Tag Archives: Colorado Buffaloes

The Best and Worst of 2016: Pac 12

There were a lot of praise-worthy moments during the 2016 Pac 12 campaign. And in the same breath, I can say with 100% certainty, there were equally plenty of cringe-worthy moments as well. In my opinion, I would say that the Pac 12 took a step back this year. There were some teams that performed extremely well (Pac 12 Champion Washington Huskies) and some teams that stumbled out of the gate, fell, face-planted, and remained on the ground for 12 weeks or so (Arizona, Oregon, Cal, take your pick).

Amongst the peaks and valleys this past season, there were some teams that represented the very best of the Pac 12 and what this conference has to offer to college football. Conversely, there are some teams that flat out stunk and left an ‘un-Febreze-able’ odor, stinging the nostrils of hapless fans up and down the Pacific coast. Depending on your perspective, some of these teams are interchangeable. In the end, we know good football when we see it, straight up. No exceptions. Looking back on this past season, here are my takes on the best and worst of the Pac 12.

The Best

Washington Huskies

Washington made good on their preseason picks to represent the Pac 12 and possibly crack the top four in the College Football Playoff. With an impressive 12-2 (8-1) record, the Huskies punished would-be opponents en route to the Pac 12 championship. It was their first since 2000. Led by sophomore quarterback Jake Browning, The Huskies jumped out of the gate winning their first nine games before falling to eventual Rose Bowl Champion, USC. However, despite the loss, U Dub was able to regroup after the loss, win the Pac 12 Championship and face Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Though the Huskies were put down 24-7, they showed no quit and scrapped it out until the very end.

USC Trojans

The Trojans stumbled out of the gate, losing three of their first four games. They were beyond cross road status. They were picking out a plot and resting in shame for the rest of the season. But, somehow, some way, they picked themselves up by their bootstraps and forged ahead to what was a turnaround of all turnarounds. After a 31-27 defeat to the Utes (Utah), USC went on a torrid win streak (eight straight) and displayed why they are perennial favorites to compete and win the Pac 12 year in and year out. And the ultimate cherry on top, you ask? It was an ‘instant classic’ of a game as you can imagine with an improbable come-from-behind Rose Bowl victory over Big Ten Champ, Penn State 52-49.

Colorado Buffaloes

No, this isn’t a typo. I meant it. Yes, I certainly wasn’t a believer for this pick, but I had to really sit down and catch a few games. And to my surprise, the Buffs were quite good this season. They finished 10-4 (8-1). I think Colorado would have given eventual champion Washington a bit more competition in the conference championship had Sefo Liufao not injured his ankle early in the game. That’s my opinion. But we’ll never know. It’s remarkable what Colorado could do in a course of two seasons. Talk about a serious 180 degree turn around from last season where they went 4-9 (1-8). It’s incredible, especially since it’s with the same group of players. Just goes to show you what continuity can do for a team. Unfortunately, the Buffs had to come crashing back to Earth from a 38-8 smack down at the hands of Oklahoma State in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Despite the loss, this was an impressive campaign and their heads should be held high.

The Worst

Oregon Ducks

A very popular acronym comes to mind when I think of the Ducks: W.T.F? To those not up on current social terminology, let’s just say that it’s a serious inquisition into understanding the unlikeliest of outcomes. Going into the season, there were some question marks regarding the quarterback situation. Graduate transfer Dakota Prukop didn’t quite live up to the hype and his position was given to true freshman, Justin Herbert midway through the season. The issues didn’t just end there. Their porous defense was atrocious. During the October 8th game against Washington, the Ducks surrendered 70, that’s right 70 points and a whopping 682 yards of total offense! To complement a passive defense, All Pac 12 running back, Royce Freeman battled injuries throughout the season and wasn’t even close to being a factor. All totaled, the Ducks finished 4-8 (2-7). Subsequently, Mark Helfrich was relieved of his duties at season’s end. His replacement, former University of South Florida head coach Willie Taggart assumed the position and is looking to retool a once proud and dominant program. One notable bright spot is that running back Royce Freeman will return for his senior season.

UCLA Bruins

Injuries to quarterback Josh Rosen quickly derailed what would be been a championship campaign for the Bruins. Without the sophomore quarterback, UCLA stumbled and bumbled to a 4-8 (2-7) record. Despite the record, the Bruins’ defense kept them in most of their games. Unfortunately, the offense could not drum up enough of a rhythm to keep the defense off the field for extended periods of time. The Bruins look to have Josh Rosen back for his junior season. Hopefully, he will be healthy and the defense, though losing some key playmakers, can resume consistent, strong play.

