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Topic: ELA 2019 Countdown

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ELA

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #154 on: March 19, 2019, 09:50:43 AM »
62. Kansas State Wildcats
#9 in Big XII
Kansas State enters post Bill Snyder World 2.0.  The last attempt at that, from 2006-2008 under Ron Prince, resulted in a 17-20 record and a lone bowl appearance, in the Texas Bowl.  Snyder got the program back to, while not it’s sustained late 90s, early 2000s success, a higher level than many expected he could get them back to.  Namely, a 10-0 start, #2 ranking, with three top 15 wins, before an upset loss at Baylor knocked them out of the national title game in 2012.  But the last four years haven’t been great.  The only time in his career Kansas State finished unranked for four straight years, since his first four from 1989-1992.  His offense sticks out as a bit old fashioned in a pass happy conference.  But rather than taking advantage of playing against defenses built to stop Big XII style offenses, his offenses simply struggled.  The Wildcats weren’t going to put up big passing numbers, but they needed to be efficient when they did, and Skylar Thompson was not.  Kansas State had the lowest completion percentage in the conference, and the second lowest yards per attempt and passing efficiency.  So you simply can’t have a middle of the road running game, and Kansas State did.  Even mediocre, pass-first offensive teams like Oklahoma State and Baylor had better running games than the Wildcats.  That was with Alex Barnes, who passed up his final year of college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft.  He had 256 rushing attempts for 1,355 yards in 2018, leading the Big XII in yards, and second in carries.  To say losing him early is a glaring hole is an understatement.  Skylar Thompson, the quarterback, was the second leading rusher.  The third leading rusher?  The backup quarterback.  Fourth, fifth and sixth were a pair of senior, since graduated backs, who COMBINED to average 4.7 carries per game, and a receiver who had 1 carry.  They have to pray that Ball State grad transfer James Gilbert pans out.  New head coach Chris Klieman brought offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham with him from North Dakota State, and while he will certainly change the looks Kansas State gives, there’s no doubt he runs a run first offense, setting nearly every school rushing record a year ago.  He had to abandon that plan in his last stop in the Big XII, 2012 and 2013 at Iowa State, when the Cyclones had one of the worst rushing games in the nation, and forced him to throw the ball more than he wanted to.  Skylar Thompson compares pretty closely to Sam B. Richardson, who Messingham worked with in his final year in Ames, and that resulted in a 3-9 finish, and the second lowest scoring offense in the Big XII.  Granted that would actually be an improvement over Kansas State’s last place finish a year ago.  The Wildcats typically featured one of the best run defenses in the conference, if not the country, so their drop off there a year ago, after the noted improvement in pass defense, really torpedoed their bowl chances.  They surrendered 4.9 ypc, second worst in the conference, despite a massive improvement in their pass defense, which had been the worst in the nation in 2017.  They wound up 4th in the Big XII in passing yards allowed, 3rd in ypa, and 2nd in opponents completion percentage.  Kansas State, in hiring Chris Klieman as the guy who kept the program rolling, as opposed to the guy who built it, is banking on Klieman being to Bohl what Bobby Petrino was to John L. Smith or Chris Petersen was to Dan Hawkins.  We won’t find out in 2019 either way, the offense left behind is going to be rough.
KEY PLAYERS
QBSkylar Thompson, Junior
WRIsaiah Zuber, Senior
TScott Frantz, Senior
.
DEKyle Ball, Senior
LBDa'Quan Patton, Senior
PDevin Anctil, Senior

Cincydawg

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #155 on: March 19, 2019, 03:39:05 PM »
I sense some SEC bias in this ranking.

