Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ask the Professors Panel for 2011/12

A new season is coming for our "Ask the Professors" series, and I am proud to announce our new panel for the season two! Without further delay, here is our new list of contributors for this very succesful series. They are listed in no particular order, and are all fantastic writers who will add a diverse take on our topics!

Kody Brannon
Kody returns as a vet to the group from season one, and is one of our favorites. ou may know Kody from his sports blog, as he specializes in all sports, with a special slant on his native Texas, and the surrounding areas. Kody is a huge college football enthusiast, and a very good friend. It's great to have him back! Follow him on Twitter @kodysportskorner.

Matt Chandik
Matt is also back for season two, and he brings a healthy dose of dripping synicism, and a whole truck load of knowledge, with a specialization in all things Big 10 Football. Matt has been a valued contributor to The Bilo College Football Report for several months, and also writes for the Delaware County Times south of Philadelphia. Another heavy hitter! Follow him on Twitter @MattChandik.

John Stansberry
You have no idea what's coming at you when you get John in the mix. One of my favorite follows on Twitter, John knows how to bring it to the house, and he keeps you wanting more. John writes his own blog, and also writes for on a regular basis. This is going to be John's first season with the Professors, and let me tell you, we are very pumped to have him onboard!

Justin Davis
Justin is new to the group as well this season, and has been an avid supporter of everything that we do for a good long while. Justin, along with James King, co-hosts "Tha SportsKrib" radio show in blogtalk radio, a show that I Have guested on, and brings a specialty in al things SEC. Justin and James also host a boxing show on Tuesday nights, also on blogtalk radio, and if boxing is your thing, there's no better place to go. Follow Justin on Twitter @jersymikejr.

Nick and Jason Humbert
Back for season two! If fantasy football is your thing, there is no better place than for all of your college football fantasy needs! A strong site, and you won't get information like they give it anywhere else. You receive invaulable college football information, and fantasy ball is a blast on this site. They also co-host "The Tailgate Party" radio show on blogtalk radio, again, a show that I have guested on several times now, and I have a great time, every time. Great guys with great takes, and we're happy to have them back! Follow them on Twitter @GlobalCFFL

Sean Baker
Sean returns for season two, and he brings it from the perspective of being a Penn State specialist with ties to both Ohio State and NC State. A valued friend of the report, Sean was an original member of this group, and has a solid perspective on what's going on when it comes to the national radar of college football. This series would not be the same without him! Follow him on Twitter @nittanylines

The Onside Kick
A great group of guys who run a fantastic site that streams news from all over college and NFL football. They are an invaluable source of information for everything football, and are extremely entertaining to follow. A new addition to the series, you can follow them on their site or follow them on Twitter @Onside_Kick. This is their first season with the Professors!
Ryan Burns
He has the sickness for football. Ryan is a solid follow, and is extremely knowledgable on all things in the sport. Ryan is the Editor-in-Chief for and is a new addition to the group for season two. The site is also loaded with excellent podcasts, and is a must follow. We are thrilled to have Ryan joining our group, and you can follow him @FftblSickness on Twitter.
Zack Bloxhm and Brett Hein
The braind behind are back in the house for season two. Original members of the group for season one, they bring a load of information out of the America's Rocky Mountain region with specialized takes on all things Mountain West and WAC. Their takes are strongly bolstered by strong logic and wisdom, and are always a great read. Follow them on Twitter @theupsetblog.
Cory Hedin
We are thrilled to welcome Cory back for season two, as he was a founding member of the Professors. Cory returns with a specialty in all things Utah Utes, Mountain West, and Pac-12. Follow Cory on Twitter @Ute_Red_Zone for a superfan take on all things Utes!
Lee Kunkel
You'll get a take from the ground on the FCS level, as he currently attends Robert Morris in the Pittsburgh area, but he gives a strong take on East Coast College Football. Lee will be joining us for his first season, and we look forward to what he will bring to the table! follow him on Twitter @kunkel5.
Scott Bilo
You know me by now, as I am the founder of the group, the site, and am launching our brand new site, on August 20th, which will be the future home of this series! I have been working as both a main stream and freelance journalist for over 20 years, having started my radio career at KFI in Los Angeles. I moved on to sprts radio in 1991, and have been covering College Football and Basketball, NFL Football, Arena Football, CFL Football, and Minor and Major League Baseball. A former UCLA and Boston College season ticket holder, I now reside in Las Vegas, and am launching season two of the Bilo College Football Report, and we are adding content to both this blog and our new site everyday! Follow me on Twitter @BiloFootball and @PowerRtdSports while you can find me on Facebook at both Bilo College Football Report and Power Rated Sports.
Keith Harding
Keith is my co-founder for the Bilo College Football Report and and he is our research specialist for both sites. Keith has worked with me for 30 years to perfect our Power Ratings Index that we use to rank schools for FBS, FCS, and D2 football, and it's a system that is time tested and stands to scrutiny. There is not a soul on this planet who lives, eats, and breathes football more than Keith. He is a master of football knowledge and lore, and he is the creator of all of the topic lines that we use for this series. Great guy, great friend, and a great Brother from a different mother.
I hope that you enjoy this panel this season! It's a huge group, I know, but I want to provide you, the reader, with as many different takes as is possible to give a well rounded vision on what's happening from week to week in the college football universe. It's going to be a phenominal season! 
First edition launches Friday, August 5th! All questions will be emailed to the group tomorrow!

