Posts Tagged ‘South Florida Bulls’

Meineke Bowl Picks: South Florida Bulls vs. Clemson Tigers Analysis

December 30th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Meineke Bowl Picks: South Florida Bulls vs. Clemson Tigers Analysis
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If you’re a fan of defense, you’re going to love making your Meineke Car Care Bowl picks! The Clemson Tigers and South Florida Bulls can absolutely get after opposing offenses, and though neither offense is exactly proficient, this should still be a fantastic contest down on Tobacco Road. There are three major keys to this game that we have to discuss though, before you can beat the Meineke Car Care Bowl lines.

Key #1: Someone has to get a hat on Da’Quan Bowers
You’re not going to find a more interesting matchup in the bowl season than the South Florida offensive line against Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers. Bowers is one of the best pass rushers in the nation, and he is certainly going to end up cashing in on a huge contract in the NFL in the near future. He has 15.5 sacks this year and has caused teams lose 112 yards on the year. Both numbers are easily the best in the nation. He also used his athleticism to pick off a pass earlier this year. QB BJ Daniels had a massive problem with sacks over the course of his first two seasons, as he has been taken down in the backfield a whopping 52 times in just 18 starts over the course his two years.

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South Florida Bulls +5.5
Clemson Tigers -5.5
Over/Under 40.5
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Key #2: Someone has to step up and be a star for Clemson
What we have found out this season is that QB Kyle Parker really isn’t capable of being a superstar on the gridiron, and perhaps he should have just stuck in the Colorado Rockies organization, where he might have thrived as a pitcher. Parker only threw for 2,080 yards and 12 TDs this year, and he only averaged 6.4 yards per pass attempt. The two men that really could be stepped up in this one are RB Jamie Harper and RB Andre Ellington. Harper is more of a grinder, but he has the capability to bust a big run when given the chance. He rumbled for 731 yards and six scores. Ellington was more explosive and has bigger play abilities. He rushed for 684 yards and had an average of 5.8 yards per carry. Ellington also has a kick return for a touchdown, and he could be used in every facet of the game to make those big plays happen. Regardless, against a defense that allowed just 308.1 yards and 19.5 points per game, and really held down some of the best offenses in the Big East this year.

Key #3: The Bulls can’t be grounded in the running game
What we don’t want to see out of the Bulls in this one is what we saw too often this year. QB BJ Daniels isn’t a man that should be handling the football 40 times in this game between throwing and passing, and you can bet if he has to do that, USF is in a lot of trouble. Instead, we want to see a lot more out of RB Moise Plancher and RB Demetris Murray. These two touched the ball 274 times between them on the campaign, and they rushed for 1,260 yards and eight TDs between them. The Bulls also run a lot of tricky play with the wide receivers on sweeps and the sorts, and this would help as well. Doing this also takes Bowers out of the game, as he is built a lot like DE Dwight Freeney for the Indianapolis Colts and isn’t all that effective against the rush. The Tigers allowed 120.2 yards per game this year on the ground, and though that ranks No. 24 in the land, we have to remember that a lot of these yards lost came from the sacks that Bowers and the gang picked up.

2010 College Football Coaching Changes

August 24th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2010 College Football Coaching Changes
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Some of the biggest programs in college football have seen changes right at the top this year. The odds to win the 2011 BCS Championship have altered as well, as there have been hirings, firings, and replacements, along with some surprise changes that could shake the entire core of the NCAA football betting world. A number of schools have made changes at the top in what has been a very, very interesting offseason. Here is the list of the schools that are heading in new directions with their football programs and their 2011 BCS Championship odds.

Akron Zips (+700000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Akron has been a train wreck in the MAC for a number of years, and last season was no exception. The Zips went just 3-9 and just 2-6 in conference, and a 4-8 ATS record didn’t make many college football betting friends either. Now, there is a huge quarterback battle going on in Akron, as QBs Patrick Nicely and Matt Rodgers are both candidates for the job. Rodgers’ injury last year might’ve been the final straw to getting JD Brookhart fired. Rob Ianello, the new man in charge, has a long way to go to get this program back to the form that it was in back in 2005 when it won the MAC Championship.

