Thursday, October 23, 2014

Week 9 - The Return of Boring

Standings
1) Draper               25-12    (4-4 upset)
1) Seeberg              25-12    (1-7 upset)
3) Hoying               24-13    (3-5 upset)
4) Schweinfurth     22-15    (3-5 upset)

There's no big, sexy game on this week's slate, but there are a few worthy distractions to keep you occupied until the white-out at 8 P.M. (7 Central) Saturday night.

Ole Miss Rebels @ Louisiana State Tigers
Draper: For some reason, I'm thinking this might actually be a game.  LSU has looked terrible most of the year, but I feel Les pulls one out of this butt every year.  I don't think he'll have quite enough to stop Dr. Bo and Mr. Nkemdiche.  Don't get me wrong, Ole Miss is the superior team, but a night game Death Valley gives me a little pause.  Not enough to pull the trigger, but the booger eater makes it close.  Ole Miss: 31--LSU: 28
Hoying: After their coming-out party against the Tide (THE DYNASTY IS NOT OVER) and their follow up win against some overrated Lone Star team, the Rebels suffered a bit of a letdown against SEC Least foe Tennessee...for about 10 minutes. Even after their slow start, Ole Miss still managed to paste the Volunteers, surging past struggling Stanford to claim the title of nation's top defense. What does this mean for LSU? The Tigers posted all of 7 points against Auburn and were sitting on 16 points against Mississippi State until the Bulldogs' bizarre 4th-quarter collapse. LSU can't decide which terrible quarterback to play on any given down (oh where have you gone, Zach WarrenBurger), and good luck trying to run on this Rebel front. Ole Miss completes the Mississippi sweep in Death Valley. Ole Miss: 30--LSU: 17
Schweinfurth: LSU has not looked great this year (It took an injury to one of the nation's rushing leaders to beat Wisconsin among other games).  This team just does not have the snarl and talent it did just a few short years ago.  Ole Miss is riding on a big wave of momentum and has looked good so far.  As long as  horrendous Bo doesn't show up, Ole Miss wins fairly easy. Ole Miss: 35--LSU: 14
Seeberg:  It's remarkable to think just how, at least for this season, the fortunes of these two teams have flip-flopped.  LSU is a huge second-half comeback against Wiscy away from being a 3-loss team while Ole Miss has only had one serious threat all season.  Ole Miss gives up barely 10 points a game, and LSU struggles on the offensive side of the ball, which is clearly a recipe for disaster along the same lines of the OSU-PSU game (see below).  LSU feeds off the night crowd energy early, but can't score enough to stay in it much past halftime.  Ole Miss: 27--LSU: 10

USC Trojans @ Utah Utes
Draper: The Utes have quietly put together a nice little season, albeit living on the edge.  Can they spring the upset at home? Would it be an upset with the sporadic play of the Trojans?  I believe the Trojans are the better team but still in the process of 'finding themselves'.  Utah knows who they are and they're a mid-level football team.  SC opened the floodgates last week letting Kessler sling the ball for a record 7 TDs, but Utah is certainly better than the hapless Buffs.  The road game makes USC a little shaky, but they have the better talent and will pull off the win by a TD--assuming they can stop the Hail Mary this time.  USC: 38--Utah: 31
Hoying: Is USC finally back? Seems like a silly question to ask after a bizarre loss to Boston College and terrible Hail Mary defense against Arizona State, but when you think about the Trojan dynasty from the early 2000's, what comes to mind? Elite QB play, embodied by Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, and Mark Sanchez. After a 7 passing TD display against Colorado, Cody Kessler is angling for inclusion on this list (don't laugh, how many of you remember Carson Palmer's junior season?). More questionable is whether a middling USC defense can handle a great Utah rushing attack led by RB Devontae Booker. After all, BC only ran for about 450 YARDS against the Trojan front. In the end, I think Kessler will do enough to make up for what his front seven lacks. Fight on. USC: 31--Utah: 27
Schweinfurth: I really like what Steve Sarkisian has done at USC already.  That offense is tough to stop when they play ahead of the chains and go no-huddle. The defense isn't a slouch either.  They seem to bring guys from every angle and do a very good job confusing QBs.  While Utah will be able to move the ball on the ground, I really think that Sark's offense will be the difference in this game. USC: 24--Utah: 20
Seeberg:  Utah actually has the best win of the two teams, a narrow victory at then-top-10 UCLA.  Unfortunately, they followed with a near-disaster against Oregon State, escaping in double OT.  USC struggles to stop the run- which is what Utah does well- but can score a lot to compensate, and it's difficult to picture the Utes shutting down USC's wide receiving corps.  I think USC makes just enough fixes on D to go on the road and get a suddenly critical conference win.  USC: 35--Utah: 28

