Sunday, May 29, 2016

Washington State Cougars 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We wrap up our look at the PAC-12 North schedules with Washington State:

9/3 Eastern Washington
9/10 at Boise State
9/17 Idaho
10/1 Oregon
10/8 at Stanford
10/15 UCLA
10/22 at Arizona State
10/29 at Oregon State
11/5 Arizona
11/12 California
11/19 at Colorado
11/26 Washington

Notes: September is a strong month for the Cougars, as they should win every game, beating Eastern Washington, Boise State, and Idaho.
I see the Cougars getting a home win over Oregon, but losing at Stanford. I can also see wins coming in the middle month against UCLA, Arizona State, and Oregon State. Washington State could be 7-1 heading into November.
Washington State has a lighter schedule in November, and could very likely sweep the slate and steal the North. I see them having chances to win over Arizona, Cal, Colorado, and Washington. The Colorado game is the lone road trip in the final month.
Overall Projected Record: 11-1

Washington Huskies 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue our PAC-12 schedule tour with Washington:

9/3 Rutgers
9/10 Idaho
9/17 Portland State
9/24 at Arizona
9/30 Stanford
10/8 at Oregon
10/22 Oregon State
10/29 at Utah
11/5 at California
11/12 USC
11/19 Arizona State
11/26 at Washington State

Notes: The Huskies start strong in September with 3 straight winnable games over Rutgers, Idaho, and Portland State, but could fall to both Arizona and Stanford in following games to start 3-2.
I can see Washington taking 2 of 3 in October, with wins over Oregon State and Utah, but I do see a loss to Oregon in Eugene. I see a 5-3 mark to end October.
It all comes down to November for the Huskies, as I see a losses to Cal, USC, and Washington State, while a win over Arizona State is likely.
Overall Projected Record: 6-6

Stanford Cardinal 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We head back into California, as we look at the 2016 Stanford football schedule:

9/2 Kansas State
9/17 USC
9/24 at UCLA
9/30 at Washington
10/8 Washington State
10/15 at Notre Dame
10/22 Colorado
10/29 at Arizona
11/5 Oregon State
11/12 at Oregon
11/19 at California
11/26 Rice

Notes: Stanford gets 3 conference games in the opening month, and should be a solid 4-0 overall with wins over Kansas State, USC, UCLA, and Washington likely.
October gets tough for Stanford, and I see them falling to Washington State and Notre Dame to start the month. They should bounce back to get wins over Colorado and Arizona, and head into the final month at 6-2.
November should bring wins over Oregon State, Oregon, Cal, and Rice, and the Cardinal should be the favorite in the North.
Overall Projected Record: 10-2

Oregon State Beavers 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We head from Eugene to Corvallis to check in on the 2016 Oregon State football schedule:

9/1 at Minnesota
9/17 Idaho State
9/24 Boise State
10/1 at Colorado
10/8 California
10/15 Utah
10/22 at Washington
10/29 Washington State
11/5 at Stanford
11/12 at UCLA
11/19 Arizona
11/26 Oregon

Notes: There are only 3 September games on the slate, and I see losses to Minnesota and Boise State to start, with a win over Idaho State in the middle.
October will be a tough month, as I see the Beavers falling to Colorado, Cal, Utah, Washington, and Washington State to start conference play without a win. I can see OSU being 1-7 at this point.
November shows no sign of promise, as the Beavers likely fall to Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, and Oregon.
Overall Projected Record: 1-11

Oregon Ducks 2016 Schedule Breakdown

Our tour moves north to Eugene, as we look at the Ducks 2016 Schedule:

9/3 UC-Davis
9/10 Virginia
9/17 at Nebraska
9/24 Colorado
10/1 at Washington State
10/8 Washington
10/21 at California
10/29 Arizona State
11/5 at USC
11/12 Stanford
11/19 at Utah
11/26 at Oregon State

Notes: Oregon has a strong September lining up, as they should be favored to win games against UC-Davis, Virginia, Nebraska, and Colorado. A 4-0 start would be terrific.
October sees a positive, as the Ducks should be favored to win games against Washington, Cal, and Arizona State. I see a loss to Washington State in Pullman, however. The Ducks roll into November with a 7-1 record.
November is a meat grinder for the Ducks. They get a win at USC, but could lose to both Stanford and Utah on the road. They should finish strong with a win over Oregon State, also on the road.
The Ducks finish the season with 3 of 4 on the road.
Overall Projected Record: 9-3

California Golden Bears 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We begin a new schedule breakdown tour in the PAC-12 with the Cal Bears:

8/27 Hawaii (at Sydney)
9/16 at San Diego State
9/17 Texas
9/24 at Arizona State
10/1 Utah
10/8 at Oregon State
10/21 Oregon
10/27 at USC
11/5 Washington
11/12 at Washington State
11/19 Stanford
11/26 UCLA

Notes: The Bears are playing a very odd game against Hawaii in August in Australia. This makes no sense to me, but that is OK, as I see Cal getting the win on the other side of the world.
Cal should beat San Diego State, and could get a win over Texas at home in one of the latest home openers in the nation. I see Cal also beating Arizona State to end the month. Cal should head into October at 4-0.
Cal could stumble hard in October, as I see losses to Utah, Oregon, and USC, while I still see a win over Oregon State. Cal would still be 5-3, but show signs of stumbling heading into November.
Cal could stumble the hardest in November, with the only projected win I see being against Washington, and that is a toss up, really. I give the Bears the home edge. I see losses to Washington State, Stanford, and UCLA to finish up the season.
Overall Projected Record: 6-6

Saturday, May 28, 2016

UNLV Rebels 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The Mountain West schedule breakdown tour for 2016 heads to my home town of Las Vegas:

9/1 Jackson State
9/10 at UCLA
9/17 at Central Michigan
9/24 Idaho
10/1 Fresno State
10/8 at San Diego State
10/15 at Hawaii
10/22 Colorado State
10/29 at San Jose State
11/12 Wyoming
11/18 at Boise State
11/26 Nevada

Notes: September could start of solid for UNLV, as the rebels should pick up an easy win over Jackson State. The likely fall to UCLA and Central Michigan following that win, but could very well pick up another win against Idaho at home.
October could be a tough month for the Rebels, as I have them winning games against Fresno State and Hawaii, but falling against San Diego State, Colorado State, and San Jose State. The Rebels play 3 on the road in the middle month, and could be 4-5 heading into the stretch run.
November could be a heart breaker for the Rebels, as I project a win against Wyoming at home, but I also project losses to Boise State and Nevada, which would leave UNLV 1 win short of a bowl.
Overall Projected Record: 5-7

San Jose State Spartans 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue to Northern California on our Mountain West schedule breakdown tour to the City of San Jose:

9/3 at Tulsa
9/10 Portland State
9/17 Utah
9/24 at Iowa State
10/1 at New Mexico
10/8 Hawaii
10/15 Nevada
10/22 at San Diego State
10/29 UNLV
11/5 at Boise State
11/19 Air Force
11/26 at Fresno State

Notes: September has some rough draws, as I can project losses to Tulsa and Utah, but a win over Portland State. I also see a loss at Iowa State that would drop the Spartans to 1-3.
October is a tough month as well, as I project wins over UNLV and Hawaii, but losses to New Mexico, Nevada, and San Diego State. The Spartans would head into the final month at 3-6.
November will be where a minor bowl is attained or lost out on, and I see the latter happening. I project losses to Boise State and Air Force, and a toss up game against Fresno State.
Overall Projected Record: 3-9

San Diego State Aztecs 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue on down to San Diego to look at the Aztecs 2016 season schedule:

9/3 New Hampshire
9/10 California
9/17 at Northern Illinois
10/1 at South Alabama
10/8 UNLV
10/15 at Fresno State
10/22 San Jose State
10/29 at Utah State
11/5 Hawaii
11/12 at Nevada
11/19 Wyoming
11/26 Colorado State

Notes: The Aztecs may get off to a rough start in September, as I have them beating New Hampshire, but falling to Cal and Northern Illinois. A 1-2 start means that they will have to get a jump in October if they want to repeat as West Champs.
I see a major rebound in October as it so happens, as SDSU will be favored in all 5 games. Wins against South Alabama, UNLV, Fresno State, San Jose State, and Utah State would then push the Aztecs to a 6-2 record.
November should be the final run in securing another divisional title, as the Aztecs will be favored to beat Hawaii, Nevada (narrowly), Wyoming, and Colorado State.
Overall Projected Record: 10-2

Nevada Wolf Pack 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The Mountain West schedule breakdown tour heads to Reno:

9/3 Cal Poly
9/10 at Notre Dame
9/17 Buffalo
9/24 at Purdue
10/1 at Hawaii
10/8 Fresno State
10/15 at San Jose State
10/22 Wyoming
11/5 at New Mexico
11/12 San Diego State
11/19 Utah State
11/26 at UNLV

Notes: Nevada projects to get off to s solid start in September, with wins likely coming over Cal Poly, Buffalo, and what would be a nice Power Five win over Purdue on the road. Purdue is largely awful, and this is a great chance for the Pack to get a win against a Big 10 school on the road. Nevada will likely fall to Notre Dame on the road, but would start the year 3-1.
Nevada could be a solid surprise team in the Mountain West with a strong October run. The Pack could be favored in all four games with possible wins over Hawaii, Fresno State, San Jose State, and Wyoming. If this comes together, the Pack is heading into October with a 7-1 record.
November could eb the toughest month on the slate. Even if Nevada were to fall to New Mexico on the road, and San Diego State at home, they still show as favorites on my board in games against Utah State and UNLV.
Overall Projected Record: 9-3

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The 2016 schedule breakdown tour in the Mountain West heads to the islands for a look at Hawaii:

8/27 California (at Sydney)
9/3 at Michigan
9/10 Tennessee-Martin
9/17 at Arizona
10/1 Nevada
10/8 at San Jose State
10/15 UNLV
10/22 at Air Force
10/29 New Mexico
11/5 at San Diego State
11/12 Boise State
11/19 at Fresno State
11/26 U Mass

Notes: The first month starts out with a strange trip to Australia to play California. That is a loss. The Rainbows then lose to Michigan before beating UT-Martin in the home opener. They then likely fall big on the road against Arizona. Hawaii will play only one home game in the first four games of the season.
In October, Hawaii fails to find a game in which they will be favored. Hawaii will play 3 at home, and 2 on the road. The bad news is that UH likely faisl to find a win in the middle month, falling to 1-8 overall.
November is a critical month to finish strong, but that will likely not happen. Hawaii loses to San Diego State, Boise State, and Fresno State, before likely beating U Mass at home.
Overall Projected Record: 2-11

Fresno State Bulldogs 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The Mountain West schedule breakdown tour continues on to Fresno:

9/3 at Nebraska
9/10 Sacramento State
9/17 at Toledo
9/24 Tulsa
10/1 at UNLV
10/8 at Nevada
10/15 San Diego State
10/22 at Utah State
10/29 Air Force
11/5 at Colorado State
11/19 Hawaii
11/26 San Jose State

Notes: The Bulldogs will have a tough early go in September, as I project their only win to come against Sacramento State, with losses coming at Nebraska, at Toledo, and at home against Tulsa. They split two at home, and two road games.
Fresno State plays 3 of 5 on the road in October, and that could be crushing to this team. Fresno State will be dogs in all five games they play, and could very well go 0-5, which would have them fall to 1-8 on the season.
November will ease up slightly in the final two weeks. After a likely loss at Colorado State, the Bulldogs will close out at home with likely wins over Hawaii and San Jose State.
Overall Projected Record: 3-9

This Week's appearance on ESPN 1100

I was a guest on Friday on the "Mitch and Pritch" show on ESPN 1100, where we discussed the Baylor football scandal at length. The piece that I wrote last night was a companion piece to this interview.

The link to the interview is as follows:

The link to the companion blog piece is:

Baylor Football Scandal a Microcosm of Larger Problem

     By now, everyone in the nation not living under a rock has been fully updated on the situation at Baylor University surrounding the football program. President Ken Starr has been downgraded to a powerless position of Chancellor, a ceremonial, at best position that he will likely vacate in under a year. This was likely done to pay off what the Board of Regents legally could not get out of paying him to go away. Football coach Art Briles is the coach no more. He was found to have been at the root of a huge cover up of sexual assaults by football players dating back at least four years by his players. Athletic Director Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation, which is the likely first step in what will be his eventual termination down the road. Several athletic department staffers have been fired, and their names have been withheld, which Baylor can do legally as they are not a public university.
     All of this stems from a systemic issue where sexual assaults, general assaults, and all kinds of wrongdoing were not only happening, but were seemingly common on the Baylor football team off the field. These actions were not only ongoing and there was a general failure to stop them, but by the failure of the leadership of the university, were encouraged by inaction. Victims were intimidated, retaliated against, and generally mistreated beyond the definition of the word. 
     The question that one has to ask is how did it all come to this? Why were these actions not stopped, and why were they almost encouraged by a lack of institutional control, which is always the worst thing you can say about a university? Why were students, who only wanted to get an education and move on with their lives, subjected to this treatment, and why were their plights ignored at the behest of a money making, championship contending football program? Why was the mission of the university, at the core of their Baptist and Christian mantra, ignored in favor of athletics and the mighty dollar? 

The Cash Influence

     Cash is king. We've all heard this being said in our lives, in movies, on TV, in every corner of American life. If you have the cash, you have the power. Baylor was not always the king of the cash cow. Any long time college football fan or writer will tell you tales of woe of a program that may as well have been non-existent before Art Briles arriving on campus. All of the cash in the State of Texas went to the University of Texas at Austin, and everyone else had to battle for the scraps. In some cases this may still be true, however Baylor had become a player in the money game during the Briles years. Baylor was now a championship contender. Baylor was a player not only in the Southwest, but on a national stage. TV money increased, booster money increased, and the overall image of Baylor was starting to be plastered all over everything. 
     With success comes money. A lot of it. Baylor may not be Texas, but they still have that shiny new stadium on campus to show for the wealth that they have generated from winning. Maybe it was simply an omen when Floyd Casey Stadium was demolished last weekend. It was a sign of things to come. 
     A program like Baylor simply does not become a major power in a short decade without something not smelling right. To win, to get at the resources that comes with winning, one will sell their soul to get there and stay there. Ask Tom Osborn. He had not been winning titles at Nebraska, and in the mid-90's, he started recruiting less than savory characters with criminal pasts. Issues started happening almost immediately. Sexual assault issues, criminal issues. Nebraska won two national championships for the trouble, and nobody wanted to know the details. Osborn had to win to satisfy the villagers with the torches and pitch forks. Instead of maintaining his integrity, he sold out to get what they wanted, and paid the price later. One name says it all. Lawrence Phillips. Google it. 
     The problem with all of the money pouring into these universities and colleges is simple. Money equals power. Winning gains absolute power for coaches. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Coaches are making more money than ever before in any time in the sport. In the mid-80s, Terry Donahue at UCLA was paid, all benefits included, $1.5 million per season. He would be one of the lowest paid coaches in the Power Five today. That money was crazy then. Nick Saban makes $7 million at Alabama. Tom Herrman is making over $3 million at Houston, and the Cougars are not even a Power Five program. What would you do to make that money and keep it coming? 
     As the big money continues to pour into major college football, you are seeing more off-field issues with athletes. Why is this? Simply, coaches are more willing to turn a blind eye to sometimes severe character flaws in incoming players than ever before, because it is all about winning, keeping the boosters and the TV money dealers happy, and ensuring their own safety. 
     Bernie Sanders, whatever you may think of him, has a really good point when it comes to money in politics. If you take a huge check from Goldman-Sachs, either you are in deep to them, or you give one hell of a speech. The same can be said for college coaches, whose money comes not really from the main university coffers, but from the check books of non regulated boosters and donors. How do you think that works out at the end of the day?Who do you think these college coaches are beholden to? It's not the chancellor, and it sure as hell is not his AD. 
     When you have assistants making more money than head coaches in some schools, this is an even bigger issue. We have assistants in America making more money than their bosses (the AD). If you made more money than your boss, would you respect him? Probably not. 
     It's all about the dollar signs these days, and schools will sell their souls and invite Satan himself on campus, as long as he can win them football games and keep those checks coming. 

Inverted Power Structures

     How many times have we now seen coaches controlling their universities? When the Jerry Sandusky situation broke loose, The Penn State leadership chose to fire Joe Paterno, which had to happen in every way, shape, or form. What happened was a ludicrous scene. 
     Paterno lived in a house on campus, property largely owned by Penn State. When the administrators went to the home to inform Paterno that he was fired, he told them that they couldn't fire him, and to get the hell out of his house. What happened next was completely bizarre, to the fact that that is exactly what they did. They did not immediately terminate him, and they got the hell out of his house. 
     Paterno was bigger than anyone one of those administrators, and certainly wielded more power in the State than the most connected of the group. Paterno had been allowed to amass that power over decades of winning at Penn State. He was simply too powerful to fire. Of course, eventually they did indeed remove him, but not before a protracted fight and on campus riots, all in support of a man who enabled a pedophile and child rapist for decades. It has now been proven that Paterno knew of Sandusky's actions as early as the 1970's and there are records of victims being paid off as early as 1975.You cannot tell me that Paterno did not know about this for all of those years. He had to have known, and he used his power to scuttle this issue, and protect his football program and his empire. 
     Darrell Hazell, who I am not accusing of any wrongdoing at Purdue, should have been fired already. Why has he not been? Because it will cost the administration over $16 million to buy him out. That is the only reason he has a job, because he is too expensive to fire. Is that not some form of power? 
     Coaches today make more money than any other figure on campus, and that allows an inverted power structure that fails the institution time and time again. Ridiculous amounts of money are thrown around to remove coaches with unfriendly contracts, and the institutions are held hostage by their own poor decision making in allowing these deals in the first place. It is an arms race for the top, and the top cannot be seen from any land that is inhabited by mere mortals. It is Mount Olympus brought to life, and only sacrifice of blood and morals will suffice to make it to the peak.