Friday, July 29, 2011

SIAC 2011 Preview

Albany State (GA) Golden Rams
2010 Record: 11-1
Stanley Jennings returns at QB for the Rams, after passing for 2392 yards and 26 TDs. They will need to find a RB to step up behind him after losing their top two backs from last season. The loss of Ronnie Childs at WR may be a setback, but Octavius Staton has a chance to step up. Orion Ponder becomes the new second receiver, and has a huge opportunity to turn the corner. The Rams will have an issue on defense, as they lose their top 3 tacklers. Jamarkus Gaskins return to anchor the back four, but the Rams lose a ton pf pressure up front. The defense is in rebuilding mode. Another 11 win season may not be in the offing.
Season Opener: 8/28 Savannah State

Benedict Tigers
2010 Record: 5-6
Michael Adams should step into the QB role this season, but if the Tigers can find a replacement other than him, it may not be the worst thing. Adams did manage to rush for 5 scores and is the best returning rusher. That may also be a problem. The Tigers also lose their top 2 receivers fro 2010. DeQuan Starling is the returning star of the defense after having defended 8 passes last season. Otherwise, the defense is in rebuilding mode.
Season Opener: 9/3 Virginia Union

Clark (Atlanta) Panthers
2010 Record: 4-6
With the loss of RB Winston Thompson, the Panthers are back in rebuilding mode on offense. The passing game struggled often last fall, and there is nothing determining a major improvement. There is also a genuine lack of play makers defensively, so making strides over the 4 win season of last year seems like a pipe dream.
Season Opener: 9/2 @ Georgia State

Fort Valley State Wildcats
2010 Record: 8-3
The Wildcats made strides in the run game last season, and it looks to be a strength once again. Reginlad Goodrum will return at LB to lead the defense after collecting 71 tackles. He was also good for 15 TFLs last fall.DaJuan Williams returns in the secondary after defending 6 passes on the season.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ Florida A&M

Kentucky State Thorobreds
2010 Record: 3-8
QB Jerrell Nolan will try to lead KSU to a comeback this season after passing for 16 TDs last fall. He is a bright spot coming off of an otherwise dreary 2010. Shannon Frieson returns at RB after rushing for 7 scores. Rafael Amey will be asked to step up into the top receiver role, but was highly average last fall. Losing LB Derrick Addai will be tough, but DeAndre Mosely will make the attempt to take over the productivity.Grandson Brown was solid in the secondary with 9 passes defended, and will be back to anchor the secondary.
Season Opener: 9/4 @ Central State

Lane Dragons
2010 Record: 0-10
Tahj Dent was the starting QB as a freshman, and he played like it by tossing twice as many picks as scoring passes. Dent was also the rushing leader, but the Dragons lack another force at the RB position. There is a severe lack of talent in the receiving corps. Milton Meeks collected 56 tackles last fall, and will be depended upon as a junior to run the show on defense. Alonza Moore will be joining him at LB after recording 11 TFLs last fall. Play makers are needed in the secondary.
Season Opener: 9/3 Edward Waters

Miles Bears
2010 Record: 3-8
The Bears try to move on at QB with Antonio Hagler, who will be a junior. Jordan Lewis is back at RB, but was under protective last fall. More is needed. Breante Allen and Christopher Lampley will both be back at receiver with a season together in the books. Improvement is a must. Reginald Virges returns at LB after collecting 81 tackles last fall. He will be a senior this season. Corey Robinson and Alex Horton both return at LB as well to give the Bears some solid experience in the middle. Virges recorded 15.5 TFLs last fall. Michael Johnson becomes the go to guy in the secondary, but losing Justin Hill is a tough one.
Season Opener: 9/4 Morehouse

Morehouse Maroon Tigers
2010 Record: 8-3
Byron Ingram showed some solid traits as a sophomore at QB last fall, and he is on track to be a major force in the conference this season. David Carter is the true star on offense as he rushed for 1347 yards and 10 scores to lead the SIAC last fall. Derrick Hector returns at WR after leading the team in receiving last fall. Brandon Houston returns after collecting 80 tackles, but he loses both of the other starting LBs. Darrius Williams will provide support in the secondary. Houston collected 18.5 TFLs last fall, but will be targeted on blocks due to the loss of Derrin Nettles up front.
Season Opener: 9/4 @ Miles

Stillman Tigers
2010 Record: 3-8
The QB position was a vacuum last fall, and nobody stepped up to lead, and the position is up for grabs again. The run game was just as inept, and the offense was a mess. Look for more of the same. At least WR Ronald Davis has promise. LB Antonio Salter was the only major play maker up front  last fall, and the Tigers need more pressure to help out. Michael Ricks leads the secondary.
Season Opener: 9/3 Shaw

Tuskegee Tigers
2010 Record: 9-2
Just missed the playoffs last fall. Wayne Williams will be taking over at QB. The Tigers start over in the backfield as well, as there is no returning depth at RB. Williams may actually switch to receiver, if another QB can be found, as he played there last fall. Isaiah Person returns at LB after collecting 79 tackles. Kenneth Baker will return as the lead in the secondary.
Season Opener: 9/10 Langston

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Matt Chandik's Heisman Predictions...No.1

It would be easy to make the case for Alabama as the top college football program of all-time. The Crimson Tide has a ridiculous amount of tradition, national titles (9,182,021 if you believe 'Bama fans, though they've been known to be, uh, rather liberal when it comes to doling those out. Then again, it's the Southern education at work, so...) and All-Americans.

