Daily Blog • Wednesday, December 9th

Every week this season I posted my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game.

The Regular season finished up with the Top 25 Forecasts going 212-62 77.4% picking the winners of each game.That record may sound great, but do keep in mind most games have involved teams that were big favorites so the majority of people will have a solid record on these games as well. I also listed some Upset Specials, which pulled the upset 17 out of 36 times this season. Combined the regular season record is 229- 81 73.9%!!

This week there are no games involving Top 25 teams so  similar to the last two weeks, I will include my forecasts for the FCS/Division IAA Playoffs as well as the Army/Navy game.


ARMY 171

Philadelphia. The 110th meeting between these rivals. Navy leads the series 53-49-7 and have won a series record 7 straight by a combined 274-71. Navy looks to win the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy for a record 7th straight time as they have won a record 14 straight service academy games. Those number include a 16-13 OT win over an Air Force team which beat Army 35-7 this year. While Navy already has their bid to the Texas Bowl on Dec 31st, Army is playing for their first bowl bid since 1996 and with a win here will play in the EagleBank Bowl on Dec 29th. Navy has the offensive (#91-119) and defensive (#70-85) edges but is allowing 4.2 yards per carry rushing while Army is allowing 3.9. Navy had a bye week after a long trip to Hawaii against another team that needed to win to keep their bowl hopes alive. Navy was outgained 428-336 and was tied 17-17 at the half but they allowed Hawaii a 3rd quarter TD, which was the only 2nd half scoring. Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs, who is playing with a knee injury that will require surgery after the season, is averaging 76.4 yards per game (52.4%) with a 4-2 ratio and leads Navy with 924 yards (3.7 ypc) rushing and an NCAA QB record tying 23 rush TD. Fullback Vince Murray is the #2 rusher with 884 yards (5.6 ypc) and slot back Marcus Curry is #3 with 442 yards (6.9 ypc). The Hawaii game was the first time since the SMU game on Oct 17th that all 3 of Navy's top rushers all played. Army has had 3 weeks to prepare for Navy after their come-from-behind win over North Texas scoring a TD with 1:43 left to win 17-13, despite being outgained 447-287. Army's true freshman quarterback Trent Steelman is averaging 50.9 yards per game (52.2%) with a 3-1 ratio and leads with 690 rush yards (3.6 ypc). The #2 rusher is slot back Patrick Mealy with 625 yards (6.4 ypc) and the #3 is fullback Kingsley Ehie with 445 yards (4.2 ypc). Army's 7 game drought was under 4 different head coaches and head coach Rich Ellerson will try to avoid becoming the 5th.





FCS/Div IAA Football Championship – Semifinals


These teams have met just once, in the 2000 semifinals, when Montana won 19-16 at home. Appalachian St’s reward for beating #4 seed and reigning Champ Richmond is a 2250+ mile trip to Montana. Appalachian St had a 444-347 yard edge but trailed 24-14 in the 4th quarter. ASU scored 2 unanswered TD's for a 28-24 lead and forced a Richmond punt, but ASU's punt returner had the ball literally taken out of his hands and returned for a TD with 3:26 left to put Richmond back into the lead 31-28. Then senior quarterback Armanti Edwards did what he has done for 4 years, drive 70 yards for the game-winning TD with :10 left. Montana, after an amazing 1st round win over South Dakota St in which they came back from 27 points down with 41 unanswered had an easy 51-0 win over Stephen F. Austin. They had 22-12 first down and 474-280 yard edges but the main reason for the blowout was a 10-1 turnover edge including one as Stephen F. Austin’s wide receiver fumbled at the Montana 2 yard line when he was about to score. Montana is trying to make their 2nd straight championship game and 7th overall. While Appalachian St is trying make their 4th overall, all in the last 5 years. ASU's win at Richmond was their 1st road playoff win since 2000 but Montana has won 16 straight at home. However, their last loss here was in the 2007 playoffs to Wofford. Look for Edwards to pull it out one more time.




William & Mary leads the series 14-12-1 but has lost the last 5 including a 28-17 loss this year despite 27-15 first down and 472-283 yard edges (1 TD in 5 redzone trips).  William & Mary is trying to become the 3rd straight team that finished #3 in the CAA South to make the championship game. If they do it will be because of a defense that has allowed just 3 points in their 2 playoff games. William & Mary gave head coachJimmye Laycock his 200th win in its 1st playoff road win ever, handing #3 seed Southern Illinois their only FCS loss this year.  William & Mary was outgained 102-2 in the 1st quarter and trailed 3-0 but scored 24 unanswered and ended with 22-11 first down & 373-187 yard edges. They held Southern Illinois’s  running back  Karim, who came in averaging 139 yards per game rushing to just 27 yards. Villanova repaid New Hampshire for an earlier loss this year with a 46-7 win in the snow. They got a fumble return TD on New Hampshire’s 1st play from scrimmage and never looked back as they had a 387-84 yard edge including 343-(-66) rush edge. They say defense wins championships and I will call for William & Mary to be the 2nd CAA team to repay an earlier loss.