Cal Golden Bears

Oh, this pains me so! There is no way I can’t say that this season was an absolute disappointment. Early predictions had Cal contending for the Pac 12 North division title – key word, early predictions. When news that Cal had landed graduate transfer Davis Webb from Texas Tech, it seemed that the Golden Bears’ prayers had been answered as far as a replacement for former signal caller, Jared Goff. Statistically, Webb performed well above expectations- throwing for 4,295 yards with 37 TD’s versus 12 picks. Of course the other side of the coin reveals a much darker, bleaker situation. Cal’s defense, which showed some improvement last season, seemed to have left that improvement somewhere in 2015. Cal’s defense ranked at or near the bottom in several defensive statistical categories. It was a hot mess of a dumpster fire. However, the defensive highlight of the season and a moment which I figured would turn Cal’s season around was the epic goal line stand against then #4 Utah. It was the type of stand that sets the tone for the rest of the season. Alas, it was only good enough to get the win and nothing more. Sadly, it would be only one of two wins to come in the final seven games of the season. The blaze that was the 2016 season saw coaching casualties in Defensive Coordinator Art Kaufman and Head Coach Sonny Dykes. With a new regime taking place in Strawberry Canyon, first-time head coach Justin Wilcox is poised to right a ship that has been astray for some time.

Email David at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @VirgosAssasin.

Featured images courtesy of collegeswimming.com

Mock College Football Playoff 2016: Final Rankings

Welcome to the season finale of Campus Pressbox’s official mock playoff committee. Thank you to all the readers who kept up with our weekly rankings. Special thanks to all the wonderful people on this year’s committee. You can view the previous weeks’ results here.

The committee:

Tim Bach (@Tbach84)
Kristen Botica (@OGKristenB)
Damien Bowman (@damienbowman)
Mitch Gatzke (@GreatGatzke)
Cooper Goetz (@uf_goetz)
John Horlander (@John_Horlander)
Seth Merenbloom (@SethMerenbloom)
Evan Skilliter (@EvanSkilliter)
Ben Belden (@bbelden330), Founding Writer- Golden Domer Daily
Cole Hankins (@Cole_Hankins), Writer- SB Nation
Thomas Gardner
J.R. Goetz

The rules:

Each week, committee members will submit their top 10 teams and each team will receive points based on their position. The team’s will be ranked 1-10 based on which has the most points. Ties will be broken by which team has the highest votes in a specific position.

Points are assigned as follow: first place – 10, second place – 9, third place – 8, fourth place – 7, fifth place – 6, sixth place – 5, seventh place – 4, eighth place – 3, ninth place – 2, tenth place – 1.

Final Results:

Place Team Points First Place Votes
1 Alabama (1) 120 12
2 Clemson (3) 99
3 Washington (4) 94
4 Ohio State (2) 89
5 Penn State (7) 73
6 Michigan (5) 60
7 Oklahoma (8) 52
8 Wisconsin (6) 28
9 Western Michigan 21
10 USC (10) 16
Additional Votes: Colorado (9) 5
Oklahoma State 2
Florida State 1

(#)=last week’s position.

Playoff:

Bowl Matchup
Peach No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State
Fiesta No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Washington

New Year’s Six:

Bowl Matchup Tie In
Orange Florida State vs.  No. 8 Wisconsin ACC vs. Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC
Cotton No. 9 Western Michigan vs. No. 6 Michigan At Large vs. At Large
Rose No. 5 Penn State vs. No. 10 USC Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar No. 7 Oklahoma vs. Auburn Big 12 vs. SEC

Notes and Observations:

  • It’s official. Alabama has completed a clean sweep of this year’s rankings. The Crimson Tide were the unanimous No. 1 team every week.
  • Penn State’s great showing in the Big Ten Championship allowed the Nittany Lions to steal a Playoff spot on many of our committee member’s rankings this week.
    • Penn State’s performance is also the reason for Ohio State’s drop from No. 2 to No. 4.
  • As Big Ten Champs, the Nittany Lions should absolutely get a bid to this year’s Rose Bowl.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the boat has been rowed. Western Michigan, after being in the honorable mentions for multiple weeks, has at long last broken into the top 10.
    • Committee members had the Broncos ranked as high as 7th in the final rankings of the year.

Our Work:

For transparency, here is how each member of the committee voted this week:

final-ranks

E-mail Cooper at [email protected]or follow him on twitter @uf_goetz
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Comment on this and every article by becoming a Campus Pressbox Insider.

