So umm I didn't bother last year because well :waves at everything: but there is going to be a full schedule this fall so I figure might as well bring back the predictions thread even though
Once again I will provide my feelings on the winning probability for each game (W%/L%) and then a best, expected, and worst case scenario for the team.
Virginia Tech Hokies
Wow our first losing regular season record in nearly 30 years. No bowl game, bye to that streak too. Thanks Fu. Drove off all the QBs? Check. Can't keep WRs? Check. Kept his buddies hired instead of replacing them with better folks? Check. The Fu train rolls on for one more year after he looked like a dead man walking to finish last season. The program has gotten massive capital investments made into it, so either he figures it out and great, or more likely this is all for the pitch to the next HC.
9/3 UNC (50/50) - Given how last year was, this is a toss up. Week 1, UNC has lost all its offensive production around Howell. Maybe the team surprises. We won't be favored but it is a home night game, Lane should be pumped up. I dunno but feels like a toss up with the unknowns at both programs.
9/11 Middle Tenn (80/20) - They didn't play last year, but we really shouldn't be losing home games to G5 teams right? Oops yeah Liberty...so I can't be as certain as I'd like to be.
9/18 @ WVU (50/50) - The Black Diamond Trophy is up for the taking again. That'll be the first trip back there since 05 I guess and I don't want them to take it back but its a toss up. Neither of these programs is really better than mediocre in their conference so who can say. I'd sure like us to win, and we've generally been better on the road with Fu than at home.
9/25 Richmond (90/10) - FCS teams should not be winning in Lane. Usually have won the games we absolutely should so sure this can be a near lock for a W.
10/9 Notre Dame (25/75) - Yeah umm we've played them p tight in our games the last few years and ND isn't exactly a light it up team, but I don't really see how we manage to win a game with this big a talent differential on the field and on the sidelines. ND should roll in their ACCN debut. We will be given enough credit to make it seem like its a decent W for them.
10/16 Pitt (50/50) - They stomped us last year up in Heinz, which is usually how it goes. Back in the Burg? They just never really scare me talent wise. Should be competitive, also our coaches hate each other so bonus hate week here.
10/23 Syracuse (60/40) - They were bad last year. I don't see much to think they'll be a lot better this year. Despite my pessimism this should be a home W.
10/30 @ Georgia Tech (60/40) - They're still transitioning out of the triple option and their best dudes were freshman last year who we ate up. I think it'll be another year before this becomes a tighter contest.
11/5 @ Boston College (50/50) - BC is never an easy out despite how sleepy their stadium is. Their QB is solid and yeah we smooshed em last year, but it just feels like its a toss up.
11/13 Duke (60/40) - Got em last year after the embarrassment in 19. Slight favorite here, but the fighting Cutcliffes you never really know. I think he's kinda waning there though so I'll take us.
11/21 @ Miami (35/65) - I was really surprised at how tightly we played them last year given the talent advantage they have. Just UM things I guess. King and all those weapons back makes me think we can't hang, but it's late in the season things could have developed for both teams where we have a better shot here. Not optimistic esp with going to the humidity down there in Nov.
11/27 @ UVA (90/10) - Well they beat us the one year and then we poo poo on them after a long losing streak last year. I remain staunchly in the camp of I'll believe they have a real chance when they can get a streak going. Until further notice that one was a random upset and the natural order has been restored.
12/7 ACC Title Game (5/95) - Even if we make it here, everyone in the league is just a sacrificial lamb for Clemson. Maybe a bit less so this year but lol at this team making this game to begin with.
Best Outcome: 9-3/6-2 ACC - Best possible case scenario is this team wins all but the ND OOC games, and only loses to the best two teams in the division (UNC/Miami) but otherwise pulls it out with some improvement in our areas of needed improvement. This would be nice, and it also gets Fu at least another couple years I'd guess. To do this we gotta stay healthy, have a few guys breakout on offense, and have the lucky breaks go our way. The defense has to return to being at least okay, and ideally elite at something (takeaways, sacks, TFL anything).
Expected Outcome: 6-6/4-4 ACC - I don't really trust the QB situation, or the WR situation, and I think we will have a bad record coming out of September. We had fun running the ball last year, but that won't get repeated. This team is going to look a lot like the last few years, occasionally competent, but regularly being frustrating as hell against better talent/coaching. This probably includes losing to WVU & ND. Just some really mediocre stuff that reflects the current state of the program. I think Fu could very well lose his job if this is what we get from the staff especially if it includes losing whatever low tier bowl game that record awards us and blowouts. I could see him still getting to keep it if we're just losing a bunch of 1 score games at the buzzer.
Worst Outcome: 5-7/3-5 ACC - Yet another losing record. No WR becomes a downfield threat, teams stack the box, and our QB gets hurt being run into those stacked boxes forcing any number of our backup QBs into action who really aren't good enough to give us a chance to win (or are inexperienced transfer or a true freshman with 3 weeks on campus at the start of the season). Lose everything but the really gimme ACC games (Syracuse, Duke, GT) and barely get by the 2 lesser OOC opponents. Fu needs to be gone if this is what he produces.
Who likes the fast paced air raid!? Cause thats what they're gonna get in Heupel. 4 Verts baby. Too many QBs to have any idea, lost the 2 best defenders to transfers (one of whom we get to see during the Third Saturday in October) and umm well it's just been weird on Rocky Top for the last few years. But at least I get to hope the Vols choose Hooker and I can cheer for him to be treated better than he was a VT. Milton, man I don't get it. Dude hasn't been good in any appearance and came to place with 2 younger more talented guys to compete with as well. I'd really expect one of the 2 younger QBs to win this competition but currently Time to reset everything again, and probably just be bad again this season.
9/2 Bowling Green (60/40) - Yeah who knows. Talent wise alone if they can be coached up to at least their floor this feels like it should be a W.
9/11 Pitt (45/55) - Seeing how the Vols have performed the last few years...I dunno Narduzzi has been there longer. I'd give the edge to the established program even if they're mostly just mediocre. Thats above utter disorganized poo poo.
9/18 TN Tech (95/5) - In state FCS school, should be a W and a good chance to tune up/get some confidence after the first 2 weeks.
9/25 @ Florida (15/85) - Florida owns us. 1 win in the last like 15 something years. They're gonna own us again in the swamp, I only hope it isn't one of the more embarrassing showings.
10/2 @ Mizzou (35/65) - I mean we feel like p similar programs in terms of results despite a potential talent gap, I like their coach and he's got a year under his belt with that team so the North Tigers will probably get this one.
10/9 South Carolina (50/50) - Similar position for both programs with new HCs and p meh prior records. Will Shane be a decent HC, I dunno but there are some players to work with there same as in Knoxville. Toss up.
10/16 OLE MISS (20/80) - KIFFYKINS RETURNS TO ROCKYTOP HE'S GONNA HANG 100 ON US. I wish we'd been able to keep him but alas. Yeah they gave up a millions yards to bama but so did everyone. Their offense is going to be further ahead than we will have it so I don't think we can hang in a shootout with them. Corral is p good, and I have no real idea what we might get from the Vols QBs.
10/23 @ Alabama (1/99) - No chance. I mean I guess some minor chance on the basis of any given Saturday...but no. Gonna be lucky to not lose by more than 5 scores.
11/6 @ Kentucky (50/50) - They've won a few more recently, but they're always tight. Kentucky is in better shape than we are I guess so I'll give them an edge, but this feels like a winnable game for this program with a new coach.
11/13 Georgia (5/95) - Another one where we should have no chance. The only reason the chance exists is because Georgia seems to have some mental bullshit in Neyland. Maybe it's all the ACL tears or weird finishes, but like maaaayyyybeee there is some minor chance. Yet at the same time, we will be lucky to lose by less than 5 scores.
11/20 South Alabama (55/45) - Ah the fabled november tune up game. This program lost to Georgia Southern 2 years ago so nothing is beyond them. This should be a win...but they haven't been complete trash so I dunno. Favored but I doubt by much.
11/27 Vanderbilt (60/40) - I think they've got a new HC too and uhh they might be the only program that is solidly below the Vols in the east right now. I'd hope they can win, but you just can't say given their relative level of success vs us in the past decade.
Best Outcome 8-4/4-4 SEC - This would be a real crowd pleaser. QB play is improved, we score more, the defense wins us a few games and we sweep the OOC. .500 in the SEC playing Bama every year with GA/FL on the schedule too I would count as a huge win for Heupel in his first year. After the last decade I can't imagine how pumped Vols fans would be if they could manage this record, even if it includes blowouts to the best teams on the schedule.
Expected Outcome 6-6/3-5 SEC - I think the floor for this program should be bare minimum a bowl game. Lose to Pitt early, but beat the rest of the OOC and win against the programs of equivalent standing at the moment while losing and probably big to the juggernauts and longer tenured coaches. Not great, but if the team looks competent even if they're losing I think most folks will be happy.
