Thursday, September 18, 2014

College Football Week 4 Picks

By Michael Schneid

Thursday, September 18
No. 5 Auburn at No. 20 Kansas State Kansas St
Friday, September 19
Connecticut at South Florida Uconn
Saturday, September 20
Miami (OH) at Cincinnati Cincinnati
California at Arizona Arizona
Eastern Michigan at No. 11 Michigan State Michigan St
Troy at No. 13 Georgia Georgia
Bowling Green at No. 19 Wisconsin Wisconsin
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Iowa at Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
Western Illinois at Northwestern Northwestern 
Southern Illinois at Purdue Purdue
Old Dominion at Rice Rice
Maryland at Syracuse Maryland 
Tulane at Duke Duke
Maine at Boston College Boston College
Delaware State at Temple Temple
Marshall at Akron Marshall
Hawaii at Colorado Colorado
Florida at No. 3 Alabama Alabama
No. 6 Texas A&M at SMU Texas A&M
Virginia at No. 21 BYU BYU
Nicholls State at North Texas North Texas
Norfolk State at Buffalo Buffalo
North Carolina at East Carolina East Carolina
Army at Wake Forest Wake Forest
Louisville at Florida International Louisville
Central Michigan at Kansas Central Michigan
Rutgers at Navy Navy
Utah at Michigan Michigan
Indiana at No. 18 Missouri Missouri
Texas State at Illinois Illinois
Massachusetts at Penn State Penn St
San Jose State at Minnesota Minnesota
Florida Atlantic at Wyoming Wyoming
Presbyterian at North Carolina State NC State
Bethune-Cookman at UCF UCF
Georgia State at Washington Washington
Mississippi State at No. 8 LSU LSU
Northern Illinois at Arkansas Arkansas
Utah State at Arkansas State Utah St
Middle Tennessee at Memphis Memphis
Northwestern State at Louisiana Tech Louisiana Tech
Appalachian State at Southern Miss Southern Miss
Ball State at Toledo Toledo
Idaho at Ohio Ohio
Murray State at Western Michigan Western Michigan
No. 4 Oklahoma at West Virginia West Virginia
No. 14 South Carolina at Vanderbilt South Carolina
Georgia Southern at South Alabama Georgia Southern 
No. 22 Clemson at No. 1 Florida State Florida St
Miami (FL) at No. 24 Nebraska Nebraska
UNLV at Houston Houston
New Mexico at New Mexico State New Mexico St
Southern Utah at Fresno State Fresno St
No. 2 Oregon at Washington State Oregon
San Diego State at Oregon State Oregon St
Louisiana-Lafayette at Boise State Boise St

Thursday, September 11, 2014

College Football: Week 3 Picks

By Michael Schneid

So far through two weeks, MotleySports has predicted each College Football game, and has done so at over 85% accuracy. 

Week 1:
71/83 (85%)
21-1 - top 25 games
Week 2
64/74  (86%)
20-2  - top 25 games

Thursday, September 11
Louisiana Tech at North Texas North Texas
Houston at No. 25 BYU BYU
Friday, September 12
Toledo at Cincinnati Cincinnati
No. 8 Baylor at Buffalo Baylor
Saturday, September 13
East Carolina at No. 17 Virginia Tech Virginia Tech 
UCF at No. 20 Missouri Missouri
Kent State at No. 22 Ohio State Ohio State
Indiana at Bowling Green Indiana
Ohio at Marshall Marshall
Boise State at Connecticut Boise State
Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech Georgia Southern 
Pittsburgh at Florida International Pittsburgh
Syracuse at Central Michigan Central Michigan
West Virginia at Maryland West Virginia
Massachusetts at Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
No. 21 Louisville at Virginia Virginia
Wyoming at No. 2 Oregon Oregon
Air Force at Georgia State Air Force
UC Davis at Colorado State Colorado St
Indiana State at Ball State Ball St
No. 6 Georgia at No. 24 South Carolina Georgia
Alabama A&M at UAB UAB
Kansas at Duke Duke
Miami (OH) at Michigan Michigan
Arkansas State at Miami (FL) Miami
North Carolina State at South Florida NC State
Arkansas at Texas Tech Texas Tech 
Iowa State at Iowa Iowa
Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 14 Ole Miss Ole Miss
Mississippi State at South Alabama Mississippi State
Minnesota at TCU TCU
Illinois at Washington Washington
Army at No. 15 Stanford Stanford
Western Michigan at Idaho Idaho
Southern Miss at No. 3 Alabama Alabama
Eastern Michigan at Old Dominion Old Dominion
Louisiana-Monroe at No. 10 LSU LSU
Northern Illinois at UNLV Northern Illinois
Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee Western Kentucky
UTSA at Oklahoma State Oklahoma State
Wake Forest at Utah State Utah St
Tulsa at Florida Atlantic Tulsa
Abilene Christian at Troy Troy
Purdue vs. No. 11 Notre Dame* Notre Dame
Kentucky at Florida Florida
Tennessee at No. 4 Oklahoma Oklahoma
No. 9 USC at Boston College USC
No. 12 UCLA vs. Texas* UCLA
Penn State at Rutgers Penn St
New Mexico State at UTEP UTEP
Southeastern Louisiana at Tulane Tulane
Navy at Texas State Navy
Portland State at Washington State Washington St
Rice at No. 7 Texas A&M Texas A&M 
No. 16 Arizona State at Colorado Arizona State
Nebraska at Fresno State Nebraska
Nevada at Arizona Arizona

