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Thread: Cnotes preview of 2019 college football conference outlook

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  1. #51  
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    Wednesday’s 6-pack


    Odds to win Mountain West football title:


    5-4- Boise State


    4-1- Fresno State


    6-1- San Diego State


    7-1- Air Force


    10-1- Utah State


    25-1- Nevada

    Quote of the Day

    “Daniel Jones looks like he’d play Eli Manning in a movie about Peyton Manning.”
    Chris Carlin


    Wednesday’s quiz
    Which current NFL head coach was once a QB who led his college team to a 42-40 win after they trailed 31-0 in that game?
    Hint: He also won an NFL playoff game after his team trailed by 32 points.


    Tuesday’s quiz
    Cowboys coach Jason Garrett played college football at Princeton and was later Nick Saban’s QB coach with the Miami Dolphins.


    Monday’s quiz
    When Jon Gruden won the Super Bowl coaching Tampa Bay, Bill Callahan was coaching the Raiders.


    ***************************


    Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….


    13) Phillies fired hitting coach John Mallee Tuesday, replacing him for rest of this season with 75-year old Charlie Manuel, who managed the Phillies when they won the 2008 World Series.


    Manuel managed the Phillies for nine years, winning NL pennants in 2008-09. He wasn’t at the Phillies’ game Tuesday night.


    12) Must be a ton of $$$ involved in running fantasy football leagues. ESPN had a live fantasy draft on national TV Tuesday night, as they wrapped up a 26-hour fantasy football marathon. Fantasy drafts are usually fun to be a part of, just not so much fun to watch.


    Related comment: ESPN has gone down the drain in recent years, just don’t like the way they do things as much anymore, but the 26-hour football thing they did this week was good. Maybe they should try something like that for baseball next spring.


    Actually, it is surprising that ESPN doesn’t tout NBA fantasy leagues, seeing how they talk about the NBA 365 days a year now.


    11) The more I think about it, it makes sense that I suck at fantasy football because I can’t grasp the concept that quarterback isn’t the most important position on fantasy teams.


    10) Mariners 11, Tigers 6— How bad do you have to be for Detroit to be -$160 against you? Tigers are now 11-41 in their last 52 games, just an awful team, but Seattle is pretty terrible too.


    9) Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck’s calf strain has turned into a high-ankle issue, which is bad news for Indy- they can’t pinpoint exactly what the problem is.


    8) Oregon Ducks landed 6-11 center N’Faly Dante, who moved up from Class of 2020 to this year’s freshman class, as Oregon restocks a roster ravaged by five early departures last spring.


    Dante figures to team with UNLV transfer Shakur Juiston to lead the Ducks back to the NCAAs; this news pushed Oregon back into the preseason top 25.


    7) Baseball stuff:
    — Colorado Rockies DFA’d veteran C Chris Iannetta.


    6) New England Patriots’ recent history in divisional games:
    — Won 28 of last 31 games with the Bills, won last 8 visits to Buffalo.
    — Won 14 of last 16 games with the Jets, six of last eight in NJ.
    — 6-5 in last 11 games vs Dolphins, 1-5 in last six visits to Miami.


    5) Houston Astros are in line to become the first team ever not to issue an intentional walk all season.


    4) Arizona State announced that true freshman Jayden Daniels will be its starting QB on August 29, with true freshman Joey Yellen as his backup; this is thought to be the second time a I-A team has gone into the season with two true freshmen atop their QB depth chart- Texas Tech in 2013 had Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb, both of whom are in the NFL now.


    3) There are people in this world who actually get upset about the ketchup/mustard debates that pop up on social media. I mean, we have some screwed-up things going on in the world today, condiments should be the least of our problems.


    I once had a date go in the ashcan (imagine that?) because my female companion got annoyed when I asked for ketchup to put on my food. This happened in Chicago, and apparently putting ketchup on food is mostly frowned upon there. Who knew?


    2) Braves 5, Mets 3— Ronald Acuna led off the first inning by hitting a ball off the wall in deep right-center field, but didn’t hustle out of the box and only got a single. He later scored anyway.


    Acuna homered later in the game and threw a runner out at home from left field; he is really, really good, but he is still only 21 and will probably get even better.


    1) Awful Announcing released their ratings for local TV announcers; I’m going to do my own ratings later this month, but in their ratings, Padres-Giants-Mets were top three teams.