Worst Outcome 3-9/1-7 SEC - I mean we've been about this bad in the near past (atrocious) and I could see with a new staff that it just doesn't go well and continues to look like what we had been doing with Pruitt until Heupel can get a new culture and attitude instilled.
What do y'all have for your teams? Optimism springs eternal in this thread for a snap hasn't happened yet. It could be anyone (it'll prb be Clemson/Alabama/Ohio State again).
The Notorious ZSB fucked around with this message at 01:34 on Aug 6, 2021
|# ? Aug 5, 2021 19:32|
|# ? Sep 27, 2021 10:49|
YOUR Texas State Bobcats
LAST SEASON: We played a full 12-game schedule! And lost ten of them.
9/4: vs. Baylor
20% chance of victory
9/11: at Florida International
15% chance of victory
9/18: vs. Incarnate Word
95% chance of victory
9/25: at Eastern Michigan
15% chance of victory
10/9: vs. South Alabama
50% chance of victory
10/16: vs. Troy
70% chance of victory
10/23: at Georgia State
20% chance of victory
10/30: at Louisiana
5% chance of victory
11/6: vs. ULM
75% chance of victory
11/13: vs. Georgia Southern
55% chance of victory
11/20: at Coastal Carolina
5% chance of victory
11.27: at Arkansas State
10% chance of victory
BEST CASE: 6-6
WORST CASE: 1-11
MOST LIKELY CASE: 3-9
|# ? Aug 6, 2021 05:12|
2021 Florida Gators
It'd weird to go into a coach's 4th year and not be sure if he's The Guy, but that's where the Florida Gators are at with Dan Mullen. Mullen is a great developer and deployer of talent, but his recruiting has been lackluster, and he's stubbornly loyal to his boys that don't pull their weight (OL coach John Hevesy, DC Todd Grantham.) On one side of the ball last year, the Gators looked like how the Gators are supposed to look like, with a big, splashy offense. Florida was the only team in the country last year that could hang with Alabama on offense. The other side of the ball was an abject disaster. Great teams could run all over Florida's anonymous front 7 last year (Alabama, Texas A&M), and Kaiir Elam was the only bright spot in Florida's secondary.
Florida is set up to be a traditional Mullen team on offense. I feel pretty good about Emory Jones. Even if Jones is a one-read-and-go guy, Mullen can absolutely work with that (see Nick Fitzgerald, Tim Tebow.) The RB room is loaded, and there's still talent if it is largely unproven to catch passes. The OL's gotta hold it up its end of the bargain though for the Gators to get where they wanna go. Florida's OL hasn't been able to run block for 2 years now, and this is a season where run blocking is not optional for the Gators to win.
Todd Grantham is still Florida's DC. The hope is that an extra year of seasoning for players like Gervon Dexter and Brenton Cox Jr. along with additions from the transfer portal at DT will beef up the front 7. The secondary will be overhauled as most of last year's starters in the secondary graduated, and Florida fired both of the secondary coaches from last year.
Here's my predictions for this season, using Toss-Up/Lean/Likely/Safe ratings.
FAU (9/4 - H) - Safe UF - this is not the Willie Taggart vs. Dan Mullen showdown everyone expected back in 2018. Florida's gonna gently caress around with 1 of these 2 opening games because Mullen is saving everything for Bama.
USF (9/11 - A) - Safe UF - this game is in Tampa as a 2-for-1, but it'll be a lot closer to a Gator home game given how dismal USF has been lately.
Alabama (9/18 - H) - Lean Alabama - I am talking myself into Florida pulling the upset. This is the first true road game Alabama has had to play in 2 years, Alabama has to break in a totally new offense, and running QBs give Saban heartburn. But Alabama is #1 in the sport for the three phases of recruiting, development, and deployment of talent.
Tennessee (9/25 - H) - Safe UF - Bedlam, college football's most notorious example of an unbalanced rivalry, has been more balanced over the last 16 years than Florida-Tennessee.
Kentucky (10/2 - A) - Likely UF - Mark Stoops always has something for Mullen on defense, but Kentucky only scored 10 points on last year's Florida defense.
Vanderbilt (10/9 - H) - Safe UF - Clark Lea might build something interesting at Vanderbilt, but it'll take a while. Vanderbilt were atrocious last year.
LSU (10/16 - A) - Toss-Up - LSU's defense should rebound from last year but their offense is a giant question mark to me. This is a toss-up for me because it's in Baton Rouge, and because of last year's shitshow.
Georgia (10/30 - N) - Lean Georgia - Florida is reloading this season, whereas this season will be a disappointment for Georgia if they're not in the national championship game, and a failure if they're not in the playoff.
South Carolina (11/6 - A) - Safe UF - I don't think Muschamp left anything behind for Beamer Jr to use. At least at Florida, Muschamp left behind a great defense for the next guy.
Samford (11/13 - H) - Safe UF - Florida must be pissed at the SEC that they couldn't put this game before FSU per tradition.
Mizzou (11/20 - A) - Likely UF - that Bazelak dude can sling it, and Florida has had trouble with Mizzou, but Mizzou still feel a year or two away.
FSU (11/27 - H) - Likely UF - I have zero idea what to make of FSU this year. What's keeping me from making this game safe for UF is McKenzie Milton dragging FSU into respectability.
Ceiling: 11-1. Emory Jones plays himself into the 1st round of the NFL Draft, and Florida's defense looks like it did during 2018-19. Florida beats Alabama in The Swamp, loses to Georgia in the Cocktail Party, and sneaks into the playoff.
Floor: 8-4. The defense is better but not that much better, and the offense takes a big step up back thanks to not being able to run the ball. Florida loses all 3 of the Alabama/Georgia/LSU, and loses 1 more to Kentucky/Mizzou/FSU.
Likely Outcome: 10-2. Florida loses to both Alabama and Georgia, and steals one from LSU in Baton Rouge. Florida returns to the NY6 for a 4th-straight season with the Gators set up for a big 2022.
|# ? Aug 6, 2021 20:09|
2021 Missouri Tigers
You know what's weirder than playing an all-conference, pandemic-affected season? Playing it with a new coach who had no chance to install his system properly. Eli Drinkwitz took over Mizzou in January after Barry Odom essentially engineered his own demise (no, really: he asked the AD and Board of Curators for a public vote of confidence, they told him "we don't really do that plus with 2019 being affected by the bullshit sanctions we expected it to be a wash", Odom took this as a sign his job was in danger and told his players/staff as much, word got back to Jesse Hall and they decided "ok, you wanna get fired? We'll do it".) Drinkwitz came to Mizzou from Appalachian State, where he had early success, but had previously worked under fellow Arkansas native Gus Malzahn and was also Dave Doeren's OC at NC State. The conference-only schedule was not going to be easy, doubly so with no spring practice and starting with three ranked opponents in Bama, Tennessee, and LSU, and after dropping the first two in Tuscaloosa and Knoxville alarm bells started going off ahead of the home opener with LSU. Drinkwitz made a QB change, putting in RS frosh Connor Bazelak, and the team responded with a wild 45-41 win over the defending champs. A win over Kentucky (a team that had had Odom's number) was followed by a loss at Florida highlighted by a halftime fight between the two teams and no love being lost between Drink and Dan Mullen. The Tigers then went on a 3-game winning streak punctuated by a wild, 51-48 shootout win over Arkansas, before falling against Georgia and at Mississippi State to finish the year 5-5. They were scheduled to play Iowa in the Music City Bowl, but a few players caught the ol' spicy cough and the bowl game was cancelled.
The off-season, though, was where Drink really left his mark: he recruited better than just about any recent Tiger coach, replaced D-coord Ryan Walters (who left to take the same job at Illinois) with NFL vet Steve Wilks, and shored up the notoriously leaky secondary by hiring DB coach Aaron Fletcher from Tulsa. Combine this with some impact transfers, the announcement of a new indoor facility, and Drink having a personality most Tiger coaches before lacked, and hopes are pretty drat high for Mizzou this year.
THE SCHEDULE (with win probability)
Sept 4, v Central Michigan (95%): This is at home and the Chips are far from their Dan LeFevour glory days, but this is still Mizzou with a new defense.
Sept 11, @ Kentucky (50%): This is the first time I can remember that Mizzou's opened their conference schedule this early. Kentucky has been a bogey team for the Tigers in recent years, and Mark Stoops has quietly built something nice in Lex. Not one to be taken lightly.
Sept 18, v Southeast MO State (99%): It's the FCS game and SEMO's not a team with much in the way of success.
