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Topic: ELA 130 Team Countdown

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ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2018, 02:15:17 PM »
Saturday and Sunday

106. East Carolina Pirates
#12 in American
It might be now or never for Scottie Montgomery at East Carolina.  Back to back 3-9 seasons is not going to fly at one of the better mid-major programs over the past 30 years.  So he better not make it three.  Only two coaches in East Carolina football history have opened their careers with three straight losing seasons.  Kenneth Beatty, who was the school’s first ever coach, from 1932-34, and then Art Baker from 1985-87.  Both got a 4th year and then were fired, but it’s a little more cutthroat now.  They always say when you have two quarterbacks, you have none.  Well, when you have no quarterbacks, you also have none.  Last year East Carolina split reps between junior Gardner Minshew, and grad transfer Thomas Sirk, who came from Duke, where Montgomery was his offensive coordinator.  Minshew played in 10 games, attempting 304 passes; while Sirk played in 11, and attempted 238.  Sirk graduated, and then Minshew left the team in the offseason, opting to take a grad transfer of his own to Alabama.  So from two to zero.  Not an ideal situation for a coach who is probably one more bad season away from getting fired.  The Pirates knew they were going to have to outscore teams in 2017, and the defense was as bad as feared, easily the worst in the American, surrendering 45 points and nearly 550 yards of offense per game.  The problem was the offense was nowhere near capable of getting into those type of shootouts, mainly because of an inept running game, that put up conference worst numbers in yardage (107.7 ypg on 3.3 ypc).  Even the passing game, which finished 3rd in the conference at 317.9 ypg, needed a league high 45 attempts per game to do that.  Maybe that’s why they used two quarterbacks, their arms needed the rest.  On a per attempt basis, that drops to 7.0 ypa, 2nd worst in the conference.  Scottie Montgomery is still only 39.  He has a long career ahead of him.  I just doubt it’s as head coach at East Carolina.
Key Players
RBHussein Howe, Junior
WRTrevon Brown, Senior
GGarrett McGhin, Senior
-
LBAaron Ramseur, Junior
LBCannon Gibbs, Senior
SDevon Sutton, Junior

105. South Alabama Jaguars
#4 in Sun Belt
South Alabama has been a surprisingly consistent middle-of-the-pack Sun Belt team since making the jump to FBS in 2012, winning 5 or 6 games every year from 2013-2016.  After a drop to 4-8 last year Joey Jones, the only coach the program has ever known, resigned, and was replaced by Steve Campbell.  Campbell won a Division II National Championship as head coach of Delta State in 2000, and spent the last four years as head coach of FCS Central Arkansas, going 20-5 over the last two years with a pair of Sweet 16 appearances, and reaching #4 in the FCS last season after the regular season.  So can he get the program over the hump?  Catch the threesome of Troy, Arkansas State and Appalachian State who seem to clearly be the class of the Sun Belt right now?  He inherits probably the most talented team the school has ever fielded in its short history, in spite of their 4-8 record last year.  The result of a lot of youth taking lumps last year is a very experienced bunch returning, led by 9 starters on offense, including every starting skill position player, and both the 2017 1st team All-Sun Belt kicker and punter.  As a guy who has spent his career on the offensive side of the ball, primarily coaching offensive line, the first order of business is jump starting a run game that was the worst in the Sun Belt a year ago.  The saying is, if you want to beat the best, you have to poach from the best.  Or something like that.  To help fix the offense, Campbell made a great hire, by bringing in his former teammate at Troy, Kenny Edenfield, who had been the offensive coordinator at Troy for the past eight seasons.  I think South Alabama has a good shot to break their own school FBS record of 6 wins, but the gap between the top 3 and the rest of the Sun Belt seems too wide to close in a year.  I do really like the hire and the trajectory of this program now though.
Key Players
WRJamarius Way, Senior
TNoah Fisher, Senior
KGavin Patterson, Senior
-
LBBull Barge, Senior
SNigel Lawrence, Senior
PCorliss Waitman, Senior

