cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/03/2012 06:40 PM

College Football Preview: Big East

To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we continue our run of all FBS conference previews over the next several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2012 StatFox Edge Football Preview. Next up is the Big East, which replaced departed West Virginia (now in Big 12) with Temple, formerly of the MAC.

Odds to Win Big East
9-to-4: Louisville
3-to-1: Cincinnati
7-to-2: South Florida
13-to-2: Pittsburgh
13-to-2: Rutgers
20-to-1: Syracuse
20-to-1: Temple
25-to-1: Connecticut


LOUISVILLE CARDINALS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-6 (5-2 in Big East)
ATS Record: 8-5
Over/Under: 4-7-1
Points Scored: 21.9 PPG
Points Allowed: 20.1 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 10
The Cardinals are a young team, but they could be successful in the Big East this coming season. QB Teddy Bridgewater had a promising freshman year in which he threw for 2,129 yards and 14 TD. Despite his 12 picks, he’s still thought of as the most talented signal-caller in the conference. He gets back his No. 1 WR as well in sophomore Michaelee Harris (team-best 455 rec yds). Louisville’s ability to control the clock with the run will be important, but its top running back, junior Dominique Brown, averaged only 3.8 yards per carry last year. On the defensive end, Charlie Strong is very excited about the group of corners he has, as well as his linebackers. He’s certainly not worried about a defensive line that was integral in stopping the run (101 rush YPG allowed, 10th in nation) and generating 33 sacks.



CINCINNATI BEARCATS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 10-3 (5-2 in Big East)
ATS Record: 8-5
Over/Under: 5-7
Points Scored: 33.3 PPG
Points Allowed: 20.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 4
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
The Bearcats QB position is a question mark, but it seems as though either Munchie Legaux (5 TD, 4 INT) will win the job outright, or Cincinnati will employ a two-QB system with senior Brendan Kay (8 career pass attempts). Legaux will need to improve his 47% completion rate if he’s going to be successful. Junior WR Anthony McClung returns after a team-high 683 receiving yards and 6 TD in 2011. The task of replacing Isaiah Pead falls to senior RB George Winn, who had just 40 carries last year but scored on a 69-yard TD run in the Liberty Bowl. The Bearcats defensive line helped lead the nation in Tackles For Loss (8.6 per game) and finish second in sacks (3.5 per game). The linebackers are solid too, but the secondary could cause Butch Jones fits, as for years now, the team has struggled against the pass, allowing 261 passing YPG in 2011.



SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (1-6 in Big East)
ATS Record: 4-8
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 29.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 22.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
Despite last season’s 5-7 record, South Florida is a team that could surprise some people and win the Big East championship this year. B.J Daniels is back at QB after throwing for 2,604 yards and 13 TD, while rushing for 601 yards and six scores as a junior. He’ll benefit from playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the conference, and he has his top four receivers back from last year, led by junior Sterling Griffin (team-high 530 rec yds in eight games, 3 TD). One question mark on this South Florida team is a secondary that lacks experience at both the cornerback and safety positions. The defensive line and linebacker groups are both excellent, as the Bulls ranked second in the nation in Tackles For Loss (8.3 per game) and fourth in sacks (3.3 per game), but they’ll need the secondary to defend against the pass (244 YPG allowed, 83rd in FBS) to have a real shot at winning this conference.



PITTSBURGH PANTHERS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-7 (4-3 in Big East)
ATS Record: 7-6
Over/Under: 5-8
Points Scored: 24.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 22.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 4
New head coach Paul Chryst has a lot to do to get this Panthers team to perform at a high level again, but this team does have talent to build on. On offense, senior QB Tino Sunseri will have to improve his decision-making and accuracy after a season in which he threw more interceptions (11) than he did touchdowns (10). He does return his top three targets in WRs Devin Street (754 rec yds) and Mike Shanahan (493 rec yds), and TE Hubie Graham (325 rec yds). The running game is also an issue as their main back, Ray Graham (958 rush yds, 9 TD), is trying to recover from a torn ACL suffered in late October. On the defensive end, the Panthers got help from two Michigan transfers who are ready to play immediately in Ray Vinopal and Cullen Christian. They also get DL Aaron Donald back after an 11-sack season.



RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 9-4 (4-3 in Big East)
ATS Record: 9-4
Over/Under: 3-9
Points Scored: 26.4 PPG
Points Allowed: 18.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
New head coach Kyle Flood still needs to choose a starting quarterback, but Chas Dodd (10 TD, 7 INT) probably has a slight edge over Gary Nova (11 TD, 9 INT). The Scarlet Knights are getting back their leading rusher in Jawan Jamison (897 rush yds, 9 TD), and although they said goodbye to star WR Mohamed Sanu and his 1,206 yards, Brandon Coleman (552 rec yds, 6 TD) is capable of filling the No. 1 wideout role. The offensive line could struggle this year as they are dealing with injuries already, forcing players to switch positions. The defense held nine teams to 20 points or less last year, ranking eighth in the nation in scoring (18.3 PPG) and ninth in pass defense (172 YPG). With eight starters returning, this unit should be fearsome again.



SYRACUSE ORANGE

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (1-6 in Big East)
ATS Record: 3-9
Over/Under: 8-4
Points Scored: 24.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 28.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 5
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
Syracuse should be a good passing team in 2012 with Ryan Nassib (2,685 pass yds, 22 TD, 9 INT) returning under center. He’ll get back his two best targets in leading receiver Alec Lemon (834 rec yds, 6 TD) and WR Marcus Sales, who missed all of 2011 after being arrested on drug-related charges, which have since been dropped. The rushing attack is an issue as there isn’t a clear-cut No. 1 back between Jerome Smith, Prince-Tyson Gulley and Ashton Broyld. The offensive line is also suspect (90th in FBS in sacks allowed). On the defensive side, there is skepticism about the Orange’s front four after losing their top pass rusher, Chandler Jones to the NFL. The secondary could also be an issue again (258 pass YPG allowed, 98th in nation), as Syracuse lacks talent at the defensive back positions.



TEMPLE OWLS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 9-4 (5-3 in MAC)
ATS Record: 9-4
Over/Under: 5-7
Points Scored: 30.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 13.9 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 4
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
The inexperienced Owls could be in for a rude awakening when they rejoin the Big East in 2012. However, they are finally strong at the quarterback position with junior Chris Coyer (30-for-50, 463 yds, 6 TD, 0 INT), who emerged as the leader of their football team. The offensive line is losing four starters, but head coach Steve Addazio is confident that the new linemen can step in and contribute immediately. The running game loses Bernard Pierce and his 1,481 rushing yards and 27 TD, but gains Boston College’s all-time leading rusher Montel Harris. On defense, Temple allowed a mere 13.9 PPG (3rd in nation), holding five teams to single digits. But the Owls return only five players and will be facing more talented offenses in the Big East than they did in the MAC.



CONNECTICUT HUSKIES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (3-4 in Big East)
ATS Record: 4-8
Over/Under: 7-4
Points Scored: 24.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 24.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
UConn is heading into the 2012 season with another quarterback controversy. Transfer QB Chandler Whitmer had a strong showing in the spring game, but senior Johnny McEntee (2,110 pass yds, 12 TD, 8 INT) has the most experience after starting last year. The offensive line could be a problem as the Huskies lost two starters from what already wasn’t a successful unit last year (4th-most sacks allowed in nation). This could significantly hurt the development of RB Lyle McCombs, who rushed for 1,151 yards (2nd in Big East) and 7 TD as a freshman last season. The defensive line will once again be a strength for UConn (2.8 sacks per game, 13th in nation). DT Ryan Wirth didn’t play a lot last year, but he dominated the spring game with 4.5 sacks. The secondary needs work (281 passing YPG allowed, 113th in FBS), but the Huskies have a chance to improve with several players who saw the field last year.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/06/2012 06:25 PM

SEC Conference football preview

When projecting a national champion this year, keep this sobering thought in mind: Eight of the last ten BCS champions have owned a Top 10 ranked defense.

After winning six national titles in a row and seven of the last nine, the SEC is now 8-0 in BCS title games. The conference has now won more than half of the 14 BCS championships games.

Its why, as Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com says, “They ought to just rename the system, BCSEC.”

Who’s to argue?

The SEC builds elite defenses with waves of athletic defensive linemen. There is so much gridiron talent in this league its no surprise that, every year since 2006, the SEC has had more players selected in the draft than any conference. A total of 54 first-round selections (nine this year) have landed in the NFL in that span, cementing their case as the most fertile football breeding ground in the land.

It’s also no coincidence the SEC produced 14 of the nation’s 23 highest-paid assistant coaches last season, including seven of the top eight.

So while saddling up with an SEC team to make it the BCS title game would appear to be the high percentage play, the tougher this year is question is ‘who’.

Five different teams have captured the SEC championship game the last eight years, with only Alabama and Florida winning twice. The Crimson Tide, last year’s national champ, loses half of their returning starters and will be highly targeted in 2012. Bama coach Nick Saban is fully aware of what lies ahead. "That target is always on our back," Saban said. "Our players know that. If they don't, we're going to remind them every day... We need to look forward and not look in the rear-view mirror at what we did."

And then there’s always LSU, this year’s preseason No. 1 team. Deeply talented as always and defensively ferocious, the Tigers relish being left out of the spotlight and figure to have plenty to prove after finishing with a better record than Alabama last season.

As we like to say, “This is the SEC’s world. We just live in it.”

Note: Team writeups excerpted from the 2012 PLAYBOOK Football Preview magazine. Numbers following team name represent the amount of returning starters on offense and defense, with an asterisk (*) designating a returning quarterback. Designated ‘Play On’ and ‘Play Against’ Best Bets follow each team’s preview.

East Division

FLORIDA (7/10)

Team Theme: WILL & GRACE

An 0-for October for the first time since 1971, an NFL draft that included no Gators in the first three rounds for the first time since 1993 and, most importantly, the most losses in a season (6) since 1987. It’s no wonder that Will Muschamp has fallen out of grace with the Gator nation after only one year on the job. A lot of Florida’s undoing can be attributed to the fact that they’ve played 66 freshmen over the past two seasons – the most in the nation. And while their string of 21 consecutive bowl appearances doesn’t appear in jeopardy with 17 starters back on campus, spring practice has yet to clear up a very fuzzy QB picture. No pain, no ‘Gaines.’

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: The Gators are 0-7 SU and ATS as dogs the last two seasons.