Sept 25, @ Boston College (66 and 2/3rds%): I think every Mizzou fan is looking at this game with a sense of imminent dread. Away, against a drat good QB in Jurkovec, early in the season...yep, it's a Trap Game. I think MU's got a bit of a talent advantage but you really never know.
Oct 2, v Tennessee (50%): MU and the Vols have quietly developed a bit of a rivalry, especially after prized QB recruit Sam Horn picked the Tigers over Big Orange. It's a new coach, Tennessee ran all over MU last year, and MU's two biggest D-linemen in Borom and Bolton are in the NFL now, so I'd put this as a toss-up.
Oct 9, v North Texas (75%): Trap potential again as it's a mid-season OOC game against a Group of 5 team, but I have faith.
Oct 18, v Texas A&M (20%): A lot of Mizzou fans think we have a chance against Aggy, but it's a slim one in my mind.
Oct 30, @ Vanderbilt (90%): Vandy's in a bit of a hole right now and Clark Lea's not shown me any signs of getting them out of it.
Nov 8, @ UGA (5%): yeah, everything would have to go right like in '13.
Nov 13, v South Carolina (66 and 2/3rds%): new coach and the cupboard isn't as bare as Vandy, but Beamer's got his work cut out for him
Nov 20, v Florida (30%): yes the Gators have the talent advantage on offense, but Todd Grantham's Emotional Blitzing and the additional factor of "November in Missouri" could swing this one.
Nov 28, @ Arkansas (60%): Pittman's doing well with the Hogs but I give Mizzou the edge.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: 10-2, P2 in the SEC East behind UGA, and an Outback/Citrus-tier bowl game
WORST CASE SCENARIO: 6-6 or 5-7 depending on how the BC game turns out, with losses to the Vols, Cats and Arkansas in addition to aTm/UF/UGA. If we go bowling it'd be to Memphis or Birmingham.
LIKELY SCENARIO: either 7-5, 8-4 or 9-3. The swing games in this scenario are @ Kentucky and @ Arkansas. As for bowls, it'll likely be the Music City, Duke's Mayo, or Texas Bowl.
|# ? Aug 7, 2021 02:24|
2021 Houston Cougars
Last season: No games until October 8. Started out strong against Tulane, collapsed in the 4th quarter against BYU the next game, and everyone just kinda threw up their hands in frustration and wrote the season off. Lots of 2s and 3s got snaps, whether that builds depth for this year who knows.
This season: It's poo poo or get off the pot time for Dana Holgorsen. The last two years have been worse than what Major Applewhite put out there. He's got pieces finally - a veteran QB (of dubious quality), three good WRs, a pair of transfer running backs, two corners that could both be All Americans, at least one NFL player on the o-line. The schedule is paper thin - while Tulsa and Tulane will be a hard road trip there's no Cincinnati, no UCF, and Memphis, Texas Tech and SMU all at home.
9/4 vs Texas Tech (at NRG Stadium in Houston) - Basically a home game for UH. Tech has that fancy Oregon QB and what seem to be good WRs on paper but Houston has good corners. Neither team has a long track record of consistency. Tech seems to have an overall talent advantage but it might come down to who does less clownball. 40%
9/11 at Rice - Other than whatever happened against Marshall last year Rice was putrid. If Rice even keeps up with UH here Dana's going to be on the hot seat. 95%
9/18 vs Grambling - I guess if there has to be a FCS team at least a HBCU is a good choice... 99%
9/25 vs Navy - Navy has no QB and looks like no pass rush. UH has at least a starter and on paper a decent pass rush. This needs to be over quick because a tough road trip lies ahead. 75%
10/1 at Tulsa - Are they going to be the guys that low key almost beat Cincinnati? With their QB graduated probably not, but basically everyone else is back and that means they're going to be low key tough again this year. This game probably is the real measuring stick of whether Dana is going to be able to win championships at UH. 50%
10/8 at Tulane - With their rough schedule Tulane is gonna be a lot better than their record, and really needs to have this win to be bowl-eligible. Slow down their run and UH wins big. Easier said than done though. 45%
10/23 vs East Carolina - Might not be as hapless as previous years but being a home game UH has to take care of business here. 80%
10/30 vs SMU - This rivalry is picking up again and usually UH is pretty good at keeping them down, but the way they pass and as well as they're recruiting there's a danger UH and SMU are about to swap places on the AAC totem pole. In fact I think they have a slight talent advantage. This might be the end for Dana if SMU wins big. 45%
11/6 at USF - USF's defense was one of the worst ever seen in modern college football. Like 00s CUSA bad. By this time they'll have shown how much improvement they're making for the year and if it's not a lot then this should be an easy road win. 67%
11/13 at Temple - This is a rebuilding year for Temple and here's hoping they find a QB and get back on track. UH has a big talent advantage this year. 80%
11/19 vs Memphis - Guaranteed glorious clownball. Memphis gets to duck Cincinnati too so this could be the AAC West title game if UH lives to potential. They like UH have consistency issues, might be like the Tech game back in Week 1 - he who clowns less wins. 50%
11/27 at UConn - Return to the scene of the only loss in 2015. UConn's way worse nowadays. Should look a little like the Rice game. 95%
Best case scenario - 12-1. Every single one of these games is winnable, except for Cincinnati in the AAC title game. That schedule wouldn't get UH into a NY6 bowl anyway. The team sticks around for the most part and 2022 looks to be a really special year.
Worst case scenario - 3-9. Grambling, Rice, and UConn will be pretty drat hard to lose, but every other game is losable. Dana is fired and UH resumes the search for a coach the Big 12 (or its successor) will one day poach.
My prediction - 8-4. The schedule is so drat poor bowl eligibility shouldn't be a hard thing to get. They'll split Tulsa/Tulane and SMU/Memphis. I'm penciling in Tech as a loss, and that leaves room for the annual loss to a team UH had no business losing to. That gets a halfway decent bowl and buys Dana another year.
Rose: Penn State vs Oregon
Sugar: Iowa State vs Texas A&M
Peach: North Carolina vs Georgia
Fiesta: Cincinnati vs Florida
Playoffs - Same poo poo as always...Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma
|# ? Aug 7, 2021 04:54|
2021 Georgia Bulldogs
Last season: Was likely to be a weird transitional year as of February 2020, as the Dawgs were breaking in a (thankfully) new OC and Jake Fromm had moved onto the third string in the sky. Jamie Newman transferred in, and we all pored over the advanced stats that showed that mlayyykshually he was the best returning QB and blah blah blah. Then Covid happened. Then JT Daniels transferred in for some reason. Was he even healthy? Were we even going to have a season? Who knows! Then it got closer to whatever they called "camp" last season, Newman bailed, so UGA's QB rotation then became, um, JT Dani....wait, no, not cleared....Dwan Mathis? We guess? Hey, the defense was still going to be great, so maybe we could win every game 13-7 like we did in 2019. Well Dwan started the first game, played like asshammers, the Dawgs were down 7-5 at the half against loving Arkansas, and so in came the Law Offices of Stetson Bennett IV. Bennett played very well for the first three games, at least in terms of what was asked of him, beating #7 (lol) Auburn and #14 (LOL) Tennessee. A #3 vs. #2 matchup at Bryant-Denny followed, which had UGA leading Bama at halftime. Really! That happened! Then Stetson looked in the mirror, realized "I am Stetson Bennett," proceeded to throw 18 interceptions, sucked the next game, turbo-sucked against Florida, and the Dawgs hit the off week looking . That much-heralded defense was merely OK, and not immune to bomb-throwing offenses. The offense was a disaster. UGA was not a good team.
Then JT Daniels finally got cleared, threw for the most yards in a Georgia game since '13, UGA won out, and beat undefeated Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl. Huh.
This season: OK, so Daniels probably isn't that good. He faced three lovely teams, and made a lot of mistakes against Cincy. But he did throw the ball, dammit, and just the sight of a football leaving a Georgia QB's hand and going more than 7 yards again means THEM DAWGS IS HELL DON'T THEY SIC EM SIC EM WOOF WOOF. George Pickens tore an ACL, but all the other WRs who tore ACLs are coming back, and Kirby poached Arik Gilbert from LSU. The backfield, led by Zeus White and 11-year senior James Cook III, looks solid even if they had some real stinkers last year. Big chunk of last year's DBs are gone, so Kirby went to the transfer store and bought Derion Kendrick/Tykee Smith. OL wasn't great last year but there's stars aplenty. Jack Podlesny kicked a 50+ yarder at the horn to win the Peach Bowl, and Jake Camarda was the nation's best punter last year. Look, UGA is talented everywhere, this isn't a mystery. They face Clemson in the opener, will be favored (often heavily) in every regular season game after that. The road to, or away from, the Playoffs is clear.
Clemson (in Charlotte) No earthly idea. Probably lean Clemson, because I think Uiagalelei is the truth and this is the type of game Georgia typically beclowns itself in.