104. Cincinnati Bearcats
#11 in American
After spending every year but two since 1993 at Ohio State, Luke Fickell isn’t used to losing.  So you know 4-8 is not sitting well with him.  Problem is that he may want to get used to it, because the Riverboat Gambler left the cupboard totally bare.  He returns Hayden Moore for his fourth season as the Bearcats quarterback, but he’s trending in the wrong direction.  He has certainly worked on taking care of the ball, which was his early issue, but his yards per attempt has dropped every year, as has his completion percentage and QBR.  He went from 59% completion, 8.38 ypa and a 53.6 QBR as a freshman, to 56%, 6.04 ypa and 393. QBR as a senior.  And he has far less of a supporting cast this year, from an offense that ranked dead last in the American a year ago in scoring offense and total offense.  The defense was a little better, but not much.  Having spent his whole career on that side of the ball, Fickell went to work fixing that, making a great, under the radar hire in Steve Stripling, who has been a defensive line coach all over the midwest, including Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Indiana, Minnesota, and a prior stop at Cincinnati.  The anchor of the defense is Marquise Copeland in the middle.  He is not just a space eater, recording a very impressive 63 tackles from an interior line spot.  Fickell has always been known as a better recruiter than an Xs and Os guy, so walking into this situation was always going to be a struggle.  He’s not going to be a guy to do more with less.  He’s a guy who is expected to be able to upgrade the roster.  That will take a little bit of time, but the early returns are as expected.  He signed the #1 recruiting class in the conference, #47 overall, swiping 4* TE Leonard Taylor from Oklahoma, 3* DE Malik Vann from Notre Dame, and 3* RB Tavion Thomas from Ohio State.  2018 is going to be a struggle, but the future looks substantially better.
Key Players
QBHayden Moore, Senior
RBGerrid Doaks, Sophomore
WRKhalil Lewis, Senior
-
DTMarquise Cooper, Senior
LBPerry Young, Junior
PJames Smith, Sophomore

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2018, 04:47:29 PM »
So this could be the year that the Redhawks end the losing streak. 
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 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2018, 10:16:27 AM »


104. Cincinnati Bearcats
#11 in American
After spending every year but two since 1993 at Ohio State, Luke Fickell isn’t used to losing.  So you know 4-8 is not sitting well with him.  Problem is that he may want to get used to it, because the Riverboat Gambler left the cupboard totally bare.  
I'd lost track of how depleted the Bearcats had become. Still used to the years of them dependably winning 8 - 10 games/season under Dantonio, Kelly, and Butch Jones. Maybe they could go back to hiring from Central Michigan?
The good news for Fickell is that the AAC is so average that usually only 1 or 2 teams per season are above being dragged down to the level of their opponent, so Cincy, as ad as their roster is, still has a chance to wn 6 or 7. 

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2018, 05:20:50 PM »
103. Nevada Wolfpack
#8 in Mountain West

