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2011 NCAA Football Predictions

1 – OKLAHOMA – College football fans should hear Jones to Broyles quite a bit this season.  The Sooners should be one of the nation’s top offenses.  You will also hear Broyles a lot on special teams.  The Lewis boys, Ronnell and Travis will lay the smack down on the other side of the ball.  This unit forced 32 turnovers last season and should do the same this year.

2 – OREGON – The Ducks will also have a powerful offense behind QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James.  They will continue to be aggressive and we’ll see if Thomas can guide this team to a title this year.  The only potential weak spot could be offensive line as they lack top caliber talent and size.  The defense is solid, quick and very deep.  CB Cliff Harris might be the best defensive back in the country.

3 – SOUTH CAROLINA – Extremely talented RB Marcus Lattimore will lead the Cock offense into battle.  WR Alshon Jeffery is also a big play stud.  However, QB Stephen Garcia will be the key to the USC success story.  If he plays and stays out of Spurrier’s doghouse, the sky is the limit for this team.  They could put up a lot of points and if they do that they will certainly be in a BCS game.

4 – BOISE STATE – The top QB just may be Kellen Moore.  He is 38-2 as a starter and now he’ll have to face a tough schedule and the loss of receiving stars Young and Pettis.  The O-Line should help as they bring back stars Porter and Byrd.  Eight starters return to one of the best squads in the country.  There schedule should also help.  After an opener against Georgia, the toughest it gets for the Broncos is TCU and Air Force, both on the blue turf of BSU.

5 – ALABAMA – The Tide would have been one of my top 2 teams if it weren’t for uncertainty at the QB position.  McCarron could be OK but behind him is a redshirt freshman.  RB Ingram is in the NFL as well but RB Richardson should be able to equal his production from a year ago.  The strength is the Tide defense which returns 9 players to last years 3rd ranked squad.

6 – STANFORD – Andrew Luck will be an NFL QB.  He may end up being a very good one as well.  Andy has a very good O-Line but he’ll need a lot of luck as he has an average WR core and a slightly above average running game behind Stepfan Taylor.  The Cardinal defense is good but did sustain losses on the D-Line.  Their linebacker core, led by Shayne Skov, is amongst the best in the country.

7 – OKLAHOMA STATE – If this team were in just about any other conference we might be talking BCS championship game.  OSU has a very tough schedule.  However QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon should be dynamic.  RBs Joseph Randle and Hershel Sims should also be a pleasant surprise for this team.  The defense will be inexperienced but they are faster and more aggressive than last year’s defense.

8 – LSU – QB Jordan Jefferson is a huge key to this talented group.  If he stays out of trouble and sticks to the game plan they’ll play in a BCS game.  If not they’ll be playing in December.  WR Ruben Randle and TE DeAngelo Petersen will be Jordan’s top targets.  RB Spencer Ware should be a pleasant surprise.  The defense did lose the likes of Nevis and P.Petersen to the NFL but this young group is fast and talented.

 

9 – WISCONSIN – The Badgers have a dynamic backfield in Ball and White.  They will score a lot of touchdowns and control the clock.  The defensive front 7 will be slightly inexperienced but their defensive backfield should be one of the best in the country.  LB Chris Borland, if healthy, should be one of the best backers in the conference.

10 – NOTRE DAME – It looks as if this offense belongs to QB Dayne Crist, for now.  Future star Tommy Rees is waiting in the wings.  No matter who throws the target will be future NFLer Michael Floyd.  TE Tyler Eifert should also have a huge year in this aggressive offense.  The running game is fair behind Wood and Gray.  LB Manti T’eo and S Harrison Smith lead the very talented Irish D that held teams to only 9.8 ppg in the last 4 games of last season.

11 – FLORIDA STATE – Losing QB Christian Ponder to the NFL was tough and the Seminoles ACC and BCS hopes rest on the arm of E.J. Manuel.  RB Chris Thompson will lead a talented 3-back group and WRs Reed, Haulstead and Smith are big play receivers all the way.  The FSU defense led by Mark Stoops and LBs Bradham and Smith could be one of the best in the country.

