's development and future endeavors. Coaches can submit a vote for any member on the sidebar each month and a deserving member of the month will be awarded the first one of the next month. Members of the month will be eligible to receive a CFBHC goodie box once the design has been established and the member is willing to forward me their address. November 2017: @inspiral, Purdue Boilermakers/Green Bay Packers inspiral received 17 votes for Member of the Month for November 2017. inspiral joined CFBHC on January 10, 2014, and, after several quiet months waiting for his expansion Boilermakers to make their mark, began his steadfast journey into one of the few essential core members of the community. Inspiral is our technical rock without whom the sim would still be stuck in a pretty damn dark age. Manual recruiting, manual gameplans, it would not have lasted this long without his donated effort and time. You guys should all be thankful for "that purdue guy" because without him I do not think this place is still here. The interface is one of the things that has brought my life the most joy in the last few years - I mean it. I spent 5 years to develop my vision of CFBHC and seeing something as simple as a digitized line showing the player, his origin, and the schools competing for him in a fully automated recruiting process gives me far more joy than you can imagine. Inspiral works hard behind the scenes, often, and usually thankless. Treat him with respect because honestly without his willingless to help and his love for his work we would not be a community. He deserves far more than he gets. In honor of our nobel prize winning Los Alamos theoretical physicist/ part-time sports software developer may I present the song which honors him the most:
  23. 23 points
    So at the beginning of the 2020 CFBHC season @TuscanSota had the brilliant idea that the losing coach of the "Country Roads Clash" has to record themselves singing John Denver's brilliant song "Country Roads". At the time I was thinking "Sure, why not I mean I have Mohammed Foster and J.C. Weldon and they are only Juniors, I'm not losing to him anytime soon." Yeah, well that didn't work out so well. Anyway - here it is in all its glory. A few things to note: 1. I didn't play an instrument, because I have 0 musical talent. 2. I definitely multi-tasked while recording this video, because who wants to watch me stare at the screen for 4 minutes? 3. The multi-tasking caused me to mess up in the beginning.. Oh well.. 4. It's truly 4 minutes of me singing, you're not missing anything if you don't watch..
  24. 22 points
    Jumbo

    Re-Visiting the 2017 NFLHC Draft

    (Format shamelessly stolen from this article because it's a good format - https://www.footballoutsiders.com/nfl-draft/2018/2012-nfl-draft-six-years-later) At the time, considered the best top of the draft in NFLHC history, the 2017 NFLHC Draft... has not quite lived up to the hype it was once given. It's possible that none of the Big 3 QBs that were taken in the top 5 will be starting at this time next year, although most of the big skill position players worked out to some extent. The depth of this class was... bad to say the least, and overall it didn't work out. But still, with contracts expiring this is an interesting time to look at how the players in the class worked out. Quarterbacks Conventional Wisdom: The big three all had their favorites. Some preferred Oklahoma's Norris Brooksheer, some preferred North Carolina's AJ Jefferson (I was in this camp), and some preferred Iowa's Jarius Jones. Brooksheer was coming off a Heisman season, AJJ was the first big early declaration from the first generated recruiting list, and Jarius had long been a stathead favorite. All three had their pros and cons but everyone thought at least one would pan out compared to what was looked at as a weaker 2016 class (that perception has since flipped). Lawyer Johnson was the most intriguing of the next tier with the highest Wonderlic score recorded by a QB up to that point, and following up the pedigree of Wisconsin QBs set by the Rams' Darrell Murphy and the previous year's #1 pick, the Jets' Erik Wegert. Pitt's James Dale had some hype, and he was the only one to defeat 2016's national champs Notre Dame, but his first round hype was mostly just smoke. Alabama's Erasmus McCready had some love but most just thought that he was a product of the incredibly talented team around him. Some were fans of some of the later round QBs. NC State's Donald Caldwell was a winner despite some of the lack of talent around him. Colorado