Posts Tagged ‘college football’

Part two of my BCS National Championship Game preview gets to the heart of the matter: what are Oregon and Auburn are likely to do to each other in the perfect conditions of Cardinal Stadium in Glendale, AZ?

DuckyLearn to Ducky – wings of steel will be needed in the 2011 BCS National Championship (Bleacher Report)

If I had to rank my “spread offense gurus”, the Top 5 in no particular order would be Mike Leach, Dana Holgerson, Tony Franklin, Chip Kelly and Gus Malzahn. I think that is what makes this game such a treat (and also why the inability of Leach to get another head coaching gig astounds me) – we are truly witnessing the pinnacle of offensive football operations. Should be a great show for college football freaks and casual fans alike.

Matchups, links, deconstruction of Vegas sentiment and my pick for Ducky to get his push-ups on more than Mike the Tiger after the jump. (more…)


Long time no talk…hope you have stayed in touch with me over at

Let us jump right in to the picks of the week, where Mick the Piker and I bounce ideas around all week, a mixture of quantitative analysis, pure technical trends, and a healthy dose of “contextual knowledge”. Most of our interesting bets exist outside the Top 25 where Mick’s historical context and my nationwide fantasy monitoring.

In order of confidence, our Top 5 selections:

1) UNC -6.5 over Virginia

Mick’s computer loves UNC by 18!.  Mick can’t see any logical reason to disagree.  Sure, there’s the “UNC is distracted” argument but that didn’t work in week one against LSU so I don’t see any reason to put much stake in that now.  UVA has been DREADFUL at times this season, but I think many still hang that Cavalier feathered hat on the close loss to USC – what does that look like now? (more…)

How’s a little Heisman intrigue splashed in with the de facto college football National Championship game sound for this Saturday?

Jeff Demps went airborne for a TD in the 2008 matchup won by Florida 31-20. Don't expect that many points again. (Icon SMI)

Florida RB Jeff Demps went airborne for a TD in the 2008 matchup won by Florida 31-20. Don't expect that many points again. (Icon SMI)

For the second year running, #1 plays #2 not in the BCS National Championship Game, but in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. It is must see TV for all college football fans – support your favorite team (or if suffering from Tebow Fatigue like most of the nation root for Alabama) and support your local eatery and get out of the house and enjoy what looks to be a battle of the Irresistible Force (Tim Tebow) against the Immovable Object (Terrance Cody).

I still think Colt McCoy gets the Heisman Trophy, but even I cannot deny that the SEC Bowl presents a great chance for either Mark Ingram (my #2) and Tim Tebow (my #4) to create many Heisman moments.
Quick tidbits of the national ranks

there are many other points where this is a matchup of Number One or Number Two

* Bama Rush D #2 (77ypga) vs. Gator Rush O #6 (236ypg)
* Bama Rush O #13 (213ypg)vs. Gator Rush D #8 (90ypga)
* Bama Scoring D #2 vs. Gator Scoring O #10
* Bama D yds/play #2 (3.87) vs. Gator O yds/play #7 (6.77)

Analysis, matchups and questions to ponder at Fantasy College Blitz.


Phil Steele (right, supporting the Bulldogs) is the dean (dare I say czar) of college football insight and I have anxiously awaited his new yearbooks for years. As I have had time to digest the byzantine complexity and voluminous information contained in his 2008 College Football Preview, I now have a couple tricks up my sleeve on how to unleash some additional value from all his statistical work.

(You might think I have been on vacation, but I have spent the last two months redesigning Fantasy College Blitz and its accompanying forum at Ning. NEVER could have been done with out the help of Derrick Eckhardt and Randy Burgess – much love out to them. Now back to the games…)

First study on my mind was to combine his contrarian turnover margin work (teams better than +10 turnover margin do worse the next year 65% of the time, with teams worse than -10 do better 68% of the time) with his projected strength of schedule (SOS)- a few teams are blessed with the best (or worst) of both worlds.

By adding up the national rank for TO margin (big number good for a turnaround) and the SOS (big number good) you can see where every team stands.


Army and Kent State get knighted on both shoulders – the Black Knights were -10 TO margin last year and get the 116th hardest (5th easiest) schedule, while the Golden Flashes can call UNO! by coughing up -11 in 2007 and facing the 111th schedule (10th easiest). Rumors state that Army returns to the wishbone which will cause all kinds of nightmares for opponents, and Kent gets a healthy QB Julian Edelman back at full-strength with the nation’s leading returning rusher Eugene Jarvis.