PLAY ON: at Florida State (11/24)

GEORGIA (*6/9)

Team Theme: RICHTER SCALE

You can put to rest the Mark Richt ‘hot seat’ talk. Richt, who owns the third best win percentage among active Division 1-A coaches at .736 (106-38), inked a contract extension through 2016. Also returning to Athens is QB Andy Murray, who tossed a school-record 35 TD’s in 2011. In addition, Murray’s top five targets and 12 of the top 14 tacklers from the nation’s 5th-ranked stop-unit, including a pair of All-Americans, are aboard this season. Unfortunately, SEC Freshmen of the Year RB Isiah Crowell was dismissed from the team this spring, leaving a gaping hole in the backfield. Nonetheless, with only four true road games, and without Alabama or LSU dotting this year’s regular-season docket, don’t be surprised if Richt and the Dawgs scale new heights in 2012.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: Mark Richt is 44-8 SU versus non-conference opposition, including 30-1 ‘Between the Hedges.’

PLAY ON: as a dog at South Carolina (10/6)

KENTUCKY (*6/5)

Team Theme: HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN OFFENSE?

Wasn’t it the Bee Gees who started a joke, which started the whole world crying? Well, Joker Phillips’ second year on the Kentucky sidelines certainly didn’t bring many smiles. Thanks to massive graduation losses, the offense shrunk a whopping 15 points and 168 yards per game, finishing No. 118 in the nation – behind the likes of Akron, Memphis and New Mexico. Better days are ahead with QB Morgan Newton back after successful off-season shoulder surgery and prize recruit Kentucky high school 5A Player of the Year QB Jacob Russell coming to Lexington. On the flip side, though, new DC Rick Minter inherits a stop-unit that lost five of its top seven tacklers.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: Over the last five years, the Wildcats have gone 5-6, 6-6, 6-6, 6-6 and 6-6 ATS.

PLAY ON: PASS

MISSOURI (*4/6)

Team Theme: TRANSITIONING

As if they need it, the SEC gets another ‘Tiger.’ However, HC Gary Pinkel insists changes are needed if the Columbia Cats are to compete. “We have to make facility improvements. Salaries have got to get comparable to what we’re going up against in the SEC,” says Pinkel. “Anytime you go into something new you have to prove yourself… that’s our approach and that’s what we’re going to do.” Despite a rash of injuries, Missouri finished last season with four straight wins for the first time since 1965. QB James Franklin is back to lead the charge but we have a feeling that a school-record seven straight bowl appearances is suddenly on the line with Mizzou moving into a new neighborhood.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: Since 1981, the Tigers are 6-1 SU and ATS versus the SEC, including 4-0 SU and ATS during the regular season.

PLAY ON: PASS

SOUTH CAROLINA (*7/6)

Team Theme: GETTING COCKY

It was a shame to see Marcus Lattimore, arguably the best back in college football, go down with a knee injury in mid-October last season. The team had just inserted Connor Shaw as its quarterback the prior week when the tandem combined to lead a 639-yard assault on Kentucky. Shaw ended up 8-1 in his starts while leading the ‘Cocks to six SEC wins for the first time in school history. When the final dust had settled, SC finished No. 9 in the AP Poll – the first time they ever scored a Top 10 finish. With seven players back that started all 13 games in 2011, along with Lattimore and Shaw, Spurrier believes this to be his best team ever in Columbia. We agree.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: The last four ‘Mr. Football’ winners in the state of South Carolina are on the Gamecocks’ roster.

PLAY ON: vs. Tennessee (10/27)

TENNESSEE (*10/8)

Team Theme: DOOLEY DOCTRINE

Tradition goes a long way in the SEC, especially in Knoxville. However, we have a feeling that UT’S new $50 million, four-story, 145,000 square-foot training complex being built will sit just fine with the Vol faithful. Getting back to tradition, having at least one SEC all-first team selection in 37 of the past 38 seasons is one of UT’s oldest accomplishments – while the fact that Florida head coaches are just 4-7 all-time in their first visit to Neyland Stadium is one of its finest. And with 18 starters back, led by QB Tyler Bray, an entire offensive line and four who garnered all-SEC freshman honors, the OLD-timers should be ‘Dooling’, err, drooling in 2012.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: The Vols are 11-3 SU when playing a new member of the SEC.

PLAY ON: vs. Kentucky (11/24)

VANDERBILT (*9/7)

Team Theme: FRANKLIN & BASH

Offensive coordinator at Maryland from 2008-2010, James Franklin was one of the most sought after assistants in the league. Now we know why. His Commodores scored more points than any Vanderbilt team since 1915 and the Terps’ attack fell off by 9 PPG. More importantly, the ‘father of electric offenses’ steered the Commies from a two-win season to a bowl game in his first year in Nashville. And they did it the old-fashioned way – they earned it – as the offense was up 10 points and 42 yards per game while the defense improved 9 points and 96 yards per contest. And with QB Jordan Rodgers, five targets and RB Zac Stacy back in the mix, the lights stay on in Vandy.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: The Commodores are 6-1 ATS versus .667 or less opponents under Franklin.

PLAY ON: PASS



West Division

ALABAMA (*6/5)

Team Theme: ROCK OF AGES

It was simply the most dominating defensive performance witnessed in college football since 1986 when Alabama last year – like Oklahoma 25 years ago – led the nation in fewest points allowed, rushing defense, passing defense and total defense in the same season. The icing on the cake was a 21-0 whitewash-win over LSU in the BCS Championship game, college football's version of a Yankees-Red Sox World Series. It was the first shutout in a title game since 1992 when Miami blanked Nebraska, 22-0, in the Orange Bowl. Unfortunately, it makes the bulls-eye on Bama’s back larger than ever. Hence, it’s no surprise to learn that the last team to allow less than 10 PPG and 250 YPG in the same season (2008 USC) was 9-4 SU and 4-9 ATS the following year. Uh oh. You get our drift.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: Defending national champions are 0-5 SU and ATS in bowl games the next season when playing off a DD ATS win.

PLAY AGAINST: as favorite at LSU (11/3)

ARKANSAS (*7/6)

Team Theme: BAD KARMA

Little did he realize, when Bobby Petrino quit on his team with three games remaining in his first season with the Atlanta Falcons to take the job at Arkansas, his karmic destiny was etched in stone. And so it was this spring when was he dismissed from Arkansas for not disclosing ‘an inappropriate relationship’ with a female employee. It fit to a tee the words written by the legendary John Lennon who said, “Instant karma’s gonna get you, gonna knock you off your feet.” Enter retread John L. Smith, who like Petrino, is a former head coach at Louisville. Let’s hope that in itself is not a dose of bad karma! The Hogs can’t afford to be taken on another bad ride.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: Both of the Razorbacks’ losses were against the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams last season.

PLAY AGAINST: at Texas A&M (9/29)

AUBURN (*7/9)

Team Theme: IT CHIZ WHAT IT CHIZ

In what might have been the greatest coaching effort of all last season, Gene Chizik somehow guided his Tigers to an 8-win campaign despite losing 15 starters from his 2010 national championship team – including Heisman winner and NFL Rookie of the Year QB Cam Newton. Best of all, Chiz did it despite a combined 200-yard decline on both sides of the ball, all while dressing up as underdogs in no less than eight contests. To that we say job well done! The big test comes this season when four of Auburn’s five games away from home will be against bowl teams from last year. It’s our best guess they will likely end up paying a price for 2011’s successes.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: Chizik is 10-1 ATS at home with revenge versus an opponent off a win.

PLAY AGAINST: at Mississippi State (9/8)

LSU (6/5)

Team Theme: LES IS MORE

The Tigers found out how difficult it is to defeat a quality foe two times in the same season when they faced Bama’s impregnable wall in the BCS title game last year. They must regroup this year with a cast of new characters as no less than five Bengals were selected in this year’s NFL draft. The new gunslinger in town is 6’5” QB Zach Mettenberger, a Georgia transfer who appears to be the perfect compliment to Miles’ riverboat gambler mentality. Eight home games should add to LSU’s 97-win total over the past 10 years – third most in the land behind Boise State and USC – but they may have to run through a wall on November 3rd to get back to the title game.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: Miles is 51-6 SU in night games and 24-13 SU in day games with LSU.

PLAY AGAINST: vs. Mississippi State (11/10)

MISSISSIPPI (*9/6)

Team Theme: FAST & FURIOUS

When both a team’s offense and defense have been in serious decline each of the past three seasons, you can expect changes aplenty. So it is, with the arrival of Hugh Freeze, who sparked a dramatic turnaround in his two seasons at Arkansas State – one as the head coach, the other as the offensive coordinator. The Mississippi native and former Rebels assistant has been a winner at every level he’s coached. His teams have all featured furious, high-profiled offenses. There’s plenty of room for improvement for a team that has tallied six wins in two seasons but Freeze will need to especially pick up the pace against an SEC slate that comes with all eight bowlers.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: Over the last two seasons, the Rebels are 0-8 SU and ATS versus sub .750 SEC opposition.

PLAY AGAINST: at Tulane (9/22)

MISSISSIPPI STATE (*8/7)

Team Theme: MULLEN IT UP AND DOWN

On the heels of a nine-win effort in 2010, the Bulldogs began the 2011 campaign as a team ranked in the preseason Top 20. An auspicious debut at Memphis where MSU gained a school-record 645 yards in a 45-point romp seemed to signal they were on their way. Dan Mullen’s crew then played .500-ball thereafter, losing all five games against teams that brought a winning record to the field. In order to better balance the books, Mullen will need QB Tyler Russell to step up his game to the level expected when he was a 5* recruit. He’ll also need to fill the big hole left by star DL Fletcher Cox, who took his talents to Philadelphia as a first-round selection.

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: Mullen is 20-2 SU and 13-6 ATS versus sub .750 foes, and 1-15 SU and 5-11 ATS versus .750 or greater opposition.

PLAY AGAINST: as a favorite vs. Texas A&M (11/3)

TEXAS A&M (8/6)

Team Theme: GIG ‘EM, AGGIES

Unbeknownst to loyal Aggie fans, when A&M said yes to the lure of the SEC, it agreed to sever many long-standing traditions. One such tradition being the Aggie War Hymn, which recites “Goodbye to Texas University” twice in the opening verse. Little did they realize it would be so factual. Yes, it’s sad to see their Thanksgiving rivalry with Texas fall prey to the crazy world of conference expansion, but new HC Kevin Sumlin was never a part of it anyway. Sumlin and his high-powered attack should benefit a team that lost five games by a TD or less in 2011. Here’s a new tradition that we’d pay to see: Aggies and ‘Horns in the inaugural SEC/Big 12 bowl clash!

