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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 →

College Football Classic Rewind:OU Stymies ‘Noles to Win National Championship 38

Posted on September 14, 2011 by A.J. Foss

The 2001 Orange Bowl was the designated national championship game for the 2000 season and it featured a team that was expected to be in the game and another team that was not expected to be there.

Ever since Barry Switzer resigned as head coach following the 1988 season, the Sooners went 61-50-1 in the next 10 seasons and played in only three bowl games.

After the 1998 season, Oklahoma hired Florida defensive coordinator Bob Stoops, who had helped the Gators win the 1996 national championship, in hopes of restoring the Sooners to prominence.

Stoops went 7-5 in his first season as head coach but things took off in 2000 as the Sooners went undefeated thanks to a high-powered offense led by quarterback Josh Heupel, who finished second in the running for the Heisman Trophy and a defense that allowed under 16 points per game on average during the season.

Despite being 12-0 and #1 entering the title game, the Sooners were 10 ½ point underdogs to their opponent, the Florida State Seminoles.

Florida State was the defending national champion and were perhaps the most dominant team during the 2000 season.

The offense, led by Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke, averaged 42.4 points per game while the defense held opponents to an average of 10.3 points per game as the Seminoles won at least 10 games for the fourteenth consecutive season, all under the direction of head coach Bobby Bowden.

Despite their dominance, most experts believed that the Seminoles should not be in the title game because they lost one game, a 27-24 nail-biter to arch-rival Miami, who also finished the season with one loss and believed by most experts to play opposite Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

However when the BCS final rankings were released, FSU was ranked ahead of Miami, and it was the ‘Noles who got a chance to win back-to-back national titles.

While they were heavily favored, the Seminoles faced two issues as they entered their title tilt with the Sooners.

Offensive coordinator Mark Richt had accepted the head coaching job at the University of Georgia, perhaps distracting him from constructing a good game plan against the Sooner defense, and wide receiver Snoop Minnis, Weinke’s best target, had been ruled academically ineligible and had to sit out the game.

These two issues looked to cause problems for the Florida State offense, but It certainly did not look like that the Seminoles offense would have such trouble as Weinke connected with Atrews Bell for a 35-yard gain on the first play of the game. Read the rest of this entry →

Zultan’s Fearless College Football Projections: Week Two 9

Posted on September 07, 2010 by JA Allen

Zultan predicts college football fortunes in Week Two.

Zultan should be very humble after week one of his vaunted football predictions.

He was tempted to supersede his All-Seeing Powers and was punished for his arrogance. He became human, sad to say…

The NCAA football gods, therefore, struck him down.

Hordes of you outguessed Zultan who quivers in shame and humiliation with a mere 10-4 record in week one.

The mighty one has learned two valuable lessons in predicting the outcome of football contests.

(1) When in doubt in projected close contests, always pick the home team. For example do not pick Connecticut to overcome Michigan in Big Blue’s house or Purdue to get the best of the Irish in South Bend no matter how much the crystal ball tempts you.

(2) Also always make sure that the team you select is going to be playing––Zultan did not realize that half of the North Carolina team would be sitting on the sidelines when he made his ill-fated prediction that NC would win this contest.

Besides that, the Gophers have always been a thorn in the side of the all-seeing one.

So now you think Zultan is an easy mark. If so, try him again this week and learn your lesson as Zultan did––the hard way!

Zultan senses redemption coming his way this week big time. Click here to pit your puny powers of prognostication against the mighty Zultan for a chance to win a prize.

See the end of this prediction for a comprehensive list of all of you who smote the Zultan, scorched his crystal ball in week one.  Do the hokey-pokey one time around the room and come back for week two!

Read the rest of this entry →

Thanks For The Memories Bobby Bowden! 0

Posted on November 30, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Florida vs. Florida State

Word is that Bobby Bowden will retire after 34 years as head coach at Florida State University.

It is never pleasant to watch the end for a legend that hung on too long. Whether it is an athlete like Muhammad Ali, Johnny Unitas or Willie Mays or a coach like Earl Weaver, Tom Landry or Sparky Anderson, the end often temporarily clouds the memories of their supreme greatness.

Such has been the case for legendary football coach Bobby Bowden over the last few years. Once the charismatic leader of a perennial national championship contending squad, recent years have not been kind to this coaching statesman.

Since completing a string of 14 straight seasons with double digit victories and top five finishes in the final national poll in 2000, the Seminoles have struggled to recapture their past magic.

Between 1987 and 2000, the Seminoles went 152-19-1 (.886) with two National Championships. Since 2001, FSU has registered a 73-42 record (.635) with their highest final national ranking being 11th in 2003. They have been particularly pedestrian over the last four years as the Seminoles are 29-22 (.569) since the 2006 season.

A great illustration of how times have changed for the Seminoles can be found in their performance against ACC opponents.

Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Week Four Review: Revivals Aren’t What They Used To Be 1

Posted on September 26, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Virginia Tech ended Miami's brief foray into the top 10 with a dominating 31-7 victory.

Virginia Tech ended Miami's brief foray into the top 10 with a dominating 31-7 victory.

One of the early themes of the 2009 college football season has been the revivals demonstrated by a number of programs that had struggled in recent years, but gave indications early in this season that they were ready for a return to prominence.

Some, like Florida State, Miami and Michigan were looking to return to their one-time place among the national elite while others, including California, Mississippi and North Carolina, seemed poised to enter the national championship conversation for the first time in generations.

Well, I guess revivals aren’t what they used to be. Many of those teams were soundly defeated, some by lesser competition, and all struggled on the last weekend of September.

The poster child early this season for the theme of returning to prominence has been the University of Miami. Following impressive victories over Florida State and Georgia Tech, many well-respected national college football “experts” were gushing over how the “U” was back in the national picture. In fact, they went from being unranked at the start of the season to ranked 9th nationally after just two games.

Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Week In Review: Are They Really Back? 6

Posted on September 13, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Michigan Freshman Tate Forcier led the Wolverines to a late victory over Notre Dame.

Michigan Freshman Tate Forcier led the Wolverines to a late victory over Notre Dame.

Each Sunday during college football season we look at some of the big games, stories, and events from the action of the week.

Are They Really Back?
I noticed a lot of similarities between the outstanding game Saturday afternoon between Michigan and Notre Dame and the equally entertaining contest last Monday night between Florida State and the University of Miami.

Both games featured two teams with proud football traditions that have been struggling in recent years, but appear to be turning the corner back toward respectability.

After Miami turned back Florida State’s final charge in the closing seconds of the game, all post game talk was about whether this signaled the return of Miami as a football power and if FSU was also now poised to return to national relevance.
Read the rest of this entry →

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      After years of struggling to find a consistent quarterback, the Chicago Bears now hope third-year player Mitchell Trubisky will be their quarterback for years to come. As the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month we are recognizing the best quarterback in Chicago Bears history.

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