ELA

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #156 on: March 20, 2019, 09:59:55 AM »
61. USC Trojans
#8 in Pac 12
Calling Clay Helton’s seat hot is an understatement.  USC’s 2018 was so poor, that everyone forgot that the Trojans were coming off back to back top 10 finishes, which included a Rose Bowl win in 2016, and a Pac 12 title in 2017.  But to finish 5-7, sitting home for the bowls, in the worst Pac 12 ever, may be even lower than anything this program “accomplished” under Paul Hackett.  It was probably the worst USC team since Don Clark’s first team in 1957, and the fact that Helton is back this year is actually a bit of a surprise.  Any improvement in 2019 depends on how big of a step forward J.T. Daniels takes, after being handed the reins to the program as a true freshman.  He had moments, but on the whole struggled more than the team could afford him to, finishing 10th in the Pac 12 in Total QBR, among 12 starters.  After a poor October into November, he did show flashes late in the year once Tee Martin really just let him rip it, throwing it 85 times, for 686 yards over those two games, including a 73% completion rate in a near upset of Notre Dame.  But ultimately it was a 3 game losing streak to close, where a single win would have put the Trojans in a bowl.  Much bigger things are expected out of the passing game this year, with Daniels having a full year in the program, to go with the return of his top three receivers, and best tight end.  Running back remains a question until and unless Stephen Carr can prove he’s 100% healthy.  Where Clay Helton is looking for new offensive coordinators is telling, just running through the list of former Texas Tech quarterbacks.  He first hired fired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, before Kingsbury failed up into an NFL head coaching job.  Their second choice was Graham Harrell, who had put together the best passing attack in Conference USA at North Texas, and was viewed as a rising star.  Either way, it’s clear Helton wants to pass the ball a lot more, and either way USC fans were ready to move on from Tee Martin, who was viewed as a good recruiter, but poor coach, at a school that never struggled to recruit, with or without him.  The even bigger problem is probably an offensive line that has to figure out how to replace 3 starters from one of the worst lines in the country, despite having two all Pac 12 seniors.  They were slightly better in pass blocking than run blocking, so maybe the air raid makes even further sense.  But the real problem is a defense that graduated 8 starters, including their entire secondary.  Granted, for what was supposed to be a position of strength, the Trojans’ secondary’s inability to create turnovers was a huge problem.  USC had the fourth worst turnover margin among Power 5 teams, mainly due to only 4 interceptions, giving them the second worst interception rate in the FBS at 0.98%.  You combine that with the eighth highest penalty rate in the FBS, and you have a recipe for the whole being less than the sum of its parts.  All of those things are just evidence of a program losing its footing under a coach that really doesn’t deserve to be there, further backed by 10 players transferring out during the offseason.  The flip to the Air Raid offense feels weird at a school like USC, which should every year have the most talent in the Pac 12.  But as far as maximizing the roster USC has in 2019, makes sense, if you are a coach who better win now.  I don’t think the defense is anywhere near good enough to win enough to save his job, and the end result is setting the program back a step farther for whoever takes over in 2020 and changes the system yet again.
KEY PLAYERS
QBJ.T. Daniels, Sophomore
WRMichael Pittman Jr., Senior
WRTyler Vaughns, Junior
.
DEChristian Rector, Senior
DTJay Tufele, Sophomore
LBJohn Houston Jr., Senior

Cincydawg

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #157 on: March 20, 2019, 04:01:14 PM »
#93 Oregon State #83 Colorado #72 UCLA #71 Arizona #61 USCw
#92 Arkansas #78 Ole Miss 
#108 Kansas #62 Kansas State
#102 Rutger #91 Illinoi #65 Maryland  
#81 Louisville #74 UNC #64 Georgia Tech