What's surprising, though, is that Alabama has only produced one Heisman Trophy winner. Former Tide running back and eventual New Orleans Saints first-round pick Mark Ingram went from a nondescript run-of-the-mill three-star recruit to a battering ram that sparked Alabama's pro-style offense to a national championship (helped in large part by the fact that current Texas starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert's football IQ is roughly the same as the amount of teeth that the average SEC fan has- eight). Ingram averaged more than six yards per carry as part of a 1,658-yard, 17-touchdown year that also saw him add 344 yards and three touchdowns in the air.
If all goes well for Nick Saban's crew, though, the Tide won't have to wait too long before getting its second Heisman. Same position, same team, even better back. My pick for the 2011 Heisman Trophy is Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who might be the best all-around back in the nation.
Richardson burst onto the scene as Ingram's understudy as a freshman in 2008. The 5-11, 225-pound back ran for 749 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 16 passes for 126 yards. Not bad for a true freshman backing up the eventual Heisman winner. A year ago, though, he notched 700 yards on the ground, a slight decrease from his freshman year, but did it on 32 less carries and improved his yards per carry average from 5.20 to 6.25. He also snared 23 passes for 266 yards and four scores while serving as Alabama's primary kick returner. Richardson added a touchdown and averaged 26.42 yards per kick return despite missing games against Mississippi State and Georgia State.
I fully expect Richardson to improve on his numbers exponentially. He's got great size at 5-11, 225 pounds and is one of the biggest workout warriors in college football. He is, quite simply put, enormous. Richardson is a ball of muscle who possess great balance, very good speed amd impressive power. He's one of the toughest running backs in the country to bring down. That, coupled with the fact that Nick Saban will be breaking in a new quarterback (more than likely A.J. McCarron, though Philip Sims will see some snaps, too), should mean that Richardson will get the ball early and often. While unfortunate for Alabama, true freshman Demetrius Hart's torn ACL should actually help Richardson even more. Hart, a 5-9, 185-pound back who was one of the finest pass-catching high school seniors a year ago, was expected to do some good things as the team's third-down back. With him out, Richardson will likely see his workload increase, though backup Eddie Lacey should see plenty of action, too.
One of Richardson's toughest opponents, though, will be himself. Numerous sources are saying that the big back could be in some hot water with the NCAA. Those sources indicate that he may have accepted illegal benefits from T-Town Menswear, a store in Tuscaloosa run by an Alabama booster and owner of sideline passes, and obviously, any ineligibility would lead to me dropping Richardson on this list. I don't want to bring up the current investigation, because that's not my strong suit, but for the sake of my list, I'll assume that everything works out for Richardson and he can play the whole year.
Richardson's Heisman candidacy will be significantly helped by Alabama's high profile. As its fans will remind you quite literally every fucking chance they have, the SEC has pumped out the last nine thousand national champions (Don't bother trying to tell an SEC fan that their rivals' championships aren't the same as their team winning one. They don't give a shit. Georgia will claim Florida's national titles, Ole Miss wants dibs on LSU's titles, Auburn wants a part of 'Bama's title and vice-versa, Kentucky and Vandy insist that Tennessee's title is theirs, etc...) and Alabama is the league's best bet to continue the streak. They'll have a disgustingly good defense led by 6-3, 305-pound defensive linemen who can run a 2.4 40-yard dash, ridiculously big, fast and awesome linebackers like Courtney Upshaw and Nico Johnson, and defensive backs who run like wide receivers and look like linebackers like Dre Kirkpatrick, Robert Lester, Mark Barron and DeQuan Menzie. That defense will make sure that the offense never has to wait too long to get back on the field and will keep McCarron or Sims in manageable situations. By manageable situations, I mean more situations where they can hand off to Richardson. Richardson will benefit from the fact that his team is so good (the Tide and Oklahoma are No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation. Pick whatever team you like better. I won't argue.), it's always been so good (remember, eleventy billion national titles, Bear Bryant, all that fun shit) and that voters already know his name from being Ingram's bull in a china shop backup. If not, Richardson can always just start beating the shit out of voters because, well, Google him. He's a scary dude.
That sums up my top five countdown for the 2011 Heisman Trophy. I really hope Richardson doesn't become ineligible because, well, that would kind of mess this list up a bit. Like I alluded to in an earlier post, though, it's a loaded field for the Heisman, and it wouldn't be surprising to see other established stars jump up into the spotlight for the prestigious trophy. Pissed off about something I wrote? Disagree? Agree? I'm awesome? I'm not awesome? Email me at and/or mercilessly harass me on Twitter @MattChandik.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Join Us Live This Friday Night!

I'll be back on the air with Nick and Jason Humbert on their "Tailgate Party" Radio Show on Blogtalk Radio! We'll go live at 10PM EST with a completely loaded slate of great college football topics! Follow the link!

Matt Chandik's Heisman Predictions...No.2

Since Bob Stoops took over at Oklahoma in 1999, the Sooners have been a frequent visitor to the top-10 polls and BCS games. Stoops holds a career mark of 129-31 and also boasts a national championship, so yeah, he's done pretty well in Norman.

One of the common themes during Stoops' tenure at Oklahoma has been strong quarterback play. Josh Heupel led the Sooners to the 2000 national championship, Jason White took home the 2003 Heisman Trophy in his 87th year of college eligibility and Sam Bradford won the 2008 Heisman en route to being a No. 1 pick and signing a deal for more money than the national GDP of half of the world's countries. Some detractors claim that the success is a result of a great system, but whatever causes the Sooners to pump out great college quarterbacks, Stoops doesn't care. His teams win and they win a lot.

Landry Jones is the latest to come through the OU quarterback assembly line, and while I don't think he's the best quarterback in the nation, he has all the tools to challenge for the Heisman this year. He's my No. 2 pick for the Heisman, but you'll see why he could overtake my No. 1 when I present my top pick later this week.

