Beware of these College Football teams

Happy College football season to everyone! College football season has officially kicked off as of last night and thank goodness it is back. All this talk about who is going to win it all and all the speculation can finally be put to the test and we can see for ourselves who is the best in the land. Everyone always wants to talk about the supposedly best teams in college football and who is going to win it all and who can make a run, blah blah blah. The trend of this topic though seems to always be someone from the SEC, Big Ten, etc. I’m here to ask you though, what about the other guys? You know, the teams that win a lot in their non-Power 5 conference but aren’t respected like the teams of Power 5 conferences, the team that could win one big game but questioned on how they could handle a schedule of big games, the teams that are not talked about, but actually the most dangerous in this College Football Playoff system.

Well, for those teams, that’s what it’s all about right now, the forgotten teams of the Group of Five conferences that are already dismissed before the season even begins. So, who from this grouping can make that automatic bid in the New Year’s Day Bowls or even make a push for the college football playoff? I’ve got three teams that I think will give anyone a run for their money this year and possibly put themselves in position to win big this season.

Boise State Broncos


Sound familiar? It certainly should, because these guys are one of the main reasons these teams get any respect at all. Boise’s run in this century has made them one of college football’s most winning programs in the past 15 years, and they can certainly beat anyone on any given day. People give them flack for moving to the Mountain West instead of a possible joining with a Power 5 conference, but maybe when the offer comes, they will move, but for now this is where they will dominate. Their schedule is not strong by any means; their toughest games appear to be Washington, at BYU, at Utah State, and at Colorado State. Yeah that doesn’t look very impressive, but that’s the hand they are playing this year and with a returning offensive line, and pretty much the whole defense, they are set up well to make a run. They will have a new QB in Ryan Finley, but regardless who the running back is, Boise will ground and pound and if they can open up holes, anyone can run through them. If Finely develops along the season, they can become a complete team and stake a claim at a New Year’s Six Bowl, or maybe even a College Football Playoff spot.

Cincinnati Bearcats


The projected AAC Champion in my opinion led by their Power 5 experienced coach in Tommy Tuberville. The Bearcats can make a claim at a high ranking and stick their nose in the hunt for a New Year Six Bowl and/or playoff spot if one thing can happen for them, and that’s avoiding the injury bug. Past seasons have seen them suffer because of injuries to key positions, QB especially. If they can avoid that, then they could be on their way. They return their QB Gunner Kiel who threw for over 30 TD’s last year and they return a plethora of talent around him. They will be weakest at spots on the offensive line because of lack of experience and areas in the defensive front seven but they have experience that is ready to fill in. If their front seven on defense can control the line of scrimmage, that will give their very experienced and talented secondary chances to make plays. Cincinnati’s schedule doesn’t appear to daunting either, but they must stay focused week in and week out because there are good teams in their conference like USF and UCF. They also have a road trip to BYU that could be troublesome as well as a home game against The “U” which could add to some credibility, maybe, never hurts beating a Power 5 conference team though.

Georgia Southern Eagles

GSU beats Florida

That’s right, the reigning Sun Belt Champions in their first season in the FBS level. Georgia Southern caught everyone by surprise by going undefeated in conference play and winning the Sun Belt. A traditional powerhouse at the FCS level, with 6 National Championships, Georgia Southern approached last year like those previous glory days, they ran and ran and ran the football. A different look running the triple option, mainly from shotgun and pistol, these Eagles took the conference by storm and managed to finish 9-3 on the year with narrow defeats at NC State and Orange Bowl Champion Georgia Tech. This year they will continue to do more of the same led by running back Matt Brieda, the Eagles will look to continue running and running teams into the ground. They have a new offensive line which could hurt, but all these guys played some last year in back-up roles so there is experience. The defense will remain mostly intact and ready to feast on opposing offenses like they did last year. The Eagles will have tough games in conference against ULM, South Alabama, and hated rival App St. but that just isn’t sexy enough. What is sexy is their out-of-conference schedule including road games at West Virginia and Georgia. Talk about your chance to really make a statement to everyone in college football. If they can manage a couple of big upsets and win their conference, they could very well be in the hunt for a New Year Six Bowl and who knows, maybe even a playoff spot.

Morale of this story is beware of these teams because, in the end, they just might sneak up on everyone in the college football world and stake a claim for a shot at the National Championship.


2014 SEC West Preview

It’s the most wonderful time of the year everyone, college football is back! I know I am excited just like all of you are I’m sure and I’m here to break down probably the toughest division in college football, the SEC West. This division alone gave us some memorable moments last season along with the rest of the conference and I expect more of the same. Every team has its strengths and weaknesses and it will be interesting to see who can survive the trek through this daunting conference and division. Along with these great teams, there are several individual stars that I will give recognition too as well, because they certainly deserve it. Now, without further a due, I am going to show you exactly how this division will play out and tell you why.

1. Auburn Tigers                           auburn_university_logo
Auburn certainly had a magical season last year and although you can’t count on that magic again, you can count on them being a better football team just with a harder schedule. They return their starting quarterback and Heisman candidate Nick Marshall which gives Auburn an advantage over other schools. Marshall now has had a full season, spring, and summer under his belt. Look for Auburn to have the best receiver duo with Sammie Coates and D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams and make the passing game very dangerous. This will make Auburn more balanced and even more dangerous on offense.

Questions will remain on defense and special teams having to replace starters due to injuries and guys graduating. For the defense, Auburn needs to continue forcing turnovers and guys like Gabe Wright and Kris Frost must lead, and for special teams, the young guy at kicker and punter will need to progress to give Auburn a formidable kicking unit. Their schedule is tough at home and even tougher on the road, but I see Auburn navigating it and winning the right games to get to the SEC Championship game.
2014 record: 10-2 (6-2)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide            alabama-logo
For Alabama, last year ended rough for them which gives them all the motivation in the world to reclaim top spot in the SEC. They will be good again, as they always seem to be no matter who they lose after each season. Their biggest concern of course is the question to be answered at quarterback. Transfer Jacob Coker and last year’s back up Blake Sims are in a tight competition for the starting job. Sims has a better grasp on the system so I would give him the early nod as of now. Regardless of who it is, their offense will be driven on the running game with T.J. Yeldon leading the way and when they do throw expect Amari Cooper to be there snagging the passes.

