Monday, August 31, 2009

College Football '09: A look at the Western Athletic Conference

Does the Western Athletic Conference make any BCS noise in '09? Who would the candidate be for '09? How does the conference breakdown in '09 for WAC?

  • The WAC is ranked #10 by Jeff Sagarin among the FBS conferences
  • No non-BCS conference team has ever played in the BCS Title Game and not likely anytime soon

  • Two WAC teams have made BCS bowls in the past three years

  • Will there be another BCS bid in '09 for the WAC?

Ranked teams in the AP and Coaches' preseason polls:

  • Boise State at #14 and #16, respectively

Preseason magazines like other WAC teams in the Top 25 preseason:

Teams rated below the FBS mark of #120 in 2009?
  • Utah State
  • New Mexico State
  • Idaho
Will the WAC finish this way in 2009??
  1. Boise State * (8-0 in '08) (5-4 in bowls)
  2. Nevada (5-3) (3-6)
  3. Fresno State (4-4) (10-8)
  4. Louisiana Tech (5-3) (2-2-1)
  5. Hawaii (5-3) (5-4)
  6. San Jose State (4-4) (5-3)
  7. Utah State (3-5) (1-4)
  8. New Mexico State (1-7) (2-0-1)
  9. Idaho (1-7) (1-0)
    * denotes 2008 WAC champs (source for above list)

Last BCS bowl participant

  • Hawaii went 12-0 during the 2007 regular season (L, Sugar to Georgia 10-41)
Kickoff Game of the Season

Thursday, September 3rd
Oregon at Boise State

Boise, Idaho at 9:15 PM CT

Final Look at the WAC teams, using the preseason Jeff Sagarin NCAA football ratings:

  1. Boise State (# 19 in Sagarin ratings) - Coach Chris Peterson enters his 4Th season after leading the Broncos to a 12-1 season last year. The Broncos return 39 letterwinners, including 6 OFF and 5 DEF plus both kickers from a team that lost 16-17 to TCU in the Poinsettia. Huge opener vs. Oregon to open '09, followed by vs. Miami-OH, the WAC opener @ Fresno State, then @ Bowling Green and vs. UC-Davis to close out OOC.
  2. Hawaii (# 67) - Coach Greg McMackin enters his 2Nd year at the helm for the Rainbow Warriors and likely a rebuilding year, after finishing 7-7 last year, with a loss to Notre Dame 21-49 in the Hawaii. The Warriors will return 50 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 2 DEF. Hawaii opens the '09 season at home vs. Central Arkansas, @ Washington State, @ UNLV, a bye week, then they open WAC play. They close out the OCC at the end of the season vs. Navy and vs. Wisconsin.
  3. Fresno State (# 71) - Coach Pat Hill enters his 13Th year at the helm of the Bulldogs program, who finished last year at 7-6. The Bulldogs return 44 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 8 DEF plus both kickers from a team that lost 35-40 to Colorado State in the New Mexico. The Bulldogs open the '09 season vs. UC-Davis, @Wisconsin, then the WAC opener vs. Boise State, followed by @ Cincinnati. They close the OOC at the end of the season on 12/5 at Illinois.
  4. Nevada (# 77) - Coach Chris Ault is in his third stint in Nevada and his 25Th year as head coach. The Wolf Pack finished last year at 7-6, with a 35-42 loss to Maryland in the Humanitarian. The Wolf Pack return 45 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 7 DEF plus punter from last year's squad. The Wolf Pack open the '09 season @ Notre Dame, bey week, @ Colorado State, vs. Missouri and vs. UNLV before opening WAC play vs. LA Tech.
  5. Louisiana Tech (# 107) - Coach Derek Dooley enters his 3Rd season at the helm for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs finished last year 8-5 with a 17-10 win over Northern Illinois in the Independence. The Bulldogs return 37 letterwinners, with 9 OFF and 7 DEF. They open the '09 season @ Auburn, @ Navy, vs. Nicholls State, a bye week, then open WAC play vs. Hawaii. A game @ LSU on 11/14 closes OOC play for the Bulldogs.
  6. San Jose State (# 109) - Coach Dick Tomey enters his 5Th year as head coach of the Spartans. The Spartans return 53 letterwinners, including 8 OFF and 7 DEF plus punter from a squad that finished 6-6. The Spartans open the '09 season @ USC, vs. Utah, @ Stanford, vs. Cal Poly, before a bye week and the WAC opener vs. Idaho.
  7. Utah State (# 131) - The Aggies welcome new coach Gary Anderson, the former Utah DC, who was 4-7 in one season coaching for a FCS school. The Aggies return 48 letterwinners, with 9 OFF and 7 DEF plus PK/PT from a squad that finished 3-9 last season. The Aggies open @ Utah, bye week, @ Texas A&M, vs. Southern Utah, @ BYU before opening WAC play @ New Mexico State.
  8. New Mexico State (# 144) - The other Aggies of the WAC welcome a new coach as well as DeWayne Walker moves over after serving three years as UCLA's DC. He is 0-1 as a head coach, after leading UCLA as interim coach for the 2007 bowl game. The Aggies return 44 letterwinners, with 5 OFF and 5 DEF plus PK/PF from a squad that finished 3-9 last season. The Aggies open the '09 season in the WAC vs. Idaho. Next, the OOC opponents are vs. Prairie View A&M, vs. UTEP, @ New Mexico and @ San Diego State.
  9. Idaho (# 164) - Coach Robb Akey enters his 3Rd season at the helm for the Vandals. The Vandals return 44 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 6 DEF from a squad that finished 2-10 last year. The Vandals open the '09 season in the WAC @ New Mexico State, then in the OOC @ Washington, vs. San Diego State, @ Northern Illinois and vs. Colorado State before returning to WAC play.

A look back at last year's statistics in the WAC.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

College Football '09: A look at this year's Sun Belt Conference

Does the Sun Belt Conference make any BCS noise in '09. Who would a candidate be for '09? How does the conference breakdown in '09 for Sun Belt?

  • The Sun Belt is ranked by Jeff Sagarin as a lowest conference in FBS
  • The Sun Belt is ranked lower than the Colonial Conference, which is in the FCS

Ranked teams in the AP and Coaches' preseason polls:

none, with Troy receiving one vote in each poll

Preseason magazines don't like any Sun Belt teams in the Top 25 preseason:

Teams rated below the FBS mark of #120 in 2009?

  • UL -Lafayette
  • UL -Monroe
  • Western Kentucky
  • FIU
  • North Texas
Will the Sun Belt Conference finish this way in 2009??

  1. Troy * (6-1 in '08) (1-2 in bowls)
  2. Arkansas State (4-3) (0-1)
  3. Middle Tennessee (3-4) (0-1)
  4. Florida Atlantic (4-3) (2-0)
  5. Florida International (3-4) (none)
  6. Lousisiana - Monroe (3-4) (none)
  7. Louisisiana - Lafayette (5-2) (none)
  8. North Texas (0-7) (1-5)
  9. Western Kentucky # (0-5) (none)
# New full member in 2009, after moving to FBS in 2008.