State's Robert Martin came from a smaller, less competitive conference but put up some incredible stats. Washington's Anthony Newson, despite his low rating, did manage to make it to the national championship in 2016. Dick Cook, Sam Light, and Glen Spencer, all of whom were terrible, all managed to get drafted. At least Spencer was intentionally converted to WR. Highest Pick: Brooksheer, 1st overall to the Bears. Best Player: This is a tough one, because all of the top three did not pan out, Lawyer Johnson didn't either, and none of the late round QBs are sniffing playing time any time soon. The big three are the only three still starting so I'd think it would come from them. Overall, I would have to give it to Brooksheer. Even though he'll be kicked out the door and probably won't be starting for an NFLHC team next year, and the other two of the big three are significantly more likely to still be starting for their respective teams in 2021, he's performing the best of the three of them and has shown the most glimpses of being a passable starter. He's led a Bears team that shouldn't have been sniffing playoff contention pretty damn close, although it's been 5 years and he hasn't done that; his overall stats have been not great but the most consistent; and frankly, I don't think the other two are particularly good although AJJ's 2021 stats are technically the best. Biggest Bust: All three of the Big Three really, but I'd have to go with Jarius Jones. I don't think it's particularly his fault, but going to expansion team Arizona seems to have ruined any potential he had completely. He was just okay for three years, somehow got traded for two first round picks, and has been completely stinking it up in Seattle over the past two years. He's been significantly worse than the other two this year with just a 14 TD - 13 INT ratio. Honorary mention to Lawyer Johnson who was kicked out of New England pretty quickly after getting benched for Bad Davis last year. Best Value: Erasmus McCready was a third round pick and he's starting on a team that could make the playoffs. Let's ignore the 4 TD - 4 INT ratio in 9 starts, but that's still pretty passable for a third rounder. 6th round pick, UCLA's Ken Eller had a decent starting run in Philadelphia for a bit despite most people not even knowing who that was, and he honestly wasn't terrible for quite a time there. The pick right after Eller, USC's Mike Thomas got traded for a 4th round pick this offseason before stinking up the joint for the Giants. He's looked good in preseason at least. I'd honestly give it to McCready just for his game manager ability that Eller and Thomas don't have. Running Backs Conventional Wisdom: Despite having 3 81s and 2 80s, this was looked at as a relatively weak runningback class. Oregon's Shawn Anderson was generally considered the top RB in the class pre-combine, and none of the RBs really peaked out past him. Anderson had a pretty incredibly college career but there was some worry about tread on the tires. Syracuse's Chester Dorenbos and and FSU's Mike Latta were typically considered in the top three backs with, similarly to the QBs, everyone having their favorite. The class did have some decent depth. 81 overall RB who would eventually go in the 5th round, Northwestern's Michael Shoemaker, was good in college, but there were serious concerns when he ran a 4.68 40 at the combine. UCF's Buzz Etcheverry had his fans (see: el formulo™) and the next tier, while all high overall, were not considered particularly promising prospects: Arizona State's John Harris was just okay in college in a weak defensive conference, Purdue's Joseph Bowen was solid at the combine with decent production, and Missouri's Eddie Anderson was great in college but there were concerns he was carried by QB Aaron Shea (spoiler: he was). Some were fans of NC State's Jeff Collett and especially lower overall Notre Dame product Nick Engelberger, who was perceived as having carried the Irish to the national title. Highest Pick: Latta, 47th overall to the Panthers. Best Player: It's easily Latta. I wasn't his biggest fan at the time but then-Panthers GM randye clearly made the right pick. There were some rumblings about whether he'd stay in Carolina over his relative lack of workload, but he did recently sign a 3 year / $26 million deal to stay with the team. A threat in the receiving game and also to break one long, Latta is overall a pretty good fit for the Carolina offense. No other back sniffed a starting job for more than a couple of seasons, although Engelberger did have a