Saturday, September 22, 2018

Week 4: Big Ten opener for the Heartland Trophy

Iowa City, IA  --- Fifty years ago, Iowa had one of the best college football teams in America. Tonight, the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0) take on the Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) to kickoff the 2018 Big Ten football season at Kinnick Stadium, with a 7:30 PM kickoff on FOX. As the Badgers and the Hawkeyes seek to win another West division, which has gone to the winning team over the past four seasons, since the West was created in the Big Ten.

This weekend, in addition to celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 1958 team. The Hawkeyes are looking to take back the Heartland Trophy, which has remained in Madison for five of the last six seasons, as the Badgers come to Iowa City to open conference play. It is also the ANF Game for 2018, America Needs Farmers, which began back in 1985, when Hayden Fry placed a gold ANF decal on the Hawkeye helmets is the effort's signature.  This year marks the 33rd anniversary of ANF, a longstanding tribute to America's farmers and program connecting Iowa's farm families to consumers to learn more about the production of food, fuel, and fiber.

Wisconsin has been a Top 10 team over the past decade, but they couldn't take care of business to close out non conference play last weekend, in a 24-21 home loss to BYU. The haven't lost back to back games, since 2016, when they opened Big Ten play with back to back losses @ Michigan and against Ohio State. The Badgers have won two straight in the series, and lead overall 45-43-2. The visiting team has also won eight of the last 11 games in this series, as well.

In 2015, Iowa beat Wisconsin 10-6, in a tight four quarter game. Wisconsin
has won the last four games played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes last beat
Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium in 2008, by the score of 38-16, as sophomore
QB Ricky Stanzi lead the Hawkeyes offense, with junior RB Shonn Greene.
Last year, Wisconsin dominated Iowa 38-14, holding the Iowa offense to 66 yards and only five first downs. But, it was only a 14-6 game heading into the fourth quarter in Madison last season. The Hawkeyes rushed for only 25 yards and passed for 41 yards. Wisconsin had 18 first downs, ran for 247 yards for a 5 yard average, and passed for 135 yards. Iowa's 14 points were two Pick-6 touchdowns by Green Bay back rookie CB Josh Jackson, a junior on the Hawkeyes team last year.

Jonathan Taylor football vs. Iowa 2017
The Wisconsin Badgers are lead on offense by sophomore RB #23 Jonathan
Taylor, who was a 2nd team all-American as a true freshman last season.

The Badgers enter the game thinking "all things considered there may not be a better starting point than Saturday's rivalry game" since the Badgers have won 17 of their last 18 trophy games against Iowa (Heartland Trophy), Minnesota (Paul Bunyan's Axe) and Nebraska (Freedom Trophy).

Iowa hasn't had much offensive success, since 2014, when the current seniors
were either red-shirts or in high school. The Hawkeyes did win in 2015, but
that was on the road. With a night game, the Hawkeyes are hoping for some
home cooking. And, Kinnick Stadium is often a good place to be for a night game.

Iowa needs to improve in the line of scrimmage, where the Badgers have dominated lately on both sides of the football in this series. The Hawkeyes have stepped up the defensive line play heading into the first three games of 2018. Iowa ranks number two, behind Stanford, among Power 5 programs allowing the fewest points (8.0 per game). Wisconsin has a NFL ready group up front on the offensive line, but injuries and three departures have been an issue is the once dominating 3-4 defensive line for the Badgers in 2018.

Wisconsin Badgers Alex Hornibrook (12) lines up under center during an NCAA Big Ten Conference college football game against the Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday, October 22, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. The Badgers won 17-9. (Photo by David Stluka)
Wisconsin junior QB #12 Alex Hornibrook leads the Badgers offense. He split
time as a freshman, but took over the full reigns in 2017. His biggest knock is
he threw 15 interceptions as a sophomore and 7 interceptions in a half time role
as a freshman. The Hawkeyes hope to continue that trend, if possible, tonight.

What can we expect from the Badgers, coming off the loss against Brigham Young?

"It's always the same message, it's another week of football," said senior offensive guard Michael Deiter, who likes the change of pace of traveling by bus to a road game. "You have to learn from what caused you to lose and get better from it. And you're playing Iowa. The message when you're playing Iowa is always the same.

"It's a trophy game, it's a big rivalry, it's going to be physical. It's not going to be a bunch of new stuff. It's just going to come down to that physicality and who wants it more that day.

"We play a similar style of ball. We like to control the clock. It's not going to be 80 plays a side. The games go fast because we both stick to the run. And it's physical. That's the way we want it. You definitely feel it the next day."

On Saturday afternoon, the Wisconsin Badgers began their walk through at
Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School, ahead of tonight's battle for the Heartland Trophy.

What can we expect from the Iowa Hawkeyes against the Wisconsin Badgers?

  1. Iowa will attempt to establish the run game, as Scott Dochterman pointed out recently in The Athletic - staying ahead on first down and improving 2nd down play calling, as he wrote on trends in the past two games in the series
  2. Balance is always important offensively, while it will be difficult to repeat the 243 yards rushing/244 yards passing split, Iowa's QB Nate Stanley achieved leading Iowa to a 55-24 win over Ohio State last year
  3. Win the battle in the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football
  4. Avoid turnovers, miscues and penalties, which often lead to losing the game of field position and being constantly behind the chains
  5. Special teams - Wisconsin senior PK Rafael Galianorne missed a 42 yard field goal attempting to take the BYU game into overtime last week. Iowa senior PK Micquel Recinos hasn't been as consistent in 2018. Teams prefer touchdowns over field goals, but all points are important
  6. Coaching adjustments - Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz and Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard are both second year coordinators, so these are two guys to watch tonight
Does Iowa get sophomore RB Ivory Kelly Martin back against Wisconsin?
He was the starter for the season opener, but was injured and hasn't played
in the past two games. Fellow sophomore RBs Toren Young and Mekhi Sargent
are #2 and #3 in the Iowa running back committee in 2018.
The Hawkeyes have improved their roster over the past four seasons. Leadership is always important for success.

Our Prediction: Iowa Hawkeyes 26, Wisconsin Badgers 24

The University of Iowa football program has 12 players among its 2018 Leadership Group. The group includes six seniors, five juniors, and one sophomore. The Leadership Group votes on the weekly game day captains, is involved in team decision-making throughout the season, and provides feedback to the head coach.  Players were selected by team vote.

2018 Iowa Leadership Group
     The group consists of seniors WR Nick Easley, DB Jake Gervase, DE Parker Hesse, LB Aaron Mends, DL Matt Nelson, and OL Keegan Renders, juniors DB Amani Hooker, LB Amani Jones, DL Anthony Nelson, FB Brady Ross, and QB Nate Stanley, and sophomore RB Toren Young.

Week 4: Game Day Saturday in College Football

Saturday, September 22nd 

Akron at Iowa State, 11:00 am on FSN - it will be an emotion day in Jack Trice Stadium, as Cyclones look to honor Celia Barquín Arozamena, who was tragically murdered on Monday, while enjoying the game of golf that she loved ....