Last BCS title winner
  • No Sun Belt team has ever participated in a BCS bowl.
Kickoff Game of the Season

Thursday, September 4Th
Troy @ Bowling Green

Bowling Green, Ohio
TV: none

Final Look at the Sun Belt teams, using the preseason Jeff Sagarin NCAA football ratings:

  1. Troy (# 70 in Sagarin ratings) - Coach Larry Blakeney enters his 19Th season at the helm for the Trojans. The Trojans are the most competetitive and consistent program of late in the Sun Belt. The 8-5 team in '08 return 52 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 5 DEF plus both kickers from a team coming off a 27-30 loss to Southern Miss to close out the season in the New Orleans. Troy opens in OOC @ Bowling Green @ Florida, vs. UAB, then a huge Sun Belt opener @ Arkansas State. Final OOC game is at Arkansas on 11/14.
  2. Middle Tennesse (# 106) - Coach Rick Stockstill enters 4Th year after a 5-7 record in '08. The Blue Raiders return 45 letterwinners, with 10 OFF and 6 DEF plus both kickers. The Blue Raiders open the '09 seaon @ Clemson, vs. Memphis, @ Maryland, then enter Sun Belt play. Final OOC game is vs. Mississippi State on 10/17 coming off bye week.
  3. Florida Atlantic (# 112) - Coach Howard Schnellenberger enters his 9Th season and is the only coach in FAU history for the Owls, who started football in '01. The Owls 7-6 team from '08 return 46 letterwinners, 8 OFF and 3 DEF plus their punter, from the team that defeated Central Michigan 24-21 in the Motor City. The Owls open '09 @ Nebraska, bye week, @ South Carolina, the Sun Belt opener vs. ULM, vs. Wyoming. Final OOC game is @ UAB to open November.
  4. Arkansas State (# 119) - Coach Steve Roberts enters his 8Th year for the Red Wolves coming off a 6-6 record in '08. The Red Wolves return 51 letterwinners, including 7 OFF and 8 DEF plus their placekicker. They open '09 vs. Mississippi Valley State, @ Nebraska, bye week before the Sun Belt opener vs. Troy, @ Iowa and travel on Halloween @ Louisville.
  5. Louisiana - Lafayette (# 123) - Coach Ricky Bustle is entering 8Th season at the helm of the Ragin' Cajuns. The Ragin' Cajuns return 50 letterwinners, including 7 OFF and 9 DEF plus punter from their 6-6 squad from '08. They open '09 season vs. Southern, vs. Kansas State, @ LSU and @ Nebraska, before a bye week and the run in the Sun Belt Conference.
  6. Louisiana - Monroe (# 127) - Coach Charlie Weatherbie is entering his 7Th year at the helm for the Warhawks. Last year the Warhawks finished 4-8. They return 40 letterwinners, with 8 OFF and 9 DEF plus both kickers. They open in '09 @ Texas, vs. Texas Southern, @ Arizona State and later play @ Kentucky on 10/24 for their OOC games.
  7. Western Kentucky (# 133) - Coach David Elson begins his 7Th year and will enter a full slate of Sun Belt games finally in '09. The Hilltoppers return 33 letterwinners, with 8 OFF and 4 DEF plus their punter from last year's 2-10 team. The Hilltoppers open '09 play @ Tennessee, vs. USF, vs. Central Arkansas and @ Navy, before a bye week and play in the conference.
  8. Florida International (# 147) - Coach Mario Cristobal enters his 3Rd season in Miami at the Golden Panthers' helm. They finished 5-7 last year and return 55 letterwinners, with 10 OFF and 6 DEF plus PK Dustin Rivest will take over both duties in '09. The Golden Panthers open the '09 season a week later than most teams @ Alabama, @ Rutgers, vs. Toledo, then enter conference play. On 11/21, FIU will travel to face preseason #1 Florida.
  9. North Texas (# 165) - Coach Todd Dodge enters his 3Rd season at the helm for the Mean Green after leaving head coaching at the Texas high school level. The Mean Green were 1-11 last year and return 47 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 9 DEF plus their PK. North Texas opens the '09 season @ Ball State, vs. Ohio U., @ Alabama, then opens Sun Belt play vs. Middle Tennessee. The final OOC game is 11/21 vs. Army.


College Football '09: A look at the Mid-American Conference

Don't look for the Mid-American Conference to make any BCS noise with a surprise candidate in '09? That would be a first for this conference. How does the conference breakdown in '09 for MAC?

  • The MAC is ranked #11 by Jeff Sagarin as a conference in FBS
  • The MAC is a spoiler conference at best in '09
  • Central Michigan looking for fourth straight bowl in '09
  • Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ball State and Buffalo also all bowled in '08
  • Buffalo attended first bowl ever under coach Turner Gill in '08

Ranked teams in the AP and Coaches' preseason polls:

none, but Central Michigan received votes in each poll ...

Preseason magazines don't like the MAC in the Top 25 preseason:


Teams rebuilding in the MAC in '09

  • Ball State

Teams rated below the FBS mark of #120 in 2009?

  • Temple
  • Miami-Ohio
  • Kent State
  • Eastern Michigan

Will the MAC East Division finish this way in 2009??

  1. Buffalo * (5-3 in '08) (0-1 in bowls)
  2. Ohio U. (3-5) (0-3)
  3. Akron (3-5) (0-1)
  4. Bowling Green (4-4)
  5. Temple (4-4) (1-1)
  6. Kent State (3-5) (0-1)
  7. Miami-Ohio (1-7) (4-4)

Will the MAC West Division finish this way in 2009?

  1. Central Michigan (6-2 in '08) (1-4 in bowls)
  2. Western Michigan (6-2) (0-4)
  3. Toledo (2-6) (7-3)
  4. Ball State * (8-0) (0-5)
  5. Northern Illinois (5-3) (2-2)
  6. Eastern Michigan (2-6) (1-0)

* denotes 2008 MAC division champs (source for above list)

Last BCS title winner

No MAC team has ever participated in a BCS bowl.

Kickoff Game of the Season

Thursday, September 4Th
Troy @ Bowling Green

Bowling Green, Ohio
TV: none

Final Look at the MAC teams, using the preseason Jeff Sagarin NCAA football ratings:

  1. Ball State (#81 in Sagarin ratings) - Veteran coach Stan Parish remains head coach after taking over for departed Brady Hoke, who moved onto San Diego State. Parish lead the Cardinals in the 13-45 loss to Tulsa in the GMAC. The Cardinals return 36 letterwinners, with 4 OFF 7 DEF and their placekicker from their 12-2 season in '08. OOC games with North Texas, New Hampshire, @ Army and @ Auburn take place before the MAC schedule.

  2. Central Michigan (#87) - Coach Butch Jones is entering his 3rd season for the Chippewas, after an 8-5 campaign in '08. The Chippewas return 44 letterwinners, including 6 OFF and 10 DEF plus both kickers from their team that lost 21-24 to Florida Atlantic in the Motor City. The Chippewas open '09 with @ Arizona, @ Michigan State, Alcorn State, then begin MAC play. Final OOC game is @ Boston College on Halloween.

  3. Western Michigan (#88) - Coach Bill Cubit enters his 5Th season for the Broncos, after a 9-4 record in '08 and a disappointing 14-38 loss to Rice in the Texas. The Broncos return 32 letterwinners, including 7 OFF and 3 DEF plus both kickers for '09. They open '09 @ Michigan, @ Indiana, MAC opener at home, vs. Hofstra, then @ Michigan State on 11/7.

  4. Bowling Green (#92) - The Falcons replace Gregg Brandon with new coach Dave Clawson, who was a successful HC at FCS Richmond after finishing 6-6 in '08. Clawson has 39 returning letterwinners, 7 OFF and 3 DEF and their punter back. The Falcons open in the OOC hosting Troy, @ Missouri, @ Marshall and hosting Boise State before opening MAC play for '09.