Jones is a big guy at 6-4, 227 pounds, and he can sling the rock a little bit. He led the nation with 617 pass attempts last year in what was essentially his second year as a starter, and finished second nationally with 38 touchdown passes against only 12 interceptions. He completed 65.6 percent of his passes to help lead Oklahoma to a Big XII championship and a bitchslapping of Big East sacrificial lamb Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl, where he and his OU teammates probably celebrated the win by throwing down with John Junker and hundreds of Glendale's finest hookers. However, that's neither here nor there.

Oklahoma enters the season as one of the top teams in the country. They're ranked No. 1 in quite a few preseason polls and they have a fairly manageable schedule. There's the highly-touted national showdown with Florida State in week 2, but that should be a great opportunity for Jones to toss his name into the Heisman battle. Other than that, there's not much meat to the schedule. Archrival Texas will still likely start Garrett Gilbert, who has the mental stability of Lindsay Lohan staring at a pile of blow, so OU should take down the Longhorns. Oklahoma State should be okay, but nothing too daunting. In short, Jones and the Sooners should be a strong contender to make the BCS national title game, but luckily for Jones and OU, voting takes place before OU gets embarrassed in a BCS game again.

Another big thing that could actually work well for Jones is the departure of running back DeMarco Murray. Murray was a bit overrated during his time in Norman, but he was still a good option both running and catching the ball. With the running game in question, it's not unrealistic to expect Jones to throw even more this year. With stud wideout Ryan Broyles (131 catches, 1,622 yards and 14 touchdowns) and last year's freshman standout Kenny Stills (61-786-5) back, Jones has his pick of two of the nation's best wideouts to sling the rock to, and there's no doubt that the Sooners will see someone step up in the No. 3 and No. 4 roles.

Again, don't be surprised to see Jones actually win the Heisman this year if No. 1 pick, which will be revealed later this week, continues his off the field issues. However, we'll assume that everything works out for the No. 1 guy, so for now, Jones is the No. 2 pick for the coveted trophy. I'll say he completes 67 percent of his passes with 40 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Look for Matt Chandik's prediction for the No. 1 pick for the Heisman Trophy later this week. He can be contacted at

North Carolina Makes Move, Fires Butch Davis

North Carolina apparently has the worst timing in college football history. Tha Tarheels canned Butch Davis this afternoon, as a new board of directors came into town. The administration cited the reputation of the university as a reason for the firing, which means there is so much more to the agent scandal that has not been made public yet. This was also a move to gain leniency when UNC goes before the NCAA in October.
I don't have an issue with any of that, but the timing was absolutely horendous. Just 8 days before the opening of fall camp, the Heels are going into said camp with an unkown coaching situation, an interim without security, and questions upon questions. The impact on recruiting could be devastating, and has already had an effect, as several 2012 recruits were staying away, or have now completely shut UNC out of the process.
Wherever you have UNC on your 2011 projection list, drop them down a couple of notches, because the bumpy ride has only just begun. If the situation with the scandal has just begun, remember, Pete Carroll bailed on USC, and they eventually did fire Mike Garrett as AD, but they still got drilled. Culture and perception are everything, and UNC is trying to repair both as fast as humanly possible.
More info as it becomes available, and a news conference is scheduled for tomorrow on campus.

Gunner Kiel Update 2

As has been widely reported today, Gunner Kiel has officially committed to Kevin Wilson and the Indiana Hoosiers. Jamies Winston has a visit scheduled in Tuscaloosa this weekend with his entire family according to mulitple sources. His Mother and Grandmother want him to choose Alabama, while his Father is wishing for a Florida State selection, but it appears, other than a buddy-buddy attitude with FSU QB EJ Manuel at a camp recently, that Winston would be leaning towards Alabama at this time. If you have ever been to one of these camps, and I have been to many, all of these kids act like best friends the day of the camp, but it means absolutely nothing.
Congrats to the Hoosier family for landing a huge recruit. This was absolutely a steal by Kevin Wilson, and may begin to change a long dormant football culture at IU. It will certainly be a bit easier to compete in a 6 team division rather than in an open conference format, and IU will only need to steal a few wins here and there to be extremely competitive, and this move places them in a future position to be much more competitive in the new Big 10. They cannot, however, afford to rest on this, and they now need to go out and attack the recruit market as hard as they can, so that Kiel will have the appropriate talent to place around him to attain success through this move. Nothing is guaranteed.
And for those of you who have questioned my background, or my credibility, I have been in and around college football as both a member of main stream media and as a freelance journalist for over 20 years. I have been to over 100 college football stadiums and games, and have contacts on every level of college football from Division 2, FCS, and FBS football. In other words, I have been at this for a long time, and even though I just started this blog one year ago, I have been hanging out at this rodio for a very long while. I hope that this clarifies.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CFL PRI Week 4

Another week of CFL football is in the books, and here's our latest Power Ratings Index, as will be found on when we launch on August 20th. It was an interesting week, as Montreal lost for the first time to Saskatchewan, who won for the first time. Anthony Calvillo was injured, and Edmonton survived their biggest challenge in the Western Division with a win over Calgary at McMahon. Winnipeg survived, again with average QB play, and Hamilton drove BC on to an 0-4 start, placing Wally Buono in some jeopardy. All of that being said, here is the PRI for week 4 of the CFL. Enjoy!