decent run in Pittsburgh - but Latta is significantly ahead of the pack in all production metrics. Biggest Bust: Well, no runningback went in the first round so no huge busts. That said, the only other second round running back was UCF's Buzz Etcheverry... and he was not good for the Texans. After a disastrous rookie year in Houston, where he managed just 4 YPC behind what was rated the league's second best offensive line, he started just one game in Houston in his second season before he was traded in what amounted in a cap dump to Cincinnati, who had just drafted Ron Thomas and had no plans to start him. He didn't get a single start afterwards and is currently 3rd string in Kansas City. Honorable mentions to Dorenbos and Anderson, both of whom went in the third round and only effectively managed to hold down starting jobs for a season or two. Best Value: Surprisingly, taking the low overall Engelberger in the draft at all did work out, as he put in three seasons of starting football for expansion team Pittsburgh. He was actually pretty decent in '17 and '18 before putting up below 4 YPC in 2019. After the Chester Henson trade he was cast aside and is now the backup in Cincy. Collett also has managed to start a couple of games in Washington. Wide Receivers Conventional Wisdom: Recently FBS-added North Texas had a hyped start on their hands - one Sean Jenkins, who destroyed defenses in his only FBS season to the tune of 15+ YPC and 15 TD next to fellow starter Allen Allen. Some did prefer Oklahoma's Tai Miller to Jenkins, as he had put up an even better YPC (16.3) though with half the touchdowns. Those two were clearly established at the top as future stars, but there was also considered to be some good depth in the first round tier of receivers. Penn State's Mark Harrington, while disliked by his coach, put up a 17 YPC with 10 TD for 1100 yards and added 2 kick return TDs and a punt return TD along with it. He had perceived big play ability. Miami's Sonny Beckett was a combine darling, running an incredible 4.23 40 with a 42 vertical leap. He only had 44 receptions as a senior but he still managed 864 yards thanks to QB Paul Davenport's big arm. Some liked Michigan's Gordon Kleinsasser and Baylor's Eddie McFadden, the former with a good combine for a target receiver and decent college production and the latter with production concerns (just 33/462/2 as a senior) but who also blew up the combine. Highest Pick: Jenkins, 4th overall to the Saints. Best Player: We're 3/3 on the highest pick being the best player thus far. Jenkins is quite arguably the league's best receiver and has given QB Aaron Devereaux a consistent big play threat and target to throw to. He leads this class in yards and TD by quite a margin and has been a 2019 and 2020 Pro Bowler and 2020 All-Pro selection. Biggest Bust: It's close between Harrington and Kleinsasser. Both of them put up 3 seasons of productive for their respective teams, though that's primarily due the nature of NFLHC depth up to this point, before receiving minimal playing time in their fourth seasons and moving to a new team in their fifth season and getting buried on the depth chart. I'd give it to Kleinsasser as his production was a bit worse and the fact that he's actually declined in overall since being a rookie. Best Value: 4th round pick Aaron Pagliei actually had a 1,000 yard season for Detroit in 2019, but has mostly been minimally used since in both Detroit and in his new home in Chicago. Although 3rd round pick Hines Mertens has just 94 yards this year, he put up 1,000 yards and 8 TD as a rookie before putting up close to that in the next 3 seasons. 2nd rounder Cotton Lewis caught 10 TD in 2020 before being moved to New Orleans for a 4th round pick and another receiver. But the honor of being the best goes to Miami 3rd rounder, Greg Cobb from Cincinnati. He exploded with 900 yards and 10 TD as a rookie, got buried on the depth chart in his 2nd year, before proceeding to put up 1200 yards and 10 TD in 2020 while already being at 1272 yards and 14 TD to this point in 2021... and the year isn't even finished! Outside of Jenkins and Miller, Cobb has the most career yards in this class, though some of that can be attributed to playing with Brian Brown. Tight Ends Conventional Wisdom: This was a relatively weak tight end class. Following the failure of Danny Patrick from the prior class, people were a bit scared to pick tight ends, and with just 3 getting combine invites the strength of the class just wasn't there. Only three went in the first four rounds. Georgia's Tony Huff was