Buffalo Bulls (+500000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Without a doubt, Turner Gill was the most beloved coach in the history of Buffalo Bulls football. He really helped put the program on the map, especially two seasons ago when the Bulls upset the previously unbeaten Ball State Falcons to win the MAC Championship Game when no one gave them even the remotest of chances. If the name Jeff Quinn sounds familiar to you, think back to both Central Michigan and Cincinnati. Both of those teams lost Brian Kelly right before their bowl games. Quinn was the man in charge of both a bowl win for the Chippewas over Middle Tennessee in 2005 and last season’s Bearcats loss to the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. Getting back to a bowl game would be a triumph for Buffalo, which fell a game short of eligibility last year.

Central Michigan Chippewas (+120000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): The Chippewas had a chance to really make some noise last year, the final season with QB Dan LeFevour. However, just as has been the case in quite a few instances when a legendary coach leaves a program, Butch Jones decided that LeFevour’s departure was the best time for him to try to move on to a big time coaching gig. Now, the Chippies are left with Dan Enos, the former running backs coach for the Michigan State Spartans. Enos has never been a head football coach at any level, clearly showing that CMU didn’t have a heck of a lot of options. No one wanted to be the man that followed Jones in Mount Pleasant, especially without LeFevour there to quell the pain of transition.

Cincinnati Bearcats (+15000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Shame on Brian Kelly for leaving the Bearcats right before their bowl game after a perfect regular season and a Big East championship! The team made the right call by going after Kelly’s successor at Central Michigan, Butch Jones as a replacement. We already know that Jones knows Kelly’s system after taking over for him without missing a beat at Central Michigan, and several teams were eager to grab his services. Jones made a good call as well, as he knows that QB Zach Collaros might actually be better than the departed Tony Pike. Collaros can win this team the Big East title this year, which might immediately put Jones in line for an even better position.

East Carolina Pirates (+160000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): ECU was on the verge of something special with Skip Holtz in charge, but when South Florida came calling for the second generation coach, he had to move on to the bigger named school. Ruffin McNeill has been an assistant at Texas Tech for a number of years. Many thought that he would be a logical successor to Mike Leach, especially after guiding the Red Raiders to a 41-31 Alamo Bowl win over Michigan State last year. Will the spread offense work at East Carolina, though? It is certainly a huge shift from the traditional, “take care of the football and play good defense” mentality that Holtz had. There could be a bit of a transition period for the Pirates, but ultimately, McNeill should make a good director of the ship there.

Florida State Seminoles (+7000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): For the past three seasons, Jimbo Fisher has just been waiting patiently for Bobby Bowden to retire so he could take over command at Florida State. Truth be told, the Noles have been under Fisher’s watchful eye ever since he stepped foot in Tallahassee, so this might not be a huge transition for the garnet and gold. Fisher has transformed this offense into a train wreck from the Drew Weatherford/Xavier Lee days into one that is genuinely feared with QB Christian Ponder at the helm. It’s going to be fun watching this team grow once again, especially with the QB of the future, EJ Manuel already waiting in the wings. A defense still needs to be picked back up to get Florida State back on the map. Fisher has huge shoes to fill from the second winningest coach in NCAA FBS history.

Kansas Jayhawks (+35000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Kansas had to think that last season was the year that it could really contend for a National Championship. However, Mark Mangino, who helped resurrect the program and turn it into a national contender in the first place, failed miserably, as he wasted the talents of seniors like Dezmon Briscoe, Kerry Meier, Todd Reesing, and Jake Sharp. Turner Gill was the hottest young coaching commodity on the planet, and KU was sure to snatch him up. He is already looked at as a hero in Lawrence, as very few of the players and even fewer of the alumni had any care for the way that Mangino treated his team at all.