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
Draper: I thought OSU was a pretty good team but the faceplant last week didn't help.  WVU is really knocking it up a notch with Clint Trickett (former Nole) flourishing under Larry Fine's (get it? Holgerson looks like Larry from the Stooges! I know this is a sad state of affairs that I need to explain this...) offensive scheme.  The Pokes are REALLY tough to beat in Stillwater, but while their speed may match WVU, their execution does not.  Stickin' with the Mountaineers begrudgingly as I love the Pokes. Expect fireworks. WVU: 41--OSU: 38
Hoying: How about that great Cowboy win against...erm...well...how about their game last wee...uh...they sure played FSU tough a couple months ago, didn't they? Okie State doesn't really do anything well, except post unimpressive victories against total cream puffs. In contrast, West Virginia QB Clint Trickett leads arguably the best pass attack outside of Pullman, Washington, tossing for over 300 yards in each game so far this season. Bafflingly, the Mountaineers also violated school tradition by playing actual defense against a blazing Baylor attack last weekend. This is a clear mismatch, no matter what Vegas tells you.  They have the Pokes favored, but it's garbage, and the oddsmaker who let it come out is garbage! WVU: 34--OSU: 27
Schweinfurth: I don't know if there is a more surprising team to me than West Virginia.  I was impressed by WVU's losses this year if only because they were supposed to get trounced in both. It seems as though Dana Hogerson does know how to coach a defense.  That is a dangerous combo with the offense the Mountaineers roll out there.  Oklahoma State runs a fairly similar offense to Baylor and we all know how that turned out last week.  Mountaineers win and keep proving they are no longer a one trick pony. WVU: 45--OSU: 24
Seeberg:  This game is likely to be close as West Virginia has an annoying habit of playing to the level of their competition, for better or worse (close loss to Bama, close win against Maryland, for instance).  Oklahoma State's usually vaunted offense was completely shut down by a good TCU squad, which may have provided some blueprints for other teams.  WVU isn't as talented on D as TCU- except they gave up a whopping 34 points fewer to Baylor.  The Mountaineers make it closer than they should, but get out of  Stillwater with a win.  WVU: 38--OSU: 34