    Nationals-Pirates-Tigers were three lowest-rated announce teams; I would strongly disagree with the Detroit ranking. Jack Morris is really good when he talks about pitching, and Kirk Gibson is a solid analyst. Matt Shepard asks his analysts good questions and they discuss the answers openly. Very unfair rating.
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  2. #52  
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    2019 college football


    August 24



    Florida’s QB has 21 starts, but their entire offensive line has only 24- very young. Miami has a new coach, new QB, and three sophs starting on OL. Gators are 7-7-1 vs spread in last 15 games on neutral fields. Last year, SEC teams were 8-1 vs spread (6-3 SU) when playing an ACC team, 5-1 when favored. Mullen covered nine of his last 10 non-SEC games. Last 10 years, Miami is 1-8 vs spread on neutral fields- last three years, they’re 8-6 vs spread outside the ACC. These teams last met six years ago, when Miami (+3) beat Florida 21-16- both sides changed coaches twice since then.


    Arizona has a senior QB (20 starts); they’ve got 15 starters back- their OL has 52 returning starts. Wildcats are 7-11-2 vs spread in last 20 games as a road favorite, 6-12 vs spread in last 18 games outside Pac-12; since 2013, Wildcats are 12-7-1 ATS as a double digit favorite. Hawai’i is 1-4-1 ATS in last six games as a home underdog; since 2014, they’re 9-16-1 ATS in non-MW games. Rainbows’ OL has 81 returning starts- their junior QB has 12 starts. Last two years, Mountain West teams are 11-9 vs spread when playing a Pac-12 opponent (9-8 as a dog).
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    Analysis: Arizona's Tate darkhorse contender for Heisman
    August 16, 2019
    By The Associated Press



    Last season, Khalil Tate was on the short list of preseason favorites for the Heisman Trophy.


    As Arizona prepares to open this season on Aug. 24 at Hawaii, the junior quarterback is a longshot.


    Tate rushed for 1,411 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2017, including two games of 230 yards or more. Last season, he had only 224 yards and two scores on the ground as he dealt with a myriad of injuries, including a sprained ankle suffered in the second game that hampered him for the rest of the year.


    If there was a bright spot to Tate's season though, it was that he threw for 2,530 yards with 26 TDs against eight interceptions. If Tate is able to stay injury free and emerge as the dual-threat quarterback many thought he would be last year, he could find himself in the Heisman discussions again.


    ''I'm 100 percent healthy right now. When I'm healthy, I can do a lot as you guys have seen in the past,'' Tate said following a recent scrimmage.


    Besides Tate, there are some other players who can be considered darkhorse contenders to be in New York on Dec. 14:


    CAM AKERS, RB, FLORIDA STATE


    With new offensive coordinator Kendall Briles still struggling to find a quarterback, the Seminoles will be counting on Akers a lot early in the season. Akers was considered one of the nation's top running back prospects when he arrived in 2017, but averaged only 4.4 yards and had only one 100-yard game last season.


    KELLY BRYANT, QB, MISSOURI


    Bryant was also a Heisman favorite last year, but he lost the starting job at Clemson and ended up transferring. He is trying to adapt to more of a pro-style offense, but if offensive coordinator Derek Dooley can find a way to utilize Bryan's dual-threat capabilities, he could become the second transfer in three seasons to win the Heisman.


    JT DANIELS, QB, USC


    Daniels started as a freshman and struggled as the Trojans were one of last season's disappointments. Grant Harrell is the new offensive coordinator and is bringing the Air Raid to the Trojans, which should take advantage of Daniels' abilities.


    JK DOBBINS, RB, OHIO STATE


    The junior rushed for 1,053 yards last season, but averaged only 4.6 yards per carry while sharing the backfield with quarterback Dwayne Haskins and running back Mike Webber. With Haskins and Webber gone, as well as questions about who will be the starting quarterback, Dobbins could be a focal point early.


    JORDAN LOVE, QB, UTAH STATE


    Love passed for 3,567 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. He was 10th in the nation in passing efficiency, but isn't known by many because he doesn't play for a Power Five school. If Love is going to emerge as a contender, he is going to need big games against Wake Forest (Aug. 30) and LSU (Oct. 5).