Not that much was expected of Nevada last year, but 3-9 was even worse than most feared.  It was the 2nd worst season for the program since 1964.  Jay Norvell may be a midwest guy, born in Madison, Wisconsin, played and coached under Hayden Fry, and then Barry Alvarez.  But that's not his identity.  He spent seven years under Bob Stoops, and his first head coaching gig after running Todd Graham's pass offense at Arizona State.  I suppose he fixed what he knew, Nevada went from barely 200 passing yards per game in 2016, to 270 ypg in 2017, second best in the Mountain West.  Problem is how often they had to throw to achieve that.  Their 7.2 ypa was only 7th best, and the 15 interceptions was 2nd worst.  The have to hope that the progress Ty Gangi showed late in the year was real.  They won 2 of their final 3, including ruining rival UNLV's bowl hopes in the finale.  Gangi had his two best games of the season during that stretch, in the win over San Jose State, and a solid game at San Diego State that was a one score game until Rashaad Penny broke a 100 yard 4th quarter kick return touchdown.  Aside from that UNLV upset, Nevada's other two wins came against Hawaii and San Jose State, two schools who combined to go otherwise 3-19 against FBS competition.  Part of the problem was that in fixing the pass offense, Norvell let the pass defense go completely to hell, surrendering a league worst 263 ypg through the air, on an also league worst 67% opponents completion percentage.  Their Pass Defense S&P+ was #129 in the nation, better only than East Carolina.  To make matters worse on the back line, cornerback Vosean Crumbie, a JUCO transfer who started in his only year on campus, decided to forego his senior year and enter the NFL Draft.  Neither Chris Trapasso of CBS, or Scott Wright, who publish their full Draft rankings, have Crumbie among their top overall 300 prospects.  Wright doesn't even name him among the top 80 cornerbacks eligible for the draft.  So that is looking like a decision that is going to prove harmful to both sides.  The Wolfpack return 9 starters from an offense that was in Year 1 of Norvell's system.  They averaged 22.5 ppg in the first half of the season, and 33.8 in the second half.  Maybe things are trending in a direction towards winning more shootouts.  The non-conference schedule is very manageable, with an FCS opponent, then a couple of Power 5 bottom feeders in Vanderbilt and Oregon State.  A trip to the Glass Bowl against Toledo may be their toughest non-conference test.  The problem is in conference play, they draw Boise State, Air Force and Colorado State, likely the top three Mountain Division teams as crossovers.  Finding 6 wins on the schedule is tough.

Key Players
QBTy Gangi, Senior
RBKelton Moore, Junior
CSean Krepsz, Senior
-
DEMalik Reed, Senior
SAsauni Rufus, Senior
SDameon Baber, Senior
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 05:31:40 PM by ELA »

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #60 on: March 19, 2018, 05:31:50 PM »
Burned by the grey background again.

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2018, 09:28:25 AM »
102. Massachusetts Minutemen
Independent

Is UMass finally trending in the right direction as an FBS program?  After winning an FCS National Championship in 1998, and playing for another one in 2006, it wasn't necessarily predictable the transition would be this bumpy to the FBS.  Granted the program had slipped under Don Brown and Kevin Morris, essentially being a .500 FCS team over it's last four years at that level.  But a 10-56 start in the FBS has to have been worse than expected.  But after back to back bye weeks in October last year, due to a schedule bye, and a Hurricane Irma rescheduled game at FIU, UMass suddenly won 4 of 5 games.  From a program that had never won that many games in an FBS season before.  Wins over Appalachian State and in Provo at BYU are nothing to scoff at either.  Even their losses were competitive, by 4 at Tennessee, by 11 at Mississippi State.  This is a program trending right.  Now, win or lose, they should be fun to watch.  After a slow start, the offense really came on late, and return all of their skill position players, to go with a future pro anchoring the line in Jack Driscoll.  The schedule is very manageable if the goal is bowl eligibility (and as a mid-major independent, what else would the goal be?)  There are trips to Boston College and Georgia, plus home games against South Florida and BYU, but the rest is Conference USA and Sun Belt bottom feeders, plus a mediocre FCS opponent in Duquesne.  The Minutemen should be able to throw the ball at will, Andrew Ford working himself into being a mid-major name to know for the 2019 NFL Draft.  The 6'3" 210 pound senior fixed the interception issue that plagued him in 2016.  He took more sacks, but Mark Whipple is fine with that, if those sacks would have been bad decision interceptions a year earlier, cutting his turnovers from 14 to 4.  His top target on the outside returns, Andy Isabella, and his 65 catches, 1,020 yards and 10 touchdowns, all team highs.  Sadiq Palmer needs to regain the form he had early in the season on the opposite side, because TE Adam Breneman, the Penn State transfer, and one time 5* recruit, has graduated.  Calling a guy with 64 catches for 764 yards a "security blanket" is probably selling him short, but that is the only lost production this offseason.  If Palmer can be a viable #2, it may make the 2018 UMass offense more dangerous than the 2017 version, even without Breneman, with a number of downfield options, because the Minutemen were #91 in S&P+ on Passing Downs a year ago.
Key Players
QBAndrew Ford, Senior
WRAndy Isabella, Senior
TJack Driscoll, Junior
-
LBBryton Barr, Senior
CBIsaiah Rodgers, Junior
CBLee Moses, Senior

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #62 on: March 20, 2018, 09:51:51 AM »
I dig that they are playing UConn this year. 