THE Ohio State University Buckeyes @ Penn State Nittany Lions
Draper: PSU looked...ok...early on, but they have looked like they're steadily getting worse....while the Bucks have improved every week.  Happy Valley is always rocking at night, but the team is certainly not like the PSU teams of old.  Hackenburg is a pretty boy QB, but I haven't seen the jaw-dropping talent to which people continue to refer. After their easy win against Rutgers (I mean, who could have picked Rutgers over PSU....what a dumb pick...), they've taken a dive against NW AT HOME!! and vs. a terrible Michigan team.  The Bucks are on such a high, I just see more of the same.  JT continues to carve up opponents, and, while he'll struggle early getting his bearings on the road in a tough environment, he'll recenter and take care of business.  Look for a BIG day from the defensive line.  Bucks roll. OSU: 42--PSU: 24
Hoying: Ah, Penn State, the Vanderbilt of the B1G East, minus the academics. After a 4-0 start, including a shocking stun of Rutgers in Piscataway, the Nittany Lions have lost to two BAD teams, including a homecoming blowout loss to Northwestern. With no time to throw the ball, Christian Pickenberg has become a total non-factor, and his outlook isn't likely to improve with the new and improved Silver Bullet D coming to Happy Valley. Penn State still has a nominally impressive defense, certainly better than any the Buckeyes have seen since Virginia Tech, but Barrett isn't showing any signs of slowing. My concern: after another 4 TD and 350 yard performance on national TV vaults JT into the Heisman discussion, should Braxton consider transferring? OSU: 45--PSU: 13
Schweinfurth: Can anyone point to an offensive line that acts like a sieve more than Penn State?  If Michigan can set up camp in the Lions backfield, what is Joey Bosa going to do to Hackenberg?  Think about that.  Bosa, Bennett, Washington and company are going to have some fun (are you not entertained!?!) this week.  The only concern I have is the OSU offensive line.  They have looked impressive since the Va Tech game but that has also been inferior competition.  While Penn State does have a statistically good defense, again, it's been against inferior competition.  What does that all mean?  Well, Penn State is going to come out in a Bear/Double Eagle front (duh) and J.T. is going to pick it apart.  This game is gonna get ugly.  I really hope they have a "Hackenberg got crushed" counter this week because he will get rocked over and over and over and over... Oh, yea, I think the 50+ streak ends this week but J.T. FOR HEISMAN!!!! OSU: 48--PSU: 17
Seeberg:  Oh fantastic, another night game in not-so-Happy Valley so the locals have 12 hours to enjoy their favorite adult beverages before filing into Beaver Stadium.  Penn State does boast a very respectable D that has kept them in most games, giving up barely 15 points a game.  Their O, however, is equally unrespectable, scoring just 21 a game.  Even if Hackenberg stays upright (not likely), he doesn't have enough weaponry to cause the Silver Bullets enough troubles.  The raucous crowd and scripted opening plays keep the Lions in it early, but too much Barrett and Co. (let's get Heuerman involved some now that he's healthy please!) makes it another solid win.  OSU: 38--PSU: 13

Upset Special
Draper: Cal over Oregon
Hoying: Washington over Arizona State
Schweinfurth: South Carolina over Auburn (why not hope for absolute chaos)
Seeberg:  Washington State over Arizona (see what I did there, Hoying?)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Top 25 and Heisman Ballots - After Week 8

We've completed week 8. In the good old days, college football fans would be basking in the glow of the season's first BCS rankings, and arguing about which two teams would earn the right to play for it all in Tempe. But now, in the PLAYOFF ERA, a shadow committee keeps us in the dark while we wait for their initial proclamation next Tuesday.

Fear not, faithful Let's Go Bucks! readers. Your favorite college football prophets are ready with updated rankings, as well as Heisman ballots if the season ended right now. Check later this week for updated conference champion and playoff predictions. 

Rankings, as always, are based on what teams have done so far, not how we believe they will finish (that's what the predictions are for). Leave a comment and let us know which one of us is the craziest.

Draper Top 25
1. Florida State (up 1)
2. Mississippi State (down 1)
3. Ole Miss (unchanged)
4. Auburn (up 2)
5. TCU (up 2)
6. Alabama (up 2)
7. Oregon (up 2)
8. Georgia (up 4)
9. Notre Dame (down 4)
10. Ohio State (up 3)
11. Michigan State (down 1)
12. Baylor (down 8)
13. Arizona (down 3)
14. Kansas State (up 7)
15. Arizona State (up 7)
16. Duke (up 3)
17. Nebraska (down 2)
18. Utah (down 1)
19. ECU (down 3)
20. Marshall (down 2)
21. West Virginia (unranked)
22. Minnesota (unranked)
23. Clemson (up 2)
24. USC (down 1)
25. I don't know...UCLA? (unranked)

Draper Heisman Ballot

1. Dak Prescott (QB - Mississippi State)
2. J.T. Barrett (QB - Ohio State)
3. Marcus Mariota (QB - Oregon)

Hoying Top 25

1. Mississippi State (unchanged)
2. Florida State (up 1)
3. Mississippi (down 1)
4. TCU (up 2)
5. Oregon (up 3)
6. Auburn (up 1)
7. Alabama (up 3)
8. Arizona (up 1)
9. Michigan State (up 3)
10. Baylor (down 6)
11. Georgia (up 3)
12. Arizona State (up 8)
13. Ohio State (up 6)
14. Kansas State (up 11)
15. Notre Dame (down 10)
16. Duke (down 1)
17. Utah (up 5)
18. Nebraska (down 2)
19. Marshall (down 1)
20. UCLA (up 3)
21. Minnesota (down 4)
22. USC (unranked)
23. Clemson (unranked)
24. West Virginia (unranked)
25. LSU (unranked)

