Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 5 Under Review

News of the Week

USC Fires Kiffin
I've already written at lemgth about the termination of Lane Kiffin, but it's a major firing early in the season. Trojans AD Pat Haden knew that if the administration had made up their minds to move on, there was no reason to wait any longer, and the decision was made in the 3rd quarter of a 62-41 loss to Arizona State. Not only did the Trojans not wait until the sun came up. USC didn't even allow Kiffin to ride the team bus from LAX back to campus. That's how done they were. The Trojans need to make a major splash right now, with early names being Fresno State Head Coach Tim DeRuyter, Washington Head Coach (and former USC OC) Steve Sarkisian, and former Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio being in the mix early. Ed Orgeron is the interim coach, but he will likely not be considered.

Anger in Ruston
Speaking of fan anger and coaches in trouble, Louisiana Tech fans are already calling for the head of Skip Holtz. The Bulldogs are 1-4 on the season, Holtz's first, with their lone win coming against FCS member Lamar in a 27-14 win.
Holtz has had success in CUSA before while coaching East Carolina, so my suggestion to Tech fans would be to calm down. Things will likely get better, but it may take some time. There is work to do, but Tech is not a lost cause just yet.

Connor Shaw Injured
South Carolina barely escaped a loss at UCF, but they did lose Connor Shaw to an injury that will cost him 2 to 3 weeks of the season. Shaw is now the third starting QB in the conference to be taken out for a longer period of time, or for the season. Florida lost Jeff Driskell for the season, Tennessee lost Nathan Peterman for 8 weeks, and now Shaw goes down. Only in the case of Florida does the injury seem to actually help them long term, as Tyler Murphy may actually be the better option to run the offense.

And now some observations from week 5:


The Cougars gained nothing but points in a huge road win over UTSA, and they look like an outside dark horse contender in AAC play.

Losers Despite Winning

Temple, UConn, SMU, USF, UCF
UCF was most disappointing in this group, falling after leading South Carolina at the half. UConn and USF are bottom ten programs anyway. SMU is falling fast, and June Jones could find himself on the Hot Seat this week.


Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, Clemson, NC State
Virginia Tech got into the ACC race by beating Georgia Tech on the road in a much needed win for the Hokies. Miami, FSU, and NC State got big wins in games that they should have cruised in, while Florida State toyed with Boston College on the road. The Seminoles looked suspect at times, but stayed in control of their own destiny.

Losers Despite Winning
Pittsburgh, Duke
Pitt struggled to score against Virginia, winning 14-3, and look like a middle tiered ACC team at best. The Panthers lack identity. Duke struggled to beat a Troy team that has been a mess in 2013.

North Carolina, Virginia, Boston College, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech
UNC getting hammered by East Carolina says noting for those who think that Larry Fedora is some kind of rising star in the coaching ranks. Virginia continues to disappoint in an offensive meltdown loss to Pitt. BC is a train wreck, even at home, while Jim Grobe at Wake Forest likely falls into Dead Pool territory with yet another ACC loss, which are piling up higher than Lane Kiffin haters. Georgia Tech lost their chance to control their own ACC fate by falling at home to Virginia Tech, and now the Yellow Jackets look like pretenders.

Big 10

Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State
The Fighting Illini beat one of the worst teams in America by pounding heavily on Miami (Ohio) in a Big 10 warm up game. Iowa and Ohio State both picked up the all important conference wins, with Iowa's win likely changing our job status on Kirk Ferentz this week. The Buckeyes got back a healthy Braxton Miller, and now have a very convenient QB controversy between Miller and Kenny Guyton.

Losers Despite Winning

Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Purdue is just awful, but we already knew that. Minnesota did what the Gophers always do, as they collapsed once conference play began. This is typical of them. Wisconsin fought hard against Ohio State, but the loss puts them behind the 8 ball in Big 10 play, and they may have been exposed defensively.

Big 12

Iowa State, West Virginia, TCU, Oklahoma
Iowa State got a big out of conference win on the road, but against a struggling Tulsa program that ISU lost to in the Liberty Bowl. West Virginia was the biggest winner of the week, beating OK. State and ruining their national title aspirations. TCU routed cross town rival SMU, which was not unexpected, while Oklahoma may just bear watching after hammering Notre Dame on the road.

Losers Despite Winning

Oklahoma State
There were few bigger choke jobs than OSU this week, falling to struggling West Virginia on the road. The Cowboys couldn't get it going, and QB play was abysmal at times. National title is no longer in the conversation.

Conference USA

East Carolina, Tulane
The Pirates blasted North Carolina on the road, racing out to a 28-10 lead at the half. Tulane took down a reeling UL-Monroe squad, and seem to be bouncing back from an early loss to South Alabama fairly well.

Losers Despite Winning
The Owls struggled like hell to get a 4 point win over FAU, and looked like they are on the verge of collapse. They stay alive in conference play, but they are in for some trouble ahead.

Tulsa, Middle Tennessee, UTEP, Louisiana Tech, UTSA, Florida Atlantic, UAB, Southern Miss
Murderers row just got worse this week in bad losses, especially when it comes to Southern Miss, who got blasted by Boise State 60-7. The good news? I selected not one of these teams to win anyway. The bad news? Every loss was pretty terrible.