Outside Influence Rules All

     Boosters are the bane of major college sports today. Many are unregulated vultures who have driven up the price of doing business, and their influence and reach is never ending. There are exceptions to this rule, but there are too many cases of abuse to ignore. 
     Boosters, like any other regular university employee with access to athletics, should be regulated. Their roles should be limited severely. Whenever you spend the kind of money that these people pour into programs, that individual is going to want something in return. It is basic human nature. There are those who have altruistic goals, one such being Pat Clynes who is a football booster at UTSA and a basketball booster at Houston. I believe him to be a man of the utmost character, and to be a moral barometer for the title of booster. If more were like him, we'd likely have less issues regarding the shady underbelly of the college sports business. 
     Ask Ohio State how boosters have derailed them. Ask UNLV basketball. Ask Miami football. I could go on all day. 
     At the end of the day, the pressures produced by these individuals and their money has to become a regulated thing, in order to follow the money trails when it comes to corruption. This is just a start. At the end of the day, these individuals are influencing major college programs, and largely tell the administrators when to jump and how high. We should be able to reverse that course, and take that influence out of the game. 
End Individual Deals For Power Schools, Find New leadership

     UCLA recently signed a 15 year deal with Under Armour on an apparel contract worth $248 million. That is insane at the very core of everything. Notre Dame has an individual deal with NBC for TV rights. Texas has the controversial Longhorn Network, which if the Big 12 implodes, will be at the core of that destruction. 
     Why are colleges and universities allowed to negotiate individual deals for TV contracts and apparel outside of  the sanctioning of the NCAA? Well, the NCAA will absolutely get the kickback, you can bet on that, but the rest is simply poor leadership. 
     When Mark Emmert became the head of the NCAA, I had great hopes for him. Much like my overall hopes for President Obama earlier on (conversation for another place and day), my hopes are all but dashed in his leadership. Emmert tried to get tough early on, but his administration has bungled one case after another after another, and not one significant penalty was ever levied under his watch. 
     Emmert needs to be replaced, that much is certain. What needs to happen is that the NCAA needs a figure akin to Kennesaw Mountain Landis, the old baseball commissioner who ruled MLB with an iron fist. There was no franchise sacred to the tyrannical Landis, and nobody got away with anything. If the NCAA is to survive in the current form it inhabits, they need an iron ruler. I currently have no idea who would have the guts to take that job on, but I would volunteer myself to it. 
     Once new leadership is found in someone who can stand up to the current power structure, that new leader must appoint the first ever NCAA football commissioner to lead a singular body of member schools. Every individual sport must also have their own commissioners named. You simply cannot run every sport alike, and this would be the beginning of sorting out the madness. 
     One item that this new commissioner would handle is TV deals and apparel contracts that would be inclusive of all member schools, with proceeds doled out evenly to all members of FBS football. There would be no individual TV rights deals, no individual Nike or Under Armour deals. This would all be handled through the football office, and be taken away from individual schools for the good of the whole. In short, undo what has been done, and start to fix the damage, and remove the roads to corruption on that level. 
     The last item that I can mention here for this role would be to create a regulatory committee to monitor all activities of outside influencing parties, such as boosters and other "dignitaries". This would be a regulatory committee that could also oversee all claims of wrongdoing if it were beyond the ability of the conference to monitor and control. There would be no more self reporting and self induced penalties so that schools could show the fraudulent tail between the legs routine while still largely benefiting from the system (looking at you Ole Miss). 
     How would you pay for all of the staffers that would be necessary you ask? Oh, the money is there, it just needs some redistribution to the rightful place. 
     In short, without leadership changes at the top, we cannot expect change, and sometimes being a strong and resolute, moral beacon on the shore is the hardest thing to be. 

In Conclusion

     If you haven't discontinued reading by now, thanks for staying with me. I am writing this piece after midnight, and I have a ton of anger directed at the individuals that have largely hijacked the game I have loved and have worked around for almost 35 years. What I suggest as changes are radical ideas to some, I am sure. When you look at what those ideas are at their core, they are not so radical. 
     If change is going to come, if the corruption is going to end, if the victims of the crimes that have been allowed to happen are to be made right, if future victims are to be spared, we will need to make critical and radical change to the way that business is done in major college sports. If there is no longer the willingness to sell a soul for wins because the control mechanism leads from the top and is moral and resolute, everyone wins. 
     If change never comes, if the money and the corruption in major college athletics is allowed to continue unchecked as it hurtles itself over the cliff, so be it. If this is the case, and the result is such, nobody will have the ability to honestly look yourself in the eye and say that the best was done and tried. That would be the biggest lie of all. 
     At the end of the day, this is simply not about a game. There is no game when it comes to rape and assault. There is no game when it comes to the morals of once good men being sold like a cheap watch (or a Rolex as the case may be). This is about people. This is about the crime of stealing dignity, of stealing virtue. This about the darkest form of humanity winning. This is about our institutions of higher learning being hijacked to protect brand and image, to product winning and cash. 
     If it all doesn't make you sick on some very basic level, there is something wrong. Evil happens everyday. The very least we can do is step up and speak up and stop it on some level, even if it is surrounding what is, at the end of the day, just a damned game. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wyoming Cowboys 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We wrap up the Mountain Division portion of our Mountain West schedule breakdown tour in Laramie with the Cowboys of Wyoming:

9/3 Northern Illinois
9/10 at Nebraska
9/17 UC Davis
9/24 at Eastern Michigan
10/1 at Colorado State
10/8 Air Force
10/22 at Nevada
10/29 Boise State
11/5 Utah State
11/12 at UNLV
11/19 San Diego State
11/26 New Mexico

Notes: September is the best month of the season as it lines up for the Cowboys. I project an opening set of losses to Northern Illinois and Nebraska, but I also see wins against UC Davis and Eastern Michigan.
October is a meat grinder. Wyoming will be dogs in all 4 games they play, and losses are likely against Colorado State, Air Force, Nevada, and Boise .
It gets no easier in November. The Cowboys stand to lose all 4 games there as well to Utah State, UNLV, San Diego State, and New Mexico.
Overall Projected Record: 2-10

Utah State Aggies 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We roll on to Logan now, where we take a look at the Utah State 2016 football schedule:

9/1 Weber State
9/10 at USC
9/17 Arkansas State
9/24 Air Force
10/1 at Boise State
10/8 at Colorado State
10/22 Fresno State
10/29 San Diego State
11/5 at Wyoming
11/12 New Mexico
11/19 at Nevada
11/26 at BYU

Notes: USU will have a mixed bag schedule in September. They will likely get wins over Weber State and Arkansas State, but losses could likely come at USC and against Air Force in Logan.
October sets up badly for the Aggies. I see losses to Boise State and possibly Colorado State, before a bounce back win against Fresno State. If the Aggies get an upset win, it will be at the expense of San Diego State at home. If all of this comes together, USU is 4-4 heading into the home stretch.
The wheels could fall off the wagon in November. I see Utah State as dogs against New Mexico and BYU, but they should get wins against Wyoming and Nevada. Any slip ups, and there will be no bowl. If there is a slip, it could come at Nevada. USU plays 3 of 4 in the final month on the road.
Overall Projected Record: 6-6

New Mexico Lobos 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The bus moves on to the ABQ, and a look at the New Mexico Lobos for 2016:

9/3 South Dakota
9/10 at New Mexico State
9/17 at Rutgers
10/1 San Jose State
10/8 Boise State
10/15 Air Force (at Dallas)
10/22 UL-Monroe
10/29 at Hawaii
11/5 Nevada
11/12 at Utah State
11/19 at Colorado State
11/26 Wyoming

Notes: The Lobos have a real shot at an undefeated September with likely wins over South Dakota and New Mexico State, and a win over Big 10 doormat Rutgers. The Rutgers game will be a tough go, but that road game could be a huge get for the Lobos early in the season.
UNM could get a huge boost in October and already be bowl eligible heading into November with wins coming against San Jose State, Air Force, ULM, and Hawaii. I Project a loss at home to Boise State.
November will bring the Lobos back to Earth somewhat. I see wins over Nevada and Wyoming, but tough losses at Utah State and Colorado State.
All said, the Lobos could be a dark horse team that nobody is talking about early on.
Overall Projected Record: 9-3

Colorado State Rams 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The bus rolls on to Fort Collins and Colorado State:

9/2 Colorado (at Denver)
9/10 UTSA
9/17 Northern Colorado
9/24 at Minnesota
10/1 Wyoming
10/8 Utah State
10/15 at Boise State
10/22 at UNLV
11/5 Fresno State
11/12 at Air Force
11/19 New Mexico
11/26 at San Diego State

Notes: I see the Rams dropping the rivalry game to Colorado, but winning games against UTSA and Northern Colorado at home. The Minnesota roadie will be a tough go. I see the Rams at 2-2 heading into October.
October should fare slightly better for the Rams, as I see them picking up wins over Wyoming, Utah State, and UNLV, but falling at Boise State. Still, this would have them at 5-3 heading into the final month.
November is where things could get tough for CSU. I see a win against Fresno State, and a tough nail biting win over New Mexico at home, but I see losses against Air Force and San Diego State, both on the road. The game against UNM could really go either way.
Overall Projected Record: 7-5

Boise State Broncos 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The Mountain West Tour moves north to Boise:

9/3 at UL-Lafayette
9/10 Washington State
9/24 at Oregon State
10/1 Utah State
10/8 at New Mexico
10/15 Colorado State
10/20 BYU
10/29 at Wyoming
11/5 San Jose State
11/12 at Hawaii
11/18 UNLV
11/26 at Air Force

Notes: Despite a sexual assault case that just broke in Boise tonight, (2 expulsions and a one year suspension), the issue did not effect the overall 2 deep roster virtually at all.
That being said, Boise State should have a 2-1 record in September, with wins over UL-Lafayette and Oregon State on the road. The Broncos, however, should likely fall to a resurgent Washington State club at home.
Boise State should roll in October, as they will likely be favored in all 5 games, giving them wins over Utah State, New Mexico, Colorado State, BYU, and Wyoming. They should be 8-1 heading into November.
November should be a strong month as well for the Broncos, as they should win games against San Jose State, Hawaii, and UNLV fairly easily. Air Force will be a very tough finale, but I see Boise pulling out the win there.
Overall Projected Record: 12-1

Air Force Falcons 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We now turn to the Mountain West, as the Schedule Breakdown blitz hits Air Force:

9/3 Abilene Christian
9/10 Georgia State
9/24 at Utah State
10/1 Navy
10/8 at Wyoming
10/15 New Mexico (at Dallas)
10/22 Hawaii
10/29 at Fresno State
11/5 at Army
11/12 Colorado State
11/19 at San Jose State
11/26 Boise State