I would say their defense is going to be their strength, but what else is new right? They lost some key pieces but always seem to reload. Look for Trey DePriest and Nick Jones to be the leaders on that defense and make them just as good as they have ever been. Their kicking game is well their biggest weakness, Cade Foster was good, except in last year’s Iron Bowl and replacing him will be tough. Word of advice Alabama, don’t put the new guy in a stressful situation to have to make a game winner from whatever distance. All in all the Tide will roll on again and manage their schedule but just miss the SEC Championship game for the second straight year.
2014 record: 10-2 (6-2)

3. Ole Miss Rebels                            ole miss logo
Spoiler Alert: My surprise team in the SEC. These guys are dangerous and now that they are back under the radar, they should perform better than expected. Hugh Freeze will have his guys chomping at the bit after last year’s disappointing season ending in a dreadful loss in the Egg Bowl to hated rival Mississippi State. They return their quarterback Bo Wallace, inconsistent at times, but don’t sleep on this guy. Ole Miss has a veteran offensive line and returns one of the better receivers in Laquon Treadwell. Just get him the ball Bo and you, your starting job and the offense will be just fine.

I believe where Ole Miss will win their games this year will be through their defense, mainly because of their sophomore phenom in Robert Nkemdiche. He is going to be lined up at defensive tackle and I think give every team they face fits. This guy will no doubt be one of the top defensive players in the country this year and make everyone else on the defense better because of it.  As far as special teams go, they got a new guy at punter and kicker, so that remains their biggest question mark in my opinion. Ole Miss has the chance to be very dangerous, they get a lot of their tougher opponents at home and could surprise some teams. In reality though, I think they have an improved season, just not enough for winning the West.
2014 record: 9-3 (5-3)

4. LSU Tigers                                      LSU_logo
Another team that lost its starting QB after last year, LSU looks to Anthony Jennings and/or Brandon Harris to replace Zach Mettenberger. Each one will get equal looks in their tough opener against Wisconsin. A two QB system has worked in the past for Les Miles, so this could be the start of that all over again. They are weak at receiver but strong on the offensive line and running game. That will be their bread and butter no doubt. LSU back to the ground and pound, win with defense strategy.

For their defense, they have to replace guys yet again, but never a problem for the Tigers. Led by returning defensive end Jermauria Rasco, this Tigers unit will be good, and maybe a little underrated. They will be looking to Rasco to make plays and lead this young unit every week. A main strength for the Tigers will yet again be their kicking game. They return their starting kicker and punter who were both very effective last year and I see them being even better this year. LSU will be good but a year away from great. Their inconsistency at QB will plague them and cost them a few games when they will need big plays from their quarterback. Other than that, the Tigers will be right in the thick of things.
2014 record: 9-3 (5-3)

5. Mississippi State Bulldogs        91xsfe9nvvedeghyqi4sx161k
It’s another season where Mississippi State is looking to be pretty good, can they handle the pressure though? Returning their quarterback Dak Prescott certainly helps, along with a very experienced offensive line. State looked good in games last year and had rough ones as well. Finishing the season beating Ole Miss sure left a good taste in their mouth. The running game will be in good hands with Josh Robinson, as I think he will be one of the better backs in the league. If Dak and Robinson can move this offense on the ground effectively, it will open up the passing game and make this offense dangerous for anyone to face.

Defensively, they will be pretty strong, led by defensive end Preston Smith coming off the edge to provide the pass rush. A very senior laden defense bodes well for the Bulldogs because you can never have too much experience on that side of the ball. They will be tough to score on for anyone, and with teams taking a step back at quarterback, they should have a good season. Their kicking game certainly needs to improve for them to get better on special teams, but no where to go but up from last year.  Their home schedule is favorable but it’s the road schedule that will give them problems and keep them in the middle of the pack in the SEC.
2014 record: 8-4 (4-4)

6. Texas A&M Aggies                        TAM-Logo
Johnny Football comeback! Is what all the A&M fans have been saying since he decided to go pro. Granted their now starter Kenny Hill has the potential and talent to be good, just going to be a rough learning curve this year for him but much needed experience. Their strength on offense will be their offensive line which will keep them relevant in games and make them a frustrating offense to get off the field.

Their problems are going to lie on the defensive side of the ball. This team struggled all of last year to stop anyone and they haven’t had a good defense in some time now. They need guys like Howard Matthews and Deshazor Everett to really step up and be leaders to make this defense any good. They will be able to hang their hats on their kicking game though, which is big for them. This gives them the chance to really help out their defense as well as have the potential to win those close games. In the end though, it’s going to be tough for them to make a bowl game, which I think they will, and if they do it will be a success.
2014 record: 6-6 (2-6)

7. Arkansas Razorbacks                7305
Oh those Razorbacks, led by Bret Bielema trying to turn this program around. It certainly will be a trying season for them for sure. Doesn’t look good when your quarterback’s car catches on fire on game week, that can’t be a good omen but nonetheless this team will take a step in the right direction this year. Quarterback Brandon Allen will have the luxury to hand the ball to a dangerous running back tandem in Johnathan Williams and Alex Collins. These guys are going to combine for lots of yards this year. They will have a solid offensive line and be very physical up front, but if you stop their ground game, not going to be hard to beat these guys I think.

Their defense will remain to be their biggest concern and will hurt them because if they are behind a lot, they can’t run the ball to stay in games. Hopefully for them they can improve behind the likes of defensive end Tray Flowers and linebacker Braylon Mitchell. If they can be better on defense then they can be a dangerous team, I just don’t see their defense being that good. Their kicking game on the other hand will be strong and will need to be strong to help out their offense and defense for sure. Their schedule is brutal but I believe they get better, it’s just the record won’t show it.
2014 record: 4-8 (1-7)


SEC Accolades:
MVP: Auburn QB Nick Marshallncf_g_nick-marshall_mb_600
The most dangerous player in the SEC and a Heisman contender for sure. He will be electric and make this Auburn offense even more dangerous than last year with his improved passing.