12 – NEBRASKA – The Huskers will have the best defense in their new conference.  The D has All-American hopefuls in Crick, David and Dennard.  The Huskers were 9th in the country last season have promised to air it out under new coordinator Tim Beck.  The only problem is QB Taylor Martinez might not be the guy to get it done.

13 – TCU – As usual the Frogs have a very talented team but might be just outside the Top 10 and BCS consideration.  They have 6 kids returning to a very talented defense, however they lost star QB Andy Dalton on the other side of the ball.  They will rely heavily on RBs Ed Wesley and Matt Tucker.

14 – MICHIGAN STATE – The Spartans should be right behind the Badgers and Huskers.  The offense should be very effective under the vastly underrated QB Kirk Cousins.  RB Edwin Baker and WR EJ Cunningham should be the primary playmakers of this group.

15 – FLORIDA – The Gators could go far with QB Brantley in the Weis offensive system.  However they have a difficult schedule, have to replace 7 players on defense and several players on the offensive line.  They will lose a few but we will certainly see what new head coach Will Muschamp is made of.

16 – VIRGINIA TECH – This is one of the tougher teams to figure out.  Coach Beamer just got a well-deserved extension but one of his better QBs in Tyrod Taylor is no longer there.  They will have to depend on RB David Wilson and WRs Boykin and Coale for production.  The defense is always good at VT and this should be a good group again led by LB Bruce Taylor.

17 – TEXAS A&M – The Aggies should be one of the better teams this season in the state of Texas.  The offense should be very efficient behind signal caller Ryan Tannehill.  RB Cyrus Gray could be one of the more underrated runners in the country.  The defense could ultimately be the reason this experienced team falters as they lost a couple of big play defenders, namely Von Miller.

18 – ARKANSAS – They have the talent to be a Top 10 team but lost an excellent college QB in Ryan Mallett.  QB Tyler Wilson is capable but nowhere near as talented.  In addition they had some significant losses on the offensive line.  RB Knile Davis bullying his way in-between tackles should be what keeps this Razorback offense moving.  The Arky defense is adequate and should keep them in ballgames.

19 – USC – The Trojans are in the BPD Top 20 by the hair of their chins.  QB Matt Barkley should have a very good season and connect with WR Robert Woods often.  The team has talent on the defensive side of the ball but they lack depth and did give up big points at the end of last season.  In addition they aren’t playing for anything for the second year in a row.

20 – ARIZONA – The Cats are going to be a very fun team to watch.  QB Nick Foles might put up Playstation type numbers this season against the weak Pac-12 defenses.  Benefitting from Foles skills will be WRs Criner and Buckner.  On the other side of the ball they’ve had some significant losses in the off-season.  They should do just well enough for this team to get to a decent bowl game.

21 – WEST VIRGINIA – QB Geno Smith is going to be very exciting to watch on this very fast and talented offensive unit.   Tavon Austin and Vernard Roberts are the two guys that will also make this offense go.  The defense is also very solid.  DE Bruce Irvin should be a thorn in the side of most of the Big East QBs.  The only problem with the D is they are a bit undersized.  Power backs should thrive against this unit.

22 – TEXAS – Talent is no the issue on this Longhorn team looking to regain some respect in the state of Texas.  New D-Coordinator Diaz should help make this unit more aggressive.  DE Sam Acho and LB Keenan Robinson could be the best at their position in the country.  The offense looks to be the biggest issue and the position of biggest concern is QB.

23 – IOWA – There are only nine players returning to this squad.  RB Marcus Coker looks to be the stud on this offense.  WR Marvin McNutt should also help stretch the defenses and make big plays.  QB James Vandenberg has very little game experience but has sat behind Stanzi and the hope is that some of Stanzi has rubbed off on him.  The defense is a solid unit whose strongest component is the defensive backfield.  DBs Prater and Hyde are outstanding.

