The final college football matchup for the 2012-13 season, BCS No. 1 Notre Dame
vs BCS No.2 Alabama
, definitely brings back an old school feel to college football. Most experts are picking Alabama to win, but many are predicting it will be a closer game than the opening line spread.
Both teams in the 2013 BCS National Championship have been battle tested this season.
Notre Dame had to win two games in overtime and a slew of other close games. The Fighting Irish only allowed one goal-line rushing touchdown all season which came against the Sooners. The most rememberable goal line stand came against Stanford along with controversy.
Three of the final five games for Alabama were tightly knitted. The Tide's games against LSU, Texas A&M, and Georgia were all decided by five points or less. Alabama went 2-1 versus those opponents with the only loss coming against Texas A&M and Heisman QB Johnny Manziel.
Each team has a rich college football history. Alabama has won two of the last three BCS national championships, but Notre Dame has not won a national title since 1988. Despite the many other high-octane spread offenses in college football, the Tide and Fighting Irish have etched their way to the top this season by way of defense and top caliber linemen on both sides of the ball.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said at a recent press conference, “And in keeping with the venue where we are, you have two blue chip stocks that are going to go against each other." (DecaturDaily.com)
The Fighting Irish are obviously led by their defensive front and star linebacker Manti Te'o
who acquired a hoard of awards this season. Despite the stellar defense of the Tide, Alabama's top talent is on the offensive line spotlighted by a trio of soon to be NFL players in Barrett Jones, DJ Fluker, and Chance Warmack.
Alabama looks to have the edge on Notre Dame in just about every category, but that does not necessarily mean they will be the victor. As I often tell others, remember this is college football. When there are big games between closely matched teams, anything can happen. The SEC has won six straight national titles, but historically speaking, the Tide are just 1-5 against the Irish
. I figure the luck of the Irish will be the curse of the SEC. Why? Because this is college football.
Is this the year that the SEC goes down? ESPN picked the Trojans this preseason, but the luck of the Irish may be the curse of the SEC.
Links to each team's Fox Sports page are included for additional stats and information. There is also an Upset Alerts preview before the non-BCS bowl scheduled listed below.
Other than the BCS Championship game shown first, BCS and non-BCS bowls listed below are in chronological order.
Notre Dame Stats
Points per game: 26.8 (77th)
Yards per game: 421.3 (49th)
Passing yards per game: 218.8 (77th)
Rushing yards per game: 202.5 (27th)
Points allowed per game: 10.3 (1st)
Yards allowed per game: 288.1 (6th)
Passing yards allowed per game: 194.8 (21st)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 93.3 (5th)
Top Wins: Michigan, Stanford, at Oklahoma, & at USC
Points per game: 38.5 (15th)
Yards per game: 439.1 (40th)
Passing yards per game: 214.5 (85th)
Rushing yards per game: 224.6 (20th)
Points allowed per game: 10.7 (2nd)
Yards allowed per game: 246.0 (1st)
Passing yards allowed per game: 166.2 (6th)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 79.8 (1st)
Top Wins: vs. Michigan, Mississippi State, at LSU, & vs. Georgia
Losses: Texas A&M
Points per game: 28.5 (70th)
Yards per game: 376.8 (85th)
Passing yards per game: 203.5 (94th)
Rushing yards per game: 173.3 (52nd)
Points allowed per game: 17.5 (14th)
Yards allowed per game: 338.9 (21st)
Passing yards allowed per game: 251.2 (84th)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 87.7 (3rd)
Top Wins: USC, Oregon State, Oregon, & UCLA (twice)
Losses: at Washington & at Notre Dame
Points per game: 30.8 (52nd)
Yards per game: 400.4 (62nd)
Passing yards per game: 162.6 (115th)
Rushing yards per game: 237.8 (12th)
Points allowed per game: 19.1 (20th)
Yards allowed per game: 320.9 (13th)
Passing yards allowed per game: 196.5 (24th)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 124.5 (22nd)
Top Wins: vs. Nebraska
Losses: at Oregon State, at Nebraska, Michigan State Ohio State, & at Penn State
Florida State Stats
Points per game: 39.9 (14th)
Yards per game: 465.9 (23rd)
Passing yards per game: 262.9 (43rd)
Rushing yards per game: 203.0 (25th)
Points allowed per game: 15.1 (7th)
Yards allowed per game: 253.4 (2nd)
Passing yards allowed per game: 160.8 (3rd)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 92.6 (4th)
Top Wins: Clemson
Losses: at NC State & Florida
Northern Illinois Stats
Points per game: 40.8 (9th)
Yards per game: 485.8 (15th)
Passing yards per game: 235.6 (60th)
Rushing yards per game: 250.2 (9th)
Points allowed per game: 19.0 (18th)
Yards allowed per game: 356.7 (35th)