BYU, Army, Idaho
The Cougars blasted Middle Tennessee at home, making the Blue Raiders look like a joke in the process. Army, rolled past a sliding Louisiana Tech club, which is a win that can breathe much needed life into the Cadets at this point. Idaho gets a win, and any win is a good win for the Vandals, who beat Temple by 2 at home.

Losers Despite Winning

Navy, Notre Dame, New Mexico State
Navy was inept on offense against Western Kentucky, scoring just 7 in the loss. Notre Dame looked outclassed in a loss to Oklahoma, and the season is being played for a 2nd tier bowl birth now. NMSU loses again, and that's not a surprise, ever.


Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Ball State, Buffalo
NIU picked up their second road win against the Big 10 this fall, and got their spirit back after two lifeless weeks against lesser opponents. Bowling Green bounced back as well, and maintains their place on top of the conference race, as does Ball State, who moved to 4-1, and beat Toledo handily. Buffalo got a huge win out of conference at home by pounding on UConn.

Losers Despite Winning

Miami (Ohio), Akron, Toledo, Central Michigan, Western Michigan
Miami, Akron, and CMU are all programs sinking to the bottom of the national rankings, and they aren't competitive at all. Toledo is the disappointment of the MAC race in 2013, as they sink to 2-3 after getting beaten by Ball State. WMU is just trying to build something, and there's nowhere to go but up right now, as the Broncos have hit rock bottom.

Mountain West

Utah State, Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV, Nevada, Boise State
USU got back on track this week by beating San Jose State by 28 on the road. Colorado State got a much needed confidence booster by ripping UTEP. SDSU got a win against New Mexico State, and that's a game that everyone has to win. UNLV is now 3-2 after hammering New Mexico, and it's been a long time since UNLV could boast a winning record. Nevada needs all the wins they can get, even if the defense failed in a 45-42 win over Air Force, but the Wolfpack is in rebuild mode. Boise State jumped out to a 30-7 lead over Southern Miss at the half, and never let up in a 60-7 win.

Losers Despite Winning
Fresno State
The Bulldogs struggled to hold off Hawaii on the road. That's never a good thing, even if the Bulldogs remain the MWC favorite.

San Jose State, Wyoming, Air Force, New Mexico, Hawaii
San Jose State is lacking playmakers around David Fales, and the Spartans got hammered at home. Wyoming's loss is the worst in the conference, falling to Texas State. AFA, UNM, and Hawaii are all playing lost seasons, but at least Air Force didn't get blown out this week, which had become a practice of sorts.


Oregon State, Washington, Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon
The Beavers are all over the place, but they got a huge home win that was much needed, hammering Colorado. Washington is cruising right now, and may be a dark horse in the North race, but for second place over Stanford, who finally played a complete game by crushing Washington State. Arizona State rolled up 600 yards, scored 62 points, converted 4 turnovers, and got Lane Kiffin fired all in one night. Oregon proved that their speed can't even be slowed down by God, as they cruised and ran like the wind in a driving rain storm in a rout of Cal in Eugene.

Losers Despite Winning

Colorado, Arizona, Washington State, USC, California
Colorado finally showed their true colors in a lopsided loss to Oregon State on the road. Arizona showed how they are really in rebuild mode in a loss to Washington. WSU was positively crushed when they played a contender in Stanford, while Cal looked lost in the rain, losing 55-16 to the Ducks in Eugene. USC gave up 62 points, tying a school record, and Pat Haden decided to fire Lane Kiffin in the 3rd quarter, not allowing Kiffin to ride the team bus from LAX back to the campus.


Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M, Missouri, Vanderbilt
Nobody wins bigger than Georgia, who finishes a brutal September at 3-1. The win over LSU was epic, and the crowd was the 12th man all day. Great win for UGA. Alabama showed SEC dominance in a 25-0 win over Ole Miss, essentially ending the Rebel threat in the conference race. The Aggies got another magical game out of Johnny Manziel, and held off a Razorback challenge late in a 45-33 win. Missouri and Vandy picked up wins over cupcakes in preparation for SEC play to begin.

Losers Despite Winning
South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida
The Gamecocks not only had to rally to beat UCF in Orlando for a 3 point win, but also lost Connor Shaw for 2 to 3 weeks. Tennessee started a new QB, and struggled to take down South Alabama by 7. Florida only handled Kentucky by 7 on the road, and you can't tell me it's because they lost the borderline incompetent Jeff Driskell at QB last week for the season.

LSU, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Arkansas
It's so hard to call LSU a loser this week, accept for the defense on Georgia's final game winning drive. Mettenberger made all of the throws late that he needed, until the final drive, when he was outmatched by the UGA pass rush. Ole Miss proved to be a pretender in a 25-0 loss to Alabama in the SEC West. Kentucky had a major shot to upset Florida, but fell short in a 24-17 loss. Arkansas had their chances as well, but fell to Texas A&M, and picked up their second consecutive loss.

Sun Belt

Western Kentucky, Texas State
WKU picked up a huge win over Navy, stopping the Navy run game, and getting their own game back on track despite recent struggles. Texas State picked up an impressive win over a streaking Wyoming club, getting an early lead and never letting go. The Bobcats are now 3-1, and picking up steam.