Offensive Player of the Year: Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon
The bell cow for the Alabama rushing attack. He will be leaned on heavily early on as they figure out their QB situation. Even though they are deep RB, he will get a majority of the touches.
Defensive Player of the Year: Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche
Hands down the most impactful player in the SEC. His presence upfront will make Ole Miss one of the better defenses in the conference and give them a chance in every game.
Newcomer of the Year: Auburn WR D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams
Another Auburn diamond from the JUCO ranks. He will be a dominant receiver and have that A.J. Green/Julio Jones type presence where any ball thrown his way is going to be his.

Coach of the Year: Ole Miss HC Hugh Freezehugh freeze
He will have his Rebels in every game this year and sneak up on some teams as well.  They can challenge anyone in the conference and compete for a SEC West Division Championship.  If nothing else, A nice back bounce season will easily make him Coach of the Year.


SEC Championship Game: South Carolina vs. Auburn
A rematch of the 2010 matchup of these teams and it will certainly be much closer than that one. I think South Carolina gets out early but withers late with the rushing attack of Artis-Payne, Marshall and Grant and Auburn repeats.
SEC Champion: Auburn
Auburn wins back-to-back SEC Championships and gets a look for the College Football Playoff. I think the SEC Champ is a lock for it but with 2 losses, who knows. Either way, it’s another successful season for Malzahn and his Tigers.


Well there you have it! Exactly how the West and SEC will play out this season. There will certainly be lots of great games and many to keep your eye on. I know I am excited for it! Enjoy the season everyone and the best of luck to your teams. To see how the East will play out, check out the SEC East Preview on our blog, and also tell us your predictions for the SEC, we would love to hear them!

NFL Previw and Predictions

The NFL season is finally here and officially started with the Kickoff Special last night where the Denver Broncos took care of the Baltimore Ravens 49-27.  The main star of that one being a star of old, Peyton Manning throwing for 450+ yards and 7 TDs, showing everyone he has a lot longer left in the league and lot left in him.  Last night was a strong indication that the Broncos are for real this year but it still is only one game and there is a lot of football to be played.

This new season brings about hope for, well most every team, and just a new football season brings joy to everyone no matter how bad their team is.  There will be really good teams, really bad teams, frustratingly average teams and always a surprise team or two.  So what teams will win their division and who will go the playoffs and win the Super Bowl you might be asking?  Well your in luck because I’m going to tell you how it will all go down.

Division Champions

AFC East-New England Patriots

Tom Brady still there and the mastermind Bill Belichick still running things makes this an easy pick for the Patriots to retain their AFC East division crown.  There will be too much offense even without the weapons for the other teams in the division to matchup.  Their defense will be the unsung hero of the season, and their continued dominance of offense will be too much for division foes.

AFC North-Cincinnati Bengals

I am liking what Cincy has got going on.  They will have a formidable offense led by Dalton and A.J. Green and their defense is probably their strongest point actually.  Led by their star DT Geno Atkins and star cornerback Leon Hall, the Bengals defense will look to put the clamps on every one they play.  Matching up with their division opponents is very favorable considering it’s against all teams that aren’t known for their offense.  Cincy will edge out the Ravens and claim the division crown.

AFC South-Houston Texans

Texans are the most balanced team in the division, and they certainly have the best defense.  As long as Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, and Arian Foster can stay healthy, they will be able to take their division.  They will receive stiff competition from the Colts but it won’t be enough.  They will use their balanced offensive attack and their stingy defense to overmatch their opponents.  They will split with the Colts in the season but that won’t hurt them in winning the division.

AFC West-Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning will look to bring the Super Bowl Trophy back to the Mile High City Picture from
Peyton Manning will look to bring the Super Bowl Trophy back to the Mile High City
Picture from

As we saw last night, they are truly going to be a powerhouse this year.  Peyton looked better than he ever has, gasp!, and there are so many weapons for Peyton to throw too.  I mean he threw 3 of his TD passes to TE Julius Thomas and WR Andre Caldwell.  He didn’t even hit Welker, D. Thomas, or Decker for one until he finally found Welker for his 4th TD pass of the night.  Point being, they are loaded and their offense will be more than good enough to cover up for some holes on defense.  They will be way too much to handle for any of their division opponents.

NFC East-Dallas Cowboys

A surprise pick I would say, but something is telling me to not go with the obvious RGIII led Redskins.  I think Romo has been playing his best lately in his career and it will continue this season.  Only this time he will get some help from his defense.  The Cowboys will look to generate a lot of offense and hope to get a lot of it from their running back Demarco Murray, as long as he can stay healthy.  This division will be highly contested but the Cowboys will edge the Redskins out.

NFC North-Green Bay Packers

This will be another shootout of a division.  The Packers have to get better on defense and Clay Matthews will see to it that that does happen.  QB Aaron Rodgers will see to it that the offense doesn’t slow down one bit and look to continue his dominance in the league.  They will have to beat out other offensive power teams in their division but the Packers are the best overall team and take the division again this year.

NFC South-Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan will look to guide the Falcons to the Super Bowl. Picture from
Matt Ryan will look to guide the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
Picture from

Atlanta is the only sure thing in this division.  Although their offensive line looked soft in the preseason, they should be just fine when the real games get kicked off.  They have too many offensive weapons to not win the division and I think that their defense is an underrated one.  Their offense will carry them to the postseason though and the question will be if their defense can help them out enough in the postseason.  Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Steven Jackson, Tony Gonzalez.  That’s all you need to know to tell you whose going to win the division.

NFC West-San Francisco 49ers

This will be a tough, tough division for any of the teams to win a lot of games within.  The 49ers though have the best offense and best defense in their division, just by a small margin though over the Seahawks.  Kaepernick will be a stud again for them and he’ll get a full season, just think of the numbers he could put up and the excitement he can create.  Their defense will again be stoutly led by future Hall of Famer Patrick Willis.  They will survive their tough division and schedule but benefit from it mightily down the road.

Wild Card

AFC-Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts

Ravens will have enough offense and defense to propel them, their weaker division will help them too.  Flacco will once again make the playoffs and who knows once you get in, anything can happen.  The Colts will be led by their strong QB play of Andrew Luck and a manageable division schedule will benefit the Colts.  They will be improved on defense as well which will help them.