Passing yards allowed per game: 217.7 (41st)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 139 (32nd)
Top Wins: vs. Kent State
Points per game: 26.8 (75th)
Yards per game: 338.0 (104th)
Passing yards per game: 143.9 (118th)
Rushing yards per game: 194.1 (35th)
Points allowed per game: 12.9 (3rd)
Yards allowed per game: 282.6 (5th)
Passing yards allowed per game: 186.0 (15th)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 96.6 (6th)
Top Wins: LSU, South Carolina, & at Florida State
Losses: vs. Georgia
Points per game: 31.0 (49th)
Yards per game: 425.7 (47th)
Passing yards per game: 298.6 (24th)
Rushing yards per game: 127.1 (100th)
Points allowed per game: 23.8 (38th)
Yards allowed per game: 344.8 (24th)
Passing yards allowed per game: 193.8 (19th)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 151.1 (53rd)
Top Wins: Cincinnati & Rutgers
Losses: at Syracuse & Connecticut
Kansas State Stats
Points per game: 40.7 (10th)
Yards per game: 410.4 (55th)
Passing yards per game: 212.1 (86th)
Rushing yards per game: 198.3 (33rd)
Points allowed per game: 21.1 (24th)
Yards allowed per game: 375.3 (94th)
Passing yards allowed per game: 255.8 (94th)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 119.6 (17th)
Top Wins: Oklahoma & Texas
Losses: at Baylor
Points per game: 50.8 (2nd)
Yards per game: 550.1 (4th)
Passing yards per game: 226.8 (67th)
Rushing yards per game: 323.3 (3rd)
Points allowed per game: 22.0 (26th)
Yards allowed per game: 381.8 (48th)
Passing yards allowed per game: 235.8 (62nd)
Rushing yards allowed per game: 146.0 (47th)
Top Wins: USC & Oregon State
I am intensely thorough in covering college football and the parity, a word often used in this sport, is growing more and more each season. Basically, all the favorites in BCS Bowl games could lose in an upset, but of course, the trick is figuring out which ones.
I would say that Notre Dame
, and Northern Illinois
are all underdogs with a good chance to win, but I could also see the Cardinals and Huskies being blown out which is what many other experts and bettors believe to be the outcome. Northern Illinois
and Florida State
both had late season coaching departures. NIU lost head coach Dave Doeren to NC State at the same position and former FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops took the head coaching position at Kentucky (Coaching Carousel)
. The Seminoles are thought of as the more talented team and have a statistically top notch defense, but the Huskies should have a larger chip on their shoulder. This game could end in a blowout victory for Florida State or a dramatic close win for Northern Illinois. Louisville
is a talented team, but young which is one reason for the close games and upset losses this season. Florida
has done a great job of winning, but not always impressively. UF just barely managed to eke out a victory against Louisiana-Lafayette and the talent of the Cardinals matches up better with the Gators than most give them credit. If highly prospected QB Teddy Bridgewater can move the ball for Louisville with accurate passes, then the Cardinals can pull it off. But if the Florida defense led by safety Matt Elam keeps him in check, the running game and defense of Louisville will have trouble picking up the slack. Oklahoma
is slightly favored against Texas A&M
, but I am picking the Aggies to win the Cotton Bowl. It has been some time since the Sooners have won a big game as well as I am just not confident in quarterback Landry Jones as a clutch player. And really, who wouldn't pick Aggies QB Johnny "Football" Manziel. Jones has thrown eight interceptions over the last eight games of the season while Manziel threw just two picks in the last five games. This should be a fun bowl to watch.
The Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl features match ups with opening lines under double digits. But I still believe that Oregon
should have no problem handling Kansas State
. If the Ducks get an early lead as they do so often, the Wildcats will have difficulty keeping up with their style. Stanford
should also take care of Wisconsin
, but the Badgers did look good in the Big Ten Championship. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball will need another great outing to give his team a chance, but Stanford has the third best rated defense in rushing yards allowed per game.
In many ways, bowl games are highly unpredictable, because it largely depends on which team "shows up" to play. I am predicting some big upsets since I can be a rebel at times, but I would only take my Irish pick to Vegas, especially to beat the spread
Dec. 15, New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, ESPN, 1 PMNevada Wolfpack (7-5) vs. Arizona Wildcats (7-5)
Opening Line: Wildcats by 8
Dec. 15, Famous Idaho Potato, Boise, ID, ESPN, 4:30 PM
Toledo Rockets (9-3) vs. 22 Utah State Aggies (10-2)
Opening Line: Aggies by 8
Dec. 20, Poinsettia, San Diego, CA, ESPN, 8 PM
BYU Cougars (7-5) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (9-3)