Losers Despite Winning

South Alabama, Tory, UL-Monroe, Arkansas State
The Jaguars are an emerging team, but they have to start winning close games, much like they did against Tulane. a win over a reeling Tennessee team would have been major, but USA will have to be happy with their effort despite a 31-24 loss. ULM should be an emerging power in the SBC, but they are falling flat, and Todd Berry doesn't have the answers right now. The magic seems gone at Arkansas State this fall, but they are also sort of rebuilding.

Dead Pool Update: USC Fires Kiffin

In a move that took place well before the sun came up, and was decided during the second half of a 62-41 loss to Arizona State, USC fired Lane Kiffin, making him the first Dead Pool candidate on our list to fall victim to the swirling waters in 2013.
USC tied a school record by giving up 62 points to ASU last night, and gave up over 600 yards of offense, while turning the ball over four times in the loss that sent the Trojans spiraling to 0-2 in PAC-12 play. Kiffin lost 7 of his final 11 games as head coach of the program that he took over in the midst of what became NCAA sanctions.
Kiffin's final record at USC is 28-15, but the wins were getting harder to come by. If you will remember, I had predicted that if the Trojans had fallen to Boston College two weeks ago, that Kiffin would have been removed from his post back then. The Trojans blasted BC 35-7, which was followed by a stumbling 17-14 win over Utah State at home last week, a game that only the defense carried.
Kiffin, who has always been thought of as an offensive guru after he and Steve Sarkisian ousted Norm Chow as OC years ago, hasn't found an offensive pulse for USC this fall. Quarterback play has been a disaster, and never has it been considered to bring in Max Browne, and highly touted recruit out of Skyline, Washington, to save the Trojan's, and Kiffin's proverbial rumps.
When Kiffin never turned to the true freshman at QB, it became apparent that he believed that he would eventually be terminated, a fact that this blog has touted from day one of the 2013 season. Kiffin saved Browne for another administration, much as Rick Neuheisel had done at UCLA with Brett Hundley two years ago.
Some say that Kiffin will ride again in the coaching world, but I say, to quote Lee Corso, not so fast my friend. Kiffin was an abject disaster with the Oakland Raiders, hired much too early in his career to steer a ship that was already headed for falling off the ends of the Earth. Once fired into his second season, he landed at Tennessee, and managed to piss off everyone within the area covered by the range of the Smokies.
Kiffin's reputation has been severely damaged time and time again. He has the personality of a brick, and has always had a bad relationship with the media, despite attempts to soften his place with said media in 2013, as if somehow that would solve his issues. As of right now, there is absolutely no acumen to show that Kiffin is a viable hire. Remember, in his one year at Tennessee, he only managed a 7-6 record.
The Trojans were the preseason number one ranked team in the country in 2012, and the team finished 7-6, with a humiliating loss in the Sun Bowl, in which his team was fractured, and nobody believed.
That fracture of team morale continued into 2013, with players holding a meeting that half, or more, of the team never even knew happened, and Kiffin was clueless about himself. Kiffin's own father, Monte, bailed on the program after last season, leaving a sinking ship for the Dallas Cowboys, and he seemed to be the soul of whatever was left of the program.
Kiffin also lost Los Angeles to Jim Mora and UCLA. Mora, who is hardly considered media friendly, at least has the energy, the drive, and despite his blow ups with the press, has a much better way with people in general than Kiffin. When you lose LA to UCLA, you are toast at USC.
Kiffin had the deck stacked heavily against him, but that means nothing at USC. You are expected to overcome somehow. It doesn't matter how. USC is hardly a stranger to bending the rules, and they have certainly done so in the past to come back from despair. Of course, long term, that never really worked either.
USC now has the task of finding a new viable mind to right the ship at the tail end of the Reggie Bush sanctions. As of this moment, I cannot possibly begin to think of who the right guy is for the Trojans. I will begin to compile my personal list in the coming days, but the hire won't be made for another two months. Pat Haden certainly will have his choice of candidates, and will do just fine with the hire.
As for now, USC has to find a way to survive, and move on from this mess, and they will. That being said, the dynasty days aren't walking back in that door anytime soon, no matter what some might say. There is much work to be done, and much mending of fences on the recruiting trail to be hammered out. USC has much work to do, and not much time to do it. UCLA is heating up, and there is no end in sight to where that train is going. Any new coach will have to play catch up, and will have a tight leash to do so. The college football world will be waiting, and watching, with keen interest.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Week 4 Under Review, PRS Rankings, and Week 5 Looking Picks



Louisville: The Cardinals crushed FIU 72-0, which was not entirely unexpected. The Cardinals jumped out to a 38-0 lead at the half, and of course, never looked back. Teddy Bridgewater did nothing to deter from his Heisman candidacy, but it sure would be nice to see him up against tougher competition.

Houston: The Cougars won a hard fought game against Rice on the road, and the Cougars are looking like they are going to make a run. John O’Korn’s 3 TD passes led the way for the Cougars.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights came from behind at home, and took down Arkansas 28-24. Rutgers had trailed by 17 at one point, and then went on a run to take the game, with Gary Nova returning from injury to toss 2 TDs in the win.

Memphis: The Tigers went to the ground with Marquis Warford rushing for 173 yards, while Brandon Hayes added another 114 in a 31-7 win over Arkansas State. The Tigers rolled to 505 yards in offense in the rare win.