typically considered the best in the class due to his blocking ability and superior combine to the other two, although he had pedestrian college production. Auburn's Kelly Littleton had some teams interested in him for raw athletic potential, but he had just 180 yards as a senior. USC's Jerry Cipa was the only other TE who went to the combine, and while his 500 yards and 5 TD as a senior outperformed the other two combined, he had injury risk and a weak combine. The depth of the class was considered weak but passable. Miami's Rick Philcox and TCU's Paul Carter-Williams were next highly ranked while some people favored later projected prospects from the ACC - Georgia Tech's Kendall Brandon and Clemson's Quentin McCullough. Highest Pick: Huff, 49th overall to the Seahawks. Best Player: We're going away from the top player in the class for once. Cipa has just one season below 500 receiving yards so far in his career, and made his first Pro Bowl in 2020 after putting up a incredible 78 reception, 1058 yard, 9 TD season. While he's now having probably his worst season, that Pro Bowl nod (compared to Huff's nod for a more pedestrian season) gets him the pick. Biggest Bust: Kelly Littleton was just pedestrian in Jacksonville, putting up some decent seasons but ultimately falling off and eventually getting traded to the Panthers. He backed up Curtis Henry during his incredible rookie season and then got traded to Houston once again, where he ended up out for the season. He's still on a roster but since he's not starting - he's behind the depth chart to a guy picked later than him - and has the worst stats of the guys drafted in the first four rounds he gets the nod. Best Value: Kendall Brandon was widely considered the best backup TE in the league in 2019 and 2020 as though he didn't put up much production, he played well as a blocker and was getting some good progressions. After refusing to re-sign in Miami he landed in Houston, pairing up with Alex Leshoure to put up 44 receptions for 684 yards and 8 TD thus far. Not bad for a guy picked 180th overall. Offensive Linemen Conventional Wisdom: This was an incredible offensive tackle class. 15 went in the first 60 picks. There was some debate as to whether Florida State's Grey Brown, Oklahoma State's Ryan Robinson, or Michigan State's Robert Haynes were the best in the class, and some really liked Wisconsin's Gary Tomlinson as a former walk-on farmhand country boy. The guard class was much weaker as Clemson's John Tripucka was the only one who even received a combine invite. Center had three solid prospects - Arizona State's TJ Brumm was nimble though injury prone, Washington's Don Teteak was the biggest and strongest, and Utah's Lloyd Nieves had playcalling experience. The offensive tackles were clearly the best feature, however. Highest Pick: Brown, 7th overall to the Lions. Best Player: Going strictly by overall, the answer is clearly Grey Brown as he has now hit a 96 overall and was a 2018 and 2019 Pro Bowler. An argument could be made for Ryan Robinson as he was a 2019 All-Pro along with a 2018 and 2019 Pro Bowler. Gary Tomlinson was a 2019 and 2020 Pro Bowler as well, though he's likely third best overall. Biggest Bust: There are a surprisingly large amount of busts in the first round. G John Tripucka (17th overall to Seattle) is an 87; OT Glenn Boyd (20th overall to Jacksonville) is an 85; OT Wesley Dawkins (21st overall to New Orleans) is an 86; and C TJ Brumm (24th to NYJ, now on Arizona) is an 85. Since Tripucka was a pick largely functioning from need, I'd give the overall nod to Glenn Boyd. Best Value: Forgive me if I missed someone, this is pretty tough to do when functioning from just overall. I'd give it to Ravens OT Carlos Gothard from Clemson, the 16th OT off the board in the 3rd round and now an 85 overall and starter in Baltimore. Chiefs' 4th round OG Boyd Buckley is also a starter, though he's just an 82 overall. Defensive Linemen Conventional Wisdom: Oklahoma State's Anthony Ortiz was super, super good. He even got some future Heisman hype but ended up declaring early. The rest of the defensive ends were just okay, although some liked Navy's Demarius Strong or Auburn's Brett Bailey. The defensive tackles didn't have a star player, but had a lot of good ones. Texas' Marlin Eason was coming off of a 9 sack season, Nebraska's Carnell Meadows was a strong run stopper who showed up the combine, and USC's Mike Wohlabaugh had the highest overall. Jones County Junior College entrant Kenneth Clarke was an intriguing prospect and Boise State's Nathan Knowlton had