Opening Line: Cougars by 2.5
Dec. 21, Beef o' Brady's, St. Petersburg, FL, ESPN, 7:30 PM
Ball State Cardinals (9-3) vs. UCF Knights (9-4)
Opening Line: Knights by 7
Dec. 22, New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, ESPN, noon
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (8-4) vs. East Carolina Pirates (7-5)
Opening Line: Ragin' Cajuns by 4.5
Dec. 22, Maaco, Las Vegas, NV, ESPN, 3:30 PM
Washington Huskies (7-5) vs. 19 Boise State Broncos (10-2)
Opening Line: Broncos by 7.5
Dec. 24, Hawaii, Honolulu. HA, ESPN, 8 PM
SMU Mustangs (6-6) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (9-3)
Opening Line: Bulldogs by 11.5
Dec. 26, Little Caesar's Pizza, Detroit, MI, ESPN, 3 PM
Central Michigan Chippewas (6-6) vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7-5)
Opening Line: Hilltoppers by 6
Dec. 27, Military, Washington, DC, ESPN, 3 PM
Bowling Green Falcons (8-4) vs. 24 San Jose State Spartans (10-2)
Opening Line: Spartans by 8
Dec. 27, Belk, Charlotte, NC, ESPN, 6:30 PM
Duke Blue Devils (6-6) vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (9-3)
Opening Line: Bearcats by 10.5
Dec. 27, Holiday, San Diego, CA, ESPN, 9:45 PM
17 UCLA Bruins (9-4) vs. Baylor Bears (7-5)
Opening Line: Bears by 1
Dec. 28, Independence, Shreveport, LA, ESPN, 2 PM
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (8-4) vs. Ohio Bobcats (8-4)
Opening Line: Warhawks by 6
Dec. 28, Russell Athletic, Orlando, FL, ESPN, 5:30 PM
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (6-6)
Opening Line: Even
Dec. 28, Meineke Car Care, Houston, TX, ESPN, 9 PM
Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-6) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-5)
Opening Line: Red Raiders by 13
Dec. 29, Armed Forces, Fort Worth Texas, TX, ESPN, 11:45 AM
Rice Owls (6-6) vs. Air Force Falcons (6-6)
Opening Line: Owls by 1
Dec. 29, Kraft Fight Hunger, San Francisco, CA, ESPN2, 4 PM
Arizona State Sun Devils (7-5) vs. Navy Midshipmen (8-4)
Opening Line: Sun Devils by 14.5
Dec. 29, Pinstripe, Bronx, NY, ESPN, 3:15 PM
West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5) vs. Syracuse Orange (7-5)
Opening Line: Mountaineers by 4
Dec. 29, Alamo, San Antonio, TX, ESPN, 6:45 PM
23 Texas Longhorns (8-4) vs. 13 Oregon State Beavers (9-3)
Opening Line: Beavers by 1.5
Dec. 29, Buffalo Wild Wings, Tempe, AZ, ESPN, 10:15 PM
TCU Horned Frogs (7-5) vs. Michigan State Spartans (6-6)
Opening Line: Horned Frogs by 1
Dec. 31, Music City, Nashville, TN, ESPN, noon
Vanderbilt Commodores (8-4) vs. NC State Wolfpack (7-5)
Opening Line: Commodores by 5.5
Dec. 31, Sun, El Paso, TX, CBS, 2 PM
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-7) vs. USC Trojans (7-5)
Opening Line: Trojans by 10
Dec. 31, Liberty, Memphis, TN, ESPN, 3:30 PM
Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (10-3) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (6-6)
Opening Line: Golden Hurricanes by 3
Dec. 31, Chick-fil-A, Atlanta, GA, ESPN, 7:30 PM
14 Clemson Tigers (10-2) vs. 8 LSU Tigers (10-2)
Opening Line: LSU Tigers by 3.5
Jan. 1, Gator, Jacksonville, FL, ESPN2, noon
20 Northwestern Wildcats (9-3) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4)
Opening Line: Bulldogs by 2
Jan. 1, Heart of Dallas, Dallas, TX, ESPNU, noon
Purdue Boilermakers (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-5)
Opening Line: Cowboys by 17.5
Jan. 1, Outback, Tampa, FL. ESPN, 1 PM
18 Michigan Wolverines (8-4) vs. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks (10-2)
Opening Line: Gamecocks by 4.5
Jan. 1, Capital One, Orlando, FL, ABC, 1 PM
16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-3) vs. 7 Georgia Bulldogs (11-2)
Opening Line: Bulldogs by 8.5
Jan. 4, Cotton, Arlington, TX, Fox, 8 PM
9 Texas A&M Aggies (10-2) vs. 11 Oklahoma Sooners (10-2)
Opening Line: Sooners by 3Sports Illustrated Pick: Oklahoma
CBS Sports Pick: Texas A&M
College Football Universe Pick: Texas A&M
Jan. 5, BBVA Compass, Birmingham, AL, ESPN, 1 PM
Pittsburgh Panthers (6-6) vs. Ole Miss Rebels (6-6)
Opening Line: Rebels by 2
Jan. 6, GoDaddy.com, Mobile, AL, ESPN, 9 PM
25 Kent State Golden Flashes (11-2) vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves (9-3)
Opening Line: Even
Sports Illustrated picks are from the BCS Bowl Preview Special Issue magazine.
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Team, Record, True Wins
LSU 13-1, 585
Oklahoma State 12-1, 570
Alabama 12-1, 461
Oklahoma 10-3, 392
Team, Fair Score
Oklahoma State .28634
Team, BOW, Total Wins
Oklahoma State 12-1, 92, 607
LSU 13-1, 97, 588
Alabama 12-1, 79, 464
Oklahoma 10-3, 71, 453
Team, LOL, Total Losses
Oklahoma 11, 61
Oklahoma State 7, 37
LSU 1, 3
Alabama 1, 3
Above are statistics listed for the fairest ranking system in college football. I have literally been working on this for over a year. I am as close as ever to perfecting it and creating a system of standings in college football that could determine automatic qualifiers. It is all based on who they beat and who they lose to.