    TYLAN WALLACE, WR, OKLAHOMA STATE


    Not only did the junior make many highlight-worthy catches last season, but he averaged 168 yards and two touchdowns in three games against Top 10 programs. A receiver has not won the Heisman since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991, but there will be plenty of attention again on the Big 12.
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    Bearcats try to build on breakout season
    August 15, 2019
    By The Associated Press



    CINCINNATI (AP) Nobody gave Cincinnati much thought heading into coach Luke Fickell's second season since he made the 90-minute drive down Interstate 71 from Ohio State to rebuild a bottoming-out program.


    Look at the Bearcats now.


    After going 4-8 in consecutive seasons, the Bearcats became one of the nation's best teams last year with one of its least-experienced rosters. They went 12-2, including a win over Virginia Tech in the Military Bowl - Cincinnati's best season since 2009. The Bearcats finished the season at No. 24, the first time they were ranked at the finish since 2011.


    The optimism has carried over. With a deep and experienced roster, they're picked to be one of the American Athletic's title contenders.


    ''Coming off a season like that, finishing like we did with the energy and momentum going into the offseason, I think you saw guys grow,'' Fickell said.


    The Bearcats had one of the nation's five youngest rosters when they opened last season. They had an eye-opening 26-17 victory at UCLA to start the season and put together six straights wins before a loss at Temple.


    Where did that come from?


    ''Everybody wants to always ask: What's the magical thing that happened? What's the one thing that made the biggest difference from year one to year two?'' Fickell said. ''It's hard to say other than some momentum, some confidence, some things came to fruition that you had been talking about.''


    The other loss was 38-13 at UCF, the only game in which Cincinnati looked overmatched. Otherwise, it was a steady progression from that opening win on the West Coast.


    ''You could just see the locker room kind of change in front of your eyes and grow throughout the season,'' Fickell said.


    Some things to watch with the Bearcats in Fickell's third season:


    SPOTLIGHT: Although the Bearcats returned to the rankings last season, they remained mostly under the radar. There will be no sneaking up on anyone this time around. How will they respond to being in the spotlight?


    ''I like being the underdog,'' tight end Josiah Deguara said. ''It's definitely a different mindset coming into it. Last year, we really didn't have a target on us. We know people definitely want to beat us.''


    CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: The Bearcats open at home against UCLA and at Ohio State, Fickell's previous stop. They also host UCF on Oct. 4, giving them a tough opening stretch of games.


    ''We've got to be smart knowing the emotions and the energy of the first three, four, five, six games is going to be different - the stages they're going to be on, the energy and emotion it's going to take just to play in those games,'' Fickell said.


    LOADED ON OFFENSE: The quarterback/running back tandem of sophomore Desmond Ridder and junior Michael Warren II is back, along with a deep group of tight ends and receivers. Warren ran for 1,347 yards and a school-record 18 touchdowns. Ridder threw for 20 touchdowns with only five interceptions as a redshirt freshman, winning the league's newcomer award. The coaching staff is trying to keep the expectations for Ridder in check.


    ''Desmond is a perfectionist,'' Fickell said. ''He wants everything right now. Sometimes it doesn't happen that way.''


    DEEP DEFENSIVE SECONDARY: Cincinnati lost three members of a line that was the strength of the defense, including tackles Cortez Broughton and Marquise Copeland. The secondary was a strength last season, and looks to be again.


    HOME SWEET HOME: Despite their impressive season, the Bearcats had trouble drawing crowds at Nippert Stadium, where fewer than 30,000 showed up for each of the final two games. They're looking for more home-field support from the start.
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    Ohio's Solich on pace for MAC glory
    August 15, 2019
    By The Associated Press



    DETROIT (AP) Ohio coach Frank Solich is approaching his 75th birthday, looking and sounding as if he has no plans to slow down anytime soon.


    ''I've got great energy and I wouldn't trade what I'm doing for anything,'' Solich said. ''There will be a day when it doesn't make sense for me to coach, but I don't feel like that day is coming yet.''


    Solich is expected to become the Mid-American Conference's all-time winning coach this season and his Bobcats are the league's preseason favorites. He has won 106 games at Ohio and he is five victories away from breaking the record set by Herb Deromedi set at Central Michigan from 1978-1993.


    With 164 wins at the highest level of college football, Solich trails three active coaches in career victories: North Carolina's Mack Brown, Alabama's Nick Saban and TCU's Gary Patterson. And like few coaches in college football, he has been in the same place for 15 years. Just three active coaches - Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, Patterson and Utah's Kyle Whittingham - have been at the same school longer than Solich.


    ''He's a legend and we all feel fortunate to play for him,'' standout safety Javon Hagan said. ''He's always so positive and doesn't speak negatively about anybody or anything.''