Friday, September 5, 2014

2014 NFL Preview: 32 Team-by-Team Predictions

 By Michael Schneid

MotleySports makes bold predictions for each NFL team as the 2014 season begins. (Teams are in order by division.)

AFC Predictions

1. The Jets, with an improved offense, will make the playoffs as the NFC's final wild card team.
2. Tom Brady will break 5,000 yards and the Patriots will win 12 games.
3. Kyle Orton and another QB, not currently on Bills roster, will start more games at QB than EJ Manuel
4. Knowshon Moreno will lead the Dolphins in rushing and finish third on the team in receiving.
5. The Steelers not only return to the playoffs, but they will win the AFC North division.
6. The Ravens will miss the playoffs for the third straight season and part ways with Ray Rice at the end of 2014.
7. Bengals defense will finish top 5 in takeaways and Andy Dalton will have a Pro Bowl season
8. Johnny Manziel will be the Brown's starting QB beginning in Week 5 and will spark the Browns and lead them to 6 wins in 2014 (an improvement over 4 the last two years).
9. Andrew Luck will be the AFC MVP, as the Colts win the AFC South despite a bad defense and no running game.
10. The Jaguars will be one of the league's most improved team's - finishing in the top half of the league in defense and rushing.
11. The Titans will finish last in the AFC South and move on from Jake Locker in 2015
12. JJ Watt and Jadaveon Clowney dominate defensively and a rejuvenated Texans win 7 games.
13. The Broncos win the Super Bowl and Peyton Manning retires
14. Keenan Allen finishes in the top 5 in receiving yards in the NFL for the Chargers
15. The Chiefs take a major step back and only win 6 games
16. Derek Carr starts all 16 games for the Raiders and despite being the best rookie QB in 2014, head coach Dennis Allen will be fired at the end of the season

NFC Predictions

17. Lesean McCoy wins Offensive Player of the Year in the NFC as he leads the Eagles to record-breaking heights
18. Jason Garrett finally gets fired as the Cowboys, behind a historically horrible defense, fail to even finish .500.
19. The Redskins will struggle offensively, and Alfred Morris, specifically, will struggle without Mike Shanahan's system. 
20. 2014 will be Tom Coughlin's final season as Giants' head coach
21. The Packers will finish in the top 2 of the NFC, despite a poor defense
22. The Bears finally get back to the playoffs with Jay Cutler throwing for over 5,000 yards
23. The Vikings are the NFC's surprise team. Matt Cassel starts all 16 games and leads the Vikings back to the playoffs.
24. The Lions struggle with consistency on offense as they still cannot find a second option to Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush begins to be phased out.
25. Saints defense is a big reason why they win the NFC South.
26. The Bucs are one of the league's most improved teams, behind a stout Lovie Smith defense, but QB play keeps them out of the playoffs.
27. Cam Newton will miss a game or two due to injury for the first time in his career and the Panthers will not replicate last season's success.
28. Mike Smith will be fired by the Falcons after the 2014 season as the defense continues to be a disaster, despite the offense being able to score lots of points
29. The Seahawks return to the Super Bowl and Percy Harvin plays 10 games, and has a major impact on the Seattle offense (and tons of fantasy football teams).
30. The 49ers miss the playoffs for the first time in the Jim Harbaugh era.
31. Despite losing Sam Bradford for the season, the Rams finish 8-8.
32. Carson Palmer takes a major step back and the Cardinals flop in Bruce Arians' second season as head coach.

