October 9, 2012

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BCS Championship Update

By: Joe Williams

A lot has happened in college football the last two weeks. The number of unbeaten teams has dropped from 27 to 16. 12 teams ranked in the top 25 have lost (including nine on Saturday). Some contenders have proven to be pretenders while new contenders have emerged. Where do we stand now?

Even with a move to the Big 12 this season, the Mountaineers remain undefeated.

I still believe the SEC winner plays in the big game. After watching South Carolina destroy Georgia on Saturday, it looks like the Gamecocks will take on the Alabama-LSU winner in the SEC Championship Game for a chance to play for the BCS title (but we have to at least mention that Florida and Mississippi St. are both still undefeated and could get there with some help). Against who?

That’s where the BCS comes into play. Take away the SEC and we still have 12 unbeatens. Cincinnati, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio State, Oregon, Oregon State, Rutgers, Texas-San Antonio and West Virginia all have yet to lose.

Obviously some of those teams are serious contenders and some are too far down in the poll to make a serious run. Here’s a look at the teams best positioned to play for the title.

No. 2 Oregon
The Ducks have scored at least 42 points in every game. Expect them to get to 8-0 before facing three more ranked teams in November and then a possible Pac-12 title game. They win out and they will get a title shot.

No. 5 West Virginia

So far so good for the Mountaineers in their new conference. They have put up 118 points in the last two games, both against ranked opponents. Then again, they have given up 108 in those two games. Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma are still to come.

No. 6 Kansas State

If the Wildcats are going to run the table and win the Big 12, they will have to earn it with road games at Oklahoma, West Virginia, TCU and Baylor. They got by the Sooners and take the trip to West Virginia in two weeks. That will essentially be an elimination game.

No. 7 Notre Dame

The Irish haven’t allowed a touchdown since Sept. 8. If the defense can do that to Stanford, Oklahoma and USC, the Irish will have an excellent chance to play for the BCS title.

No. 8 Ohio State

The Buckeyes are not eligible to play in a bowl game.

No. 10 Oregon State

The Beavers could be the surprise of the year. They play at Stanford but get Oregon at home. Lets see if they keep it going this week against a stout defense at BYU.

There are even a few teams with one loss that could get back in the mix if the rest of the season is as wild and crazy as they usually are. Here’s what you should be rooting for if you are a fan of one of these teams.

No. 11 USC

The Trojans will need to run the table, which would require beating Oregon and Notre Dame and hopefully, for USC, a rematch with Stanford in the PAC-12 title game. They’ll also need the Big 12 champs to lose.

No. 12 Florida State
The Seminoles don’t have as strong a schedule as some teams in front of them, but wins over Virginia Tech, Florida and in the ACC title game would give them a 12-1 record. They’ll need the Big 12 winner and everyone in PAC 12 to lose though.

No. 13 Oklahoma
The Sooners will have to go through Texas, Notre Dame, Baylor, West Virginia and TCU. If that happens and both Oregon schools lose, the Sooners will be there.

Unbeaten teams Cincinnati, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Ohio, Rutgers and Texas-San Antonio are all going to need multiple miracles to move that far up in the rankings but they deserve to stay in the conversation until they lose. And hey, miracles do happen.

September 27, 2012

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College Football Playoff In 2012?

By: Joe Williams

For those of you who thought we had to wait a couple more years for a college football playoff, think again. Just a month ago 122 teams were unbeaten and dreaming of a national title. Now just 27 are left with an unblemished record. Two of them will probably meet for the BCS Championship in January and one of those spots will be determined in what is basically an SEC playoff.

On Nov. 3, No. 1 Alabama will visit No. 3 LSU. The winner should be in the SEC title game against the winner of the Oct. 6 game between No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 South Carolina. And the winner of the SEC title game will mostly likely play for the BCS Championship. This is essentially a four-team playoff for one spot in the BCS Championship. Undefeated Florida and Mississippi State can’t be counted out and could enter the conversation with a few more wins and some help.

Will Alabama return to the BCS Championship game this season?

Who will get the other spot and face the SEC winnner? That’s where the BCS comes into play. Take away the SEC and we still have 21 unbeatens. Baylor, Cincinnati, Florida State, Iowa State, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Minnesota, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio State, Oregon, Oregon State, Rutgers, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas San-Antonio, Texas Tech, and West Virginia have yet to lose.

Obviously some of those teams are serious contenders and some are too far down in the poll to make a serious run. Here’s a look at the teams best positioned to play for the title.

No. 2 Oregon

The Ducks just beat a ranked opponent 49-0 and still have three ranked teams on their schedule and a possible Pac-12 title game. They win out and they will be in that game.

No. 4 Florida State
The Seminoles don’t have as strong a schedule as Oregon but wins over Virginia Tech, Florida and in the ACC title game would give them a resume worthy of the title game.

No. 7 Kansas State
The Wildcats seized control of the Big 12 with a road win over Oklahoma on Saturday night. With four ranked opponents still to play, they have a long way to go but will have a strong argument if they run the table.

No. 8 Stanford
Road wins at Notre Dame and Oregon would have the Cardinal in position to head to the Pac-12 Championship Game.

No. 9 West Virginia
Welcome to the Big 12 Mountaineers. With five games against ranked teams in the next seven weeks, West Virginia has its work cut out for it and maybe the toughest remaining schedule in the country.

No. 10 Notre Dame
The Irish have skyrocketed up the rankings after wins over Michigan and Michigan State without allowing a touchdown. Stanford, Oklahoma and USC still left to play.

There are even a few teams with one loss that could get back in the mix if the rest of the season is as wild and crazy as they usually are. Here’s what you should be rooting for if you are a fan of one of these teams.