Dropped from rankings: #11 Georgia Tech, #13 Oklahoma, #21 Washington, #24 Oklahoma State

Hoying Heisman Ballot

1. Dak Prescott (QB - Mississippi State)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB - Wisconsin)
3. Marcus Mariota (QB - Oregon)

Schweinfurth Top 25
1. Florida State (Up 1)
2. Mississippi State (Down 1)
3. Ole Miss (Unchanged)
4. Oregon (Up 2)
5. Notre Dame (Unchanged)

6. Michigan State (Up 1)
7. Alabama (Up 1)
8. Auburn (Up 1)
9. Baylor (Down 5)
10. TCU (Up 1)
11. Ohio State (Up 1)
12. Georgia (Up 1)
13. Kansas State (Up 1)

14. Arizona (Up 2)
15. Arizona State (Up 2)
16. East Carolina (Up 2)
17. Marshall (Up 2)
18. Nebraska (Up 2)
19. Oklahoma (Down 9)
20. Utah (Up 1)
21. USC (Up 1)
22. Stanford (Up 1)
23. Duke (Up 1)
24. Oklahoma State (Down 9)
25. West Virginia (Unranked)

Dropped from Rankings: #24 TAMU
 
Schweinfurth Heisman Ballot
1. Dak Prescott (QB--Mississippi St.)
2. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
3. JT Barrett (QB--Ohio State)

Seeberg Top 25

1.) Mississippi State
2.) Ole Miss
3.) Florida State
4.) Alabama
5.) Oregon
6.) Auburn
7.) Michigan State
8.) Ohio State
9.) TCU
10.) Notre Dame
11.) Georgia
12.) Kansas State
13.) Arizona State
14.) Baylor
15.) Arizona
16.) Nebraska
17.) Oklahoma
18.) USC
19.) East Carolina
20.) Duke
21.) West Virginia
22.) Marshall
23.) Utah
24.) Minnesota
25.) UCLA

Seeberg Heisman Ballot
1.) Dak Prescott (QB--Mississippi State)
2.) Marcus Mariota (QB-- Oregon)
3.) J.T. Barrett (QB-- Ohio State)

Grading the Bucks: Week 8--Rutgers

Not much to nitpick here.

Offense: A-
J.T. Barrett is just playing out of his mind.  Time to give the man the respect he deserves.  The competition isn't earth-shattering mind you, but Rutgers had a pretty good (not great by any means) defense...until facing the Bucks.  The chinks in the armor showed on one wide open deep ball that Barrett didn't have the arm strength to reach.  Other than that, his decision making, passing, and running vision has been spectacular.  The O-line and Zeke continue to improve.  The slight downgrade was for the 2nd half laxity that I saw.  Granted, the game was over, but if you're keeping the first teamers on the field, play like you want to be there.

Defense: A-
Criticism is much the same as the offense.  I love that the Bullets made sure we saw bad Gary Nova, but I'm not shocked they handled business.  The bad: they looked quite bored and just wanted to get out of there.  You only play college football for a few years, take advantage of the opportunity, even when the game is well in hand.  My other question to the coaching staff: Why isn't Raekwon McMillon starting?  He has been a ball hawk and a monster whenever in the game and he needs to take control of that linebacking corp.  The defensive line performed again and Bosa is a man...but we knew this.

Special Teams: A-
Nothing of note.  Great punting when needed and great coverage on kick coverage.  Overall, good job, good effort.

Coaching: B+
Two words: Raekwon McMillon.  Make it happen.  Darron Lee and McMillon on the field simultaneously would really make opposing offenses crap themselves. Offensively, the play-calling was well executed this week.  Another question for the coaches...why were the starters in the game in the fourth quarter?  If you're trying to get stats for Barrett, that's one thing, but you need to a) get the backups some reps and b) protect your assets.  The evidence of the need of backups was when it was clear that the first-teamers didn't care.  If nothing else, put in someone who wants to be there to send a message.

Overall: A-
 Nitpicking, but always room for improvement.  Go Ohio, Beat the Lions!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Week 8 - Game of the Century?