The Sunday Morning Notebook: Conference Championship Edition

December is for contenders, and the rest of the season is for pretenders. Unless, of course, you’re Ohio State, in which case you can be a contender without even playing in December. The College Football Playoff picture just got a lot clearer after a weekend chock-full of marquee matchups. Or, perhaps it’s just as murky as it was in November.

Somebody call 9-1-1! I think he’s dead!

But just to make sure, Derrick Gore pounded it home from 10 yards out with 3:48 to play to cap off Alabama’s 54-16 evisceration of Florida. In a game that meant little to either team’s playoff chances, Saban decided to press the pedal to the floor and try to earn Alabama a bye in the College Football Playoff, purely out of mercy to whichever sorry team gets placed at #4 (That was a joke, by the way, Alabama can’t get a bye in the playoff. The #4 team will have to play Alabama. Keep EMS on standby to resuscitate whomever it may be).

Game Notes:

  • Jalen Hurts had a lackluster day, throwing 11/20 for 138 yards and just one touchdown. It’s not his fault he didn’t rack up big numbers, though. There was a six-minute span in the first quarter in which the Tide gained one yard, and yet they scored 16 points.
  • The Crimson Tide had a pick-6 and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in that time frame, and they picked off Gator quarterback Austin Appleby twice more for good measure
  • Three Alabama running backs notched touchdowns: Derrick Henry–erm, I mean Bo Scarbrough, Joshua Jacobs, and Derrick Gore.

Pac-12 Champion playoff bound after all?

Sko Buffs! Colorado must have forgotten that the Pac-12 Championship was Friday night and not Saturday. In another blowout conference title game, Washington made it clear that it wants its shot at the College Football playoff, as the Huskies dominated the Colorado Buffaloes 41-10.

Game Notes:

  • The Washington defense was stifling all night, and held the Buffaloes to 81 yards passing and 82 yards rushing. Lockdown.
  • Jake Browning, who for some reason is still in the Heisman race, put up an abysmal 118 yards on 9/24 passing.
  • Browning didn’t need to do much, though, because running backs Miles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman lacerated the Colorado defense for 159 and 101 yards rushing, respectively.
  • Despite this convincing win, I still don’t think Washington will make it into the top 4 tonight. I think that the Pac-12 has spent this whole year beating up on itself, and now they’re going to be left in the dust.

On the BIGgest stage, the true contenders perform

After trailing 28-7 with just a minute to go in the first half, the Penn State Nittany Lions rallied to defeat the Wisconsin Badgers 38-31. On the back of a 10-point fourth quarter, Penn State stonewalled Badger running back Corey Clement on fourth down to seal the victory.

Game Notes:

  • Trace McSorely wants Bama! (No you don’t) The Nittany Lion gunslinger notched 384 yards and four touchdowns on 22/31 passing,
  • Clement had himself a game as well for the Badgers, chalking up 164 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
  • Unfortunately, this win doesn’t totally seal the deal for the Nittany Lions. The committee will be forced to think long and hard about the value of a conference championship, because as it stands now, Ohio State is going to get in over Penn State, despite losing the head-to-head battle.

Other Notes:

  • Clemson hung on to defeat Virginia Tech 42-35. It will probably be enough to get them into the playoff, but Clemson has not been dominant this year. If it were purely up to personal preference, they can have the Orange Bowl.
  • Western Michigan beat Toledo 29-23 in the final installment of #MACtion. The Broncos capped off an undefeated season with a hard fought 13th win in the MAC title game. They’ll be rowing the boat in the Cotton Bowl, though. No chance for playoff berth here.
  • Baker Mayfield’s 288 yards and three touchdowns gave Oklahoma their second straight Big XII title, but it was all irrelevant bedlam. The Sooners beat Oklahoma State 38-20, but they also don’t look likely to make the playoff.
  • Navy lost, so that makes life easy for the bowl selection committee.
Email writer John at [email protected] or connect with him on Twitter: @John_Horlander.

Photo: Flickr – David Smith

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Mock College Football Playoff 2016: Week 13

Welcome to week five of Campus Pressbox’s official mock playoff committee. Every Tuesday I’ll be publishing the top 10 based on a group vote. You can view the previous weeks’ results here.

The committee:

Tim Bach (@Tbach84)
Kristen Botica (@OGKristenB)
Damien Bowman (@damienbowman)
Mitch Gatzke (@GreatGatzke)
Cooper Goetz (@uf_goetz)
John Horlander (@John_Horlander)
Seth Merenbloom (@SethMerenbloom)
Evan Skilliter (@EvanSkilliter)
Ben Belden (@bbelden330), Founding Writer- Golden Domer Daily
Cole Hankins (@Cole_Hankins), Writer- SB Nation
Thomas Gardner
J.R. Goetz

The rules:

Each week, committee members will submit their top 10 teams and each team will receive points based on their position. The team’s will be ranked 1-10 based on which has the most points. Ties will be broken by which team has the highest votes in a specific position.