Those two have a long and storied football rivalry that has flown under the radar for a myriad of mostly obvious reasons. 

The series dates back to the 1800s, and they were conference rivals from the 50s through the 90s. 

They've only played once since UConn began their transition to the Big East in 1998. That game was in 2012, which around the time that UMass joined the Mac iirc. 
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

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2018, 02:35:07 PM »
101. Kansas Jayhawks
#10 in Big XII
For those wondering when the first Power 5 school would make an appearance, wait no further.  The identity of that team can't really be a surprise either.  The Jayhawks opened with a win over FCS SE Missouri State, and then lost 11 in a row, including back to back double digit point losses to MAC teams, and an 0-9 conference record, with 7 of the losses by over 20 points.  With a 3-33 record through three years, with only 1 win over an FBS opponent (an OT win over Texas in 2016), it might be a little bit of a surprise to see David Beaty get a Year 4.  The way he played 2017 though, makes you think he got a vote of confidence to play for the future, starting only 2 seniors.  An additional starter was lost when Dorance Armstrong gave up his final two years of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft.  Armstrong didn't really live up to his Big XII 2017 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year billing, but when you are the only guy opposing defenses have to account for, it's tough to generate production.  That still means 19 returning starters, plus both kickers.  Is that going to translate into more wins?  Tough to make that connection considering how far Kansas was from even being competitive a year ago.  I think they'll close the gap some, and football take funny bounces.  Just being in a handful of games, might lead to a couple of wins.  Nothing makes me think the program is heading in the right direction though.  If anything the schedule gets harder.  They get the token FCS game, which is a must win.  Then they go to Mount Pleasant for the return game with Central Michigan, after the Chips handled them in Lawrence last year.  Then they trade out Ohio, for an improving Rutgers team.  Finish that with it being a year where Kansas has only 4 home Big XII games, and this is a program that hasn't won a road game of any kind in 9 years, since September of 2009.  They were last in every major offensive and defensive stat in the Big XII last year, with the exception of run defense...where they were 8th.  This is all to say that Kansas has a long way to go to just not be awful.  They could get a lot better and still be 2-10.  Since Mark Mangino left, Kansas has only finished in the top 100 of S&P+ once in eight years.  They have a legitimate chance to make it twice.  But that's about the ceiling.  That's what begs the question of why Beaty was brought back.  They are going to be lousy this year with or without him.  You kept him, just to fire him.  There was no way they'd be good enough this year to retain him, even if there was some progress.  Then you reset again, and undo any sort of progress.
Key Players
WRSteven Sims, Senior
THakeem Adeniji, Junior
KGabriel Rui, Senior
-
DTDaniel Wise, Senior
LBJoe Dineen, Senior
SMike Lee, Junior

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2018, 02:54:55 PM »

The P5 was this close to getting the entirety of their teams in the top 100. 
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

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #65 on: March 22, 2018, 09:18:18 AM »
100. Colorado State Rams
#7 in Mountain West