Week 14 Fantasy Results

The regular season is now over and I hope you have enjoyed reading some of my surprise picks this year as they have been very successful going 83-29-7 (74%) the last 11 weeks. Last week was particularly successful as my picks went 10-4 and here are the results from week 14.


Tim Tebow, Florida-Tebow hit 20 of 35 (57.1%) for 247 yards with 1 TD and 1 int in the 32-13 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship. Tebow also led the Gators with 63 yards rushing (6.3). The Gators offense had limited opportunities as Bama controlled the time of possession 39:37-20:23. Tebow’s passing yards were actually his 2nd highest of the season. WIN

Colt McCoy, Texas-McCoy hit 20 of 36 (55.6%) for 184 yards with 0 TD’s and 3 int’s in the 13-12 win over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship. McCoy was also had –20 yards rushing as he was sacked eight times. McCoy’s 3 int’s were a season high as he probably lost his chance at the Heisman. Loss

BJ Daniels, USF-Daniels hit 11 of 16 (68.8%) for 160 yards with 0 TD’s and 0 int in the 29-27 tough loss to Connecticut. Daniels added 88 yards (5.2) on the ground with a season-high 3 TD’s and scored a go-ahead 8 yd TD with just :40 left for the 27-26 lead. It should be noted that the conditions were not ideal for Daniels and the Bulls with the cold and snow. WIN

Top Honorable Mentions:

Case Keenum, Houston-Keenum hit 56 of 75 (74.7%) for 527 yards with 5 TD’s and 3 int’s in the 38-32 loss to East Carolina in the CUSA Championship. Keenum’s completions, attempts and interceptions were season highs. The five TD’s also tied a season-high. Keenum’s 5,449 yards passing this season is the fourth most in a season in FBS history.

Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon-Masoli hit 14 of 21 (66.7%) for 201 yards with 1 TD and 0 int in the 37-33 win over rival Oregon St that clinched a Rose Bowl bid for the Ducks. Masoli added 40 yards rushing (4.0) as he brought the Ducks back from a 9 point 2nd half deficit.

Sean Canfield, Oregon St-Canfield hit 24 of 36 (66.7%) for 306 yards with 2 TD’s and 0 int in the 37-33 loss to Oregon. The 306 yards passing were the 2nd highest total given up by the Ducks this year as Canfield topped the 300 yd mark for the fifth time this season.

Kellen Moore, Boise St-Moore hit 19 of 30 (63.3%) for 272 yards with 1 TD and 0 int in the 42-7 win over New Mexico St. Moore led the Broncos to 544 yards, the 2nd most this season as Boise was balanced with 256 yards rushing as well.

Running Backs:

John Clay, Wisconsin-Clay ran for 172 yards (7.2) with 3 TD’s in the dominating 51-10 win over Hawaii.  The 172 yards were the second-best this season and the 3 TD’s tied a season-high. Clay finished the year with 1,396 yards (5.6) and 16 TD’s. BIG WIN

CJ Spiller, Clemson-Spiller saved his best rushing performance for last with a season high 233 yards (11.7) and a season high 4 TD’s in the 39-34 loss to Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship game. Spiller finished the regular season #4 in the NCAA avg 192.92 all-purpose ypg. BIG WIN

Dion Lewis, Pitt-Lewis ran for 194 yards (4.1) with 3 TD’s in the tough 45-44 loss to Cincinnati. Lewis’ 47 carries were easily a season high as well as the yards and the TD’s. He finished the regular season with 1,640 yards (5.5) with 16 TD’s.  Not bad for a True Frosh. BIG WIN

Daniel Porter, Louisiana Tech-Porter had his best game of the season as he ran for a season high 199 yards (7.1) with 3 TD’s in the 55-20 win over San Jose St. The 7.1 ypc and 3 TD’s were also season-highs for Porter. BIG WIN

Shane Vereen, Cal-Vereen ran for 92 yards (5.8) and 0 TD’s in the disappointing 42-10 loss to Washington. Vereen did finish the season with 830 yards (5.1) with 10 TD’s as he took over the starting role in the final 3 games for the injured Jahvid Best. Loss

Top Honorable Mentions:

LaMichael James, Oregon-James ran for 166 yards (6.6) with 3 TD’s in the 37-33 win over archrival Oregon St that lifted the Ducks to their first Rose Bowl since the 1994 season.  The 3 TD’s tied a season-high as James finished the regular season with 7 straight 100+ yard games.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon St-Rodgers ran for 64 yards (4.0) with 1 TD in the 37-33 loss to Oregon. Rodgers also added 7 receptions for 73 yards. Rodgers amazingly finished the year with 74 receptions (6.9) to go along with his 1,377 yards rushing (5.4) with 20 TD’s.