a strong combine despite a complete lack of pass rushing ability. Highest Pick: Ortiz, 3rd overall to the Bills. Best Player: Yeah, it's Ortiz. Wohlabaugh and Eason are good players, Meadows has had strong production at times, and Bailey has the NFLHC record for most sacks in a game, but Ortiz is clearly the best overall player. He's made the last two Pro Bowls, now has three consecutive seasons with at least 10 sacks, and has 46.5 through his five-year career thus far. Enough said. Biggest Bust: Man, those junior college players were intriguing... if only any that weren't linebackers turned out well. Kenneth Clarke was the 37th overall pick. He's now a 75 overall, has only made a statsheet one time in his career, and has no recorded career stats. Yeesh. Best Value: Big 6 foot 8 nose tackle Reggie Hedberg went to the expansion Eagles in the 4th round and so had the immediate opportunity to start. He didn't manage a sack as a rookie but played the run well, and still functions mainly as a run stopper, but he does have 12 career sacks to his name at this point. Fellow 4th rounder Joseph Owen has started a few games in New England and has 4.5 sacks with 2 FF and 2 FR this season. Linebackers Conventional Wisdom: Top two inside linebackers, Alabama's Tunch Richardson and Houston's Phillip Moore, dominated in college and were expected to be high draft picks. Preference came down to those who preferred athleticism and big game experience (Tunch) or intelligence and leadership (Moore). Texas A&M's Alex Martin wasn't considered a first round prospect though he eventually went there, but 76 tackles as a senior did help his case. Only Oklahoma State's Dewey Tomlinson and USC's Jimmy Workman got combine invites at ILB, but neither were regarded highly. Some thought fondly of Illinois' Zion Adakwa who produced well on a bad Illini team. At outside linebacker, Kansas State's David Doherty received incredible acclaim and was thought to the best OLB prospect since Tyrone Jones by some, although his production as a senior (55 tackles and a sack) was just alright. There were some decent second round prospects as well, like Arizona State's Thomas Barry and Minnesota's Leigh Davey. Highest Pick: Doherty, 12th overall. Best Player: Surprisingly, Alex Martin is the highest rated not just linebacker but defensive player from this class but I think the overall nod goes to Doherty. Despite a down 2021, he was a 2020 All-Pro at a stacked edge position and is the only player in this class to have made the Pro Bowl in all four possible seasons in which he could have made it. Doherty was starting to stack up the resume of a future Hall of Famer, although this down year doesn't help; but with the Titans having clinched their first division title and playoff appearance, some playoff accolades could help him out anyway. Biggest Bust: Up until his solid 2020, you could easily have argued for Moore; now, I'd go with 2nd round pick Tom Johnson who just hasn't progressed or produced much in his career. Boring pick, but there aren't many other choices here. Best Value: Adakwa is my (homer) pick here. Having progressed to an 89 overall already, his departure to Seattle for a fully guaranteed 4 year $46 million deal has hurt the Jets defensive significantly and despite never producing gaudy stats his impact as a defensive leader has always been felt. Honorable mention to now-49ers OLB Chris Reed, who went just two picks after Adakwa, having gone +5 this prior offseason and generally becoming a consistent producer in San Fran. Defensive Backs Conventional Wisdom: Alabama's Mike Gradishar was generally looked at as the top DB in the class. Some liked intriguing 4.5/4.5 early entry Laurent Christensen from Army, while Oregon product Corey Quinn destroyed the combine after a 4 interception senior year. Florida State's Michael Barber was a sneaky first round pick after a solid combine. Michigan State's Brandon Sauter was considered by far the best safety prospect in the class as someone who could both ballhawk and hit hard and his combine only confirmed that. Iowa State's Adam Newman topped Sauter's combine, who up to that point would have had the best strong safety combine in any class. And a lot of scouts loved Fresno State's Romulus Jackson after he nabbed 7 interceptions as a senior. There was a giant need for free safety throughout NFLHC... and yet zero were invited to the combine. A bunch of them were overdrafted and unsurprisingly none turned out very well. Highest Pick: Gradishar, 6th overall to Oakland. Best Player: By overall, it's Sauter. Corner is