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College Football Preview: Can the Alabama Dynasty Be Stopped? 0

Posted on September 02, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Alabama and coach Nick Saban are looking for their fifth national championship in the last decade.

Alabama and coach Nick Saban are looking for their fifth national championship in the last decade.

So you think there is no way to create a dynasty in today’s college football climate?

Well, then you obviously haven’t been paying close attention to the football being played in Tuscaloosa, Alabama over the last decade.

Since Nick Saban took the reigns at the University of Alabama in 2007, the Crimson Tide have developed into the closest thing college football has had to a dynasty since the glory days of the Miami Hurricanes in the early 1990s.

Excluding his first season when the Crimson Tide went 7-6 (with five of the wins eventually vanquished by the NCAA), Saban’s squad has registered eight straight seasons with double digit wins and has lost as many as three games in a year only once.

Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that they have been ranked number one in the country at some point in each of the last eight seasons while winning four national championships.

With Alabama again beginning the season as the top ranked team in the country, the defending champions continue to have a special aura that makes them the automatic favorite at the start of every season. Read the rest of this entry →

Division I Football Has a Playoff! Now What? 2

Posted on August 10, 2014 by Dean Hybl
Jameis Winston and Florida State seem to be the likely choice to run past the competition and into the first Division I Football Playoff.

Jameis Winston and Florida State seem to be the likely choice to run past the competition and into the first Division I Football Playoff.

After years of waiting and wanting, those who said that Division I college football will be better with a playoff system now have their wish. So, as the first season of the College Football Playoff prepares to get underway, it will be interesting to see if this system calms the critics or creates a new set of detractors.

On the field, the potential candidates for the playoff seem to be many of the same players that have been in the mix over the last few years and you can see the odds at allpro.

Simply by returning their starting quarterback and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston, the Florida State Seminoles are the popular favorites to repeat as national champions. With 13 returning starters and a relatively favorable schedule in which they have only seven challenging games and play four of them at home and one on a neutral site, it seems very likely that Florida State will be among the four teams to earn playoff spots.

It also seems generally safe to pencil Alabama into the playoff mix. However, what is an unknown entering the first year of the playoff is how the SEC, which provides tougher challenges on a weekly basis than many other conferences, will be treated in the likelihood that no-one from the league is undefeated and the conference has multiple teams with just one or two losses.

Besides the Crimson Tide, other SEC teams that certainly have the talent to contend for a playoff spot are Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia and LSU. However, in recent years the conference has also featured a surprise team that wasn’t expected to make a run, but somehow is there at the end. This year that team could possibly be Mississippi, Texas A&M or maybe even the Florida Gators.

With four teams possessing enough talent to contend for the playoffs, the Pac-12 could also be hampered by their top-line depth when looking at getting a team (or two) into the playoff. Oregon and Stanford have been the cream of the conference in recent years, but UCLA and USC both seem to have the talent to contend for the conference title.

While I know this playoff system is supposed to take the politics out of deciding a champion, does anyone really think that is possible? That being said, it would seem extremely unlikely that the Big Ten will not figure a way to get someone into the playoff party.

Ohio State would seem to be the most likely candidate, but after going nearly two seasons undefeated under head coach Urban Meyer they barely defeated Michigan before ending the 2013 season with losses to Michigan State and Clemson. They have only a couple challenging games in 2014, so how they perform in the final weeks of the season could determine whether they are in the playoff.

If the Buckeyes don’t prove worthy, Michigan State could certainly prove to be the Big Ten representative. Wisconsin is a relative long-shot and while Michigan seems highly unlikely to be good enough to reach the playoffs, they could prove to be a spoiler for other Big Ten contenders. Read the rest of this entry →

Mighty Zultan’s Fearless College Football Forecast for Week 13 31

Posted on November 21, 2011 by JA Allen

Purude knocked off Ohio State in a big upset in Week 11.

Chaos reigned over college football this past weekend as top-ranked and favored teams crashed and burned on surreal Saturday.

Yet, in the midst of such upheaval, a pattern emerged. All of the “O” teams lost, as in Oh, No—not Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Ohio State—all losers in week 12.

This scenario would have revealed itself early if Zultan’s Mom had not dropped-kicked his crystal ball into the Iowa River after the Hawkeyes lost to Minnesota in week nine. The subtle floating clue remained hidden since the Big Z had no crystal ball to gaze into, granting him gridiron visions of the future.

As it turned out, none of you detected this slight tilt in the prognosticating wheel of fortune either because not one of you out-guessed the all-seeing seer in week 12. Zultan went 7-3 and no one who entered the contest did better.

Unfortunately for all of you, this is Zultan’s last regular season forecast—so make sure you click here to enter your guesses in dreaded and decidedly wicked week 13. Zultan shudders at the prospect of selecting winners in such a cursed week.

This is your very last chance to better the Mighty Zultan in 2011—so take a spin.

Week 13 this marks the end of the schedule for several conferences. Now teams scurry to become bowl eligible—which forces respective athletic directors to sit by the phone, praying for a call from the selection committee inviting their team to the “bowl.”

Zultan expects his fans will demand a special “bowl selection” prognostication from the all-seeing seer—which he will do if demand is high enough.  Let Zultan hear from you if you wish to challenge him in picking the winners of the ten biggest bowl games!

Read the rest of this entry →

Mighty Zultan’s College Football Forecast Week 10 87

Posted on November 01, 2011 by JA Allen

When Mom and her Harley-biker buddies returned from their road trip to Minneapolis last Saturday, she drop kicked Zultan’s crystal ball into the Iowa River, cursing his “so-called psychic abilities.”

Mom takes these Hawkeye defeats very hard. She has refused to fix lunch for the all-seeing one for the two past days.

The truth is that an enormous cosmic upheaval wreaked havoc in the Big Ten where it became impossible to win on the road unless you wore the imprint of a wildcat on your helmet.

Most of Zultan’s Big Ten predictions went haywire caused by churning cosmic forces ruling gridirons last Saturday.

That is my story. I am sticking to it. You cannot prove otherwise.

In the meantime hordes of you (24) took this opportunity to pile on the Zultan while he was down. It was that Nebraska game that did Zultan in. Zultan has decided that the Cornhuskers will be his biggest trial in 2011 just like Auburn was in 2010.

Zultan has ordered a new crystal ball from Forecasters Anonymous, Inc. but it will not arrive in time for him to make this week’s prognostications. It is conceivable, therefore, that you may have your best opportunity to outguess the all-seeing seer. He is just like you this week—a mere mortal with limited mental capacity.

So click here to make your picks and we will see mano a mano who is the best at predicting winners in upcoming week No. 10 in college football.

Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Billy Kilmer: Hard-Nosed Quarterback
      September 2, 2018 | 7:32 pm
      Kilmer

      Billy Kilmer

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month began his NFL career as an athletic running quarterback, but he endured a near fatal car accident to completely change his game during a career that spanned nearly two decades.

      Anyone who is familiar with former NFL quarterback Billy Kilmer probably remembers him as the portly, un-athletic, but very tough quarterback for the Washington Redskins in the 1970s. However, during his first two NFL seasons, Kilmer was primarily used as a running quarterback and running back for the San Francisco 49ers.

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