Daily Blog •August 30, 2012
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30TH PHIL Computer Computer  Weekly + / - Game Las
STEELE Points Yards Poll Rating Grade Vegas
7:00 PM South Carolina at Vandy SC SC SC SC VU SC SC
    by 4 27-23 396-348 93% by 0.2 by 3.8 by 6'
    by 35 41-12 516-215 95% by 37.0 by 26.6 by 23'
7:00 PM E Michigan at Ball St EMU BSU BSU BSU BSU EM BSU
    by 1 31-29 442-420 61% by 5.2 by 0.1 by 3'
7:00 PM SE MO St at C Michigan CM CMU CMU CMU CMU   CM
    by 31 43-14 572-239 98% by 39   by 25'
7:00 PM Towson at Kent St KSU KSU KSU KSU KSU   KSU
    by 10 31-25 405-244 96% by 21   by 6'
7:15 PM Northern Colorado at Utah Utah Utah Utah Utah Utah   Utah
    by 45 43-0 557-100 100% by 57   by 42'
7:30 PM UMass at Connecticut UC UC UC UC UC UC UC
    by 17 30-14 416-254 99% by 45.9 by 8.6 by 24'
    by 20 35-17 465-276 98% by 14.3 by 14.3 by 16
8:00 PM Sac St at New Mexico St NMSt NMSt NMSt NMSt NMSt   NMSt
    by 21 30-17 437-206 95% by 21   by 6'
8:00 PM Southern Utah at Utah St USU USU USU USU USU   USU
    by 14 38-19 527-249 99% by 26   by 21
8:00 PM McNeese St at Mid Tenn MT MT MT MT MT   MT
    by 14 34-17 530-226 95% by 19   by 7
9:00 PM E Washington at Idaho ID ID ID ID ID   ID
    by 3 31-29 452-388 90% by 12   by 5
10:15 PM Washington St at BYU BYU BYU BYU BYU BYU BYU BYU
    by 14 38-24 501-339 76% by 19.1 by 9.5 by 12'
10:30 PM N Arizona at Arizona St ASU ASU ASU ASU ASU   ASU
    by 21 39-19 561-297 100% by 27   by 25'
11:00 PM Minnesota at UNLV UM UM UM UM UM UM UM
    by 7 33-20 361-310 91% by 16.6 by 9.1 by 8'

The College Football season is FINALLY upon us with tonight's opening games! Keep in mind PhilSteele.com is your home to college football all season long and remember there are 35 games this weekend involving FBS vs FCS opponents. Make sure you click on the FBS team's schedule on the team page and you get a complete past game breakdown of all their games vs FCS teams in the past 15 years while also a past game breakdown of their FCS opponent has fared against FBS teams in the past 15 years.

Click here for a Florida St/Murray St Breakdown

Surprise College Fantasy Players of the Week

Three years ago I started a weekly blog that included my surprise fantasy picks for each week of the college football season. Each week I picked the players that were flying under the radar and I am pleased that I finished my first year at a very successful 83-29-7 (74%). In 2010 I had another successful year with a winning week every week and an overall 103-45-17 (70%) record. Last year I went 82-44-11 (65%).

This year I will again be giving you the surprise fantasy picks each and every week in my Thursday daily blog and here are my picks for Week 1. Keep in mind you will not find players like Denard Robinson, Matt Barkley or Montee Ball in my picks. These are strictly surprise picks of players who are flying under the radar.


My QB’s of the Week: Zach Mettenberger, LSU, Matt Scott, Arizona, Marcus Mariota, Oregon

Zach Mettenberger (LSU) vs North Texas – With the departure of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson you would have to think that the Tiger QB unit would be down a bit for the upcoming season. Strong armed former JUCO QB Zach Mettenberger could in fact be an upgrade and has an excellent chance to prove himself here against a North Texas squad that is missing 7 of its top 8 DB’s from LY and trying to learn a new defense on top of it. With HC Les Miles hoping to get the offense in gear early with Washington on deck, Mettenberger should reap the rewards with vast success in his first start.

Matt Scott (Arizona) vs Toledo – While Mike Stoops was dismissed at the tail end of LY, one thing that Wildcat fans should be thankful for was his decision to RS Matt Scott in order to save a year of eligibility (Nick Foles has now moved on to the NFL). Scott is a dual-threat QB that should flourish under new HC Rich Rodriguez who has tutored the likes of Pat White and Denard Robinson in his previous tenures with West Virginia and Michigan. After allowing more than 400 ypg a ssn ago, the Toledo defense may find themselves in trouble here.

