Now presenting the Mountain West Conference 2.0…

Tuesday, 14 December 2010, 17:15 | Category : College, Football
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Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way. I am a BYU fan and I look forward to the uncharted territory of independence for this team. However, I have mostly enjoyed our stay in the Mountain West Conference; it has provided stiff competition in football and basketball and in all other sports. I am glad to be rid of the Mountain Channel, to the portion of my energy and enthusiasm that was invested in supporting BYU football the Mountain Channel was the bane of my existence. But let’s exam what the Mountain West will look like in the coming years with all these change-ups.
This summer the Big 10 invited Nebraska to its conference, which started a series of conference mix ups that inflated the Pac 10 with schools struggling in football. It bolstered the Big 10, shrank the Big 12, and nearly decimated the WAC. Interesting enough though, the conference paradoxically the most impacted is possibly the least affected, that being the Mountain West Conference.
As a quick recap, the MWC invited Boise State, who enthusiastically joined, but then lost Utah to the Pac-10, who hoped to clean the Big XII’s clock, but instead inherited an absolutely pathetic Colorado team, and a subpar Utah. BYU lost its incentive to remain in the MWC and truly wanted a reasonable TV contract, so they toyed with independence. However, the MWC tried to undercut their attempts by inviting Nevada and Fresno State to the MWC, who were more than ready to accept, presumably giving BYU no place to go in other sports. BYU went independent anyways. We took a brief break from mixing things up, namely the college football season. At the end of it TCU accepted their invitation to the Big East, and Hawaii pulled it together well enough during the season to receive their invitation to the MWC. And here we are.
Who knows if this will be it or if there will be more changes, but the bottom line is that the MWC conference actually looks about as good as it did before. Consider this- Boise State, unjustly ranked 10, all the other one-loss teams lost to an inferior opponent than Nevada (except Stanford), replaces TCU. They both have had very comparable seasons and judging from the past two year’s bowl games they are evenly matched. Nevada at fifteen replaces Utah at 18. Hawaii at 24 replaces BYU, and Fresno State simply adds some competition. Those are the exterior changes that keep the MWC competitive. Within the conference Colorado State, New Mexico, and UNLV still struggle. The verdict isn’t out yet about Wyoming. They had a setback this year, but next year when their out of conference games include Texas State, Utah State, Bowling Green, and Weber State instead of Boise State, and Texas I think they’ll look better with their third season coach. San Diego State has made leaps and bounds this season. They lost to Missouri and BYU by a field goal, TCU by five (the closest any team got this season), and to Utah by two. I think they will remain competitive for a while with their new coach. Air Force will always be a tough team to play.
Which brings us to the question; what will happen to the MWC’s chance at an AQ bid? Even with TCU headed to the Big East, that conference still risks losing its AQ status. They are sending an unranked team to a BCS bowl game. TCU will give them a top-five team, West Virginia at 22, and then nobody even in the running. The MWC on the other hand, will have two teams in the top 15, another in the top 25, and three, Air Force, SDSU, and Fresno State, in the running for being ranked. That’s even better than the ACC. They only have Virginia Tech a two loss team (one of those losses being to Boise State) at 13 and Florida State, a four loss team, at 24. Does the BCS really think they can keep the MWC out? Seriously? There might be some new teams in the conference, but in the end the Mountain Conference is still here, and they are still knocking on the door of the BCS.


Friday, 17 September 2010, 17:00 | Category : College, Football
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Ark (12) @ Georgia  11 am

Both very competitive teams, I would generally give the advantage to Arkansas. I do think the Bulldogs have something to prove after last week’s offense failed to deliver, but I still think Arkansas will come out on top by less than two touchdowns

Florida (10) @ Tennessee 2:30 pm

Florida did better against South Florida than against Miami (OH). I think they are working out major kinks, but I think the Volunteers are reeling from last week’s lost and with that well directed energy, they will beat the Gators.

Nebraska (8) @ Washington 2:30 pm

The Cornhusker’s offense is too explosive for the Huskies. Jake Locker will keep the game worth watching, but in the end Nebraska’s rushing game will leave it a pretty decisive victory for Nebraska.

Air Force @ Oklahoma (7) 2:30 pm

Oklahoma looked much better against the Seminoles than they did against the Utah State Aggies, but then again the Falcon’s triple option destroyed BYU. If their offense is half as affective against the Schooners that it was against the Cougars, this game will be fun to watch until the end, but I still give Oklahoma the advantage.

BYU @ Florida State 2:30 pm

As a BYU student I want to give the Cougars a chance, but judging by last year’s game in Provo against the Seminoles, BYU has the odds stacked against it. Both teams are coming off a major loss. I think the winner will be the team that optimizes learning from last week’s lessons. I have to favor Florida State, but if I’m wrong I will be celebrating.

Clemson @ Auburn (16) 6 pm

For sure the Tigers will win. Clemson has started strong in the season, but neither of the teams they have played are relevant. Auburn did well against Ark State, but struggled with Mississippi State. Both teams will do well, but Auburn’s home-field advantage will secure the win by two touchdowns or more.