Losers Despite Winning

Cincinnati: The Bearcats played a lethargic game from start to finish, and entered the 4th tied with arch rival Miami (Ohio) at 0-0. The Bearcats scored twice in the 4th to pull out a 14-0 win, but this was ugly, as Miami has been terrible this fall. The Bearcats could be in trouble.


SMU: The Mustangs were crushed by Texas A&M 42-13, and the offense, while running a lot of plays, was contained into short pickups, as Garrett Gilbert averaged well under 10 yards per completion. June Jones is now 4 games under .500 as head coach of the Mustangs. Hot Seat seems appropriate.

UConn: The Huskies had Michigan on their knees and let them up. This could have been a grand and much needed win for Paul Pasqualoni, but instead it’s just another home loss.




Clemson: Tahj Boyd passed for 244 yards and 3 scores, and the Tigers held off some early threats from NC State to get an early jump on ACC play.

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets are 3-0, and 1-0 in ACC play. If you want a dark horse in the conference race early on, it has to be the Ramblng Wreck. They trailed UNC for a good deal of the game, but never stopped fighting, and controlled tempo after the half.

Wake Forest: Jim Grobe desperately needed a win, and he gets one on the road at Army. It’s not impressive, but sometimes you take them where you can get them.

Syracuse: The Orange took a 42-17 lead into the half against Tulane, and then coasted the rest of the way in a 52-17 win against the struggling Green Wave.

Maryland: The Terps are now 4-0 after blasting West Virginia 37-0 in Baltimore. Maryland led 30-0 heading into halftime, and now could be for real entering ACC play. They are now worth watching.

Virginia: Despite struggling to score and wrapping up the 1st quarter in a 0-0 tie against VMI, the Cavaliers broke loose and scored 42 points total between the 2nd and the 3rd in a 49-0 win over the Keydets. Daniel Hamm and Kevin Parks both broke 100 yards rushing on the day.

Florida State: Again, after a slow start, the Noles crushed Bethune-Cookman 54-6. The MEAC member Wildcats had already beaten FIU, but posed no problem for FSU, accept for the fact that Jamies Winston tossed more incompletions (9) in this game than he’d had in his previous two games (5). Winston completed just 10/19 passes for 148 yards before being pulled.

Losers Despite Winning

Virginia Tech: The Hokies were taken into OT by Marshall. Marshall is improving, but the Hokies should never have had so much trouble putting the Herd away. Beamer is starting to look rather stale.

Pittsburgh: The Panthers got the win over Duke to start conference play 1-0, but they very well could have blown a massive lead, in holding off the Blue Devils 58-55. The defense completely folded, just like they did against Florida State in the opener. Tom Savage did pass for 6 TDs in the win, so that’s something.


NC State: The Wolfpack got some bad breaks in this game, but seemed to lose some fight after the half, allowing Clemson to pull away. The Pack also drops to 0-1 in ACC play, which is always a terrible place to be early.

North Carolina: The Heels aren’t alone, as the entire state had a bad day in league play, as NC State and Duke also lost in conference play. UNC had a solid lead for most of the game, and blew it. I keep on hearing Larry Fedora’s name in association with Texas, but it’s losses like these that have me asking why.

Duke: The Blue Devils were getting blasted, but somehow only lost by 3, 58-55. It wasn’t basketball, so the Devils defense deserves a scolding for the second straight week. Consequently, the Devils have lost two in a row as well.



Big 10


Minnesota: The Gophers were in trouble with Phillip Nelson out against an upset minded San Jose State team. The Gophers turned to their ground game, and despite getting outgained in yardage for the entire first half, the Gophers managed to control the pace, and controlled the game.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes smartly held Braxton Miller out of this one, and never needed him, as they jumped out to a 55-0 lead at the half against Florida A&M. OSU wins 76-0, as expected.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes have found some success against a fairly easy schedule so far, but it gets real in Big 100 play next week after an easy 59-3 win over a lost Western Michigan club. Ferentz doesn’t get out of the Dead Pool until he proves that he can find success in conference play. The Hawkeyes did get two punt returns for scores in one quarter.

Penn State: Zach Zwinak rushed for 3 TDs on 15 carries, while Akeel Lynch rushed for 123 yards on just 14 carries in the 34-0 shutout win over Kent State. The Lions could be a team that could alter the course of the Big 10 title this season with some solid wins here and there, but will need to get more consistent play out of Christian Hackenberg, after he completed just 13 of 35 passes on the day.

Nebraska: The Huskers survived a wild 1st quarter and trailed South Dakota State 17-14, and went on to cruise to a 59-20 win over the FCS power house Jackrabbits. Tommy Armstrong passed for 169 yards, with Ron Kellogg adding 136 yards passing as both played in relief of an injured Taylor Martinez, who missed the game due to turf toe. Ameer Abdullah rushed for a career high 139 yards in the win.

Northwestern: Despite beating FCS member Maine by only 14, I consider this a win, as Maine was in our PRS FCS top ten this week, and had already scored a win over FBS member UMass this season. It wasn’t pretty, as it took a pair of pick six plays by Damien Proby and Sean Lowry to seal the deal. The offense is stumbling right now, but the defense now has 4 defensive TDs on the season.

Wisconsin: The Badgers put the Arizona State debacle behind them and took the wood to Purdue, 45-10. The Badgers could have been set up for a letdown this weekend, but came out strong and early to pound the Boilers.