STAT YOU'LL LIKE: The Aggies will face 11 teams in 2012 that owned a winning record last season.

PLAY ON: as a dog vs. Florida (9/8)

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/06/2012 06:28 PM

College Football Preview: Pac-12 South


To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we continue our run of all FBS conference previews over the next several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2012 StatFox Edge Football Preview. Next up is the Pac-12 South, which has three new head coaches, and is expected to be dominated by USC, which is the odds-on favorite to win both the Pac-12 and national championship (7-to-2 odds).

Odds to Win Pac-12
(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.com)
4-to-7: USC
25-to-1: Utah
50-to-1: Arizona
50-to-1: UCLA
100-to-1: Arizona State
100-to-1: Colorado


USC TRJOANS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 10-2 (7-2 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 8-3-1
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 35.7 PPG
Points Allowed: 23.6 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 7/2
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 9
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
The Trojans are finally eligible for postseason play, and the timing couldn’t be better, because this team has the talent to win another national championship. QB Matt Barkley (3,528 pass yds, 39 TD, 7 INT) is the front-runner to win the Heisman Trophy and has two of the top WRs in college football in Robert Woods (111 rec, 1,292 yds, 15 TD) and Marqise Lee (1,143 rec yds, 11 TD). Throw in Penn State transfer RB Silas Redd (1,241 rush yds, 7 TD) and returning RB Curtis McNeal (1,005 rush yds, 6 TD) and a good offensive line, and you have what could be the best offense in the nation. While the secondary and linebacking corps feature a wealth of experience and talent, USC lost three starting defensive linemen and may not have the depth to continue to rotate fresh legs in and out of the lineup. If their defense can go from good to great, Lane Kiffin will be hoisting the Coaches’ Trophy in Miami come January.



UTAH UTES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (4-5 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 6-7
Over/Under: 4-7-1
Points Scored: 25.0 PPG
Points Allowed: 20.2 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 100/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 9
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
The Utes are looking forward to the 2012 season as they get back most of their starting lineup from last year. QB Jordan Wynn is looking to bounce back from an injury-filled 2011, and he did have a strong spring. Wynn will have plenty of offensive weapons to choose from, most notably senior WR DeVonte Christopher (663 rec yds, 5 TD). RB John White returns, and he will be leaned on heavily after rushing for 1,519 yards and 15 TD. The amount of room White will have to run depends on the performance of an inexperience offensive line, but head coach Kyle Whittingham is confident that his line will come together. Defensively, this team could be a nightmare for opponents, as they have a great group of linebackers as well as one of the best defensive lines in the conference.



ARIZONA WILDCATS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 4-8 (2-7 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 4-8
Over/Under: 7-4
Points Scored: 30.7 PPG
Points Allowed: 35.4 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
New head coach Rich Rodriguez has a nice set of talent for his spread offense. Matt Scott steps in at QB, and he has experience and the athleticism to fit this offense well. The running game could be light years ahead of what it was last year, with Ka’Deem Carey (425 rush yds, 6 TD as a freshman) taking over. Defensively, this team has a solid secondary with CB Shaq Richardson (4 INT) as the top returning starter. The defensive line is a problem area, as the Wildcats lack a dominant pass rusher. They’ll need to find a way to get to the QB and stuff the run if Rodriguez is going to bring this year’s team to a bowl.



UCLA BRUINS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-8 (5-4 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 5-9
Over/Under: 5-9
Points Scored: 23.1 PPG
Points Allowed: 31.4 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
The Bruins start in a new direction with head coach Jim Mora Jr. stepping in for Rick Neuheisel. Mora brings NFL head coaching experience to a program that has struggled over the last decade. He will have to pick a QB out of a group of three that includes last year’s starter Kevin Prince (1,828 pass yds, 12 TD, 8 INT), Brett Hundley and Richard Brehaut (948 pass yds, 6 TD, 1 INT). Hundley has the most upside of the trio, and that could win him the job with his new coach. UCLA will likely try to pound the football after ranking third in the Pac-12 in rushing last year (178 rush YPG), giving the ball mostly to senior Johnathan Franklin (976 rush yds, 5 TD). Defensively, the Bruins return seven starters. If the incoming recruiting class (ranked 12th in the nation) can provide some instant contributors, UCLA will be a team on the rise.



ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-7 (4-5 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 3-9-1
Over/Under: 9-2-1
Points Scored: 33.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 28.6 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 4
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
New head coach Todd Graham has ASU fans excited about a team that showed a lot of promise this spring. The Sun Devils’ running game should be explosive, as Graham keeps raving about an offensive line that is capable of opening big holes for stud RB Cameron Marshall (1,050 rush yds, 18 TD). One thing they’ll need to figure out is their QB situation, as they lost Brock Osweiler to the NFL. It appears as if sophomore Mike Bercovici will be the starter when the season begins. ASU could have a strong group of receivers led by Jamal Miles (60 catches, 6 TD). The defense lost a lot of key players, so it will be a process rebuilding that side of the ball. One bright spot is that they get back LB Brandon Magee, who missed 2011 with an Achilles injury.



COLORADO BUFFALOES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 3-10 (2-7 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 4-9
Over/Under: 6-7
Points Scored: 19.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 36.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 4
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
Colorado lost its best QB, RB and top WR from last season, and that leaves major uncertainty at the skill positions. Kansas transfer Jordan Webb (1,884 pass yds, 13 TD, 12 INT) will likely start if he’s deemed eligible. If not, Connor Wood is likely to take the job. Wood has yet to play a collegiate game, so it’s unlikely he’ll put up any monster numbers. Tony Jones seems like he’ll be the guy to step in for the departed Rodney Stewart and handle the bulk of the rushing workload. Jones averaged just 3.8 yards per carry, but caught 27 passes in his final 10 games. Defensively, this team is inexperienced in the secondary and also on the defensive line. After a 3-10 year, it’s not likely things will get much better.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/06/2012 06:28 PM

College Football Preview: Pac-12 South


To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we continue our run of all FBS conference previews over the next several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2012 StatFox Edge Football Preview. Next up is the Pac-12 South, which has three new head coaches, and is expected to be dominated by USC, which is the odds-on favorite to win both the Pac-12 and national championship (7-to-2 odds).

Odds to Win Pac-12
(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.com)
4-to-7: USC
25-to-1: Utah
50-to-1: Arizona
50-to-1: UCLA
100-to-1: Arizona State
100-to-1: Colorado


USC TRJOANS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 10-2 (7-2 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 8-3-1
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 35.7 PPG
Points Allowed: 23.6 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 7/2
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 9
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
The Trojans are finally eligible for postseason play, and the timing couldn’t be better, because this team has the talent to win another national championship. QB Matt Barkley (3,528 pass yds, 39 TD, 7 INT) is the front-runner to win the Heisman Trophy and has two of the top WRs in college football in Robert Woods (111 rec, 1,292 yds, 15 TD) and Marqise Lee (1,143 rec yds, 11 TD). Throw in Penn State transfer RB Silas Redd (1,241 rush yds, 7 TD) and returning RB Curtis McNeal (1,005 rush yds, 6 TD) and a good offensive line, and you have what could be the best offense in the nation. While the secondary and linebacking corps feature a wealth of experience and talent, USC lost three starting defensive linemen and may not have the depth to continue to rotate fresh legs in and out of the lineup. If their defense can go from good to great, Lane Kiffin will be hoisting the Coaches’ Trophy in Miami come January.



UTAH UTES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (4-5 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 6-7
Over/Under: 4-7-1
Points Scored: 25.0 PPG
Points Allowed: 20.2 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 100/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 9
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
The Utes are looking forward to the 2012 season as they get back most of their starting lineup from last year. QB Jordan Wynn is looking to bounce back from an injury-filled 2011, and he did have a strong spring. Wynn will have plenty of offensive weapons to choose from, most notably senior WR DeVonte Christopher (663 rec yds, 5 TD). RB John White returns, and he will be leaned on heavily after rushing for 1,519 yards and 15 TD. The amount of room White will have to run depends on the performance of an inexperience offensive line, but head coach Kyle Whittingham is confident that his line will come together. Defensively, this team could be a nightmare for opponents, as they have a great group of linebackers as well as one of the best defensive lines in the conference.



ARIZONA WILDCATS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 4-8 (2-7 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 4-8
Over/Under: 7-4
Points Scored: 30.7 PPG
Points Allowed: 35.4 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
New head coach Rich Rodriguez has a nice set of talent for his spread offense. Matt Scott steps in at QB, and he has experience and the athleticism to fit this offense well. The running game could be light years ahead of what it was last year, with Ka’Deem Carey (425 rush yds, 6 TD as a freshman) taking over. Defensively, this team has a solid secondary with CB Shaq Richardson (4 INT) as the top returning starter. The defensive line is a problem area, as the Wildcats lack a dominant pass rusher. They’ll need to find a way to get to the QB and stuff the run if Rodriguez is going to bring this year’s team to a bowl.



UCLA BRUINS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-8 (5-4 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 5-9
Over/Under: 5-9
Points Scored: 23.1 PPG
Points Allowed: 31.4 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
The Bruins start in a new direction with head coach Jim Mora Jr. stepping in for Rick Neuheisel. Mora brings NFL head coaching experience to a program that has struggled over the last decade. He will have to pick a QB out of a group of three that includes last year’s starter Kevin Prince (1,828 pass yds, 12 TD, 8 INT), Brett Hundley and Richard Brehaut (948 pass yds, 6 TD, 1 INT). Hundley has the most upside of the trio, and that could win him the job with his new coach. UCLA will likely try to pound the football after ranking third in the Pac-12 in rushing last year (178 rush YPG), giving the ball mostly to senior Johnathan Franklin (976 rush yds, 5 TD). Defensively, the Bruins return seven starters. If the incoming recruiting class (ranked 12th in the nation) can provide some instant contributors, UCLA will be a team on the rise.



ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-7 (4-5 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 3-9-1
Over/Under: 9-2-1
Points Scored: 33.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 28.6 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 4
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
New head coach Todd Graham has ASU fans excited about a team that showed a lot of promise this spring. The Sun Devils’ running game should be explosive, as Graham keeps raving about an offensive line that is capable of opening big holes for stud RB Cameron Marshall (1,050 rush yds, 18 TD). One thing they’ll need to figure out is their QB situation, as they lost Brock Osweiler to the NFL. It appears as if sophomore Mike Bercovici will be the starter when the season begins. ASU could have a strong group of receivers led by Jamal Miles (60 catches, 6 TD). The defense lost a lot of key players, so it will be a process rebuilding that side of the ball. One bright spot is that they get back LB Brandon Magee, who missed 2011 with an Achilles injury.