Boston College at Purdue, 11:00 am on ESPN2 - Boilermakers may be the best 0-3 team in the nation, but Eagles look to build on strong 3-0 start in 2018 ....

Buffalo at Rutgers, 11:00 am on BTN - the Bulls seek to continue the Scarlet Knights' woes ....

Georgia at Missouri, 11:00 am on ESPN - big SEC East showdown in Columbia!

Kent State at Ole Miss, 11:00 am on SEC Network 

Minnesota at Maryland, 11:00 am on BTN - P.J. Fleck and the Golden Gophers are 3-0 and hit the road to open B1G season!

Navy at SMU, 11:00 am on ESPN News 

Nebraska at Michigan, 11:00 am on FS1 - the Wolverines open Year 4 under Jim Harbaugh, as the Huskers kickoff the B1G season under Scott Frost!

Nevada at Toledo, 11:00 am on CBSSN 

Notre Dame at Wake Forest, 11:00 am on ABC 

Ohio U at Cincinnati, 11:00 am on ESPNU 

Pittsburgh at North Carolina, 11:20 am on ESPN Extra / ACC Network 

Louisville at Virginia, 11:30 am on ECE / ACC RSN

Illinois State at Colorado State, 2:00 pm on ATTRM / ATTRMW / ATTSW 

Charlotte at UMass, 2:30 pm on ELVN / NESN+ 

Clemson at Georgia Tech, 2:30 pm on ABC 

Florida International at Miami-FL, 2:30 pm on ESPN2 

Kansas at Baylor, 2:30 pm on FS1 - wow, can the Jayhawks make in 3 straight this season in Waco?

Kansas State at West Virginia, 2:30 pm on ESPN 

Northern Illinois at Florida State, 2:30 pm on ESPNU - tough journey for Huskies, but here's to the underdog in Tallahassee!

Texas A&M at Alabama, 2:30 pm on CBS 

Tulane at Ohio State, 2:30 pm on BTN - Urban Meyer is back, but junior DE Nick Bosa is out, due to injury, surgery!

Virginia Tech at Old Dominion, 2:30 pm on CBSSN 

Arizona at Oregon State, 3:00 pm on PAC-12 Network 

South Carolina at Vanderbilt, 3:00 pm on SEC Network 

UConn at Syracuse, 3:00 pm on ESPN News 

TCU at Texas, 3:30 pm on FOX  

Hampton at Northern Iowa, 4:00 pm on ESPN Extra / NBCSCH / PSN 

McNeese at BYU, 5:00 pm on BYUtv / ESPN Extra 

North Texas at Liberty, 5:00 pm on ESPN Extra / LFSN 

Army at Oklahoma, 6:00 pm on PPV 

Florida at Tennessee, 6:00 pm on ESPN 

Louisiana Tech at LSU, 6:00 pmon ESPNU 

Mississippi State at Kentucky, 6:00 pm on ESPN2 

North Carolina State at Marshall, 6:00 pm on CBSSN 

Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 6:00 pm on FS1 

Arkansas at Auburn, 6:30 pm on SEC Network - this could get ugly ....

Michigan State at Indiana, 6:30 pm on BTN -  for the Old Brass Spitton, as the Spartans and the Hoosiers head into conference play in Bloomington with a trophy on the line!

East Carolina at South Florida, 7:00 pm on ESPN News 

South Alabama at Memphis, 7:00 pm on ESPN Extra / WMC 

Stanford at Oregon, 7:00 pm on ABC - ESPN Game Day opened on Saturday in Eugene to spotlight the Pac 12!

Wisconsin at Iowa, 7:30 pm on FOX - the B1G West division has gone to the winner of this game for the past 4 seasons, since the end of Leaders/Legends was shelved. Our Pick: Hawkeyes 26, Badgers 24

Air Force at Utah State, 9:15 pm on ESPN2

Arizona State at Washington, 9:30 pm on ESPN

Eastern Michigan at San Diego State, 9:30 pm on CBSSN

Duquesne at Hawaii, 11:00 pm on ATTPI / Stadium App / Spectrum PPV

Coastal Carolina at Louisiana Lafayette, 6:00 pm on $espn+ Video

Gardner Webb at Appalachian State, 2:30 pm on $espn+ Video

Maine at Central Michigan, 2:00 pm on $espn+ Video 

Miami-Ohio at Bowling Green, 2:00 pm on $espn+ Video

NC Central at Duke, 2:30 pm on ACC Video

New Mexico State at UTEP, 6:30 pm on espn3 Video

Rice at Southern Miss, 6:00 pm on $espn+ Video

Texas Southern at Houston,  7:00 pm on espn3 Video

Texas State at UTSA, 6:00 pm on $espn+ Video

Troy at Louisiana Monroe, 6:00 pm on $espn+ Video

UNLV at Arkansas State, 6:00 pm on espn3 Video 

Western Kentucky at Ball State, 2:00 pm on espn3 Video

Western Michigan at Georgia State, 1:00 pm on $espn+ Video

Friday, September 21, 2018

Week 4: 3 Games on Friday Night Lights

Friday, September 21st

Florida Atlantic at UCF
6:00 pm

The Knights have opened up 2018 winning, so can the Owls be the first team to knock them off, since the 2016 season?

Penn State at Illinois
8:00 pm

Big Ten Football on Friday night in Week 4 isn't what Penn State is normally involved with, but Fighting Illini host them for it.

Washington State at USC
9:30 pm

Trojans have lost back to back road games, after season opening win over UNLV. While Washington State is 3-0, after back to back home wins. Opened season with road win over Wyoming to kickoff 2018 College Football season.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Week 4: a C-USA showdown on Thursday night on ESPN

Thursday, September 20th

Tulsa (1-2) at Temple (1-2)
6:30 pm

Both teams have losing records, though Temple is coming off a B1G 35-14 win @ Maryland. Ironically, Tulsa lost 28-21 @ Texas (2-1), who fell in Week 1 @ Maryland.

Who wins this C-USA showdown to kick off 2018 conference play?

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Game Day Saturday Week 3: #24 Iowa Hawkeyes host the UNI Panthers at Kinnick Stadium

Iowa City, IA --- The Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) unveiled the 'Iowa Wave' as College Football's newest tradition last year, in the season opening win over Wyoming. Tonight, it will be celebrated, as the University of Northern Iowa Panthers (0-1) arrive down I-380 from Cedar Falls to be a part of the college football celebration, with the 6:30 pm kickoff on the Big Ten Network.

The Hawkeyes opened the 2018 season, with a 33-7 win over the Northern Illinois Huskies in Week 1. The Hawks followed it up last Saturday, with a 13-3 win over Iowa State to claim the Cy-Hawk Trophy for the fourth consecutive season, the first under Kirk Ferentz, who is in his 20th season at the helm as head coach and who passed Hayden Fry in career wins in the season opener.

The Panthers lost the season opener in Week 1 at Montana 26-23, as they got in a deep hole and ran out of time, in their effort to comeback, under their second team quarterback. The question heading into the Iowa game is who will be under center for Mark Farley's team?