Kentucky Wildcats (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Rich Brooks deserves a lot of credit for keeping Kentucky football relevant for a number of years. Still, it was time for him to go, as it seemed as though the program hit a peak under his direction. Head coach in waiting Joker Phillips is set to unleash his offensive talents on the rest of the SEC in a move that is probably going to take a few years to get perfected. The Cats are always going to be a second rate team in the SEC, particularly in the East, where programs like Florida and Tennessee will always be the hottest recruiting beds. Phillips has his work cut out for him to make the Wildcats more than Music City Bowl honorary members on an annual basis.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (+150000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Here’s a team that wasn’t so certain that it was really changing coaches. La Tech was shocked when Derek Dooley left for Tennessee, and they had to scramble to try to replace him at the last second with most of the best coaching options already off the board. Little known Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes is the man that was suddenly put in charge on January 20th. He is bringing in a spread offense which will bring La Tech essentially into the 21st century of WAC football. This program has bigger problems, though… trying to figure out what conference it is going to be playing in once the WAC finishes falling apart.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (+750000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Mired in the middle of a bad conference for a number of years, the Warhawks are just trying to figure out how to get to a bowl game and to challenge the top teams in the Sun Belt. Signing Todd Berry made a lot of sense though, as he is very familiar with the system at Louisiana-Monroe having served under previous head coach Charlie Weatherbie as an assistant for two years. He has bounced around as assistants in other locations since 2005, but he’ll return to the Bayou and try to get the Warhawks on the map for the first time in the history of the school.

Louisville Cardinals (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Simply put, the firing of Steve Kragthorpe was an absolute must in Louisville. Kragthorpe single handedly destroyed the program that Bobby Petrino turned into a Top 10 program year in and year out in the Big East. Kragthorpe couldn’t find a way to win in the senior year of QB Brian Brohm, one of the most decorated players in the history of the school’s football team, and since then it has been all downhill. Charlie Strong comes in from Florida, where he will bring a spread offense that should at least spark a bit of promise for a program that has been dropped into the doldrums of the Big East for the past few years.

Marshall Thundering Herd (+140000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Mark Snyder was one of the many coaches that were essentially forced out of their positions. Snyder wasn’t even allowed to hang around for the team’s bowl game, a 21-17 win in the Little Caesar’s Bowl over Ohio. John “Doc” Holliday has been the associate head coach at West Virginia for a number of years, and many are surprised that it took this long for him to land a head coaching job. The cupboard certainly isn’t bare at Marshall, and many think that Holliday can be the man that can bring this program back to prominence in its new conference, C-USA.

Memphis Tigers (+350000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Simply put, Memphis is in terrible shape right now. The Tigers might not be favored in any game which they play this season, and if that’s the case, the prospects of a one or two win campaign is a real possibility. Former coach Tommy West blasted the program on the way out the door, which might cause us to never hear his name again. Larry Porter is going to be taking over, but even he knows that this is probably nothing more than a temporary stop before he gets fired as well. The Tigers are going nowhere fast, and unless the school pumps some more money into the facilities there, this program is closer to being gone than being relevant.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+11500 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Notre Dame football has been on a steep decline ever since Lou Holtz retired. Coaches like Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie helped wreck what was once one of the most proud programs in the history of college football. Charlie Weis didn’t help matters any either, though he at least took the team to a BCS game in his reign. Former Cincinnati HC Brian Kelly accepted the Irish position just days before his Bearcats tried to complete an undefeated season with a Sugar Bowl victory over the Florida Gators. Cincinnati’s players elected to play without their skipper, and the end result was a huge loss to mar an otherwise fantastic campaign. Kelly probably has three years to turn the Irish into winners.

San Jose State Spartans (+800000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): There aren’t many programs that have been as inept as San Jose State in recent years. The Spartans really were never in a position to let Tomey, a legendary coach in West Coast college football go. However, he announced his retirement, which is leading way to Mike MacIntyre to come across the country from Duke, where he was the team’s defensive coordinator. Working on the defense would be a good start for the Spartans, as they were one of the worst ‘D’s in the land last year… Of course, they had one of the worst offenses as well. A couple home wins would be a huge triumph this season.

South Florida Bulls (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Jim Leavitt was the only head coach that the Bulls ever knew, even when they were just a tiny I-AA school just trying to make ends meet. However, amidst some off the field issues, the university decided to get rid of their head coach and sign Skip Holtz to replace him. The move made a lot of sense, as Holtz has been leading East Carolina up the ranks of Conference USA, the same conference that South Florida came out of from back in the day. With QB BJ Daniels and a host of returning starters, the Bulls might be the most BCS ready hire of the bunch, especially with a proven coach like Holtz on the sidelines.