24 – MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Bulldogs make the Top 25 yet again.  QB Chris Relf won’t burn up the record books but he doesn’t make many mistakes.  RB Vick Ballard will move this offense and score, a lot.  A talent defense returns 7 starters but must break in all new linebackers.  A very tough schedule of Auburn and LSU over a 5 days stretch, at Georgia and Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss to finish out the season mean this team has to have a lot of things go right to win more than 7 games.

25 – SOUTH FLORIDA – The Bulls should battle WVU for the Big East crown.  QB B.J. Daniels isn’t very consistent but he makes big plays.  RB Demetris Murray isn’t great but is a workhorse and will get the job done.  But the Bulls won’t win this conference on the offensive side of the ball.  A very quick and talented group will be what makes or breaks this team.  LB Sam Arrington, DeDe Lattimore and DE Ryan Giddins will make life difficult for Big East foes.  This group should force a lot of turnovers.

26-40 (Maryland, Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, NC State, BYU, Air Force, Clemson, Tennessee, UNC, Penn State, Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Washington)

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BPD’s College Football 2010 Top 25

1 – OHIO STATE – Pryor, Nine starters return to this talented offense.  Defense isn’t great but is probably good enough to win the Big 10.

2 – ALABAMA – Same recipe as last year.  Run, run, run with Ingram and an aggressive defense.

3 – TEXAS – Losses to NFL keep this group just out of National Title reach.  Look for a more balanced attack on offense.

4 – BOISE STATE  – They have the talent to get to the big game.  A tough opening game at Virginia Tech will keep this team on the outside looking in.

5 – IOWA – The Hawkeye offense is good but lacks experience on the line.  The receivers are excellent and the defense should be Top 10.

6 – VIRGINIA TECH – For once the VT offense and not the defense will dictate just how far this team will go.  Tyrod for Heismann?  Maybe.

7 – OREGON – The Ducks have the talent to compete for a National Title.  Off-season issues with the law could mean trouble for this team.

8 – TCU – A light schedule keeps this team out of the Top 5.  Both the Horned Frog offense and defense should be in the Top 10.

9 – NEBRASKA – The Huskers won 10 games last season without an offense.  Well, now they have one and another killer defense.

10 – FLORIDA – That Gators move on without Tebow but Brantley might actually be a better passer.  The Gator game plans may change but the talent is still there.

11- WISCONSIN – The Badgers have a powerful offense led by John Clay and a good defense.  Hopes for a title hinge on mid-October wins against OSU and at Iowa.

12- OKLAHOMA – Keys for Sooner success are the development of QB Landry Jones and overall health.  Tough non-con and con schedule doesn’t help.

13 – UTAH – While the Utes defense should be tough again the inconsistent offense should keep this team outside of the Top 10.

14 – AUBURN – This is a team rise.  The Tigers have a great offensive line and should do a better job moving the ball.  Look for an aggressive Tiger D in 2010.

15 – PENN STATE – A great trio of runners led by Evan Royster should make State very tough to stop.  The defense lacks experience and will make mistakes.

16 – NORTH CAROLINA – The Tar Heel defense could be one of the best in the country.  If they get some consistency out of QB Yates, watch out.

17 – ARKANSAS – Mallett and Co. should score a lot of points this season.  The team struggled defensively in 09 but the team speed and depth have improved.

18 – MIAMI (FL) – 8 guys return to this very talented defense.  They have some consistency issues at QB and a tough non-con schedule.

19 – HOUSTON – The Cougars, behind QB Case Keenum will be one of the highest scoring offenses in the US.  Problem?  They still can’t stop the run.

20 – GEORGIA TECH – The Tech spread offense will be great again under QB Josh Nesbitt.  The real plus was adding Def. Coord. Al Groh in the off-season.