Iowa Kirk Ferentz and UNI Mark Farley will watch their teams head into Kinnick
Stadium for the 18th meeting, since the 1898 debut, between the Hawkeyes-Panthers.
The Hawkeyes have won 16 straight over the Panthers, though the 2009 game, came down to the wire, in a 17-16 win, that ended on back to back blocked field goals by Iowa to preserve the win, as time expired. The Panthers finished 2017, with an 8-5 record and another birth in the FCS playoffs.

The Hawkeyes are 2-0 heading into the Week 3 game against Northern Iowa.
It is the first FCS opponent heading into Kinnick Stadium, since the Week 3
loss 23-21 in 2016 to North Dakota State. Will the Panthers step up tonight?
The Iowa Hawkeyes defense is off to an outstanding start in back to back games, only allowing a total of 10 points all season. The strength of the Iowa defense is the defensive line, which can go 8-9 deep across the line. They have 9 sacks, including two forced fumble recoveries, in the first two games.

The Iowa Defense has been "dominant" in back to back weeks at Kinnick Stadium,
in wins over Northern Illinois and Iowa State to start 2018.
The starting linebackers are all new for 2018, since Iowa lost their Top 4, after last season. Look for redshirt freshman WLB Dijmon Colbert, senior MLB Jack Hockaday and OLB sophomore Nick Niemann to make the start tonight against Northern Iowa.

Iowa redshirt freshman #32 Dijmon Colbert made his first start of his career in the
13-3 win over Iowa State. After a 66 yard scoring drive against the Cyclones to kickoff
the Cy-Hawk Game, the Iowa defense took over the line of scrimmage and shutdown
the ISU offense, including junior RB #32 David Montgomery.
The Iowa offense and junior QB Nate Stanley are off to a slow start in 2018. Sophomore RB Ivory Kelly Martin missed the last game, due to an ankle injury. Now, sophomore WR Ihmir Smith Marsette is out with a shoulder injury, after picking up a 45 yard reception against the Cylcones, which is the play he was injured. on.

As others are reporting, Iowa junior QB Nate Stanley is pressing to kickoff the
2018 season. Link is from @IowaSwarm, who talkd
about Stanley's early performance in 2018.

How will the Iowa Hawkeyes' offense come out against Northern Iowa on Saturday night?

The Hawkeyes should take care of business at Kinnick Stadium tonight. Our prediction is:

  • The Hawkeyes 23 (Iowa is averaging 23 points per game in 2018)
  • The Panthers 10 (Iowa has given up 10 points in two games in 2018) 

Iowa sophomore DE AJ Epenesa celebrates his birthday tonight at Kinnick Stadium, with his teammates. It should be a special night, as Pat Green performs his song Wave on Wave at halftime, with the marching bands. Green's song is played at the end of the first quarter, as the 'Iowa Wave' is performed each home game.

Cancellations highlight Week 3 on Saturday in College Football

Saturday, September 15th 

  • Ball State at Indiana, 11:00 am on BTN
  • Florida State at Syracuse, 11:00 am on ESPN 
  • Georgia Southern at Clemson, 11:00 am on ESPNU 
  • Hawaii at Army, 11:00 am on CBSSN 
  • Kent State at Penn State, 11:00 am on FS1
  • Middle Tennessee at Georgia, 11:00 am on ESPN News
  • Miami-FL at Toledo, 11:00 am on ESPN2 
  • Murray State at Kentucky, 11:00 am on SEC Network 
  • Oklahoma at Iowa State, 11:00 am on ABC 
  • Rhode Island at UConn, 11:00 am on SNY / ESPN Extra
  • Rutgers at Kansas, 11:00 am on FSN 
  • Temple at Maryland, 11:00 am on BTN - possible trap game ahead of B1G play for Terps?
  • Troy at Nebraska, 11:00 am on BTN - lost to NIU in Week 3 last year
  • UTEP at Tennessee, 11:00 am on SEC Network 
  • Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh, 11:30 am on ESPN Extra / ACC RSN / WatchESPN
  • UC Davis at Stanford, 1:00 pm on PAC-12 Network
  • Vanderbilt at Notre Dame, 1:30 pm on NBC
  • Boise State at Oklahoma State, 2:30 pm on ESPN 
  • BYU at Wisconsin, 2:30 pm on ABC 
  • Duke at Baylor, 2:30 pm on FS1 
  • Lehigh at Navy, 2:30 pm on CBSSN 
  • LSU at Auburn, 2:30 pm on CBS 
  • Miami-OH at Minnesota, 2:30 pm on BTN 
  • SMU at Michigan, 2:30 pm on BTN
  • South Florida at Illinois, 2:30 pm on BTN
  • Colorado State at Florida, 3:00 pm on SEC Network
  • Houston at Texas Tech, 3:00 pm on FOX 
  • North Texas at Arkansas, 3:00 pm on SEC Network 
  • UTSA at Kansas State, 3:00 pm on FSN 
  • Ohio U at Virginia (Nashville), 3:30 pm on ESPN2
  • New Hampshire at Colorado, 4:00 pm on PAC-12 Network
  • San Jose State at Oregon, 4:00 pm on PAC-12 Network 
  • Idaho State at California, 5:00 pm on PAC-12 Network 
  • Alabama at Ole Miss, 6:00 pm on ESPN 
  • Arkansas State at Tulsa, 6:00 pm on CBSSN 
  • Oregon State at Nevada, 6:00 pm on ESPNU
  • Akron at Northwestern, 6:30 pm on BTN 
  • Louisiana Lafayette at Mississippi State, 6:30 pm on ESPN2
  • Louisiana Monroe at Texas A&ampM, 6:30 pm on SEC Network
  • Missouri at Purdue, 6:30 pm on BTN 
  • Northern Iowa at Iowa, 6:30 pm on BTN - Hawkeyes get to 3-0 in a projected: 23-10 win
  • UMass at Florida International, 6:30 pm on beIN / Video (not on DirecTV)
  • Western Kentucky at Louisville, 6:30 pm on ACC RSN
  • Eastern Washington at Washington State, 7:00 pm on PAC-12 Network 
  • New Mexico at New Mexico State, 7:00 pm on ELVN / FSAZ+
  • Ohio State vs. TCU (Arlington), 7:00 pm on ABC 
  • Washington at Utah, 9:00 pm on ESPN
  • Arizona State at San Diego State, 9:30 pm on CBSSN 
  • Fresno State at UCLA, 9:30 pm on FS1
  • Southern Utah at Arizona, 10:00 pm on PAC-12 Network 
  • Alabama A&M at Cincinnati, 6:00 pm on espn3 Video
  • Bethune Cookman at Florida Atlantic, 5:00 pm on Stadium Video / Facebook Video / Stadium
  • Central Michigan at Northern Illinois, 2:30 pm on $espn+ Video
  • Delaware State at Western Michigan, 6:00 pm on $espn+ Video
  • Eastern Kentucky at Bowling Green, 3:00 pm on espn3 Video
  • Eastern Michigan at Buffalo, 5:00 pm on $espn+ Video
  • Prairie View at UNLV, 9:00 pm on MWC Video / Stadium
  • Texas State at South Alabama, 6:00 pm on $espn+ Video
  • Wofford at Wyoming, 3:00 pm on Stadium Video / Facebook Video / Stadium
  • East Carolina at Virginia Tech Cancelled
  • Marshall at South Carolina Postponed
  • Norfolk State at Liberty Postponed
  • Southern Miss at Appalachian State Postponed
  • UCF at North Carolina Cancelled
  • West Virginia at North Carolina State Cancelled

Friday, September 14, 2018

Week 3: Friday night College Football

Only one FBS game on tap for Friday night for 2018 College Football in Week 3.