Notes: The first two weeks should be easy wins for the Falcons at home against ACU and Georgia State. The Utah State game will give a little more push for the Falcons, but they should win there as well. I am looking at a 3-0 start in September, with a bye week on the 17th.
October is loaded with 5 games for the Falcons. I see a loss to Navy at home, a win over Wyoming on the road, and wins over Hawaii and Fresno State. If the Falcons lose one game in the month, it could come to New Mexico on a neutral site game (which makes no sense to me) in Dallas.
I see Air Force hitting November strong, until the finale, which is a game with Boise State at home. In short, the Falcons should go 3-1 to wrap up the season's final month.
Overall Projected Record: 9-3

Western Michigan Broncos 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We conclude our tour of the 2016 MAC schedule with Western Michigan:

9/3 at Northwestern
9/10 North Carolina Central
9/17 at Illinois
9/24 Georgia Southern
10/1 at Central Michigan
10/8 Northern Illinois
10/15 at Akron
10/22 Eastern Michigan
11/1 at Ball State
11/8 at Kent State
11/9 Buffalo
11/25 Toledo

Notes: September is a bit on the tough side. I project a win over NC Central, but the other games will be hard fought. I can see a tentative win at Illinois, a loss to Northwestern, and a nip and tuck win over Georgia Southern.
October presents a shot to be favored in all 4 games. This could bring wins over Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Akron, and Eastern Michigan.
November should be a breeze until the final showdown against Toledo at home WMU should be a narrow favorite. there.
Overall Projected Record: 11-1 (Going out on a limb, but the schedule is winnable across the board.)

Toledo Rockets 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The MAC trip moves on to Toledo:

9/3 at Arkansas State
9/10 Maine
9/17 Fresno State
9/30 at BYU
10/8 at Eastern Michigan
10/15 Bowling Green
10/22 Central Michigan
10/27 Ohio
11/2 at Akron
11/9 Northern Illinois (at Chicago)
11/16 Ball State
11/25 at Western Michigan

Notes: September looks like a solid month for the Rockets with likely wins over Arkansas State, Maine, and Fresno State. The BYU game is going to be a tough go on the road, and I will project a loss early in the process here.
October looks more stellar, as the Rockets should be favored in all 4 contests. There are some tough games with CMU and Ohio, and even BGSU should provide a challenge, however Toledo should be able to win these tough games.
November should be strong, but more challenges remain. I can see an upset on the road at NIU, but then a loss at WMU could be likely, Toledo beats Akron and Ball State.
Overall Projected Record: 10-2

Northern Illinois Huskies 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The bus continues to DeKalb for a look at the Northern Illinois Huskies:

9/3 at Wyoming
9/10 at USF
9/17 San Diego State
9/24 Western Illinois
10/1 at Ball State
10/8 at Western Michigan
10/15 Central Michigan
10/22 Buffalo
11/1 Bowling Green
11/9 Toledo (at Chicago)
11/16 at Eastern Michigan
11/25 at Kent State

Notes: NIU will not play a Power 5 team in 2016, which is a good thing, but their September schedule is still a tough one to work through.
I Project a win over Wyoming, and a win over Western Illinois, but it is tough for me to gauge games at USF and a home date with San Diego State. I will pick a win over USF, and a loss to San Diego State,  but tentatively.
The Huskies should have a strong October, with wins over Ball State, Central Michigan, and Buffalo, but a loss could come on the road at Western Michigan.
I will project wins over Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, and Kent State in November, but I can see a loss against Toledo in Chicago.
Overall Projected Record: 9-3

Eastern Michigan Eagles 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The bus continues on to Rynearson Stadium, home of the Eastern Michigan Eagles:

9/3 Mississippi Valley State
9/10 at Missouri
9/17 at Charlotte
9/24 Wyoming
10/1 at Bowling Green
10/8 Toledo
10/15 at Ohio
10/22 at Western Michigan
10/29 Miami (Ohio)
11/8 at Ball State
11/16 Northern Illinois
11/22 Central Michigan

Notes: Shockingly, EMU should actually win 2 games in September. Eastern should win games against MVSU and Charlotte, while losing to Missouri and Wyoming. Even by winning just 2 games in September, it is an improvement over the dreadful 1-11 season of last year.
Things get more real in October, as EMU should be dogs every week of the month. I see an 0-5 run, dragging the Eagles to a 2-7 record.
November should continue the slide, as they should be dogs in all three, finishing the last two months of the year without a win.
Overall Projected Record: 2-10

Central Michigan Chippewas 2016 Schedule Breakdown

Continuing on with the MAC schedule tour bus, we stop at Central Michigan:

9/1 Presbyterian
9/10 at Oklahoma State
9/17 UNLV
9/24 at Virginia
10/1 Western Michigan
10/8 Ball State
10/15 at Northern Illinois
10/22 at Toledo
10/29 Kent State
11/4 at Miami (Ohio)
11/15 Ohio
11/22 at Eastern Michigan

Notes: CMU will have a mixed month of September. I project wins over Presbyterian and UNLV, but I see a loss to Oklahoma State on the road. The Virginia game is a coin flip as of now, but if CMU is ever going to travel to a Power 5 school and win, this would be their chance.
CMU needs every win they can get in October. I see wins over Ball State and Kent State, but losses to Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Toledo. If they cannot get the win at Virginia, the Chippewas are 4-5 to end October.
CMU should get bowl eligible in November with a 2-1 run, as wins should come over Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Michigan, but both must be won on the road away from Scheumann Stadium.
Overall Projected Record: 6-6

Ball State Cardinals 2016 Schedule Breakdown

The MAC schedule tour continues with Ball State:

9/2 at Georgia State
9/10 at Indiana
9/17 Eastern Kentucky
9/24 at Florida Atlantic
10/1 Northern Illinois
10/8 at Central Michigan
10/15 at Buffalo
10/22 Akron
11/1 Western Michigan
11/8 Eastern Michigan
11/16 at Toledo
11/22 at Miami (Ohio)

Notes: The Cardinals are hitting reset in 2016 as Pete Lembo bailed for an assistants job. Former QB Mike Neu has zero head coaching experience, and will try to lead his old school out of the dark ages.
The Cardinals should get a win over Georgia State on the road to start off, but then will fall to Indiana. The game against the EKU Colonels is a trap game. I give the Cardinals the edge...for now. They should be the dog at FAU in the final September game. I see a tentative 2-2 start.
October is very unfriendly for the Cardinals, as I see not one game where they should be favored. With an 0-4 month, Ball State will enter the home stretch at 2-6.
I see only one possible win in November, and that is a home game against Eastern Michigan. Losses to WMU, Toledo, and Miami will bury the Cardinals for 2016.
Overall Projected Record: 3-9

Ohio Bobcats 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We now continue our MAC schedule breakdown with Ohio University:

9/3 Texas State
9/10 at Kansas
9/17 at Tennessee
9/24 Gardner-Webb
10/1 at Miami
10/8 Bowling Green
10/15 Eastern Michigan
10/22 at Kent State
10/27 at Toledo
11/3 Buffalo
11/15 at Central Michigan
11/27 Akron

Notes: If you are looking for a MAC dark horse in 2016, Ohio could be your team. September sets up nicely with possible wins over Texas State, Kansas, and Gardner-Webb, but the Tennessee game can be written off as a loss right now. Look for a 3-1 September.
October is where the Bobcats should roll until the final week, when they could very well fall at Toledo. Ohio should get wins over Miami, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, and Kent State before the loss to Toledo. Ohio should be 7-2 heading into November.
November has 3 very winnable games, and I project wins against Buffalo, Central Michigan, and Akron. The CMU game is the monthly trap, however.
Overall Projected Record: 10-2

Miami Redhawks 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We now continue on the MAC schedule tour with Miami (Ohio):

9/3 at Idaho
9/10 Eastern Illinois
9/17 Western Kentucky
9/24 at Cincinnati
10/1 Ohio
10/8 at Akron
10/15 Kent State
10/22 at Bowling Green
10/29 at Eastern Michigan
11/4 Central Michigan
11/12 at Buffalo
11/22 Ball State

Notes: The key to improving on a 3-9 record from last season will be avoiding 2 early traps this season. Games at Idaho and at home against Eastern Illinois are winnable, but they could very well lose both. I will give the benefit of the doubt on those and support the Hawks in the win column. Games against Western Kentucky and Cincinnati will go down as likely losses.
Miami will have a tougher time in October, where I do see 2 shots at wins over Kent State and Eastern Michigan, but I also project losses to Ohio, Akron, and Bowling Green. Miami should come out of the middle month at 4-5, which would already be an improvement.
I am going to project losses to Central Michigan and Buffalo in November, but Miami should grab a win in the finale over Ball State at home.
Overall Projected Record: 5-7

Kent State Golden Flashes 2016 Schedule Breakdown

I continue my MAC schedule breakdown series with Kent State:

9/3 at Penn State
9/10 North Carolina A&T
9/17 Monmouth
9/24 at Alabama
10/1 Akron
10/8 at Buffalo
10/15 at Miami (Ohio)
10/22 Ohio
10/29 at Central Michigan
11/8 Western Michigan
11/15 at Bowling Green
11/25 Northern Illinois

Notes: September may bring the only wins that the Flashes may see all season, as Kent State shamelessly scheduled 2 games against lower tier FCS programs in North Carolina A&T and Monmouth. They lose games at Penn State and Alabama, obviously.
There are 5 October games, with 3 on the road. The problem is that they won't win the home games or the roadies that month. The Not so Golden Flashes go 0-5 for the month.
There are 3 games in November, and you guessed it, they go 0-3 in those as well.
Kent State will likely end up parting with Paul Haynes as a result of all of this.
Overall Projected Record: 2-10

Monday, May 23, 2016

Buffalo Bulls 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue our MAC schedule tour with the Buffalo Bulls:

9/3 Albany
9/17 at Nevada
9/24 Army
10/1 at Boston College
10/8 Kent State
10/15 Ball State
10/22 at Northern Illinois
10/27 Akron
11/3 at Ohio
11/12 Miami (Ohio)
11/19 at Western Michigan
11/25 at Bowling Green

Notes: Buffalo will have a split month with two at home and two road games in September. They will likely win home games with Albany and Army, while likely losing roadies to Nevada and BC. The BC game could swing Buffalo with a few breaks, such as the Eagles still not playing any offense.
Buffalo could win two more in October, with likely wins coming against Kent State and Ball State. Buffalo has a swing game with Akron, which I am currently giving an edge to Akron on. The Bulls should be road dogs at Northern Illinois.
November is likely a crusher, with the only conceivable win coming against Miami (Ohio). I project losses to Ohio, Western Michigan, and Bowling Green, all on the road.
Overall Projected Record: 5-7

Bowling Green Falcons 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue the MAC schedule tour with Bowling Green:

9/3 at Ohio State
9/10 North Dakota
9/17 Middle Tennessee
9/24 at Memphis
10/1 Eastern Michigan
10/8 at Ohio
10/15 at Toledo
10/22 Miami (Ohio)
11/1 at Northern Illinois
11/9 at Akron
11/15 Kent State
11/25 Buffalo

Notes: Mike Jinks is the new head coach at BGSU, and I am not muying in on the hire just yet. Jinks was a high school head coach 4 seasons ago, and the offense must be rebuilt.
September is a grinder, as the Falcons could suffer losses to Ohio State, Middle Tennessee, and Memphis, while North Dakota should be a win.
October is rough as well, with likely losses to Ohio and Toledo on the road. Eastern Michigan and Miami (Ohio) (both games at home) should both be much needed wins.
November has a rough start at Northern Illinois, but the Falcons could finish strong with wins over Akron, Kent State, and Buffalo.
Overall Projected Record: 6-6

Akron Zips 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We begin our look at the 2016 MAC football schedules with Akron:

9/3 VMI
9/10 at Wisconsin
9/17 at Marshall
9/24 Appalachian State
10/1 at Kent State
10/8 Miami (Ohio)
10/15 Western Michigan
10/22 at Ball State
10/27 at Buffalo
11/2 Toledo
11/9 Bowling Green
11/22 at Ohio

Notes: Akron returns just 6 starters in 2016, so this schedule is a reflection on this fact. September could be brutal for Akron. There is a solid win over VMI to open, but then the Zips could be facing 3 straight losses to Wisconsin, Marshall, and Appalachian State.
October could breathe some relief their way, as they should defeat Kent State and Miami (Ohio), but Western Michigan is looming as a loss. There are two road games to wrap up October, but both are winnable dates with Ball State and Buffalo.
November could be a knife to the heart for Akron. They would need at least 1 or 2 wins this month, but I see zero. The Zips could lose all 3 dates to Toledo, Bowling Green, and Ohio.
Overall Projected Record: 5-7

UTSA Roadrunners 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We conclude our Conference USA schedule preview series for 2016 with UTSA:

9/3 Alabama State
9/10 at Colorado State
9/17 Arizona State
9/24 at Old Dominion
10/8 Southern Miss
10/15 at Rice
10/22 UTEP
10/29 North Texas
11/5 at Middle Tennessee
11/12 at Louisiana Tech
11/19 at Texas A&M
11/26 Charlotte

Notes: For the first time in program history, the Roadrunners have a new head coach in Frank Wilson. The hiring got severely mixed grades early, so anything is possible in 2016. One thing is for certain, and that is the schedule was not built for success in the non con portion.
September opens with a win against Alabama State, but then follows with losses to Colorado State on the road, and to Arizona State at home. The Old Dominion game is on the road, so I would go slight edge ODU just on the locale.
October opens up brutally with likely losses to Southern Miss, Rice, and UTEP, but a win is within range in the final game of the month with North Texas.
November is another meat grinder (shoot the schedule maker, not me). The Birds play 3 straight on the road, and will be decent sized dogs in all three against Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, and Texas A&M. Charlotte brings some relief in the season finale, and a chance for a win to end on a high note.
Overall Projected Record: 3-9

UTEP Miners 2016 Schedule Breakdown

Here is a look at the 2016 UTEP Miners football schedule:

9/3 New Mexico State
9/10 at Texas
9/17 Army
9/24 Southern Miss
10/1 at Louisiana Tech
10/8 FIU
10/22 at UTSA
10/29 Old Dominion
11/5 Houston Baptist
11/12 at FAU
11/19 at Rice
11/26 North Texas

Notes: The Miners get three of four at home in September, and they could win two of those against rivals New Mexico State and against Army. I see losses to Texas in Austin, and to Southern Miss.
The Miners could be in a similar situation in October, as I see potential wins over UTSA and Old Dominion, while FIU brings a huge coin flip attitude. I project a road loss to Louisiana Tech.
Every game for the Miners in November is winnable, and this could be a real home run month with potential wins over Houston Baptist,  FAU, and North Texas. I likely see a loss in the road trip to Houston to face Rice.
Overall Projected Record: 8-4

Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue on our Conference USA schedule tour for 2016 with Southern Miss:

9/3 at Kentucky
9/10 Savannah State
9/17 Troy
9/24 at UTEP
10/1 Rice
10/8 at UTSA
10/15 at LSU
10/29 Marshall
11/5 Charlotte
11/12 at Old Dominion
11/19 at North Texas
11/26 Louisiana Tech

Notes: Southern Miss has a solid shot to win all four dates in September, including a road opener at Kentucky. That game does not look too out of reach, and I am calling it an early win over an SEC program.
October looks like another solid month, but I see a loss on the road at LSU. I'm not a huge believer in LSU for 2016, but it will be very difficult to win in Baton Rouge. That being said, I see USM closing out October with a 7-1 record.
The Eagles get two of four on the road in November, however, the two road games are seriously winnable against Old Dominion and North Texas. The finale should be a solid game, and I give the Eagles the edge at home over Louisiana Tech. Charlotte should be an easy win to start the month.
Overall Projected Record: 11-1

Rice Owls 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue with our Conference USA schedule tour with the Rice Owls:

9/3 at Western Kentucky
9/10 at Army
9/17 Baylor
9/24 North Texas
10/1 at Southern Miss
10/15 UTSA
10/22 Prairie View
10/29 at Louisiana Tech
11/5 FAU
11/12 at Charlotte
11/19 UTEP
11/26 at Stanford

Notes: The season opens with two straight on the road, but September finishes with two at home. I project that Rice will beat Army and North Texas, but will lose to WKU and Baylor.
October looks much the same as September with two wins and two losses. Rice likely beats UTSA and Prairie View, but falls to Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech, both on the road.
If Rice heads into November with a 4-4 record, November will be huge. The Owls will likely beat FAU and Charlotte outright. That could get them to 6 wins, which may or may not be enough for a bowl this season. I see the UTEP game going as an edge to the Owls, which would get them win number 7. There is likely no way that the Owls take Stanford on the road.
Overall Projected Record: 7-5

North Texas Mean Green 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue our run through the Conference USA 2016 schedule with North Texas:

9/3 SMU
9/10 Bethune-Cookman
9/17 at Florida
9/24 at Rice
10/1 Middle Tennessee
10/8 Marshall
10/22 at Army
10/29 at UTSA
11/5 Louisiana Tech
11/12 at Western Kentucky
11/19 Southern Miss
11/26 at UTEP

Notes: North Texas was just awful last season, and with a new staff in place, it will take some time to start finding the pieces to get things fixed.
September finds the only real shot at a direct win when Bethune-Cookman comes to town, and not even that is a lock after what FCS Portland State did to UNT last season. Still, I see a 1-3 September.
October has two outside chances at wins with Army and UTSA, but I will not stick my neck out for those. Realistically, I see a winless middle month of the season. There are zero games in which UNT will be favored in November, so an 0-4 mark for the month seems likely.
Overall Projected Record: 1-11

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2016 Football Schedule Breakdown

We now continue our look at the 2016 football season schedules with Louisiana Tech:

9/3 at Arkansas
9/10 South Carolina State
9/17 at Texas Tech
9/24 at Middle Tennessee
10/1 UTEP
10/8 Western Kentucky
10/15 at U Mass
10/22 at FIU
10/29 Rice
11/5 at North Texas
11/12 UTSA
11/26 at Southern Miss

Notes: September is an up and down month for the Bulldogs. In all reality, Tech finishes just 1-3 in the opening month, with the lone win coming against South Carolina State. October lightens up somewhat, but it could also be a bumpy road. I see wins against UTEP, but Tech will have to come up with wins over U Mass and FIU on the road. I think it is possible. The Rice game could be tough, but it is at home.
November should be relatively easy until the finale, which is a meat grinder at Southern Miss.
Overall Projected Record: 7-5

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue now with the Western Kentucky 2016 football schedule:

9/3 Rice
9/10 at Alabama
9/17 at Miami (Ohio)
9/24 Vanderbilt
10/1 Houston Baptist
10/8 at Louisiana Tech
10/15 at Middle Tennessee
10/22 Old Dominion
10/29 at FAU
11/5 FIU
11/12 North Texas
11/26 at Marshall

Notes: Obviously, the only major challenge that WKU should face in September will be Alabama. There is no way that the Toppers win that game. Other than that, WKU should go 3-0, including a win over Vanderbilt.
WKU could have a tougher go in October with road trips to Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee. Consider a split there. WKU should win easily against Houston Baptist and shouldn't have it too tough against Old Dominion and FAU.
November breaks down as a 2-1 month, with wins coming against North Texas and FIU.
Overall Projected Record: 8-4