NFC-Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josh Freeman will look to erase the critics and prove his worth as a franchise QB. Picture from
Josh Freeman will look to erase the critics and prove his worth as a franchise QB.
Picture from

RG III will not be denied a trip to the playoffs, they will fall short of the division to the Cowboys but this team will be a dangerous one.  Their strong defense led by London Fletcher will keep them in games and their explosive play from RGIII will propel their offense.  The Bucs are a sneaky, sleeper pick.  No one is giving them much respect but with their offseason additions and their nice rebound year last year, I just think they will do enough to get there.  Freeman will be much better resulting in their offense being dangerous and their defense will be better to help them edge into the playoffs.

AFC Champion-Denver Broncos

The Broncos will lock up home field advantage again this year and use that to their advantage and not let it go to waste again.  They are the most explosive AFC team and they will have one of the better defenses too.  It won’t be as good as Houston’s defense, but it will be good enough to compliment their offense.  Peyton will have record breaking numbers and look to get his second Super Bowl ring and they just might do it.

NFC Champion-San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are no doubt the most balanced and strongest NFC team.  They can run, throw, play defense with all the same effectiveness.  They will be too much for anyone that opposes them, but it will not be an easy road.  Kaepernick will get them to the Super Bowl for the second straight season and would look like it could be their year.

Super Bowl Champion-Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning celebrating what he hopes to be another Super Bowl in his future. Picture from
Peyton Manning celebrating what he hopes to be another Super Bowl in his future.
Picture from

I have the Broncos beating the 49ers in the Super Bowl.  I have to go with my early, early pick of the Broncos being the best team.  Peyton and his endless list of weapons will be too much for any opponent.  Kaepernick and the 49ers fall short yet again, but they’ve got a lot of time ahead of them.  The 49ers defense is better but Peyton Manning is well Peyton Manning.  Peyton will get Super Bowl number two and not let his younger brother out do him.  Wouldn’t that be nice, to see Peyton light it up this year and get a second and much deserving Super Bowl ring this late in his career, post neck injury.  After the game John Elway will proclaim to everyone, “This one’s for Peyton.”

So there you have it, the NFL predictions in it’s entirety.  It should be another great season and I am glad it is already here.  I’m ready to kick back and take it all in.  Let us know what you think about the season right here and how you see it all playing out.  I wish your team well!

ACC Week 2 Picks and Preview

Boyd and Watkins will again dominate this week. Picture from
Boyd and Watkins will again dominate this week.
Picture from

Hey guys! Week 2 in the ACC is about to begin and I know I’m excited about it!  After a really good showing in week 1, the ACC will be looking to continue it’s early season dominance.  Let’s take a look at all the games and I’ll let you know how each one will play out.

Wake Forest at Boston College

This is the lone ACC Conference game of the week and it features two teams that not many people know a lot about.  Wake Forest should be average this year while BC is just not going to be any good.  It is conference play so who knows what could happen but Wake should have no problems moving the ball with their offense.  Wake Forest wins 31 -17.

12 Florida at Miami

Another SEC/ACC matchup and a hated rivalry at that.  They don’t play that much anymore nor will they in the future so for bragging rights, this one means a lot.  Florida will bring their hard nosed rushing offense and challenge Miami’s defense that way and use that ground game to open up the pass.  Miami will use their stud Duke Johnson any way they can to generate offense but it won’t be enough.  Gators win 27-17.

Middle Tennessee at North Carolina

Seemingly an over-matched game to the untrained eye but to the experts such as I, you can see clearly this will be a closer one than expected.  North Carolina will ride the arm of the QB Bryn Renner to victory in this one, but a late drive by the Blue Raiders will scare the Tar Heels as they will narrowly escape with a victory by sealing it with a turnover.  Tar Heels win 28-24.

South Carolina State at 4 Clemson

I know the FCS made a good showing in week 1 but no amount of “Clemson being Clemson” will make this an upset.  Boyd will continue building on his already impressive numbers and make me look smart yet again for picking him as the ACC MVP.  Clemson wins big 55-7.

Western Carolina at Virginia Tech

The Hokies have been known to have their share of early season slip ups in the past “ahem, East Carolina and James Madison”, but not this time.  They did some things to be encouraged about against the top team in the country and will build on those things to roll over this FCS weak opponent.  Hokies win big 41-13.

2 Oregon at Virginia

The most awesome uniforms take the field against the Cavaliers and one can’t wait to see what they run out this week.  Oregon’s offense is beyond explosive and that will continue this weekend.  Virginia had a good win against a tough BYU team but no amount of confidence will trip up the Ducks.  I mean Oregon’s uniforms already gives them 2 to 3 touchdowns before they even step on the field.  Oregon and their awesome uniforms smash Virginia 56-21.

Old Dominion at Maryland

A new FBS opponent in Old Dominion will take on the mighty Terrapins.  Maryland looked really good in their first game and showed they do have some sort of offense after all.  Their QB C.J. Brown was flawless in their first game and they will ride that into this one.  Terrapins manhandle Old Dominion 38-17.

Duke QB Anthony Boone looks to lead Duke to a 2-0 start. Picture from
Duke QB Anthony Boone looks to lead Duke to a 2-0 start.
Picture from

Duke at Memphis

Ooo Duke and Memphis, this will be an interesting one no doubt.  Duke was solid in their first game and Memphis is playing their first game of the year.  I think Duke being in a groove after playing one game will be the difference in this one as Memphis is trying to shake off the first game jitters and rust.  Duke wins 27-21.

Syracuse at 19 Northwestern

The Cuse and Northwestern will clash and the Wildcats mean business this season.  Syracuse looked good in their first game against Penn State, even with being over-matched.  Northwestern though looked much better in their win over Cal.  Northwestern is a sleeper in the Big Ten and will show why again this weekend.  Wildcats win easily 34-21.

Richmond at NC State

Another FCS opponent looking to do the unthinkable.  Although Richmond is a more formidable FCS opponent, just can’t go with an FCS team winning ever in a game.  NC State will continue to play solid on both sides of the ball and win easily.  Wolfpack win 45-17.