a more valuable position, and I'd be inclined to give it to Quinn, who's pretty close to Sauter but is struggling significantly in his transition to #1 corner this season; Gradishar has had a solid overall career as well. But Sauter has been the most consistent of all of them and his 7-interception 2018 is tied for the highest in a season with any of the corners in this season, so with his impact as an enforcer I'd give it to him overall. Biggest Bust: He's had a decent career to this point, but overall it's Michael Barber who went 32nd to Washington. Still a starter, he's a risk-taking ballhawk who doesn't get enough interceptions to justify his lapses in coverage. He's generally good for 2-4 interceptions a year but with Washington not that strong in coverage he's generally a weakness more than he's a strength, and at just 84 overall he probably won't be a starter for too much longer. Best Value: 5th round SS Norris Nolan has started in New England since his rookie year and he's always been solid - I'd actually describe him similarly to Barber in terms of interceptions and risk except he's higher overall and only cost a 5th round pick instead of a 1st. 5th round FS LaMichael Jones was one of the best taken despite being the 7th free safety taken. 4th round corner Lynn Perry has been a solid mainstay in the nickel for Baltimore and is good for an interception or two yearly. Indy's SS Chris Brown, taken at the 2nd to last pick of the 2nd, as though his stats aren't flashy he's a solid run stopper, fast enough to play proper coverage, and still able to nab a couple interceptions a season. His overall has also pretty consistently progressed him to the caliber of the first round guys of this same class. Special Teams Conventional Wisdom: Jason Sochia, Notre Dame's wiz-kid punter/kicker kicked a solid 75% on field goals while leading the nation in punting average. The kickers were highly regarded, with Texas' Gino Chiaverini, the nation's most accurate kicker, UCLA's Chris Hoag, the nation's strongest-legged kicker, and Florida State's Dennis Scott, a combination of the previously two mentioned attributes, were generally considered the best 3. Some liked Pitt's Stanley Brewster, although I'm not sure why. Highest Pick: Hoag, 104th overall to the Jets. Best Player: Hoag is actually having one of the best kicking seasons in NFLHC in 2021, but was relatively inconsistent up to this point. Chiaverini was probably the best kicker to this point, having been as advertised accuracy-wise. However, I'd give the overall nod to Sochia, the highest overall player to come out of the class and currently the NFLHC leader in punting average. Unlike Hoag, who's only been this good in 2021, he's been one of the top 5 punters in NFLHC essentially since he entered the league. Biggest Bust: Brewster was the 5th kicker off the board, 169th overall to the Giants. An 82 overall accuracy kicker who had a solid combine, he seemed destined to at least be a decent NFLHC kicker. It wasn't meant to be, as after missing just one kick per season in his first two years he kicked just 78% on field goal tries in his next two years and began missing extra points once they were moved back. After being let go by new GM deandean1998 he hasn't been able to find another NFLHC job. Best Value: Northwest Mississippi Community College Leon Woodruff was the 9th and final kicker off the board, but he's put in 5 solid seasons of work in Tennessee and has been an accurate 85% career kicker. Not too bad considering a few busts and worse kickers went ahead of him. Best and Worst Performing Teams The 2017 class was so rough in the late rounds that I have to award the best class to a team that only got production from their two first round picks. The Raiders got Mike Gradishar, a quality #1 CB, and Alex Martin, the highest rated defensive player and solid ILB, with their two first round picks. With no second round pick there isn't much to penalize there, and though 3rd round RB Chester Dorenbos was a bust there was no team that managed to avoid drafting busts. The value of those two first round picks on Vegas' solid defense is too much to pass up. The Texans, meanwhile, had a rough draft class. Despite 2 2nd round picks and 7 picks in the first four rounds total, not a single player still starts in NFLHC, let alone for the Texans. None of the players they drafted remain on the roster just 4 seasons later. The best pick was probably WR Gordon Kleinsasser, a guy who has declined from his rookie overall, or DT Nathan Knolwton who can't even nab a starting job on the Chargers.