1. Edmonton Eskimos (4-0, 880 Points)
Last Week: Defeated Calgary 24-19
Points Gained: 229
Ricky Ray and Fred Stamps hooked up twice for TDs, and the Eskimos won their 4th straight to open the season. The Ray to Stamps connection is becoming one of the most formidable combos in the CFL, and Stamps is becoming an absolute star. The Eskimos have control of the Power Ratings now, and they could afford a loss next week and probably not lose their spot. The Eskimos are now the power broker. They also return home to take on a stumbling Argos club that may not pose much of a challenge.
Next Week: Toronto

2(Tie). Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-1, 471 Points)
Last Week: Defeated Toronto 33-24
Points Gained: 242
The Bombers are winning with smoke, mirrors, and chewing gum right now, but that seems to be good enough, as they are just 2 points away from being 4-0 as of now. Buck Pierce returned from injury last week but was better than ever. What he did was give the Bombers a dependable presence, and the defense did their job in shutting down the stumbling Argos offense. However the Bombers are doing it, they are one win away from tying their win total for all of last season. In a sad and somber note, the Bombers have lost Richard Harris, Assistant D Line Coach, who passed away suddenly today. Our condolences go out to Coach Harris' family, and to the Blue Bomber family in their entirety.
This Week: BC Lions

2(Tie). Montreal Alouettes (3-1, 471)
Last Week: Lost to Saskatchewan 27-24
Points Lost: -179
The value of Anthony Calvillo was evident, as he was lost to injury early in the game, and the Als fell short in a raging comeback to hand the Riders their first win. More on that later. Calvillo injured his eye midway through the second quarter, and Adrian McPherson was not able to replicate that magic feeling. Marc Trestman is being cautious about the injury, and Calvillo is unlikely to practice this week with his availability being a game time decision this week. In my opinion, he plays this week barring anything catastrophic.
This Week: @ Hamilton

4. Calgary Stampeders (2-2, 91 Points)
Last Week: Lost to Edmonton 24-19
Points Lost: -186
Obviously, the Stampeders cannot win a home game to save their lives. They are 2-0 away from McMahon, and 0-2 at home. That is not going to get it done, and they have to find a way to break the home game curse of 2011. This loss broke a 6 game win streak against the Eskimos. Henry Burris certainly gave it his all by passing for 372 yards and a pair of scores, but Rene Paredes missed a pair of FGs that may have given the Stamps the win.
This Week: @ Saskatchewan

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-2, 85 Points)
Last Week: Defeated BC Lions 39-31
Points Gained: 247
Don't look now, but here come the Ti-Cats. Hamilton has now won 2 straight, and the offense is looking like it is coming together, as they have scored 72 points in the last two weeks. Kevin Glenn passed for 3 scores in the game, and Hamilton is rising from the dead.
Next Week: Montreal

6. Toronto Argonauts (1-3, -256 points)
Last Week: Lost to Winnipeg 33-24
Points Lost: -185
The Arogs have now lost 3 in a row, and Cleo Lemon was knocked out of the game after taking a shot to the head. Dalton Bell was not exactly the savior some were hoping for as he was picked twice in relief. The Argos are starting to take on water, and they need help...immediately!.
This Week: @ Edmonton

7. Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-3, -297 points)
Last Week: Defeated Montreal 27-24
Points Gained: 230
Gregg Marshall has finally delivered his 1st win as head coach of the Riders, and it was in shocking fashion. Now the Riders need to start on a streak, but can they depend on their unstable offense and can they shake their overall consistency issues as a club? A pissed off Calgary team will tell the tale.
This Week: Calgary

8. BC Lions (0-4, -624 points)
Last Week: Lost to Hamilton 39-31
Points Lost: -177
The Lions are 0-4 for the first time in forever, and now the faithful are grumbling about Wally Buono's job status. THey are also the last winless team in the CFL, adding additional pressure. The defense is a wreck, and too much pressure is being placed on the shoulders of young QB Travis Lulay. Something has to give.
This Week: @ Winnipeg

Offensive MVP: Buck Pierce, Winnipeg (22/27 361 yards, 3 TDs)
Defensive MVP: Greg Peach, Edmonton (2 Sacks, 4 Tackles)
Special Teams MVP: Eddie Johnson (4 FGs)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Seven Points-Edition One

I am very happy to introduce a new series that will begin running on our new website, when we launch August 20th. The new series is called "Seven Points", and it will cover seven points of interest every week in regards to the game of football in all of its forms. Some weeks, we will present it to you in the form of an interview, and some weeks, it will be provided in the form of seven observations that we have from the week just played.
For our first edition, we will provide the interview format, and because we will provide CFL coverage for the first time, we were able to interview Andrew Bucholtz. Andrew writes for Yahoo Canada in the form of his blog entitled "The 55 Yard Line". Andrew is also an editor for, , and The CIS Blog, covering Canadian College Football. We have a huge amount of respect for Andrew and his work, and I am sure you will find that you do as well, if you have not had the pleasure of reading his material prior to this post, as he is one of the foremost experts on CFL Football. This interview took place before play this past weekend.
I hope that you enjoy our first edition of "Seven Points", and without further delay, here is the post. As always, thanks for reading!

#1...Are we destined for a showdown between Ricky Ray and Anthony Calvillo for the Grey Cup title, or will someone step up to derail either of them?

Calvillo's place in this year's Grey Cup game seems reasonably safe. Through three weeks, the Alouettes have been the most impressive and dominant team in the league, and a large part of that is thanks to Calvillo's terrific form. Ray's place, on the other hand, is more up in the air. He's been lights-out thus far and getting great showings from his receiving corps, but the question is if that's sustainable for the long run. Making it out of the West may be difficult, too; Calgary's looking promising and B.C. and Saskatchewan are better than they've shown. Ray and the Eskimos appear to have a shot to get to the Grey Cup, but there's a long way to go before then.

#2...Winnipeg won their first two games with barely adequate QB play from Buck Pierce. Now that he is banged up, and Joey Elliott looks done for the season, will the rest of the club step up and keep the Bombers moving forward, or are the wheels coming off of the wagon?