The Fair Ranking System has been modified to include losses as part of the newly developed true wins. Listed above are a few of the top teams from the 2011 season calculated according to the new system. The modified version will be used for the 2012 season. Calculations will be done early mid-season and at the end of the season. The following is the explanation of the Fair Ranking System and the new changes to it. Some of this is from a previous article I posted.
The following statistical measures are included in the Fair Ranking System. I listed the beaten opponents' wins (BOW) and total wins for each team. Total wins consist of the team's wins, beaten opponents' wins, and beaten opponents' of beaten opponents wins. I also listed the lost to opponents' losses (LOL) and total losses. Total losses consist of team's losses, lost to opponents' losses, and lost to opponents' of lost to opponents losses. Total wins minus total losses equals true wins. True wins is the best statistic listed to determine what team has earned their rank and for automatic qualifiers.
The formula for the Fair Score is as follows:
Team's win percent times beaten opponents' win percent times beaten opponents' of beaten opponents win percent = Fair Score.
Other calculation notes: Games against non-FBS teams were counted and each non-FBS team was designated a record of 1-10 in order to give some value to the game. Also, if an FBS team is winless at the end of the season, then their record will still show one win when calculating a team's fair score in order to give value to all wins. Losses of beaten opponents against the team being calculated were not included in the win-loss percentage of beaten opponents.
Using Oklahoma as an example, here is how the Fair Ranking System is calculated:
Oklahoma Sooners 10-3
Team wins: 10
Beaten opponents' wins (BOW): 71 (Tulsa 8, Florida State 9, Missouri 8, Ball State 6, Texas 8, Kansas 2, Kansas State 10, Texas A&M 7, Iowa State 6, and Iowa 7.)
Beaten opponents' of beaten opponents wins: 372
Tulsa beat Tulane 2, North Texas 5, UAB 3, Rice 4, SMU 8, UCF 5, Marshall 7, and Utep 5.
Florida State beat ULM 4, Charleston Southern 1, Duke 3, Maryland 2, NC State 8, Boston College 4, Miami 6, Florida 7 and Notre Dame 8.
Missouri beat Miami OH 4, Western Illinois 1, Iowa State 6, Texas A&M 7, Texas 8, Texas Tech 5, Kansas 2, and North Carolina 7.
Ball State beat Indiana 1, Buffalo 3, Army 3, Ohio 10, Central Michigan 3, and Eastern Michigan 6.
Texas beat Rice 4, BYU 10, UCLA 6, Iowa State 6, Kansas 2, Texas Tech 5, Texas A&M 7, and California 7.
Kansas beat McNeese St 1, and Northern Illinois 11.
Kansas State beat Eastern Kentucky 1, Kent St 5, Miami 6, Baylor 10, Missouri 8, Texas Tech 5, Kansas 2, Texas A&M 7, Texas 8, and Iowa State 6.
Texas A&M beat SMU 8, Idaho 2, Texas Tech 5, Baylor 10, Iowa St 6, Kansas 2, and Northwestern 6.
Iowa State beat Northern Iowa 1, Iowa 7, Connecticut 5, Texas Tech 5, Kansas 2, and Oklahoma St 12.
Iowa beat Tennessee Tech 1, Pitt 6, ULM 4, Northwestern 6, Indiana 1, Michigan 11, and Purdue 7.
Total Wins: 453
Team losses: 3
Lost to opponents' losses (LOL): 11 (Lost to Texas Tech 7, Baylor 3, and Oklahoma State 1.)
Lost to opponents' of lost to opponents losses: 47
Texas Tech lost to Texas A&M 6, Kansas State 3, Iowa State 7, Texas 5, Oklahoma State 1, Missouri 5, and Baylor 3.
Baylor lost to Kansas State 3, Texas A&M 6, and Oklahoma State 1.
Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State 7.
Total Losses: 61
True Wins: 392
453 total wins minus 61 total losses equals 392 true wins.
Fair Score: (10/13)(71/117)(372/822)= .21125172
(wins/games)(bow/games)(bow's of bow/games)= fair score
Projected AP Top 10
7. Florida State
8. South Carolina
On the Bubble: West Virginia is the only other team that could make the top 10. Arkansas, Michigan, and South Carolina are teams projected in the top 10 that could drop out. Auburn, Florida, and Notre Dame are all on the bubble for the top 25.
Wisconsin will be ranked at 12.
Kansas State will be in the top 20.
Texas will be in the top 20.
The AP Top 25 Preseason Poll will be released August 18, but here are some projections to give you an idea of what the rankings will be almost two weeks ahead of time.
The number one ranking in the AP Preseason Top 25 will be a close call between USC
. The Trojans have received a good deal of off-season media hype (number one in ESPN poll
) and their recent acquisition of Penn State transfer Silas Redd has kept the program in the news as of late. I previously stated that LSU would most likely be the preseason number one
, but I now believe Redd may have tilted the voters just enough in favor of the Trojans. However, I would not be too surprised to see the Bayou Bengals at the top of the rankings.
LSU is the USA Today Coaches Top 25 Preseason number one team, but barely. The Tigers edged out Alabama
by only four points for the top slot and just 15 ahead of number three USC. The Crimson Tide actually received the most number one votes, but will probably be third in the AP since I expect USC and LSU to receive the most top votes. Of Georgia, Florida State, Oklahoma
, and Oregon
, I am sure that two of the four teams will make up the rest of the AP top five with Oregon the most definitive.