Losers Despite Winning

Michigan: The Wolverines survived yet again against an inferior opponent in UConn in East Hartford. After this game and last week’s near loss to Akron, the Wolverines can no longer be considered for real, and could be heading into a buzz saw in conference play.


Michigan State: A botched trick play call in the 3rd quarter and yet another putrid offensive performance were the culprits this week in a 17-13 loss to Notre Dame. It’s becoming more of a rebuilding season than anything at this point for Sparty.

Purdue: After almost upsetting Notre Dame last week, the Boilers come out flat as a pancake against Wisconsin in Big 10 play. What did we learn? Purdue is terrible, and Notre Dame is not very good right now either.

Indiana: The Hoosiers had a huge shot to get a big win over an SEC team at home, but proved that they have not built up any consistency after pounding a solid Bowling Green club last week. The Hoosiers fell 45-28 to Missouri this weekend, and it’s back to the drawing board yet again.


Big 12


Baylor: The Bears scored huge again in a 70-7 win over UL-Monroe at home. Lache Seastrunk is averaging over 8 yards per carry on the season, and Bryce Petty is yet another in a line of great Baylor QBs under Art Briles. Seastrunk rushed for 156 yards on just 10 carries, while Petty passed for 4 TDs. Baylor has now scored 209 points in three games.

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are now 4-0 under Kliff Kingsbury, as they beat Texas State 33-7. There are issues at QB, as the two QBs tossed 3 picks, but the defense stood up, and forced three turnovers from Texas State QB Tyler Arndt. Tech finished with over 500 yards of offense on the day.

Texas: Perhaps nobody in the nation was a bigger winner on the night than Texas and Mack Brown. Texas defeated Kansas State 31-21, holding off a late rally by the Wildcats, after getting blown out two weeks in a row. The win takes some heat off of Brown, but not all of it. Texas has to build on this now.

Losers Despite Winning

Kansas: The Jayhawks stumbled to a 13-10 win over Louisiana Tech, but this isn’t a good Bulldog club that Kansas just beat. It’s great to get a second win, but it was ugly, and telling for the rest of the season. Remember, KU had to outscore La. Tech 10-0 in the 4th to get this win, including a 52 yard FG as the clock hit zero.


West Virginia: Lost to Maryland 37-0. Dana Holgorson had never been shut out before as a head coach or an assistant, and has gone through 3 QBs this season with no luck. His reputation is taking hit after hit.

Kansas State: The Wildcats fell into pretender status, as they fell to a beaten down Texas team by 10. Even when they had opportunities, turnovers plagued the Cats, especially the late red zone fumble.

Conference USA


UAB: The Blazers got their first win of the season against an improving Northwestern State club, and didn’t really struggle to get the win, winning by 24. You can’t get too excited just yet, because UAB was supposed to win this game.

UT-San Antonio: The Roadrunners took their first ever game played in CUSA, and won it on the road at UTEP by rolling out to a 25-10 lead at the half. Larry Coker has this young program moving in the right direction, and don’t be surprised if UTSA is better in conference play than people think.

Losers Despite Winning

Middle Tennessee: The Raiders had to go to OT to take out Florida Atlantic, and the Owls are hardly a juggernaut in CUSA action. Something is missing with MTSU, and it’s going to turn ugly if they can’t figure it out.


Florida Atlantic: The Owls have shown signs of improvement, but against bad or average football teams. They had Middle Tennessee on the ropes, and let them off the hook. FAU may be ok in a year or two, but losing games like this are painful.

Florida International: When you lose 72-0 as an FBS program, what more can you say?

Louisiana Tech: Tech has struggled in the post Dykes era, but this loss kind of hurts. They had Kansas within reach, and missed.

Marshall: The Herd had Virginia Tech scared, but allowed the game to go into OT, where they battled the weather, and failed to score in three tries. A sure thing dropped TD pass sealed their fate.

North Texas: The Eagles had Georgia running scared in Athens, but with the game tied at 21 in the 3rd, UGA took off on a 24-0 run, and the Eagles allowed a 98 yard TD pass in the game, a record long in UGA history.

Tulane: The Green Wave gave up 42 at the half to Syracuse. This is not something to be proud about. Curtis Johnson’s club is not improving, and he heads into year three in 2014.

Rice: The Owls fought hard, but eventually fell to cross town rival Houston by 5. The only good news is that a year ago, this would have been a conference loss. Still, the loss keep David Bailiff on the Hot Seat once again.

UTEP: The Miners fell at home to UTSA. The rebuilding job continues in Sean Kugler’s first year, but the roster needs some work. Playmakers are lacking both on offense and defense. The Miners need a spark.




Losers Despite Winning

Notre Dame: The Irish look a bit adrift right now, and even though they beat rival Michigan State, it was a completely uninspired win, accept for the defense, not that MSU threw all that much that was challenging at them.


Army: The Cadets are lost right now, and the offense is completely ineffective after having to replace 4 year starter Trent Steelman at QB. Rich Ellerson could start to feel some heat, but this team is in rebuild mode.

BYU: The Cougars are completely inconsistent right now, especially QB Taysom Hill, who was not good this week. They need to find an identity that will stick week after week.

New Mexico State: Despite some early successes against UCLA, the Aggies still got toasted by a score of 59-13. The Bruins easily could have scored 80 if not for their early stumbles.