    Only one example is how Solich reflects on the abrupt end of his coaching career at Nebraska, his alma mater. A nine-win season in 2003 and a 58-19 record over six seasons, following in the footsteps of national-championship winning coach Tom Osborne, wasn't enough for Solich to keep his dream job of leading the Cornhuskers.


    ''I don't dwell on what happened because if I did, I wouldn't be the guy I am,'' he said. ''I'm able to move on. If you don't have that ability, this business can get you. Nebraska has struggled, no question, but I think Scott Frost will get that ship turned around.''


    Solich's challenge this season is to take a team that has won 34 times, including its last two bowl games, over the last four seasons and lead it to the school's first MAC title since 1968.


    Nathan Rourke, a dual-threat quarterback with two years of starting experience at Ohio, gives the program a great shot at ending the drought.


    ''They don't give rings out in preseason,'' said Rourke, who combined for nearly 3,300 yards passing and rushing last years while throwing for 23 touchdowns and running for 15 scores. ''We've been picked to win it three years in a row and it's time to put the work in to do it.''


    CONTENDERS


    Toledo was picked to win the West Division with 14 starters back. The Rockets received 15 first-place votes, trailing only the 24 cast for Ohio in the East Division. Miami and defending champion Buffalo are also expected to contend for at least a division title.


    WANT TO PLAY?


    In a sign of the MAC's parity, six teams have played in the previous three championship games. Northern Illinois rallied from a 19-point, second-half deficit to beat Buffalo 30-29 for the title last year.


    KEEP AN EYE ON


    Western Michigan senior LeVante Bellamy may be among the fastest running backs in the nation, running the 40-yard dash in 4.28 seconds this summer. The first-team, all-MAC player ran for 1,228 yards and six touchdowns last season also scored on one of his 30 receptions.


    When MAC coaches and players were asked to identify some of the conference's best players, Akron quarterback Kato Nelson name was often mentioned.


    ''That means a lot to me because when I came here, I wanted to make an impression,'' the redshirt junior said.


    Nelson was the Zips' offensive MVP last season after throwing for 2,329 yards with 15 touchdowns and running for 303 yards and a score.


    DEBUT SEASONS


    Former Florida coach Jim McElwain is getting another shot to lead a team at Central Michigan. The Chippewas won only one game last year under coach John Bonamego after he led the program to bowl games the previous three years. McElwain lost his job late in the 2017 season at Florida with a 22-12 record over two-plus seasons. Northern Illinois coach Thomas Hammock, Bowling Green's Scot Loeffler and Akron's Tom Arth are also first-year MAC coaches.


    MARK YOUR CALENDARS


    Ohio will get a chance to see how it matches up with a solid Power Five program Sept. 7 when it plays at Pittsburgh. The Bobcats can boost their chances of winning the championship if they can open the MAC schedule Oct. 5 with a win at Buffalo and beat Northern Illinois at home the next week.


    West Division favorite Toledo hosts Western Michigan, which received five first-place votes in the preseason poll, in their conference opener on Oct. 5. The MAC championship game is Dec. 7 in Detroit.
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    Analysis: Toughest schedule? So. Carolina can make the claim
    August 17, 2019
    By The Associated Press



    South Carolina has the type of brutal schedule that could help the Gamecocks be a better team that winds up with a worse record than last year.


    The Gamecocks host both of the participants in last year's College Football Playoff championship game: Clemson and Alabama. They also travel to Georgia, the runner-up in the national championship game two years ago.


    South Carolina's schedule shapes up as arguably the nation's toughest.


    ''I'm not worried about the schedule,'' South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. ''I'm worried about the Gamecocks. That's all. I'm worried about the things that we can control. Again, I think that's why you come to a place like South Carolina or you come to the Southeastern Conference, to play against the best and be in the limelight every week and have great opportunities every single Saturday.''


    South Carolina opens the season with a neutral-site game against North Carolina in the debut of Mack Brown's second stint with the Tar Heels. The Gamecocks follow that with a home game against Football Championship Subdivision program Charleston Southern.


    Then the Gamecocks host Alabama, visit Missouri and host Kentucky to close September. South Carolina visits Georgia and hosts Florida on consecutive weekends before visiting Tennessee and hosting Vanderbilt. South Carolina ends the season by hosting Appalachian State, visiting Texas A&M and hosting in-state rival Clemson.