Bye: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh

There’s your game picks and preview of each game getting you ready for this weekend of ACC action.  I have the ACC going 7-4 this weekend which is a nice way to follow up an impressive week one.  Again, there are some games where they are just over-matched but most games are very winnable for the teams.  The ACC will look good again and prove it’s out of conference worth more this weekend.  Let me know what you think will take place in the ACC this week and how you feel about my picks.

ACC Makes Good First Impression

Well the first weekend of college football is in the books and upon review of the ACC, it was an overall good first impression.  They weren’t undefeated by no means but the conference as a whole produced a 10-4 record for the weekend and that includes one ACC conference game.  No ACC team lost in upset fashion and the ones that did lose were just over-matched by their opponent.  All the ACC victories were ones that certainly help the strength of a conference that desperately needs it.

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd led his Tigers to an impressive win over SEC power Georgia. Picture from
Clemson QB Tajh Boyd led his Tigers to an impressive win over SEC power Georgia.
Picture from

In the ACC’s biggest win this weekend, 8 Clemson defeated 5 Georgia 38-35 to really put them in great position to make a run at a national title.  Clemson’s offense was clicking but what was most impressive was the defense’s ability to handle the SEC caliber offensive and defensive lines throughout the entirety of the game.  My pick as Tajh Boyd as ACC MVP certainly looking good right now after finishing 18-30 for 270 yards and 3 TDs, and running for 42 yards and 2 TDs.

11 Florida State continued ACC dominance over new ACC member Pitt in a 41-13 rout.  The star is no doubt my predicted newcomer of the year Jameis Winston who was 25-27 for 356 yards and 4 TDs, he also ran for 2 yards and a TD.  His talent is unquestioned, although a weak opponent, a great first road win for him and the Noles.

Maryland, Miami, Georgia Tech, NC State, Wake Forest, and Duke more than did enough to take care of business this past weekend.  All these teams playing inferior opponents and all looked very good getting the job done, most so was Georgia Tech, my ACC Coastal sleeper pick, who won convincingly 70-0 over FCS opponent Elon.  Even though an FCS opponent, they dominated them with their triple-option attack and did not let up all game.  Not giving up any TDs looks good too.

Close wins over opponents were Boston College and Virginia squeaking out their opponents.  BC was against Villanova so there’s concern there but better than 7 teams this past weekend who lost to FCS opponents.  Virginia was over BYU which was a nice win for the Cavaliers and gets their season off on the right foot which is what they desperately need.

The losses included Pitt, Syracuse, North Carolina and Virgina Tech.  In fairness to these schools, all of them were over-matched in their games.  All teams showed as much as they could and had some bright spots but not enough to put them over the top.  The Cuse lost to Penn State 23-17, VT lost to 1 Bama 35-10, NC lost to 6 South Carolina 27-10 and Pitt lost to 11 FSU 41-13.

So in the end, I would say the ACC was very impressive in their opening weekend of college football.  The Clemson win highlighting the weekend of course and other top power FSU showing that they may have enough to challenge the Tigers in the Atlantic Division.  This past weekend showed the strength of the ACC from top to bottom.  It looks like it could be a good year in the ACC, but we’ll wait and see how it plays out because it is only one week.  Week 2 is ahead and we’ll see how it goes.  ACC Week 2 preview and picks coming soon and I’ll let you know how each team stacks up this weekend.  Let us know how you feel about the ACC in their first weekend of football.

ACC College Football Preview

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd
Picture from

That’s right everyone, football is back and no other way to kick it off with a conference preview to get you excited for this year.  This will be the annual ACC prediction for this fall with everything from conference champion right down to the individual awards predicted.  Whatever you see, go ahead and mark it down because it’s going to happen.  Well let’s go ahead and dive into it…

Atlantic Division Champion- Clemson Tigers

The Clemson Tigers will take the Atlantic Division, but not by a landslide by no means.  They will experience stiff competition from their division rival Seminoles, but they get to play them at home this year, probably at night, which will swing heavily into their favor.  They have the most explosive offense in the ACC and a defense that showed some late season improvement which is encouraging going into this season.  This is it, led by Senior QB Tajh Boyd and Junior WR Sammy Watkins, this is their year to do it big and leave their mark on the last year of the BCS.  If they can get out of their own way and beat who they are supposed too and earn some tough, much needed wins against rivals Georgia and South Carolina, they could very well be in position for that chance at a national championship.  I see Clemson doing it and atleast winning the ACC, but don’t be shocked if this time in November you look up and they are in prime position for a National Championship appearance.

Coastal Division Champion- Miami Hurricanes

Last year’s real division winner, but due to self-imposed sanctions removing them from postseason play, the Miami Hurricanes did not represent the Coastal division in the ACC championship game.  This year, as long as there are no more sanctions imposed or self-imposed, Miami should make their first trip to an ACC championship game since it has joined the league.  That’s right it has yet to make a trip, man how far “The U” has fallen.  This year should be redemption though, led by Senior QB Stephen Morris and rising star RB Duke Johnson, their offense should continue putting up points.  A solid, experienced offensive line will be their biggest asset on their offense to open up holes for Johnson.  Their defense is the weak link but will see improvement, I mean as porous as it was, it has too.  Their schedule is a pretty favorable one that should have them in first in the Coastal by the end of the season.  Not going to be a classic Miami type season but look for Miami to have a solid enough year to win the division.

ACC Dark Horse- Florida State Seminoles

The reigning Conference Champion, FSU will be looking to defend their title and has more than enough weapons and experience to do so.  They return all their offense except their starter at QB which may or may not be a good thing, as far as talent goes.  His experience will be missed though for sure.  Stepping in is freshman Jameis Winston who could be a star very soon in this league.  There are experienced, very good pieces around him on offense to help him along.  The Seminoles’ strongest unit is ofcourse it’s defense which will reload and look to be the main reason it will pull through games this season.  They lose K Dustin Hopkins, but no worries, they will be more than fine at that position with K Robert Aguayo who nailed a 58 yarder in their spring game.  They pose the only threat to Clemson and rightfully so, although the big game is in Clemson, this team has all the pieces to defend their title.  Watch out for the Noles, if they get past Clemson, they would win the ACC and could be a dark horse for a National Championship appearance.