COLORADO BUFFALOES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 3-10 (2-7 in Pac-12)
ATS Record: 4-9
Over/Under: 6-7
Points Scored: 19.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 36.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 4
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
Colorado lost its best QB, RB and top WR from last season, and that leaves major uncertainty at the skill positions. Kansas transfer Jordan Webb (1,884 pass yds, 13 TD, 12 INT) will likely start if he’s deemed eligible. If not, Connor Wood is likely to take the job. Wood has yet to play a collegiate game, so it’s unlikely he’ll put up any monster numbers. Tony Jones seems like he’ll be the guy to step in for the departed Rodney Stewart and handle the bulk of the rushing workload. Jones averaged just 3.8 yards per carry, but caught 27 passes in his final 10 games. Defensively, this team is inexperienced in the secondary and also on the defensive line. After a 3-10 year, it’s not likely things will get much better.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/06/2012 06:31 PM

SEC Preview

August 5, 2012

When projecting a national champion this year, keep this sobering thought in mind: Eight of the last ten BCS champions have owned a Top 10 ranked defense.

After winning six national titles in a row and seven of the last nine, the SEC is now 8-0 in BCS title games. The conference has now won more than half of the 14 BCS championships games.

Its why, as Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com says, "They ought to just rename the system, BCSEC."

Who's to argue?

The SEC builds elite defenses with waves of athletic defensive linemen. There is so much gridiron talent in this league its no surprise that, every year since 2006, the SEC has had more players selected in the draft than any conference. A total of 54 first-round selections (nine this year) have landed in the NFL in that span, cementing their case as the most fertile football breeding ground in the land.

It's also no coincidence the SEC produced 14 of the nation's 23 highest-paid assistant coaches last season, including seven of the top eight.

So while saddling up with an SEC team to make it the BCS title game would appear to be the high percentage play, the tougher this year is question is 'who'.

Five different teams have captured the SEC championship game the last eight years, with only Alabama and Florida winning twice. The Crimson Tide, last year's national champ, loses half of their returning starters and will be highly targeted in 2012. Bama coach Nick Saban is fully aware of what lies ahead. "That target is always on our back," Saban said. "Our players know that. If they don't, we're going to remind them every day... We need to look forward and not look in the rear-view mirror at what we did."

And then there's always LSU, this year's preseason No. 1 team. Deeply talented as always and defensively ferocious, the Tigers relish being left out of the spotlight and figure to have plenty to prove after finishing with a better record than Alabama last season.

As we like to say, "This is the SEC's world. We just live in it."

Note: Numbers following team name represent the amount of returning starters on offense and defense, with an asterisk (*) designating a returning quarterback. Designated 'Play On' and 'Play Against' Best Bets follow each team's preview.

East Division

FLORIDA (7/10)
Team Theme: WILL & GRACE
An 0-for October for the first time since 1971, an NFL draft that included no Gators in the first three rounds for the first time since 1993 and, most importantly, the most losses in a season (6) since 1987. It's no wonder that Will Muschamp has fallen out of grace with the Gator nation after only one year on the job. A lot of Florida's undoing can be attributed to the fact that they've played 66 freshmen over the past two seasons - the most in the nation. And while their string of 21 consecutive bowl appearances doesn't appear in jeopardy with 17 starters back on campus, spring practice has yet to clear up a very fuzzy QB picture. No pain, no 'Gaines.'

Stat You Will Like: The Gators are 0-7 SU and ATS as dogs the last two seasons.

PLAY ON: at Florida State (11/24)

GEORGIA (*6/9)
Team Theme: RICHTER SCALE
You can put to rest the Mark Richt 'hot seat' talk. Richt, who owns the third best win percentage among active Division 1-A coaches at .736 (106-38), inked a contract extension through 2016. Also returning to Athens is QB Andy Murray, who tossed a school-record 35 TD's in 2011. In addition, Murray's top five targets and 12 of the top 14 tacklers from the nation's 5th-ranked stop-unit, including a pair of All-Americans, are aboard this season. Unfortunately, SEC Freshmen of the Year RB Isiah Crowell was dismissed from the team this spring, leaving a gaping hole in the backfield. Nonetheless, with only four true road games, and without Alabama or LSU dotting this year's regular-season docket, don't be surprised if Richt and the Dawgs scale new heights in 2012.
Stat You Will Like: Mark Richt is 44-8 SU versus non-conference opposition, including 30-1 'Between the Hedges.'

PLAY ON: as a dog at South Carolina (10/6)

KENTUCKY (*6/5)
Team Theme: HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN OFFENSE?
Wasn't it the Bee Gees who started a joke, which started the whole world crying? Well, Joker Phillips' second year on the Kentucky sidelines certainly didn't bring many smiles. Thanks to massive graduation losses, the offense shrunk a whopping 15 points and 168 yards per game, finishing No. 118 in the nation - behind the likes of Akron, Memphis and New Mexico. Better days are ahead with QB Morgan Newton back after successful off-season shoulder surgery and prize recruit Kentucky high school 5A Player of the Year QB Jacob Russell coming to Lexington. On the flip side, though, new DC Rick Minter inherits a stop-unit that lost five of its top seven tacklers.

Stat You Will Like: Over the last five years, the Wildcats have gone 5-6, 6-6, 6-6, 6-6 and 6-6 ATS.

PASS

MISSOURI (*4/6)
Team Theme: TRANSITIONING
As if they need it, the SEC gets another 'Tiger.' However, HC Gary Pinkel insists changes are needed if the Columbia Cats are to compete. "We have to make facility improvements. Salaries have got to get comparable to what we're going up against in the SEC," says Pinkel. "Anytime you go into something new you have to prove yourself… that's our approach and that's what we're going to do." Despite a rash of injuries, Missouri finished last season with four straight wins for the first time since 1965. QB James Franklin is back to lead the charge but we have a feeling that a school-record seven straight bowl appearances is suddenly on the line with Mizzou moving into a new neighborhood.

Stat You Will Like: Since 1981, the Tigers are 6-1 SU and ATS versus the SEC, including 4-0 SU and ATS during the regular season.

PASS

SOUTH CAROLINA (*7/6)
Team Theme: GETTING COCKY
It was a shame to see Marcus Lattimore, arguably the best back in college football, go down with a knee injury in mid-October last season. The team had just inserted Connor Shaw as its quarterback the prior week when the tandem combined to lead a 639-yard assault on Kentucky. Shaw ended up 8-1 in his starts while leading the 'Cocks to six SEC wins for the first time in school history. When the final dust had settled, SC finished No. 9 in the AP Poll - the first time they ever scored a Top 10 finish. With seven players back that started all 13 games in 2011, along with Lattimore and Shaw, Spurrier believes this to be his best team ever in Columbia. We agree.

Stat You Will Like: The last four 'Mr. Football' winners in the state of South Carolina are on the Gamecocks' roster.

PLAY ON: vs. Tennessee (10/27)

TENNESSEE (*10/8)
Team Theme: DOOLEY DOCTRINE
Tradition goes a long way in the SEC, especially in Knoxville. However, we have a feeling that UT'S new $50 million, four-story, 145,000 square-foot training complex being built will sit just fine with the Vol faithful. Getting back to tradition, having at least one SEC all-first team selection in 37 of the past 38 seasons is one of UT's oldest accomplishments - while the fact that Florida head coaches are just 4-7 all-time in their first visit to Neyland Stadium is one of its finest. And with 18 starters back, led by QB Tyler Bray, an entire offensive line and four who garnered all-SEC freshman honors, the OLD-timers should be 'Dooling', err, drooling in 2012.

Stat You Will Like: The Vols are 11-3 SU when playing a new member of the SEC.

PLAY ON: vs. Kentucky (11/24)

VANDERBILT (*9/7)
Team Theme: FRANKLIN & BASH
Offensive coordinator at Maryland from 2008-2010, James Franklin was one of the most sought after assistants in the league. Now we know why. His Commodores scored more points than any Vanderbilt team since 1915 and the Terps' attack fell off by 9 PPG. More importantly, the 'father of electric offenses' steered the Commies from a two-win season to a bowl game in his first year in Nashville. And they did it the old-fashioned way - they earned it - as the offense was up 10 points and 42 yards per game while the defense improved 9 points and 96 yards per contest. And with QB Jordan Rodgers, five targets and RB Zac Stacy back in the mix, the lights stay on in Vandy.

Stat You Will Like: The Commodores are 6-1 ATS versus .667 or less opponents under Franklin.

PASS

West Division

ALABAMA (*6/5)
Team Theme: ROCK OF AGES
It was simply the most dominating defensive performance witnessed in college football since 1986 when Alabama last year - like Oklahoma 25 years ago - led the nation in fewest points allowed, rushing defense, passing defense and total defense in the same season. The icing on the cake was a 21-0 whitewash-win over LSU in the BCS Championship game, college football's version of a Yankees-Red Sox World Series. It was the first shutout in a title game since 1992 when Miami blanked Nebraska, 22-0, in the Orange Bowl. Unfortunately, it makes the bulls-eye on Bama's back larger than ever. Hence, it's no surprise to learn that the last team to allow less than 10 PPG and 250 YPG in the same season (2008 USC) was 9-4 SU and 4-9 ATS the following year. Uh oh. You get our drift.

Stat You Will Like: Defending national champions are 0-5 SU and ATS in bowl games the next season when playing off a DD ATS win.

PLAY AGAINST: as favorite at LSU (11/3)

ARKANSAS (*7/6)
Team Theme: BAD KARMA
Little did he realize, when Bobby Petrino quit on his team with three games remaining in his first season with the Atlanta Falcons to take the job at Arkansas, his karmic destiny was etched in stone. And so it was this spring when was he dismissed from Arkansas for not disclosing 'an inappropriate relationship' with a female employee. It fit to a tee the words written by the legendary John Lennon who said, "Instant karma's gonna get you, gonna knock you off your feet." Enter retread John L. Smith, who like Petrino, is a former head coach at Louisville. Let's hope that in itself is not a dose of bad karma! The Hogs can't afford to be taken on another bad ride.

Stat You Will Like: Both of the Razorbacks' losses were against the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams last season.