Georgia State (1-1)  at Memphis (1-1)
6:00 pm

First meeting between these two schools.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Week 3: More disruptions of College Football, due to Hurricane in forecast

Wednesday, September 12th
Campbell at Coastal Carolina1:00 pmbumped up due to hurricane, with CCU 58-21 win
Thursday, September 13th

  • Old Dominion at Charlotte, 3:00 pm, espn3 Video
  • Boston College at Wake Forest, 4:30 PM, ESPN in the ACC opener for both programs
  • Tennessee Tech at Utah State, 7:00 pm, Facebook Video

  • Saturday, September 8, 2018

    Game Day: #24 Iowa vs. #31 Iowa State for the CyHawk Trophy

    Iowa City, IA --- The 66th meeting of the CyHawk Game kicks off at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as a sell out crowd is expected to watch the #24 Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) vs. the #31 Iowa State Cyclones (0-0) with a 4 PM start on FOX. The series resumed back in 1977, after it was dark for over four decades.
    Both teams finished off 8-5 last season, though Iowa pulled off a 44-41 OT victory over Iowa State in Ames. The Hawkeyes lead the series 43-22. The Hawkeyes are going for their fourth straight win.
    Kirk Ferentz is in his 20th season leading the Hawkeyes. As a head coach, he has never won four straight, though he was on hand, as OL coach, during the Hayden Fry era, when the Hawkeyes ran off 15 straight over the Cyclones. He is 10-9 in the series, as a head coach, 17-11 at Iowa.
    Twenty years ago, as a 28 point underdog, the Cyclones pulled out a 27-9 win, under coach Dan McCarney, ending the 15 game win streak, in Fry's final season in Iowa City.
    In 2002, the Cyclones were a 3 point underdog, but pulled out a monster 36-31 win, again in Iowa City over the Hawkeyes.  The Hawkeyes dropped the game after a series of miscues and turnovers, despite an early 24-7 lead.
    Last year, the Hawkeyes took an early 14-0 lead, only to fall behind by two possessions, but grinded their way back to force overtime in Ames. The Hawkeyes finished the game with a walk off TD from QB Nate Stanley to WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
    For Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, he is entering his third season at the helm, leading the Cyclones.  His first visit to Iowa City in 2016, the Cyclones lost big, 42-3 against the #16 Hawkeyes. So, as head coach, Campbell is 0-2 searching his first win in the series.
    Back in 1977, when the series resumed in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes pulled out the upset win 12-10 to kickoff the renewed series, as the late Bob Commings for Iowa and late Earle Bruce for ISU lead the programs.
    The 2018 game should be a competitive match up between two young programs coming off bowl wins and entering with positive expectations for the new season. Mutual respect is the tone from both head coaches and opposing players.
    Confidence appears to be present on both sides. So, how should the breakdowns fall between the Hawkeyes and Cyclones

    Top 40 College Football programs with players in NFL

    The 2018 NFL seasons kicked off the new season on Thursday night, when the Philadelphia Eagles at home defeated the Atlanta Falcons 18-12.

    Here is the full ranking of FBS schools with players on NFL 53-man rosters:

    Rank FBS College Program Player
    1 Alabama 44
    2 LSU 40
    3 Florida 38
    4 Miami-FL 36
    4 Ohio State 36
    6 Florida State 33
    7 Southern Cal 32
    8 Clemson 29
    9 Auburn 28
    9 Georgia 28
    11 Stanford 27
    11 UCLA 27
    11 Tennessee 27
    14 Michigan 26
    14 Notre Dame 26
    16 Iowa 25
    17 Texas 24
    17 Penn State 24
    17 Texas A&M 24
    20 Oklahoma 23
    21 Wisconsin 22
    21 California 22
    21 Washington 22
    21 Mississippi 22
    21 South Carolina 22
    26 Nebraska 19
    26 Oregon 19
    28 North Carolina 18
    29 Pittsburgh 17
    29 Michigan State 17
    29 Mississippi State 17
    32 North Carolina State 16
    32 Missouri 16
    34 Louisville 15
    34 Central Florida 15
    36 Virginia Tech 14
    36 Temple 14
    36 West Virginia 14
    36 Utah 14
    40 SMU 13
    40 TCU 13
    40 Texas Tech 13
    40 Rutgers 13
    40 Boise State 13
    40 Arkansas 13

    Week 2: Saturday Game Day

    Saturday, September 8th

    Arizona at Houston 11:00 am ABC or ESPN2

    Duke at Northwestern 11:00 am ESPNU /

    Eastern Michigan at Purdue 11:00 am BTN

    Georgia Tech at South Florida 11:00 am  ABC or ESPN2

    Liberty at Army 11:00 am CBSSN

    Mississippi State at Kansas State 11:00 am ESPN

    Nevada at Vanderbilt 11:00 am SEC Network

    New Mexico at Wisconsin 11:00 am BTN 

    Western Michigan at Michigan 11:00 am FS1

    Georgia State at North Carolina State 11:30 am ESPN Extra / ACC RSN 

    UCLA at Oklahoma 12:00 pm FOX

    Portland State at Oregon 1:00 pm PAC-12 Network

    Arkansas State at Alabama 2:30 pm ESPN2

    Ball State at Notre Dame 2:30 pm NBC

    Buffalo at Temple 2:30 pm ESPN Extra

    Colorado at Nebraska 2:30 pm ABC

    Georgia at South Carolina 2:30 pm CBS

    Memphis at Navy 2:30 pm CBSSN

    North Carolina at East Carolina 2:30 pm ESPNU

    Rutgers at Ohio State 2:30 pm BTN 

    ETSU at Tennessee 3:00 pm SEC Network

    Lamar at Texas Tech 3:00 pm FSN

    Southern Illinois at Ole Miss 3:00 pm SEC

    Iowa State at Iowa 4:00 pm FOX
    Prediction in CyHawk Game: Hawkeyes 24, Cyclones 20, in a competitive game that may turn out, like 2002 ....