Of the teams projected in the top 10, Arkansas, Michigan,
and South Carolina
are the teams that could fall outside of it. West Virginia could make it, but other than the possibility of them, it should be the same teams as the top 10 of the Coaches Poll just in different order. Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith is also the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year according to media that cover the conference. Wisconsin may have a longshot chance to break the top ten, but I doubt they will with the negative publicity recently involving the attack on Montee Ball. They will probably be ranked around 12 like in the Coaches Poll and will definitely be in the top 15.
For other projections, Kansas State
should get slightly more credit in the AP than the Coaches and fall at least in the top 20. Texas
will also be ranked somewhere in the top 20. Florida
and Notre Dame
are both on the bubble for the top 25. They each are very well known programs, but both also loom with uncertainty at quarterback going into the 2012 season. Auburn
is another team on the bubble to break the rankings.
Last season, I did ranking projections on Saturday nights/ Sunday mornings between midnight and 2 a.m. CST for weeks 5 through 14. Most of the time, I projected the top five teams or close to it with other predictions for teams in top 25 rankings (projected BCS weeks 10 through 14). I correctly projected teams to be ranked in the top five 94 percent of the time and was correct 95 percent on other projections. I was also correct 81 percent of the time on the exact team rankings predicted in the top five (projected rankings here
Here is the top 10 for the USA Today Coaches Poll and projections from other sites earlier this year:
| |USA Today Coaches Poll
1. LSU (18)
2. Alabama (20)
3. USC (19)
7. Florida State
9. South Carolina
| |PhilSteele.com AP Projection
9. Florida State
10. South Carolina
Bleacher Report AP Prediction 1. USC
7. Florida State
10. West Virginia
*Select articles on College Football Universe are syndicated with GameDayr.com
. Sign up on Gamedayr.com
to share anything about gameday or college sports.
The hog mollies on the offensive line never seem to get enough attention in college football so here is a rundown of the best O-linemen in the nation for the 2012 season. The top 20 offensive linemen are ranked along with a summary of the top five and notes on the rest. The ranking is based on the best college football linemen not NFL prospects, but information on draft status is included. Bench, squat, and 40-yard dash numbers are provided for the top five. Four of the top five linemen have weight room numbers listed from high school and some of the other players have more recent weight room numbers posted.
1. C Barrett Jones, Alabama Crimson Tide
Barrett Jones comes into the 2012 college football season as a highly decorated veteran on the best offensive line in the nation. He is not the top athlete on the list, but more than makes up for it with his versatility and reliability. Jones won the Outland Trophy in 2011 and is a first team lineman on nearly every preseason team list for 2012. He is now listed as center, but has played four positions on the line while at Alabama. His solid play helped Alabama rush for 2,788 yards as a team which ranked 16th in rush yards per game while contributing to Trent Richardson's Heisman finalist season. He is a late first to second round NFL Draft prospect.
2. OT DJ Fluker, Alabama Crimson Tide
Size: 6'6 335 poundsBench Max: 375 lbs Squat Max: 525 lbs 40 Yard Dash: 4.9 secs Stats:
22 career starts at right tackleDraft Rating:
Early/Mid First Round
DJ Fluker is a behemoth on the offensive line and is the top rated lineman on Mel Kiper's Big Board at six overall
. He has played mostly right tackle for the Crimson Tide, but there is a chance that he could be a guard at the next level. His posted weight is actually less than it was in high school and he is currently listed as 335 pounds. Fluker may not be as accomplished as his teammate Barrett Jones, but there are high expectations for him due to his physicality alone. With a little refinement, he should easily maintain his NFL Draft stock.
3. OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan Wolverines
Size: 6'8 302 lbs Bench Max: 335 lbs Squat Max: 450 lbs 40 Yard Dash: 4.72 secs Stats:
Started 22 games in two seasons Draft Rating:
Mid/Early First Round
After a misfit freshman season that involved antics and penalties, Taylor Lewan came back strong and matured some as a sophomore. He is an athletic lineman that has good power for his build and incredible length with his 6'8 height to fight off defenders. The Wolverine lineman has definite first round potential for the NFL Draft coming into his junior season. Lewan started all 13 games last season at left tackle and his athleticism should translate well in the pros.
4. OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin Badgers
Size: 6'6 322 lbsBench Max:
N/A40 Yard Dash: 5.32Stats:
Started all 14 games in 2011 and played in 38 games for career Draft Rating:
Late First/ Early Second Round
Ricky Wagner is a durable lineman that rose from walk-on to NFL prospect thus far in his college career. He was a consensus honorable mention on the All-Big Ten team for the past two seasons and is a first team preseason All-American on various lists for 2012. He performs well as a blindside pass blocker at left tackle and is consistently good all around in his play. Wisconsin has traditionally done a great job of prepping players for the NFL and Wagner should be the next.