Wide Receivers:

Tim Brown/Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers-This duo combined for 153 yards (17.0) in the 24-21 loss to West Virginia. Brown/Sanu had all of Rutgers receptions and receiving yards and Sanu added 47 yards on the ground (3.6).  All together the duo had 202 of Rutgers 218 total yards. WIN

Jonathan Baldwin/TE Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh-Baldwin had 6 receptions for 113 yards (18.8) with 2 TD’s. The 2 TD’s were a season-high as he finished the regular season with 3 straight 100+ yd games (7 total) . Meanwhile Dickerson had no receptions, for the first time this season as RB Lewis’ season-high 47 carries limited opportunities in the passing game. WIN

Carlton Mitchell, USF-Mitchell had just 4 receptions for 49 yards (12.3) in the 29-27 loss to Connecticut. The field conditions with the wind and snow were not ideal for the Bulls’ passing game as they attempted just 19 passes. Loss

Top Honorable Mentions:

James Rodgers, Oregon St-Rodgers had 10 receptions for a season high 139 yards (13.9) and a TD in the 37-33 loss to Oregon. With the 139 yards, Rodgers passed the 1,000 yd mark on the season.

Jermaine Kearse, Washington-Kearse had 7 receptions for a season high 147 yards (21.0) in the Huskies 42-10 win over California. Kearse was just one of many bright spots for the Huskies as they saved their best performance of the season for last.

Jordan Shipley, Texas-Shipley had 7 receptions for 71 yards (10.1) with 0 TD’s in the 13-12 win over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship.  Nebraska’s relentless pass rush harassed the Horns all game long as McCoy threw 3 interceptions and the passing game struggled. Shipley still is one of the favorites to win the Biletnikoff as he finished the season with 106 receptions for 1,363 yards (12.9) and 11 TD’s.


Texas vs Nebraska-While after the game, there was a lot of deserved talk about the play of the Nebraska defense, the Longhorn defense should not be overlooked as they held the Cornhuskers just 106 yards of total offense in the 13-12 win. The Longhorns also made several key stops early in the game holding the Cornhuskers to FG’s after Colt McCoy interceptions set Nebraska up with good field position. The 39 yards passing allowed was a season-best for Texas. BIG WIN

Louisiana Tech vs San Jose St-The Bulldogs gave up 327 yards in their 55-20 win over the Spartans including just 27 yards rushing. My computer predicted that La Tech would hold the Spartans to just 7 points and 210 total yards.  The Bulldogs did force four San Jose St turnovers and returned 2 of them for scores including a 96 yd interception return by Tarence Calais.  With the defense almost outscoring the offense I will count this as a WIN.

Florida vs Alabama-The Gator defense was missing one of their best players in Carlos Dunlap but nonetheless was dominated in the 32-13 loss. Alabama rolled up 490 yards including 251 yards rushing as the Tide had nearly a 2 to 1 advantage in TOP. The yards allowed by the Gators were easily a season-worst. Big Loss

No Brainer:

Boise St vs New Mexico St-The Broncos dominated as expected allowing just 191 yards in their 42-7 win including just 49 yards passing, which was a season-best for the Bronco defense.

Upset of the Week: Pitt over Cincinnati

This was a tough loss for Pittsburgh.  It was tied 7-7 early and it was 14-10 Cincinnati with 11:12 left 2nd quarter, but Pitt got a flea-flicker, 40 yard TD pass and after an interception drove for a 33 yard FG. Then they blocked a punt and recovered it at the Cincinnati 5 and got a TD and with just 1:26 left in the 1st half and led 31-10. Cincy WR Mardy Gilyard got a 99 yd kickoff return TD, 31-17 at the half with Pitt having a 232-147 yard edge. Pitt led 38-24 after a TD with 12:24 left but Cincy, after another Gilyard kickoff return, had to drive just 23 yds for a TD which made it 38-30. After a Pitt punt Cincy went scored a TD to tie it, 38-38 (5:46). Pitt went 67 yds /9plays for a TD with 1:36 left but fumbled the snap on the extra point. The Bearcats then got a 30-yard TD pass with :33 left and the extra point gave them the win.