Points are assigned as follow: first place – 10, second place – 9, third place – 8, fourth place – 7, fifth place – 6, sixth place – 5, seventh place – 4, eighth place – 3, ninth place – 2, tenth place – 1.

Week 11 Results:

Place Team Points First Place Votes
1 Alabama (1) 120 12
2 Ohio State (2) 101
3 Clemson (4) 99
4 Washington (5) 88
5 Michigan (3) 64
6 Wisconsin (6) 57
7 Penn State (8) 43
8 Oklahoma (7) 33
9 Colorado (9) 33
10 USC 10
Additional Votes: Oklahoma State 6
Western Michigan 6

(#)=last week’s position.

Playoff:

Bowl Teams
Peach No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Washington
Fiesta No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson

New Year’s Six:

Bowl Teams Tie In
Orange Florida State vs. No. 6 Wisconsin ACC vs. Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC
Cotton At Large vs. At Large
Rose No. 5 Michigan vs. No. 9 Colorado Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar No. 8 Oklahoma vs. Auburn Big 12 vs. SEC

Notes and Observations:

  • I’m unsure whether or not there is a need to acknowledge that Alabama is the unanimous #1 for the fifth straight week.
    • I am also beginning to doubt my continued inclusion of the First Place Votes column in the Weekly Results.
  • Oklahoma and Colorado tied for total points this week. Normally, the tie breaker would be who received the most votes at the highest position, but both teams received a single vote at No. 6. Thus, the tie breaker came down to the seventh place votes, where Oklahoma received two more than Colorado, giving the Sooners the No. 8 spot over the Buffs.
    • Oklahoma, interestingly enough, had its total points drop 14 points (47 to 33), which is fairly substantial.
  • Despite Tim’s heroic attempt to get WMU in the top 10 by putting them at No. 9 in his rankings, the Broncos still fell a few points short of being ranked this week.
  • Michigan received a single tenth place vote.
  • In my mind, the winner of the Big Ten championship is all but guaranteed one of the two possible Big Ten New Year’s Six bowl spots.
    • The Big Ten Championship is being played by the third and fourth best Big Ten teams according to our panelists.
  • The winner of this year’s Bedlam Series will win the Big 12 and earn the conference’s bid to the Sugar Bowl.

 This Week’s Marquee Matches:

No. 9 Colorado @  No. 4 Washington (Friday 9 PM in Levi’s Stadium)

Oklahoma State @ No. 8 Oklahoma (Saturday 12:30 PM)

No. 6 Wisconsin @ No. 7 Penn State (Saturday 8 PM in Lucas Oil Stadium)

Our Work:

For transparency, here is how each member of the committee voted this week:

rankings

E-mail Cooper at [email protected]or follow him on twitter @uf_goetz
Photo courtesy of Sam Howzit – Flickr
Comment on this and every article by becoming a Campus Pressbox Insider.

Shame on Your Weak Week 12 Schedule, SEC

Shame on you, for real.

No, not you, Ohio State. I don’t think you were looking ahead, to the last game on your schedule. You were dealing with a typically tough conference rival in their house. You won the game, and that’s all we needed to see.

No, not you, Colorado. What a fantastic season you’ve had. However, let’s not get it twisted. Storming the field has lost all meaning, if you’re motivated by the “lifetime achievement award” type season. Taking down Washington State may have been your best home win, but that was hardly a moment of goal post uprooting.

Kansas, you should be ashamed of a lot of things, but the pandemonium in Lawrence makes sense to me. It shouldn’t have been the second trespassing incident on that turf this season. It shouldn’t have been the Jayhawks’ first win in 24 tries versus FBS competition. I sincerely hope Saturday’s win over Texas doesn’t end up being the backdrop for Charlie Strong’s Final Act as head coach at Texas. Standby on that.

The SEC-Southern Conference Challenge

Shame on you, Alabama. For the record, I don’t care to see any of the game’s traditional juggernauts play a televised game against a scout team any time of year, but when it happens in Week 12, the exhibition adds insult to injury. I’m not mad that Tennessee-Chattanooga led the Tide, 3-0 after one, and I don’t think it should matter to anyone. Whether Alabama won that game by a single possession or earned the 28-point victory they actually etched out against their 8-2 FCS opponent, no one should have cared about that game. I hope no one of any significance did.