  25. 22 points
    Matty Swift looks downfield versus the Chiefs in an AFC West showdown This week saw a winnowing to one undefeated team, and a host of others in the middle start to either make a move, or see that their star has fallen--maybe for good. Much to discuss about the ranking this week: who's too high? Who's too low? What the hell was Bingo thinking about THAT team? Keep up the discussion, but remember: if you don't like where you are in these rankings...play better! Current Favorites 1. Miami Dolphins 2. Green Bay Packers 3. Los Angeles Rams The Dolphins are 9-0, and despite an ugly roster of injuries, Miami just keeps winning. And winning in style. Blanking the Cardinals the Sunday after the “Broken Hand That Wasn’t” was a bit like the Warriors steamrolling through the Spurs without two of their best players—Eff You-Good. The Pack, who mysteriously played a collection of 2nd-teamers in the loss to the rival Vikings on Sunday, have otherwise been stellar. Jason Johnson is throwing to arguably the best set of wideouts in the game, and the defense is shut-down solid (well, let’s say bend-but-not-break solid). The Rams, last season’s regular season juggernaut, just got a lot better with a deal for Chad Dess. He’ll bring a bit more balance to the offense, which was needed to take the heat off Murhpy. The D is playing well too, and it helps that L.A. plays in the weakest division in football—yep, I said it. If They Get Hot…Look Out! 4. New York Jets 5. Philadelphia Eagles 6. Carolina Panthers 7. Las Vegas Raiders 8. Tennessee Titans Interestingly, two of these teams lost this past weekend and one was on a bye. So why did I leave them up here? Well, because they have shown that they can consistently ‘turn it on’ when needed. All have some issues: the Jets need a running game and better pass defense, the Eagles and Raiders are really dealing with injuries, the Panth-stars are one injury away from finishing last in their manically-difficult division, and the Titans don’t match up well with a power football team. But all are also capable of going on a tear in the second half of the season and even in the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if a team from this list were to play in, and win, the Super Bowl. Seeds #4-6, It’ll Come Out in the Wash 9. Kansas City Chiefs 10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11. Dallas Cowboys 12. Denver Broncos 13. New Orleans Saints 14. Pittsburgh Steelers While the tier above is filled with talented, interesting teams, I feel that THIS group is going to cause the most chaos over the next 7 weeks of the season. Kansas City continues to be a pleasant surprise, but they are beginning to cut it a bit close with some of their eek-out wins. Dallas and New Orleans have fantastic pieces, but results haven’t always played out in the their favor. I expect the return of Graham Barnett to help propel Dallas forward—this team is beloved by all the advanced-stat-heads. The Bucs have been very good so far, and if they played in the NFC West instead of South, they might look as good as the Rams or Eagles. Says here the Bucs grab the #5 and give someone a run for their money. The Steelers have settled into place with RJ Stanford. Yes, it helps that they are beating up on the Browns, Ravens, and Bengals, but the Steelers will separate in the North and be a very solid #4 seed. And…don’t look now, but the Broncos are on a nice 4-game win streak, and have beat teams ranked #4 and #5 in these rankings two of the last three weeks. The bulk of the schedule is coming, but the new offensive game plan has worked wonders and the offensive line is rounding into dominant form. Will the Broncos sneak into the Playoffs? Who knows, but fan bases in Kansas City and Las Vegas are starting to look over their shoulder a bit. Good Teams with Obvious Flaws/Holes 15. Atlanta Falcons 16. Houston Texans 17. Jacksonville Jaguars These teams are going to finish with winning records (most likely) and will just miss the playoffs (most likely) because of one or two specific issues. The Jags just lost the best RB in the game, who was the focal point of their offense. You