Marcus Mariota vs Arkansas St – Marcus Mariota won a 7-month battle for the starting QB spot of the Ducks just a week ago and now gets to lick his chops against a very porous defense who gave up 450 ypg in their 2 meetings vs BCS foes a season ago. As a dual-threat option, we expect Mariota to come near 200 yds passing and 100 yds rushing here in wk 1.


My RB’s of the week are: Isi Sofele, California, Johnathan Franklin, UCLA, Charles Sims, Houston

Isi Sofele (Cal) vs Nevada – While Cal HC Jeff Tedford is well known for his development with QB’s, it may come to a shock to some of you about how much success his RB’s have had in his 10 yrs in Berkeley. Isi Sofele burst onto the scene LY as the primary RB for the Bears and finished with 1,322 yds while making it the 9th consecutive year that Cal’s top 2 RB’s combined for at least 1,500 yds. The Bears return back to the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium (remodeled all of LY) giving them an extra fan boost and the start of another successful season for Sofele and the offense.

Johnathan Franklin (UCLA) vs Rice – Despite playing in the large market of Los Angeles, most casual college football fans don’t know much about senior RB Johnathan Franklin. His numbers the past 2 seasons are worth analyzing however as he has accumulated more than 2,000 rush yds in ’10 and ’11 combined. With a new and unproven QB starting behind center, look for the Bruins to work in Franklin early and often against a Rice defense that allowed 214 ypg rushing against their 4 BCS opponents of a season ago.

Charles Sims (Houston) vs Texas St – After earning 1st Tm CUSA honors in just 9 starts a year ago, the Charles Sims era with the Cougars appears to be reaching its peak for the 2012 season. The loss of the greatest statistical passer in NCAA history Case Keenum is also an added bonus as while David Piland looks to re-establish himself under center (8 starts in ’10), Sims will see his carries almost certainly increase at the start. Throw in a meeting vs a Texas St squad playing their first game as an FBS member and you should see fine numbers out of Mr. Sims here.


My WR’s of the week are: Keenan Davis, Iowa, Terrance Williams, Baylor, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee

Keenan Davis (Iowa) vs Northern Illinois – With the departure of career leading receiver Marvin McNutt, Keenan Davis inherits the primary receiver role for an Iowa squad that has some significant inexperience and injuries to the RB position. Throw in the fact that QB Jame Vanderberg is one of the better passers in all of the Big Ten, and you’ll see a potential big game out of Davis here against the Huskies.

Terrance Williams (Baylor) vs SMU – While RG3, Kendall Wright and Terrance Ganaway received all of the attention LY with the Baylor offense, Terrance Williams offered significant production as well as he nearly eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving plateau. With all of the previously mentioned stars now moving on to the NFL, Williams should perform admirably in 2012 with a start against SMU fueling the start.

Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee) vs NC State – Cordarrelle Patterson is quite possibly are biggest sleeper on our fantasy list this week as he has yet to play a down for the Volunteers. However, a few things have us recognizing him for week one against NC State. First is the fact that LY’s leading receiver Da’Rick Rogers has been suspended for the season giving Patterson a shot to lineup as a starter. Mix that with fellow Vol WR Justin Hunter having to go ahead with outstanding Wolf Pack CB David Amerson (13 int LY), UT QB Tyler Bray will almost certainly try to avoid that side giving Patterson an increased amount of looks. Pick up this budding star quick before the rest of the fantasy owners begin to recognize his name.


My Top Defenses of the Week: UCF, Texas and Michigan St

UCF defense vs Akron – Slam dunk matchup for the Knights defense here against an Akron offense that is breaking in a new HC and offense. UCF is our most improved team in 2012 for a reason and the defense should limit the Zips’ output to a minimum here.

Texas defense vs Wyoming – Favorable matchup for UT to begin their 2012 campaign. Texas all’d just 243 ypg at home LY and now get a Wyoming tm coming to Austin with just 5 returning starters on the offensive side of the ball. Our power ratings suggest that the Cowboys will score less than a TD here making this a solid option in wk 1.

Michigan St defense vs Boise St – For the first time in what seems like an eternity the Boise St Broncos will be without star QB Kellen Moore who is battling for an NFL roster spot. Lining up under center is unproven Joe Southwick whose time in the field throughout his career has been minimal to say the least. Southwick now earns his first career start on the road against one of the better defenses in the entire nation, a Spartan squad that allowed just 251 ypg in East Lansing a year ago.