Winnipeg has had an excellent start to the season, but I'm not sure that will last. Their defence is great, but their offence has struggled, and Pierce hasn't been terribly effective even when healthy. With him banged up and Elliott done for the year, I'm not sure the defence will be able to keep the Bombers' boats afloat

.#3...With Anthony Calvillo breaking Damon Allen's passing TD record, who is the next generation QB who can possibly play long enough to establish himself as the next great CFL QB?

It's going to be interesting to see how the current crops of quarterbacks develop. Ricky Ray isn't that old, and if his current form continues, he could possibly have a Calvillo-like late-career renaissance. The next generation of current starters is Travis Lulay and Darian Durant, and both have shown plenty of promise (despite Durant's recent struggles), but they have a ways to go before entering the realm of CFL legends. Of guys who aren't currently starters, Montreal's Adrian McPherson, Calgary's Drew Tate and Winnipeg's Joey Elliott all look promising, but the question is if they'll get the opportunities.

#4...How long can we expect BC to struggle with their relatviely young roster, and are they getting closer to gelling as a group?

There's a lot to like about B.C. despite their early struggles. They played two good teams (Montreal and Calgary) very close, and their fourth quarter against Edmonton was promising. I think some of the newer players are starting to figure it out; Shawn Gore and Akeem Foster have both looked pretty solid thus far, the line is starting to gel and Tim Brown has looked great in the return game. I don't like their decision to cut David Hyland, as he's a young, promising player, but the Lions still have a lot of young talent, and they should improve as the year goes on.

#5...What can we expect from CFL expansion talks in Ottawa, Halifax, and Moncton, and other than Ottawa's return, is Nova Scotia a legitimate candidate for expansion? What about Quebec City and other possible markets?

The only expansion talks to really take seriously at the moment are Ottawa (which does seem close to actually getting their t's crossed in time for 2014) and Atlantic Canada. On the Atlantic front, there's likely to only be one team (especially at first); Moncton has the edge at the moment, but Halifax could get back in the discussion. A lot has to be done before they get a team out east, though; they need a committed owner, significant business support and a stadium plan. Quebec is very much a longshot at the moment, thanks to the presence of Laval and the Alouettes in the market already and concerns about splitting up that fan/corporate base.

#6...With only three games played, whom amongst the rookie ranks has impressed you this far, and who has not lived up to your expectations?

Amongst the rookies, I've been the most impressed with Winnipeg's Kito Poblah. Unfortunately, he got hurt quickly and is out for quite a while, but I think he'll be an excellent CFL receiver once he comes back. I also have been impressed with Edmonton OT Scott Mitchell, and B.C.'s Marco Iannuzzi could be good if he gets a chance to show what he can do.

#7...Can Montreal perform the unthinkable and go for the three-peat?

Circumstances look very good for an Alouettes' three-peat thus far. They've dominated every game they've played, and their offence is clicking right along. There are a few questions about the defence, but every other team has more notable issues. There's a long way to go still, but Montreal deserves to be the favourite at this point.

We thank Andrew for joining us this week. Andrew can be reached and followed on Twitter @AndrewBucholtz

Gunner Kiel Update

     The latest info on the Gunner Kiel derby comes from Justin Davis of "Tha SportsKrib". Justin has informed me that QB Jamies Winston will commit to Alabama on 8/3, leaving Alabama as being off of the charts, as I had stated earlier today that Kiel does not desire to sign with a school that has already inked a QB for the 2012 class.
     Matt Chandik, our Big 10 expert and sports writer for the Delaware County Times, also confirmed for me the legitimacy of Indiana as a landing spot for Kiel, as his ties to the school are now extremely strong.
     We will have more information on the Gunner Kiel sweepstakes as it comes available. It still sounds as if we can expect an announcement as early as next week, according to ESPN and SEC sources.

The Read on Gunner Kiel

     I started what seemed like a wildfire in speaking on Twitter yesterday regarding the recruitment of Indiana High School star QB Gunner Kiel. Let me be as clear as I can possibly be. I do not know him. I have never met him. What I do is I analyze information that is freely available to anyone else in the world, and I give my honest hypothesis on what it all means by breaking things down logically. Here is what I have been able to decipher from the information that I have received.
    In recent weeks, Kiel has become enamored with the idea of playing for new Indiana Head Coach Kevin Wilson. Kiel's older brother, Dusty, will start at QB for the Hoosiers this season, barring any issues in fall camp, like injury, or the wheels just completely falling off of his mental wagon. According to ESPN, Kiel has stated that he will not sign with a school that already has a QB signed for their 2012 recruiting class. Essentially, Oklahoma is out, despite his interest in OU OC Josh Heupel and his skill at developing QBs. OU has recently signed Trevor Knight, who had formerly been tied in with Texas A&M.
     Also on the list is Alabama, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, Michigan, and Notre Dame. He has n ties to Missouri, Tennessee, or Michigan. Alabama was thought to be the extreme frontrunner, at least by folks in Tuscaloosa. They are certainly disturbed by information that has leaked to media sources this week stating that Kiel is very likely leaning towards Indiana. His ties to the program are strong with his brother starting at QB, and he has become friends with several members of the team. He will be seen at many IU football games this fall, and his ties will only grow stronger.
     Another factor playing into this situation, is that Kiel has an aversion to the spotlight. He is not a big scene stealing guy, and he does not like a ton of attention being cast on him, according to several media outlets. He rarely gives interviews, rarely speaks out in public about his recruiting process. Alabama is a fish bowl, as are most of the other schools on his list. He can fly under the radar at IU, a building program, where he won't have to be a media superstar to succeed.
     In closing, when you read into the situation, figure out his personality, figure out his ties (he has them with Notre Dame and Illinois State as well), and get to know the Indiana culture and importance of staying home and representing your state, the only choice that makes sense, and one that has been reported as possibly close to happening, is for Kiel to choose Indiana. This would be considered by some to be a huge upset by some, not by me.
     The offense at IU fits better if you are a high profile QB. Alabama focuses on run first. IU will pass like crazy while still using a strong run game to compliment the pass. That fits a strong armed home grown kid who wants to succeed, and under Kevin Wilson, IU will indeed succeed.
I predict that within the next 2 weeks, Kiel will choose Indiana.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 2011 Preview