PLAY AGAINST: at Texas A&M (9/29)

AUBURN (*7/9)
Team Theme: IT CHIZ WHAT IT CHIZ
In what might have been the greatest coaching effort of all last season, Gene Chizik somehow guided his Tigers to an 8-win campaign despite losing 15 starters from his 2010 national championship team - including Heisman winner and NFL Rookie of the Year QB Cam Newton. Best of all, Chiz did it despite a combined 200-yard decline on both sides of the ball, all while dressing up as underdogs in no less than eight contests. To that we say job well done! The big test comes this season when four of Auburn's five games away from home will be against bowl teams from last year. It's our best guess they will likely end up paying a price for 2011's successes.

Stat You Will Like: Chizik is 10-1 ATS at home with revenge versus an opponent off a win.

PLAY AGAINST: at Mississippi State (9/8) - *KEY if favored

LSU (6/5)
Team Theme: LES IS MORE
The Tigers found out how difficult it is to defeat a quality foe two times in the same season when they faced Bama's impregnable wall in the BCS title game last year. They must regroup this year with a cast of new characters as no less than five Bengals were selected in this year's NFL draft. The new gunslinger in town is 6'5" QB Zach Mettenberger, a Georgia transfer who appears to be the perfect compliment to Miles' riverboat gambler mentality. Eight home games should add to LSU's 97-win total over the past 10 years - third most in the land behind Boise State and USC - but they may have to run through a wall on November 3rd to get back to the title game.

Stat You Will Like: Miles is 51-6 SU in night games and 24-13 SU in day games with LSU.

PLAY AGAINST: vs. Mississippi State (11/10)

MISSISSIPPI (*9/6)
Team Theme: FAST & FURIOUS
When both a team's offense and defense have been in serious decline each of the past three seasons, you can expect changes aplenty. So it is, with the arrival of Hugh Freeze, who sparked a dramatic turnaround in his two seasons at Arkansas State - one as the head coach, the other as the offensive coordinator. The Mississippi native and former Rebels assistant has been a winner at every level he's coached. His teams have all featured furious, high-profiled offenses. There's plenty of room for improvement for a team that has tallied six wins in two seasons but Freeze will need to especially pick up the pace against an SEC slate that comes with all eight bowlers.

Stat You Will Like: Over the last two seasons, the Rebels are 0-8 SU and ATS versus sub .750 SEC opposition.

PLAY AGAINST: at Tulane (9/22)

MISSISSIPPI STATE (*8/7)
Team Theme: MULLEN IT UP AND DOWN
On the heels of a nine-win effort in 2010, the Bulldogs began the 2011 campaign as a team ranked in the preseason Top 20. An auspicious debut at Memphis where MSU gained a school-record 645 yards in a 45-point romp seemed to signal they were on their way. Dan Mullen's crew then played .500-ball thereafter, losing all five games against teams that brought a winning record to the field. In order to better balance the books, Mullen will need QB Tyler Russell to step up his game to the level expected when he was a 5* recruit. He'll also need to fill the big hole left by star DL Fletcher Cox, who took his talents to Philadelphia as a first-round selection.

Stat You Will Like: Mullen is 20-2 SU and 13-6 ATS versus sub .750 foes, and 1-15 SU and 5-11 ATS versus .750 or greater opposition.

PLAY AGAINST: as a favorite vs. Texas A&M (11/3)

TEXAS A&M (8/6)
Team Theme: GIG 'EM, AGGIES
Unbeknownst to loyal Aggie fans, when A&M said yes to the lure of the SEC, it agreed to sever many long-standing traditions. One such tradition being the Aggie War Hymn, which recites "Goodbye to Texas University" twice in the opening verse. Little did they realize it would be so factual. Yes, it's sad to see their Thanksgiving rivalry with Texas fall prey to the crazy world of conference expansion, but new HC Kevin Sumlin was never a part of it anyway. Sumlin and his high-powered attack should benefit a team that lost five games by a TD or less in 2011. Here's a new tradition that we'd pay to see: Aggies and 'Horns in the inaugural SEC/Big 12 bowl clash!

Stat You Will Like: The Aggies will face 11 teams in 2012 that owned a winning record last season.

PLAY ON: as a dog vs. Florida (9/8)



Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/06/2012 06:33 PM

QB Rankings

July 31, 2012

1-Matt Barkley (Southern Cal) – He was the ‘Face of the Franchise’ through two years of probation and now he’s back for his senior season with hopes of winning the national title and the Heisman Trophy. And it might happen. Barkley has two of the nation’s premier wide receivers in Robert Woods and Marquise Lee, who combined to make 184 receptions for 2,435 yards and 26 touchdowns. Barkley completed 69.1 percent of his throws as a junior for 3,528 yards with a 39/7 touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio.

2-Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) – With Bobby Petrino ousted, even more pressure is on the senior leader. Wilson waited patiently behind Ryan Mallett, who is the all-time leading passer in Razorbacks history. But Wilson was an upgrade from Mallett, leading the Hogs to an 11-2 record by throwing for 3,638 yards and 24 TDs compared to only six interceptions. In 2012, Wilson will have a better running game to lean on thanks to the return of Knile Davis, who was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2010 before sustaining a season-ending injury last August.

3-Geno Smith (West Virginia) – The Mountaineers picked the perfect year to transition from the Big East to a tougher loop like the Big 12. That’s because of the presence of Smith, the senior signal caller who is poised to become the school’s all-time leading passer by the end of September. WVU has eight starters back on offense, including all of its skill players from a unit that averaged 37.6 points per game. Smith has a 55/14 TD-INT ratio in two seasons as a starter.

4-Denard Robinson (Michigan) – These aren’t rankings in terms of pro prospects at the QB position, and that’s why Robinson is ranked so high. Obviously, his strength is running the ball, as evidenced by 3,051 rushing yards and 30 TDs in 2010 and 2011. Robinson, who also had five rushing scores as a true freshman, has 40 career TD passes. If Robinson can lead the Wolverines to a Week 1 upset over Alabama, he’ll instantly become one of the front runners for the Heisman.

5-Aaron Murray (Georgia) – The Tampa Plant High School product throws a tight spiral, has excellent accuracy and is tough as nails. However, he’s failed to shine in the biggest games of his career. With an advantageous schedule compared to its SEC East rivals, Murray better lead UGA back to the Ga. Dome or Mark Richt could find his job status on shaky ground yet again. Murray has an outstanding 59/22 TD-INT ratio for his career.

6-Landry Jones (Oklahoma) – OU’s all-time leading passer slumped toward the end of last season and finished with a career-worst 15 interceptions. For his career, Jones has 12,379 passing yards and a 93/41 TD-INT ratio. The Sooners averaged 39.5 PPG in 2012 but could muster only 10 points in their blowout loss at Oklahoma St. in the regular-season finale. Jones missed WR Ryan Broyles when an injury kept him out of the last four games. He needs to reduce his interception total if Oklahoma is going to get back to its first BCS Championship Game since 2008.

7-Collin Klein (Kansas St.) – Again, these are QB rankings for college football, so Klein is one of the elite. The fifth-senior who is a former WR garnered first-team All Big 12 honors after rushing for 1,448 yards and 27 TDs last season. Klein also threw for 1,918 yards with a 13/6 TD-INT ratio. With eight starters back, K-St.’s offense should be formidable again.

8-A.J. McCarron (Alabama) – I saw McCarron play live twice (at Florida and vs. LSU in New Orleans) last year and came away extremely impressed both times. He played his best game when it mattered most at the Superdome, setting the tone for the game with precise throws in the first half against LSU’s stout secondary with NFL players galore. McCarron completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,634 yards and a 16/5 TD-INT ratio. This guy might be worth a shot at 20/1 odds as a sleeper Heisman pick.

9-Casey Pachall (TCU) – There wasn’t much drop-off from Andy Dalton to Pachall, who led the Horned Frogs to an 11-2 record and a 40.8 PPG average. He connected on 66.5 percent of his passes for 2,921 yards with a 25/7 TD-INT ratio. Pachall, a six-foot five-inch junior, has nearly all of his weapons back, including one of the Big 12’s best WRs in Josh Boyce.

10-James Franklin (Missouri) – Following a dynamic sophomore year, Franklin missed spring practice to have shoulder surgery. He didn’t start throwing a non-nerf football until a few weeks ago, but Gary Pinkel said his QB is ‘ahead of schedule’ at SEC Media Days. Franklin will need to be 100 percent for a crucial Week 2 showdown vs. Georgia in Mizzou’s SEC debut. He ran for 1,145 yards and 15 TDs last year, in addition to throwing for 2,865 yards and 21 scores.

11-Tyler Bray (Tennessee) – If not for his knucklehead actions recently, I’d probably have him much higher. He played OK last year (17/6 TD-INT ratio) but was never 100-percent healthy after getting hurt in a loss to Georgia. Plus, he lost star WR Justin Hunter in the first half of Week 3. Bray has NFL skills and one of the nation’s best WR corps. If he keeps his head on straight and matures, Bray could be poised for a monster 2012 campaign.

12-Mike Glennon (North Carolina St.) – The Russell Wilson transfer to Wisconsin ended up working out for everybody. Glennon thrived as a first-year starter for the Wolfpack, throwing for more than 3,000 yards with a 31/12 TD-INT ratio. The six-foot six-inch senior will have a chance to go against Bray in a huge Week 1 game at the Ga. Dome. With FSU coming to Raleigh, N.C. St. could be the ACC’s sleeper squad.

Just missed the cut…
Alex Carder (Western Michigan)
Tyler Tettleton (Ohio)
Tajh Boyd (Clemson)
Keith Price (Washington)
Logan Thomas (Va. Tech)

Underrated:
Connor Shaw (South Carolina)
Tanner Price (Wake Forest)
Chuckie Keeton (Utah St.)
Terrance Owens (Toledo)
James Vandenberg (Iowa)

On the rise…:
Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville)
Joe Southwick (Boise St.)
Bryan Bennett (Oregon)
Corey Robinson (Troy)

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/20/2012 05:46 PM

College Football Preview: Conference USA

To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we continue our run of all FBS conference previews over the next several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2012 StatFox Edge Football Preview. Next up is Conference USA, which has the same 12 teams as last year, but conference favorite UCF is not eligible for the postseason due to NCAA recruiting violations.