Idaho: The Vandals never seem to get any better, and this week was no different, falling 42-0 to Washington State. New coach, same old story.



Toledo: David Fluellen rushed for 197 yards in leading the Rockets to a 38-17 win in the MAC opener, and Toledo looks like they can start a run after a rough start.

Ball State: Jahwan Edwards scored three TDs on 15 carries, and the Cardinals scored 34 points by halftime to move to 3-1 on the season. Keith Wenning passed for 317 yards, and hit Jordan Williams twice for scores.

Ohio: Tyler Tettleton completed 13 of 15 passes, and three of those completions went for TDs as the Bobcats defense shut out FCS member Austin Peay 38-0.

Bowling Green: The Falcons bounced back from a huge road loss to Indiana to blow out FCS member Murray State 48-7. Matt Johnson completed 19 of 22 passes for 244 yards while scoring 3 TDs on the day in the win over the Racers.

Losers Despite Winning

Northern Illinois: The huskies have picked up back to back suspect wins, barely escaping Eastern Illinois 43-39 just a week after struggling to beat Idaho, one of the worst teams in the nation. The Huskies have to get it together.


Central Michigan: The Chippewas fall to 1-3, and 0-1 in MAC play after losing by 3 TDs to Toledo. Dan Enos is running out of breath while swimming in the Dead Pool.

UMass: The Minutemen are clearly out of their element in FBS football, but played admirably against Vanderbilt in the 24-7 loss at home.

Western Michigan: I have no idea how things got so bad for the Broncos, but losing to Iowa 59-3, when conference mate Northern Illinois beat Iowa, is bad for the program.

Eastern Michigan: Ron English has to be done after losing to Ball State by 31 in the MAC opener. It’s become obvious that the program has regressed in the last two seasons.

Kent State: Speaking of regression…Paul Haynes has his work cut out for him in getting the Golden Flashes back to where they were a year ago. Pieces, and playmakers, are missing.

Miami (Ohio): Miami is inept offensively. The program is sinking, and even though the defense took advantage of a slumping Cincinnati offense, the offense left that defense hanging in a 14-0 loss.

Akron: The Zips are improving, but after losing to Louisiana-Lafayette by 5, the Zips have to turn these close losses into wins. I think those wins could be coming.

Mountain West


Fresno State: The Bulldogs have beaten two bowl teams by a total of two points this fall. The defense has to come together, but the Bulldogs are showing resilience.

UNLV: The Rebels picked up their second consecutive win last weekend in defeating W. Illinois 38-7, evening out their record at 2-2. The Rebels must now prove they can beat someone other than one of the worst programs in the nation (C. Michigan) and an FBS program (WIU).

Wyoming: Brett Smith broke a school single game record for total offense (511 yards) in a 56-23 thrashing of Air Force, and the Cowboys are now 3-1 on the season.

Nevada: There has probably never been a better time to get Hawaii on the schedule after the Wolfpack took two solid blow out beatings at the hands of UCLA and Florida State. Nevada evens their record now at 2-2 after the 31-9 win.

Losers Despite Winning



Boise State: The Broncos now have two early losses in the first time in, well, forever after falling 41-40 at Fresno State. The Broncos defense is a mess, and the offense will not be able to carry them forever.

San Jose State: The Spartan defense was victimized on the ground all day long at Minnesota, and SJSU was never really in the game. David Fales did all he can do, but he needs help.

Utah State: It has now been proven that if Chuckie Keeton cannot run, USU cannot win. He was held to -36 yards rushing on the day at USC, and even though the defense kept the Aggies in it until the very end, the rest of the offense around Keeton never came alive.

Colorado State: The Rams traveled to Alabama, and even though they caused the Tide to have some bumpy moments, they never really challenged for the road upset.

San Diego State: When SDSU had Oregon State on the ropes, and all they needed to do was run down some clock to preserve their win, they decided to pass, and it turned into a pick six, and the Aztecs lost a game that they controlled for most of four quarters 34-30. Bad play calling by Rocky Long and Bob Toledo doomed the Aztecs, who are now 0-3.

Hawaii: The Rainbows are still winless after losing by 22 to Nevada on the road in conference play. With all of 9 points scored, that Norm Chow is really proving his legendary status on offense again and again. Please beware the dripping sarcasm.

Air Force: Air Force is now 1-3, with their only win coming against FCS Colgate. In every loss, the Falcons have been blown out. This week was no exception against Wyoming, at home. Believing in that Troy Calhoun Hot Seat piece yet?



Washington: The Huskies are looking like they can challenge the power structure in the North, but had an easy win over Idaho State this week.

Utah: The Utes defense held strong in the final Holy War game against BYU until 2016, beating the Cougars 20-13. The Utes get a huge chance to make a statement next week against UCLA in South play.

UCLA: The Bruins could have put up 80 on New Mexico State if not for three red zone turnovers. Other than that, UCLA is cruising early this fall, averaging over 50 points per game in wins over Nevada, Nebraska, and NMSU.

Washington State: The Cougars are getting stronger, and could easily be undefeated if not for a the bump in the road loss to Auburn in the opener. Mike Leach is doing a stellar job in Pullman.

Losers Despite Winning

USC: The Trojans could have, and should have lost at home to Utah State. The defense has carried the Trojans, and that defense may very well run out of steam in PAC-12 play.