Tennessee Volunteers (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): The poor Volunteers finally looked to be heading in the right direction, as the family of Kiffins, Lane and Monte were finally starting to round this program into shape after several lousy years with Phil Fulmer in charge. Kiffin decided to bolt to USC when the opportunity arose this year in spite of the fact that the program could be in shambles. That left the men on Rocky Top scrambling. Though it wasn’t a sexy hire, Derek Dooley was about the only name that the Vols could come up with. No one is expecting this hire to work, and if someone better becomes available next year than a coach that was mediocre with a WAC school, expect Tennessee to jump on it.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (+17500 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): In one of the more bizarre stories in a very awkward offseason, Texas Tech fired Mike Leach following allegations surrounding one of his players. Leach is still sitting out this season to sure up some legal matters against the university, but hiring Tommy Tuberville was a huge coup for the program. The biggest question that is yet to be answered is whether Tuberville will let the Air Raid continue, or whether he will instead install a more run first offense which is similar to the ones used in the SEC where he came from at Auburn two years ago. Texas Tech was on the verge of being a real national power under Leach. Tuberville is expected to, at minimum, keep that up.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (+300000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): One of the two FCS coaches that took the jump into the FBS this year was Montana’s Bobby Hauck. Hauck takes over for Mike Sanford, who went just 16-43 overall in five years with the Runnin’ Rebs. Not only did Hauck have a lot of success at the FCS level, but he also coached under one of the great FBS coaches of our time as well in Rick Neuheisel both at Washington and Colorado. The Rebels might have themselves a real winner coaching them up, but reaching a bowl game would be a huge accomplishment for a program that has been a wreck since turning over its coaching staff the last time.

USC Trojans (No Line to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Pete Carroll saw this one coming. He knew that USC was about to get hammered by the NCAA for recruiting violations which saw RB Reggie Bush lose his Heisman Trophy. Before the dust settled though, the university successfully conned Lane Kiffin into coming back to Southern Cal, the place which he became a highly coveted assistant coach just a few years ago. Kiffin is upset about the punishments, which make the Trojans ineligible for the National Championship or a bowl game for the next two years and costs the program a number of scholarships. Still, this is clearly a very, very talented team that could run the table… if it wanted to. It’s Kiffin’s job to make sure that his team is ready to play and isn’t worried about the fact that it won’t be in a bowl game this year.

Vanderbilt Commodores (+60000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Bobby Johnson actually had the Commodores ranked for the first time in their history just two years ago, but since that point, they have fallen upon relatively hard times. He elected to resign just a few months ago, which was a shocking move to the program which he helped assemble. Assistant head coach Robbie Caldwell was immediately named the interim coach of the team, and just a few weeks ago, he had that tag removed. Still, Vandy isn’t going to be competing in the SEC East any time soon, and six wins would be a massive, massive triumph any year.

Virginia Cavaliers (+60000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Be careful what you wish for, Cavaliers fans. UVA at least had a lot of great recruits coming to Charlottesville under former head coach Al Groh, and for quite awhile, it was a relevant team in the ACC. However, the Cavvies got tired of Groh and got rid of him this year, bringing in Mike London, a former assistant and the previous head coach of the Richmond Spiders, making London the other FCS coach to leap up to an FBS program as a head coach. However, the cupboard is entirely dry for Virginia. This could be the worst BCS conference school in the land this year.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+900000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): With the transition to the Sun Belt now fully complete, the Hilltoppers decided to go in another direction this season, firing David Elson after an 0-12 season in which the team really wasn’t competitive at all. Taggart is a WKU alumnus and has since been the running backs coach at Stanford. His key project? Toby Gerhart, who became one of the top running backs in the nation last year. The Hilltoppers hope that Taggart can bring just a shadow of respectability to this program over the next few seasons as they try to establish themselves as a legitimate member of the FBS.