Odds to Win Conference USA
9-to-2: Houston
9-to-2: Southern Mississippi
6-to-1: Tulsa
6-to-1: SMU
9-to-1: East Carolina
12-to-1: Marshall
15-to-1: UTEP
30-to-1: Rice
30-to-1: UAB
35-to-1: Tulane
50-to-1: Memphis


HOUSTON COUGARS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 13-1 (8-0 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 11-3
Over/Under: 8-6
Points Scored: 49.3 PPG
Points Allowed: 22.4 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 5
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
New head coach Tony Levine inherits a team without QB Case Keenum and most of the skill positions from the successful 2011 Cougars team. But QB David Piland is ready to fill Keenum’s record-breaking cleats, throwing for 2,641 yards and 24 TD in eight games in 2010 when Keenum was injured. Piland will lead the Air Raid offense that dictates the Cougars tossing the ball down the field nearly every possession. Leading rusher Charles Sims (821 rush yds, 7.5 YPC, 9 TD; 575 rec yds, 4 TD) returns behind an experienced o-line, but all of the receiving weapons Keenum had last year are gone. Defensively, Houston was a solid team last year, allowing just 22.4 PPG, and now they switch back to a 4-3 with new defensive coordinator Brian Stewart. They will be keeping most of this unit intact, including a group of dynamic linebackers. The Cougars’ strength will be in the middle of the field with their linebackers, but the secondary is also strong and experienced, led by senior CB D.J. Hayden (66 tackles, 11 PD, 5 FF).



SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI GOLDEN EAGLES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 12-2 (6-2 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 8-5-1
Over/Under: 6-8
Points Scored: 36.9 PPG
Points Allowed: 20.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
Ellis Johnson has giant shoes to fill replacing former head coach Larry Fedora and the first thing he’ll have to do is find a reliable quarterback. Whoever emerges between Chris Campbell and Ricky Lloyd will have the chance to play behind a strong offensive line that will start four seniors. Desmond Johnson (5.7 YPC) is the guy who looks to get the most touches at tailback this season with the versatile Jeremy Hester also getting some carries. The strength of the Golden Eagles could be their wide receiving corps that includes the speedy and undersized Tracy Lampley (1,037 total yards, 7 total TD) and 6-foot-4 converted TE Markese Triplett. Former Memphis head man Tommy West takes over as defensive coordinator and has some talent on the defensive line and secondary. Southern Miss will have to rely on green players at the linebacker positions to round out a defense that could be strong again (20.8 PPG, 26th in nation) if recruits and transfers are ready to contribute.



TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (7-1 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 7-6
Over/Under: 4-9
Points Scored: 33.1 PPG
Points Allowed: 27.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
Tulsa is looking to repeat the success of last year’s team despite losing QB G.J. Kinne. This year, the guy under center looks to be Cody Green, who transferred from Nebraska. Green looks the part of an NFL quarterback as he is an athletic 6-foot-4, 247-pound physical specimen, and he’ll have WR Bryan Burnham (850 rec yds) to throw to. RBs Trey Watts and Ja’Terian Douglas, both of whom rushed for over 800 yards last season, will also make Green’s job a heck of a lot easier. However, the offensive line lost three starters and lacks depth. The defense for this team looks to be very promising in 2012 as they get back a few starters in every area of the defense. This includes S Dexter McCoil (13 INT in career). They have a lot of speed on their defense, so it’ll be very tough to move the ball on the Golden Hurricane, especially in a conference full of uncertainty at the quarterback position.



SMU MUSTANGS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (5-3 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 5-8
Over/Under: 4-8-1
Points Scored: 25.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 23.1 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 3
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
SMU’s success this season will rest upon the shoulders of the University of Texas outcast, Garrett Gilbert, who was once considered a phenomenal QB prospect, but he struggled in Big 12 play (13 TD, 23 INT). Gilbert’s best play will be handing off to RB Zach Line who has rushed for 2,718 yards and 27 TD in his past two seasons. The Mustangs are completely retooling their offensive line, but if Gilbert has time to throw, he’ll be targeting a legit star wideout in Darius Johnson (1,118 rec yds, 8 TD). June Jones may finally have the players to perfect his Run ‘n’ Shoot offense. The Mustangs will be returning six starters from a defensive unit that was second in C-USA last season (340 total YPG). They get back all of their linebackers, but must replace two talented defensive ends. The secondary will return a decent number of reliable starters, including CB Kenneth Acker (49 solo tackles, 4 PD) and S Ryan Smith (65 tackles, 4 PD).



EAST CAROLINA PIRATES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (4-4 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 7-5
Over/Under: 5-7
Points Scored: 26.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 32.2 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
The Pirates will be a much different team than they have been in past years, with the departure of QB Dominique Davis who threw for 7,192 yards and 62 TD in two seasons. Junior Rio Johnson (20-for-29, 157 yds, 1 INT in career) will take over under center for Ruffin McNeill’s pass-heavy offense. This team is loaded with talent at the WR position, led by Justin Hardy (658 rec yds, 6 TD) and WR/TE Justin Jones (3 TD in season finale). RB Torrance Hunt (489 rush yds) will likely get the bulk of carries. On the defensive side of the ball, this team is getting playmakers back in its front seven, as well as the linebacking corps. C-USA Freshman of the Year MLB Jeremy Grove (45 solo tackles, 77 assists) is the anchor of the unit. The defense will be a strong suit for East Carolina while the offense’s job will dramatically shift from airing out the football to cutting down mistakes after having the 2nd-worst turnover margin in FBS.



MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-6 (5-3 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 8-5
Over/Under: 5-8
Points Scored: 21.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 28.6 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
The Thundering Herd will be a more exciting offense to watch this upcoming season. QB Rakeem Cato is returning after a solid freshman campaign (2,059 pass yds, 15 TD, 11 INT) and back with him is his super talented RB duo of Tron Martinez (649 rush yds, 3 TD) and Travon Van (551 rush yds, 3 TD), as well as NFL prospect WR Aaron Dobson (668 rec yds, 12 TD). The offensive line should stand tall, returning three starters and adding JUCO LT Gage Niemeyer who looked great in the spring. Defensively, Marshall loses its best pass rusher (Vinny Curry), but the secondary gets a boost from S D.J. Hunter (knee injury) coming back and Boston College transfers Dominick LeGrande and Okechukwu Okorha. With all this DB depth, Devin Arrington moves back to his linebacker position to give this unit more speed.



UTEP MINERS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (2-6 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 6-6
Over/Under: 4-7
Points Scored: 26.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 30.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 4
Head coach Mike Price needs to deliver a winning season in 2012. The pressure will be on QB Nick Lamaison (1,718 pass yds, 12 TD, 10 INT) who unfortunately was derailed by a few injuries. This year he’ll get back his two top targets in WRs Mike Edwards (657 rec yds, 3 TD) and Jordan Leslie (430 rec yds, 2 TD), as well as multiple pass-catching tight ends. RB Nathan Jeffery averaged 6.4 YPC last season and shows a lot of promise, especially with four starting OLs returning. The Miners defense struggled last year, allowing 442 YPG (104th in nation) and 49+ points three times. But the defensive line returns three quality starters and their linebackers will get a boost from Jamie Irving, who missed last season with shoulder injuries. The secondary could also be better with CB Drew Thomas (42 tackles, 5 PD) and S DeShawn Grayson (67 tackles, 2 INT) returning.



RICE OWLS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 4-8 (3-5 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 5-7
Over/Under: 4-8
Points Scored: 23.3 PPG
Points Allowed: 33.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 5
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
Since going 10-3 in 2008, the Owls are a combined 10-26 in the past three years. For them to get back to respectability, junior QB Taylor McHargue (1,072 pass yds, 8 TD, 5 INT) needs to play better. He does have weapons in WR Vance McDonald (532 rec yds, 5 TD) and TE Luke Wilson (313 yds, 3 TD), both of whom are legitimate targets. Rice will also get back playmaking RB/WR Sam McGuffie after his season was cut short by an ankle injury. On defense, two stars return in CB Bryce Callahan (6 INT) and LB Cameron Nwosu (108 tackles). Outside of those two, they’ll be full of young, inexperienced players. Former CB coach Chris Thurmond will take over as defensive coordinator after a year in which the secondary allowed 279 passing YPG (9th-most in FBS).



UAB BLAZERS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 3-9 (3-5 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 7-5
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 20.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 36.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 4
UAB enters the season with a new head coach in Garrick McGee, who learned how to run the offense under Bobby Petrino. McGee, who replaces Neil Callaway, has a great offensive mind and both he and offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm should be able to make the most out of QB Jonathan Perry (2,042 pass yds, 10 TD, 8 INT). Perry had a rocky start to his freshman year for the Blazers, but played much better down the stretch with 7 TD and 1 INT in his final three games. The offensive line has lost four starters, so McGee’s toughest job will be finding somebody to block for his QB. The Blazers have the talent and depth at WR and RB to do damage in the C-USA. Defensively, this team will be getting back impact players at the linebacker position and on the defensive line, where they struggled a year ago with the fewest sacks in FBS (eight). An improvement will really help the secondary, which lacks experience.



TULANE GREEN WAVE

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 2-11 (1-7 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 5-8
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 21.1 PPG
Points Allowed: 37.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
The good news for new Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson is that he will get back most of his starters to help erase the sting of losing their final 10 games. The offensive line is a question mark this season, but if they can block, this Tulane team will be solid offensively. Johnson loves QB Ryan Griffin (2,502 pass yds, 13 TD, 10 INT), and expects much bigger things from him. The Green Wave will also get back their star RB, Orleans Darkwa (924 rush yds, 13 TD). The offense looks promising, but it will mean nothing if their defense doesn’t improve drastically after letting up 37.5 PPG (6th-most in FBS) and 410 total YPG. A lot of individually skilled players are back on defense, it’s just a matter of when or if they come together. LB Trent Mackey (145 tackles) is a monster within an improving linebacking corps and the secondary should also be better with experience.



MEMPHIS TIGERS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 2-10 (1-7 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 5-7
Over/Under: 3-9
Points Scored: 16.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 35.1 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
The Tigers are returning a decent number of starters on the offensive end, but none of those are quarterbacks. But new head coach Justin Fuente will run his up-tempo offense through QB Jacob Karam, a transfer from Texas Tech. Karam’s No. 1 target will be sophomore WR Kevin Wright (36 rec, 398 yds), who is an athletic specimen at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. The broken running game from last season will again lean on the oft-injured Jerrell Rhodes (152 yds, 2 TD in 3 games). Defensively, this team can’t get much worse (491 YPG, 4th-most in FBS) despite the loss of first round NFL draft pick, DT Dontari Poe. The front seven performed very well this spring and shows promise of being a better run-stopping unit, and hopefully eclipsing 14 sacks from last year. Fortunately, almost every member of the secondary is back from last year and that experience can only help a unit that finished dead last in the nation in passing yards allowed (299.4 YPG).