  5. Northern Illinois (#99) - Coach Jerry Kill enters his 2Nd season at the Huskies helm. The Huskies finished 6-7 in '08 and return 45 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 4 DEF plus returning PK will handle both duties this year. The Huskies lost 10-17 to LA Tech in the Independence. The Huskies open '09 in the OOC @ Wisconsin, vs. Western Illinois, @ Purdue and vs. Idaho before opeing MAC play on HC vs. Western Michigan.

  6. Akron (#111) - Coach JD Brookhart is coming into his 6Th year at Akron and coming off 5-7 season. The Zips return 45 letterwinners, with 9 OFF and 6 DEF plus both kickers. The Zips open @ Penn State, vs. Morgan State, and vs. Indiana before opening MAC play. The final OOC game will be 10/24 at Syracuse.

  7. Toledo (#113) - The Rockets have replaced coach Tom Amstutz with first year coach Tim Beckman, who is a former assistant at BG, but last 4 years at Ohio State and last 2 as DC at Okie State. The Rockets return 57 letterwinners, with 9 OFF and 7 DEF plus both kickers from the 3-9 '08 team. Toledo opens OOC play @ Purdue, vs. Colorado, vs. Ohio State in Cleveland and at FIU before opening on the road in MAC play.

  8. Ohio U. (#114) - Former Nebraska head coach Frank Solich is entering his 5Th season for the Bobcats and they are coming off a 4-8 season in '08. They return 47 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 7 DEF plus their punter in what could be a season to watch for the Bobcats. The Bobcats open in OOC play vs. UConn, @ North Texas, vs. Cal Poly and @ Tennessee, before opening conference play with back to back road games.

  9. Buffalo (#115) - Coach Turner Gill is back for year four leading the Bulls. The Bulls return 53 letterwinners, with 6 OFF and 8 DEF plus both kickers from a 8-6 team that finished with a 20-38 loss to UConn in the International. Coming off the MAC title, the Bulls will not likely sneak up on anyone in '09. Buffalo opens '09 in OOC play @ UTEP, vs. Pittsburgh, @ UCF, then begin MAC play. HC is 10/10 vs. Garder Webb.

  10. Temple (#125) - Coach Al Gordon is entering his 4Th season with the Owls and is coming off a 5-7 season in '08. The Owls return 51 letterwinners, with 6 OFF and 9 DEF plus both kickers. Could this be the breakout year after climbing from 1-11 to 4-8 to 5-7 the first three seasons? Temple opens '09 vs. Villanova, then bye week to prepare for @ Penn State. They open MAC play for 3 games, then HC vs. Army, with later trip @ Navy.

  11. Miami-OH (#126) - The early part of the decade was successful for the Redhawks ('00 to '05), but new head coach Mike Haywood moves in after serving at Notre Dame under Charlie Weis. The past four years under Shane Montgomery have been a roller coaster, with a 2-10 record in '08. The Redhawks return 45 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 5 DEF. The Redhawks open '09 with Kentucky in Cincinnati, then @ Boise State, 2 MAC road games, vs. Cincinnati and a road game @ Northwestern in a challenging OOC slate.

  12. Kent State (#132) - Coach Doug Martin enters his 6Th year coming off a 4-8 record in '08 for the Flashes. The Flashes return 59 letterwinners, with 8 OFF and 7 DEF plus both kickers. The Flashes have one bowl game in their history and that was in '72 at the Tangerine. The '09 season opens with vs. Coastal Carolina, @ Boston College, vs. Kent State, MAC opener vs. Miami-OH, then final OOC game @ Baylor.

  13. Eastern Michigan (#141) - The Ron English era begins in '09 for the Eagles. The former Michigan and Louisville DC will work with 45 letterwinners, with 9 OFF and 8 DEF plus both kickers back from last year's 3-9 squad. EMU has not had a winning season since '95 and there only bowl game was in '87. The Eagles open '09 with OOC games vs. Army, @ Northwestern, @ Michigan and a OOC game @ Arkansas on Halloween.

A look back at last year's statistics in the MAC.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Seven days until Kickoff at Kinnick Stadium for the 2009 Iowa Football season ...

Well, we got a little football under our belts at Kingston Stadium last night, with the Washington Warriors victory over Cedar Falls in the opener, 28-10, in the high school opener for both teams.

Now, we turn to College Football in 2009 starting on Thursday, with games beginning for the in-state schools in FBS or FCS. Iowa State University (3-9 in '08) will open with North Dakota State (6-5, as a FCS school) on Thursday. The rest of the State gets started on Saturday, with the University of Northern Iowa coming down I-380 to Kinnick Stadium to open at the University of Iowa for another FBS vs. FCS showdown.

The Iowa Hawkeyes are coming off a 9-4 season (5-3 in the Big Ten) last year. The Hawkeyes look to become a contender in the Big Ten, for the first time, since the '04 season. UNI (12-3, as a FCS school).

Iowa has had some injuries and some suspensions entering the 2009 fall camp that they are working around. It will be interesting to see what newcomers step forward in '09. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg has a blog article titled: More on Iowa's injury situation. UNI has some suspension headed into the opener with Iowa too. A couple articles on the UNI situation: Chicago Tribune and The Gazette.

In Ames on Thursday, the Iowa State Cyclones will welcome in the Paul Rhoads era in football. The two year Gene Chizik era has moved on, after a 5-19 record. Since 1999, Iowa State is 6-0 in season openers vs. FCS opponents. All six opponents play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, like North Dakota State. North Dakota State is 3-2 vs. FBS schools, with two losses totaling 4 points. Look for Iowa State to continue the streak in the 2009 opener against FCS schools.


#5 Warriors beat #3 Tigers at Kingston (nicely improved Kingston at that)!

The Cedar Rapids Warriors (1-0), ranked #5, defeated the #3 Cedar Falls Tigers (0-1) 28-10 at Kingston Stadium, Friday night. The game was closer in the first half. The game nearly saw a huge momentum shift in the first half, only to see the Warriors take a 14-10 halftime lead, after the Tigers last second drive ended with a turnover in the Warrior redzone.

Time of possession was all in favor of the Warriors, lead by the Warrior running game. Turnovers were another key, with the Tigers losing two interceptions inside the Warriors redzone and also gave up a fumble inside the Warriors 30 yard line.

Cedar Falls didn't have the penalties that Washington had: 4 to 10, but the turnovers really turned out to be the difference in the ball game. Early on, it looked like Cedar Falls was going to cause the Warriors trouble, especially after the Tigers responded to the first Warriors touchdown, with a touchdown drive on their own.

The Warriors need to clean up on many aspects of their game. Penalties hurt the offense and placed the Warriors in long down situations. The pass defense was exposed, though the Warriors did get the Cedar Falls offense to rush some things with their pass rush. Special teams coverage, especially on kickoffs, needs to get better.

The Warriors don't have much time to get ready. Washington travels to Iowa City to face the City High Little Hawks in Week 2, Friday, September 3, 2009. City High got off to a great start in Week 1 defeating Dubuque Wahlert on the road.

Here is a look at the 2009 Warrior football team:

2009 Warrior Varsity Football Team Roster


Friday, August 28, 2009

Kingston Stadium: #5 Washington High School hosts Cedar Falls tonight

Cedar Falls at Cedar Rapids Washington at Kingston Stadium at 7:30 PM, August 28, 2009.

Double Rematch from 2008, where Warriors beat Cedar Falls in the opener at the Dome, while Cedar Falls won the rematch in the Dome, during the State semi-final game. Here's to another exciting season of Iowa High School football.