NCAA Basketball Top 10 Shooting Guards for 2009

December 22nd, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on NCAA Basketball Top 10 Shooting Guards for 2009
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A week ago we broke down the top point guards on the hardwood this year in college basketball. Our attention now turns to the guys that share the back court with the point guards by the way of the shooting guards. These are the sharp shooters from the perimeter that carry their teams when they catch the hot hand and have the ability to post big numbers. These guards are normally the best pure shooters on the court and of ten times the guys you try to get the ball to when the game is on the line. Shooting guards compiled 2 of the top 4 picks in the NBA Draft last season and there is a good crop of players again this year. Take a look as we break down the top 10 shooting guards in college basketball.

#10 – Terrico White (Mississippi Rebels)

The Mississippi Rebels have jumped out to a strong 10-1 start to trail only Kentucky in the SEC. The Rebels success is a result of their stellar guard play and SG Terrico White is coming on strong to averaged 16.6 points per game this season. White is just a sophomore with plenty of time to develop into an even bigger scorer. However, White has proved to be a consistent scorer already this season and along with PG Chris Warren the Rebels possibly the best guard duo in the SEC.

#9 – Klay Thompson (Washington State Cougars)

The Cougars are off to one of the best starts of any team in the Pac-10 at a 9-2 record this season and one of the main ingredients to their success has been the play of sophomore guard Klay Thompson. Thompson has averaged 24.9 points per game this season to rank 4th individually in the country. Thompson is one of a few young sophomores on our list, but he is a guy that can post really big numbers like the 43 points tallied against San Diego earlier this year. Thompson is knocking down 49% on the season, but it will be interesting to see if those numbers can continue once conference action picks up.

#8 – Jordan Crawford (Xavier Musketeers)

Jordan Crawford started his career in Indiana before transferring and finding home with the Xavier Musketeers. So far, the move has been a good one for the Musketeers as Crawford is averaging 18 points per game in his first season with the team. Crawford is a player who has a lot of upside with his potential to get really hot from behind the arc. Crawford is already hitting 46.4% from the field and 42% from 3 point range this season. Again, he is a guy that could flourish as he develops.

#7 –Dominique Jones (South Florida Bulls)

There may not be any other player that has been as consistent from his very first appearance at the college level as South Florida’s Dominique Jones. Jones averaged 17 points per game as a freshman, 18 points as a sophomore, and currently averaging 18.2 points per game this season. Jones is completing 48% from the field this season and over the last few games is growing confident in his 3 point shooting. As a result, Jones has attempted more shots from behind the arc. South Florida has a tough road ahead of them but if Jones along with teammate Augustus Gilchrist can play well then they can have a successful season.

#6 – E’Twaun Moore (Purdue Boilermakers)

E’Twaun Moore is a guy that may not post the big numbers that some of the other players can accrue, but nonetheless an equally dangerous talent. Moore is averaging 16.1 points per game in the Big Ten which is a rather low scoring conference and knocking down a strong 48% from the field. Sharing the court with players like JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel makes it even more impressive that Moore leads the team in scoring. However, he may need to become a more consistent big scorer to improve his rank among shooting guards. Then again Moore attempts fewer shots than anyone on our list which may mean he just needs to shoot the ball more often.

#5 – Aubrey Coleman (Houston Cougars)

Senior guard Aubrey Coleman has exploded offensively for the Cougars this season leading the nation with 26.9 points per game. Coleman averaged just less than 20 points per game a year ago and is inflicting even more damage this season. In fact, in recent performances the Cougars star has really displayed improvement in his long range shooting ability. Coleman is already shooting 41% from behind the arc, but if he continues to shoot the ball well then his numbers may continue to climb.

#4 – Jeremy Hazell (Seton Hall Pirates)

Junior guard Jeremy Hazell has gotten off to a great start this season averaging 20.4 points per game. Hazell actually averaged 22 points per game last season which was very impressive considering how stacked the competition was in the Big East. Hazell will again play a huge factor for the Pirates this season as their main scorer. On the season, Hazell is down a bit in field goal percentage hitting just 41% of his shots. However, those numbers may be a bit misleading considering Hazell is attempting a ton of shots perhaps for the fact he is not getting a lot of help in the scoring department. However, Hazell continues to strive and he is a proven threat from behind the arc.