UCF GOLDEN KNIGHTS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (3-5 in Conference USA)
ATS Record: 5-7
Over/Under: 4-7
Points Scored: 27.1 PPG
Points Allowed: 18.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: Not eligible for postseason
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
Sophomore QB Blake Borles will start under center for UCF in 2012 after a superb finish to his 2011 freshman campaign (6 TD, 3 INT, 68.2% completions). Receivers Quincy McDuffie and Josh Reese are also looking to build upon impressive freshman years to make this offense something truly special. The Knights should have an excellent running game this season with Brynn Harvey (2,202 rush yds, 18 TD in career) and Latavius Murray (233 rush yds vs. UTEP) operating behind a solid offensive line. On the other side of the ball, eight starters are coming back on a defense that showed signs of dominance last year (18.3 PPG, 303 YPG, both 9th in FBS), before being offset by injuries. If this team can stay healthy and get consistent play from its linebackers, its defense is good enough to get this team to the Conference-USA championship.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/20/2012 05:48 PM

College Football Preview: Sun Belt

To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we continue our run of all FBS conference previews over the next several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2012 StatFox Edge Football Preview. Next up is the Sun Belt Conference, which now has 10 teams with the addition of South Alabama.

Odds to Win Sun Belt
12-to-5: Florida International
7-to-2: Arkansas State
9-to-2: Troy
5-to-1: Louisiana-Lafayette
17-to-2: Louisiana-Monroe
9-to-1: Western Kentucky
16-to-1: North Texas
16-to-1: Middle Tennessee
30-to-1: Florida Atlantic
80-to-1: South Alabama


FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL GOLDEN PANTHERS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (5-3 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 6-7
Over/Under: 3-10
Points Scored: 25.0 PPG
Points Allowed: 19.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 10
FIU won eight games last season as it continues to turn around a program that was once bad on and off the field. The Golden Panthers offensive strength will shift from their passing game to the running game, as superstar WR T.Y Hilton departs and emerging RB Kedrick Rhodes (1,149 rush yds, 8 TD) returns. The QB position will likely be handed to sophomore Jack Medlock, who appeared in five games last season, including a solid performance against FAU in which he racked up 182 total yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, they’re returning nearly every player from last season’s roster. The strength will be their pass defense, as all of their secondary returns, as well as pass rushers Greg Hickman (5 sacks) and Tourek Williams (4.5 sacks).



ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 10-3 (8-0 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 10-3
Over/Under: 4-9
Points Scored: 32.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 20.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 3
Arkansas State dazzled in Hugh Freeze’s first year as a head coach, going undefeated in conference play. Freeze bolted for a chance to coach in the SEC (at Ole Miss) and will be replaced by Gus Malzahn, a former Auburn offensive coordinator. Malzahn will be getting back offensive weapons in QB Ryan Aplin (3,588 yards, 19 TD, 16 INT) and WRs Taylor Stockemer (756 rec yds, 7 TD) and Josh Jarboe (730 rec yds): the receivers will need to replace the production of the departed Dwayne Frampton, who caught 94 passes for 1,156 yards last year. RB Frankie Jackson (355 rush yds, 6 TD) will be running behind an inexperienced offensive line. The Red Wolves return only three starters from last year’s solid defense.



TROY TROJANS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 3-9 (2-6 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 3-9
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 22.4 PPG
Points Allowed: 33.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 9
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
The 2011 season was a disastrous one for the Trojans, whose program had been consistently atop the Sun Belt from 2006-10. Troy struggled on defense (33.7 PPG, 465 YPG) and turned the ball over far too often on offense, contributing to a 3-9 record. There is some hope for this year’s team, which has plenty of experience. Coming back on offense are QB Corey Robinson (3,411 pass yds, 21 TD, 15 INT), WR Eric Thomas (67 rec, 875 yds, 9 TD) and RB Shawn Southward (556 rush yds, 4 TD). The offensive line struggled at times last season and lost OT James Brown and C Zach Swindall, arguably their top two linemen. Defensively, this team will continue to have its issues. The secondary was a weakness last season and they are transitioning from a 3-4 to a 4-3 base. The linebackers are a strength, but Troy can’t give up another 20 plays of 40+ yards (11 of 50+ yds), and still expect to compete for a Sun Belt title.



LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE RAGIN’ CAJUNS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 9-4 (6-2 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 9-4
Over/Under: 9-4
Points Scored: 32.3 PPG
Points Allowed: 29.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 2
Mark Hudspeth did one of the best coaching jobs in the nation last season, winning nine games with a team that had lost nine in 2010. The Ragin’ Cajuns succeeded behind an explosive offense that gets back nearly all of its main contributors. Signal caller Blaine Gautier (2,958 pass yds, 23 TD, 6 INT) is back after a superb season and will once again have the luxury of throwing to WR Javone Lawson (1,092 yards, 8 TDs). Defensively, this team was a mess last season (29.9 PPG allowed) and returns two starters (which in this case could be a positive). The defense has a lot of young talent that saw the field last year, and some junior college transfers who will be asked to contribute right away.



LOUISIANA-MONROE WARHAWKS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 4-8 (3-5 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 5-6
Over/Under: 6-5
Points Scored: 24.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 25.4 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
The Warhawks could be looking at their first bowl-eligible season since joining the FBS. The biggest obstacle for Monroe will be improving an offensive line that tied for the most sacks allowed in the Sun Belt last season. QB Kolton Browning (2,483 pass yds, 13 TD, 8 INT) is looking to bounce back after experiencing a little bit of a sophomore slump in 2011, but he needs his offensive line to keep him clean. If the o-line does improve, RB Jyruss Edwards (667 rush yds, 11 TD) has the talent to run for 1,000 yards. Defensively, this team excelled stopping the run last year (100 rush YPG, 8th in FBS) and should do more of the same with a strong influx of talent joining the unit. DE Kentarius Caldwell (3.5 sacks) will look to improve on a mediocre season. He will need to put more pressure on the QB with ULM’s top two sackers gone.



WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-5 (7-1 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 10-2
Over/Under: 7-5
Points Scored: 22.9 PPG
Points Allowed: 24.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 9
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
It may look like Western Kentucky is set on offense with the number of starters they’re returning, but they are losing RB Bobby Rainey, who accounted for nearly half of the team’s total yards last season. Rainey was the offense for the Hilltoppers with 2,056 total yards and 17 TD, so replacing him is not going to be a walk in the park. The team is returning a very solid offensive line, and it will be QB Kawaun Jakes’ (1,854 pass yds, 10 TD) turn to put the team on his back. Jakes needs to cut down his turnovers after throwing 12 interceptions on just 276 attempts. Defensively, they have a very good front seven and should excel stopping the run and getting after the quarterback. Their young secondary will have to play better this season for the ‘Toppers to make a push for a .500 record, but the success of this team ultimately will lie in the hands of Jakes and the offense.



NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (4-4 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 7-5
Over/Under: 7-5
Points Scored: 24.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 30.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
North Texas is yet another Sun Belt team losing its workhorse, RB Lance Dunbar. The offense will rely on QB Derek Thompson, who performed admirably as a freshman last season (1,759 pass yds, 11 TD, 6 INT). Thompson will have two of his main targets back from last year, Brelan Chancellor (457 rec yds) and Christopher Bynes (442 rec yds, 5 TD), but it will be tough to replace Dunbar, who had 1,115 rushing yards and 12 total TD. The RB job will be split between four different backs, but Jeremy Brown (five carries, 23 yds) appears to be the best of the bunch. Defensively, six starters are gone from a team that prided itself on causing turnovers. The Mean Green ranked 15th in the nation in turnover margin at +0.8 per game.



MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLUE RAIDERS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 2-10 (1-7 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 3-9
Over/Under: 9-2-1
Points Scored: 22.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 36.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
The Blue Raiders have a lot of issues to address. It starts with replacing 80 percent of an offensive line that was one of the best in the nation last year. They do, however, bring back most of the skill position talent that contributed to their Air Raid offense last season. QB Logan Kilgore (2,237 pass yds, 18 TD, 12 INT) is back and will again be handing off to RBs Benny Cunningham and William Pratcher (combined 1,086 rush yds, 6 TD). Kilgore’s go-to WR will be Tavarres Jefferson (51 catches). Defensively, this team loses its best linebackers and defensive backs, which is a major problem when factoring in that this defensive line struggled against the run last year (230 rush YPG allowed, 7th-most in FBS).



FLORIDA ATLANTIC OWLS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 1-11 (0-8 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 3-9
Over/Under: 4-7-1
Points Scored: 12.9 PPG
Points Allowed: 34.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
The Owls finished 1-11 last year and are likely in for another long season in 2012. The first, and most important, job for new head coach Carl Pelini is going to be finding a quarterback who can implement the team’s new spread offense. Junior college transfer Melvin German is best suited for this role among a group of pro-style QBs. The only playmaker ready to contribute this year is WR DeAndre Richardson (32 rec, 269 yds), whose potential has been untapped thus far. Defensively, Pelini is working in new schemes that tailor more to his junior college transfers than his returning starters. This team is a work in progress and just being competitive in inevitable losses would be a step in the right direction.



SOUTH ALABAMA JAGUARS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-4
ATS Record: 2-0
Over/Under: 1-1
Points Scored: 24.4 PPG
Points Allowed: 21.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: Not eligible for postseason
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 4
Defense: Starters Returning: 9
South Alabama begins the fourth season in the history of the program, and first as an FBS member. The Jaguars return only four starters on offense, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when considering that they ranked 88th in total offense at the FCS level last season. The offense will shift from a power-running attack to a spread offense. Sophomore quarterback C.J. Bennett is favored to win the starting job despite a poor 2011 season (164 pass YPG, 7 TD, 17 INT), though he will be pushed by redshirt freshman Trey Fetner, who is more of a dual running-passing threat. The defense is in better shape with nine starters returning, but the team last year racked up only 15 sacks against weak competition. The unit’s best player is senior Jake Johnson, who in 2011 led South Alabama in tackles. The two new starters on defense will be the cornerbacks, which doesn’t bode well in a conference that has so many teams employing a spread offense.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/20/2012 05:50 PM

College Football Preview: ACC Coastal

To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we continue our run of all FBS conference previews over the next several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2012 StatFox Edge Football Preview. Next up is the ACC Coastal Division, which includes North Carolina, which is ineligible for postseason play.