21 – WEST VIRGINIA – This team should have a good offense if it can control the football better and the defense should be solid.   Overall, down year for the East.

22 – LSU – The Tigers could be better than #22 if the offensive line improves.  The defense is good but needs consistency.

23 – GEORGIA – Hold on to the football is the Bulldogs key to success.  WR A.J. Green should be fun to watch.  New pro-style Def. Coordinator is a welcome change.

24 – USC – The Kiffen regime begins in Southern California.  The offense is led by hot and cold Matt Barkley but look for them to run a lot more.  Defense looks to be solid.

25 – FLORIDA STATE – Get ready for the Chris Ponder show.  The FSU offense will put up its best numbers in years.  The defense is rebuilding under Mark Stoops.

ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN – SOUTH CAROLINA, NOTRE DAME, PITTSBURGH, TENNESSEE, WASHINGTON, STANFORD, BYU, CONNECTICUT, CINCINNATI, ARIZONA, NAVY, TEXAS TECH, MISSOURI, MICHIGAN, MISSOURI

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Wide World of Wacky Sports

I woke up this morning in a confused state this morning.  Somehow my sports world was turned upside down over the weekend.  Things happened I can’t explain.  Things were just very unexplained and confusing.  Kind of like seeing some lights in the sky and wondering if it was an alien aircraft or even seeing something fall off of a shelf and wondering if it was a ghost.  You know, the kind of things that are extremely unlikely but you just can’t put your finger on it.

My sports world was just like that.  I can’t explain why Boston didn’t get to the World Series and I certainly can’t explain why Tampa Bay did.  Sure you can probably bring up some stats and other obscure goodies but really, WHY?  Boston leaving 6 men on base over the last three innings.  That was crazy.  Boston was seasoned with a lot of the championship roster remaining from 2007.  Tampa Bay?  A bunch of young kids that underwhelmed me last year and don’t impress me much now.  But they somehow got the job done.  Maybe their was something in the water.  I don’t know and I can’t explain it.  All I know is MLB has got to be pulling their hair out with this matchup.  The TV ratings for this World Series should be the worst ever.

Another bizzaro event this weekend was the USC (original East Coast USC) v. LSU.  Now I really had no vested interest in this game.  I like SEC football and was just hoping for a good game.  Well, I got a good game but I saw something that pissed me off to no end.  And…I couldn’t explain it.

What the hell was the ump doing there?  He should have been no where near Stephen Garcia.  Garcia could have easily cut back into that lane and scored.  He at least would have gotten down to the 1 or 2 yard line.  I have no clue what that official was thinking.  I can’t seem to find that umps name or where he hails from.  I am guessing big brother at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis is going to try and quiet this.  Come to think of it I think they already have.  If I were South Carolina fans, students, Alum, professors, coaches or players I would be petitioning for the Umps immediate release.  Me…I just want to know why????

Finally how in the wide, wide world of sports did St. Louis beat Dallas?  Now I know Dallas was a little banged up but they still had T.O., Crayton, Witten, Barber and a veteran back up in Brad Johnson.  The defense has been giving up points but they were playing St.Louis, one of the worst offensive teams in the NFL.  All of a sudden, like magic, the greatest show on turf returns.  Bulger, Jackson and Holt can do no wrong.  A pathetic St. Louis D all of a sudden shows up and lays the smack down on Dallas.  The team looked clueless.  Wade Wilson looked confused and T.O. was ready for another breakdown.  I didn’t mind Dallas being taken out behind the wood shed.  I am not a fan.  However, some things just shouldn’t happen and this weekend they sure did. 

If current sports trends hold true Altanta should win the NFC and Kyle Orton of the Chicago Bears will make it to the Pro Bowl.  Looks like we are in for a wild ride.

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College Hotties Vol. 2

BPD Sports Rag fans want more so you get more.  Here are some more of the hottest co-eds gracing the sidelines and stands.

UGA girls having some post-game fun.  Tight ends or wide receivers?