Old Dominion Monarchs 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We now continue to break down the 2016 Conference USA football schedule with Old Dominion:

9/3 Hampton
9/10 at Appalachian State
9/17 at NC State
9/24 UTSA
10/1 at Charlotte
10/8 U Mass
10/22 at Western Kentucky
10/29 at UTEP
11/5 Marshall
11/12 Southern Miss
11/19 at FAU
11/26 FIU

Notes: September will be hit and miss for the Monarchs, as they should find opportunities for wins against Hampton and UTSA, but will be dogs in road trips to Appalachian State and NC State. I see a 2-2 start to the season.
October is an interesting month, as ODU could open with a win at Charlotte, and then they have an interesting game with U Mass. In all, I will call it for 2 wins there. The end of the month has tough road trips to Western Kentucky and UTEP, where I could see 2 losses.
The wheels could come off the wagon in November, as I expect ODU to start the month 0-2 with losses to Marshall and Southern Miss. If ODU cannot catch FAU and FIU by surprise, the party ends badly, but they could get one or two wins there if FIU and FAU have run into issues by then.
Overall Projected Record: 5-7

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We continue the Conference USA schedule breakdown with Middle Tennessee:

9/3 Alabama A&M
9/10 at Vanderbilt
9/17 at Bowling Green
9/24 Louisiana Tech
10/1 at North Texas
10/15 Western Kentucky
10/22 at Missouri
10/29 at FIU
11/5 UTSA
11/12 at Marshall
11/19 at Charlotte
11/26 FAU

Notes: September is an interesting month for MTSU, and there is plenty of potential to make a huge early splash. I see solid wins against both Alabama A&M and Bowling Green, and a chance at a Power 5 SEC upset at Vanderbilt. Louisiana Tech will be a challenge on the road, and that could leave the Blue Raiders with a 3-1 opening month.
October is another month loaded with opportunity, and could leave MTSU as the only Group of Five program with a 2-0 record over the SEC if they can pull a win over Missouri in Columbia, which I think they can. There are 3 road games in the month, but I still see MTSU winning 3 of 4.
November should be another month where MTSU wins 3 of 4, as the road game at Marshall looks like a loss to me. Still, the Blue Raiders should pick up wins over UTSA, Charlotte, and FAU.
Overall Projected Record: 9-3

Marshall Thundering Herd 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We now continue our Conference USA schedule breakdowns for the 2016 college football season:

9/10 Morgan State
9/17 Akron
9/24 Louisville
10/1 at Pittsburgh
10/8 at North Texas
10/15 FAU
10/22 Charlotte
10/29 at Southern Miss
11/5 at Old Dominion
11/12 Middle Tennessee
11/19 at FIU
11/26 Western Kentucky

Notes: Marshall should cruise through the Morgan State game in the opener. Akron should be a tougher go, but the Herd gets the Zips at home, so they should win. I do see a chance for an upset in either the Louisville or Pitt game, but cannot readily identify each, and I am not ready to stick my neck that far out on either one. Marshall should breeze through the first 3 weeks of October until traveling to Southern Miss in the final week of the month, where I project a loss. The final month has plenty of challenges, but I still see Marshall finishing strong, as they get both Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky at home, and those are the toughest games of the month.
Overall Projected Record: 8-4

Florida Atlantic 2016 Schedule Breakdown

We finally get back around to breaking down the 2016 college football schedules with Florida Atlantic:

9/3 Southern Illinois
9/10 at Miami
9/17 at Kansas State
9/24 Ball State
10/1 FIU
10/8 Charlotte
10/15 at Marshall
10/29 at Western Kentucky
11/5 at Rice
11/12 UTEP
11/19 Old Dominion
11/26 at Middle Tennessee

Notes: It's difficult seeing the Owls any better off than they were a season ago. September could be their best month, as I can see wins over Southern Illinois and Ball State, but games against Miami and K State are certain losses. October is a meat grinder with potential losses to FIU, Western Kentucky and Rice, with Charlotte looking like the lone potential win. There are no clear cut winners in November, but there are some toss up games with UTEP and Old Dominion. If they win those two games, they still fall short of a bowl at 5 wins, but I see a more likely 4 win scenario for the season.
Overall Projected Record: 4-8

This Week in College Football: Volume 2

The off season is a difficult time to gather news about college football, so I have created this weekly piece after spending the week combing through sites and sources for information to share with you all. Here is volume 2 of This Week in College Football:

Baylor Is a Train Wreck
     Baylor has been having athletic department issues for years with athletes having been accused of and charged with everything from murder to petty issues that you would find on any campus. What is seriously wrong with what is happening, however, is completely eclipsed with the enormity and severity of what is not only going on at Baylor, but the severity of it, and the apparent cover up that has come along with these issues. In the last four years, as many as ten major assault or sexual assault charges have been levied by students at Baylor against members of Baylor athletic programs, overwhelmingly football.
     Imagine the Jameis Winston sexual assault allegations at football, the terrible job that Florida State did in fully investigating it, and multiplying it by an unimaginable number, and that is what is happening at Baylor, with full cooperation of the Waco police department. In short, Baylor has had multiple reports against football players in regards to sexual assault, and has done nothing to investigate or bring those who perpetrated those crimes to justice. Waco police have been accused of joining the party by hiding files in back offices, and doing even more nothing to open investigations forth. The entire thing together is one big conspiracy to prevent student crimes from coming to light, and protecting football players over all other students.
     You can find a few links below for this story, but in my opinion at this point, every one at Baylor from President Kenneth Starr all the way down to football coach Art Briles need to resign or be fired...right now.

U Conn Extends Bob Diaco
     The U Conn administration agreed to extend Bob Diaco out through 2020 this week. Diaco, who is entering his third season as the coach of the Huskies, is 8-17 overall, but finished 6-7 in season two, and took them to the St. Petersburg Bowl, where U Conn fell to Marshall.
     The Huskies return 15 starters in 2016, and beat Houston 20-17 last fall. U Conn opens the 2016 season at home on September 1 against Maine, and has a schedule that sets up nicely early on to edge the Huskies close to another bowl appearance this season.

Big Names On Transfer Market
     It has been a big name week in the transfer market in college football on both the FBS and FCS levels. First on the list is now former Oklahoma Sooner RB Alex Ross. Ross has transferred to SEC country, where he will take his talents to Missouri. Ross had a big season in 2014, rushing for 585 yards and 4 TDs as a sophomore. He fell down the depth chart with the arrival of Joe Mixon last season, and rushed for just 172 yards and a single TD on the year.
     Former Boise State starting QB Ryan Finley has announced that he will be heading to NC State this week. Finley was injured in week 3 last fall, and lost the job to Brett Rypien moving forward. Finley passed for just one TD and four picks before being injured last season. Finley played in a total of just 7  career games for Boise State after backing up Grant Hedrick in 2014.
     Troubled former starting Missouri QB Maty Mauk has found a new home, as he will be heading to Eastern Kentucky, where he will be eligible immediately. He will have to beat out returning starter Bernie Coney for the job, and is likely to start 2016 backing up Coney, barring any events in fall camp. Mauk was kicked out of the program at Missouri for a series of off field incidents last season.
     The biggest name that is on the move is former Texas Tech QB Davis Webb, as he will land at California, increasing the Bears' chances of returning to a bowl in 2016. Webb had largely been thought to be heading to Colorado until the 11th hour, and even Buffalo coach Mike McIntyre made a statement that Webb would be on campus at any time.  Webb replaces Jared Goff at QB for Cal, as he is a graduate transfer,making him eligible immediately.

Big South Conference Eyeing Expansion For Survival
     The Big South is taking a big hit this season as Coastal Carolina will be playing as an FCS independent before transitioning as a member of FBS football in 2017. That is a huge hit for the conference, which has hemorrhaged members during all of the conference realignment that also took hold on the FCS level.
      With Coastal Carolina bailing the ranks, the Big South is now down to six members, the minimum to cling to an auto bid for the NCAA playoffs. Two members of the league are still associate members in Kennesaw State and Monmouth, and Monmouth does not match the league's geographical footprint. Campbell, a member in most sports other than football, is not interested in becoming full invested at this time, and none of the other schools in the leagues other sports are anywhere near being in a position to add football.
     There is also one other major lingering issue, and that is the constant probing by Liberty to enter the ranks of the FBS as well. Liberty has long let it be known that should an invite come their way, they are as good as gone.
     In order to survive as a football conference, the league is looking to all places to find new members, and is hoping that there could be some schools in the non scholarship Pioneer League would be interested in adding scholarships, which is what now former Jacksonville coach Kerwin Bell was advocating. That argument led to his departure, as he no longer believed in the non-scholarship model that Jacksonville clings to.
     IF the conference cannot find expansion candidates from the FCS, or even D2 ranks, the league's future is indeed bleak in football.

Former Minnesota Coach Kill to Kansas State
     In a good news note, former Gopher coach Jerry Kill, who retired from Minnesota due to a severe epilepsy condition, has found a new job and home. Kill will be a new Associate Athletic Director at Kansas State starting in June.
     Kill's health condition has been largely documented in recent years. He is a well regarded coach and man, and this is excellent news, as Kansas State will largely find great value in having his expertise on board.

Alabama's Jones, Robinson Arrested in Louisiana
     Cam Jones, a starting offensive lineman for Alabama, and Hootie Jones, a member of the secondary, were both arrested in Louisiana this week on felony counts involving weapons and drugs. Both players have been removed from the Alabama program pending an investigation, but it does not look good for either player moving forward.

