Tag Archives: Tennessee Volunteers

CFP Contenders and Pretenders

Week 5 is now and the books and more questions, or prayers, have been answered. This was a huge week for the landscape of college football and giving us a better understanding of who is a pretender and who is a contender in this year’s college football playoff race. The committee is quietly waiting in the wind for November 1st to release the first college football playoff ranking, but it is never too early to speculate what they might be thinking. What we learned last week is Stanford can’t win the big game, Clemson still rules the ACC, and the Michigan vs. Ohio State game in late November will decide everything. So let’s see who the contenders and pretenders are for this year’s college football playoff.

Contenders:

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SEC:

Alabama: Roll Tide is rolling once again and there is no surprises about that, Nick Saban and the boys are cruising to an SEC west title once again. They haven’t faced there toughest opponents just yet, but based on everything I have seen they will win out and get into the playoff as the number 1 seed. Bama puts up plenty of points and smothers opponents constantly on defense. Their kryptonite the last few years has been Ole Miss, and the Tide took care of them already this season. I hate Alabama with pure passion, but we’ll be seeing them in the playoff.

Tennessee: The Volunteers are flying high after a huge last second Hail Mary victory over Georgia last week, and the Vols have had Lady Luck on their side all year. To me Tennessee was a pretender before last week, but Josh Dobbs is balling out so far this year, and as long as he keeps it up Tennessee is on the fast track to the SEC title game against Alabama. The reason they aren’t a pretender still is because anything can happen in a title game. Alabama will probably beat Tennessee by 28+ but you just never know.

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ACC:

Clemson: First and foremost I am still shaking from Saturday’s game against Louisville. Clemson put on an absolute show in the second quarter to get themselves to a 28-10 halftime lead, and I was well aware it wasn’t over. Louisville fought back aggressively in the third to regain the lead 36-28, but Dabo rallied the boys for the fourth quarter and led them to a 42-36 victory in Death Valley. Clemson was supposed to be this good and they are finally playing like it again. A tough road test in Tallahassee in a few weeks stands between Clemson and the ACC title game, assuming no slip ups from here on out, but let’s all knock on some wood.

Louisville: What Louisville proved to me on Saturday night was that if they win out, which would mean a huge road victory over Houston, they could potentially be a top 4 team in the country by the final college football playoff vote. They need Clemson to lose twice to get into the ACC championship game, so that seems unlikely, but the committee could absolutely put in a 1 loss Louisville team with Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Louisville gained enormous amount of respect from me after Saturday, but better luck next year Cardinals.

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BIG 10:

Ohio State: Need I say more? It just comes with the name at this point, but the Buckeyes are nasty yet again. JT Barrett is having a stellar season and has led OSU to number 2 in the nation to this point. What will get the Buckeyes into the college football playoff? A big win over…

Michigan: A tough road lies ahead with Michigan St, Iowa, and Ohio St all on the schedule but I believe the Wolverines will get to the final week of the season undefeated. And as it is for Ohio State, Michigan needs a win in that huge rivalry game to get into the playoff. I really hope we get those two undefeated for that game.

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Big 12:

Better luck next year!!

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Pac 12:

Washington: I never thought Stanford was going to lose to Washington, let alone that badly, but here we are with Washington as a legitimate college football playoff contender. The Huskies have gotten extraordinary quarterback play from Jake Browning. The Huskies just need to win out and they are in no questions asked, but can they do it?

Group of 5:

Houston: Win out, beat Louisville, and pray to God that Oklahoma wins out as well. Houston can go undefeated but being in the AAC is making it tough for them, time to move to the Big 12. Good luck Houston, you deserve to get in if you are undefeated, but will the committee allow that?

Pretenders:

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SEC:

Texas A&M: The Aggies are good don’t get me wrong, but they cannot beat Alabama, and that is what separates them from the playoff. A&M has a huge home game this week against Tennessee and they could absolutely win that, but being in the SEC west is tough because of the likes of Alabama. I actually see the Aggies winning against Tennessee, but not the SEC west.

Florida: A huge lead over Tennessee wasn’t enough for the Gators to win, so they are out, unless by some miracle they win out and Tennessee loses twice and the Gators beat Bama, good luck to them.

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ACC:

Florida State: 63-20 loss to Louisville and another loss this week to North Carolina, smell ya later Seminoles.

Miami: Plain and simple this team hasn’t really beaten anybody that great and I don’t think they’ll even get to the ACC title game. I believe North Carolina will beat the Hurricanes and then Miami will probably fall off and finish like 9-3 or something.

North Carolina: They must win out and then beat either Clemson or Louisville in the ACC title game, no chance they do both.

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BIG 10:

Nebraska: 5-0 isn’t bad, playing Michigan or Ohio State in the B1G title game is.

Wisconsin: They have the best chance out of the B1G west, but Wisconsin couldn’t beat Michigan last week on a bad day for Michigan. But there is a chance, if they get to the title game anything could happen, but I don’t see it for the Badgers.

Iowa: They lost to North Dakota State, a very good team mind you, but how you going to lose to the Bison at home and expect to beat Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Michigan and then win the B1G title game? Answer is you’re not.

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Big 12:

Baylor: Narrowly escaping Iowa State, real impressive.

West Virginia: Apparently they are 4-0, but who knew.

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Pac 12:

Stanford: We all saw what Washington did to them, that’ll demoralize any team, they’ll lose again, I promise.

Utah: The Utes love having a solid start and then falling off the face of the earth once people start to recognize them. They won’t do anything with their season, maybe win the Las Vegas Bowl over New Mexico or someone stupid.

My playoff prediction after week 5 is Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, and Washington. Who do you have?

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College Football Scores and Predictions

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have once again picked a group of duds and not diamond studs. I went a pitiful 1-4 record last week and I am ashamed of myself. But we have a new week, and a new Jack (figuratively speaking).

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My lone correct pick was Tennessee, thank you Josh Dobbs and that beautiful Hail Mary pass. That must have been the most beautiful ball I have ever seen thrown. That thing was spiraling beautifully into the receivers arms and I have to say, I shed somewhat of a tear. But no one else beside the Vols gave me help in the win column, so special shout-out to them.

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Houston sits right now at number 6 in the polls as they head to Annapolis and take on the Midshipmen of Navy. This my friends is my lock of the week. I LOVE the Cougars this week and QB Greg Ward. Ward is due for a 5-6 touchdown game, and I think it comes this week. Navy is 3-1 on the year, but they’re running into a freight train in Houston. Look for Houston and the over in this game. Houston is averaging 44 points, a game and they’re favored by 17.5 right now. Take them and the 17.5 like I am, its a LOCK.

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The QB dual of the week goes to Tennessee and Texas A&M. I am in agreement with the analyst (and everyone in the country) when I say these two teams are Alabama’s biggest threat in the SEC. So Jack, what is the match-up? We get Josh Dobbs vs Trevor Knight, and let me say that this is a heavyweight fight between two premier guys. I was down on Dobbs but man has he proved himself. While Knight is in a career resurgence since joining A&M. A&M are five point favorites in this one, that should shrink down to like 2-3 by Saturday, and I really am stuck when I have to make a pick on this one. It may come down to Tennessee defender Derek Barnett, he’s the X-factor in this one. I think this kid is a future first rounder but he needs to be a factor for the Vols to win this game.

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UNC was the team who decided to take my lock of the week and smash it relentlessly to pieces against Florida State last week. FSU storms back, takes the lead and it looks like rainbows and sunshine for my lock. Then BOOM, UNC daggers a FG late and the Heels were heading back to Chapel Hill with a victory. This week the Heels are ranked and await a matchup with Virginia Tech. Chapel Hill will be rocking when the 25th ranked Hokies come to town. This is the Mitch Trubisky coming out party. The Heel’s QB is on a roll this year with 13 TD’s and ZERO interceptions. The Hokies are unbeaten since getting smoked by Tennessee in Bristol, TN. They need a big game out of QB Jerod Evans, who has thrown 13 TD’s as well and just 1 INT. This game is a huge one in the ACC, and could cause a massive swing in the ACC standings.

Pick time, the first number before the team refers to ranking, then their record then the last number are the points scored.

6th ranked (5-0) Houston 52– (3-1) Navy 23

8th ranked (5-0) TAMU 42– 9th ranked (5-0) Tennessee 28

17th ranked  (4-1) UNC 45– 25th ranked (3-1) Va Tech 17

1st ranked (5-0) Alabama 35– 16th ranked (4-1) Arkansas 17

10th ranked (5-0) Miami 23– 23rd ranked (3-2) FSU 16

20th ranked (2-2) Oklahoma 48– (2-2) Texas 10

 

 

The Round Up and Look Into Week 2

WOW! ESPN was not wrong when they said this would be the best opening weekend of games. A bunch of teams impressed me and a few shocked me. I have to say, usually with a bunch of nationally televised games, you usually get a dud or two in there. This time around, there wasn’t a dud among the diamonds. My official record for picks for the weekend was 2-3. Not the best, but I will most certainly take it. This week however there are not many pickable games, so that sort of stinks. But let’s recap what we saw in Week 1.

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I told you Alabama would roll, and the Tide rolled to a blowout victory over USC. It will be interesting to see how USC responds after this embarrassing loss. ‘Bama did not look good in the first half, but turned it on in the second half. Thats the tale of Nick Saban’s career, always having a team that could do a lot more in the first half. Then comes out in the second half and blows the victim out of the water.

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Greg Ward Jr. and Nick Chubb will both be names to watch in the Heisman race. Both guys were big parts for their teams getting the job done in their neutral site wars. Chubb, may have overtaken Leonard Fournette as the best RB in the SEC with his performance against UNC. For Ward Jr., he led Houston over OU, and I got to say came to play. Get that team in the Big 12, they deserve it.

at Lambeau Field on September 3, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

LSU and Wisconsin was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. Corey Clement and Bart Houston are names to watch folks, that’s the RB and QB combo for the Badgers. How in the world I overlooked this one, especially with it being from Lambeau is mind-blowing. Leonard Fournette was stuffed like a turkey, and could not get anything other than a 30 yard burst in the second half.

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FSU and Texas both overcame insurmountable odds too. I picked FSU and was pumped to see that comeback. But whenever ND loses, I get a lot happier. Texas is back folks. Good for head coach Charlie Strong. If QB Shane Buechele continues to sling the rock around with Tyrone Swoopes in the wildcat, the Longhorns are a scary bunch to watch.

599438004So let’s get to the 2 games I really like in Week 2.

First game will be live from Bristol Motor Speedway as the 17th ranked Tennessee Volunteers faces the visiting Virginia Tech Hokies. Both teams were very underwhelming in their openers because they had step-stool games. But now this is where you lay down the lumber. Especially for the Hokies and QB Jerod Evans, if you win in Knoxville you can be considered a massive threat. This game is a coin flip for me, it’s also a big game for Tennessee QB Josh Dobbs. Dobbs needs to be the X-factor for the Vols, I just don’t know if he has it in him.

The other game comes from Ann Arbor, Michigan. The 5th ranked Michigan Wolverines get the UCF Knights. Both teams are coming off blowout victories and will look to capitalize on that momentum. I really like Michigan based off home field advantage, UCF might really get overwhelmed by the Big House. UCF QB Justin Holman had 2 TD’s last week, but threw 14-28, those are Sam Bradford numbers. He is going to have to be a lot better this week if the Knights want a chance. I like Harbaugh and the Wolverines by at least 10.

My Picks

VA Tech over Tennessee: 24-14

Michigan over UCF: 38-10

I would give a quick little Heisman breakdown, but it’s only week 2. I will have one by week 4 at the earliest. That’s usually when the contenders come out to play.

Follow FI on Twitter @FIsports and on Facebook.

-Jack Corsi (@corsi_light)

 

Southern Ball, The SEC

This conference owns CBS on Saturdays and is arguably the most dominant conference in college football history. No, I’m not talking about the Mountain West, I’m talking about the SEC. Good, ole southern boys playing southern style football. Every program has a long line of excellence, and has been dominant at different points over the last century. Last year we saw Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide once again take home College Footballs ultimate crown. But do the Tide have enough in the tank to repeat? Let’s find out!

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First things first, Nick Saban is the best coach in all of college football. If you think differently, then you are probably a moron. The man led a team with Jake Coker as the QB to a title last year. Coker isn’t a Heisman trophy style QB, but he got the job done. When you think ‘Bama, you think hard-nosed run game and hard hitting defense. They boast both of those, even with no Derrick Henry in the backfield this season. Circle the matchup with LSU right now. I’m telling you that this could be the conference game of the year. Calvin Ridley is a big name receiver to watch, but with David Cornwell at QB, things could be different. That defense with Jeremy Pruitt at the helm also could be something to watch. That offense should be the same with Lane Kiffin still at the reigns. ‘Bama is the team to watch as the number one ranked team in the country. Look for their opener against USC live from the Colosseum.

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Speaking of circling games, let’s talk about the LSU Tigers. The Fighting Tigers are their real name which is astounding that people don’t know that. Sorry, weird fact for the day. Now LSU arguably has the best running back in all of college football, Leonard Fournette. Fournette was at once unstoppable last year. He was running for 100 yards in 26 seconds in some games last year. Then ‘Bama came along and broke Fournette’s spirit and was never the same. This kid will probably be a top 7 pick in next year’s draft, but he needs to prove himself big time in the big game. That proving ground is November 5th in Death Valley, when the Crimson Tide come to town. That will be the make or break game for LSU. This game will be another chess match of Saban vs. Les Miles, per usual, a battle of the ages. Who comes out on top?

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Mark Richt is no longer the head coach over in Athens, Georgia for the Georgia Bulldogs. Kirby Smart is the new man in charge for the dogs. Smart was the Defensive Coordinator for Alabama dating back to 2008. The man knows a thing or two about coaching a great defense. He certainly can turn this Georgia team around after last year’s disappointing finish. 10-3 record last season? Yes, but the Georgia faithful may consider that disappointing after what looked to be a promising season for the Bulldogs. Do I think Smart comes in and tears the roof off the house? I really don’t know. He’s got some big name recruits coming in, including the number one tight end and number one QB. But names only matter on paper, it’s how you play that wins you games. I’m not completely sold on Georgia just yet. The opening matchup with Larry Fedora’s North Carolina Tar Heels is where you can lay down the lumber for a successful season. Win that game at the Georgia Dome and you might be in business. Let’s see how Georgia is after that game and then we can discuss if the Bulldogs are a credible threat in the SEC.

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Before I hit you with my picks, I want to say a little bit about the Tennessee Volunteers. Butch Jones has been known to cost his team with boneheaded coaching moves. But with the signing of defensive coordinator Bob Schoop, the Vol’s might be singing a lot more of Rocky Top this season. The Vol’s have a stellar recruiting class, and arguably a Defensive Coordinator that could scheme a top 5 defense in the country. But again, names are just letters put together that make sense. I need action, and some sort of productivity on the field. If they can put it all together and make something happen, be ready for the return of the Vol’s. If not, Butch Jones could find himself on the hot seat. I think this team could be the one to show people that they aren’t a fluke and mean business. I really believe that this is the resurgence of the Vol’s program, but I already said that I need them to prove it to me, and I think they will.

SEC East

  1. Tennessee Volunteers 10-2 (6-2)
  2. Georgia Bulldogs 8-4 (5-3)
  3. Florida Gators 7-5 (4-4)
  4. Vanderbilt Commodores 6-6 (3-6)
  5. Missouri Tigers 5-7 (2-6)
  6. Kentucky Wildcats 5-7 (2-6)
  7. South Carolina 4-8 (1-7)

SEC West

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide 11-1 (7-1)
  2. LSU Fighting Tigers 10-2 (7-1)
  3. Texas A&M Aggies 9-3 (5-3)
  4. Ole Miss Rebels 8-4 (5-3)
  5. Arkansas Razorbacks 7-5 (4-4)
  6. Auburn Tigers 6-6 (3-5)
  7. Mississippi State Bulldogs 6-6 (2-6)

Championship

‘Bama over Tennessee in a close one, this could honestly be the game of the year.

Follow FI on Twitter @FIsports and on Facebook

-Jack Corsi (@corsi_light)