Standings
1) Draper               23-10    (4-3 upset)
2) Seeberg              22-11    (0-7 upset)
3) Hoying               21-12    (3-4 upset)
4) Schweinfurth     19-14    (3-4 upset)

Now that the first half of the season has crowned the state of Mississippi as the be-all and end-all of the college football world, we can turn our attention to the other conferences around the nation, with games ranging from a reiteration of one of the most significant showdowns of all time to the return of the Buckeyes to the gridiron against an unfamiliar opponent.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Florida State Seminoles
Draper: FSU continues their unbeaten streak while suffering the slings and arrows from every direction due to the lack of intelligence (and somewhat of a witch hunt) from their QB.  On the field, the Noles have been moving along quite well.  Many point to the 'struggles' but that's very normal when you get every team's best shot.  The 2013 Seminoles were, without question, better than this edition, but the 2014 Noles are still very very good.  The Irish have been struggling even more than the Seminoles but the narrative hasn't focused on that side of the coin.  Golson is a very good QB, but I believe Tally is ready to explode.  This Irish squad is a far cry from the 1993 squad that defeated the Noles in South Bend.  FSU makes a statement and takes care of business.  ND: 20--FSU: 34
Hoying: In 1993, the #1 Florida State Seminoles visited the #2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in what was called the "Game of the Century." The Irish won but later suffered an upset and ended the season ranked #2, as Florida State rebounded to win their first national title. Nobody is going to confuse either of these year's teams with those juggernauts, but both have managed to weather the first half of their seasons without a loss. The Noles were tested in both their matchups against ranked teams, including a near loss to Clemson. But now that Jameis Pryor...er, Winston, is back and in freshman year form, the Noles are going to be tough to tackle, even if the defense isn't quite as suffocating as last year's squad. Irish QB Everett Golson's immaculate regular season record comes crashing down in Tallahassee. ND: 24--FSU: 31
Schweinfurth: Both of these teams have shown flaws over the last few weeks.  Notre Dame squeaked by an inferior North Carolina squad and Florida State just doesn't look like the same team this year.  I'm just excited that one of these teams have to lose this week (more chaos).  In the end, it comes down to Jameis' eligibility.  If he can go, the Noles win.  If not, well, just remember the Clemson game.  ND: 30--FSU: 35
Seeberg:   Let's be honest here, people, ND went all "La Suerte de los Tontos" (for you non-Spanish speakers that loosely translates as the luck of the foolish) in beating Stanford - at home - the only team of consequence they have played all season.  Florida State, though not as dominant on either side of the ball as last year, is still a much better team.  The golden domers gave up 43 points to a lackluster UNC squad, but of course ESPiN is invoking the titanic battles between FSU and ND in the late 80's and early 90's.  Sorry about your ratings, but this one won't be that close.  ND: 21--FSU: 38

Stanford Cardinal @ Arizona State Sun Devils
Draper: The Sun Devils' ranking relies on what? Getting blown out by UCLA? Beating USC with the worst Hail Mary defense in history? I just don't see it with Mike Bercovici.  Stanford doesn't have any great wins of note, but the win over Washington is pretty good, not to mention being very competitive vs. Notre Dame and USC (barring a last minute collapse).  It's in Tempe, but I think the Cardinal are simply better. HOGAAAAANNN!!  Stan: 20--ASU: 13
Hoying: Where resides the best defense in the country? I'll forgive you if you said Ole Miss, because their defense is spectacular, but the top lockdown crew is actually found in Palo Alto. The Cardinal are allowing a measly 10 points per game, surrendering 13 and 17 points in their 2 losses and giving up 20 points to NOBODY. The Stanford rushing attack has been lackluster, and QB Kevin Hogan has been good-not-great, but the Cardinal should be able to move the ball against a squishy Sun Devil defense. This game should come down to whether ASU QB Mike Bercovici replicates his UCLA performance (bad) or USC performance (good). I don't think he can navigate this stifling D. Stan: 17--ASU:16
Schweinfurth: Ahh yes, another Pac-12 game that I really don't know much about.  I do know that Stanford is pretty good.  From what I have seen and read, I'm just not sold on the Sun Devils.  It's a Stanford game so it's gotta be a low scoring affair. Stan: 20--ASU: 14
Seeberg:  This is a bizarre matchup to analyze.  It's strength on strength (Cardinal D vs. ASU O) and weakness on weakness (Cardinal O vs. ASU D).  In comparing common opponents, Stanford gave up 13 to USC while ASU gave up 34.  Then again, ASU won, 38-34, and Stanford only mustered 10 points against the Trojans.  It's tough to imagine this game getting into even the 20s where the Sun Devils would have good odds to win this one.  Stanford just squeezes into the 20s and gets another win.  Stan: 23--ASU: 13