DevilFroggy

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #158 on: March 20, 2019, 04:10:56 PM »
61. USC Trojans
#8 in Pac 12
Calling Clay Helton’s seat hot is an understatement.  USC’s 2018 was so poor, that everyone forgot that the Trojans were coming off back to back top 10 finishes, which included a Rose Bowl win in 2016, and a Pac 12 title in 2017.  But to finish 5-7, sitting home for the bowls, in the worst Pac 12 ever, may be even lower than anything this program “accomplished” under Paul Hackett.  It was probably the worst USC team since Don Clark’s first team in 1957, and the fact that Helton is back this year is actually a bit of a surprise.  Any improvement in 2019 depends on how big of a step forward J.T. Daniels takes, after being handed the reins to the program as a true freshman.  He had moments, but on the whole struggled more than the team could afford him to, finishing 10th in the Pac 12 in Total QBR, among 12 starters.  After a poor October into November, he did show flashes late in the year once Tee Martin really just let him rip it, throwing it 85 times, for 686 yards over those two games, including a 73% completion rate in a near upset of Notre Dame.  But ultimately it was a 3 game losing streak to close, where a single win would have put the Trojans in a bowl.  Much bigger things are expected out of the passing game this year, with Daniels having a full year in the program, to go with the return of his top three receivers, and best tight end.  Running back remains a question until and unless Stephen Carr can prove he’s 100% healthy.  Where Clay Helton is looking for new offensive coordinators is telling, just running through the list of former Texas Tech quarterbacks.  He first hired fired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, before Kingsbury failed up into an NFL head coaching job.  Their second choice was Graham Harrell, who had put together the best passing attack in Conference USA at North Texas, and was viewed as a rising star.  Either way, it’s clear Helton wants to pass the ball a lot more, and either way USC fans were ready to move on from Tee Martin, who was viewed as a good recruiter, but poor coach, at a school that never struggled to recruit, with or without him.  The even bigger problem is probably an offensive line that has to figure out how to replace 3 starters from one of the worst lines in the country, despite having two all Pac 12 seniors.  They were slightly better in pass blocking than run blocking, so maybe the air raid makes even further sense.  But the real problem is a defense that graduated 8 starters, including their entire secondary.  Granted, for what was supposed to be a position of strength, the Trojans’ secondary’s inability to create turnovers was a huge problem.  USC had the fourth worst turnover margin among Power 5 teams, mainly due to only 4 interceptions, giving them the second worst interception rate in the FBS at 0.98%.  You combine that with the eighth highest penalty rate in the FBS, and you have a recipe for the whole being less than the sum of its parts.  All of those things are just evidence of a program losing its footing under a coach that really doesn’t deserve to be there, further backed by 10 players transferring out during the offseason.  The flip to the Air Raid offense feels weird at a school like USC, which should every year have the most talent in the Pac 12.  But as far as maximizing the roster USC has in 2019, makes sense, if you are a coach who better win now.  I don’t think the defense is anywhere near good enough to win enough to save his job, and the end result is setting the program back a step farther for whoever takes over in 2020 and changes the system yet again.
KEY PLAYERS
QBJ.T. Daniels, Sophomore
WRMichael Pittman Jr., Senior
WRTyler Vaughns, Junior
.
DEChristian Rector, Senior
DTJay Tufele, Sophomore
LBJohn Houston Jr., Senior

*laughs in fellow P12 South team who still freshly remembers the Pete Carroll years*
I thought I settled my debts that night on the ride home
But I have still got hell to pay

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #159 on: March 20, 2019, 05:33:33 PM »
If USC played Ttun ten times, they win at least six.
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

CatsbyAZ

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #160 on: March 20, 2019, 05:36:48 PM »
61. USC Trojans
#8 in Pac 12
The even bigger problem is probably an offensive line that has to figure out how to replace 3 starters from one of the worst lines in the country, despite having two all Pac 12 seniors.

Says everything about the Pac 12

Anonymous Coward

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #161 on: March 20, 2019, 05:50:49 PM »

Cincydawg

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #162 on: March 20, 2019, 07:20:31 PM »
#93 Oregon State #83 Colorado #72 UCLA #71 Arizona #61 USCw
#92 Arkansas #78 Ole Miss
#108 Kansas #62 Kansas State
#102 Rutger #91 Illinoi #65 Maryland  
#81 Louisville #74 UNC #64 Georgia Tech
I was musing about "how the mighty have fallen" looking at this list of reprobates,  Colorado, UCLA, and USCw in particular have been fine programs.  Arkansas and earlier Ole Miss have been.  The rest have not sniffed much success but GaTech has had years, mostly pre1970.  But a bottom 60+ FBS team is likely to miss a bowl game, if we take these figures are realistic.
Some will make a bowl, often because the schedule is soft, but even counting three wins from pastries, who else might they beat to find 3 wins?

Hawkinole

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #163 on: March 21, 2019, 12:21:43 AM »
#93 Oregon State #83 Colorado #72 UCLA #71 Arizona #61 USCw
#92 Arkansas #78 Ole Miss
#108 Kansas #62 Kansas State
#102 Rutger #91 Illinoi #65 Maryland  
#81 Louisville #74 UNC #64 Georgia Tech
I am interested in the USCw - this is good for them. What about the USCm?  