Fox Backs Out On Conference USA TV Deal, Value Plummets
    Fox TV has backed out of their contract covering Conference USA, leaving the league in a lurch for TV coverage. CUSA had to scramble to find a new contract, and the pain is more than tangible to the league.
     CUSA did manage to cobble together a new deal with a combined 4 networks, but ESPN picked up a piece of the deal covering only a total of 5 games in 2016, which will likely all be on Thursday or Friday nights. A chunk of the deal was picked up by upstart carrier BeIN TV, and the deal is far from favorable overall.
     In total, the new contract will be worth $7 million, to be shared by the entire conference. Ouch. Other games could be seen on CBSSN, and the American Sports Network,

Montana Tops FCS Attendance in 2015
     In news that should surprise no one, the Grizzlies topped FCS football attendance in 2016 with an average of 24,419 fans per game. Montana, long one of the most successful programs in FCS football, has one of the more unique setting in the sport, including allowing fans to leave the stadium to tailgate during halftime.
     Montana had a standing room only crowd to open the 2015 season, as the Grizzlies upset defending champion North Dakota State to kick off the year.

Indiana State Loses Starting QB To Academics
     Matt Adams, the starting QB for Indiana State last season, will sit out the entire 2016 campaign for the Sycamores, as he will concentrate on academics. His grades were such that he would have been ineligible for the 2016 season, and Mike Sanford expressed his disappointment both in and for the player, acknowledging how much Indiana State means to Adams. Adams will likely lose a year of eligibility, but will have one season remaining in 2017.

That is all for this week...join us once again next Friday night, as I report on the happenings of the week, as "This Week In College Football: Volume 3" will return to the normal Friday release schedule! Until then, have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Texas Could Survive As Independent Should Big 12 Collapse

     For the last two weeks, the headlining talk in college football has been about possible expansion, or dissolution of the Big 12 Conference. At the center of the storm (once again) is Texas, and their death like grip on their beloved Longhorn Network. Of course, the Longhorn Network has largely been a financial albatross, but ESPN and Texas will never admit that publicly, and will even likely doctor numbers to make it look differently, but it is a large scale mess, and is just another in the large crap pile outside the front door in Bristol these days. ESPN is hemorrhaging cash, and the LHN isn't helping matters. That being said, the Texas powers that be are not letting go of it until they get what they were promised.
     That issue is huge for the other members of the current Big 12 lineup. Oklahoma officials, while largely split on conference expansion, all will agree that the LHN is a huge no go if the conference were to expand, because expansion would necessitate the creation of a Big 12 Network, and that will not happen if the LHN still exists and is not disbanded to make way. That has created some stirrings in that Oklahoma could take an out, and leave the league altogether, and if that happens, the league comes apart in their wake, and Texas may be the first school out the door.
     Several options have been discussed if this should occur. Oklahoma and Texas could both be fits in the Big 10, but that conference today spoke out against any future expansion at this time, so that door could be closed. The SEC would, I am sure, open any door for future revenue streams, but Texas A&M and Arkansas, I am sure, would vote against Texas having membership. The PAC-12 has been rumbling again, and could be a fit in the Southern Division, as the conference is looking to increase their profile yet again. That being said, the LHN is still a roadblock, as the PAC-12 Network would likely not exists side by side with the LHN.
     It would seem that Oklahoma would have no problem finding a home, even if they teemed with in-state rival Oklahoma State. Texas, on the other hand, for reasons mentioned, is not such an easy fit. Texas fits the same profile as Notre Dame. Notre Dame does not have their own network per se, but they do have what seems like a lifetime deal with NBC that they are not all too quick to desolve, much like Texas and the LHN. Notre Dame, even in bad years, has been an earner for NBC, and the love is mutual. Notre Dame would not simply dump that deal to join, say, an ACC network and join the ACC fully in all sports, unless said network (and again, we're talking ESPN here) would fork over enough cash to make it worth it. ESPN is tapped out people. They are bleeding viewers as people are dumping cable at an alarming rate, and the money is drying up after ESPN spent ridiculous amounts of money on their current contracts. Have you noticed the purge recently? That's not a shuffling of the talent deck...that's a paycheck purge, a dumpster fire, and a sale at Crazy Henry's appliance store...everything must go!
     Notre Dame has thrived as an independent. They also have what Texas (and Michigan) have. Tons of cash. Texas is one of the three wealthiest athletic departments in the nation. They have a massive international alumni association, and they draw wherever they go. If the Big 12 fell apart, and if giving up the LHN is a no go item, there is only one other solution that doesn't do a thing to ruffle feathers, and that is to go it on their own. They can do it, and they can succeed.
     Texas would have no issues with scheduling, because they could pay large sums to get people to come to Austin. They could line up yearly battles with BYU and Notre Dame, and play Army every year, which would make a good PR showing for the massive military presence in the state. They could schedule dates with SEC and PAC-12 schools as a norm, and would likely never have to worry about fluffing up their schedule with weak sister FCS opponents. This would be a football dreamscape.
     There is an issue when it comes to basketball. The ranks of the independents have died out in college basketball. Even New Jersey Tech found a home (Big South, as if that makes any geographical sense). Notre Dame plays in the ACC, and BYU plays in the West Coast Conference with Gonzaga and St. Mary's. Finding a basketball home would seem dubious, at best. The Big East could fit them in, but Texas does not fit the model of religious based institutions (Big East is largely Catholic), which is a reason why BYU did fit in the WCC. Gone are the glory days of basketball independence when Notre Dame, DePaul, Marquette, and even UNLV once ran wild. Maybe Texas could re-fire those days (I wish someone would), but that is doubtful.
      Just a few years ago, there was a strong presence for Baseball independents, but even that market has dried up, as the only independent left in college baseball is New York Tech. I am not certain that independence could work in that sport for Texas, as they are having a down year, but if anyone could pull it off, Texas certainly could. It is a much higher percentage of possible success than it is in basketball.
      I don't see where any argument could be made against Texas as a strong and successful independent in football. If the basketball and baseball questions could find an answer, it would almost be a no brainer.

Friday, May 13, 2016

This Week In College Football: Volume 1

One way to pass the time between now and the start of the 2016 college football season is by coming to this blog and learning all about what has occurred week by week during the off-season. All Spring camps have ended by now, and we are in what could be considered as a dead period until camps begin in August, but I will do my best to find every nugget I can and report those to you every Friday night between now September. Every now and then, I may miss a Friday night, but by the end of the weekend, you will find this report here. I do also have a life people...

Big 12 Expansion Talk
The Big 12 is back on the brink of Armageddon once again, as expansion talks continue despite the opposition of arguably the two strongest members of the league, Texas and Oklahoma. There is not even a consensus at Oklahoma within their own ranks as to how anyone feels about expanding to 12 or more teams in the near future, and that divide could be instrumental in whether the conference holds together, or loses one of their most important members.
The conference is considering (depending on who you believe or listen to) BYU, Boise State, Colorado State, UCF, Memphis, Houston, and SMU for membership. Memphis has anted up bigger than anyone at this point, as Memphis based Fed Ex has promised a massive sponsorship package should the Tigers be admitted.
The huge hangup is that the Big 12 feels overall that a Big 12 network is needed to make expansion work. The problem is that Texas is showing no signs of giving up their own Longhorn Network to make it work, and that is a huge problem for all involved. If Texas keeps the LHN, there is no Big 12 Network, likely no expansion, and a likely implosion following where OU could start shopping themselves around, which would be the pulling of the swing that unravels the sweater.
These talks are still ongoing, but the results could go anywhere between up, down, or straight to the bowels of Hell.

Hot Water at Ole Miss
The NFL Drafts biggest misfit, Leremy Tunsil, is just the gift that keeps on giving at Ole Miss. The Rebels program is in severely hot water this week after draft day comments by Tunsil that he was paid at Ole Miss. Text messages between Tunsil and an assistant over obtaining cash to pay his Tunsil's mother's electric bill have been admitted as being real by Ole Miss. Hugh Freeze will now likely have to also give testimony in a lawsuit by Tunsil's ex-step father over an assault case in which Freeze may have to admit that agents were present during said assault, meaning that Tunsil had illegal contact with agents, and Freeze had knowledge of this. Freeze is trying to get the questions limited for the sake of testimony, and then have that testimony sealed as to keep it from NCAA investigators or anyone else for that matter. That's a bad sign.
The NCAA has already opened an investigation into Ole Miss football, and this could be a huge and nasty mess for the Rebel program.

Chauncey Waters Kicked Out at Georgia
Chauncey Waters has been booted off the Georgia football team for his 3rd marijuana arrest since last November. Waters, a former 5 star recruit, had already faced a 3 game suspension in 2016 for the December arrest. He was also arrested in November, and was recently arrested and charged with 4 felonies in regard to his pot usage. Apparently, he was going to clean up his act, but then he got high...and there is no Georgia Snoopdog program to pick him up.

More SEC Jurisprudence
Alabama has also had their 5 star issues, as Charles Baldwin, a member of their 2016 class who was expected to have immediate impact, got booted out of the program for violation of team rules. That's a cover all for dumb ass activities. He enrolled early, but apparently couldn't even get through a semester without messing up. Way to go!

Goodwill In Short Supply In Lincoln
Apparently, things have deteriorated so badly around the Nebraska football program, that Mike Riley felt the need to embark on a "Good Will Tour" around the state this week. He went to every corner of the state to restoke support for his Huskers, who finished at 6-7 in 2015. I guess I wouldn't be all that fired up if my favorite school hired a guy who was about to be fired by his former employer either, only to finish 4 games behind 9 wins that Husker fan criticized Bo Pelini for winning. Missing him yet?