Kansas State Wildcats @ Oklahoma Sooners
Draper: Kansas State's best performance of note this year is...a loss.  They fought valiantly against Auburn at home but couldn't get it done.  I'm still a believer in OU.  They have tons of talent and back home in Norman? Watch out.  This is just what the doctor ordered after a tough loss at TCU followed by a middling performance in a big rivalry.  Texas held the Sooners down, but I don't think the Wildcats will be able to recreate the magic.  Boomer!?!? ... KSU: 20--OU: 34
Hoying: Oklahoma struggled mightily against the Longhorns last week, accumulating only 232 yards of offense. This doesn't bode well for the Sooners, as they face a Wildcat defense that held a terrific Auburn offense to 20 points, nearly pulling off the upset. Kansas State has feasted on a steady diet of cupcakes so far this season and fell short in their only shot at glory to date. Normally, "Big Game Bob" is untouchable in Norman, but TCU fought their way to purple victory, a tradition the Wildcats should continue this week. KSU: 31--OU: 27
Schweinfurth: This one smells of an upset.  Oklahoma did not look good against Texas last week and Trevor Knight was held in check for almost all of that game.  Add in a porous pass defense and you have some trouble brewing.  Kansas State can chuck the ball all over, especially with Lockett running downfield.  KSU: 35--OU: 28
Seeberg:  The Sooners have looked pretty, well, average in the last two weeks, losing to TCU and struggling mightily on the offensive side of the ball against Texas.  The judgment that must be made is whether those were aberrations or if there are serious issues with Stoops' squad.  I choose the latter.  The Wildcats take the Longhorns' blueprint and do enough to shut down Oklahoma's offense and get back to the Little Apple with their biggest win of the year.  KSU: 27--OU: 21

Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ THE Ohio State University Buckeyes
Draper: Ho hum...Another game with no benefits for a win and crushing implications for a loss (sorry Michigan).  Rutgers QB Gary Nova has put together a fine season for the Scarlet Knights intro to the B1G, but OSU is sneaking around the chicken coop...quietly murdering everyone in their path on the way to the showdown in East Lansing.  JT has been phenomenal all year and I don't expect anything different here.  Rutgers will fight hard, but this is no Wolverine squad.  The Bucks aren't going to mess around here.  Take care of business and keep the hopes alive. RU: 20--OSU: 48
Hoying: Despite both programs football histories dating back to at least 1890, this week features the first ever Scarlet Knights/Scarlet & Gray showdown. Raise your hand if you foresaw this game as a potential showcase of All-B1G QB candidates. Both Nova and Barrett rank in the top 5 in the nation in pass efficiency, and puzzling one-game chokes aside, both have been the unquestioned leaders of their respective offenses. Here's the big difference: Barrett can run, Nova can't. Rutgers may have been able to contain Devin Gardner, but JT has already surpassed the senior Wolverine in virtually every way (except maybe ability to play while broken in half). If the winner of this game can knock off Michigan State in East Lansing, they're a virtual lock to represent the B1G East in Indianapolis. Somehow, I don't see that contender being the Scarlet Knights. Wait your turn, Queens. RU: 24--OSU: 45
Schweinfurth: Finally, another Ohio State game (and there are no more bye weeks until bowl/playoff season).  JT Barrett has been on fire the last three games and leading the Buckeye offense at a record setting pace.  Now look, I know the competition hasn't been the best, but that is still something to marvel at.  Rutgers is a fine program and "the Birthplace of College Football," but Ohio State is just better at every single position.  Joey Bosa is a man and he will see plenty of double and maybe even triple teams from here on out.  That is gonna open the door for Michael Bennett and Adolphus Washington to do very bad things to QB Gary Nova.  I expect to see more of the same out of this team, get an early lead and put the pedal down until the end of the game.  4th straight game with 50+? It might just happen!  Rut: 17--OSU: 52
Seeberg:  My colleagues have very similar opinions on what will shake down in this game...and I'm no different.  Rutgers is remarkably 5-1 with two of the conference's biggest non-conference wins in Washington State and Navy.  It won't be nearly enough on homecoming in Ohio Stadium, however.  This team is a 180-degree departure from Cooper's days when the team would peak in September, blowing out big non-conference opponents, then stumble down the stretch.  The improvement week-to-week is visible to even a casual fan, and with two weeks to prep for Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights will understand what Scarlet on the football field is really supposed to look like.  RU: 17--OSU: 45