Stanford: The Cardinal jumped out to a 29-0 lead at home against Arizona State, and then let their foot off of the pedal to hang onto a 14 point win. I’m not sure what to think, but the Cardinal seems to be missing a spark, and has not played a complete football game yet in 2013.

Oregon State: The Beavers needed a late pick 6 to come from behind and beat San Diego State, who is winless. He Beavers will be in for some trouble in conference play after struggling this month.


Arizona State: ASU was the lone outright loser in the bunch. Just when you want to believe in the Sun Devils, they lay an egg like they did at Stanford. The comeback was nice, but way too little after falling behind by 29.



Alabama: It wasn’t always pretty, and the run game pretty much sucked, but the Tide handled the Rams like they should have, winning 34-6. No matter their struggles, Alabama is still the best team in the country.

Texas A&M: The Aggies cruised past SMU, which is something that they should have done. I am waiting for the Aggies to play another worthy opponent like Alabama to see how they hold up. Not sure yet. They more than covered against the Mustangs though.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs scored 62 against Troy, a team that can score a little. The defense held the Trojans to just 7 points. It was a solid week for Dan Mullen’s club, but there may be beatings ahead with SEC play really gearing up.

LSU: The Tigers survived their first major conference challenge at home against Auburn. This week’s road trip against Georgia continues a difficult month for the Bayou Bengals. They are surviving with flying colors so far.

Missouri: The 45-28 win over Indiana was more than important for the Tigers, who proved that they could survive a road challenge. This game was no cupcake.

Losers Despite Winning

Vanderbilt: The Commodores, who have failed to live up to moderate expectations so far in 2013, stumbled to lead hapless UMass by just 3 at the half, and won by scoring only 24 points. The defense saved the day, but something is wrong in Nashville.

Georgia: The Bulldogs beat North Texas by 24, but they were tied in the third quarter before the Bulldogs took off on a late 24-0 run to seal that win 45-21. They were obviously looking ahead to LSU, but left themselves exposed by doing so and were fairly lucky that the pendulum didn’t swing the other way.

Florida: The Gators beat Tennessee by 17, but it was an ugly win that was hugely clouded over by losing Jeff Driskell. I believe that Troy Murphy could be better than Driskell, but it’s still a bad loss. Driskell wasn’t the only loss either.


Tennessee: The Vols are garbage, and they lose their starting QB for 4 weeks. There is nothing good about what’s going on in Knoxville, so rebuilding it is, or, just building.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks had a 17 point lead over Rutgers on the road, and lost by 4. They must have borrowed the “Blown Lead Playbook” from Nebraska.

Auburn: The Tigers had a chance to make a road splash at LSU last weekend, and it didn’t go so well. The Tigers now sink back to the lower ranks of the SEC power grid.

Sun Belt


Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers blasted Morgan State, but then again, they should have.

Losers Despite Winning

UL-Lafayette: The Cajuns lost a chance for a huge win by struggling to beat Akron on the road by a large number. They were lucky to escape and win by 5. To their credit, Akron is an improving football team that hasn’t figured a way to win close games.


Georgia State: Another loss to an FCS program. Another question as to why GSU is not playing on the FCS level themselves.

UL-Monroe: The War Hawks gave up to 70 to Baylor. Doesn’t everyone do that these days?

Arkansas State: If you lose to Memphis, you deserve to get put down like Ole’ Yeller.

Texas State: Did anyone think that the Bobcats would keep up with Texas Tech? Anyone?

Troy: Larry Blakeney, the Dead Pool is calling. The Trojans are irrelevant in the Sun Belt, and nationally.


The PRS Rankings


Now we take a look at the week four PRS Rankings for both FBS and FCS football!