#3 – James Anderson (Oklahoma State Cowboys)

James Anderson led the Cowboys averaging 18.2 points per game as a sophomore, but he has shown that he is going to be even more dangerous this year. Anderson leads the Big 12 in scoring with 21.2 points per game and is knocking down 47% of his shots this year as well. Anderson has been a consistent shooter throughout his career at Oklahoma State and is a feared scorer from behind the arc where he knocked down over 40% from 3 point range a year ago. Anderson has reached double digits scoring every game this season and as long as he stays on the floor the Cowboys are a dangerous basketball team.

#2 – Willie Warren (Oklahoma Sooners)

If you are not familiar by the name Willie Warren, he was the young freshman that excelled in Blake Griffin’s injury absence at the end of last year. Warren now a sophomore has taken over the leading role in the Sooners rotation leading the team with 18 points per game. Warren has not developed the consistency this early in his career that Coach Capel may like to see, but he is still a guy that can determine the outcome of a game while posting big numbers. Warren is still improving his range and with a little more time he is going to be one of the most dangerous players in the country even though he may be already there.

#1 – Manny Harris (Michigan Wolverines)

Michigan may not be in for a big year after starting the season with a disappointing 5-5 record. However, junior guard Manny Harris gives Wolverines fans plenty of excitement to watch on the hardwood. Harris leads the Big Ten with 21.6 points per game and has scored no less than 16 points all season. Of course Harris helps out in other ways averaging 8 boards and 5 assists per game, but he is one of those players that are a factor every time he takes the court. On the season Harris is shooting 47% and he will be a possible lottery pick in the NBA Draft. The only problem that Harris has may be that he does not bury the 3 ball as well as some of the others on our list. However, he makes up for it by penetrating and creating high probable scoring opportunities.

2009 College Football Teams to Watch

October 4th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2009 College Football Teams to Watch

The 2009 College Football Season has been filled with many unexpected outcomes. It seems like just when you think you got a team figured out they disappoint those expectations. Until this past weekend a top 5 team had been beaten every week of the season and there has been many more upsets as well. We have seen highly rank teams drop and new faces emerge in the rankings. However, if anything is clear for the 2009 season it is that the rankings have not had any type of significant importance. Perhaps it is hard to rank teams when there are so many others that are equally talented. Every week new rankings are releases and more questions arise. Do not get caught up with some team’s polls perceptions as rankings can be very misleading especially at this point in the season. California was ranked as high as 6th just two weeks ago and find themselves outside the top 25. Then you look at the Miami Hurricanes who were barely receiving preseason votes to be ranked, and Hurricanes have been ranked as high as 9th this season. Our goal is to breakdown a few teams in the Top 25 to see who exactly are contenders and those that are pretenders.


No. 4 LSU Tigers (4-0)

The LSU Tigers got their biggest win of the season in dramatic fashion last weekend 20-13 over the previously ranked no. 18 Georgia Bulldogs. However, LSU has not been very impressive in their 4-0 start. The Tigers barely escaped an opener at Washington and had to overcome 3 straight defensive stands from the 1 yard line to beat Mississippi State. It seems like LSU keeps finding ways to win. Running back Charles Scott broke open a 33 yard touchdown run with 46 seconds to go to take down the Bulldogs in another exciting finish. However, the Tigers luck is going to run out especially when they take on top ranked Florida this week. LSU has bigger concerns than the Gators as how they will finish the season. The offense ranks 99th overall producing just 321 yards per game. Those offensive numbers have to improve against the SEC defenses which are among the best in the country. The Tigers top 5 ranked Florida and Alabama in the next 4 weeks and also a meeting with no. 17 Auburn in that stretch as well. If they continue under performing, they could easily go 1-3 in their next 4 games.

Oklahoma Sooners (2-2)

Surely, Sooners fans still have beliefs they can still win the Big 12 considering both of their losses were to out of conference teams and sure both of their losses have been to ranked teams. However, they are still in considerable trouble through the remainder of the year. The team has multiple problems and not necessarily referring to Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. Backup QB Landry Jones has thrown the ball well completing 60% with 10 touchdowns. However, the Sooners offense is nowhere near the dominant form they were in 2008. Outside of Ryan Broyles, the young receivers are struggling to make plays. Running backs DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown do not have huge holes as they did last season. With those misfires, the Sooners have scored just 33 points in their two biggest games of the season against Miami and BYU. The Sooners main big offensive games were against inferior teams like Idaho State and Tulsa. They will have to work out a lot of kinks quickly as Baylor, Texas, and Kansas and next up on the schedule.