Adams State Grizzlies
2010 Record: 5-6
Trevor Eggleston returns at QB for the Grizzlies, but he struggled last fall. He passed for 1976 yards, but only tossed 9 TD passes compared to his 8 picks. That's an issue. The Grizzles ran 3 different backs last season as a committee, and they all return in Terjean Saffold, Chris Jamison, and Thomas Brown. Scott Kellogg and and Delton Prescott both return at WR, so improvement on offense could be a definite possibility this fall. The Grizzles also return their top 3 tacklers from last fall in Rocco DeLorenzo, James Ackel, and Will Naas. DeLorenzo collected 99 tackles last fall. The Grizzles are, however, lacking pressure up front, and that will need fixing. Ackel and Haas both return in the secondary after they combined for 18 defended passes, while Jeremiah Van Valkenburg returns back there after knocking away 8 passes.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ Dixie State

Chadron State Eagles
2010 Record: 8-3
The Eagles had a very nice run last fall, and finished up strong by winning 5 straight to close it out. Jonn McClain returns at QB after a strong freshman campaign that saw him pass for 1894 yards and 16 TDs. Glen Clinton, also a freshman last fall, was dynamic at times, having rushed for 1020 yards and 7 scores. Dominic Morris also returns at RB after rushing for 803 yards and 6 TDs. Nathan Ross and Jeremy Sondrup both return at WR, so McClain's continued growth should be set in stone. James Belville returns at LB after collecting 80 tackles last fall. Belville also led the team with 7 total sacks and added 8 TFLs. The loss of Kelen Kahrs up front is tough. The Eagles also lose some serious depth in the secondary.
Season Opener: 9/1 @ Mary

Colorado State-Pueblo ThunderWolves
2010 Record: 9-2
The Wolves are still a very young program, but boy have they figured it out in a short time. Ross Dausin returns at QB, and although he was not the best passer in the league, he was solid. Dausin passed for 1674 yards and 12 TDs. He did only toss 6 picks. The real strength is at RB, as the Wolves return the 3rd best rusher in the nation last fall in Jesse Turner, who rushed for 1391 yards and 14 TDs. But wait...there's more. They also return Jamaal Johnson, who rushed for 9 TDs. Losing Bernard Jackson at WR is a step back, but someone decent has to be waiting to stand up to replacing him. Another star resides here at LB in Lee Meisner, who finished 6th nationally with 124 tackles last fall. Beldy Nseka returns after collecting 70 tackles. Beau Martin finished 2nd in the conference with 7.5 sacks, and Grant Jansen added another 7. Jansen, Jason Campbell, Beau Martin, and Meisner combined for 45.5 TFLs last fall, so there is plenty of pressure coming from all angles. Josh Costa returns to anchor the secondary after defending 7 passes last fall, but the Wolves lose some serious depth. Damon Shiele will return to assist him after picking off 3 passes last fall. The opener will tell just how far this team has come.
Season Opener: 9/1 @ West Texas A&M

Colorado Mines Orediggers
2010 Record: 9-3
The Diggers are another rising program that are helping to raise the profile of this conference. Mines took their game to the playoffs, but were handled by traditional power Grand Valley State, 35-13. The Diggers are hoping to take it another level this season, and they have the QB to take them there in Harlan Hill candidate Clay Garcia, who passed for 4066 yards and 39 TDs last fall in a pass happy offense. Dan Palmer is a nice complimentary back to the passing game, as he rushed for 11 TDs last fall. They return their top 3 WRs from last season in Cody Renken, Jerrod Doucet, and Tom Kastens, but they do lose all conference TE Robbin Vinnola.Josh Ruff and Alex Vigil both return at LB and are the top 2 tacklers from last season, but they do lose their pressure guys up front from last fall. Ryan Wood tied for the conference lead with 6 picks last fall, and will anchor the secondary as a sophomore. He lost some help around him, so he really needs to be the man. I still think that the Diggers are the top team in the RMAC.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ William Jewell

Fort Lewis Skyhawks
2010 Record: 3-7
Tim Jenkins returns at QB for the Hawks, but he was up and down last fall. He passed for 14 TDs, but also chucked 10 picks. He has potential, but he has to make it all work now. That being said, it may already be too late. AJ Miko struggled as well last season at RB, and barely got by 500 yards. He also needs to step it up. Doyle Bode and Justin Garman will both return at WR, but the loss of Justin Johnson, the leagues top receiver last fall, will hurt. Phillip O'Dell will return as the leading tackler, but he needs some support. O'Dell also led the team with 8 TFLs. Harrison Hunter and Jamal Campbell were both freshmen last fall, but combined for 17 defended passes last fall.
Season Opener: 9/3 South Dakota Mines