More Awful Penn State News
Allegedly, a victim of sex abuse reported his abuse to Joe Paterno as early as 1975, and other cases date back to 1971. This asserts that Joe Paterno's halfhearted (and entirely unbelievable, in my opinion) assertion that he never had a clue about anything going on right under his considerable nose, was a ton of absolute crap. It was reported this week that as many as 6 other Penn State assistants over the years had actually encountered the abuse taking place, and said nothing. It was also alleged that the University worked to pay off victims as early as the 1970's to make it all go away. Prosecutors do not seem to keen to take on this case any longer, but in any event, restoring any of Paterno's erased wins seems a little presumptuous now.

John Steigelmeier to Get 1st Multi-Year Contract at South Dakota State
After 20 seasons as the coach of the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State, John Steigelmeier is about to get his first multi-year deal. The South Dakota legislature changed a law prohibiting state employees from being given multi-year contracts, and so SDSU can finally lock down their guy for the considerable future. Now watch him leave...

Kevin Steele's Contract Details Released...and They Are Horrifying
Kevin Steele is the DC at Auburn, and his contract details were released this week. Steele will make...wait for it...$3.6 million in 2016 as the DC of the Tigers. He's not a head coach. He is a defensive coordinator. An assistant. How can the NCAA continue the argument against players making money during their college careers, when you have assistant coaches in the SEC making more money than Group of Five head coaches, or even most Power Five head coaches? It's insulting when you think about it. This is the road that major college football is taking, and it leads straight of the nearest cliff.

That's all for this week...see you next week on "This Week In College Football: Volume 2"

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Analyzing the 2016 NFL Draft, 6th Round: The Ugly

Nate Sudfield, QB, Redskins No shot to make roster, has never been healthy 
Cory James, OLB, Raiders Too small to be a LB in NFL, may struggle to make team
Wes Schweitzer, OG, Falcons Major reach here on a guy who could've been UFA
Blake Countess, CB, Eagles Has no identified roster spot, lacks size, average cover skills

Analyzing the 2016 NFL Draft, 6th Round: The Bad

Devante Bond, OLB, Buccaneers Huge motor, but limited athletically. Could've been undrafted.
Jerrell Adams, TE, Giants Not a ton of productivity in college. Athletic, but limited.
Jake Rudock, QB, Lions Was never a star in college, but showed growth in final season.
Anthony Zettel, DT, Lions Very much undersized DT who cannot likely swing out to DE.
Dadi Nicholas, DE, Chiefs Productive in college, but way undersized for next level.
Jordan Lucas, S, Dolphins Lacks overall speed and skill for CB, but doesn't make enough plays for S
Kamu Grugier-Hall, LB, Patriots Super small LB, has other athletic traits. See him maxing out on ST play. 
Maurice Canady, CB, Ravens Should nickname him "Toast". Loves giving up big plays.
Kelvin Taylor, RB, 49ers Never produced at high level for Gators, which translates poorly here.
Kavon Frazier, CB, Cowboys Likely never sees a down as a CB in NFL, as skills just aren’t there.
Joey Hunt, C, Seahawks Undersized Center, will never be able to max out size for lack of height.
Rico Gathers, TE, Cowboys Hard to gauge this pick, as he was not a traditional TE at Baylor
Kevon Seymour, CB, Bills Injury plagued and never overly productive. Not a good combo.
Ted Karras, OG, Patriots Limited athletically, likely to not have enough physical skills to move on.

Analyzing the 2016 NFL Draft: 6th Round: The Good

Andy Janovich, FB, Broncos Bruising, power drive fullback fits well with Broncos zone block scheme.
Tamerick Hemingway, TE, Rams Could have gone much earlier, but small school status hurt him.
DJ White, CB, Chiefs Solid player will get chance to make it on special teams.
Drew Kaser, P, Chargers Best punter in 2016 class should make roster as starting punter.
Moritz Boehringer, WR, Vikings German prospect is a gamer who has crushed it to get this far.
Tyrone Holmes, LB, Jaguars Edge rush specialist needs some coaching, could be very good.
Keenan Reylnolds, RB, Ravens Option QB at Navy, athlete in every way, solid character guy.
DeAndre Houston-Carson, FS, Bears Will start out on special teams, but could start in a year. Steal here.
Jakeem Grant, WR, Dolphins Kick return and slot specialist who could make career on returns.
David Morgan II, TE, Vikings One of my favorite TE prospects, will be a favorite of Bridgewater's.
Anthony Brown, CB, Cowboys Super speedy corner is a mess in man coverage, has big potential in zone.
Josh Forrest, ILB, Rams Could be dime package blitz LB, solid ST contributor.
Kolby Listenbee, WR, Bills Underrated receiver at TCU, but needs some work in ST early on.
Sebastian Tretola, OG, Titans Road grading guard could start for power run team. Good fit.
Dan Vitale, FB, Buccaneers Solid lead blocker, doesn't need a spotlight.
Derek Watt, FB, Chargers Solid bloodlines, has his brothers drive. Love this pick.
Cody Core, WR, Bengals Solid athleticism, limited numbers, but could be a dark horse player.
Kyle Murphy, OT, Packers Solid RT prospect, fits best in zone blocking scheme.
Brandon Allen, QB, Jaguars Not sure about need here, came on strong in 2015 after slow start.
Harlan Miller, CB, Cardinals Big time playmaker, could start one day after some development.
Mike Thomas, WR, Rams Really broke through in 2015, solid in receiving and KR game. I'm a fan.
Jeff Driskel, QB, 49ers Escaped Florida offense wasteland, bloomed at La. Tech. Darkhorse.
Jimmy Landes, LS, Lions Good spot for LS here, and he's a good one.
Aaron Burbridge, WR, 49ers Will never be a star, but he has value as a possession receiver in NFL.
Elandon Roberts, LB, Patriots Probably the best guy the Pats got all day, can flat out tackle.
Darius Jackson, RB, Cowboys Productive back from abysmal program. Could surprise. 
Will Parks, S, Broncos Has a high ceiling, and if used right, could really come along to add depth.
Travis Feeney, LB, Steelers Will start with ST play, has talent to move into game play at LB eventually.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Analyzing the 2016 NFL Draft, 5th Round: The Ugly

Finally, these are the 5th round picks that I really felt had no value in the round:

Caleb Benenoch, OT, Buccaneers Sloppy player and penalty prone at UCLA. Low football IQ
Trevor Davis, WR, Packers Under productive in pass happy offense at Cal
Halipoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU Lacks physicallity and technique to move up to NFL
Tyreek Hill, WR, West Alabama Started at OK. State as S, more track star than football player

Analyzing the NFL 2016 Draft, 5th Round: The Bad

Here are picks that I just could not get behind in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL Draft's 5th round:

De'Andre Washington, RB, Raiders Another strange Raider pick on undersized back from passing offense
John Theus, OT, 49ers Lacks top end strength, will need a year in the weight room
Quentin Jefferson, DT, Seahawks Lacks power in drive, can get pushed around
Wendell Smallwood, RB, Eagles Never averaged 20 carries per game, lacks load carrying ability
Brandon Shell, OT, Jets Could have waited until 6th round to get him, solid run blocker
KJ Dillon, S, Texans Lacks fundamentals and plays out of control
Kevin Hogan, QB, Chiefs Does not have the fundamental skill to ever start in NFL
Marqui Christian, SS, Cardinals Christian is a bad cover safety, and may be limited to ST play
Cole Toner, OT, Cardinals Limited athletically, limited strength, limited technique
Fahn Cooper, OT, 49ers Limited in pass blocking, and is primarlily a run blocker. 

Analyzing the 2016 NFL Draft, 5th Round: The Good

The 5th round finally had more good selections for value than bad or ugly picks. The draft was a bit all over the place up until this point, but when you get to the 5th round, the real work begins, and most teams did solid work this far down.

The Good

Tajae Sharpe, WR, Titans Amazingly productive receiver at U Mass in pass happy offense
Zack Sanchez, CB, Panthers Solid cover guy who could start as early as 2016 in depleted secondary
Ronald Blair, DE, 49ers Undervalued rush end who gets into the backfield
Connor McGovern, OT, Broncos Rated as a 3rd rounder, may have to move inside to OG
Matt Judon, DE, Ravens D2 star had early injury, but was dominant after. Big picture project guy
Paul Perkins, RB, Giants Very good character and work ethic, best RB in PAC-12, severely under used there
Jordan Howard, RB, Bears Transferred from UAB to IU, never missed a beat. Better than 5th round by far
Joe Dahl, OG, Lions Lions got a late round steal in mauling guard
Matthew Ioannidis, DT, Redskins He is a pile moving tackle, and will be a surprise to some
Jordan Peyton, WR, Browns Not great, but not horrible…solid possession receiver
Joe Haeg, OT, Colts Was valued as a 4th rounder, may eventually start at LT
LeShaun Sims, CB, Titans Could be a starter in a year or two, will be package guy until then
Kentrell Brothers, DE, Vikings May kick out to LB, but his ability to get into backfield is unquestioned
Christian Westerman, OG, Bengals Can play OG or C, and was valued as 2nd rounder
DJ Reader, NT, Texans Could be investment for future, but will develop for a year as backup
Spencer Drango, OG, Browns Has some technique issues, needs some work, but all is fixable. Could start year 2
Antwione Williams, LB, Lions A Tackle machine in college, could start on ST, but could get into LB roatation
Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas Has rushed for over 1000 yards each season. Not a perfect back, but who is
Rashard Higgins, WR, Browns Really dropped in draft, but is highly productive, and could play early
Trey Caldwell, CB, Browns Solid cover man, but don't expect picks from him, as he had just 1 last season
Jatavis Brown, LB, Akron Not only disruptive on defense, can also play TE. Gifted athletically, undervalued