Atlantic Division Surprise Team- N.C. State Wolfpack

In the Atlantic Clemson and FSU are head and shoulders above everyone else, but if there was a surprise team, it would be those pesky N.C. State Wolfpack.  Just ask Clemson and FSU who has been the biggest thorn in their sides, I’m sure they would say these guys.  First year head coach Dave Doeren looks to continue his coaching career success here after being at Northern Illinois for the past two seasons.  Using his ‘Run ‘n Gun’ type offense to put up lots of points, N.C. State will be sure to be in every game along with solid play from their defense as usual.  With an early home game against Clemson, this would be a perfect time for a signature win.  Other than Clemson and FSU, the rest of their schedule is very winnable, so look out for the Wolfpack to make some serious noise this season.

Coastal Division Surprise Team- Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech QB Vad Lee Picture from
Georgia Tech QB Vad Lee
Picture from

The Wramblin’ Wreck got a chance to really surprise this year, and if it weren’t for FSU, I might even say a dark horse for the conference.  They are in the position that their schedule could either be really daunting for them or very easy for them.  I’ m saying it will be quite manageable for them.  Their biggest improvement needs to be on defense and going back to the 4-3 should help that because they never really had success in the 3-4.  Led by LB Jeremiah Attaochu, this defense will be hungry to redeem itself.  Their offense will be led by new QB Vad Lee, who has probably the best tools of any QB Paul Johnson has had to work with in his offense.  Their offense will keep them relevant in every game and could very well be on their way to a quiet, surprising successful season in the ACC.  Better hope that’s how it is or you can feel the seat under Paul Johnson getting ever so hotter.

Two New ACC Teams- Pittsburgh Panthers and Syracuse Orange

Well the ACC has officially gotten bigger everyone.  This year 2 former Big East (now AAC) members have defected.  Pittsburgh will be apart of the Coastal Division and Syracuse apart of the Atlantic Division.  I expect two rough starts for these two but the good thing about the ACC, who knows what can happen, but look for both of these to be around the middle of the pack at best just for the reason of transitioning to what I feel is a tougher conference than what they were apart of.  Either way Pitt, Syracuse, welcome to the ACC and good luck on your new journey in a new conference.

Conference Champion- Clemson Tigers

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney Picture from
Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney
Picture from

Too much talent and to much of a fiery, good coach to not win the conference.  Yabo-Dabo-Doo and his Tigers will take home the ACC Championship this year.  If they are able to atleast win the big one against FSU, the rest of their ACC schedule is very manageable so long they don’t trip up themselves.  If they make it to the big game, no one in the Coastal Division is even close to Clemson, it would be a landslide, once again showing that the true two best teams in the conference are in the same division.  No matter how it’s done, if they do it, they would have certainly earned it, a tip of the cap to Clemson when they capture the Conference Championship this season.


Individual Player Awards:

Conference MVP- Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

If Clemson is going fulfill their expectations this season by winning the Conference and possibly more, he has to be the MVP, simple as that.

Offensive Player of the Year- Clemson WR Sammy Watkins

The former freshman phenom is more focused than ever and is determined to be great again.  He’s too explosive to not be the OPY and his big season could mean big things for Clemson and his NFL future, so no more motivation needed.

Defensive Player of the Year- FSU CB Lamarcus Joyner

Pound for pound the hardest hitter in the ACC and maybe even the hardest hitter in the game, this play making corner will be all over the field for the FSU defense and be the leader of a unit that could very well be top 10 again this season.

Coach of the Year- Miami HC Al Golden

Leading Miami to their first Conference Championship game since their ACC inception and first Conference Championship in their history has to warrant him a Coach of the Year.

Newcomer of the Year- FSU QB Jameis Winston

FSU QB Freshman QB Jameis Winston Picture from
FSU QB Freshman QB Jameis Winston
Picture from

The future star that will be the face of FSU football very soon, if he gets settled in the ACC early, it could be a very good year for the Noles.  Maybe so good it leaves Clemson fans very disappointed.


Full Conference Predicted Standings

Now a quick look at how I see the entire ACC playing out this season, a very interesting but more competitive conference it will be this year.

Atlantic Division                                             Coastal Division

1. Clemson                    12-1 (8-0)                   1. Miami                              9-4 (6-2)

2. Florida State           10-2 (6-2)                    2. Georgia Tech                 8-4 (5-3)

3. N.C. State                  8-4 (4-4)                      3. Virginia Tech                8-4 (5-3)

4. Maryland                 7-5 (4-4)                       4. North Carolina           7-5 (4-4)

5. Wake Forest             6-6 (3-5)                      5. Pittsburgh                     6-6 (3-5)

6. Syracuse                    4-8 (2-6)                      6. Virginia                          3-9 (1-7)

7. Boston                        3-9 (0-8)                      7. Duke                                3-9 (0-8)

So there you have it, the entire ACC football preview, getting you excited isn’t it?  I know it’s getting me excited.  I can’t wait for football season and all that it holds.  Who do you think will win the ACC?  Who do you think will be the MVP?  What about the surprise teams?  Hope you enjoyed reading about the upcoming ACC season.  Let us know what you think right here, we are very interested in hearing your opinions on the upcoming ACC season.

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 2.0

Now getting deeper into the baseball season we are starting to see teams really separate themselves from one another.  There are teams already making that playoff push and becoming true contenders while others are heading for the  Let’s take a look at how teams have been doing lately and who has been standing out and who has been falling out.

The Good:

Cardinal swinging the lumber, just like the real Cardinals; picture from


St. Louis Cardinals- The ‘Red Hot’ Cards are out in front of the NL Central sitting at 35-17 and have the best record in baseball.  They are 8-2 in their last 10 games and are soaring led by their fantastic pitching.  The ageless wonder Carlos Beltran leads the team in RBIs and HRs and is making this Cardinals offense run as good as it ever has, even when they had Pujols..maybe.