UAB, South Carolina, @ Vanderbilt, Arkansas Lol. Georgia will win all of these by double digits.
@ Auburn Probably this one too. Dawgs torpedoed Auburn last season, and Mike Bobo dialing up the 2002 offense against a Kirby Smart defense sounds ghastly.
Florida (WLOCP) What should give Florida pause is that even as Georgia was getting its rear end kicked last season, Grantham's charges had left dudes wiiiiiiiide open for Stetson Bennett to completely miss. Daniels probably won't. Credit to Mullen for taking his biggest chance to beat UGA and doing it, but they're reloading and we aren't. Georgia by a TD.
Missouri, @ Tennessee, Charleston Southern, @ Georgia Tech Dawgs might be plucking fans from the stands to play the second half of some of these.
Best case: Natty.
Worst case: Drop the opener, lose to Florida, either sneak into the SECCG and get nuked by Bama or don't sneak into the SECCG and just go to the Peach Bowl or something.
Likely case: Drop the opener, win out, face Bama with the playoffs on the line. Kirby gets ragged on by hot-take dweebs like Wolken so much that he's actually quite underrated at this point, but until I see him beat Bama with my own two eyes, this is where the '21 run stops.
|# ? Aug 7, 2021 15:19|
2021 Oklahoma Sooners
Last Season: Oklahoma started the season in rather bad shape with both Ronnie Perkins and Rhamondre Stevenson being suspended for failing a drug test for weed prior to their bowl game the previous year. During the first half of the season the team struggled with redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler making mistakes that you would expect first time starters. It didn't help with Rhamodre Stevenson being out for half the season severely hampered the run game to make up for it. They started out 0-2 dropping games to both Kansas State and Iowa state which would be their only losses for the entire season. Things were looking bad and Riley even sat Rattler for a decent chunk of time during the game against Texas. When Rattler came back into the game he engineered a miraculous comeback beating Texas 53-45 in overtime. At the same time the Defense stepped up only giving up an average of 17 points after the Texas game. They replayed Iowa State for the big 12 championship and beat them in a comparatively low scoring game of 27-21. In the Cotton Bowl the soundly defeated an offensively weekend Florida 55-20. I'm sure with a full offensive roster the game would of been closer, but the Florida defense was no where to be seen the entire game.
Upcoming season: Spencer Rattler is probably the best returning starting quarterback this year. This receiving group is elite with guys like Marvin Mims, Theo Wease, Jadon Haselwood, incoming transfer Mike Woods, and Drake Stoops. The running game should be vastly improved with Kennedy Brooks returning from his opt out season along with transfers Eric Gray and Levontre Bradford from Tennessee and LSU respectively. Even with the loss of Trejan Bridges and Seth McGowan due to armed robbery the skill positions looks absolutely terrific. If the offensive line can gel throughout the season the sky is the limit. Defensively the front seven should compete with the best in the league. Perrion Winfrey and Isaiah Thomas absolutely maul opposing linemen while Nik Bonitto is a great pass rusher. The Secondary shows promise and is more of an unknown but has the potential to be good. As for special teams Gabe Birkic is a great kicker and there are plenty of speedy receivers to switch out for returners. As for the punting it doesn't matter since we punt maybe twice a game at most.
At Tulane: Oklahoma should have this in the bag. A shame future conference member LSU is afraid and refuses to even schedule a home game with them.
Western Carolina: There isn't much to be said about this matchup. Oklahoma could probably beat them with with only the third string. It'll also be the yearly ppv and no one will watch it anyway.
Nebraska: A return to one of the most storied rivalries in all of college football. I wish I could say This will be a good game, but Oklahoma should blow them out easily.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers should have a pretty good defense however the talent discrepancy is just to large for them to overcome.
At Kansas State: Kansas State has no business beating Oklahoma at all. That being said they have lost to them two years in a row.
Texas: Texas is the only team that can match Oklahoma talent wise. With a new coaching staff and quarterback Oklahoma should win this game. Texas always plays great against Oklahoma though so realistically I'd give it 50/50 for just that factor alone.
TCU: Honestly I have no idea how TCU is supposed to be this year but Oklahoma should probably win.
At Kansas: If Oklahoma loses this game they should be stripped of all titles and the program should receive the death penalty.
Texas Tech They simply don't have the talent to hang with Oklahoma and should be an easy win.
At Baylor: gently caress Baylor forever.
Iowa State: Now this is the only team in the big 12 that should give Oklahoma trouble. This team doesn't have any weaknesses and we will probably face them again in the championship game.
Oklahoma State: A rivalry in name only. Oklahoma dominates this series and i doubt it will change this year.
Best Case: Oklahoma has all the peices to make a run for the natty this year.
Worst Case: Due to covid and/or injuries they lose some games while their overall talent should see them win most games with a weakened roster. 8-5.
My Pick: This is the year they win a playoff game after going undefeated in the regular season and ending up as the 1 or 2 seed instead of the 3/4th seed. They should play competitively in the natty however Alabama or Clemson may prove to be to much. 14-1.
|# ? Aug 7, 2021 17:01|
I'll take my best guess at Iowa State. Last year was the Cyclones best year ever for football. They just barely lost in the Big 12 CG, and then won the Fiesta Bowl in convincing fashion. The clones went 9-3 in a shortened season, and winning 9 games is a high mark in a normal year. Clones bring back like 90% of their starters from last year, so expectations are sky high. Of course it's Iowa State, so when expectations get high, the results usually underperform. Anyway, maybe this year will be different.
Last year, ISU got off to a rough start by losing to Louisiana (who turned out to be better than anyone expected). ISU always seems to have bad first games, but they should win this by a couple of touchdowns.
Clones have lost like 5 in a row to Iowa. I think this year they finally break the streak. If this was away, I'd mark it a loss.
Should be easy.
The first Big 12 game. I don't really know how improved Baylor will be, but they were bad last year. I'll say this is a win.
Should be the easiest game in the conference schedule, possibly the whole year.
at Kansas State
KSU is always a dangerous game, but I think ISU still wins a close one.
Probably a 50/50 game. Iowa State lost this one on the road last year by 3 points. Offense could not get a lot going most of the game. I'll say they win this year since it's at home.
at West Virginia
This was a blowout last year, and I think ISU handles it again.
It took a big comeback last year to win. Now Texas has a new coach again, so I really don't know what to expect. I'll say Texas struggles again, and ISU wins it, barely.
at Texas Tech
A fairly easy win last year, and I think ISU wins again. It's a trap game in between two big teams, so this could be an unexpected loss though
On the road against OU, I don't see it happening. I think ISU loses by a touchdown.
A really close one last year, but I don't see TCU improving enough to win in Ames on Senior Day, so another win.
This is pretty much the best case scenario, where ISU goes 11-1, which I feel insane just typing out. In reality, Clones will lose at least 2 because that's just how it goes. I think we'll see a repeat of the Big 12 CG from last year with OU and ISU, and ISU losing the championship game again.
|# ? Aug 7, 2021 19:42|
Your 2021-2022 Ohio State Buckeyes
Despite arguably one of the 3-4 worst pass defenses of my lifetime, Ohio State made the title game for the 5th time in 20 years and went 7-1. In the worst pandemic of the modern era, this felt a little bit like ashes in my mouth while white knuckling through a season of a defense attempting to handicap what felt like an unstoppable passing game at points. Does this mean I didn't celebrate finally beating the poo poo out of Clemson? No. But like everything in the pandemic, it feels like a half measure where we collectively failed as a society to care for those around us in favor of desperately pretending life is normal.
Anyways, we have a vaccine so here's sports, and for better or worse (probably worse), I don't feel quite as gross about watching?
(Disclaimer: Delta is real you goddamn idiot--get a shot and get everyone around you to get a shot. If Lane Kiffin can do it, so can you.)
QB Justin Fields
RB Trey Sermon
G Wyatt Davis
TE Luke Farrell
C Josh Myers
DE Jonathon Cooper
CB Shaun Wade
LB Baron Browning
LB Pete Werner
LB Justin Hilliard
LB Tuf Borland (oh my god finally)
State of the Program
I think we can officially say Day is good at this? He's at least no worse than RIley. Recruiting is the best it's ever been, even over early Urban. The offense continues to impress, although the running game at points last year looked like an attempt to mash some square pegs into round holes. I have essentially zero doubt these teams will score which is a welcome change. It's still arguably a "Pro Spread" which is a meaningless term that just means they have the same staple air raid/spread/one back concepts that every passing game does alongside wide, mid, and tight zone plays along with some typical Power/Counter packages. There's nothing inherently interesting about it from a scheme standpoint, because Day builds a scheme around his personnel every year and will change base runs/passes to suit guys just like Belichick reinvents his defense every matchup.