    North Dakota at Washington 4:00 pm PAC-12 Network 

    Youngstown State at West Virginia 5:00 pm ATTPI / Video

    Clemson at Texas A&M 6:00 pm ESPN

    Louisiana Monroe at Southern Miss 6:00 pm ESPN Extra

    Southeastern Louisiana at LSU 6:00 pm ESPN2

    Texas Southern at Texas State 6:00 pm ESPN Extra

    Wyoming at Missouri 6:00 pm ESPNU

    Samford at Florida State 6:20 pm ESPN Extra / ACC Network 

    Alabama State at Auburn 6:30 pm SEC Network alternate 

    Arkansas at Colorado State 6:30 pm CBSSN / CBSSN Video

    Florida International at Old Dominion 6:30 pmbeIN / Video

    Fresno State at Minnesota 6:30 pm FS1 

    Kentucky at Florida 6:30 pm SEC Network 

    Utah at Northern Illinois 6:30 pm ESPN News 

    Virginia at Indiana 6:30 pm BTN 

    Western Illinois at Illinois 6:30 pm BTN 

    Cincinnati vs. Miami-OH 7:00 pm ESPN Extra 

    Nicholls at Tulane 7:00 pm ESPN Extra

    Penn State at Pittsburgh 7:00 pm ABC 

    South Alabama at Oklahoma State 7:00 pm FSN 

    Southern Utah at Oregon State 7:00 pm PAC-12 Network 

    Tulsa at Texas 7:00 pm LHN 

    USC at Stanford 7:30 pm FOX 

    UTEP at UNLV 8:00 pm ATTRM / ATTSW 

    California at BYU 9:15 pm ESPN2 

    UConn at Boise State 9:15 pm ESPNU 

    Michigan State at Arizona State 9:45 pm ESPN 

    San Jose State at Washington State 10:00 pm PAC-12 Network 

    Air Force at Florida Atlantic 1:00 pm Facebook Video

    Appalachian State at Charlotte 5:00 pm $espn+ Video

    Baylor at UTSA 6:00 pm Facebook Video

    Florida A&M at Troy 6:00 pm $espn+ Video

    Eastern Kentucky at Marshall 5:30 pm $espn+ Video

    Holy Cross at Boston College 12:00 pm ACC Video

    Howard at Kent State 2:30 pm $espn+ Video

    Incarnate Word at North Texas 6:30 pm $espn+ Video

    Indiana State at Louisville 6:00 pm ACC Video

    Kansas at Central Michigan 2:00 pm $espn+ Video

    Maine at Western Kentucky 6:30 pm $espn+ Video

    Maryland at Bowling Green 5:00 pm $espn+ Video

    Morgan State at Akron 2:30 pm $espn+ Video

    New Mexico State at Utah State 7:00 pm Facebook Video 

    Rice at Hawaii 11:00 pm Stadium App / Spectrum PPV (HI cable)

    Sacramento State at San Diego State 8:00 pm

    Savannah State at Miami-FL 5:00 pm ACC Video

    South Carolina State at UCF 5:00 pm espn3 Video

    Southern at Louisiana Tech 6:00 pm $espn+ Video

    Towson at Wake Forest 11:00 am ACC Video

    UAB at Coastal Carolina 6:00 pm $espn+ Video 

    UMass at Georgia Southern 5:00 pm $espn+ Video

    UT Martin at Middle Tennessee 6:00 pm $espn+ Video

    Wagner at Syracuse 2:30 pm ACC Video

    William & Mary at Virginia Tech 1:00 pm ACC Video

    Friday, September 7, 2018

    Week 2 kicks off Friday night with one Top 25 on the Field

    Friday, September 7th

    #16 TCU at SMU
    7:00 pm

    Horned Frogs look to get to 2-0 ahead of Week 3 showdown with #6 Ohio State in Arlington.

    Monday, September 3, 2018

    Week 1 of College Football is in the books: Happy Labor Day to all ....

    A look at the Big Ten teams, after Week 1 of the 2018 College Football season

    There are various schools of thoughts, when it comes to Top 25 ratings and conference power ratings heading into each season. Around the country, there are certain programs that often are ranked on reputation.

    For example, last year, Florida State was a prime example of a school expected to finish in the Top 5, but at season's end, it finished 7-6, with wins over Delaware State, a 4-7 Florida, ULM and a bowl win over Southern Miss to take a 3-6 record and finish with a winning record. Florida State is often one of the most overrated programs each year, in College Football.

    Another team with plenty of questions to answer entering 2018 is Michigan. The Wolverines finished 8-5 last year, with three straight losses @ Wisconsin, against Ohio State and in the bowl game against South Carolina. Now, they have lost four straight, with the 24-17 loss @ Notre Dame to open 2018 College Football season.

    My problem with Michigan at #3 in the Big Ten power ratings is based on what have they done to earn the preseason #3 rating in the first place?

    The Big Ten appears to be loaded in 2018? Michigan State and Penn State struggled in Week 1, but they won. Michigan shouldn't be awarded for a moral victory, as James Laurinaitis appears to suggest that should be considered?

    Notre Dame is a good program, but ultimately, like with Florida State in 2017. We don't know how good any team may be, until after enough games are played. Notre Dame lost to Georgia, @ Miami-FL and @ Stanford last year, so good losses. They are often overrated.

    Michigan and Nebraska are two Big Ten programs that are often among the Top 7 schools overrated in preseason ratings. Texas is the most common example. On Saturday, they clearly rose up and demonstrated why, when they fell 34-29 @ Maryland in a game played in Landover, MD.

    So, after Week 1, here are the Big Ten power ratings ....