It’s just a shame. I think we’re being gypped. It’s become clear to me that how good you are matters more than what you’ve achieved, and if that’s the criteria, I don’t want the best of the Southeastern Conference playing anyone that isn’t Power 5 after October 1st, let alone in Week 12.

They weren’t alone in the SEC, seeking out a Southern Conference opponent from the lower tier. South Carolina hosted the Catamounts of Western Carolina. Down in Auburn, the Tigers survived Alabama A&M from the SWAC, edging the Bulldogs 55-0. What do these contests tell us?

Nothing. It’s a shame they even partake in the practice.

Florida and LSU Found a Way to Play

It’s funny how it ends up being a blessing in disguise for the conference to bail themselves out of the cluster-you-know-what created in the aftermath of Florida canceling their scheduled game with LSU on October 8th. Remember all of that finger-pointing? Did you think maybe Florida was digging their own grave?

It turns out they didn’t. They got a trip to Atlanta out of it, and they don’t have to go to Baton Rouge next year. We’ll see how much of it matters after they rendezvous with Saban and company. It may not matter much after they play Florida State. The one we don’t get, is the 2-9 Presbyterian Blue Hose. Their coach is stepping down; South Alabama gave them a whooping in Florida’s place, and faithful Gator fans were spared an essentially unwatchable game.

Rutgers Just Isn’t Good Enough For the Big Ten

Shame on the Big Ten for the latest expansion. I don’t care if anyone thinks it pisses on tradition. You stuck all of these decent teams in the Big Ten East with Maryland and Rutgers. Two teams that really could have used showcase games, a week before Ohio State and Michigan own the conference spotlight, got stuck with cake walk games–versus Maryland and Rutgers.

That’s your Big Ten Championship, if the dominoes fall a certain way next Saturday. Nebraska and Penn State, they might as well have played Youngstown State and Villanova. The chalk says Wisconsin plays Penn State, but it sure would be a shame if the winner of Ohio State-Michigan didn’t win the Big Ten Championship.

Would it be a shame to appoint our first team without a conference title in hand? I would not be ashamed to see a Buckeyes team with wins over Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the College Football Playoff.

That would only be a shame for people that think seasons should disintegrate due to blocked field goals in hostile road environments. Shame on you, people like that.

The next few Saturdays should be a lot of fun. It’s just a shame we couldn’t get more quality from the 205 this weekend.

Photo Credit: Matthew Tosh, via Flickr

Mock College Football Playoff 2016: Week 12

Welcome to week four of Campus Pressbox’s official mock playoff committee. Every Tuesday I’ll be publishing the top 10 based on a group vote. You can view the previous weeks’ results here.

The committee:

Tim Bach (@Tbach84)
Kristen Botica (@OGKristenB)
Damien Bowman (@damienbowman)
Mitch Gatzke (@GreatGatzke)
Cooper Goetz (@uf_goetz)
John Horlander (@John_Horlander)
Seth Merenbloom (@SethMerenbloom)
Evan Skilliter (@Skilliter)
Ben Belden (@bbelden330), Writer- Slap the Sign
Cole Hankins (@Cole_Hankins), Writer- SB Nation
Thomas Gardner
J.R. Goetz

The rules:

Each week, committee members will submit their top 10 teams and each team will receive points based on their position. The team’s will be ranked 1-10 based on which has the most points. Ties will be broken by which team has the highest votes in a specific position.

Points are assigned as follow: first place – 10, second place – 9, third place – 8, fourth place – 7, fifth place – 6, sixth place – 5, seventh place – 4, eighth place – 3, ninth place – 2, tenth place – 1.

Week 11 Results:

Place Team Points First Place Votes
1 Alabama (1) 120 12
2 Ohio State (2) 100
3 Michigan (4) 100
4 Clemson (5) 86
5 Washington (7) 67
6 Wisconsin (6) 63
7 Oklahoma (8) 47
8 Penn State (9) 30
9 Colorado 23
10 Louisville (3) 9
Additional Votes: USC 7
Western Michigan 5
Oklahoma State 3

(#)=last week’s position.