Monday, August 24, 2009

College Football '09: Let's break down the Conference USA and it's opportunities

Does the Conference USA any BCS noise with a surprise candidate in '09. How does the conference breakdown in '09 for C-USA?

  • C-USA is ranked #9 by Jeff Sagarin as a conference in FBS
  • The WAC at least has Boise State to carry the torch
  • Unlike the C-USA, even the MAC had Ball State last year up to the bowls
  • Will a program emerge as a strong Top 25 candidate for C-USA in '09?

Ranked teams in the AP and Coaches' preseason polls:


Some magazines do like these C-USA in the Top 25 preseason:

  • East Carolina
  • Houston

Teams rebuilding in the C-USA in '09

  • Tulsa
  • Rice

Teams rated below the FBS mark of #120 in 2009?

  • Tulane
  • SMU

Will the C-USA East Division finish this way in 2009??

  1. East Carolina * (6-2 in '08) (5-5 in bowls)
  2. Southern Miss (4-4) (9-8)
  3. Central Florida (3-5)
  4. Memphis (4-4) (3-3)
  5. Marshall (3-5) (5-2)
  6. UAB (3-5) (0-2)

Will the C-USA West Division finish this way in 2009?

  1. Houston (6-2) (8-10-1)
  2. Tulsa * (7-1) (7-9)
  3. UTEP (4-4) (5-7)
  4. Rice (7-1) (5-4)
  5. SMU (0-8) (4-6-1)
  6. Tulane (1-7) (4-6)

* denotes 2008 C-USA division champs (source for above list)

Last BCS title winner

No C-USA team has ever participated in a BCS bowl.

Kickoff Game of the Season

Friday, Sept 4
Tulsa at Tulane

New Orleans, La. 7:00 PM CT

Final Look at the C-USA teams, using the preseason Jeff Sagarin NCAA football ratings:

  1. Tulsa (#53 in Sagarin ratings) - Coach Todd Graham is entering his 3rd season and the Golden Hurricane are coming off a 45-13 win in GMAC over Ball State of the MAC (back to back wins in this bowl over the MAC)... 39 letterwinners with 5 OFF and 8 DEF plus punter returing from last year's team that finished 11-3. OOC tests @ New Mexico, @ OU, Sam Houston State and vs. Boise State., so a couple big opportunities OOC for Tulsa.

  2. Southern Miss (#65) - Coach Larry Fedora is entering his 2nd season at the helm for the Golden Eagles, who won 30-27 over in the New Orleans over Troy of the Sun Belt. The Golden Eagles (7-6) return 41 letterwinners, with 10 OFF and 9 DEF, but must replace PK/PT Britt Barefoot, but a PK returns with experience. Southern Miss plays Alcorn State, Virginia, @ Kansas and @ Louisville in the OOC. Big home date with UVA in Week 3.

  3. Houston (#66) - Coach Kevin Sumlin also is entering his 2nd season at the helm for the Cougars. The Cougars defeated Air Force 34-28 in Armed Forces to finish 8-5. The Cougars return 41 letterwinners, with 8 OFF and 4 DEF plus both kickers for '09. In the OOC, the Cougars face Northwestern State, @ Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and @ Mississippi State. C-USA teams will have some opportunities to pick up some quality wins.

  4. East Carolina (#73) - Coach Skip Holtz enters his 5Th season, after making the Top 25 for 3 weeks last year after wins over Virginia Tech, West Virginia, @ Tulane and @ North Carolina State. OOC opponents for '09 are Appalachian State, @ West Virginia, @ North Carolina and vs. Virginia Tech for four very challenging OOC opponents for ECU, who return 51 letterwinners, with 9 OFF and 7 DEF plus both kickers. ECU lost 19-25 in Liberty vs. Kentucky to finish 9-5 last year.

  5. Rice (#91) - Coach David Biliff enters his 3rd season at the helm for the Owls, who are coming off a 38-14 win over Western Michigan the Texas to finish 10-3. The Owls return 49 letterwinners, including 4 OFF and 9 DEF plus both kickers. The OOC slate includes @ Texas Tech, @ Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt and Navy for the Owls in '09.

  6. Central Florida (#93) - Coach George O'Leary enters his 6Th season leading the Knights. The Knights finished 4-8 last year... 44 letterwinners return, with 9 OFF and 6 DEF plus punter. The OOC schedule begins with Samford, Buffalo, Miami-FL and @ Texas intermixed with C-USA play.

  7. Memphis (#100) - Coach Tommy West is entering his 9Th season for the Tigers. The Tigers finished 6-7 last year, but lost 14-41 to USF in the St. Petersburg. The Tigers return 49 letterwinners, with 5 OFF and 7 DEF plus their placekicker. The '09 OOC slate opens with Mississippi as usual, with @ Middle Tennessee, UT-Martin and a later season game at Tennessee after 5/8Ths of C-USA play.

  8. UTEP (#101) - Coach Mike Price enters his 6Th season at the helm for the Miners who were 5-7 last year. The Miners return 55 letterwinners, including 8 OFF and 7 DEF plus their punter. The OOC schedule includes Buffalo, Kansas, @ New Mexico State and @ Texas in '09, before opening C-USA play vs. Houston.

  9. Marshall (#103) - Coach Mark Snyder is entering his 5Th year at the helm for the Thundering Herd that finished 4-8 last season. The Herd return 46 letterwinners, with 8 OFF and 8 DEF plus both kickers. The OOC slate begins with Southern Illinois, @ Virginia Tech, Bowling Green, then a later game in the middle of C-USA play @ West Virginia.

  10. UAB (#118) - Coach Neil Callaway enters his 3Rd season at the helm for the Blazers. The Blazers return 51 letterwinners, with 11 OFF and 7 DEF from a 4-8 team in '08. The Blazers open the '09 season vs. Rice and vs. SMU in C-USA, then play @ Troy and @ Texas A&M and later OOC games @Mississippi and vs. Florida Atlantic.
  11. Tulane (#134) - Coach Bob Toledo is entering his 3rd season and finished 2-10 last year. The Green Wave return 53 letterwinners, including 7 OFF and 6 DEF plus punter. The Green Wave picked up wins over ULM and SMU in '08. The OOC slate for '09 includes BYU, McNeese State, @ Army and @ LSU.

  12. SMU (#135) - Coach June Jones enters his 2Nd season at the helm for the Mustangs, after leaving Hawaii. His first season finished 1-11, with only win against FCS Texas State. The Mustangs return 51 letterwinners, including 8 OFF and 8 DEF but will have to see an newcomer emerge as PK/PT. OOC schedule for Mustangs in '09 is Stephen F. Austin, @ Washington State, @ TCU and Navy.

A look back at last year's statistics in the Conference USA.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Here's cidsports final Top 25 preseason College Football rankings for '09

Well, it's time to get formal and release our final preseason Top 25 rankings for '09
  1. Florida Gators (13-1) - the nation's consensus #1 for '09
  2. Texas Longhorns (12-1)
  3. USC Trojans (12-1)
  4. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-2)
  5. Oklahoma Sooners (12-2)
  6. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-3)
  7. Virginia Tech Hokies (10-4)
  8. LSU Tigers (8-5)
  9. Penn State Nittany Lions (11-2)
  10. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-4)
  11. Boise State Broncos (12-1)
  12. California Golden Bears (9-4)
  13. Georgia Bulldogs (10-3)
  14. Mississippi Rebels (9-4)
  15. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-4)
  16. Oregon Ducks (10-3)
  17. TCU Horned Frogs (11-2)
  18. Florida State Seminales (9-4)
  19. Utah Utes (13-0)
  20. Iowa Hawkeyes (9-4)
  21. Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-4)
  22. BYU Cougars (10-3)
  23. Oregon State Beavers (9-4)
  24. West Virginia Moutaineers (9-4)
  25. Clemson Tigers (7-6)

Ranked in the AP and/or Coaches' preseason polls: North Carolina (8-5) , Notre Dame (7-6) and Kansas (8-5).


Breaking down the The Big East in '09: Is it a five team race for the conference title?

Does the Big East Conference get more pressure from the non-BCS teams in '09 or will it return to the BCS with a representative program. How does the conference breakdown in '09?

  • Cincinnati won the Big East last year, but only finished #17 nationally
  • No Big East teams are in the AP or Coaches' preseason polls
  • Could five teams compete for the Big East title in '09?
  • Will the Big East avoid comparisons to the MWC in BCS talk?

Ranked teams in the AP and Coaches' preseason polls:

  • None

Some magazines do like these ACC teams in the Top 25 preseason:

  • West Virginia
  • Cincinnati
  • Pittsburgh
  • South Florida
  • Rutgers

Teams rebuilding in the Big East in '09

  • Connecticut

Teams not quite ready for prime time in 2009?

  • Louisville (no bowls the past two seasons)
  • Syracuse (won at Notre Dame 24-23 in '08)

Will the Big East finish this way in 2009?

  1. West Virginia (5-2 in '08) (13-15 in bowls)
  2. Pittsburgh (5-2) (10-15)
  3. Rutgers (5-2) (3-2)
  4. Cincinnati * (6-1) (5-5)
  5. South Florida (2-5) (2-2)
  6. Connecticut (3-4) (2-1)
  7. Louisville (1-6) (6-7-1)
  8. Syracuse (1-6) (12-9-1)

* denotes Big East champion last season

Last BCS title winner

  • 2001, Miami - FL (former members of Big East)

Kickoff Game of the Season

Saturday, September 5

Minnesota @ Syracuse

11:00 AM CT

Final Look at the Big East teams, using the preseason Jeff Sagarin NCAA football ratings:

  1. West Virginia (#11 in Sagarin ratings) - The Mountaineers finished #23 in the final AP poll in '08 after winning the Mieneke Car Care 31-30 over North Carolina... coach Bill Stewart enters his 2nd year with 33 letterwinners, 5 OFF and 7 DEF, but must replace award winner at PK/PT in Pat McAfee. They open with Liberty, East Carolina, @ Auburn, bye and vs. Colorado, followed by Big East play.

  2. Cincinnati (#37) - Coach Brian Kelly enters third year at helm, with 43 letterwinners, with 8 OFF 1 DEF plus placekicker. The Bearcats are coming off 7-20 loss in Orange to Virginia Tech to finish 11-3 in '08. The defense will be revamped under new DC Bobby Diaco and open with a Big East showdown on Labor Day at Rutgers.

  3. Rutgers (#38) - Coach Greg Schiano is now entering his ninth season at Rutgers and the Knights have played in four straight bowl games, after playing in only one prior in 1978. The Knights return 47 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 6 DEF plus both kickers from the team that finished 8-5 in '08, beating North Carolina State 29-23 in As mentioned, the Knights open season with Cincinnati on Labor Day in the Big East.

  4. South Florida (#39) - Coach Jim Leavitt is South Florida football entering his 13Th season and four straight bowl games in their history now. The Bulls return 40 letterwinners, with 6 OFF and 6 DEF plus both kickers from a team that finished 8-5 in '08, defeating Memphis 41-14 in St. Petersburgh.

  5. Pittsburgh (#40) - Coach Dave Wannstedt enters his fifth year at Pitt, after missing the Top 25 at the close of '08 at 9-4. The Panthers return 49 letterwinners, with 8 OFF and 7 DEF, but must find a new PK and PT for '09. After playing in their first bowl game under Wannstedt, the Panthers came up short 0-3, losing to Oregon State in the Sun. Pitt opens with Youngstown State, at Buffalo, Navy and North Carolina State, before Big East play.

  6. Connecticut (#49) - Coach Randy Edsall enters his 11Th year at UConn, where the Huskies have played in two straight bowl games and 3 in 5 seasons. The Huskies return 37 letterwinners, with 6 OFF and 6 DEF plus both kickers from a team that finished 8-5 in '08, including a 38-20 win in International over Buffalo. UConn opens at Ohio U in '09.

  7. Louisville (#50) - Entering his third season for the Cardinals, coach Steve Kragthorpe is on the hot seat, after missing in back to back seasons with bowl trips. The Cardinals were in the BCS in '06 and won the Orange, but times have changed. The Cardinals (6-6 in '07 and 5-7 in 08) with 49 letterwinners, 7 OFF and 6 DEF plus both kickers, open the '09 season with Indiana State, bye, @ Kentucky and @ Utah before opening Big East play. The other OOC game is on Halloween vs. Arkansas State.

  8. Syracuse (#97) - A new era begins of Orange football with new coach Doug Marrone taking the helm, after the Orange finished '08 at 3-9. Notre Dame is off the schedule in the OOC, but the Orange with 45 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 7 DEF plus punter, will open with Minnesota, @ Penn State, Northwestern and Maine, before opening Big East play with South Florida for Homecoming.

A look back at last year's statistics in the Big East.


Breaking down the Atlantic Coact Conference in Football for 2009

Where will the Atlantic Coast Conference teams fall in the BCS and as a conference in 2009?

  • Less of a consensus in each division in 2009?
  • The ACC didn't finish in the Top 13 in either final poll last year
  • It's been 10 years, since the last BCS title came from ACC
Ranked teams in the AP and Coaches' preseason polls:
  • #7 Virginia Tech
  • #15 Georgia Tech
  • Florida State at either #18 or #19
  • North Carolina at either #21 or #20

Some magazines do like these ACC teams in the Top 25 preseason:

  • Miami-FL
  • Clemson
  • Wake Forest

Teams rebuilding in 2009

  • Boston College (at Notre Dame, Oct. 24Th)

Teams not quite ready for prime time in 2009?

  • North Carolina State
  • Maryland

Will the Atlantic Division finish this way in 2009?

  1. Florida State (5-3 in '08) (21-14-2 in bowls)
  2. Clemson (4-4) (15-16)
  3. North Carolina State (4-4) (12-11-1)
  4. Wake Forest (4-4) (6-3)
  5. Boston College * (5-3) (13-7)
  6. Maryland (4-4) (10-11-2)

Will the Coastal Division finish this way in 2009?

  1. Virginia Tech * (5-3 in '08) (8-14)
  2. Georgia Tech (5-3) (22-15)
  3. North Carolina (4-4) (12-14)
  4. Miami-FL (4-4) (18-14)
  5. Virginia (3-5) (7-10)
  6. Duke (1-7) (3-5)

* denotes 2008 team in ACC title game (source for above list)

Last BCS title winner

Kickoff Game of the Season

Thursday, Sept 3

South Carolina @ NC State

7:00 PM, Raleigh, N.C.


Final Look at the ACC teams, using the preseason Jeff Sagarin NCAA football ratings:

  1. Virginia Tech (#9 in Sagarin ratings) - Back to back BCS bowls at Orange... young Hokies beat Cincinnati 20-7 last year and return 40 letterwinners, with 9 OFF and 7 DEF starters plus punter as Hokies enter 23rd season with coach Frank Beamer at helm.