Texas (6) @ Texas Tech 7 pm

Both teams started the season with two wins, and their statistics look similar, but Texas Tech has a grudge. Texas has dominated the Big XII, and this time the Red Raiders get home-field advantage, where their throwing game is most potent. This will be a high scoring gaming, but in the end Texas Tech will win.

Notre Dame @ Michigan State 7 pm

This is the Spartan’s first real game of the season, and the Fighting Irish’s third. Notre Dame is struggling to regain some of the national fame it has lost in the last several years. Due to last week’s last second loss to Michigan, and two weeks of real playing time to their advantage, Notre Dame will beat Michigan State.

Iowa (9) @ Arizona (24) 9:30 pm

Possibly the most exciting match up of the weekend. Both teams have had easy season opening wins, but both teams boast premier defenses, and their offenses look pretty good too. This game will be exciting to watch, and the score will stay pretty low and close the whole time, but in the end the Iowa will take it by a field goal.

Wake Forest @ Stanford (19) 10:15 pm

The Demon Deacon’s numbers look impressive, so do the Cardinals. Stanford not only has the home-field advantage, they also have a brick wall for a defense. Wake Forest’s offense appears intense, but the Cardinal’s defense will evaluate its true worth. Cardinals will win easily.

Matchup                                        Karl (60%)  Spencer(80%)Jimmy(70%)Trevor(80%)

Georgia v. Arkansas                     Ark                 Ark                     UGA                Ark

Tennessee v. Florida                   UF                   Tenn                   UF                  Tenn

Washington v. Nebraska          Neb                  Neb                     Neb                Neb

Oklahoma v. Air Force              Okl                   Okl                       Okl                 Okl

Florida St. v. BYU                       FSU                 FSU                      FSU                BYU

Auburn v. Clemson                     Aub               Aub                      Aub                Clem

Texas Tech v. Texas                    Texas           Tech                     Texas             Tech

Michigan St. v. Notre Dame    Mich St.        N.D.                     N.D.               N. D.

Arizona v. Iowa                            Iowa             Iowa                      Iowa             Iowa

Stanford v. Wake Forest            Stan              Stan                       Stan               Stan

Unofficial Predicitons: College Football Week 1

Thursday, 2 September 2010, 20:15 | Category : College, Football
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Week 1 major match-ups (we aren’t wasting time predicting top 25 games with “marshmallow” opponents, just BCS a top non-AQ matchups) :

  • 15 Pitt at Utah: Everyone has jumped on Pitt’s bandwagon this season, and the Panthers are the favorites to win this game.  However, the Ute’s QB, Wynn, now has a year of experience under his belt and home field advantage.  Pitt will probably get the better of Utah, but don’t count the Utes out just yet.
  • Purdue at Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish are turning a new leaf.  Coach Kelly will get them a “W” in his debut.
  • Connecticut at Michigan: UConn is supposed to have a promising season, but I think Coach Rodriguez needs this win too much to lose.  I need this win too much.
  • UCLA at Kansas State: The Bruins have been a let down the last several seasons, but K-State isn’t exactly a threat.  This game will most likely go the same as last year.
  • Washington State at Oklahoma State: The Cougars are probably going to replace their in-state rivals at the bottom of the Pac-10.  The Cowboys should round this one up at home easily enough.
  • Washington at BYU: This is an intriguing matchup, with Steve Sarkisan making his return to Provo.  The Cougars have struggled with QB’s like Locker in the past, and this is supposed to be his breakout year.  Not to mention, the Huskies are very happy with the way their last meeting went down.  On top of it being a rebuilding year, BYU is implementing a two QB system which should take some getting used to.  I would never go against BYU, but let’s be honest…
  • 24 Oregon State at 6 TCU: After last year’s Fiesta Bowl, TCU is playing with a chip on its shoulder.  Bringing back so many starters should allow them to pick up where they left off.  TCU wins this one.
  • 21 LSU at 18 UNC: UNC has some distractions off the field and may not even field all of its best players.  The Tigers still have a heck of a task ahead of them getting by a tough defense bringing back most of its starters.  It’ll be close, but UNC will have enough to prove that they can pull out a close win.
  • Cincinnati at Fresno State: The Bulldogs have an impressive offense, but no defense.  This game could go either way, but we’re giving the edge to Cincy.
  • Navy at Maryland: We really have no idea. Last season the Midshipmen finally beat their long-standing rival, Notre Dame, and may be able to ride that momentum.  The edge goes to the Navy on Memorial Day.
  • 3 Boise State vs 10 Virginia Tech: Even though Tech has a virtual home-field advantage, the Broncos should burst out of the stables ready to stampede any opponent.  This experienced crew has shown that it can handle top notch defense (TCU) and play some D of their own.  If BSU runs the tables with a challenging game opener like this, don’t they make the case they should play for the championship? (Don’t forget to check out the new Nike Pro Combat unis.)
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