Playoff:

Bowl Teams
Peach No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Clemson
Fiesta No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Michigan

New Year’s Six:

Bowl Teams Tie In
Orange No. 10 Louisville vs. No. 8 Penn State ACC vs. Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC
Cotton At Large vs. At Large
Rose No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 5 Washington Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar No. 7 Oklahoma vs. Florida Big 12 vs. SEC

Notes and Observations:

  • Alabama made it four straight weeks of racking up all the 1st place votes.
  • The first tie in points this season came this week, as Ohio State and Michigan both earned 100 total. Ohio State got the No. 2 spot because it received more 2nd place votes than Michigan.
  • Oklahoma received both a 4th place vote, as well as a 9th place vote, which is an extremely large range.
  • And somehow, Louisville is still ranked this week, coming in at No. 10.

 This Week’s Marquee Matches:

No. 3 Michigan @ No. 2 Ohio State (12 PM)

It’s Rivalry Week, boys! Every game matters!

Our Work:

For transparency, here is how each member of the committee voted this week:

week-4

E-mail Cooper at [email protected]or follow him on twitter @uf_goetz
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Comment on this and every article by becoming a Campus Pressbox Insider.

Mock College Football Playoff 2016: Week 11

Welcome to the third week of Campus Pressbox’s official mock playoff committee. Every Tuesday I’ll be publishing the top 10 based on a group vote. You can view the previous weeks’ results here.

The committee:

Tim Bach (@Tbach84)
Kristen Botica (@OGKristenB)
Damien Bowman (@damienbowman)
Mitch Gatzke (@GreatGatzke)
Cooper Goetz (@uf_goetz)
John Horlander (@John_Horlander)
Seth Merenbloom (@SethMerenbloom)
Evan Skilliter (@Skilliter)
Ben Belden (@bbelden330), Writer- Slap the Sign
Cole Hankins (@Cole_Hankins), Writer- SB Nation
Thomas Gardner
J.R. Goetz

The rules:

Each week, committee members will submit their top 10 teams and each team will receive points based on their position. The team’s will be ranked 1-10 based on which has the most points. Ties will be broken by which team has the highest votes in a specific position.

Points are assigned as follow: first place – 10, second place – 9, third place – 8, fourth place – 7, fifth place – 6, sixth place – 5, seventh place – 4, eighth place – 3, ninth place – 2, tenth place – 1.

Week 11 Results:

Place Team Points First Place Votes
1 Alabama (1) 120 12
2 Ohio State (6) 102
3 Louisville (5) 89
4 Michigan (2) 88
5 Clemson (3) 76
6 Wisconsin (7) 55
7 Washington (4) 47
8 Oklahoma (9) 37
9 Penn State (10) 23
10 West Virginia 12
Additional Votes: Western Michigan 4
Colorado 2
Oklahoma State 2
USC 2
Utah 1

(#)=last week’s position.

Playoff:

Bowl Teams
Peach No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Michigan
Fiesta No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Louisville

 

New Year’s Six:

Bowl Teams Tie In
Orange No. 5 Clemson vs. No. 9 Penn State ACC vs. Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC
Cotton At Large vs. At Large
Rose No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No 7 Washington Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar No. 8 Oklahoma vs. LSU Big 12 vs. SEC

 

Notes and Observations:

  • In a surprise to no one, Alabama received all of the first place votes for the third consecutive week.
  • Up until this week, Louisville had been in front of Ohio State by a single vote each week. This week, the Buckeyes jumped the Cardinals and have a secure 13 point cushion for the No. 2 spot.
  • In general, there was a lot less certainty following all the losses this past weekend. The standard deviation was definitely much larger this week compared to weeks previous.

 This Saturday’s Marquee Matches

No. 3 Louisville @ Houston Cougars (8 PM)

No. 8 Oklahoma @ No. 10 West Virginia (8 PM)

Washington St. @ Colorado (3:30 PM)

Our Work:

For transparency, here is how each member of the committee voted this week:

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-51-48-pm

E-mail Cooper at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @uf_goetz
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Comment on this and every article by becoming a Campus Pressbox Insider.

 

The Oversaturation Killing the NFL is Good for College Football

All this time, the NFL has seemed so bullet-proof, but we’re seeing vulnerability in the armor. People aren’t watching as much, and they don’t like the way the product is being dispersed.

What plagues the professional game actually seems to aid college football. While we understand Saturday remains the best day to see the best games, we don’t feel like the occasional Thursday or Friday games are scheduled to do us dirty.

You want to play one of these games on the moon at 4 o’clock on a Tuesday, College Football fans will adjust. Just tell them when/where the tailgate is, and they’re cool.

Tell an NFL fan that Sunday Ticket is only offering a game that his antenna won’t in the late spot on Sunday, and they’re livid with London and Thursday Night Football. The presentation of the NFL game is too clean for fans to adapt to these random game-time windows.