  2. Florida State (#20) - Coach Bobby Bowden enters his 34Th season coming off a 42-13 win over Wisconsin in Champ Sports... 53 letterwinners, with 8 OFF and 5 DEF starters, but two new kickers must emerge as Seminoles open with Miami-FL on Labor Day.

  3. Clemson (#21) - Interim Dabo Swinney is new head coach and comes in with a 4-3 record, including 21-26 loss in Gator to Nebraska... 53 letterwinners, with 7 OFF and 8 DEF starters, but must replace both kickers as Tigers need to rebound from 7-6 in '08.

  4. Boston College (#22) - Third new coach for Eagles in four seasons, with Frank Spaziani promoted from DC position. He enters his 13Th season at BC, with 40 letterwinners back, with 7 OFF and 7 DEF plus PK... rare BC lost in Music City in '08 14-16 to Vanderbilt.

  5. Wake Forest (#30) - Looking to get back to BCS for first time in three seasons under coach Jim Grobe, entering 9Th season at Wake... 44 letterwinners back, with 9 OFF and 4 DEF plus punter. Demon Deacons are coming off 29-19 win at EagleBank over Navy.

  6. Miami - FL (#36) - Unlike the others that joined Miami-FL from the Big East, the Hurricanes have yet to play in an ACC title game... coach Randy Shannon is in year 3 and returns 49 letterwinners, with 8 OFF and 7 DEF plus both kickers. Hurricanes lost 17-24 at Emerald vs. California to close out '08. Open season with at FSU, bye, vs. Georgia Tech, at Virginia Tech and hosting OU.

  7. Georgia Tech (#42) - Is it the style of play of a coach Paul Johnson team that makes the Yellow Jackets a tough out and a Top 25 team? Johnson enters year 2 with 51 letterwinners, with 9 OFF and 8 DEF plus their dual PK/PT back. The Yellow Jackets didn't appear too well at Chick-fil-A losing to LSU 3-38 and likely why low on Sagarin.

  8. Maryland (#45) - Coach Ralph Friedgen enters his ninth year coming off a bowl win in the Humanitarian 42-35 over Nevada... 38 letterwinners, with 5 OFF and 4 DEF back plus punter... The Terps open the '09 season at California for a solid ACC-Pac Ten match up.

  9. Virginia (#46) - Coach Al Groh also enters his ninth year and are looking to get back to a bowl after a 5-7 record last year... 36 letterwinners, with 5 OFF and 6 DEF back plus both kickers. Virginia opens '09 with games vs. William & Mary, TCU and @ Southern Miss. The other OOC game will be after the ACC opener at UNC, when IU comes from the Big Ten.

  10. North Carolina (#52) - Are the Tar Heels the most overrated team (polls vs. Sagarin?) in the ACC and nationally, after one takes the Sagarin ratings into account. Butch Davis factor at work? Tar Heels lost Meineke Bowl in '08 30-31 to West Virginia (first bowl since '04).

  11. North Carolina State (#58) - Coach Tom O'Brien enters his third year at NC State, after coming over from BC... 31 letterwinners, 7 OFF and 7 DEF back plus PK. The Wolfpack played in their first bowl, since '05, with 23-29 loss to Rutgers in

  12. Duke (#89) - Coach David Cutcliffe enters year two, after finishing 4-8 last year. Blue Devils have not gone to a bowl game, since the 1994 season... 33 letterwinners return, with 6 OFF and 5 DEF and both kickers. OOC is Richmond, @ Army, @ Kansas and North Carolina Central for Homecoming to open '09 season.

A look back at last year's statistics in the ACC.


The two Top 25 preseason polls are out: What should we take from them?

The preseason Top 25 preseason AP Poll and Coaches' Poll are out. What can we take from them entering the 2009 College Football season?

The Top 7 in each poll are the same!

  1. Texas
  2. Oklahoma
  3. USC
  4. Alabama
  5. Ohio State
  6. Virginia Tech

Some questions on where to rank each between spots #8 through #11 ...

  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma State
  • Penn State
  • LSU

The #12 and #13 teams are the same in each poll.

12. California and 13. Georgia

Both polls like the same #15 and #17 ...

15. Georgia Tech and 17. TCU

The #14 and #16 spots are flipped in each poll.

  • Oregon or Boise State

The #18 and #19 spots are flipped in each poll.

  • Florida State or Utah

Some questions on where to rank each between spots #20 through #24 ...

  • Brigham Young
  • North Carolina
  • Iowa
  • Notre Dame
  • Nebraska

The final #25 team is different in each of the two preseason polls.

  • Kansas in the AP
  • Oregon State in the Coaches'

Others Receiving Votes in the 2009 preseason AP Poll:

Oregon State 122, Illinois 105, Pittsburgh 103, Michigan State 100, Rutgers 83, Texas Tech 76, West Virginia 57, Cincinnati 44, Clemson 42, Miami (FL) 40, East Carolina 30, Tennessee 15, Arizona 13, North Carolina State 10, Boston College 9, CENTRL MICHIGAN 7, Auburn 7, UCLA 7, Northwestern 5, South Florida 3, Southern Miss 3, Vanderbilt 3, Missouri 3, South Carolina 2, Nevada 1, Arkansas 1, Houston 1, TROY 1, Tulsa 1.

Others Receiving Votes in the 2009 preseason Coaches' Poll:

Kansas 138, Michigan State 136, Texas Tech 114, Cincinnati 90, Pittsburgh 64, West Virginia 55, Rutgers 51, Miami (FL) 46, Missouri 44, Illinois 38, Clemson 30, South Carolina 18, UCLA 14, Auburn 12, South Florida 11, Nevada 11, Kentucky 9, North Carolina State 7, Wisconsin 6, Arkansas 6, Northwestern 5, Southern Miss 4, Wake Forest 4, Arizona 3, Boston College 3, CENTRL MICHIGAN 3, East Carolina 3, Colorado 2, Maryland 2, Navy 2, Tennessee 2, TROY 1, Minnesota 1, Michigan 1, Houston 1.

The AP writers are a little more critical of teams that didn't perform as well in 2008 or with key performers that have departed, from my perspective with the Midwest teams. But, they seem to reward some of the East Coast teams for 2008. In the Big Ten, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin received no mention in the AP Poll. In the Big 12, Where's the love for Missouri in the AP Poll vs. the Coaches' Poll? Illinois is considered stronger in the AP Poll as well. Look at East Carolina and Boston College, for example in the AP Poll.

We are approaching Thursday, September 3Rd, which will kickoff the 2009 College Football schedule. Labor Day weekend will have games throughout the weekend.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Big Ten buzz for today... August 20, 2009!

Big Ten: UM can't get worse; Pryor will be most-watched - Toledo Free Press
For anyone who missed the 2008 Big Ten football season, for whatever reason, including sad feelings of nostalgia, this season might be a facsimile if you're ...

Big Ten football roundup: Illinois the consensus 'trap game' for ... -
JOE HERMITT, The Patriot-NewsIllinois quarterback Juice Williams throws downfield during the 3rd quarter at Beaver Stadium last season. ...

Nagurski watch list includes seven from Big Ten - ESPN - Adam Rittenberg
The Bronko Nagurski Award watch list is out and includes seven Big Ten players. The award, presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) ...

Nittany Lions LB ready to roar back in Big 10 after injury - USA Today
He recorded a 138 tackles as a junior, earning all-Big Ten honors and some All-America distinctions. He enters this year with 239 career tackles and has an ...