5. OG Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Size: 6'3 300 lbsBench Max: 340 lbs Squat Max: 500 lbs 40 Yard Dash: 5.3 secsStats:
22 career starts and 36 games playedDraft Rating:
Experienced right guard Omoregie Uzzi is a powerful run blocker for the Ramblin Wreck. He earned First Team All-ACC in 2011 and is a Second Team Phil Steele's 2012 Preseason All-American. His effort on the line helped his team rank second nationally in rushing yards last season with 316.5 yards per game and they ranked in the top four rushing yards in each of his three seasons. He is the most questionable of the top five due to a late season injury, but if he fully recovers, expect another strong season.
Rest of the Top 20 Offensive Linemen
There are a lot of good players on this list that could have placed in the top five and that may have higher NFL Draft potential. Luke Joeckel is a first round prospect, Gabe Ikard has had an outstanding college career, and Travis Frederick's weight room numbers are freakish. Here are the rest of the top 20 offensive linemen in college football for 2012 with their height, weight, and a note on each:6. C Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma: 6'4 295 lbs
, 88 knockdowns on 860 snaps in 2011 according to SoonerSports.com
.7. OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M: 6'6 310 lbs
, First round NFL Draft potential at 16 on Mel Kiper's Big Board
8. OG Travis Frederick Wisconsin: 6'4 328 lbs
, school record 770-lb squat & benchs around 500 lbs. 9. OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina: 6'3 310 lbs
, 2012 Phil Steele's All-American First Team.10. OT Alex Hurst, LSU: 6'6 340 lbs
, 71.5 knockdowns in 767 plays in 2011 according to LSUSports.net
.11. OG Chance Warmack, Alabama: 6'3 320 lbs
, started 26 straight games.12. OT Chris Faulk, LSU: 6'6 325 lbs
, 500-lb squat
& 73.5 knockdowns in 724 snaps in 2011 according to LSUSports.net. 13. OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M: 6'5 305 lbs
, started all 13 games in 2011 & son of Bruce Matthews.14. OG Alvin Bailey, Arkansas: 6'5 319 lbs
, 2011 All SEC Second Team (Coaches), 440-lb bench press & 555-lb squat
.15. C Dalton Freeman, Clemson: 6'5 285 lbs
, 36 career starts & 2012 Rimington Award Watch List. 16. OG Larry Warford, Kentucky: 6'3 336 lbs
, 1 QB sack & graded 87.5 percent in 2011 according to NFLDraftScout.com
.17. OG Blaize Foltz, TCU: 6'4 310 lbs,
2011 All MWC First Team, posted 580-lb bench press & 800-lb squat
.18. C Khaled Holmes, USC: 6'4 305 lbs
, 2011 All Pac-12 Second Team.19. OG Mason Walters, Texas: 6'6 315 lbs
, started 25 games in a row at right guard.20. OG Marcus Martin, USC: 6'3 325 lbs
, 2011 Freshman All-American First Team by various publications.Honorable Mention:
OG Lane Taylor Oklahoma State (6'3 328 lbs
), OT Oday Aboushi Virginia (6'6 310 lbs
), OG Braden Hansen BYU (6'6 313 lbs
), C Braxston Cave* Notre Dame (6'3 304 lbs
), OT Morgan Moses Virginia (6'6 336 lbs
), OG Chris McDonald Michigan State (6'5 299 lbs
), OG Carson York Oregon (6'5 284 lbs
), and OT Cameron Fleming Stanford (6'6 308 lbs
). *Cave benchs 520 lbs
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AP Top 3:1. LSU2. Alabama3. Stanford
Other AP Projections:USC will be ranked in the top 25.Clemson will be in the top six.Boise State will not move to three and will be jumped by another team.
On the AP Bubble:Boise State, Oklahoma State, and Stanford all have a chance at the number three ranking even though I am projecting the Broncos will be jumped. It will most likely be a close call between Stanford and Oklahoma State.
Everyone is waiting for the Big Showdown on November 5, LSU at Alabama
. With two more undefeated teams losing, the SEC powerhouses now completely hold the spotlight for the BCS national championship race. Both teams have next week off before the play.
Chris Fowler showed reflected the media’s anticipation with this tweet to a Twitter follower after LSU’s slow start today, but they went on to pound Auburn: “Tigers don't Need style points. But u know what I meant. Kinda sluggish early. Wasn't worried. 1 vs 2 in 14 days!!”
unexpectedly lost to Texas Tech. Everything seemed to not go the Sooners way in a poor showing ending in a loss to Texas Tech that broke their 39-game home winning streak. A late surge by OU made it close at the end, but Texas Tech had control most of the game led by quarterback Seth Doege (425 yds, 4 TDs). Wisconsin
also lost in dramatic fashion to Michigan State 37-31 via a Hail Mary by Kirk Cousins to Keith Nichol. See YouTube video below.
will move to three in the USA Today Coaches Poll
while their nation high win streak extends to 15. The three spot in the AP Poll will be much closer though. Boise State, Oklahoma State,
all have a chance to fill the slot. The Broncos were fifth last week in the AP and would be the next up, but Boise State’s win over Air Force 37-26 was not near the eye popping 65-21 win of Stanford over Washington. I project Stanford will move to three in the AP Top 25, but I may be wrong since Oklahoma State has just as much of a chance at the three spot. Boise State will not move to three and will be jumped in the rankings by one of the teams or both. Clemson
will at least be in the AP top six and may challenge for number five. Clemson was tied last week in the USA Today Coaches poll with Oregon for eighth so they will at least move to six.
will break into the AP Top 25 after their 31-17 win over Notre Dame. Of course, they do not qualify for any of the BCS component rankings, but they were one of the last teams out of the AP rankings last week.