College Football fans see Thursday, and now also Tuesday and Wednesday, as an opportunity to showcase a game that might be buried on ESPNU or some dreaded streaming option at noon on Saturday.

Western Michigan is the “Other” Team

Last Tuesday, the nation’s “other” unbeaten team had the undivided attention of the College Football diehards in Muncie. Maybe a 32-point win over Ball State isn’t that sexy on paper, but did you see what Corey Davis did?

Do you feel anything was flukey about Western Michigan’s 9-0 start? Maybe you understand the pecking order, and where the Mid-American Conference gets pecked. Maybe there’s an obligation to qualify the two road wins over the Big Ten by reminding everyone that Illinois was one of those wins. Maybe you wonder if the MAC juggernaut deserves to be on the field with a mid-major darling like Boise State.

Friday night, by the way, a nationwide audience was given a chance to watch the other Broncos bounce back from their first loss of the season, which happened on October 29.

Remember the 80s?

Just for kicks, you could have watched games involving Oklahoma and Colorado last Thursday. Maybe something like that would have excited you more 25-30 years ago, but those games affect the outcome of the Big 12 and Pac-12, because the present is weird.

You love it, and it takes nothing away from Saturday afternoon or evening.

Election Threads and Football on the Diamond

This coming Tuesday, Eastern Michigan will continue a semi-annual MAC tradition of paying homage to democracy with Election Day uniforms, back in Muncie–for #MACtion. Speaking of everyone’s favorite non-defense-playing conference, you’ll be sure to see Cubs fans from DeKalb to Northern Ohio trolling Guaranteed Rate Field on Chicago’s south side this Wednesday.

It’s football at a baseball stadium. Yeah, Northwestern and Illinois got Wrigley on a Saturday, and GameDay went to Wrigleyville. This next chapter in the great Toledo-Northern Illinois saga might get Roy Philbott, Rocky Boiman, and an ESPN2 production crew to urban Illinois on a school night.

Does Anyone Get Pac-12 Network?

Thursday, we get Utah in the Valley of the Sun, for the FS1 weekend preview. It’s up to the Utes to prove that anyone other than Washington is worth a damn in that conference. This game isn’t being stolen from ABC at 3:30, but more likely from a channel you don’t get, even if you live in Phoenix or Salt Lake City.

NBC is Glad It’s You, Not Them

CBS gave you three games on Saturday, just as they would when they have London and the 1 PM/4 PM doubleheader on Sunday. They got Notre Dame because they have Navy rights. Notre Dame lost again; great moment for Navy. Is College Football worse off for the Irish’s 3-6 campaign?

I doubt CBS or Navy care. They’re going to care about records a lot more in December when they’re selling some lousy SEC East team’s upset potential against Alabama in Atlanta.

Hurts Donut?

Speaking of the Tide, Jalen Hurts may have provided the only offensive spark for Alabama in a 10-0 win in Death Valley at night. There’s a joke to be told including Alabama’s quarterback’s last name and a breakfast food that looks like a zero, but I’m striking out.

The networks are hitting it out of the park though and in doing so, they’ve won us over with quantity over quality. More may mean too much on Sunday, but we love it on Saturday, Thursday, and sometimes Tuesday.

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The Misuse of Title IX in College Football

Colorado defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt is proof that coaches can make the most of second chances. Leavitt helped build the South Florida football program from scratch. In doing so, he led the Bulls to a record of 95-57 from 1997-2009. He was courted by higher profile programs but ultimately decided to remain loyal to the program that had given him his first opportunity as a head coach.

All of that came to end when Leavitt was accused of striking a player in the locker room. This incident resulted in his firing. Much was made of the incident at the time and it was used as justification when some people said he should never coach again.

And for three years after his firing, Leavitt did not coach college football as he spent 2011-2014 as the San Francisco 49ers linebackers coach.

But then Leavitt was given a second chance to coach college football when, in 2015, Colorado head coach Mike Macintyre hired him as his defensive coordinator at Colorado. There may have been a few people who thought it was a questionable hire given what allegedly occurred while Leavitt was at South Florida, but there wasn’t the public outrage that we hear when the possibility of Art Briles coaching again is brought up.

What went on at Baylor and South Florida should not be considered equivalent situations, but the events surrounding the firings of Briles and Leavitt are comparable. Leavitt was accused of punching one of his players while Briles was accused of turning a blind eye to his players sexually assaulting women. Yes, I stand by my assertion that these are comparable but not equivalent situations.

These situations are comparable because each coach allegedly lost control of his program. These situations are not equivalent because Leavitt allegedly lost control of himself and made the decision to allow his actions to become violent. Briles, though, lost control of other people. My point is that Leavitt’s alleged actions were worse than Briles’ alleged actions yet society allowed Leavitt a second chance. And it’s a second chance that I agree with.