No. 20 Mississippi Rebels (3-1)

The Rebels received a ton of high expectations entering the season behind coach Houston Nutt and quarterback Jevan Snead. Nutt turned the program around last season capturing 9 wins nearly more than the Rebels have accumulated in the 3 previous seasons. QB Jevan Snead sparked an offense at the end of 2008 that became one of the most feared in the SEC. A lot of attention was drawn to Snead this season as NFL and Heisman talk buzzed around Oxford. Wide receivers Shay Hodge and Dexter McCluster gave even more reason to expect big things on offense. However, the offense has yet to be explosive as they were a season ago averaging just 19 points per game in their first two SEC contest. The Rebels lost the SEC opener to South Carolina after reaching their highest ranking in 40 years at number 4 in the country. However not only has the offense been questionable, but so has quarterback Jevan Snead. Snead has completing just 51% this season while throwing 5 interceptions in 4 games. The letdown behind center has many wondering if the Rebels quarterback may have been high over rated or will he bounce back? The Rebels slow start is not going to get any better if they don’t pick up the pace with their brutal SEC schedule that will face no. 3 Alabama this weekend.


No. 23 South Florida Bulls (5-0)

The Bulls lost their senior quarterback and leader in Matt Grothe to a knee injury for the season in their 3rd game of the season. The huge loss appeared to have dampened South Florida’s chances at having a successful season. However, nobody told backup quarterback B.J Daniels. The freshman quarterback has matured quickly throwing for 180 yards per game in 3 starts and rushing for another 263 yards in those 3 games as well. The Bulls have not lost a step beating the likes of Florida State and Syracuse convincingly. The Bulls defense has held opponents to an impressive 9.4 points per game and may be the best defense in the Big East. The Bulls face their biggest game of the season when they host Cincinnati this weekend. If somehow they can capture a win this young team confidence may never come down. However even with a loss, South Florida is still going to be a force in the Big East this season.

No. 17 Auburn Tigers (5-0)

The Auburn Tigers have not received a lot of attention this season, but the media is starting to catch on to the fact that Alabama is not the only team in the state that has a chance at an SEC Championship. The Tigers offensive has exploded averaging over 500 yards per game and ranking 5th overall in the nation. The impressive thing about the offense is they are very balanced. Running backs Ben Tate and Onterio McCalebb have combined for well over 900 yards in just 5 games along with 5 touchdowns. Todd has posted over 1,230 yards in just 5 games with 12 touchdowns and only 1 interception. The balanced threat has also given Auburn the number 5 ranked scoring offense posting 41 points per game. The Tigers just received a top 25 ranking after last week’s win over Tennessee and their offense is going to keep them in the rankings for some time. Auburn is an impressive 4-1 ATS this season as a profitable money maker which could likely continue. The Tigers are going to have a chance to really make some more noise this season as well. Auburn gets manageable meetings with Kentucky and Arkansas next on the schedule which should place them nicely at 7-0 before their trip to LSU. However, there is not a game left on the schedule that they can not win.

No. 13 Oregon Ducks (4-1)

The Oregon Ducks were embarrassed by Boise State in a sloppy opener to the college football season. The 19-8 loss seen by millions critically wounded the Ducks perceptions as most had written off the team for the rest of the year. However, the Ducks have been consistently improving each week since their loss and now they are firing as an explosive offensive team. The Ducks completely crushed California who was at the time ranked 6th 42-3, then backed that up with a blowout over Washington State this past week 52-6. Freshman LaMichael James has played well stepping in for LaGarrette Blount who was suspended for the punch thrown in the opener. James has rushed for 429 yards in 4 games carrying an impressive 6 yards per carry average. Jeremiah Masoli remains a dual threat behind center and is also playing well. The Ducks re-emergence has taken the books by surprise as they are 3-0 ATS in their last 3 games. The Ducks now appear to be on track to contend for Pac-10 Title. Considering how well the defense has played over the last few games along with their improving offense, a championship may not be out of the question.