Purdue is our Big 10 football Pur-don't - UI The Daily Iowan
“Contrary to popular opinion of the experts and some of our peers, I think we can field a very good football team in 2009,” Hope said at Big Ten media days ...

Best Case/Worst Case: Syracuse - ESPN
Meanwhile, Michigan leads the Big Ten in points allowed, and Wolverines fans shower praise on their new defensive coordinator, Greg Robinson. ...

Iowa football: Kinnick Stadium's new artificial grass a real help -
Iowa City, Ia. - Imagine telling more than 70000 rain-soaked football fans that game day was a washout. ...

In two weeks, the 2009 College Football season will kickoff. Indiana will open on August 3, 2009 hosting Eastern Kentucky.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is anyone in the Big Ten going to pass Ohio State in 2009?

"Yet another BCS berth isn't out of the question coming out of the mediocre
Big Ten, although the 2009 Buckeyes appear to be a year away from making a run at the title game for the third time in four years. In a list of 10 questions,
even that's too much to ask." -
Rusty Miller, AP writer

Ten questions about the 2009 Ohio State Buckeyes - Chicago Tribune
5) If Tressel's right, and the punt is the most important play in football, then how important is the punter spot? Don't worry about placekicker because ...

The Buckeyes have won either a share or outright Big Ten title over the past four seasons. Only Penn State has tied the Buckeyes in two of those four seasons ('05 and '08).

Can Iowa be a sleeper in the Big Ten in 2009?

  1. Iowa

  2. Illinois

  3. Michigan State

In 2008, Iowa had a two man race at quarterback, opening the season alternating between two quarterbacks until one emerged, after the Northwestern game... it was clear Ricky Stanzi was in and 2007 starter Jake Christensen was out.

Christensen completed his degree at the University of Iowa after the 2008 season. With one season of eligibility remaining, the former Iowa quarterback has transferred to Eastern Illinois University, his father's alma mater to compete for the quarterback position and attend graduate school.

Former Iowa QB Christensen starts fresh at EIU - ESPN - Adam Rittenberg


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Washington Warriors ranked #5 among all high schools preseason prep football in Iowa

5. Washington The Warriors should have the most explosive offense in the
state this year with seven starters back on that side of the line including the
state’s best player, senior running back Andre Dawson. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound
senior was second team all-state last year after rushing for 1,485 yards and
scoring 28 touchdowns. Dawson will also have a huge blocker in front of him in
6-7, 250-pound lineman Matt Huffer. The team’s top wide receiver returns in Shay
Gutman, however he may also spend some time behind center. The Tigers were 11-2 last year including a win over Cedar Falls. Washington also lost to Cedar Falls
in the playoffs and fell to Iowa City during the regular season.
- MaxPreps

Iowa Football Top 5 -MaxPreps
As football kickoff inches closer around the country, maxpreps forecasts the top five teams in the state of Iowa for the 2009 season. ...

  1. Valley, West Des Moines

  2. Solon

  3. Cedar Falls

  4. Bishop Heelan Catholic, Sioux City

  5. Washington, Cedar Rapids

The Washington Warriors and Cedar Falls will open the 2009 Iowa high school football season in Cedar Rapids on August 28, 2009. Washington's 2009 football schedule includes five home games and six total games at Kingston Stadium. MaxPreps preview of the Warriors for 2009.


Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009: Around the Big Ten in Football

Which player, coach or opponent haunts your favorite Big Ten team like
none other? Some Penn State fans might still have Richard Nixon dartboards
in their homes. Jim Tressel has become a modern-day villain for Michigan
fans, but who holds the all-time title? -
Adam Rittenberg
Big Ten villains, past and present - ESPN

The Iowa Hawkeyes return 16 starters for the 2009 College Football season. Look for converted quarterback, turned WR Marvin McNutt to emerge in 2009, after spending most of 2008 on the sidelines for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa's McNutt catches on quickly at receiver -ESPN - Adam Rittenberg
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Marvin McNutt won't be channeling his inner Terrell Owens this fall. Though McNutt would love to match TO's on-field production for Iowa, ...

McNutt learning on the fly at wideout - Marshalltown Times Republican‎
IOWA CITY - The University of Iowa football coaching staff saw the ability and knew Marvin McNutt had to be on the field. ...

In Back to Back fall camps, PSU loses LB for the season due to ACL injury ...

  • In 2008, it was senior MLB Sean Lee who went down with an ACL injury
  • In 2009, Fritz LB sophomore Michael Mauti, a 4.6 guy voted spring football most improved for 2009 has been knocked out for the 2009 season
Penn St. LB Mauti out for season with knee injury - Philadelphia Inquirer
Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti will miss the 2009 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a scrimmage Sunday. ...

Mauti injury thins Penn State's LB depth - ESPN

Ohio State remains the Team to Beat in the Big Ten entering 2009, after four straight outright or shared titles in the conference in football. Jim Tressel is the top coach in the Big Ten.

Ohio State football evening news roundup: Jim Tressel gets top ...
The Plain Dealer - - ‎Aug 16, 2009‎
Since becoming the Buckeye's head man in 2001, Tressel has led Ohio State to a National Title, five Big Ten Titles, and has had the Buckeyes ranked in both ...

Top Three Coaches in the Big Ten?

  1. Jim Tressel, Ohio State
  2. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
  3. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Could this be the year for Illinois and coach Ron Zook?

llinois football faces make-or-break season - Chicago Tribune
Two seasons ago, Illinois was the skinny kid unexpectedly bashing a home run. Last season, it was the slugger who whiffed ...

Year 2 at Michigan for coach Rich Rodriguez: Look for Improvement? But, how much improvement is in order?

Analysts: Michigan should be markedly better - Detroit Free Press‎
One definition of stop the bleeding is, this year, you won't be watching and saying, 'I can't believe I'm watching Michigan football. ...

At what cost will Michigan State make the next step in coach Mark Dantonio's 3Rd season?

Hockey player upset Winston reinstated -ESPN - Adam Rittenberg
Michigan State hockey player AJ Sturges is urging the university to have a clearer policy on how to handle athletes convicted of violent ...

RB Winston rejoins Michigan State football team - Chicago Tribune
Michigan State has reinstated sophomore running back Glenn Winston as the team begins practice for the 2009 season. Winston pleaded guilty earlier this year ...

Defense wins championships... could coach Pat Fitzgerald have something brewing in Evanston for 2009?

Northwestern football hopes to build around veteran defense - Chicago Tribune
Brendan Smith couldn't really get angry when he heard critics refer to Northwestern's defense as weak a few seasons ago. ...

Where is Wisconsin headed in coach Bret Bielema's fourth season?

The Badgers finished 7-1, 5-3 and 3-5 in Bielema's first three seasons in the Big Ten. Kansas State had some discipline issues, when Bret Bielema was in Manhattan. Are there issues in Madison with the coaching staff?

UW safeties intend to fight suspensions - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Madison — University of Wisconsin seniors Shane Carter and Aubrey Pleasant intend to fight their indefinite suspensions, which were announced Saturday by ...

Bret Bielema may be hearing from suspended safties' attorneys - Yahoo! Sports
As I said last week, I don't get as much of a sense that Bret Bielema is on the hot seat in Wisconsin as much as some other people seem to. ...

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin suspended safeties Aubrey Pleasant and ... - ESPN

Minnesota Football opens 2009 college football season in new stadium.