The Rams put 7 offensive starters on the All-Conference team last year...as expected had the most potent offense in the league...and yet still suffered a 3 game losing streak, went 7-6 overall, and were well out of the hunt for a conference championship game bid.  Oh, and all 7 were seniors.  No team in the country may be in rougher shape in terms of lost production.  No player other than Nick Stevens threw a pass last year for the Rams, who were supposed to at least be getting Collin Hill back from an ACL injury, after serving as Stevens' backup two years ago, and starting four games.  Instead, he re-tore his ACL, and may be lost for the season again, truly throwing the quarterback spot up for grabs.  The leaders appear to be junior J.C. Robles, and more likely, redshirt freshman Justice McCoy.  Considering no quarterback on the roster other than Hill has ever attempted a pass at the college level, and Colorado State didn't bring one in with the 2018 class, head coach Mike Bobo did say they are actively recruiting a grad transfer.  The most likely target is former Tennessee starter Quinten Dormady, but a couple of familiar Big Ten faces, Jeff George Jr. of Illinois and Wilton Speight of Michigan, are out there as well.  Battering ram Izzy Matthews returns, but the touchdown vulture has yet to prove he can be the #1 guy.  He's been the #2 to Dalyn Dawkins the last three years, rushing for over 1,200 fewer yards, but accounting for 12 more touchdowns.  Sophomore Rashaad Boddie could help pick up the slack.  To make matters worse, three members of the offensive line graduated, as did 2 of the three starting WRs (including consensus AA Michael Gallup), and Dalton Fackrell from the tight end spot.  The three of them, plus Dawkins out of the backfield, accounting for 190 receptions, 2,540 receiving yards, and 20 touchdowns.  That amount of production doesn't just replace itself.  Olabisi Johnson will have to take a big step forward after becoming a more reliable target as a junior, rather than simply the big play guy he was as a sophomore.  True freshman Warren Jackson really came on late after seeing only scrub minutes in the first half of the season.  With his 6'5" frame, he looks like a #1 WR, but it will be a big step for him to take.  Particularly considering he may not have the benefit of spring ball to find his rhythm with a quarterback, assuming they go the grad transfer route.  When you hear the first audio clips of Mike Bobo from spring ball including things such as this year being about teaching fundamentals, and technique, and trying; and re-affirming that the goals haven't shifted despite the inexperience, you realize just how young this team is going to be, and how frustrating the missed opportunity of last year was.
Key Players
RBIzzy Matthews, Senior
WROlabisi Johnson, Senior
TBen Knox, Senior
-
LBJosh Watson, Senior
CBAnthony Hawkins, Junior
PRyan Stonehouse, Sophomore

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #66 on: March 23, 2018, 09:25:25 AM »
99. Central Michigan Chippewas
#8 in MAC
Central Michigan had a senior laden roster last year, with the only hole being at quarterback.  So they brought in Michigan transfer, and one time blue chip, Shane Morris to fill that hole, and maybe make a push to Detroit.  An early road blowout win over Kansas aside, it took them too long to find their footing.  Even a 5 game winning streak to end the season, including over Western Michigan to end a 3 game losing streak in the Victory Cannon series, wasn't enough to overcome a 3-4 start.  Now it's back to square one.  The quarterback issue was delayed by a year, thanks to Morris, but they were able to get redshirt freshman Tony Poljan some action, so he's not as green as he would have been as the starter last year had Morris not transferred.  Poljan is a big frame, athletic quarterback, at 6'7" and 240 pounds.  He had Power 5 offers as a tight end, including Big Ten schools Michigan State and Minnesota, but went to Central Michigan with the goal of playing quarterback.  When he looks at who he'll be throwing the ball to, he may reconsider.  The leading returning pass catcher from the WR/TE group is returning backup TE Logan Hessbrook, with 10 catches for 132 yards.  He missed most of the season with concussion issues last year.  There is no returning receiver with anything more than mop up duty experience.  The schedule is not designed to figure things out along the way, playing not one, not two, but three Power 5 teams in September, around a trip to DeKalb to face Northern Illinois.  The Chips open on Labor Day weekend at Kentucky, get Kansas at home, and finish the month in East Lansing at Michigan State.  Much like last year, Central Michigan could be in a huge hole by the time they get to an easier October schedule that includes three straight home conference games.  The defense is going to have issues on the line and on the back end, but they are anchored in the middle by a strong group of linebackers, that are going to be asked to do a ton this year.  The line will come along much faster if Mike Danna, who provided a spark in limited time rotating in for Joe Ostman, who finished 2nd in the MAC in sacks, can fill that void sooner than expected.
Key Players
RBJonathan Ward, Junior
TClayton Walderzak, Senior
GShakir Carr, Senior
-
LBAlex Briones, Senior
LBMalik Fountain, Senior
CBSean Bunting, Junior