Florida State sure knows how to hold a rally.  And Yes, Jenn Sterger is going to be a staple in this series.

Now you know why Sparty Spartan’s eyes are so big.  Oh, and these hot coeds know how to party.

That Texas v. Oklahoma game was awesome this weekend.  The cheerleaders weren’t half bad either.

I guess there is more than corn in Nebraska.  Wow!  And if you haven’t been to her Web site yet you should check it out.

Check out the game gear on this Tiger.  She is ready to play.  Hopefully with me.  😉

It looks as is Fulmer’s career is coming to an end.  I know, that was bad but she isn’t.

I hope you enjoyed Volume 2.  Keep an eye out for the next volume.

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NCAA Football Picks Week 3 (actually it might be 4 technically)

Well, did well again last week.  4-1 with a season total of 8-2.  This week looks pretty tough though so here we go.

GAME 1

Alabama v. Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR

This is the SEC opener for both teams.  Bobby Petrino would like to do nothing more than avenge last year’s loss to BAMA.  The most important battle of the day will be the one between the awesome Alabama run defense and Arkansas running back Michael Smith who is averaging over 7 yards per carry.  The winner of that battle should win the game.  Another key factor could be how Arkansas comes off that less than impressive showing against Louisiana-Lafayette.  Alabama 31 Arkansas 21

GAME 2

Florida v. Tennessee in Knoxville, TN

Normally you can throw the record books out when these two teams meet.  However this season most of the odds makers and “experts” like Florida to do some damage this weekend.  They may very well do that but I think there is something the “experts” might be overlooking.  Tennessee ranks higher than the Gators in rushing, passing and total yards.  Tennessee had poor play calling that cost them the game against UCLA and they ran and passed their way all over UAB last week.  I think two Florida keys are Percy Harvin and Tebow.  Tennessee doesn’t know what to do with a healthy Harvin.  I hope you like scoring because this game will have enough for all of us.  Florida 45 Tennessee 35.

GAME 3

Wake Forest v. Florida State in Tallahassee, FL

A clash of the ACC elite.  However Florida State has been a bit of the paper tiger these last few years.  They have had two solid wins over Western Carolina and Chattanooga but now they are facing a better class of opponent.  In the sports world it would be like a $12000 claimer moving in to $100,000 Grade III Stakes race.  What?  Exactly!  In most cases that horse never wins.  In this case Florida State is at home but that is about the only thing they have going for them.  Wake Forest has beaten the Seminoles twice in a row and this week should be #3.  They are near the top of the NCAA in + – turnover ratio.  Wake is also coming off of a bye week, has won 10 of their last 13 and FSU is still missing players due to suspension.  No matter which way you look at it Deacons win.  Wake Forest 27 Florida State 17 

GAME 4

Virginia Tech v. North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC

Butch Davis has the boys in blue competitive once again.  After coming off of an impressive win against Rutgers, the Tar Heels look for upset #2 against the Hokies.  Helping the Tar Heels in this task will be Heisman hopeful, WR Brandon Tate who has 8 catches totaling 231 yards as well as 125 yards on only 5 carries.  Believe me when I say if you stop Tate, you stop the Tar Heels and that is what Coach Beamer will do.  V-Tech had a disappointing game against ECU a couple of weeks back but if anything that just made them mad.  They are still a top team with a good defense, powerful running and a very good special teams.  Virginia Tech 20 North Carolina 16 

GAME 5

LSU v. Auburn in Auburn, AL

Their are a couple of keys to this game that we can’t overlook.  First of all, in order for LSU to repeat they will need to beat SEC rival Auburn.  The next key is that the home team has won the last 8 meetings in the series.  The final key is LSU has to run to win and Auburn has one of the better run defenses in the country.  Now, while all of this seems to make Auburn the favorite the bottom line is Auburn is having a hard time airing out the ball.  They are also having a tough time sustaining drives and scoring points.  They weren’t all that impressive against Southern Miss and they were brutal against Mississippi State, a team they should have beat by 20 points.  If LSU gets up early Auburn is done but if it stays close into the 4th quarter I like Auburn.  So…..LSU 31 Auburn 14

BONUS PICKS – There are too many good games this week so I am going to take to BONUS GAMES as well.  I like Notre Dame to squeak by Michigan State this week up in East Lansing 21-16.  I also like Georgia to put a hurting on Arizona State 38-18.