I also included a link to Bleacher Report for the BCS projected standings
even though they are now outdated due to upsets. ESPN reported Brad Edwards projected the BCS top five to be: Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State, Stanford,
. I would say that Alabama/LSU, and Oklahoma State are a lock for the BCS top three since Stanford had such a low computer ranking last week, but that will improve after their win against Washington and as the season progresses. Bleacher Report had LSU projected at number one.
Bleacher Report Projected BCS Rankings 2011: Predicting Whether the Top 25 Will Move Up or Down:http://bleacherreport.com/articles/906360-projected-bcs-rankings-2011-predicting-whether-the-top-25-will-move-up-or-down?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=BR_CrimsonTide&utm_source=twitter.com
Projected AP Top 4
The top three teams should remain the same in the AP Top 25
this week being LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma. They all had dominating wins over their opponents this weekend and the media is salivating over the almost certain number one vs. two matchup between LSU and Alabama on November 5. Wisconsin should also hold at four.
As many college football fans know, the BCS standings is comprised of computer rankings, the Harris Poll, and the USA Today Coaches Poll.
The USA Today Coaches Poll
should still have the Sooners in the top slot this week, but they are more vulnerable to losing it and the media has been heavily promoting the Bayou Bengals so there is no guarantee. The Harris Poll
currently has LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin ranked in that order; I don’t see them changing their rankings much this week.
The first BCS Standings
for 2011 will be released later today so I gathered some information about the BCS computer rankings and other projections. The number one spot in the first BCS Standings of the season is a toss-up between the same top three teams as in the other polls. Alabama was the leader in most of the computer rankings for week seven. Bleacher Report has projected the top three to be LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma in that order. I also believe that LSU is the most likely to be atop the BCS Standings later today. Brad Edwards of ESPN has LSU, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Oklahoma State in his Tier 1. A close win for Oklahoma State over Texas and a slow first half for Oklahoma against Kansas may make them both lag behind the SEC powerhouses some more this week.
Projected BCS Rankings 2011: Updated Predictions for Oct. 16http://bleacherreport.com/articles/893895-projected-bcs-rankings-2011-updated-predictions-for-oct-16
Projected BCS Standings Mon, Oct 10, 2011http://news.yahoo.com/projected-bcs-standings-153010274.html
Ranking BCS title contendershttp://insider.espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7077162/cfb-ranking-undefeated-teams-terms-bcs-title-likelihood
BCS Computer Rankingshttp://www.bcsfootball.org/news/story?id=4765872
Jeff Sagarin NCAA football ratings Updatedhttp://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbt11.htm
Harris Poll on ESPN.comhttp://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings/_/poll/5
AP Top 25 and USA Today/ ESPN Coaches Poll on College Football Universe http://www.collegefootballuniverse.com/Rankings.html
This is a list of Heisman Trophy contenders. I ranked them on who I feel is most worthy, but I also included information on the current leaders.
The frontrunners early on are quarterbacks Andrew Luck
and Russell Wilson
. Robert Griffin III
is my early leader, but among Heisman voters Luck is still heavily favored to win. RG3 began this season with a big win over TCU and has only thrown one interception so far. Luck is undoubtedly the top NFL prospect in college football and is coming off of last season’s hype as Heisman runner up. In Wisconsin, they now have hope of a national championship behind their star transfer Wilson that already helped the Badgers thump Nebraska.
It is midseason so the race is still wide open. There are a couple of running backs that are just a big game or two away from being vaulted to the top of Heisman contention. Trent Richardson
is still a strong contender and LaMichael James
was running himself back into the race until an injury to his elbow which may keep him out of it.There are also long shot contenders that could rise. LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu
is in the running, but he will need to keep putting up eye popping stats to stay in contention as a defensive player. Oklahoma QB Landry Jones
jumped to number two on the website Stiff Arm Trophy after last weekend's demolition of Texas.
I actually included 13 players in the Dynamic Dozen since LaMichael James is injured and I felt that AJ Jenkins
is the best wide receiver worth mentioning so I have him tied with Denard Robinson
for the last spot. 1. Robert Griffin III QB Baylor
, 360 pass/rush ypg, 21 total touchdowns, 80.3% completion, 212.9 passer rating.2. Andrew Luck QB Stanford
, 276.6 passing ypg, 73.1% completion, 15 total touchdowns.3. Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin,
272.2 passing ypg, 74.8% completion, 15 total touchdowns, 216.9 passer rating.4. Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma State
, 376 passing ypg, 15 passing touchdowns, 75.8% completion.5. Trent Richardson RB Alabama,
146.3 rush/receiving ypg, 12 total touchdowns. 6. Tyrann Mathieu CB LSU,
4 forced fumbles, 3 fumbles recovered, 2 interceptions, 5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 2 touchdowns.7. Kellen Moore QB Boise State,
278.2 passing ypg, 17 passing touchdowns, 171.6 passer rating, 74% completion.8. Landry Jones QB Oklahoma,
362.8 passing ypg, 15 total touchdowns. 9. Case Keenum QB Houston,
384.8 passing ypg, 17 passing touchdowns, 71.4% completion, 174.8 passer rating.10. LaMichael James RB Oregon,
202.2 rush/receiving ypg, 9 total touchdowns. 11. Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina,
155.3 rush/receiving ypg, 10 total touchdowns12t. Denard Robinson QB Michigan,
308.3 pass/rush ypg, 18 total touchdowns12t. AJ Jenkins WR Illinois,
135.8 receiving ypg, 7 receiving touchdowns.