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #67 on: March 24, 2018, 10:28:02 PM »
98. Akron Zips
#7 in MAC
Akron was able to handle business against a down MAC East, while getting pummelled by everyone else, and turn that into a MAC Championship Game appearance.  They lost their two games against MAC Champion Toledo by an average of 22 points, and lost to Penn State, Iowa State, and Florida Atlantic by a combined 143-17.  But in close games, Akron was good, winning three games by 3 points or less.  This was a team that was #11 in the MAC in both total offense and total defense, and somehow went 6-2 in conference play.  So why even this high?  The defense should be a lot better, and while a bad offense will likely get worse, it can’t get that much worse.  Akron only lost 3 starters on the defensive side of the ball, but the 2018 version will be one of the most experienced in the nation, returning 8 starters among 9 seniors expected to start on defense.  But the offense?  Yuck.  Thomas Woodson, a four year starter at quarterback, moves on, but Kato Nelson did play in 10 games last year, and started in 5 of them.  His most impressive performance came in the de facto MAC East Championship Game against Ohio, when the Zips had their best offensive performance of the year.  Nelson went 22-38 for 322 yards, 4 touchdowns, no interceptions, and 45 rushing yards for good measure.  The problem is in the three games to finish the season that followed, he was a COMBINED 23-53 for 326 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception and 51 rushing yards.  They need the Ohio version of Nelson, because the running game went from bad to awful once Warren Ball got hurt, and neither he, nor Manny Morgan are back in 2018.  Van Edwards and his 3.6 ypc is not going to elevate what was by far the MAC’s worst rushing team a year ago.  Deltron Sands, a one time Oregon State transfer, may have to give them a boost.
Key Players
QBKato Nelson, Sophomore
WRKwadarrius Smith, Senior
TTrevor Brown, Junior
-
DEJamal Davis, Senior
LBUlysses Gilbert, Senior
CBAlvin Davis, Junior

97. Arkansas State Red Wolves
#3 in Sun Belt
I’m not sure this program gets credit for how good it has been, seemingly falling behind Troy and Appalachian State among Sun Belt teams in terms of national perception.  They were a narrow loss in the season finale against Troy last year away from winning their third straight Sun Belt title, but they lack that signature win that people notice, like Troy over LSU or Appalachian State over Michigan.  In 2015 they had a 2nd half lead against #21 Missouri, but couldn’t hold on.  They gave Nebraska everything they wanted last year in Lincoln, but couldn’t hold on.  They had their shot against Miami, at home nonetheless, but Hurricane Irma cancelled the game, and now is the matter of a lawsuit, with Miami not wanting to reschedule.  This year their shot is...a road game at Alabama.  So that might be too much to ask.  Troy rotates off the schedule, Appalachian State rolls on, at home.  Their toughest road conference game is probably at Georgia Southern?  So making it three Sun Belt titles in four years is not a leap.  With most of the Sun Belt’s top offense returning, scoring points shouldn’t be a problem.  The goal for Hansen this year, if he wants to take the next step, is to cut down on the turnovers.  His 16 interceptions last year were second most in the conference.  Although his 37 passing touchdowns were 10 clear of any other conference quarterback.  He showed more threat in the running game to, but I’m not sure the coaches want to see him averaging over 10 carries a game.  Warren Wand is the one who needs more carries, and the coaches seemed to pick up on that late in the year.  After having a season high of 14 carries in a game through the first 9 games, he got 29, 21 and 19 carries over the final three, and delivered with 138 yards and 173 yards against Texas State and UL Monroe.  The Red Wolves two Sun Belt losses came in the two games (aside from his 3 carry prior to an injury game against Coastal Carolina) with his lowest ypc.
Key Players
QBJustice Hansen, Senior
WRJustin McInnis, Senior
TLanard Bonner, Senior
-
DERonheed Bingham, Senior
CBJustin Clifton, Senior
PCody Grace, Junior

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #68 on: March 25, 2018, 11:30:00 AM »
So with stAte as the first Sunbelt team to crack the top 100, and the third place overall, that leaves Appy State and Troy as two remaining contenders for the ELA preseason Sunbelt Title.