The biggest question is the defense, for like the 3rd-4th time in the last 8 years. They brought Coombs back from the NFL as a defensive playcaller for the first time ever with the mandate to essentially run a Cover 1/3 hybrid system out of a mixture of 4-3 and 4-2-5. In theory, this makes a lot of sense. Changing the personnel but keeping the calls and terminology the same is a good way to account for a league where you have to worry about Wisconsin and Penn State both, since the fit rules won't change--just the guys out there. From the conferences and info that released (as well as the install playbook that leaked), it's very very obvious that this was a duct tape job last year in light of the lack of camp. If you watch the coverage packages, calls, and run fits, you see a first-time playcaller having to call a defense that was still 85% Jeff Hafley's design and calls.
Jeff Hafley was a great DC, and Coombs has claim to one of the 2-3 best CB coaches alive, but the two have very very different takes on coverage and fit philsophies. Coombs is a press guy who loves when corners bully receivers who has the tendency popularized by Saban to solve tough games by going to Cover 1 and daring you to beat his talent while handing them different adjustments for each of their matchups. He'll play 2-read, Cover 3, or even Press Quarters, but he's always going to err on the side of being reductive and teaching techniques over situational plays. Hafley is a guy who wanted versatile schemes that told players exactly what to do with morphing coverages and traps laid out for a QB while constantly making calls that tilt things around. If you're comparing them as playcallers, Coombs calls games like anyone off the Dantonio or Saban trees where Hafley calls things like guys off the Patterson tree that still likes what man coverage can do but finds it limiting in certain matchups. One teaches a defense how to win a matchup; one teaches guys what to do. Neither is a wrong approach, but it's also akin to when NFL teams change would change from 3-4 to 4-3 bases--everyone lines up differently, has different rules, and prioritize different things. Coombs clearly struggled to ape Hafley's approach, and this is a big year for proving whether or not he's going to survive as a playcaller here or if there's going to be an Ash/Fickell moment like the program had in '13.
This is a paragraph that's likely going to age poorly, but here goes. There are presently 3 QBs on campus, all with an alleged chance to start. CJ Stroud is a RS FR who arguably is the clubhouse leader as a late commitment from the 2020 cycle following a breakout year that ended with him in the elite 11. He falls in the category of not quite being fast enough to be a true dual threat, but he's got enough mobility to do the Troy Smith/late Fields play extension to open the field--good velocity on his throws but not Justin or Cardale by any stretch, more of a Haskins type that just naturally has velocity but doesn't just carry in air forever. His compatriot in that year is Jack Miller, who was Day's first QB commit in like 2017. When healthy, he's a decent runner who's more of a touch/accuracy passer in the mold of a Guiton or similar low ceiling/high floor guys, but he's also prone to injury and has by far the lowest upside in this pen. Kyle McCord is a true freshman who is probably the closest thing to a true pocket passer we have. Given what Day did with Haskins, I would expect the offense would likely change to become far more pass happy than normal with him, given that he likely would have the biggest arm on campus since Cardale, but he doesn't move the best although he's got size.
Then there's the wrench in the plan. 2022 5* QB and mullet user Quinn Ewers reclassified to 2021 and in enrolling in the next week or so. How good is he? He was immediately made the top recruit in '21 without a second thought. He's unquestionably going to be the most talented guy in this room, having McCord's caliber of arm but moving like Stroud and with Miller's touch. He's also 17, should be in high school, and the biggest QB prospect since Lawrence/Fields. I have no idea what exactly he's going to inject into this situation, but I just can't imagine Day leaving him on the bench if he's here, even if he takes a few weeks to learn the basic offense. If I had to guess, he's going to end up the backup almost immediately, and it will not shock me if Day gives whoever wins the job out of camp the Kelly Bryant treatment towards the end of the year in favor of Ewers, assuming the hype pans out. As such, if I had to guess, the depth chart will start with Stroud, but Quinn is going to play and could be starting by midseason.
All-name first teamer Master Teague returns! He is widely expected to be RB3. This is partly a knock on his ability to ever run outside the Ts or have vision and partly a statement that the rest of this room got a lot better. Miyan Williams flashed a bit this past year but appears to be putting the pressure on to start at RB1. He's probably the biggest back since Hyde and runs with better vision than Teague, which makes Master potentially redundant in goal line situations. Both probably play, but Teague's not getting the carries to make All Big 10 this year. The new guy to watch is Treyveon Henderson--the single biggest RB recruit since Zeke or Beanie Wells. He's still filling out a bit and probably not ever going to be the power back that Teague or Williams are, but he's the fastest RB I can remember on this team since freshman Zeke before he added the 20 pounds it took to shoulder the starting load. He's widely expected to be the team's returner right now as well and will be a home run threat at all times, particularly on edge runs or trap plays that involve a quick cutback. He's joined by fellow true freshman Evan Pryor, who's going to be used similarly to Jordan Hall or Dontre Wilson at first, as a hybrid weapon that's comfortable catching or running out of the backfield. Pryor's purely a home run guy at the moment but is going to be useful in passing downs to spell Henderson, since even Dobbins sucked in the passing game. Marcus Crowley appears like a potential award winner for the Brandon Saine "Guy who will break out this year but never does" aware yet again. He's a competent do-everything back, but that might equate to little burn with this many specialists. If I had to guess depth chart, it's below, but really all 3 of the top guys could see 80-100 carries this year.
Chris Olave should probably be in the NFL right now. I don't really understand why he came back, but he did. He's probably the best deep threat/receiver in the country this year. Garrett Wilson, after playing in the slot last year, is moving back outside to replace the now departed for Bama Jameson Williams, who flashed deep threat potential but just never quite put it all together. Olave/Wilson is the best 1/2 in the country, and it's probably not close, with both being 1000 yard receiving threats this year (assuming they don't sit the second half all the time). In the slot is emerging start Jaxon Smith-Njigba who had the catch of the year last year and I believe is the leading receiver in Texas HS history. He's not a pure burner but has the annoying shiftiness to make the rest of the league miserable. Behind these 3 are #1 WR in the '20 class Julian Fleming, who is finally healthy and likely to be a one and done next year without Chris and Garrett assuming the OBJ comparison holds true, #1 WR in the '21 class Emeka Egbuka who is a 6'5" slot receiver and maybe the freakiest guy on the field, and '21 recruit Marvin Harrison Jr. This is a really really miserable room if you're a big 10 secondary coach. Kamryn Babb is apparently injured for the 3rd season in a row but is so talented that he almost always reps with the 2s whenever he's healthy, and Jayden Ballard is the only other scholarship WR on the team right now because the room's a little thin after transfers this year. It likely won't matter.
Y/H Smith-Njigba/Egbuka/Babb (if healthy)/Evan Pryor (has repped with WRs at points in practice)
This is the year we throw to the TE!!!
In all likelihood, probably not, but maybe. Jeremy Ruckert is held up as the greatest TE prospect Urban ever recruited which includes erm...that guy. He's good for 2-3 circus TD catches a year and is a really good blocker as well. He's capable of being the 3rd receiving threat in this offense, but who knows. This lifestyle worked for OJ Howard at Bama I guess. Behind him is Cade Stover, a converted LB/RB commit who appears to be the heir apparent to the "we'll totally throw to this guy!!! (5 targets all year)" treatment Ruckert has gotten every year. He's a scary athlete but still new to the position. Gee Scott Jr. converted from WR to TE in a bid to see the field and thus is playing at like 6'2 235 here which is going to be interesting. He could be more of an H-Back than a true TE but who knows. Joe Royer is the 4th string here and entirely a long-term potential play. Check back on him after another year of weights.
The deepest OL probably ever at this school. Most people were shocked Thayer Munford came back, and I believe he's on track to potentially break the record for starts at OSU this year. This is coupled with #1 OT from 2018 Nick Petit-Frere finally keeping above 300 for the first season, 370 LB IN Mr. Basketball Dawand Jones playing well as a backup OT, and #1 OT from 2020 Paris Johnson emerging late last year. That's 4 guys who could all potentially start at T right now. Harry Miller is the lone returning interior OL, playing okay at G last year and poorly at C. If any of these guys are likely to lose a starting spot, it's probably him. The chatter from camp is that the T crew is so talented that they're probably going to move Munford, who has been the LT since 2018, to G. I reiterate, the guy who has been a LT for like 38 starts is moving inside. Paris Johnson will be as well for a year. The backup guys are good but just not in the same league yet: Matthew Jones has yet to break out and is a perpetual backup, Enokk Vimahi and Luke Wypler are both talented movers but don't have the sheer size that the first 5 do, and Donovan Jackson could probably start in a pinch but is still just a true freshman. This is going to be a very interesting year, but I'm expecting this line to be able to do whatever they want to pretty much anyone. The only hurdle I see right now is that they're going against Kayvon Thibodeaux in week 2, and I'm still not sure that one dude is going to be enough with this crew.