So why was Leavitt’s second chance embraced while the thought of a second chance for Briles will have a person shunned? There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first reason is timing. When Leavitt was fired by South Florida, society was much different. We as a society had empathy for others, but we didn’t allow that empathy to be the catalyst for publicly shaming a potentially guilty party. Reason played a much greater role in decision making back in 2009.

The second reason that Leavitt’s second chance was embraced is due to the genders of the alleged assaulted parties combined with the timing of the incident. If Leavitt would have struck a woman, his second chance still would have occurred, but it would have been more harshly scrutinized. We live in a society where a man can be assaulted. Just don’t assault a woman. And that isn’t my way of saying that assaulting a woman should be tolerated. It’s my way of saying that assault is assault regardless of the gender of the victim. Remember, we’re all supposed to be equal.

The elements of timing and gender are being tied together through the misuse of Title IX.  Title IX was never intended to be used as a mechanism to fight against sexual assault. Furthermore, it is stated in that AAUP link that using Title IX in this manner can actually lead to more gender inequality. And that perpetuation of gender inequality is on full display when comparing the alleged misconduct that happened at South Florida and Baylor.

Leavitt was provided with a second chance when he was hired by the 49ers. He seemed to have made the most of that second chance as it resulted in Colorado being comfortable with him being around college players. Leavitt’s success story should be used as an example when contemplating whether or not Briles should coach again.

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

Photo: Wikipedia

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Does the Sun Devil Surprise Continue in Colorado?

In every football season there are surprises. A team exceeds expectations or drops off the face of the Earth. Well, don’t tell anybody, but the Arizona State Sun Devils are quietly in the mix for the Pac-12 South division title going into their game with Colorado.

We still have a ways to go in this Pac-12 football season, however, there is a low-key confidence growing among the coaches and the players for the Sun Devils.

What has to happen for Arizona State to pull the surprise and win the Pac-12 South?

First of all, the Sun Devils have to get by an upstart Colorado team this Saturday. This is not going to be an easy thing to do. The Buffaloes have proven to be a team to not overlook. They were up big on a talented Michigan team, beat Oregon in Eugene, and fell just short against the USC Trojans.

The Sun Devils are well aware of how important this game is in terms of the Pac-12 South division. If Arizona State gets this win it’ll put the Devils a game up on Colorado and they will then control their own destiny.

The other aspect that can derail this season for the Sun Devils is injuries, especially at the quarterback position.

Starting quarterback, Manny Wilkins Jr., has been out with injury for the past couple of weeks. He is expected to return for the Colorado game. Being at Sun Devil practice, it is obvious that the coaching staff wants Manny Wilkins Jr. at quarterback on Saturday. Wilkins is going through all the drills that don’t involve contact. His replacement, Brady White, who played admirably in relief two weeks ago against USC is out for the rest of the season due to an injury that occurred last week in the win against UCLA.

If Manny Wilkins Jr. can’t play on Saturday it will be a difficult game for the Sun Devils in Colorado.

The next part of the equation for Arizona State is that leaky faucet defense the Sun Devils have. The Sun Devils have to make stops against Colorado. The defense needs to step up and that might include not relying on the blitz so much.

“The Sun Devils blitz when they walk off the bus. We know we will have some negative plays defending the blitz, but there will be chances for us to take advantage of it.” Said Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre on the weekly Pac-12 conference call.

Blitzing is the bread and butter for the Arizona State defense. Talented teams like Colorado can take advantage of the over aggressive style to make big plays. The Sun Devils bring pressure from every angle to try and confuse the offense. Arizona State gets to the quarterback, but also gives up many big plays with its blitzing.

I believe the Sun Devils need to dial back the aggressive play a bit. With a division title possible you have to play smart and being so aggressive is not always the smartest way to go.

Will the Sun Devils choose to dial the blitz back?

Don’t count on it. Coaches have a style that suits them. This is the style of Coach Graham.

I believe the Sun Devils will have Manny Wilkins Jr. at quarterback on Saturday, but how effective can Wilkins be coming off of injury? Colorado will be coming after Wilkins and if Colorado can get him out of the game, it’s game over for the Sun Devils.

When the clock runs out on Saturday, I believe the Colorado Buffaloes will be the victors. Colorado doesn’t have as many questions heading into this game, in my opinion. Buffaloes win, 45-28.

E-mail Mike at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @pigskinopinion.

Image: Wikipedia

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