Odds to Win ACC
(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.com)
7-to-2: Virginia Tech
12-to-1: Georgia Tech
20-to-1: Miami-FL
50-to-1: Virginia
100-to-1: Duke


VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 11-3 (7-1 in ACC)
ATS Record: 4-9-1
Over/Under: 3-10
Points Scored: 27.9 PPG
Points Allowed: 17.6 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 40/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 3
Defense: Starters Returning: 9
Of all of the ACC quarterbacks, Virginia Tech may have the best in Logan Thomas. The 6-foot-6, 254-pound Thomas threw for 3,013 yards and 19 TD while also running for 469 yards and 11 TD in his first year as a starter. Running back is a huge weakness for the Hokies as their top three RBs have little experience -- freshmen Michael Holmes and J.C. Coleman, and senior Martin Scales all enter the 2012 season with zero career carries. However, the Hokies will have one of the best defensive lines in the country next year, led by junior DE James Gayle (7 sacks, 12.5 TFL). They stack eight in the box often, with the technique paying off way more than it doesn’t (12th in nation in sacks, 7th in points allowed). On the other side, VT will hope teams don’t put eight in the box as the Hokies return just one starter on the offensive line.



GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (5-3 in ACC)
ATS Record: 5-7-1
Over/Under: 7-5
Points Scored: 34.3 PPG
Points Allowed: 26.1 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
Georgia Tech opened up its QB competition this spring, but Tevin Washington still emerged as the starter. Last season, Washington threw for 1,652 yards and ran for 987 yards out of the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense. The team is returning four starters on the offensive line, so Washington should be well-protected. They lost all of their wide receivers, but they have two promising underclassmen in 6-foot-4 Jeff Greene and 6-foot-5 Darren Waller. An issue for this Georgia Tech team is its weak defensive line. It’s a unit that has trouble stuffing the run (94th in nation in TFL) and getting after the quarterback (77th in sacks), so somebody will need to step up. That somebody could be 6-foot-7 senior DT T.J. Barnes, who lost more than 25 pounds since last season to get down to about 340.



MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-6 (3-5 in ACC)
ATS Record: 7-5
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 26.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 20.1 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 4
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
Miami is going to have to figure out its QB situation if the ‘Canes want to get back to challenging for an ACC title. Sophomore Ryan Williams seems like he’ll be the starter when the season rolls around. The transfer from Memphis impressed in the spring game and it seems as though he’ll edge out Stephen Morris (7 TD, 11 INT in career). The ground game should be a strength on the team as RBs Mike James (7 rush TD) and Eduardo Clements (5.5 YPC) are ready to step in and be a brilliant tandem for Miami. The defense was what really impressed in the spring game, forcing five turnovers. The ‘Canes get back DE Anthony Chickillo, who recorded five sacks in his freshman season. Head coach Al Golden brought in a top-10 recruiting class and they’ll need these guys to contribute immediately if they are to go anywhere this season.



VIRGINIA CAVALIERS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (5-3 in ACC)
ATS Record: 6-7
Over/Under: 3-9
Points Scored: 23.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 23.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 4
Michael Rocco is looking to build on a his strong 2011 season in which he threw for 2,671 yards and 13 TD after winning the starting job out of a group of three candidates. Now he has to tone down his turnovers (12 INT), which should be possible considering the Cavaliers are returning three running backs, all of whom are capable of starting on other teams -- Perry Jones (915 rush yds, 5 TD), Kevin Parks (709 rush yds, 9 TD) and Clifton Richardson (366 rush yds, 5.1 YPC). Defensively, Virginia is losing its experienced corners, but its best DB, Demetrious Nicholson (60 total tackles, 2 INT), will return. The defensive line is going to have to make more plays (90th in FBS in sacks), otherwise it’ll be a long year for the Cavaliers, who are coming off a strong 8-5 bowl season in 2011.



DUKE BLUE DEVILS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 3-9 (1-7 in ACC)
ATS Record: 6-6
Over/Under: 4-7
Points Scored: 22.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 31.2 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 9
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
This could be the year that Duke football finally becomes nationally relevant. QB Sean Renfree is coming off a year in which he threw for 2,511 yards and 14 TDs in his final 10 games. The 6-foot-5 junior has made great strides and he seems as though he’s ready to take Duke to the next level. The Blue Devils have little running game (94 rush YPG, 6th-lowest in FBS), but they do have a standout WR in Conner Vernon (956 rec yds). While the defense was a mess last season (425 YPG, 31.2 PPG allowed), it should be able to improve in its second year under coordinator Jim Knowles. If this happens, there’s an outside shot that the Blue Devils could be playing in a bowl game for the first time since the 1994 season.



NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-6 (3-5 in ACC)
ATS Record: 6-7
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 28.0 PPG
Points Allowed: 24.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: Not eligible for postseason
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
If the spring game is any indication of how junior QB Bryn Renner is going to fare in new head coach Larry Fedora’s spread offense, then Tar Heel fans have a reason to be excited in a year in which the team is banned from playing in a bowl game. Renner completed 9-of-13 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in his new offense. North Carolina will get back RB Giovani Bernard (1,253 rush yds, 13 TD) and WR Erik Highsmith (726 rec yds, 5 TD), both of whom will play an even bigger role in the offense this year. The defense is a huge question mark as the UNC defensive coordinators are changing their scheme to a 4-3 after losing their most talented players to the NFL draft. This team doesn’t have a lot to play for, which doesn’t bode well considering its lack of talent at most positions.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25701 Followers:33
08/20/2012 05:51 PM

College Football Preview: ACC Atlantic


To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we continue our run of all FBS conference previews over the next several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2012 StatFox Edge Football Preview. Next up is the ACC Atlantic Division, which includes Florida State, the heavy favorite to win the conference championship this year.

Odds to Win ACC
(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.com)
4-to-9: Florida State
8-to-1: Clemson
18-to-1: North Carolina State
100-to-1: Boston College
100-to-1: Wake Forest
100-to-1: Maryland


FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 9-4 (5-3 in ACC)
ATS Record: 7-6
Over/Under: 4-9
Points Scored: 30.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 15.1 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 8/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
Last season, dual-threat QB EJ Manuel suffered a shoulder injury in the third game of the year, which started a three-game losing skid for the Seminoles. The senior will need to stay healthy this year if the team wants to win the ACC. Manuel has a lot of weapons to throw to including sophomore Rashad Greene (596 rec, 7 TD in nine games), who could emerge as one of the top WRs in the ACC this year. On defense, it’ll be a lot of the same for the Seminoles, who ranked fourth in FBS in both total defense (275 YPG) and scoring defense (15.1 PPG), as they should be one of the better teams in the nation in both categories again. Senior DE Brandon Jenkins, who has 21.5 sacks in the past two seasons, returns along with junior SS Lamarcus Joyner, who intercepted four passes last season. The dismissal of top CB/KR Greg Reid will hurt.



CLEMSON TIGERS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 10-4 (6-2 in ACC)
ATS Record: 8-6
Over/Under: 7-7
Points Scored: 33.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 29.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 60/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
Fresh off giving up 70 points to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl, Clemson hired a new defensive coordinator in Oklahoma’s Brent Venables. Venables is looking to simplify things for a defense that doesn’t have to do anything spectacular in order for the Tigers to win the weak ACC. Clemson is getting back the firepower it had on offense this year with QB Tajh Boyd (3,828 pass yds, 33 TD, 12 INT), RB Andre Ellington (1,178 rush yds) and WR Sammy Watkins (1,219 rec yds, 13 total TD). If Venables can get through to this defense (36.6 PPG allowed in final 8 games) then look for the Tigers to continue the success they enjoyed early last year when they started off 8-0.



NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (4-4 in ACC)
ATS Record: 6-6-1
Over/Under: 5-7
Points Scored: 28.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 24.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
NC State is a team poised to break out in 2012. The Wolfpack return all four of their starting defensive backs, including David Amerson (13 interceptions). The linebackers are a question mark, but they do have experienced upperclassmen ready to play the position. On offense, 6-foot-6 QB Mike Glennon showed last season why his coach believed in him to take over for Russell Wilson, putting up 3,054 yards, 31 TD and just 12 INT as the starter. He’ll be well-protected again with four returning offensive linemen. With another season of experience and the return of WR Tobais Palmer (5 TD), the Wolfpack offense could be good enough to put them atop the ACC.



BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 4-8 (3-5 in ACC)
ATS Record: 6-6
Over/Under: 1-11
Points Scored: 18.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 23.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 9
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
Last season, RB Montel Harris’ knee injury forced Boston College to ditch its ground-and-pound style attack. Now that Harris is at Temple after being dismissed from the team for repeated rule violations, the Eagles will move forward with junior Rolandan Finch (705 yards) and sophomore Tahj Kimble. Both are serviceable backs, but not nearly in the same class as Harris, the school’s all-time rushing leader. QB Chase Rettig (12 TD, 9 INT) seemed out of place as the starter last year and will have to make massive improvements under new offensive coordinator Doug Martin if this team is going to avoid a third straight 4-8 season. A bright spot for the Eagles was that their defense held each of their last three opponents to under 20 points. Building off that success is crucial for the development of this Eagles team in 2012, but they will do so without Butkus Award winner Luke Kuechly.



WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-7 (5-3 in ACC)
ATS Record: 8-5
Over/Under: 5-8
Points Scored: 26.0 PPG
Points Allowed: 27.0 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 200/1
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 3
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
One thing the Demon Deacons will have going this season this season is a formidable QB-WR combo. Tanner Price is returning to school after throwing for 3,017 yards and 20 TD as a sophomore. He’ll be looking again for WR Michael Campanaro, who caught 73 passes last year without even being the No. 1 target. Wake Forest is unfortunately only returning one member of the offensive line. The Deacons will need to figure out how to block (100th in FBS in sacks allowed) if they want to be competitive in the ACC this season. Defensively, Wake will be able to stop the run with seven starters coming back, most of whom play on the defensive line. They’ll need some younger players to step up and make plays in the secondary after picking off just eight passes last season.



MARYLAND TERRAPINS

2011 Statistics:
SU Record: 2-10 (1-7 in ACC)
ATS Record: 2-10
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 23.1 PPG
Points Allowed: 34.2 PPG
Odds to Win 2013 BCS National Championship: 30/1 (Field)
2012 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 5
Defense: Starters Returning: 10
One thing the Terrapins should be able to do better this coming season is defend, as 10 defensive starters return from a 2011 unit that allowed 457 YPG and 34.3 PPG. The experience those guys built playing together for a full year should help. Offensively, the Terps will need a big year out of senior WR Kevin Dorsey (573 rec yds) in order to help out their only capable QB on the roster in junior C.J. Brown. Brown emerged as the starting QB following Danny O’Brien’s transfer to Wisconsin. He’ll need to be on top of his game both running (574 rush yds, 5 TD) and passing (7 TD, 6 INT) for Maryland to avoid being the ACC doormat for a second straight year.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: