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Topic: ELA 130 Team Countdown

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Cincydawg

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #182 on: April 28, 2018, 03:44:50 PM »
I will  watch them with interest.

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #183 on: April 30, 2018, 03:17:16 PM »
60. Toledo Rockets
#2 in MAC

Well, crap seems like the whole write up disappeared.  Sorry, no time to re-type.  To summarize, Toledo didn't skip a beat with their ground game with Kareem Hunt graduating after 2016, and shouldn't now with Swanson moving on.  They have a nasty junior-sophomore combo in Shakif Seymour and Art Thompkins, who should share the backfield for the next couple years.  The one thing they don't have is the expierienced offensive line that Swanson had last year, with 4/5 of the starters graduating.  Should still be good, but last year was a blown opportunity to complete for the New YEars Six, even though they did end a 12 year MAC title drought.  Olasunkanmi Adeniyi going pro early leaves the Rockets without a proven playmaker on defense.

WRDiontae Johnson, Junior
GBryce Harris, Junior
KJameson Vest, Senior
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LBRichard Olekanma, Senior
SKahlil Robinson, Junior
SJosh Teachey, Senior

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #184 on: April 30, 2018, 03:25:22 PM »
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, 18, 19

bayareabadger

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #185 on: May 01, 2018, 12:19:13 AM »
Toledo's ability to field good teams that don't get hardware is always impressive. Also a good getting off the bus team.

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #186 on: May 01, 2018, 04:16:39 PM »
59. Navy Midshipmen
#4 in American
While it may not be at the level of pulling your starting quarterback in the middle of a national championship game, Ken Niumatalolo's decision to bench starting quarterback Zach Abey for the bowl game in favor of Malcolm Perry was a bowl move.  Abey had been the starter on a Navy team which started 5-0 and reached #25 in the AP Poll.  But losses in 6 of their final 7, while averaging under 15 ppg over their final three necessitated a change.  Navy isn't going to beat you passing, but it needs to be efficient when they do, and Abey simply wasn't, completing only 43% of his passes, and averaging an interception every 10.3 attempts.  This after spot duty in 2016 where he threw another 4 picks on only 35 attempts (1 per 8.8).  The nice thing about being Navy's quarterback is that it means you likely aren't a one trick pony.  Abey led the team in rushing yards (1,413) and rushing touchdowns (19).  So he won't be wallowing away on the bench, he's a new starting wide receiver.  Perry is a much flashier runner, picking up 1,182 yards on the ground, spending most of the year as the primary ballcarrier, and doing so on a gawdy 8.6 ypc, third best in the nation.  In parts of two games as quarterback, Perry ran for 250 yards on 30 carries against Army, and 114 yards on 16 carries, in a 49-7 trouncing of Virginia in the Military Bowl.  The problem?  Zero passes attempted in those games.  While that isn't a problem necessarily, it does mean that we have little idea how Perry will perform in situations where he needs to pass the ball.  The other issue is how much of a beating Perry can take.  While he and Abey are a reliable duo, every other ball carrier who saw substantial action in 2017 graduated.  You can't run the ball 64 times a game without a stable of guys to spread the ball around to.  The defense took a big step up from being one of the worst in the AAC in 2016, but needs to get better on the back end.  That may start up front, where Josh Webb is all that exists of a pass rush.  
Key Players
QBMalcolm Perry, Junior
WRZach Abey, Senior
TJake Hawk, Senior
.
DEJosh Webb, Senior
LBHudson Sullivan, Senior
SSean Williams, Senior

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #187 on: May 02, 2018, 11:24:51 AM »
58. Army Black Knights
Independent
After back to back wins in the series, the Black Knights deserve to be ranked slightly above their rivals.  They have the opposite problem as Navy though.  While the Midshipmen have two quarterbacks (one of whom is now a receiver), Army is a quarterback away from really doing damage.  Army returns their top three running backs from last year.  Battering ram Darnell Woolfolk, who led the team with 812 yards on 5.2 ypc; Andy Davidson, who had 627 yards on 5.4 ypc, and the most dangerous back, Kell Walker, who had 673 rushing yards, on a team leading 7.3 ypc.  Any team would kill to return three running backs who were coming off 600+ yard seasons, but the question is how it all works without Ahmad Bradshaw.  Even by triple option standards, Army was pass adverse last year, last in the nation in both passing yardage and passing attempts by a wide margin.  They passed it about 60% as often as the next lowest team (61 pass attempts to 101) for only about a third of the yardage (29 ypg to 83 ypg).  Mason Rudolph threw for more yards in a game 8 times than Army threw for in a season.  But Bradshaw wasn't an athletic quarterback, he was a running back, trying to play quarterback, completing only 35% of his passes, but leading the team (5th in all of FBS, including #1 among quarterbacks) with 1,746 rushing yards.  Luke Langdon is penciled in as the starter but spring was a wide open competition.  Langdon saw limited time last year, and did little to set himself up to be the #1 going into spring, running for only 3.0 ypc on 8 attempts, and throwing interceptions on both of his pass attempts.  It all has to work behind a rebuilt offensive line, literally centered around center Bryce Holland.  The defense is where it's at for Army this year, returning 8 starters, which is seemingly unprecedented for the military academies, which typically feature senior-laden lineups.  The strength of the unit is in the back, particularly if Kenneth Brinson is able to play at outside linebacker, his more natural position.  He did a commendable job playing both defensive end and linebacker a year ago.  He's a smart kid, tops in his class (not just among football players) at Army, and does track and field, while studying mechanical engineering and organic chemistry to prepare for medical school.  But at 6'2" and 245, he's best served at linebacker.  It's on the line to step up, and make him not needed among their ranks.
Key Players
RBDarnell Woolfolk, Senior
RBKell Walker, Junior
CBryce Holland, Senior
.
LBJames Nachtigal, Senior
LBKenneth Brinson, Senior
SGibby Gibson, Senior

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #188 on: May 03, 2018, 11:42:53 AM »
57. Texas Tech Red Raiders
#8 in Big XII
It will be a weird year in Lubbock, as Texas Tech leans on their defense and offensive line to compensate for a complete void at the skill positions.  The Red Raiders lost their starting quarterback, their two top running backs, and four of their top five receivers, including their top three.  What they do have, is what could be one of the best offensive lines in the conference, anchored by three returning All-Big XII players, plus freshman All-American Jack Anderson.  Jacob Hines at left guard might be the only guy not on preseason all-conference teams.  McLane Carter, who started the season finale against Texas last year, should be the starter under center in the opener.  He looked good to start that game, going 11-15 for 175 yards in the first half.  However, after starting the second half 5-22 for 62 yards and 2 picks, he was re-benched in favor of Nic Shimonek.  No worries anymore about Shimonek looking over his shoulder, but major worries from the Texas Tech fans as to whether he can lift what will be a very inexperienced group of running backs and receivers.  No such worries on defense with 9 returning starters.  Is that ever a good thing in Lubbock though?  While the overall Red Raiders' numbers were about what you'd expect, they were actually pretty stout against the pass.  They led the Big XII only averaging 7.2 opponents ypa.  A lot of that was fear of getting beat deep, and giving up a lot underneath, as their opponents completion percentage of 63% left much to be desired.  To start, they need to generate more pressure up front, creating a Big XII worst 18 sacks.  Part of that was coverage schemes though, as already mentioned, surrendering so many short passes, and playing bend but don't break.  Not much opportunity for sacks if you are consistently handing your opponents free short completions.  The strength of the defense is right in the middle, which is a good recipe.  The middle linebacker (WILL LB in Texas Tech's scheme) led the team, and was third among returning Big XII players with 102 tackles.  A lot is going to fall on new starting nose tackle Nick McCann, at 6'2" 310, to do a better job plugging the middle in the 3-3-5 scheme.  The three projected starting linemen, combined for 3 batted balls last year.  If this is going to continue to be how Texas Tech plays on the back, those guys up front need to be more disruptive in the passing lanes.  If you don't have time to get there, you better still get your big paws up.  After a 4-1 start that saw Texas Tech reach #24 in the polls was followed by losses in 5 of the next 6, Kliff Kingsbury seemed on the way out.  A season finale road win at Texas, only the 7th in Austin in program history, probably saved his job, but after 5 years of never having a winning record in Big XII play, and finishing with a losing overall record in 3 of the last 4 years, the seat is very hot.  This is not the year for the Texas Tech coach to be on the hot seat.  He could have the program set up really well for someone else in 2019 though.
Key Players
TTravis Bruffy, Junior
TMadison Akamnonu, Junior
CPaul Stawarz, Senior
.
LBDakota Allen, Senior
CBJustus Parker, Junior
SJah'Shawn Johnson, Senior

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #189 on: May 04, 2018, 11:28:44 AM »
56. Northern Illinois Huskies
#1 in MAC
Funny how a little quarterback goes a long way.  Coming off a 5-7 2016, their worst season since 2007, which was the last time they missed a bowl, due to injuries and poor play at the quarterback position, the Huskies bounced back to go 8-5, which included a near upset of Boston College, and a shocking win over Nebraska in Lincoln.  The biggest difference?  Redshirt freshman Marcus Childers, who made HUskies fans forget all about the 2016 quarterback struggles, winning MAC Freshman of the Year, and making some wonder why that redshirt wasn't pulled the year prior.  While Childers helped stabilize a bad offense, it was the Husky defense that won games for them, leading the MAC in both scoring defense and total defense.  They were relentless up front, leading the conference by a wide margin in sacks, and leading the entire nation in tackles for loss.  That front looked to be just as nasty in 2017, but an April decision by linebacker Jawuan Johnson to take a grad transfer to TCU does take some of the bite out.  Johnson was probably the best all around defender Northern Illinois had, finishing 2nd on the team in tackles (98), 1st in interceptions (5) and 3rd in sacks (4).  You can't blame a kid for taking his shot to play in the Power Five, but he had a chance to be a star if he stayed in DeKalb.  Instead the front is set by a pair of defensive ends in Sutton Smith and Josh Corcoran, who combined for 17.5 sacks and 38 tackles for loss last year.  Granted that's a little unfair to Smith, who finished with 14 and 29.5 himself, leading the MAC in each.  Facing what should be even more attention in 2017, without the threat of Johnson behind him, Corcoran needs to take his game to the next level.  That might be unfair to a guy who was a third team All-MAC selection a year ago.  But when the best defensive linemen in the conference is on the opposite side from you, you are going to face single teams all game long.  Childers needs to up his game from consistent manager to bonafide leader.  The run game wasn't great last year, and that was with Jordan Huff.  Marcus Jones will probably get first crack at it, running behind an offensive line that returns all five starters.  So the opportunity to thrive is there, but Jones was very underwhelming in the decent amount of action he saw last year.  Northern Illinois had won or shared 10 of 15 MAC West titles prior to 2016.  They get Toledo at home in what looks to be the game to decide who goes to Detroit this year, and the Huskies are my pick.  Their non-conference schedule, which consists of a home game against Utah, and road trips to Iowa, Florida State and BYU is absurd.  Northern Illinois could compete for and/or win the division while also being on the bubble for a bowl, with an 0-4 non-conference record looking very likely.
Key Players
QBMarcus Childers, Sophomore
WRSpencer Tears, Junior
TMax Scharping, Senior
.
DESutton Smith, Junior
DEJosh Corcoran, Senior
SMykelti Williams, Senior

847badgerfan

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #190 on: May 04, 2018, 11:38:12 AM »
I think NIU has a chance against Utah and BYU, but probably not the others. Unless Iowa pulls a clunker, which has happened against NIU before (the last game they played).
U RAH RAH! WIS CON SIN!

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #191 on: May 05, 2018, 11:39:16 AM »
55. Syracuse Orange
#12 in ACC
In Syracuse coach Dino Babers’ first season at Eastern Illinois, he took them from 2-9 to 7-5 and reached the FCS Playoffs.   Then in his second season went 12-2, reached the Elite 8, and finished ranked #4 in the FCS.  He then left for Bowling Green, where he went 8-6 in his first year, and 10-3 with a MAC Championship in his second, before taking the Syracuse job.  So the trajectory had been solid in Year 1, and taking off in Year 2.  That’s not exactly how year 2 at Syracuse went.  The Orange upset Clemson in a Friday night game last year to get to 4-3 overall, 2-1 in the ACC, and perhaps turn a corner.  Instead that was the last they tasted success, and a 5 game losing streak to end the year happened instead, with the wheels completely coming off at the end.  Over the final three games, against Wake Forest, Louisville and Boston College, Syracuse gave up 54 ppg.  Even the offense began to sputter, averaging 12 ppg over the final two, and one of their three scores was a meaningless touchdown already down 56-3 to Louisville in the final 5 minutes.  Everyone knew Babers wasn’t particularly concerned with defense, but offense has been his calling card, and the Syracuse offense simply hasn’t taken off.  The were third in the ACC in total offense, but mainly because their 85.6 plays per game lapped the field.  Their 5.3 ypp was near the bottom of the league, and they turned the ball over more than anyone in the league.  Hanging your defense out to dry when you are putting up points is one thing, was the Orange defense was worst in the ACC with 32.2 ppg allowed, and 6.4 ypp allowed.  In season 3, you’d hope the offense would start to click.  Quarterback Eric Dungey is in his fourth year as the starter, third under Babers.  The dip his completion percentage took last year needs to correct.  This offense simply can’t run at the tempo it needs to with those incompletions.  He’s doing it without his All-ACC WR duo, but that is more a product of system than talent.  Their loss will be balanced by what should be an improved rushing attack, with a pair of 500 yard rushers returning behind an offensive line returning five starters.
Key Players
QBEric Dungey, Senior
RBDontae Strickland, Senior
RBMoe Neal, Junior
.
DEAlton Robinson, Junior
CBChristopher Fredrick, Junior
SEvan Foster, Junior


54. Ole Miss Rebels
#11 in SEC
Seven games into the 2017 season, all seemed lost for the Ole Miss program.  Hugh Freeze was forced out prior to the season after being dogged by all sorts of accusations, the team was 3-4 (with wins over South Alabama, UT Martin and Vanderbilt), and starting quarterback Shea Patterson had just been lost to an injury for the season.  Then a funny thing happened.  They started playing well.  The Rebels won three of their final five, including wins over bowl bounds teams in Kentucky, and Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.  The two losses were one score losses.  Three days after the win over Mississippi State, the interim tag was removed from head coach Matt Luke.  There is reason for optimism going into 2018, although the Rebels remain ineligible for a bowl for one more year.  The most surprising factor might be Jordan Ta’amu.  Ta’amu spelled Patterson late in the Vanderbilt win, but didn’t attempt a pass.  His first came the next week, when he became the starter following Patterson’s injury.  Over those final five weeks he actually had a higher completion rate than Patterson, more yards per attempt, a better TD:INT ratio, higher Passer rating, and higher Total QBR.  The only guy who might be upset is A.J. Brown.  Patterson to Brown was money.  Brown had at least 8 receptions and at least 110 yards in four of the five games he and Patterson were both healthy, averaging 7 receptions for 136 yards in those five, even with a 1 catch-6 yard performance against Alabama messing the whole thing up.  His numbers were just fine with Ta’amu, but the ball was getting spread around more, and the Biletnikoff talk cooled.  He still wound up 8th in the nation in receiving yards, and is third among returning players.  Defensively the secondary is very good, but the front needs to get drastically better after allowing 245 ypg on the ground a year ago, 7th worst in the FBS.  Aside from that Ole Miss doesn’t look like a team on probation, and they aren’t recruiting like one either.  This looks like a program, much like Penn State a couple years ago, that could exit probation running, because of the right coach at the right time.  Matt Luke bleeds Rebel blue, and he’s selling the hell out of the program.  Everyone knew Freeze was dirty all along, but maybe it’s time to buy that Oxford is a place you can recruit to.  The Rebels already have 13 commits for their 2019 class, which ranks #9 nationally in the 247 composite rankings.
Key Players
QBJordan Ta'amu, Senior
WRA.J. Brown, Junior
TGreg Little, Junior
.
DEJosiah Coatney, Junior
CBJavien Hamilton, Senior
SC.J. Moore, Senior

CatsbyAZ

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #192 on: May 07, 2018, 05:24:45 AM »
Speaking of Patterson, did the finalizing of his transfer status have any bearing on precisely where you will rank Michigan?

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #193 on: May 07, 2018, 08:04:49 AM »
Speaking of Patterson, did the finalizing of his transfer status have any bearing on precisely where you will rank Michigan?
I don't edit the rankings once I finalize them, because it leads to too many inconsistencies, so no.

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #194 on: May 07, 2018, 08:07:55 AM »
Sunday

53. Pittsburgh Panthers
#11 in ACC
After what has really been a decade of program instability, 2018 was shaping up to be the year things finally settled in at Pitt.  Then they had three players declare early off a team that failed to make a bowl for the first time since 2007.  The in state recruiting momentum they started to gain when Penn State’s sanctions kicked in is also gone.  Pitt only signed one of the top 20 players in the state of Pennsylvania, and he was #14, and only the 4th rated player in the Pittsburgh area.  At least there is consistency in the head coaching position, as Pat Narduzzi enters his fourth year on the job.  Considering the Panthers had gone through seven head coaches (including three interim and one who never coached in a game) in the prior five years, four years with one coach might as well be Joe Paterno at Penn State as far as longevity.  Granted, that is sort of Pitt’s history.  By the end of 2019, if he’s still there, Narduzzi will have passed Jackie Sherrill and Johnny Majors, and be 6th all time in games coached at the school.  To ensure he is still there, he better get his defense in line.  Brought in as a defensive guru, Narduzzi has been stubbornly stuck to his philosophy, despite personnel that was not equipped to play it.  It’s a defensive style that demands elite play across the back, and Pitt hasn’t gotten it.  Even his best units in East Lansing were susceptible to the deep ball, but the secondary has been consistently burned in his time at Pitt.  Last year they were last in the ACC at 7.8 ypa allowed passing, giving up an ACC high 24 touchdowns, despite an opponent completion percentage that ranked in the top half of the conference.  It’s not the dink and dunk, it’s the vulnerability to the big play.  He returns nine starters to defense, but the two lost are a pair of NFL bound defensive backs.  All the talent in the front seven won’t matter without getting the secondary fixed.  Pitt tried a former blue chip USC quarterback transfer in Max Browne a year ago, who looked the part, with a completion percentage of 71% and a passer rating over 140.  But a season ending injury opened the door again for Ben DiNucci.  He looked overwhelmed, and late in the year redshirt freshman Kenny Pickett took over and provided a spark.  He threw for 242 yards, but an upset bid against Virginia Tech ended at the on 1 yard line.  He then threw for 193, ran for 60 and accounted for all 3 touchdowns in a season finale upset of Miami.  That provided hope, but Pitt added another USC QB transfer, Ricky Town.  Although this one flipped from Alabama to USC, then transferred to Arkansas, before going to JUCO.  Relying on him to even show up in the fall seems like a bad bet.
Key Players
RBDarrin Hall, Senior
WRRafael Araujo-Lopes, Senior
GAlex Bookser, Senior
.
LBOluwaseun Idowu, Senior
LBSaleem Brightwell, Junior
CBDane Jackson, Junior

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #195 on: May 07, 2018, 08:52:22 AM »
Speaking of Patterson, did the finalizing of his transfer status have any bearing on precisely where you will rank Michigan?
I'll bet that he ranks them ahead of at least one of MSU, Wisconsin or PSU. 
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, 18, 19

 

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