    1. Wisconsin (1-0) - the Badgers have won 3 of the first 4 West division titles; and 5 of the first 7 division titles, when you toss in the first 3 seasons of Leaders and Legends, when division play began in the 2011 season in the Big Ten. Week 1 - beat Georgia State 34-3. Week 2 - vs. New Mexico (1-0) - first meeting between each program.
    2. Michigan State (1-0) - the Spartans return 19 starters from last year's team, including one 3 OT loss @ Northwestern. It's not uncommon for Mark Dantonio teams to start slowly. The Spartans won the Big Ten in 2015. Week 1 - beat Utah State 38-31. Week 2 - @ Arizona State (1-0) - which is certainly going to be a big test, at night, in the Valley of the Sun! 
    3. Ohio State (1-0) - the Buckeyes have had some off the field issues, since Big Ten Media Days. In the past two seasons, OSU has lost two games by 31 points. The Buckeyes won the Big Ten last year. Week 1 - destroyed Oregon State 77-31. Week 2 - vs. Rutgers (1-0), as head coach Urban Meyer returns to practice on Tuesday, but Meyer's three game suspension remains in force.
    4. Penn State (1-0) - the Nittany Lions enter 2018 needing to replace play-makers on offense and welcome a new offensive coordinators. They won the Big Ten in 2016. Week 1 - beat Appalachian State 45-37 in OT. Week 2 - @ Pittsburgh (1-0), the Panthers beat the Nittany Lions here in 2016, so this one should be very interesting.
    5. Northwestern (1-0, 1-0 B1G West) - the Wildcats opened 2018 in conference play for the first time in a long, long while. Week 1 - won @ Purdue 31-27, as two QB system of Clayton Thorson and T.J. Green is utilized by head coach Pat Fitzgerald. Week 2 - vs. Duke (1-0), who beat the Wildcats 41-17, after the Wildcats had won back to back non-conference games against the Blue Devils in previous seasons.
    6. Iowa (1-0) - the Hawkeyes tallied the 144th win to boost Kirk Ferentz into the all-time win leader, as head coach. Week 1 - beat Northern Illinois 33-7. Week 2 - CyHawk game against Iowa State (0-0), who are looking to complete a game, after thunderstorms shelved their opener on Saturday night.
    7. Michigan (0-1) - the Wolverines have one victory over a rival entering the fourth season of head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines will get plenty of opportunities to move up, since they play 1-5 in conference play. Week 1 - lost @ Notre Dame 24-17. Week 2 - vs. Western Michigan (0-1), the Wolverines should be safe in another home opener, having won 25 of last 28.
    8. Purdue (0-1, 0-1 B1G West) - the Boilermakers play two quarterbacks and often the old saying with quarterbacks, if you have two, you likely have none. This appeared to be the case, watching game one. Week 1 - lost to Northwestern 31-27. Week 2 - vs. Eastern Michigan (1-0), who will start former Iowa QB Tyler Wiegers, who had a solid first start for the Eagles.
    9. Indiana (1-0) - the Hoosiers were the only Big Ten team to pick up a win on the road to open the season. Week 1 - won @ FIU 38-28 to pick up first win of season. Week 2 - vs. Virginia (1-0), as the Hoosiers have won 14 of the past 16 home openers.
    10. Nebraska (0-0) - the Scott Frost era has to wait one week to officially kickoff, after a thunderstorm Saturday night canceled the home opener. Week 1 - vs. Akron - canceled. Week 2 - vs. Colorado (1-0), the Huskers have won three straight in the series and three straight in Lincoln. Last meeting was 2010.
    11. Rutgers (1-0) - the Scarlet Knights open the third season, with head coach Chris Ash. Week 1 - won 35-10 over Texas State. Week 2 - @ Ohio State (1-0), the Buckeyes defeated the Scarlet Knights 56-0 last season in New Brunswick, after 58-0 previously in Columbus.
    12. Maryland (1-0) - the Terrapins opened 2018, with new offensive coordinator Matt Canada, also in the interim head coach role, after D.J. Durkin was placed on administrative leave in August. Week 1 - beat Texas 34-29 to begin back to back seasons, with an upset win over a ranked Longhorns team (note - not ranked in my Top 25). Week 2 - @ Bowling Green (0-1), which is ironically Durkin's alma mater.
    13. Minnesota (1-0) - the Golden Gophers opened the second year under head coach P.J. Fleck, with another non-conference win. They Golden Gophers are 4-0 OOC under Fleck. Week 1 - beat New Mexico State 48-10. Week 2 - vs. Fresno State (1-0), the Bulldogs were 10-4 last season and are likely the best non-conference, since Fleck arrived that the Golden Gophers have lined up against.
    14. Illinois (1-0) - the Fighting Illini entered 2018, coming off a ten game losing streak. Week 1 - despite playing from behind much of the game, Illinois beat Kent State 31-24. Week 2 - vs. Western Illinois (0-1), the Fighting Illini are 2-0 in this series outscoring the Leathernecks 65-0.

    No reason to delay our Week 1 Cidsports Top 40 College Football ratings: as #20 VA TECH @ #19 Florida State kicks off tonight in Tallahassee

    Week 1 of the 2018 College Football season concludes with a Top 20 match up in Tallahassee tonight, as Labor Day weekend concludes with a ACC showdown between #20 Virginia Tech (9-4) @ #19 Florida State (7-6). The Hokies lead by head coach Justin Fuente, entering his third season, were 5-3 in the Coastal Division in 2017. While the Seminoles were 3-5 in the Atlantic Division in 2017, they enter the Willie Taggart era, as the former USF and Oregon head coach returns to lead Florida State into the 2018 season.

    #20 Virginia Tech @ #19 Florida State, 7 PM CT on ESPN.