Mesa State Mavericks
2010 Record: 3-7
The Mavericks were another team taking some lumps last fall. Mike Mankoff tossed 13 picks last fall, and that was a killer. James Hamm was basically a warm body at RB, after he only rushed for 469 yards. The entire offense was a wreck, and they will have to hope that some youngsters come in and step up. Trent Debraga returns as the leading tackler coming out of the secondary, after he posted 71 tackles. Dominique Lewis was solid up front, as he collected 13 TFLs last fall. Debraga also picked off 3 passes.
Season Opener: 9/1 Humboldt State

Nebraska-Kearney Lopers
2010 Record: 9-2
A solid season came up just short after they failed to finish top 6 in their district, causing a missed playoff bid. Jeff Spitzleberger returns at QB, and will try to push the Lopers to the next level. He passed for 22 TDs and 2314 yards last fall. He is extremely solid. He also rushed for 421 yards and 6 scores. A RB needs to step up. Losing Kyle Kaiser could really be damaging, however. Ethan Kuhlmann finished 4th in the conference with 82 tackles, and Sam Kuck joins him after collecting 76 tackles on the season. Kuhlmann is the main pressure guy up front, as he grabbed 8.5 TFLs. Arthur Hobbs defended 10 passes last season, and he is joined by Kenny Hill and Alex Paicurich, giving the Lopers are in a very good position to press Mines to Pueblo.
Season Opener: @ Wayne State (Nebraska)

New Mexico Highlands Cowboys
2010 Record: 1-10
What a mess this team is. The passing game is a total disaster, and the QB job is wide open. Same said at RB. Kevon Williams is a credible WR, as he posted 62-764-1. He needs to score more than once to give the Cowboys any shot at moving past one win. The Cowboys gave up more than 30 points in 10 of 11 games last fall, so a rebuilding job is in place.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ Eastern New Mexico

Western New Mexico Mustangs
2010 Record: 4-7
The Mustangs are just a filler in this conference right now. Chris Voller completed fewer than 50% of his passes, and also tossed 12 picks to just 10 TDs. That does not win games, obviously. Mario Wren only ran for 264 yards as a freshman, but he's the best returning option. The receivers are pedestrian at best. Jacib Cross does return at LB after recording 87 tackles last fall, and LB Ryan Nolen returns after recording 8.5 TFLs. Anthony Phillips returns after defending 7 passes. Terron Sumpter returned after picking 3 passes. The defense may be better, but the offense was a mess.
Season Opener: Sul Ross State

Western State Mountaineers
2010 Record: 1-10
The Mountaineers are not in good shape right now. Miles Gorham is not the worst QB in the job, but he has to be better than he is right now. He tossed 10 TDs to 9 picks, but that's not enough to change the dynamic when there is so little to work with. Germaine Daniels rushed for 664 yards and 4 scores, but again, more is needed, as the offense struggled to score so many times last fall. The Mountaineers scored 13 points or less 6 times last fall. Taylor Keith totalled up 10 TFLs last fall, so there is at least one bonified potential star on the unit. Seth Wilson brings some veteran depth to the secondary. Western State may very well win more than one game this season, but they will not post a winning record.
Season Opener: 9/3 Angelo State

Matt Chandik's Heisman Predictions...No.3

The last time we saw the Stanford Cardinal play football, Jim Harbaugh was the head coach, David Shaw was the offensive coordinator, Vic Fangio was the defensive coordinator and the Cardinal had just laid waste to ACC champion Virginia Tech, 40-12, in the Orange Bowl. It was a beatdown of epic proportions that saw Stanford outscore the Hokies 27-0 in the second half, thanks in large part to redshirt sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck throwing for 287 yards and four touchdowns.

Flash forward to mid-July, and the landscape in Palo Alto is looking quite a bit different. Harbaugh remains in Northern California, though it's the San Francisco 49ers that sign his checks now. He took Fangio with him and Shaw was promoted to head coach. The one constant? Luck. After nearly everyone in America expected him to bolt for the NFL draft and be the No. 1 overall selection, he shocked the world when he turned down millions of dollars to come back to Stanford for at least one more season. Luck cited the importance of getting his degree and he's a college athlete that you can actually believe when he says something like that. He's as cerebral and intelligent a quarterback as the college world has seen in quite some time and Stanford is one of the nation's finest institutions.
How does Luck improve on a season that saw a 70.7 completion percentage, a 4:1 touchdown:interception ratio and nine yards per pass attempt? He probably doesn't, and standards will be higher for him than for nearly everyone else after he finished second in the Heisman voting last year behind Auburn hired hand/quarterback Cam Newtown and ahead of Oregon running back and proud member of the Smackaho tribe, LaMichael James. Luck lost his top two receivers in wideouts Doug Baldwin and Ryan Whalen. He does get Chris Owusu back from injury and some targets should step up, but I fear that voters will expect unrealistic things from Luck that he won't be able to deliver.
For my money, Luck is the best quarterback in the country, but I don't know that his team will be as good as they were a year ago. Stanford also replaces three offensive linemen, so the new offensive linemen's ability to mesh together will have a major impact on Luck's play. Nonetheless, I still expect Luck to produce an outstanding season, but I don't know that Stanford will be a good enough team for Luck to warrant the Heisman, since there's the well-known “Heisman must go to a player on a national title contender” clause in college football (Tim Tebow being a notable exception).
Luck will still be the best, but not necessarily most productive or highest on the Heisman food chain, quarterback in the nation and should still be the top quarterback whether he decides to come out in 2012 or 2013. I suspect he'll put up roughly 3,200 yards with 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He's also capable of putting up solid numbers on the ground. Not Denard Robinson-esque, but not Ryan Mallett, either.

Look for Matt Chandik's prediction for the No. 2 pick for the Heisman Trophy later this week. He can be contacted at