No. 13 USC
The Trojans will need to run the table, which would require beating Oregon and Notre Dame and hopefully for USC a rematch with Stanford in the PAC-12 title game. They’ll also need Florida State and the Big 12 champs to lose.

No. 16 Oklahoma
The Sooners will have to go through Texas, Notre Dame, Baylor, West Virginia and TCU. If that happens and Oregon, Florida State, Stanford and USC lose the Sooners will be there.

No. 20 Michigan State
The Spartans will have to beat Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska, hope everyone has at least one loss, Notre Dame loses twice and Boise State finishes at 11-1.

Hey. It could happen. But so could a thousand other scenarios. That’s what makes college football great.

September 19, 2011

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NCAA Football Conference Realignment: Selecting the Top 64 Schools

By: Anson Whaley

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about NCAA Football Conference allignment and how superconferences could be good for college football. My point was that if six such conferences existed, the BCS would be more accessible to a greater number of teams. But with the Big 12 possibly on the verge of an epic collapse, the more likely scenario is a sport with only four of those 16-team conferences.

That got me to thinking – if it did happen, who would likely be included? Rivals/Yahoo had some writers discuss the issue with each one coming up with their list of NCAA teams. It’s safe to say there were some notable omissions – Duke, UConn, and Indiana all were left off some of the rosters.NCAA football rules college athletics, but is it really fair to leave out such NCAA basketball powerhouses?

Well, I’ll get to that in a bit. But for the record, basketball programs that don’t play FBS football were left out of consideration. So Villanova, Georgetown, Xavier, Marquette, Gonzaga, et al? No dice.

So here’s my list of 64 teams:

The Absolute Locks– There’s absolutely no discussion on these guys. The fact that I even have to list them is borderline insulting. Call them first-ballot Hall of Famers, if you will. If there was only one superconference, these guys would be the first ones in: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, USC

Next In Line- These schools aren’t the cream of the crop, but they’d definitely get in without any question. Any NCAA conference would be glad to have them and there’s as much of a chance of Oddibe McDowell getting into the Hall of Fame as there is of these schools being left out: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan State, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Still In With Little Question – This is the third tier…NCAA schools that no sane conference would leave out. There could be some trivial questions about a few of them, but these institutions would certainly all be in as well. Arizona State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Purdue, Oregon State, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Virginia, Washington

The “Basketball” Schools– Personally, I don’t see how you have superconferences without including some of the most storied basketball programs around. Sure, we all get that despite March Madness, in terms of money, NCAA basketball takes a back seat to football. But as the second biggest college sport, these schools have got to be in. After all, are you really going to turn down these schools that not only each have won multiple basketball championships for someone like Baylor? Didn’t think so: UConn, Duke, Indiana

The “Non-BCS Football Schools”– These guys have all had incredible success without being in a BCS automatic qualifying conference. I can listen to the argument of not moving them to the front of the line for various reasons such as market size, but they’ve all been ranked in the top ten in recent years on the gridiron and are too good to leave out: Boise State, BYU, TCU, Utah

The Final Five In

Minnesota – Mediocre football and basketball programs, but has had respectable years in each.

Northwestern– Here mostly for their academics and market (Chicago). Oh yeah, and Michael Wilbon.

Rutgers – One of oldest universities and recent football success with average of nine wins from 2006 – 2009.

South Carolina – Are you gonna be the one to tell Steve Spurrier he’s not invited?

South Florida– Football program on the rise after only being in Division I for ten years and brings the Tampa market.

Left Out – Can’t find room for everybody and these would be the unlucky schools if I were putting the conferences together. Would they be on someone’s list? Absolutely. But on mine, they just miss the cut: Vanderbilt, Baylor, Iowa State, Washington State, Wake Forest

February 25, 2011

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Fathead’s Top Trends in Sports this Week

By: Lionel

Here’s some proof that school spirit is stronger than the success of a school’s basketball team.  Below are the 50 best selling colleges on Fathead.com over the last month.  By our estimates, only about half of them will make the NCAA Tournament.

The top selling colleges of the last 30 days:

1. Ohio State

2. Michigan

3. Texas

4. Florida

5. Notre Dame

6. Penn State

7. North Carolina

8. Alabama

9. Nebraska

10. LSU

11. Michigan State

12. Auburn

13. Iowa

14. Tennessee

15. Miami (FL)

16. Wisconsin

17. Kentucky

18. Georgia

19. West Virginia

20. Duke

21. Oklahoma

22. Missouri

23. Oregon

24. USC

25. Clemson

26. Kansas

27. Purdue

28. Arkansas

29. Florida State

30. Oklahoma State

31. Louisville

32. Virginia Tech

33. Pittsburgh

34. Boise State

35. Syracuse

36. Connecticut

37. BYU

38. Arizona State

39. Illinois

40. TCU

41. Washington

42. South Carolina

43. California

44. Georgia Tech

45. Kansas State

46. Butler

47. Iowa State

48. North Carolina State

49. U.S. Naval Academy

50. Oregon State

And, of course, here is the weekly list of top Fathead sellers.  The Super Bowl hype is beginning to fade, and with it, the NFL’s stronghold on list.  While many NFL Fatheads remain, the league has given up some ground to the NBA on the heels of a great NBA All-Star Weekend.

The top selling Fatheads of the last 7 days (Feb. 18 – Feb. 24):

1.  Kobe Bryant

2.  Troy Polamalu

3.  Aaron Rodgers

4.  Dwyane Wade Drives

5.  Dallas Cowboys Logo

6.  Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl XLV MVP

7.  Blake Griffin

8.  Rajon Rondo

9.  Drew Brees Quarterback

10.  Derrick Rose