And you thought the receiving room was mean spirited. Tyreke Smith generated some of the highest pressure stats in football last year with very little to show for it, as did Zach Harrison who is still such a freak of nature he has claim to being a top 5 goal line fade receiver on this team somehow. Javontae Jean-Baptiste is likely first guy off the bench, as a long-term conversion from S/LB to DE has make him a size/speed freak who's been learning the technique over time. What's hilarious here are the true freshmen--Jack Sawyer and JT Tuimolalau. They're DE2 and DE 3 in the '21 class, and Sawyer has been called the next Bosa brother by every beat reporter covering the team. I would expect both to be the immediate backups/rotation pieces by the end of the year, but Tuimolalau in particular just got to campus. Sawyer looked like a freak in the spring game already. Noah Potter, Darrion Henry-Young, and Cormontae Hamilton all probably rotate here but aren't going to be playing huge minutes.
DT is a different story. Haskell Garrett might be the best pure 3-tech pass rusher in the country, but I really don't know who play Nose now. Antwuan Jackson has never put it together despite his size since transferring in from Auburn, and he's like 24 now. Jerron Cage is big enough but not known as a particularly disruptive guy. Taron Vincent is good but far more of a 3-tech pass rusher than a nose, meaning he'd be out of position. It won't be a huge shock if Tyleik Williams or Ty Hamilton emerge here as a sudden 1-tech just off of the fact that there's just not a big pipeline of guys huge DTs on the roster right now.
Good riddance Tuf Borland. Really though, losing 4 LBs who all played big minutes is unnerving, because it invites the question "what if the guys on the roster already were somehow worse than those dudes". Browning was an amazing cover/rush LB who couldn't tackle for poo poo. Hilliard would've been an all-american if he was ever health. Werner was good. The scheme still treats like all these dudes as interchangeable, so it really doesn't make sense to use the OLB/MLB terminology anymore
It's widely expected that Teradja Mitchell is MLB/OLB 1 with a bullet. Dallas Gant played a lot next to him as well but is showing to be a bit of a liability against big fronts. Cody Simon has emerged as a likely LB3 having passed K'Vaughn Pope on the chart. All of them are more traditional, rangy LBs than the weird specialist crew of years prior, but very few have played big minutes. Realistically, 2 of the 4 will be on field at most times. Mitchell Melton and Tommy Eichenberg both are huge strong run defenders who could easily jump up to LB2/3 if Gant or Simon prove suspect in run fits.
For like 3 years, we've heard about this dumb S/LB hybrid position that never got used because the LB room was bloated and the secondary got dinged up. They might actually use it this year. Assume they replace the third LB in most nickel situations at the moment, given that we're going to play a lot of cover 1 and use a S in coverage.
Craig Young is a S/LB hybrid who's about 230 and covers better than any of the LBs but isn't a known quantity in run fits. Lathan Ransom and Kourt Williams both are slightly smaller (210-220ish) but cover more like CBs and tackle well for their size. I expect all 3 of these guys to play with Young/Williams more in running downs and Ransom as a passing down guy. Expect a dime package that brings two on the field at once.
CBs were a dumpster fire last year. Wade was never healthy. Brown blew an achilles. Banks is good but not a CB1. All of them were being asked to play soft techniques by a guy who strongly prefers press and physicality. They never had a chance of being good last year. Wade's gone, but Brown is healthy as is Banks. Brown has the physical profile of a CB1 under Coombs as a 4.3 guy, and Banks has reasonable speed but is liable to need safety help at points. Ryan Watts may supplant Banks if he's not healthy, and he's a long, physical corner in the Coombs mold who will play boundary corner very very well. Marcus Williamson is back but looks abysmal in the slot last year to where he got replaced by true freshmen. Yearly failed breakout RB Demario McCall has been repping at outside CB and apparently looks like an okay choice? Some mixture of the freshmen among Denzel Burke, Jakalin Johnson, Cam Martinez, and Lejond Cavazos will emerge as the next batch of guys. This group is really bizarre and hard to project. I think the seniority will account for something, but don't be surprised if Banks and Williamson get passed quickly this year.
The recruited kicker curse continues. After the Sean Nurenberger experience years ago, Jake Seibert came in as a heralded kicker recruit who can't beat a Duke transfer for kicking duties!
We have a new Aussie punter which owns.
@ Minnesota -- W 38-17, I think Fleck is a decent coach, and this looks worse than I want it to with the Minnesota OL in good shape, but that offense isn't going to be able to take advantage of this secondary well enough to scare me, and there isn't a guy in their defensive backfield on par with Winfield Jr from a few years ago who can actually cover the 2-deep at WR.
Oregon - W 35-14, Ordinarily, I wouldn't want a piece of Oregon this early with how their DL looks, but this is the best I've felt about an OSU OL going into a season in years. Thibodeaux is good and probably good for 1-2 sacks this game, but OSU has no shortage of Ts. Factor in that Oregon's missing some defensive starters for Fulmer Cup reasons and relying on Anthony Brown at QB, and I feel okay here.
Tulsa - W 56-7, Tulsa has a cool 3-3-5 defensive structure, but that's not going to save them from whatever vanilla running scheme we bring to this. With Oregon the week before, we'll have shown enough in that game that we're not going to be holding a bunch of plays back.
Akron - W 63-3, Looking forward to seeing what Ewers looks like in this game.
@ Rutgers - W 35-21, I don't think this is that Rutgers is super competent, but Schiano's enough of a personnel guy to make this game more annoying than it should be, and I could see the staff worrying more about Maryland the week after in light of what they're bringing back on offense.
Maryland - W 48-24, Taulia and Rakim Jarrett will put up number this game. I don't think it matters because they won't have a defense, but this will be a fun first half for the unattached viewer.
@ Indiana - W 28-17, I can't in good faith pretend this is a loss, but Penix Jr. could make this really frustrating to watch and Allen has our number on defense. If they're healthy, this could be a nailbiter down to the wire, especially if QB is in flux for OSU at this point.
Penn State - L 24-14, I think this is the yearly loss right now, and it's not because Penn State will be that good. In fact, I still think Ohio State will win the division outright, but this strikes me as a game in the time of the year where Franklin's trying to save his job and runs some insane trick play bullshit coupled with a couple of bad picks from a freshman QB. They have some talent at receiver which could be a problem if the secondary proves vulnerable in the prior two weeks and is lacking confidence.
@ Nebraska - W 48-10, Never stop obliterating these stupid frauds and their lovely program. Frost's ability to make me hate a Nebraska program that I'm too young to remember being good is really impressive.
Purdue - W 56-17, revenge game for the Rondale Moore year. Purdue has one exceptional receiver and a bunch of trash, and they're playing in the Shoe. Brohm's magic is looking pretty weak at this point
Michigan State - W 59-10, cupboard is pretty bare among their older guys, and Tucker's not a quick turnaround type of coach. I don't know how they expect to score points, and the bodies aren't there to stop the passing offense if Olave/Wilson get going.
@ Michigan - W 42-35, this feels like a year where Harbaugh gets close, not because the program is improving but just because I don't know that it's possible to defend Mesh more poorly than Don Brown did for several years there. It actually wouldn't shock me to see maybe a 1-2 loss Michigan team for this game that has hope yanked away one last time in the Harbaugh era. Also, if they were to somehow win this, they'll sign Jim to a 6-year extension on the spot.
Best case: 15-0, natty. If one of the QBs pans out, this team has the horses to make a serious run just off of the offensive depth and depth on the defensive edges.
Worst case: 10-3, NY6 bowl loss. No QB pans out/WR injuries lead to a short rotation/lack of size in the middle of the D/CBs don't take a step forward.
Realistic case: 13-2 Playoff championship loss. I have a lot of trouble believing that the defense puts it all together with that many new LBs and a secondary that got shelled that hard, but fixing one of those probably gets them as far as the title game with what the offense could put up, given how much Clemson and Bama are also replacing on offense, Oregon's untested on offense, and Oklahoma's propensity to never defend in big games.
|# ? Aug 10, 2021 18:14|
2021 Texas Aggies
Last Year: 2020 ended up being a pretty strong proof-of-concept for Jimbo in his third season. The team came out flat in the opener and just squeaked by Vandy, and then got their doors blown off by Alabama. To be fair, almost everyone got their doors blown off by Alabama. After that, the Aggies were gifted the ultra-rare "Kellen Mond God Mode" game (with a big assist from Todd Grantham) and won a shootout versus Florida. After that, things were pretty chalk- the Aggies were favored in every game down the stretch against a relatively down SEC West, and they won them all by about 10-15 points. The defense was lights out, and the offense basically did just enough from week to week- it leaned on a strong offensive line and running backs stable to essentially slow-cook opposing defenses. Kellen Mond looked much like he did in his prior two seasons under Jimbo- unspectacular but pretty good at taking what opposing defenses gave him and not turning the ball over. It was enough- the Aggies went 8-1 in the regular season and finished the year with an Orange Bowl win over a depleted UNC.