Oakland A’s- The A’s are actually the hottest team in baseball having won 9 of their last 10 and continue to get it done with their no name ball club.  That’s just how Billy Bean would want it though, successful without a budget breaking payroll.  They don’t hit particularly well as a team but they do score lots of runs as they are 4th overall in baseball in runs scored meaning they get those timely hits which is really all that matters really.  They are nipping at the heals of the Rangers and looking to defend their division title.

Honorable Mention: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Bad:

Kansas City Royals- The Royals are sitting at last in the AL Central with a record of 21-29.  At one point they were 20-20 but have lost their last 9 0f 10 and have really taken a tumble.  They looked as if to be turning a corner, finally, only that to be dashed by them falling back into their ole’ Royals’ ways.  Struggling to score runs and getting on base has been killing them and you just can’t win when you can’t score.  So remember KC fans, even when you think things might be turning around just remember, you are still the Royals.


Ethier frustrated like all Dodgers; picture from


Los Angeles Dodgers- Baseball’s biggest disappointment I would have to say because of all the money put into this team and where do they sit?  That would be last in the NL West with a record of 22-29.  What is wrong with this team?  I’ll tell you what’s wrong.  It’s not the lack of star power on the team or the injuries or even the pressure of the bright lights of LA.  No, it’s as simple as this, they just don’t play good, team baseball, and when you can’t do that it doesn’t matter who is on your team, you aren’t going to win.

Honorable Mention: Cleveland Indians

The Ugly:

Houston Astros A regular to appear in the ugly section and if their lucky, maybe make it to the bad section but that’s a stretch.  What’s the Astros deal?  They just aren’t good.  They are actually in the high 20’s in runs and hitting, which is way better than I thought, they just can’t win..period.  They will be like this all year and were expected to be like this all year too so Astros’ fans brace yourself because it’s going to be a long, long bumpy ride.  Houston, we have a problem.

Marlins Park empty; picture from


Miami Marlins Oh boy, the laughing stock of the baseball world and guess what, no one feels sorry for them either, at least not feel sorry for the organization.  You kind of have to feel sorry for the players and coaches though because they don’t call the shots and play the business system of baseball, they just try to go out there and win.  Bless their hearts, they do try but like the Astros, they just aren’t good, they are even worse though, they are literally a AAA team.  They sit at 13-40, in the cellar of the NL East, last in virtually every category in baseball stats and possibly the worst team in baseball history.  Not to mention, they are on an 8 game losing streak.  When they score runs, they give up more than they have, when they don’t give up many runs, they don’t score anything.  It’s a sad sinking ship for the Marlins and will not get any better.  Only bright spots seem to be the youngsters that get to play because of all the injuries they have had to normal starters.  Other than that, nothing to look forward too, well except the day Loria is run out of Miami.

Honorable Mention:  Milwaukee Brewers


So there you have it, the good, bad and ugly that has taken place recently.  It’s been exciting to watch this baseball season and I am enjoying watching it unfold.  If your team wasn’t featured this time, there’s always next time.  As long as they are good enough, bad enough, or down right ugly, your team has got a chance.

NFL Draft: Winners and Losers

The NFL Draft has come to a close and when that happens, all the experts and analysts start to give their draft day winners and losers.  Well I am here to give out my biggest winners and losers of the draft.


RamsSt. Louis Rams- The Rams were probably a close second for the biggest winner in the NFL Draft.  Scary for the NFC West too because last season the Rams were 4-1-1 in the division, so do not sleep on these guys next season.  They are a big winner because they addressed several needs and did so with quality players.  WR Tavon Austin was definitely the biggest splash they made, trading up to nab him before he possibly fell to the Jets.  He is the most explosive player in the draft and we will see that early on.  LB Alec Ogletree was their other first round pick and although he has issues off the field, the Rams feel they can get that straightened out and that he’ll be fine once he’s apart of their organization.  WR Stedman Bailey and OL Barrett Jones are two later picks that were also wonderful.  Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin played together in college and know how to compliment each other on the field.  Barrett Jones knows how to play all lineman positions and oh yeah, he was a 3 time National Champion for the Alabama Crimson Tide, winning.  All those guys say big winner for the Rams in my book.

San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers are one of the best teams going into next season and they were the biggest winner in the NFL Draft, that’s not good for everyone else.  They started out by trading up in the draft to grab FS Eric Reid to fill the void left by former FS Dashon Goldson.  Reid played in the tough SEC and knows how to tackle, cover receivers and make plays on the ballsan-francisco-49ers-logo.  He’s a great addition to their secondary.  The 49ers would then use their 2nd round pick on DE Cornellious “Tank” Carradine, a guy that has first round talent but because of health concerns fell to the second round.  He can instantly come off the edge for San Fran and make an impact on defense.  WR Quinton Patton was drafted in the 3rd round and some scouts gave him a first round grade because he has some of the best hands in the draft and knows how to go up and get the ball.  He will certainly come in and help the offense right away.  Their luxury pick, RB Marcus Lattimore is certainly a first round talent himself that fell because of health concerns.  If he can stay healthy, he’s got a chance to be great.  The 49ers drafted A+ value with pick after pick and could very well be the best team going into the next season after this draft.


cowboysDallas Cowboys- Big D, probably the grade I would give them, they started off their draft with one big head scratching.  They first chose C Travis Frederick with their 1st round pick.  This guy may have good talent and be a starter, but at this pick, there was way more value out there than him.  They could have waited on this guy until probably like the second or third round.  Their next pick was TE Gavin Escobar, a good talent and has potential but if they wanted a TE they could have landed Tyler Eifert in the 1st round if they didn’t trade back and then they still could have gotten Frederick later.  Instead, they pounced on Frederick and had to settle on Escobar instead of getting a dominant force like Eifert or even TE Zach Ertz.  After that it got a little better, they picked up Terrance Williams who is a good receiver but it wasn’t really a need for the Cowboys, they should have gone defensive front 7 at this point.  Their one true bright spot and true need met was their second 3rd round pick in safety J.J. Wilcox.  Wilcox can come in immediately and challenge for a starting spot.  He was one of the better safeties in the draft and certainly showed everyone that at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.  The value and need was perfect at this point for the Cowboys and was truly their one big all around hit in the draft, everything else, they should’ve not listened to Jerry Jones.