Share your thoughts below.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 NFL Predictions

AFC Predictions: 

AFC East:

AFC North:

AFC South: 

AFC West:

NFC Predictions: 

NFC East: 

NFC North: 

NFC South:

NFC West: 

AFC Playoffs: 
Byes: 1. Broncos 2. Patriots
3. Steelers vs. 6. Jets
4. Colts vs. 5. Bengals

Broncos vs. Jets
Bengals vs. Patriots

Broncos beat Bengals to advance to Super Bowl

NFC Playoffs: 
Bye: 1.Seahawks 2. Packers
3. Saints vs. 6. Vikings
4. Eagles vs. 5. Bears

1. Packers vs. 5. Bears
2. Seahawks vs. 3. Saints

Seahawks beat Packers to advance to Super Bowl 

Super Bowl Prediction: 
Broncos defeat Seahawks

NFL Awards Predictions:

AFC MVP: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
NFC MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
AFC Offensive Player of the Year: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
NFC Offensive Player of the Year: Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers
AFC Defensive Player of the Year: Joe Haden, CB, Browns
NFC Defensive Player of the Year: Earl Thomas, S, Seahawks
AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year: Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers
AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year: Calvin Pryor, S, Jets
NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aaron Donald, DT, Rams 

College Football: Week 2 Predictions

By Michael Schneid

After going 71-13 in Week 1, MotleySports predicts every College Football game for Week 2.

Thursday, September 4
Arizona at UTSA Arizona
Friday, September 5
Pittsburgh at Boston College Pittsburgh
Washington State at Nevada Nevada
Saturday, September 6
Florida Atlantic at No. 2 Alabama Alabama
No. 4 Oklahoma at Tulsa Oklahoma
Western Illinois at No. 18 Wisconsin Wisconsin
McNeese State at No. 19 Nebraska Nebraska
No. 20 Kansas State at Iowa State Kansas State
No. 24 Missouri at Toledo Missouri
Arkansas State at Tennessee Tennesee
Buffalo at Army Army
Stony Brook at Connecticut Uconn
SMU at North Texas North Texas
Western Kentucky at Illinois Western Kentucky
Akron at Penn State Penn State
Central Michigan at Purdue Purdue
Howard at Rutgers Rutgers
South Carolina State at No. 23 Clemson Clemson
Navy at Temple Navy
South Alabama at Kent State Kent St
UAB at Mississippi State Mississippi St
New Mexico State at Georgia State New Mexico St
Fresno State at Utah Utah
Sacramento State at California California
Colorado at Massachusetts Colorado
Eastern Washington at Washington Washington
No. 14 USC at No. 13 Stanford USC
Eastern Kentucky at Miami (OH) Miami OH
Virginia Military Institute at Bowling Green Bowling Green 
Ohio at Kentucky Kentucky
Northern Illinois at Northwestern Northern Illinois
Maryland at South Florida Maryland
Ball State at Iowa Iowa
Middle Tennessee at Minnesota Minnesota
Missouri State at Oklahoma State Oklahoma St
Richmond at Virginia Virginia
Georgia Tech at Tulane Tulane
Eastern Michigan at Florida Florida
Nicholls State at Arkansas Arkansas
No. 15 Ole Miss at Vanderbilt Ole Miss
Campbell at Appalachian State Appalachian St
Old Dominion at North Carolina State NC State
Wagner at Florida International FIU 
Savannah State at Georgia Southern Georgia Southern
No. 7 Michigan State at No. 3 Oregon Michigan State
Gardner-Webb at Wake Forest Wake Forest
San Jose State at No. 5 Auburn Auburn
No. 17 Arizona State at New Mexico Arizona St
East Carolina at No. 21 South Carolina South Carolina
Murray State at No. 25 Louisville Louisville
Southeast Missouri State at Kansas Kansas
Florida A&M at Miami (FL) Miami
Duke at Troy Duke
Louisiana Tech at Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana Lafayette
Rhode Island at Marshall Marshall 
Alcorn State at Southern Miss Southern Miss
Idaho at Louisiana-Monroe Louisiana-Monroe
Citadel at No. 1 Florida State Florida St
Lamar at No. 9 Texas A&M Texas A&M
Northwestern State at No. 10 Baylor Baylor
Sam Houston State at No. 12 LSU LSU
Michigan at No. 16 Notre Dame Notre Dame
BYU at Texas BYU
Towson at West Virginia West Virginia
Virginia Tech at No. 8 Ohio State Ohio St
San Diego State at No. 21 North Carolina North Carolina
Grambling State at Houston Houston
Idaho State at Utah State Utah St
Memphis at No. 11 UCLA UCLA
Northern Colorado at UNLV UNLV
Air Force at Wyoming Wyoming
Colorado State at Boise State Colorado St
Oregon State at Hawaii Hawaii
Texas Tech at UTEP Texas Tech

Sunday, August 31, 2014

College Football: 10 QBs Whose Names You Should Know

By Michael Schneid

Everyone knows Jameis Winston, Nick Marshall, Trevor Knight. But not everyone knows some of the quarterbacks on this list. Casual fans will know most, if not all, of these qBs very soon

1. Kenny Hill, Texas A&M
Replacing Johnny Football, Hill led A&M to an upset over South Carolina. Threw for 511 yards and 3 TDs

2. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
If you don't know him already, you should. The project #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Hackenberg threw for a PSU record 425 yards in a win over UCF.