Minnesota hopes new stadium will give it a boost - Chicago Tribune
Minnesota would not win another game. The season will be considered a success if ... the transition to a new stadium produces a winning record and a bowl ...

A major win for Minnesota -Minneapolis Star Tribune
If Chicago is selected to host the 2016 Olympics, the new TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota would be one of several US stadiums to host soccer ...

Purdue has Hope for 2009!

Purdue football could find going rough under new coach Danny Hope - Chicago Tribune
If the 6-foot-2-inch fifth-year senior hurls spirals as well as he spins yarns, maybe Purdue won't have quite the calamitous transition in coach Danny ...

IU unloads the Pistol offense for 2009!

Big Ten - A Postseason Nightmare - Sports Network
Offense - The Hoosiers will feature the pistol offense, which will help improve the running game behind their finest o-line in years. ...

ESPNChecking in with ... Indiana's Bill Lynch - ESPN
I know you're excited about the pistol offense this year. Has that system fully sunk in, or is it still a process? BL: They've got a good handle on it. ...

More predictions around the Big Ten ...

Preseason Big Ten Power Rankings - ChicagoNow

Predicting Every Single 2009 Game: Yes, We're That Crazy - ChicagoNow


Are we ready for some Football?

Well, it's nice to be back online to update our blog, after a ten day break. The College Football season kicks off in less than three weeks.

The NFL is in full swing with preseason football. Just turn into the NFL Network, if you need a fix on some preseason football. Of course, don't ask Brett Favre to step up and get involved in preseason football. Rumor has it, he will be back at age 40.

We have been reading and checking out the preview magazines and various fan comments for the 2009 upcoming college football season. It's hard to get a real good handle on who is #1 across the various conferences. In many cases, parity and question marks lead one to have some questions on more teams than not for 2009.

Other than Florida and Texas, is there a clear cut favorite any where else? Right now, we would say the 2009 college football season will be one of surprise across the Top 25.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Coaches Preseason College Football Poll is Out for 2009

Nine Big Ten teams receive votes in 2009 Preseason FBS Coaches Poll. Two teams are in the Top 8, with Iowa the third team to make the preseason Top 25 Poll.

2009 Preseason FBS Coaches Poll
Rank Team (first-place votes) 2008 record Points Final 2008 rank Comments
1. Florida (53) 13-1 1,466 1
2. Texas (4) 12-1 1,386 3
3. Oklahoma (1) 12-2 1,358 5
4. Southern California (1) 12-1 1,321 2
5. Alabama 12-2 1,134 6
6. Ohio State 10-3 1,126 11
7. Virginia Tech 10-4 1,020 14
8. Penn State 11-2 988 8
9. LSU 8-5 917 NR
10. Mississippi 9-4 889 15
11. Oklahoma State 9-4 861 18
12. California 9-4 711 25
13. Georgia 10-3 707 10
14. Oregon 10-3 694 9
15. Georgia Tech 9-4 559 22
16. Boise State 12-1 542 13
17. TCU 11-2 461 7
18. Utah 13-0 404 4
19. Florida State 9-4 371 23
20. North Carolina 8-5 293 NR
21. Iowa 9-4 257 20
22. Nebraska 9-4 236 NR
23. Notre Dame 7-6 194 NR
24. Brigham Young 10-3 178 21
25. Oregon State 9-4 165 19

Others receiving votes (with 2008 records)
Kansas (8-5) 138; Michigan State (9-4) 136; Texas Tech (11-2) 114; Cincinnati (11-3) 90; Pittsburgh (9-4) 64; West Virginia (9-4) 55; Rutgers (8-5) 51; Miami (Fla.) (7-6) 46; Missouri (10-4) 44; Illinois (5-7) 38; Clemson (7-6) 30; South Carolina (7-6) 18; UCLA (4-8) 14; Auburn (5-7) 12; Nevada (7-6) 11; South Florida (8-5) 11; Kentucky (7-6) 9; North Carolina State (6-7) 7; Arkansas (5-7) 6; Wisconsin (7-6) 6; Northwestern (9-4) 5; Southern Mississippi (7-6) 4; Wake Forest (8-5) 4; Arizona (8-5) 3; Boston College (9-5) 3; Central Michigan (8-5) 3; East Carolina (9-5) 3; Colorado (5-7) 2; Maryland (8-5) 2; Navy (8-5) 2; Tennessee (5-7) 2; Houston (8-5) 1; Michigan (3-9) 1; Minnesota (7-6) 1; Troy (8-5) 1.

No surprise that Florida and Texas are 1-2. LSU makes Top 10, despite finishing '08 outside the coaches Top 25. LSU is highest 5 loss team from '08. TCU and Utah slide down the ladder after strong finishes in '08. North Carolina, Nebraska and Notre Dame jump into the Top 25, after finishing outside the coaches Top 25 in '08.

It should be a great year for football in the FBS for 2009. Though, there doesn't appear to be as many teams likely candidates for #1 this season. Outside Florida and Texas, most schools in the Top Ten may be candidates to slip out by season's end. The theme for '09 appears to be "opportunity knocks" for a lot of schools. Of course, some may find some hard knocks along the way.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Less than 30 days until the opening of Iowa, Northern Iowa and Iowa State 2009 football seasons

The University of Iowa will kickoff the 2009 football season on September 5, 2009 at Kinnick Stadium, when the Hawkeyes host Iowa's FCS top 10 program, the University of Northern Iowa. On Thursday, September 3, 2009, the Iowa State Cyclones will host a UNI's fellow FCS and MVC Football Conference member, North Dakota State.

The University of Iowa is coming off an Outback Bowl victory over the University of South Carolina. The Hawkeyes look to take the momentum from last year's 9-4 overall record (5-3 in the Big Ten) into the 2009 season. Iowa and Michigan State return the highest number of returning starters in the Big Ten Conference.

Iowa needs defense to excel to contend in Big Ten - Chicago Tribune‎
When he did see the field, he found himself clearing the way for Iowa's running game, especially last season when Big Ten Silver Football winner Shonn ...
Arkansas State scores big at Kinnick - Gazette Online
2009 Football season preview: Iowa - University of Wisconsin Badgers

Iowa State has opened camp for the 2009 season.

Rhoads Brings Different Kind Of Enthusiasm ‎
One change ISU football fans will notice about the 2009 Iowa State Cyclones in their first season under new coach Paul Rhoads is that the ...
ISU Football Media Day: New OC Herman young and confident enough ... - Daily Freeman Journal
Iowa State Cyclones media day coverage -‎

Economic woes force Iowa schools to cut budgets - Quad City Times
Iowa State projects a 3.4 percent increase in its revenue to $43.3 million, although the Cyclones' athletic department joins Iowa in expecting a slight drop ...

Iowa State football: Cyclones hope to slow down high-powered Big ...
Iowa State nose guard Nate Frere is not predicting an over-under number for wins. He isn't going out on a limb about anything that involves digits — except ...
Rhoads ready for first season - Fort Dodge Messenger
Cyclones energized at dawn of new era - Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
Iowa State coach says team ready to move ahead - Radio Iowa

Can Rhoads turn Iowa State around? -Dubuque Telegraph Herald ‎
"If I wanted to wrap up this microphone "" Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads began to reporters at the Cyclones' media day Wednesday at Jack Trice ...

The University of Northern Iowa has opened camp for 2009 season.

UNI football reports to camp Wednesday - Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier CEDAR FALLS --- The University of Northern Iowa football team will report to camp Wednesday, and will begin practice Thursday. The Panthers will be prepping ...