As many have pointed out, Mike Elko is one of the top DC's in the country right now, and the Aggies have been fortunate to hold onto him for this long. On the player front, they lose Buddy Johnson, who was the team's best linebacker and leading tackler last year, but they return 9 or 11 starters overall. Recruiting has been solid since Jimbo arrived, so there's plenty of depth behind that, especially at defensive line. DeMarvin Leal at defensive end projects as a first-round draft pick next spring. This should be one of the best defenses in the country again this year. I wish I had more to say about them; they're much better and more critical to this team's success than the stuff I'll talk about below.
The TexAgs Forums will not have Kellen Mond to kick around anymore, as he elected to forgo a possible super-senior season in favor of being drafted to the Minnesota Vikings in round 2, contracting covid, and spreading it to the rest of the Vikings QB room. Godspeed Kellen, you were largely fine for a lot of games. Stepping into Mond's average-sized shoes will be either Zach Calzada (SO-R) or Haynes King (FR-R). The basic rundown on the two is that Calzada has a canon arm, and King is more of a mobile threat. King was the more highly-recruited of the two and saw snaps in garbage time as a true freshman last year. He's the presumptive favorite to start this year, but hasn't formally won the job yet. Both are white, if anyone was curious.
Whichever wins the starting job will undoubtedly have some growing pains, but will also have a lot of position talent to work with. They're loaded at running back with a thunder and lightning combo of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane. Ainias Smith is a do-it-all offensive weapon- nominally a wide receiver, but you'll see him line up in the backfield a lot as well. He also returns kicks. At tight end they return a potential first-round pick in Jalen Wydermeyer. 5-star recruit Baylor Cupp may actually finally play as well (he's suffered season-ending injuries in the preseason two years in a row). Jimbo likes his tight ends, so if Cupp can make the field and be good alongside Wydermeyer, it should be fun. The receivers were merely okay last year. 5-star Demond Demas didn't do much last year as a true freshman. He's basically always in trouble for something, but maybe he'll finally make an impact. We also have Moose Muhammed III, but didn't see much of him last year as a true freshman.
Only one starter- Kenyon Green- comes back from last year's fantastic offensive line, but he's a good one. The consensus seems to be that there's some depth there and there are guys who've learned Jimbo's complicated rear end blocking schemes and are ready to step in. Hopefully the new guys gel- if they don't we could be in for a bad time.
tl;dr, having to break in a new quarterback and four new offensive line starters is certainly enough to give pause, but a strong defense and a pretty soft early schedule should give the offense some room for error and time to learn. The ceiling is high, and the floor is worryingly low.
Kent State - Win
Colorado (at Mile High) - Win - CU was scrappy last year, but it seems the Aggies should have a pretty substantial talent advantage. Just don't have some nightmare 4-turnover game.
New Mexico - Win
Arkansas (at Jerry World) - Win, but it will be scary as always. Better have the kinks worked out.
Mississippi State - Win - I'm gonna assume they're still rear end against the 8-man zone until they prove otherwise
Alabama - Loss - If this isn't the year the Aggies win this one, it's not gonna happen until Saban retires. I'd love to call the win here, but I'm a coward.
at Missouri - Win - I get drowsy and disoriented whenever I try to think about Missouri too hard, but this seems like a win, to me.
South Carolina - Win - Aggies win one of the SEC's most beloved rivalry games in resounding fashion
Auburn - Win - This is always a weird game and the road team has won nearly every time since they started playing. That said, I don't think they're going to be very good in a transition year. I don't know if they're going to be good in the years that come after that, either.
at Ole Miss - Loss - I think the Aggies would've won this one last year if it hadn't been canceled. However, the pessimist in me thinks the inexperience at QB is going to lose us one where we're favored, so let's just say it's this one. But it could be Arkansas, or Missouri. Or LSU of course, but we'll get to that.
Prairie View A&M - Win, but in a rare upset the Aggies lose halftime
at LSU - Win - LSU obviously still has gobs of talent, and maybe the new coordinators will both have their units running on all cylinders by the end of the season and they'll look like LSU should look and they'll kick the poo poo out of us. But man, from the outside looking in this program looks a little diseased.
So to add it all up, let's say 10-2, which will be well out of playoff discussion but probably good enough to snag another NY6 appearance.
The blue chip ratio puts the team on the outskirts of elite, so a playoff appearance isn't outside the realm of possibility if the new QB makes quick progress and turns out marginally better than advertised. Even if the QB and o-line play are shaky all season, I have a hard time seeing us doing worse than 9-3 given the defense and the relative ease of the schedule.
General Dog fucked around with this message at 19:58 on Aug 10, 2021
|# ? Aug 10, 2021 19:09|
Maybe this will become more of an effortpost later, but here's a bit about your Texas Longhorns.
The Good: As usual, most of our recent recruiting classes have been somewhere in the top 10 or so, which means on paper we have more raw talent than anyone on our schedule except maybe OU. New head coach/offense designer/playcaller Steve Sarkisian was the architect of maybe the greatest CFB offense of all time last year at Bama. We have what looks to be a very beastly running back in Bijan Robinson. Redshirt junior QB Casey Thompson pretty much blew the doors off when he came in for an injured Sam Ehlinger in our bowl game, and apparently highly touted redshirt freshman QB Hudson Card is neck and neck with him in the QB contest. Our new DC Pete Kwiatkowski had a pretty impressive run at UDub. There's this one walk-on TE/WR who got some playing time last year and in the spring game, and his name is Kai Money, which is awesome.
The Bad: Creating an unstoppable offense is a lot harder when you don't have Bama's roster, which we do not, so it's unclear how well Sark's offensive wizardry will translate. Nothing in Sark's HC resume makes him look especially likely to be the one to return us to the promised land. No matter who wins the QB contest, he will be extremely inexperienced and unproven. That plus brand new systems on both sides of the ball means plenty of rookie mistakes can be expected across the board. Our offensive line is questionable for about the 14th year in a row. It's not clear that we have any DL who can generate much of a pass rush on their own. We have like one linebacker. Worst of all, we are Texas.
Upshot: This is probably a 6-8 win team in the regular season. If Sark wins 8+ including a bowl game, people will grumble but accept it as growing pains for a new staff still getting things up and running. Less than that and his seat is already pretty hot coming off year one. If he wins 10+ including the bowl he will be anointed as unquestionably The Right Man For The Job. I know which one feels more likely to me.
Thermos H Christ fucked around with this message at 21:06 on Aug 11, 2021
|# ? Aug 11, 2021 20:59|
Florida takes a step back, Georgia takes a step forward. 8-4 is not a bad season for a rebuilding year in Gainesville with Alabama on the schedule. 9-3 is my optimistic prediction. But who knows what happens if the Grantham defense is still poor and the wheels fall off with the Emory Jones/new receiver offense... I have hope that a Muschampian slide won't happen.
(formatting stolen from an earlier post)
FAU (9/4 - H) - W
USF (9/11 - A) - W
Alabama (9/18 - H) - L
Tennessee (9/25 - H) - W
Kentucky (10/2 - A) - W
Vanderbilt (10/9 - H) - W
LSU (10/16 - A) - L
Georgia (10/30 - N) - L
South Carolina (11/6 - A) - W
Samford (11/13 - H) - W
Mizzou (11/20 - A) - W
FSU (11/27 - H) - W
|# ? Aug 12, 2021 01:27|
Bowling Green Falcons
At one point this was a good program. Uptempo offense, great defense (or good enough by MAC standards) and could recruit the hell out of the midwest. Then we hired Dino Babers. Recruiting stopped. Then Dino left for Syracuse, somehow convinced that wasn't a dead-end job. Then our dumb poo poo AD at the time hired Mike Jinks for some reason, who hired a staff full of people who never recruited the midwest and especially never recruited Ohio. The AD left for a job at Learfield barely 2 months after Jinks was hired.
Now we're here!
Loeffler said he was going to build purely through recruiting and not take any JUCO transfers to fill gaps in the meantime. A good 2/3 of the team are freshmen or sophomores. It's gonna be a rough one. Maybe he can eventually turn it around? I don't know. I don't much give a poo poo anymore.
Sept. 2 @ Tennessee - lmao we're going to lose by 60. I get that Vols fans are rightfully concerned about their program but this is going to be a cakewalk. Thanks for the paycheck!
vs. South Alabama - lmao we're going to lose by 30
Sept. 18 vs. Murray State - Legitimately a tossup against a team we're paying to be there. That should tell you something.