Cincydawg

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #164 on: March 21, 2019, 04:38:33 AM »
USC lost their right (in my book) to be just USC.  They are ranked below USCe.

ELA

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #165 on: March 21, 2019, 11:58:01 AM »
60. BYU Cougars
Independent
Just getting the program back on solid footing was the goal all along after a disastrous 2017 season that saw BYU post its worst record since 1970, two years before LaVell Edwards took over the program.  So in retrospect, I think most Cougar fans would have been on board with a 7-6 season, culminating in a bowl win.  But when you pick up September road wins at Arizona and at Wisconsin, and reach #20 in the polls going into a national prime time game at Washington, expectations change.  After those two early wins, BYU got to bowl eligibility by beating an FCS team, Hawaii, Massachusetts and New Mexico State, not exactly murderer’s row.  Although in fairness, the losses weren’t exactly bad either, Washington, Utah State, Northern Illinois, Boise State and Utah.  At least over the less impressive second half of the season, head coach Kalani Sitake turned to youth in the backfield, which should hopefully jump start an offense which has been problematic for a couple of years now.  The passing game got a boost when Tanner Mangum was replaced midway through the season by Zach Wilson.  Mangum never really lived up to his lofty expectations, set by being a high rated recruit, mixed with early success as a freshman when he was thrust into the starting lineup due to injuries.  He battled injuries, inconsistency, and by his own admission, anxiety and depression.  The way he took a senior season benching was commendable, and allowed Wilson to succeed.  With almost the exact same number of attempts on the season (186 to 182), Wilson was 42 points higher in passer efficiency, nearly 5% higher in completion percentage, threw over twice as many touchdowns, while throwing fewer interceptions, and averaged 2.73 yards more per attempt.  He was actually a better runner too, Mangum accounting for negative rushing yards on the season, with a long run of 3 yards, while Wilson had a couple rushing touchdowns, and broke a 36 yarder.  But he’s going to need help, and it’s very unclear where that help might possibly come from.  Matt Bushman is a proven target at tight end, but the fact that he only caught two touchdown passes, is slightly concerning.  An interesting name to keep an eye on is 6’7” freshman Brayden Keim, who originally committed to Weber State, before going on his mission and now walking on at BYU.  He is the type of red zone target that Wilson could become friendly with.  Because the running back and receiver positions look to be huge, huge problems.  At running back, Lopini Katoa took the job last year after the injuries and ineffectiveness of senior Squally Canada.  He did average a team high 5.6 ypc, and also led the team with 8 rushing touchdowns, but averaged just 6 carries per game.  He was a better weapon catching passes out of the backfield than Canada was, so he does provide that added dimension.  BYU returns two of their top three receivers, but when your leader a year ago is a 5’10” player who had 358 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, there is plenty of room for a new name to emerge.  Defensively, the line and the secondary should be solid enough, but the linebackers could be a major concern.  They have been the strength of that side of the ball the past few years, but only Isaiah Kaufusi returns.  Sione Takitaki and Corbin Kaufusi graduate after leading the team in both sacks and tackles for loss, so where the pressure is going to come from remains a mystery.  Isaiah Taufusi is a better coverage linebacker than pass rusher.  Khyris Tonga, at 340 pounds in the middle, is surprisingly active for his size.  The biggest obstacle for BYU is going to be the schedule.  The good news for season ticket holders is that you get home dates with some big names, Utah, USC, Washington and Boise State.  The bad news is that you play all four during the first 8 weeks, and during those 8 weeks you also play road games at Tennessee, at Toledo, at South Florida and at Utah State.  That has to be the most difficult 8 games to start the season of anyone in the nation.  Even finding a way to win 2 of those leaves zero room for error during an easier November that still includes a trip to Boise State.
KEY PLAYERS
QBZach Wilson, Sophomore
RBLopini Katoa, Sophomore
TEMatt Bushman, Junior
.
DTKhyris Tonga, Junior
LBIsaiah Kaufusi, Junior
SAustin Lee, Senior

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #166 on: March 21, 2019, 02:00:22 PM »
They have dropped 8 straight vs the Utes.
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Cincydawg

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Re: ELA 2019 Countdown
« Reply #167 on: March 21, 2019, 02:02:35 PM »

 

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