    South Carolina faces six teams that were ranked 16th or better in the final Associated Press Top 25 last season. That doesn't even include Appalachian State, which has gone 41-11 over the last four seasons.


    Other teams have particularly tough schedules, too:


    AUBURN


    Aug. 31: vs. Oregon at Arlington, Texas. Sept. 7: Tulane. Sept. 14: Kent State. Sept. 21: at Texas A&M. Sept. 28: Mississippi State. Oct. 5: at Florida. Oct. 19: at Arkansas. Oct. 26: at LSU. Nov. 2: Mississippi. Nov. 16: Georgia. Nov. 23: Samford. Nov. 30: Alabama.


    Notes: Auburn faces four of the top eight teams in last year's season-ending Top 25. The Tigers also travel to Texas A&M and open with a neutral-site game against Oregon. Auburn does get three relatively easy matchups with Tulane, Kent State and FCS program Samford.


    LSU


    Aug. 31: Georgia Southern. Sept. 7: at Texas. Sept. 14: Northwestern State. Sept. 21: at Vanderbilt. Oct. 5: Utah State. Oct. 12: Florida. Oct. 19: at Mississippi State. Oct. 26: Auburn. Nov. 9: at Alabama. Nov. 16: at Mississippi. Nov. 23: Arkansas. Nov. 30: Texas A&M.


    Notes: LSU travels to Sugar Bowl champion Texas to go along with a brutal SEC schedule that features a trip to Alabama and home games with Florida and Texas A&M. LSU does have an FCS team (Northwestern State) on its schedule, but the Tigers' two Group of Five opponents (Georgia Southern and Utah State) went a combined 21-5 last year.


    MICHIGAN


    Aug. 31: Middle Tennessee. Sept. 7: Army. Sept. 21: at Wisconsin. Sept. 28: Rutgers. Oct. 5: Iowa. Oct. 12: at Illinois. Oct. 19: at Penn State. Oct. 26: Notre Dame. Nov. 2: at Maryland. Nov. 16: Michigan State. Nov. 23: at Indiana. Nov. 30: Ohio State.


    Notes: The strength of this schedule is its balance. The Wolverines don't face an FCS team. Their two Group of Five opponents (Middle Tennessee and Army) reached bowl games last season. Army ended the year ranked 19th.


    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


    Aug. 31: Fresno State. Sept. 7: Stanford. Sept. 14: at Brigham Young. Sept. 20: Utah. Sept. 28: at Washington. Oct. 12: at Notre Dame. Oct. 19: Arizona. Oct. 25: at Colorado. Nov. 2: Oregon. Nov. 9: at Arizona State. Nov. 16: at California. Nov. 23: UCLA.


    Notes: There's not a single breather on this schedule. USC's three nonconference opponents (Fresno State, BYU and Notre Dame) went a combined 31-9 last season. USC's cross-divisional opponents in its Pac-12 schedule include North powers Oregon, Washington and Stanford.

    STANFORD



    Aug. 31: Northwestern. Sept. 7: at Southern California. Sept. 14: at Central Florida. Sept. 21: Oregon. Sept. 28: at Oregon State. Oct. 5: Washington. Oct. 17: UCLA. Oct. 26: Arizona. Nov. 9: at Colorado. Nov. 16: at Washington State. Nov. 23: California. Nov. 30: Notre Dame.


    Notes: Stanford's three nonconference opponents (Northwestern, UCF and Notre Dame) went a combined 33-7 last season. Stanford faces four teams that finished last season ranked 13th or higher. The Cardinal's September schedule includes trips to USC and UCF plus a home game with Oregon on consecutive weekends.


    TEXAS A&M


    Aug. 29: Texas State. Sept. 7: at Clemson. Sept. 14: Lamar. Sept. 21: Auburn. Sept. 28: vs. Arkansas at Arlington, Texas. Oct. 12: Alabama. Oct. 19: at Mississippi. Oct. 26: Mississippi State. Nov. 2: Texas-San Antonio. Nov. 16: South Carolina. Nov. 23: at Georgia. Nov. 30: at LSU.


    Notes: Texas A&M faces four of the top eight teams from the season-ending AP poll. The Aggies play three of those games on the road, including visits to Georgia and LSU the last two weeks of the season. This schedule has plenty of heavyweights but also includes FCS program Lamar plus Texas State and UTSA, two teams coming off 3-9 seasons.
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