CUSA's awful preseason prognostication is at least symmetrical, as each division contains exactly four teams that reside outside of the top 100. Three teams remain in each division to be ranked, going forward.

The Mountain West, conversely, is asymmetrical, and in the opposite way that one might suspect. The fertile recruiting grounds of the CA based West Division has a whopping four teams outside of the top 100, while the recruiting wasteland that is the Mountain Division has only one such team in New Mexico (although CSU is barely in the top 100 at 100). The West is already down to Fresno and SDSU in the countdown. 

The Mac is also symmetrical but in a good way, with only two teams in each division failing to crack the top 100; although each division contains a third team that just missed it by the seat of their pants. 

The American is clearly the G5 Conference with the highest floor according to these predictions, as the entire conference only has two teams outside of the top 100, both in the East division.

3 G5 Independents also reside in the dreaded Century zone. 
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

ELA

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Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #69 on: March 26, 2018, 09:15:46 AM »
Didn't get to Sunday's yesterday...

96. Oregon State Beavers
#12 in Pac 12
Count me as someone who really thought the Gary Andersen-Oregon State marriage was going to work.  He won at both Utah State and Wisconsin, and now he was back in his geographic comfort zone, at a place where he could recruit the JUCOs with more freedom than he was ever allowed to in Madison.  Instead, Andersen stepped down halfway through the season last year, with a 7-23 record (4-23 against FBS opponents) in 2.5 years, and the program trending in the wrong direction.  Cory Hall took over, and in his first two games, the team showed fight after a series of blowout losses, nearly beating Colorado and Stanford.  But in the end, he went 0-6, and was not retained as the full time head coach, instead somehow landing down as a position coach in the MAC.  Instead the school opted for an alum from their glory days, Jonathan Smith, the starting quarterback from 1998-2001, including for the 2000 team that went 11-1, won the Pac 12 and the Fiesta Bowl, and finished #4 in the nation.  His qualifications go beyond that though, spending the last 6 years working under Chris Peterson.  Two as QB coach at Boise State, then the last four as OC of Washington.  He was able to come in, and help close Oregon State's class.  The Beavers' top 3 rated recruits all committed to the program in the final week of the late signing period, somewhat salvaging it from being a total lost year.  The one freshman who could make an impact right away is running back Jermar Jefferson from Redondo Beach, California, who chose the Beavers over other Pac 12 programs, such as Colorado and Utah.  With all of the uncertainty at the skill positions, Jefferson has a chance to get immediate touches.  The reason for that is Ryan Nall decided to leave early for the NFL Draft, after accounting for 2,215 yards and 25 touchdowns over the past two seasons.  The quarterback position is no better off.  Jake Luton, who started the first four games last year, before suffering what was nearly a career ending spine injury on a cheap shot from a Washington State defender, still may not play, and his replacement, Darell Garretson, graduated.  It looks to be a battle between sophomore Mason Moran and redshirt freshman Aidan Willard.  Conor Blount, a walk on, who did see action in 2016, and JUCO transfer Jack Colletto, who is a bit of a running threat, can't be counted out.  This program is in need of a total rebuild, and it's going to take some time.  Smith's position in Oregon State history will afford him more time than most would get, but it wasn't a reach hire, just to get someone with a connection to the school.  He is as good a hire as they could make at this moment.  The way he closed the 2018 class, and has begun the 2019 class (although only 2 commits, they are ranked as the #3 class in the Pac 12) it certainly seems like he's doing a good job selling the school, but they are still a couple years away.
Key Players
WRTimmy Hernandez, Senior
TENoah Togiai, Junior
TBlake Brandel, Junior
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LBJonathan Willis, Senior
SDavid Morris, Sophomore
SJalen Moore, Junior

 

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