    Monday, September 3rd
    #20 Virginia Tech at #19 Florida State7:00 pmESPN

    The dean of college football, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, won his 144th
    game for the Hawkeyes, as first year player and now special teams coach
    LeVar Woods celebrate, at the end of the Iowa-Northern Illinois game on
    Saturday, at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes turn their focus to in-state rival,
    Iowa State, as the Cy-Hawk game kicks off on Saturday in Iowa City.
    1. Alabama (1-0) (2) - we push the Crimson Tide back into the #1 slot, after a 51-14 win over Louisville (0-1) by the defending national champions in Orlando. Week 2 - vs. Arkansas State (1-0) Red Wolves, who won over SE Missouri in the season opener.
    2. Clemson (1-0) (1) - the Tigers fall back, after a 48-7 win over Furman (0-1) to kick off the 2018 season. Week 2 - @ Texas A&M (1-0), as the Aggies opened with a 59-7 win over Northwestern State in College Station. 
    3. Georgia (1-0) (3) - the Bulldogs opened 2018 with a 45-0 win over Austin Peay (0-1) on Saturday. Week 2 - @ #28 South Carolina (1-0), where Bulldogs take a three game win streak in this series into the 2018 game
    4. Oklahoma (1-0) (4) - the Sooners rolled then #25 FAU (0-1) 63-14 to kickoff 2018. Week 2 - vs. UCLA (0-1), as the Chip Kelly era opened at home to a 26-17 loss to Cincinnati (0-1).
    5. Auburn (1-0) (6) - the Tigers took down then #5 Washington (0-1) 21-16 in Atlanta on Saturday. Week 2 - vs. Alabama State (1-0), as this is the first meeting between FBS and FCS schools from the same state.
    6. Ohio State (1-0) (7) - the Buckeyes won 77-31 over Oregon State (0-1) in Columbus on Saturday, as interim coach Ryan Day lead the squad. Week 2 - vs. Rutgers (1-0), as the Big Ten opener squares off against the Scarlet Knights, who won their opener 35-7 over Texas State (0-1). Ohio State took down Rutgers 56-0 last year, so Week 2 may not be much different than Week 1.
    7. Wisconsin (1-0) (8) - the Badgers won 34-3 against Western Kentucky (0-1) on Friday night. Week 2 - vs. New Mexico (1-0), in the first meeting, as the Badgers have won 40 straight home non-conference games by an average of over 27 points per game. 
    8. Washington (0-1) (5) - the Huskies drop opener 21-16 to then #6 Auburn (1-0) in Atlanta, so the margin of error for the College Football Playoff gets slim for the favorite in the Pac 12. Week 2 - vs. North Dakota (1-0), in the first meeting between these schools. The Huskies are 27-5 in home openers.
    9. Stanford (1-0) (12) - the Cardinal beat then #45 San Diego State (0-1) by the score of 31-10 to avenge last year's 20-17 loss to the Aztecs. Week 2 - vs. #14 USC (1-0), another payback game for the Cardinal ... last year's 42-24 loss on road against the Trojans!
    10. Notre Dame (1-0) (13) - the Fighting Irish defeated Michigan 24-17 in South Bend to open 2018 on Saturday night. Week 2 - vs. Ball State (1-0), first meeting ever between the two schools located in Indiana.
    11. Michigan State (1-0) (9) - the Spartans were tested in the season opener on Friday night, but pulled out a 38-31 win over Utah State (0-1). Week 2 - @ Arizona State (1-0), as the Sun Devils opened up the Herm Edwards era, with a 49-7 win over UTSA (0-1). A battle in the desert that typically has favored the local Pac 12 school ....
    12. Penn State (1-0) (10) - the Nittany Lions had to scramble back and force OT, as PSU beat Appalachian State 45-37 in Happy Valley on Saturday. Week 2 - @ Pittsburgh (1-0), a game that went to the Panthers 42-39 two years ago. 
    13. LSU (1-0) (17) - the Tigers took out then #11 Miami-FL (0-1) 33-17 in Arlington on Saturday to win in Week 1. Week 2 - vs. Southeast Louisiana (0-1), as the Lions lost 34-31 @ Louisiana Monroe (0-1).
    14. USC (1-0) (15) - the Trojans beat UNLV (0-1) 43-21 on Saturday. Week 2 - @ #9 Stanford (1-0), as the series opens in Week 2 again this season.
    15. UCF (1-0, 1-0 AAC) (23) - the Knights won @ UConn (0-1) 56-17 on Thursday night and we will bump the undefeated 2017 program, since they did finished 13-0 last year and new coach Josh Heupel has the offense rolling already. Week 2 - vs. South Carolina State (0-1), as UCF won in the 2016 season opener 38-0 over the Bulldogs.
    16. TCU (1-0) (16) - the Horned Frogs pounded Southern (0-1) 55-7 in the season opener on Saturday. Week 2 - @ SMU (0-1), as the former SWC schools square off for their annual showdown on Friday night. The Mustangs lost 46-23 @ North Texas (1-0) in the AAC vs. C-USA showdown.
    17. Northwestern (1-0) (35) - the Wildcats opened Thursday night in the Big Ten @ then #36 Purdue, pulling off a 31-27 win for last year's #17 team. Boost them back up. Week 2 - vs. Duke (1-0), who beat the Wildcats 41-17 in Durham, as this year's game returns to Evanston, where Northwestern won 24-13 in 2016.
    18. Mississippi State (1-0) (18) - the Bulldogs won 66-3 over Stephen F Austin (0-1) to kickoff 2018. Week 2 - @ Kansas State (1-0), who struggled in the season opener against South Dakota (0-1) 27-24, as Coyotes miss a tying FG late.
    19. Florida State (0-0) (19) - the Seminoles host #20 Virginia Tech to close out Week 1. Week 2 - vs. Samford (1-0), as the Seminoles have hosted at least one FCS program the past ten seasons.
    20. Virginia Tech (0-0) (20) - the Hokies travel to Tallahassee to open 2018 @ #19 Florida State tonight. Week 2 - vs. William & Mary (1-0), as the Hokies square off in the 64th meeting in this series.
    21. Boise State (1-0) (21) - the Broncos opened 2018 with a win @ then #40 Troy (0-1) 56-20. Week 2 - vs. UConn (0-1), as the Broncos return home, before a Week 3 road trip to P5 Okie State. 
    22. Oklahoma State (1-0) (22) - the Cowboys won 58-17 over Missouri State (0-1) to kickoff 2018. Week 2 - vs. South Alabama (0-1), who lost home opener against LA Tech (1-0) 30-26, as they fall in back to back years against the Bulldogs.
    23. West Virginia (1-0) (27) - the Mountaineers beat Tennessee (0-1) in Charlotte 40-14 on Saturday to kickoff 2018. Week 2 - vs. Youngstown State (0-1), as WVU looks to win their 15th straight home opener and eighth under coach Dana Holgorsen.
    24. Iowa (1-0) (24) - the Hawkeyes opened 2018 with the 144th win under Kirk Ferentz, as he opened his 20th season, as head coach and past Hayden Fry in all-time win in a 33-7 win over Northern Illinois (0-1). Week 2 - vs. #31 Iowa State (0-0), as the Cyclones come to Kinnick Stadium for the annual Cy-Hawk trophy game. The Hawkeyes pulled out a 44-41 OT win last year in Ames. Twenty years ago, the Cyclones ended a 15 game losing streak to end the 20 year reign of Fry in the State of Iowa, back in 1998.
    25. Miami-FL (0-1) (11) - the Hurricane lost 33-17 to then #17 LSU (1-0) in Arlington on Sunday. Mark Richt has struggled in big games, dating back to his 15 seasons at UGA. Week 2 - vs. Savannah State (0-1), as Tigers were pounded 52-0 by UAB (1-0).
    26. Michigan (0-1) (14) - the Wolverines debuted new QB Shea Patterson, but they fell short chasing then #13 Notre Dame, in a 24-17 loss in South Bend on Saturday night. Week 2 - vs. Western Michigan (0-1), as the Wolverines have won 25 of last 28 home openers.
    27. Oregon (1-0) (29) - the Ducks opened the 2018 season with a 58-24 win over Bowling Green (0-1) Week 2 - vs. Portland State (0-1), as the Ducks continue a non-P5 non conference slate, ahead of hosting #9 Stanford in the Pac 12 opener in Week 4.
    28. South Carolina (1-0) (28) - the Gamecocks win opener 49-15 over Coastal Carolina (0-1) in the season opener. Week 2 - vs. #3 Georgia (1-0), as the Bulldogs seek to win their first SEC home opener, since 2013 over Vanderbilt.
    29. Texas A&M (1-0) (NR) - the Aggies won 59-7 over Northwestern State, after being left off inadvertently from our preseason ratings. Week 2 - vs. #2 Clemson (1-0), as new HC Jimbo Fisher wins his debut, just in time for the first showdown. He is 4-4 vs. Clemson, while he was at Florida State
    30. North Carolina State (1-0) (30) - the Wolfpack won 24-13 over James Madison (0-1) to kickoff 2018. Week 2 - vs. Georgia State (0-1), who were ruffed up by then #8 Wisconsin (1-0) in the road opener.
    31. Iowa State (0-0) (31) - the Cyclones, like the Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0), both witnessed each season openers get called for thunderstorms on Saturday night in the Heartland. Week 2 - @ #24 Iowa (1-0), while the Cornhuskers host Colorado (1-0) in Lincoln. Can a Dec 1st twelve game be arranged between these former Big 8/12 opponents to make up the season opening cancellation?  
    32. Boston College (1-0) (32) - the Eagles beat UMass (1-1) 55-21 to kickoff 2018 with a victory. Week 2 - vs. Holy Cross (0-1), as Eagles enjoy back to back home games, before a Week 3 Thursday night ACC road opener @ Wake Forest (1-0).
    33. Utah (1-0) (33) - the Utes beat Weber State (0-1) 41-10 to kickoff 2018. Week 2 - @ Northern Illinois (0-1), who are looking to rebound after a disappointing 33-7 loss @ #24 Iowa.
    34. Washington State (1-0) - the Cougars opened 2018 with a road win @ Wyoming (1-1) 41-19. Week 2 - vs. San Jose State (0-1), first meeting, since 1996. Cougars have dropped three of last four home openers under Mike Leach.
    35. Ole Miss (1-0) (NR) - the Rebels opened the 2018 season with a 47-27 win over Texas Tech (0-1) in Houston on Saturday. Week 2 - vs. Southern Illinois (1-0), in their third meeting, ahead of the SEC home opener in Week 3 against the defending national champions.
    36. Kansas State (1-0) (34) - The Wildcats pulled out a narrow win over North Dakota (0-1) 27-24 to open 2018. Week 2 - vs. #18 Mississippi State (1-0), as the Wildcats host a Top 25 SEC team for the first time in Manhattan, since the 2014 Week 3 game against Auburn, which they lost 20-14 in route to a 9-4 season under Bill Snyder.
    37. BYU (1-0) (NR) - the Cougars won 2018 opener @ then #37 Arizona (0-1) 28-23 on Saturday. The Cougars opened 2016 with a 18-16 win over the Wildcats on the way to a 9-4 season, back in HC Kalani Sitake's first season at the helm in Provo. Week 2 - vs. California (1-0), as the Golden Bears are coming off a 24-17 home season opener against North Carolina (0-1).
    38. Houston (1-0) (38) - the Cougars won 2018 season opener @ Rice (1-1) 45-27. Week 2 - vs. Arizona (0-1), as the Wildcats fell short in new HC Kevin Sumlin's debut 28-23 against BYU (1-0).
    39. Memphis (1-0) (39) - the Tigers beat Mercer (0-1) 66-14 to open the 2018 season. Week 2 - @ Navy (0-1), as the Midshipmen fall 59-41 in the season opener @ Hawaii (2-0).
    40. Kentucky (1-0) (42) - the Wildcats won the 2018 opener 35-20 over Central Michigan (0-1). Week 2 - @ #41 Florida (1-0), who opened the Dan Mullen era, with a 53-6 win over Charleston Southern (0-1). The Wildcats pulled off the home win 28-27 last season over the Gators.

