Latest Football Picks & Stories August 2nd, 2014
Top College Football Picks & Articles
Bryce Petty deserved a lot more press than he got last season. Embarrassingly (for the voters), Petty finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting. All he did was throw for 4,200 yards and 32 touchdowns with three (!!) interceptions. He also ran for 14 more touchdowns on his 94 carries. Petty accounted for 4,400 yards, 46 touchdowns, and only threw three interceptions. Johnny Manziel, who finished fifth, accounted for 5,037 yards, 46 TD, and 13 INT. Jordan Lynch, who finished third, accounted for 4,812 yards, 47 TD, and eight INT
Nick Marshall had a solid season as a junior transfer from junior college and more is expected of him in his second season under Gus Malzahn. Marshall threw for 1,976 and ran for 1,068 more, with 26 total touchdowns. There’s a lot of talent at wide receiver for Marshall, but his accuracy is in question and the Marshall-led offense only outgained the opposition by an average of 18 yards per game in conference play. As a passer, Marshall leaves a little bit to be desired, but as a runner, he’s one of the best in the country.
While at the University of Washington, Steve Sarkisian had a hand in the development of first-round draft pick Jake Locker and Keith Price, who owns 10 school records and has the second-most passing yards in program history. Cody Kessler completed over 65 percent of his passes last season and provided stability at position that needed it. Not only that, but the #1 quarterback recruit in last year’s class, Max Browne, is coming off a redshirt season and could be the next great USC QB.
The Bulldogs will be Hutson Mason’s team with the departure of Aaron Murray to the NFL. Mason has paid his dues in the program and, more importantly, has gotten plenty of practice reps in Mike Bobo’s offense. Mason got valuable experience after Murray’s torn ACL last season and the Bulldogs will have talent, albeit inexperienced, behind Mason if he falters with two top-ten recruits. One huge benefit to Mason is that the Georgia offense is loaded with skill players.
Braxton Miller enters the year as a Heisman Trophy candidate and his improvement as a passer was truly evident in his junior season. Now as a senior, expectations are the highest they’ve ever been for Miller as Carlos Hyde is gone and backup quarterback Kenny Guiton is lighting up the Arena Football League.
Brett Hundley could have left as a redshirt sophomore last season, but both he and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota decided to stay and it’s those two guys that are the headliners in the Pac-12 again this season. Hundley was the leading rusher for the Bruins with 748 net rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He also completed over two-thirds
Nike, the company that supplies Oregon with all of their awesome uniforms, also happens to be the name of the Greek goddess of victory. She also had wings. Oregon running backs can fly without the wings. De’Anthony Thomas is gone, but injuries limited him to less than 600 net yards rushing.
It’s fair to wonder what Jacob Coker will bring to the Alabama offense as Alabama all-time passing leader, Mr. Katherine Webb, er, I mean, AJ McCarron, departs for a potential NFL future. Of course, the same was wondered when John Parker Wilson and Greg McElroy left Alabama. McCarron broke Wilson’s passing yards record
The Florida Gators seem to have fallen off the map since Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow packed up and left town. The Gators used to be the cream of the crop in the SEC and the favorites to win the national championship. Now the instate rival Florida State Seminoles have stolen their thunder and are the favorites to win it all.
The Preseason AP Top 25 poll won’t come out until next month, but here at BangTheBook.com, we’re giving you a Top 25 from a betting perspective. Using power ratings to determine the top 25 teams in college football, readers will have the opportunity to look at what the preseason Top 25 might look like if designed by a bettor. Each article will feature a preview of that team with a write-up for each position and an explanation of why the position group was rated that way and some further insight into the methodology of creating power ratings.