don’t recover from that type of injury over the rest of the season. If anyone can pull it off, however, it’s Soluna. The Texans, the Butchers from Houston, were the hatchet men on the Sowell hit—really, I’m just creating #narrative…I don’t think cmcgill or Rome meant to cause harm. Houston themselves don’t quite have the pass defense to make a meaningful run at the playoffs in a very difficult division. And the Falcons can’t seem to score enough points against the better teams in the League: an efficient AJJ versus the Lions is completely different ask than to be that efficient against, say, the Bucs or Panthers. Playing for Something More than the Playoffs 18. New England Patriots 19. Washington Football Club 20. Baltimore Ravens 21. Minnesota Vikings 22. Chicago Bears What has happened, Chicago? Oof. The fall has been swift and the thud of hitting the ground has been loud. A 2-game losing streak doesn’t bode well in a screwy division like the NFC Norris, where the Pack is way out front and the suddenly-adept Vikings are creeping up on the Monster of the Midway. The Patriots are perfectly as good as they are bad—5-5 almost seems too perfect for the Pats, for some reason. Talent is KINDA there, KINDA not, and the division certainly doesn’t help. The Ravens feel like exactly like the Patriots: a mediocre team that doesn’t really have an identity. At least they are trying out some new parts, and put me in the Brett Fisher is Potential Pro Bowler camp…if he gets help. The Washington Footballing Team is very intriguing—they have wins over the Raiders (last week!) and the Broncos from the West, but also rather devastating losses thrown in. Here’s guessing an upgrade from NephewJack to Brightfalls on the sidelines will show that there is some real mettle in this team. All of these clubs are playing for the future NOW—only question is: will that future direction go Up, or not so much? Jockeying for Position in the 1st Round of the Draft 23. Arizona Cardinals 24. Buffalo Bills 25. Indianapolis Colts 26. Detroit Lions 27. San Francisco 49ers In baseball, it’s about this point in the regular season when teams decide to be sellers or buyers. Well, the Bills declared already, trading away their best player to the Rams. So, the Bills move up the peg board of the 1st Round. Who will be next to declare? I’m guessing it will be the Cardinals or 49ers. Both are actually fighting the Seahawks for bottom-rung positioning WITHIN their own division, and I think we see San Fran and Arizona go for some draft capital soon. The Lions would be smart to do so as well, but it remains to be seen exactly what they have to offer. E-Jax? Keyshawn to a contender with a CB injury? Who knows, but they ought to start soon. And…I just have no words for the Colts. What the hell? That’s a Top 5 team on paper, one would assume. Yes, the WR injuries have been awful, but look no further than the Saints for an example of how to overcome that problem. So…not sure what to say about Indy. Here’s to next year…? Next Year? How About Let’s Strategize for the Next THREE Years? 28. Cleveland Browns 29. Cincinnati Bengals 30. Seattle Seahawks 31. New York Giants 32. Los Angeles Chargers I will say I’ve been impressed, a bit, with the recent play of the Giants and Chargers. Both teams made better opponents sweat in the last couple weeks as their young talent is beginning, however slowly, to develop. But they’ve still got miles to go. The Seahawks are another type of ugly: sitting here without looking it up, I can’t tell you who coaches, GMs, or owns the Seahawks. Almost as though they are not a real franchise…which is too bad for Malcolm Douglas-Scott and Kenji Sagatomo—those guys are real good. The Ohio Deuces, both at 2-7, are showing signs that ownership and consistent coaching are keeping them from any real success in the League, let alone some top end talent. I would say that there is some available talent for poaching, but I’m not even sure who to call to initiate that conversation. "Paging Tai Miller….Paging Tai Miller…Please Come to the White Courtesy Phone, the Eagles are calling!!"
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