Cleveland Browns- My biggest loser of the NFL Draft, congratulations to the Cleveland Browns, you had a high pick because you were bad and you did not help yourself that much at all.  For starters, they only had 5 picks and then they would precede to do very little with them.  Their first pick was DE Barkevious Mingo and although Mingo projects to be a really good pass rusher on the outside anCleveland_Brownsd an all around defensive player, picking him at 6 overall was a bit of a reach in my opinion.  they have a need at corner and could have drafted the best corner in Dee Milliner at that point but instead went with Mingo.  Another thing that makes me iffy on Mingo, name me the last LSU pass rusher to turn out to be anything good in the NFL?  Yeah, not a great pedigree.  Their next pick was corner Leon McFadden, not a bad player but a this late, taking a corner doesn’t really help your need at corner as well as Dee Milliner would have.  They should’ve flipped these picks, taking a corner early and a DE or DT later.  The defensive line talent was much more deep in this draft.  Their last picks were 6th and 7th rounders that will have to do their best to make the practice squad, so nothing special there either.  Browns should’ve at least considered a QB as well because Weeden is not the future of the Browns, no matter how bad they may want him to be.  A failed draft because they didn’t consider value at any pick and just failed to address it with better selections.


So there you have it, my draft day biggest winners and losers.  Let me know what you think and who you thought were the biggest winners and losers.  No matter how your team did or how people think they did, remember we can’t really tell how good or bad a class is until the guys get on the field, but this is just my initial thought about how I thought things went.  Until then, we’ll really have to wait and see.

Wilcox Makes History

jj wilcox Dallas-Cowboys-dallas-cowboys-1857395-1024-768

In the 3rd round, with the 80th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected safety J.J. Wilcox.  With this pick, Wilcox made history by being the highest selected Georgia Southern Eagle in the history of the program.

Congratulations to J.J. on making his dreams come true by being selected in the NFL Draft and getting his chance to do something great at the highest level of football.  He’ll add some class and be a great addition to the locker room right away.  On the field, he’ll instantly give them special teams help and could easily develop quickly into that special teams demon.  I would say he will also definitely be challenging early for a starting spot, if not already be a projected starter out of the gate.  This is a definite need by the Cowboys and they certainly addressed it with adding this guy.  They get a great all around player that can help them immediately.

So congratulations J.J., go do great things in the NFL and GATA!

First Round Picks I Liked, Picks I Didn’t

The First Round has come to a close and there are already winners and losers being determined by experts all over.  In reality you don’t know until these guys get on the field and how guys will fit into their respective system, but for the time being I am going to express the picks I thought were good and the picks I thought not so good on this first day of the NFL Draft.

Picks I liked:


Tampa Bay Buccaneers-used 13th selection to get best corner in the NFL Darrelle Revis, and considering what the Jets did with that pick the Bucs gave them, instant winner..’nuff said.



Jacksonville Jaguars-2nd selection on OT Luke Joeckel.  They get who I think is the best lineman in the draft and definitely the most tested of the top two lineman coming out of the BIG12/SEC.  Must build from the inside out to be successful, and for the Jags, this new era, fresh start is looking good.

Pittsburgh Steelers– 17th selection on OLB Jarvis Jones.  Getting this guy will provide that next big time rusher for the Steelers.  He was outstanding in college and a proven dominant pass rusher.  He is a Steeler kind of classy guy and will fit in perfectly.  He will instantly upgrade the defense and bring some much-needed youth for the aging Steelers.

St. Louis Rams-trading up to the 8th pick to get WR Tavon Austin.  This is the most electric guy in the draft and they definitely needed someone like this to come in to revive their offense.  He will definitely give Bradford some much-needed help and an actual target to throw too.  He will also enhance the return game because he is an excellent returner.

Minnesota Vikings-picking DT Sharrif Floyd at the 23rd overall selection.  This guy is an absolute monster on the inside and will instantly help out the defensive line and help free up Jared Allen.  He is not your prototypical pass rusher but he is a run stuffer that just eats up blocks.  This has Allen thanking the Vikings for sure.  this has to be one of the best value picks in the draft because he was a top 10 talent that fell all the way this far.  Throw in Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson and for the second straight year, another strong first round by the Vikings.

Picks I didn’t like so much:

New York Jets-using the 13th overall pick acquired in the Revis trade to get DT Sheldon Richardson.  He has got talent and potential but I just don’t see it as much as like Sharrif Floyd or a Star Lotululei.  He is not your typical physical defensive lineman and I don’t think it’s the right value that high on the board.  Close Jets, but no cigar on this one.

Oakland Raiders-trading back to the 12th overall pick to get CB D.J. Hayden.  Was he on anyone’s first round radar? I feel like this is always the question about the Raiders draft selections.  A good corner but played against less than stellar competition and in my opinion a second rounder.  They could have definitely waited on him.  Smart trading back, but not for this guy at that point in the draft.

Buffalo Bills-trading back to 16th pick to draft QB E.J. Manuel.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s got talent but I’ve seen him play a lot and there are parts of the game where he still needs to learn the game more and make better decisions.  A reach in the first round, the Bills could have waited until the second round on him because let’s be honest, there are no first round talented quarterbacks in this draft.  Bills fell victim to the need factor and didn’t take into account the best value factor.

Dallas Cowboys-trading back to the 31st pick to draft center Travis Frederick.  Huh?  Who did they take? That’s right, a guy who was not even close to the first round radar of anyone.  Thejones Cowboys are at it again, just throwing the dart on the draftboard and making a selection.  Might be a good player but again, the value at this time has to be higher somewhere else.  My advice, lock up Jerry Jones during the draft so Cowboy coaches actually have a chance at quality selections and give coaches a chance at ever saving their jobs.


Well the first round has come and gone but there still is more excitement ahead.  Geno Smith and Manti Te’o are some notables still out there that most thought were locks for the first round.  These guys plus many more will hold the headlines at where they will go.  I certainly can’t wait for it to continue.  Once again I’ll be posted up watching as much as I can.  Enjoy the draft craziness unfolding.  2nd and 3rd round starting tomorrow night at 7 PM ET.