But what about STOCK DOWN?

Again, two teams will swim against a riptide in LSU and Cincinnati as the reside on the wrnog side of both calculations. The Tigers and Coach Mad Hatter grabbed the National Title by grabbing 20 more net turnovers than their opponents and face the 19th hardest schedule, while the great Bearcat story of 2007 looks to hit a roadblock as they were +16 turnovers and now get a vicious non-conference schedule setting them up for a fall. And of course the case of the appealing QB Ben Mauk.

Some other teams were very close to getting the double on the good way (stock outperform?) New Mexico State and North Texas have SOS in the 90s, and the team we should all root for, Northern Illinois, fits the bill the same way as the campus tries to unite after the Valentine’s Day shooting tragedy.

Check out the whole study on my Google Spreadsheet (I can NEVER get the damn iframe to embed!)

With a flurry of stars declaring early for the NFL Draft only four of the Top 20 rushers return for the 2008 college football season. This could be the deepest RB crop in a decade.

The top returning rusher for the 2008 season will be junior Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis (5th, 1669 yards, 10 TD), followed by junior Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells (11-1609-15) (right, Icon SMI),  junior Southern Mississipi RB Damion Fletcher (13th-1586-15) and senior Javon Ringer of Michigan State (20th-1447-6). Of course this assumes that none of these declare by the tomorrow’s Tuesday January 15 deadline.

A quick roll call of the junior RB dashing for cash making the 2008 NFL Draft one of the strongest RB classes ever, and the heir apparents:

Darren McFaddenDarren McFadden and Felix Jones, Arkansas – Many have Run DMc as their top prospect, and Felix Jones is probably a first-day pick also. Razorbacks gutted by their departure plus the FB/HB hybrid senior Peyton Hillis. New head coach Bobby Petrino will be building from the ground up with WR Marcus Monk and two offensive linemen graduating. Drew pointed to there being a rebuilding year in his Cotton Bowl wrapup, but I have a gut feeling that RB Michael Smith and maybe even QB Casey Dick wll do fine under the Petrino system – at least for the two years Petrino will stay at Arkansas.

Kevin Smith, UCF – our National Player of the Year is a tough inside runner with just enough of a top gear to break off long runs. Sounds like Emmitt Smith but I have a hard time making that comparison despite Kevin breaking Emmitt’s career college rushing yards record. Given UCF personnel expect some JUCO work to be done by head coach George O’Leary.

Ray Rice, Rutgers – Rutgers force fed carries to Rice since the middle of his freshman year, so this is the right move for him since he is a run-up-the-middle type despite his size. When Rice got a breather we did see some flashes from junior to be Kordell Young behind a line with three seniors and wunder-freshman Anthony Davis.

Jonathan Stewart, Oregon – we have said it from Day One around here – Stewart will be a better pro than a college player similar to Brandon Jacobs now of the New York Giants. 6-foot and 235 pounds, Calista Flockhart like body fat and sub-4.5 forty times should propel him to early second-round material at worst. Jeremiah Johnson spelled Stewart well between nicks and breathers, and his

Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois – Mendenhall owns the multi-talented skill set that the NFL likes, but he may need to add ten to twenty pounds. Mendenhall leaves his brother Walter as the new starter if it is possible to project a Ron Zook lineup before spring practive – I am sure he has put extra effort into texting the top running recruits for the last week.

James Davis, Clemson – I have linked to the article that outlines his meager beginnings – coupled with the crowded backfield this is absolutely the right decision for him, especially if he is a first-day pick. That whooshing sound is CJ Spiller moving up our 2008 Draft Kit.

Steve Slaton, West Virginia – he had to go pro, I will not deny him that. We at FCB have consistently marveled at Slaton’s speed as well as his penchant to disappear in big games. We revelled in his 200-yard and three-TD performances, but moreso were disappointed by his ten carrie and fifty yard yawners. I am not sure whether to blame his fire, his injury-prone nature or simply the offensive QB-read option that allowed Pat White to often look like the better runner. Slaton will have tremendous measurables but I fear will fall short in the NFL.

Oh, did I mention that this mass exodus may make Noel Devine worthy of the #1 RB slot in 2008?