Some other players just out of the Heisman spotlight: David Wilson RB Virginia Tech, Tajh Boyd QB Clemson, Matt Barkley QB USC, Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas, Geno Smith QB West Virginia, and Robert Woods WR USC.
Links to other Heisman lists and information:
Heisman Watch Week 7 ESPN Expert’s Pollhttp://espn.go.com/college-football/heisman11/
Week 6: Jones replaces Wilson in top two.http://www.stiffarmtrophy.com/
2011 Heisman Trophy Predictionshttp://www.docsports.com/current/heisman-trophy-predictions.html
LaMichael James' Heisman hopes falter in wake of elbow injury.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/cory_mccartney/10/10/heisman-watch/index.html
Honey Badger for Heisman.http://insider.espn.go.com/college-football/blog/_/name/mcgee_ncf_ryan/id/7087248/cfb-lsu-tigers-db-tyrann-mathieu-heisman-case
Projected AP Top 3:
AP Top 25 Bubble Teams:
Wisconsin and Boise State could lose their 4 and 5 ranking respectively to Oklahoma State.
I’m putting all ranked losing teams on the bubble to drop out of the top 25 due to blow-out losses, but Florida State is the only sure one to drop out which is a no brainer. Other losing ranked teams: Texas, Auburn, and Florida.
None of the teams in the AP top 10 lost this week and only four in the whole top 25, but there still may be some shifts. Florida State is the only sure team to drop out of the rankings. ESPN College Gameday was at the Cotton Bowl for the Red River Rivalry 55 to 17 beat-down that the Sooners gave the Longhorns. As a result, Oklahoma will jump Alabama to at least second in the AP poll and will challenge LSU for the top spot, but I don’t think they will be number one. Oklahoma State is the other team most likely to move up that is ranked in the top 10 after their dominating 70-28 win over Kansas, but I’m unsure if they will jump both Boise State and Wisconsin; the Badgers were idle this week.
Projected AP Top Four beginning Week Five:1. LSU
4. Boise State
It will be a very close call between LSU
for the top spot in the AP poll. Despite having 23 less top votes, LSU was 47 points away from number one in the week four rankings (OU- 1,471 & LSU-1,424). Many media pundits are now jumping on the Baton Rouge bandwagon and that may be enough to edge them to number one, but the amount of top votes will be very close between Oklahoma and LSU. Kirk Herbstreit said on tonight’s game LSU vs. West Virginia that “no reason they shouldn’t be ranked number one” in regards to LSU and their season’s accomplishments. If LSU is not voted number one beginning week five, then they will trail Oklahoma by an even narrower margin than in week four and Alabama would have taken enough votes from LSU to keep the Sooners in the top slot. Alabama
and Boise State
should both hold at three and four. Other Projections and Notes for Week Five AP Top 25:
will make one of the biggest jumps in the polls this weekend after their win over Florida State and the media recognition of two solid opponents in a row. They should be in the top 17 or higher when the polls come out. AP voter Steve Phillips of WBIR-TV tweeted, “Toughest non-#SEC schedule I've seen is Clemson's 3 game stretch: Auburn, Florida State, Virginia Tech. They're 2-0 so far.” Kansas State
should get some votes for the top 25, but I’m unsure if they will make it in the top 25 since they didn’t get any votes last week. Chris Fowler of ESPN which is also an AP voter noticed their tight win against the Hurricanes and tweeted earlier, “Kudos to K-State, stoning UM on the goal line and thank God for replay, reversing an awful TD call. Big XII making September statements.”
Three teams being Wisconsin
, Oklahoma State
, and Stanford
are vying for the fifth spot which Stanford held coming into week four, but they were idle this week.
We’ll see tomorrow if LSU is really the new number one, but it will be close.
Oklahoma State (12-0) 18.771
Oklahoma (11-1) 17.408
Missouri (10-2) 13.285
Texas (9-3) 11.947
Texas Tech (8-4) 10.921
Baylor (5-7) 7.966
Texas A&M (6-6/5-7) 6.64
Kansas State (7-5/6-6) 5.299
Iowa State (2-10) 2.014
Kansas (1-11) -1.7
*Games against FCS teams were not projected. However, teams were given a win for FCS games to show a better depiction of the projected season record, but this does not help in accuracy since FCS teams do win some games.
*Bowl games are not projected.
Oklahoma State is projected to have an undefeated season, but their games against Oklahoma and Missouri are projected to be very close. Texas A&M at Kansas State is too close to call and that is why there are two projections for both teams. Texas A&M is possibly the most overrated team in college football numerically speaking. Their rankings in the preseason polls must be mostly due to the "eye test" and speculation.