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NCAA Football Pre-Season Predictions 15-11

#15 Illinois

The Fighting Illini would have been BCS bound if Rashard Mendenhall had stayed.  They are still good enough to make a major bowl game but the questions at running back, linebacker and tough schedule make them third best in the Big 10.  Never the less, Juice and Arrelious Benn will be very entertaining to watch.  They have a lot of depth at receiver so Illinois’ hope is that RB Danny Dufrene can maintain a solid yards per carry average as the team’s #1 back.  The defense took some hits in the off-season but the defensive line is very solid and they should shut ‘run first’ teams down.  The schedule kills their chances of a big time bowl with games against Missouri, at Penn State, at Wisconsin and Ohio State. 9-3

#14 Texas

The Longhorns are usually a staple inside the Top 10 but they lost too many key players from last years team to break inside this season.  The bright spot should be Heisman candidate Colt McCoy.  He has been learning on the job the last two seasons and should really do well this year despite the lack of experience around him.  While the offense should be decent, and sometimes exciting, the defense has a lot of holes.  They were one of the worst teams against the pass last year and have a new defensive coordinator.  Look for Texas to blitz a lot.  The schedule looks pretty much as it does every season.  They do have a very tough stretch where they play Oklahoma in Dallas, Missouri, Oklahoma State, at Texas Tech and two weeks later at Kansas.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they finished 6-6 this season but McCoy is too talented. 9-3

#13 LSU

 

The domination of 2007 is gone.  Gone is Early Doucet, Matt Flynn, Glenn Dorsey and Craig Steltz.  Gone is the QB of the futue Ryan Perrilloux.  However, the Tigers are loaded with young talent led by QB Andrew Hatch.  While he won’t set the world on fire, LSU QBs just need to be good game managers and he should be an excellent one.  The defense will have problems stopping the talented offense teams in the SEC.  They are very young and are going to make the typical mistakes young defenses make.  Over a 4 week period they play at Auburn, at Florida and at South Carolina.  Then, a week later, they meet the SEC favorites Georgia in Baton Rouge.  9-3 

#12 Texas Tech

This could be your dark horse team in 2008.  The offense only lost one starter and under QB and Heismann hopeful Graham Harrell.  They have a phenomonal recieving corp led by Michael Crabtree and a solid run game led by Shannon Woods.  The defense, while far from dominating, is efficient.  The only weakness on that side of the ball is stopping the run but the young, talented group of linebackers TT has should do a fine job.  The schedule is as tough as it comes.  This is the only reason I didn’t take Texas Tech inside my Top 10.  They have a relatively easy non-conference schedule, which hurts them in the BCS voting, and then it gets brutal.  They play Nebraska, at Texas A&M, at Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma St. and at Oklahoma.  That is as tough a stretch of games as you will find.  9-3 

#11 Arizona St.

Arizona State has a REAL chance to up end USC this season.  They have the offense, defense and coaching to do it.  So, what will stop them?  They are the only one’s that can stop a run at the PAC 10 and National Title.  Really!  QB Rudy Carpenter is a future NFL QB and has a great group of guys surrounding him.  On defense they have a stellar front four that will wreak havoc on most of the passing teams in the PAC 10.  The only thing that could stop them is inconsistent run play or injuries on the lines.  The schedule is tough but they should be able to handle it.  The most difficult stretch should be the middle of the schedule where they play Georgia, at Cal, at USC and Oregon.  9-3

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