1.        LSU 4-0, 918

2.        Michigan 4-0, 870

3.        Louisville 4-0, 813

4.        Ohio State 4-0, 783

5.        UCLA 3-0, 762

6.        Central Florida 3-0, 732

7.        Maryland 4-0, 730

8.        Minnesota 4-0, 725

9.        Alabama 3-0, 722

10.     Northwestern 4-0, 700

11.     Texas Tech 4-0, 696

12.     Stanford 3-0, 659

13T.  Oklahoma 3-0, 625

13T.  Oregon 3-0, 625

15.    Florida State 3-0, 584

16.    Oklahoma State 3-0, 572

17.    Baylor 3-0, 566

18.    Arizona 3-0, 551

19.    Ole Miss 3-0, 526

20.    Washington 3-0, 520

21.    Georgia Tech 3-0, 518

22.    Houston 3-0, 516

23.    Missouri 3-0, 509

24.    Penn State 3-1, 508

25.    Northern Illinois 3-0, 492


The Next Ten


26.    Notre Dame 3-1, 478

27.    Clemson 3-0, 468

28.    Miami 3-0, 458

29.    Auburn 3-1, 440

30.    Oregon State 3-1, 437

31.    USC 3-1, 434

32.    Wyoming 3-1, 422

33.    Fresno State 3-0, 411

34.    Ball State 3-1, 391

35.    Wisconsin 3-1, 388


The Bottom Ten


116.    Temple 0-3, -634

117.    San Diego State 0-3, -654

118.    UConn 0-3, -669

119.    South Florida 0-3, -678

120.    Idaho 0-4, -717

121.    New Mexico State 0-4, -777

122.    Western Michigan 0-4, -788

123.    UMass 0-4, -874

124.    Florida International 0-4, -941

125.    Georgia State 0-4, -1060


FCS Rankings


1.        Towson 4-0, 1133

2.        Fordham 4-0, 984

3.        Coastal Carolina 4-0, 929

4.        McNeese State 4-0, 869

5.        Northern Iowa 3-0, 807

6.        Jacksonville State 4-0, 800

7.        Eastern Illinois 3-1, 729

8.        Sam Houston State 3-1, 724

9.        Charleston Southern 4-0, 721

10.     Youngstown State 3-1, 718

11.     South Dakota State 3-1, 680

12T.   Delaware 3-1, 669

12T.   Lehigh 3-0, 669 

14.     William & Mary 3-1, 657

15.     Bethune-Cookman 3-1, 629

16.     North Dakota State 3-0, 625

17.     Maine 3-1, 619

18.     James Madison 3-1, 601

19.     Southern Utah 3-1, 599

20.     Sacred Heart 4-0, 566

21.     Gardner-Webb 3-1, 558

22.     Tennessee State 3-1, 550

23.     Montana 3-0, 530

24.     Northwestern State 2-2, 475

25.     Alcorn State 3-1, 469


         The Next Ten


26.     UT-Martin 2-1, 416

27T.   Northern Arizona 2-1, 410

27T.   North Carolina A&T 2-0, 410

29.     Georgia Southern 2-1, 406

30.     Samford 2-2, 403

31.     Eastern Washington 2-1, 381

32.     Chattanooga 2-1, 377

33.     Old Dominion 2-2, 367

34.     Central Arkansas 2-2, 352

35.     Portland State 3-1, 349


The Bottom Ten


118.     Lafayette 0-3, -535

119.     Delaware State 0-3. -536

120.     Texas Southern 0-3, -553

121.     UC-Davis 0-4, -568

122.     Grambling 0-4, -594

123.     Hampton 0-4, -683

124.     Valparaiso 0-3, -689

125.     Davidson 0-3, -719

126.     Mississippi Valley State 0-4, -785

127.     Morehead State 0-4, -863


Week 5 Picks (312-82 overall for 2013)





Georgia Tech over Virginia Tech

Iowa State over Tulsa



BYU over Middle Tennessee

Utah State over San Jose State



Northern Illinois over Purdue

Miami over South Florida

South Carolina over UCF

Oklahoma State over West Virginia

Illinois over Miami (Ohio)

TCU over SMU
Tennessee over South Alabama

North Carolina over East Carolina

Pittsburgh over Virginia

Navy over Western Kentucky

Bowling Green over Akron

Toledo over Ball State

Duke over Troy

Oregon State over Colorado

Florida State over Boston College

Buffalo over UConn

Clemson over Wake Forest

LSU over Georgia

NC State over C. Michigan

Oklahoma over Notre Dame

Minnesota over Iowa

Colorado State over UTEP

Army over Louisiana Tech

Houston over UT-San Antonio

Idaho over Temple

Old Dominion over Albany

Alabama over Ole Miss

Florida over Kentucky

Kent State over Western Michigan

Texas A&M over Arkansas

Tulane over UL-Monroe

Rice over Florida Atlantic

Wyoming over Texas State

Washington over Arizona

Missouri over Arkansas State

Vanderbilt over UAB

Ohio State over Wisconsin

San Diego State over New Mexico State

UNLV over New Mexico

Nevada over Air Force

Stanford over Washington State

Boise State over Southern Mississippi

Arizona State over USC

Oregon over California

Fresno State over Hawaii





Portland State over Cal Poly

North Carolina A&T over Howard



Yale over Cornell

Fordham over St. Francis

Jacksonville over Butler

Columbia over Monmouth

Lehigh over New Hampshire

Rhode Island over C. Connecticut State

Morgan State over Norfolk State

Dayton over Marist

Davidson over Morehead State

Bryant over Wagner

Drake over Mercer

San Diego over Stetson

Robert Morris over VMI

Coastal Carolina over Elon

Charlotte over Presbyterian

Illinois State over Missouri State

South Carolina State over Hampton

Georgetown over Princeton

Campbell over Valporaiso

E. Illinois over E. Kentucky

North Dakota State over South Dakota State

E. Washington over Sam Houston State

Samford over W. Carolina

Tennessee State over Central State

Montana State over North Dakota

Appalachian State over Charleston Southern

Southern Utah over Northern Colorado

Maine over Richmond

W. Illinois over South Dakota

Jacksonville State over Murray State

McNeese State over Northern Iowa

Villanova over Penn

Abilene Christian over Tarleton State

Towson over Stony Brook

Gardner-Webb over Point

Delaware State over Savannah State

Sacred Heart over Bucknell

Furman over Citadel

Georgia Southern over Chattanooga

Alabama State over Alcorn State

Youngstown State over Southern Illinois

Dartmouth over Holy Cross

UT-Martin over SE Missouri State

Nicholls State over Arkansas Tech

Stephen F. Austin over Prairie View

Alabama A&M over Texas Southern

Lamar over Grambling

Northwestern State over Langston

Jackson State over Southern

Incarnate Word over E. New Mexico

Harvard over Brown

Sacramento State over Weber State

Tennessee Tech over Indiana State

Montana over N. Arizona

UC-Davis over Idaho State