Sept. 25 @ Minnesota - lmao we're going to lose by 50. Thanks for the paycheck!
Oct. 2 @ Kent State - It is legitimately incredible how well Sean Lewis has turned around a program the school has wanted to cut for over a decade now. Flashes by at least 3 touchdowns.
Oct. 9 vs. Akron - Toss up. Akron's every bit as big a mess as we are.
Oct 16 @ NIU - NIU fell off a cliff. Probably a toss up here too.
Oct. 23 vs. Eastern Mich - Eastern dropped off a bit but they're still in far better shape. Eagles by 14.
Oct. 30 @ Buffalo - lmao we're going to lose by 40.
Nov 10 vs Toledo - HEY DID YOU KNOW THESE TWO STADIUMS ARE LESS THAN 20 MILES APART HERE'S A MAP OF I-75 LOOK THEY'RE SO CLOSE [shot of trophy that's just an I-75 sign] LOOK LOOK LOOK THEY'RE LESS THAN 20 MILES APART HEY NICK SABAN AND URBAN MEYER COACHED THESE SCHOOLS LOOK AT THIS MAP LOOK HERE'S A GOOGLE MAPS VIEW TOO THEY'RE ONLY 20 MILES APART THEY ARE SO CLOSE LOOK LOOK rockets by 40. THESE SCHOOLS ARE SO CLOSE TOGETHER LOOK HERE'S THAT MAP GRAPHIC AGAIN DID YOU KNOW THEY'RE ONLY 20 MILES APART????
Nov. 16 @ Miami - short week after Toledo beats the poo poo out of us means we're losing this by at least 30
Nov. 26 vs. Ohio - Annual Black Friday tradition of BG getting the dogshit beat out of them in an empty stadium. Bobcats by 30.
They might. MIGHT. Get 3 wins. I haven't attended a game in 3 years now despite being an alum and living 10 miles from the stadium. It's gotten that bad.
DJExile fucked around with this message at 15:28 on Aug 17, 2021
|# ? Aug 17, 2021 15:25|
|# ? Sep 27, 2021 10:49|
Iowa started last year with two incredibly annoying close losses against teams they probably should have beaten while they struggled through maybe the worst QB play of the Ferentz era (and think of the ground that covers) but eventually righted the ship and closed the season with 6 straight wins, all by one of them a blowout. I think by the end of the year they had a good case as the second best team in the conference and top 10 team nationally, though they finished 15th in the actual poll (getting their last two games canceled for opponent covid issues definitely cut down on their chances to move up). Like usual they were carried by the defense and finally got the run game going after a few years of struggling badly on a per carry basis. They lose their two best players up front, including Daviyon Nixon who was a consensus all American and might have been the best defensive player in the conference, but the rest of the defense returns. On offense, they lose their best tackle but bring back a very good interior lead by Tyler Linderbaum, who is probably the best center in the country and a possible first round pick. They also lose their best receivers, but I think they still have some relatively talented pass catchers by Iowa standards if Petras can improve from “historically terrible” to passable, which he did at least show some signs of last year, and also have a potential all conference running back in Tyler Goodson. If they can generate a pass rush and Petras improves they should be a top 10-20ish team again this year (continuing what has sort of quietly been the most consistently successful stretch of the Ferentz era since it peaked from 02-04) and challenge for the Big Ten West title.
Indiana: W I think Indiana was a tiny bit overrated last year because they built a lot of polling inertia with early wins over Michigan and Penn State teams that wound up being bad, but they’re still a very good team and a tough early test. Penix is scary but also coming off an injury that has cost him a lot of time so hopefully a little rusty. I’d guess probably a fairly ugly low scoring game. I’d say we are like a 55% chance to win or so, both these teams should be fighting with Wisconsin for that second tier of the conference behind OSU alone and way ahead of everyone else at the time. Being in Kinnick definitely helps
@ISU: L It’s funny that Kirk has finally started to dominate ISU like we did in the old days right as they hit the best stretch of football in school history but it has to end at some point and if it’s not this year it might not be for awhile with the Big 12 implosion looming, a bunch of multiyear contributors likely leaving after this year, and Campbell possibly moving to a better/more stable situation. I don’t think ISU is way ahead of us even if they’re getting all the national attention in the state right now, but they’re probably slightly more talented and have a better (if somewhat overrated) QB and the best skill position player on either team in Hall. Probably another super ugly game between two strong defenses, but with it being in Ames I’d say ISU has about a 60% chance at finally getting back the Cy-Hawk.
Kent State- W This one has the potential to be extremely annoying and proabably closer than it should be with Kent State having a legitimately very good offense and a system that we’re not well built to stop, but I think it’s probably like the North Texas game a few years ago where we struggle for a half and then the talent advantage up front takes over. With our line and run game we should be able to control the clock and out power them. I’d say 90% confidence.
Colorado State- W Easiest game on the schedule. They lost most of last year because of Covid but this has been a bad team for several years now and Addazio doesn’t run the kind of system that usually gives us trouble. 95% confidence.
@Maryland- W Maryland had a weird covid year last year but other than beating a Penn State team that wound up being pretty lovely they did not look very good. They’ve been recruiting well and the younger Tua had some flashes but I just think our defense is too good to lose this one and we can probably run on them. 80% confidence
Penn State- W No idea what to make of Penn State. They sucked last year and we beat them pretty soundly but again a weird year and they’re obviously talented if they can figure out the passing game at all. I could change my mind on this fast if they come out of the gate looking like normal Penn State but I think we’re better and we’ve generally played them pretty tough even when they are good so with it being a home game I think we win again. Like 55% confidence.
Purdue- W On paper this should be one of our easiest games, Purdue has fallen off pretty hard after some strong early signs under Brohm, he may have missed his window to jump. However, he’s also absolutely owned Iowa so far and is the one guy who really knows how to attacked Phil Parker’s defense so, I dunno. If we drop one we shouldn’t this and northwestern are the two most likely. On paper this should be like 80% confidence but in reality, I’m at like 65%
@Wisconsin – L Think these teams are pretty close. We thumped them last year but they got hit really hard by covid and traditionally have owned us since Barry moved to AD. They have kinda quietly fallen off a lot at RB but I assume Mertz can’t possibly be as bad as he was last year again and that they’ll bounce back, this program is too consistent to be outright bad two years in a row I think, and the game is at Madison. Gonna say 60% change we lose.
@ Northwestern – W I feel weirdly good about this one? I know they own us but they lost a ton from last year on both sides and also lost their awesome defensive coordinator who had been there forever, and that’s the side of the ball that had been carrying them. I’m sure a lot of that is Fitzgerald who will never leave, but I dunno. It feels like we either lose an extremely stupid game by 3 points to them or blow them out and for some reason I feel like it’s gonna be the latter this year and Northwestern is gonna have a like 4 win season. 75% confidence and I’m probably a dumbass.
Minnesota – W Bateman is gone and he always killed us, and they looked really bad last year. They will probably be better this year and they still have good skill position guys but I think the defense really sucks and the game is at home. 70% confidence.
Illinois- W From the outside perspective of a team that recruits against Illinois a lot it actually feels like Bert might be a good fit there, he seems to have made a lot of in roads with local high schools pretty quickly. He probably gives them a relatively low floor but I think he can get them up to being like a semi-regular bowl team at least and make them a tougher out than they have been. This year will probably be rough though, I don’t think they have a lot of talent on the roster because of the way Lovie went all in on quick fix grad transfers toward the end and never recruited well. Bert did really well against us at Wisconsin so I wouldn’t been too surprised if he makes this one more competitive eventually but I don’t think this is the year. 85% confidence.
@ Nebraska – W Going to depend a lot on how their season goes, I think. They had a lot of close losses last year and they’re not completely devoid of talent. I think Martinez can be a good QB, he looked like he was going to be a great one his freshman year. They’ve also played Iowa close the last couple years, I think our defense is not a great fit against what Frost likes to do, especially with a mobile QB. But there’s also a chance that it once again just doesn’t click and if that’s the case they very well could be playing with either a dead man walking coach or even an interim if it gets really bad, and I think that’d give us a big edge. I’m gonna say like 65% confidence in a win right now, but could get a lot higher by the time the game rolls around.
Final record: 10-2. In reality probably drop at least one more, most likely either Penn State or Indiana but I’m never going to be surprised by losing to Purdue or Northwestern at this point. On paper though, the schedule sets up really well, I don’t see any where I’m absolutely sure we are going to lose and think we should probably be favored in all but two going into the year. Everything feels like a 60-40 type game at worst, but the first two against Indiana and ISU are going to tell us a lot. Right now I have a hard time seeing fewer than 8 wins, barring a bunch of covid forfeits or something, but they have let me down before.
|# ? Aug 27, 2021 13:41|