    Game watch in Week 2 outside the Top 40

    • Georgia Tech (1-0) @ USF (1-0) - winner is good candidate for Top 40 ... USF ended 2017 at #21 in both major polls.
    • Colorado (1-0) @ Nebraska (0-0) - in many ways it is fitting the Scott Frost debut will now come against former conference mate, the Buffaloes, as the two teams kickoff at 2:30 pm CT in Lincoln on Saturday. Both programs were sub-.500 in 2017.
    Nebraska head coach Scott Frost saw his team rained out on Saturday. His first
    official debut will now come Saturday in Lincoln against Colorado (1-0).

    Sunday, September 2, 2018

    Week 1: Iowa 33, Northern Illinois 7, as Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz wins 144th game

    Kirk Ferentz wins 144th game at Iowa on Saturday, in a 33-7 win over NIU.
    Iowa City, IA --- Kirk Ferentz went into the University of Iowa record books on Saturday, as the winning-est head coach in football, passing Hayden Fry, as KF notched his 144th win, in a 33-7 victory for Iowa (1-0) over Northern Illinois (0-1) at Kinnick Stadium.

    The North End-zone project at Iowa made its debut in the season
    opener. Construction will not be complete next summer, but the
    new look appears to make Kinnick Stadium a better place for
    football and fans.
    Kirk Ferentz's first win at Iowa in 1999, and his 144th win to open the 2018 College Football season were both against Northern Illinois Huskies. 

    Kirk Ferentz heading into Kinnick Stadium
    ahead of Saturday's game against NIU.
    Like the 2017 season, the University of Iowa enjoyed the second season of the "Iowa wave" which takes place between the first and second quarter of each game. The Hawkeyes, Huskies, game officials and fans all took time to wave to the patients at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

    Like the first win, Iowa took a 3-0 lead into halftime. At one point, the score stood at 24-0, just like the final score in his first victory at Iowa. But, on Saturday, his defense rose up to force a safety, to move the score to 26-0. The final score for Iowa came from the second unit, as QB redshirt freshman Payton Mansell made his first debut in relief for junior QB Nate Stanley. NIU closed on the game, avoiding a shutout, with a touchdown against the Iowa second team defense.

    Iowa was without four players, two starting offensive tackles and two defensive tackles, due to suspensions. NIU was without players of their own, due to a suspension and a couple of injuries. It showed at times for both teams.

    It was a competitive game much of the first half. But, Iowa came out in the second half and established the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, in the third quarter.
    Iowa went on to outscore NIU 30-7 in the second half, fueled by a solid ground attack that went for over 200 yards on the day for the Hawkeyes.

    The Iowa defense stepped up with five sacks on the afternoon.  The Hawkeyes replaced their top four linebackers from last season. The defense also got into the scoring, after the offense put up the first 24 points on the afternoon.

    The Hawkeyes showed a lot of enthusiasm through early mistakes on Saturday. Clearly, the players appeared happy to be back on the gridiron. The Hawkeyes will be back in Kinnick Stadium this Saturday, as the Iowa State Cyclones (0-0) will come to Iowa City for the annual Cy-Hawk Trophy game. The Cyclones, along with the Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0), had their opening game canceled due to thunderstorms on Saturday night. Iowa gets both programs at Kinnick this season.

    The Hawkeyes are back, as a young Iowa team, with on thirteen seniors made
    their way back into Kinnick Stadium for the 2018 season opener against NIU.
    One of the seniors who emerged on Saturday was senior MLB Jack Hockaday, who entered the game in relief of junior starting MLB Amani Jones, who struggled in his first start. Hockaday went on to record five tackles on the afternoon.

    Jack Hockaday, Nick Niemann
    Senior MLB 48 Jack Hockaday and sophomore OLB 49 Nick
    Niemann both emerged with strong performances in the new LB
    unit, that was replacing their Top 4 performers from a year ago.

    "Game action is always different than practice," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. "When you have so many young players playing and guys in first-time situations, you learn more about the guys on the game field.
    "Jack stepped in and did a really nice job; that was great to see."

    The Hawkeyes face a challenging 12 game schedule in 2018. One down, eleven to go, with two in-state opponents ahead, before the Big Ten season kicks off against the defending West division champion, Wisconsin Badgers (1-0).

    Image result for Iowa football schedule
    The first of seven home games are in the books for the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2018.
    Hawkeye fans have been excited about the September slate of games for the Hawks, and the Big Ten season opener to finish out the month of the September is the biggest of them all.
    Over the past 20 seasons in Iowa City. Not everyone has been equal in their joy of the accomplishments under Kirk Ferentz. In 2012, Iowa finished the season 4-8. In the opening game of the 2013 season, the Hawkeyes lost 30-27 to Northern Illinois, as head coach Rod Carey notched his first win, as a head coach. It wasn't the case on Saturday. Ferentz got the W to kick off the new season.