Upset Special
Draper: Northwestern over Nebraska
Hoying: Arkansas over Georgia
Schweinfurth: Boston College over Clemson
Seeberg:  West Virginia over Baylor

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2014 Rankings Premiere! Top 25 and Heisman Favorites - After Week 7

Now that the season is half over and the merry-go-round has slowed a bit, it's finally time to break out the more-useless-than-ever-in-the-playoff-era Top 25 Rankings and slightly less useless initial Heisman Ballots. Unless otherwise noted, rankings are based on what teams have done so far, not how we predict they will perform this week, let alone where they'll finish. 

If you interpret any of our Top 4's as a preliminary playoff prediction, we will come to your house and upper deck your toilets.

Draper Top 25
1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Ole Miss
4. Baylor
5. Notre Dame
6. Auburn
7. TCU
8. Alabama
9. Oregon
10. Michigan State
11. Arizona
12. Georgia
13. Ohio State
14. Oklahoma State
15. Nebraska
16. ECU
17. Utah
18. Marshall
19. Duke
20. Georgia Tech
21. Kansas State
22. Arizona State
23. USC
24. Stanford
25. Clemson

Draper Heisman Ballot
1. Dak Prescott (QB--Mississippi State)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. JT Barrett (QB--THE Ohio State University)


Hoying Top 25
1. Mississippi State
2. Mississippi
3. Florida State
4. Baylor
5. Notre Dame
6. TCU
7. Auburn
8. Oregon
9. Arizona
10. Alabama
11. Georgia Tech
12. Michigan State
13. Oklahoma
14. Georgia
15. Duke
16. Nebraska
17. Minnesota
18. Marshall
19. Ohio State
20. Arizona State
21. Washington
22. Utah
23. UCLA
24. Oklahoma State
25. Kansas State

Hoying Heisman Ballot
1. Dak Prescott(QB--Mississippi State)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)

Schweinfurth Top 25
1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Ole Miss
4. Baylor
5. Notre Dame
6. Oregon
7. Michigan State
8. Alabama
9. Auburn
10. Oklahoma
11. TCU
12. Ohio State
13. Georgia
14. Kansas State
15. Oklahoma State
16. Arizona
17. Arizona State
18. East Carolina
19. Marshall
20. Nebraska
21. Utah
22. USC
23. Stanford
24. Duke
25. Texas A&M    
 
Schweinfurth Heisman Ballot
1. Dak Prescott (QB--Mississippi St.)
2. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
3. JT Barrett (QB--Ohio State)
   
Seeberg Top 25
1.) Mississippi State
2.) Ole Miss
3.) Florida State
4.) Baylor
5.) Notre Dame
6.) Auburn
7.) Oregon
8.) Michigan State
9.) Alabama
10.) TCU
11.) Ohio State
12.) Oklahoma
13.) Kansas State
14.) Georgia
15.) Oklahoma State
16.) Arizona State
17.) Nebraska
18.) Arizona
19.) Utah
20.) USC
21.) Stanford
22.) Marshall
23.) East Carolina
24.) Duke
25.) Clemson

Seeberg Heisman Ballot
1.) Dak Prescott (QB--Mississippi State)
2.) Bryce Petty (QB-- Baylor)
3.) Everett Golson (QB-- Notre Dame)