3. Shane Carden, East Carolina
ECU plays South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and UNC the next three weeks so if you don't know Carden now, you will by the end of the month. Carden threw for 283 yards and 3 TDs in a win over NC Central
4. Anu Solomon, Arizona
Won a 4-man QB competition. Threw for 425 yards and 4 TDs in debut vs. UNLV

5. Jared Goff, California
Started all 12 games as a true freshman in 2013. Threw for 281 yards and 3 TDs in a win vs. Northwestern 

6. Taysom Hill, BYU
BYU beat Uconn Friday night and Hill threw for 308 yards, 3 TD and ran for another 97 yards, 2 TDs

7. Andrew Hendrix, Miami, OH
Former Notre Dame QB. Threw for 318 yards and 3 TDs vs. Marshall

8. Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
Led the nation with 569 yards passing and 6 TDs in a win over Bowling Green

9. Connor Halliday, Washington State
Starting in year 3 in Mike Leach's scheme, he should put up video games numbers, starting with 532 yards and 5 TDs in Thursday night's loss to Rutgers.

10. Justin Hollman, UCF
The Knight started Pete DiNovo and he completed just 3 of 8 passes for 18 yards. Hollman came in and compelted 9 passes for over 200 yards and a TD and also had 2 touchdowns on the ground.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

College Football: Thursday 8/28 Preview

By Michael Schneid

Here are some quick hits and thoughts on the big games this Thursday as the College Football season begins.

Boise State vs. Ole Miss 
Boise State has beaten Oklahoma, Georgia, Oregon, Virginia Tech, TCU, Arizona St, Washington over recent seasons with Georgia, Oregon, and VT, specifically being season opening games. Ole Miss is next on the docket for Boise State, led by Bryan Harsin. Chris Peterson had coached Boise State since 2006 and finally moved on. Harsin is a former Boise State QB and Offensive Coordinator.

Ole Miss is a rising team in the SEC. Head coach Hugh Freeze is a young star in the business and has done a great job recruiting. WR Laquon Treadwell and DE Robert Nkemdiche are among Freeze's top recruits. 

Proximity has never been an issue for Boise State either. They beat Georgia in the Georgia Dome and Virginia Tech in Washington DC. This game will once again be in the Georgia Dome, in SEC country, convenient for the Rebels faithful to make the trip.

Prediction: Ole Miss

Rutgers vs. Washington State

It's unusual for a Big Ten team to play on a weekday, but Rutgers first official game as a B1G member will be late Thursday night. This will be the second straight season Rutgers opens up on the west coast, after an opening loss to Fresno State in 2013.

Cougars QB Connor Holliday is entering his third season as QB under Mike Leach and should finally be poised to put up huge numbers as he continues to get comfortable in the system. Leach's success at Texas Tech truly began in his third season in Lubbock and it's time for Wazzou to take that same next step and win 8-9 games in Leach's third season as coach.
Prediction: Washington State

Texas A&M vs. South Carolina
What a way to kickoff the new SEC network. Connor Shaw and Jadaveon Clowney are gone for the Gamecocks and Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans are gone for the Aggies. However, head coaches Kevin Sumlin and Steve Spurrier remain and that's all that really matters.
Prediction: South Carolina

Tulane vs. Tulsa
Former C-USA rivals are now a part of the American Athletic Conference. Tulsa was the 2013 favorite in C-USA but was a major disappointment. They look to bounce back in their new conference while Tulane is a young team on the rise.
Prediction: Tulane

Vanderbilt vs. Temple
Two young, on the rise teams. Temple's sophomore QB PJ Walker is very exciting and Vandy replaces the fiery James Franklin, with Derek Mason as their new head coach. We'll take the SEC team but Temple will fight harder than people may expect.
Prediction: Vanderbilt

College Football: Week 1 Predictions

By Michael Schneid

Here are MotleySports predictions for Week 1 in College Football.

Thursday, August 28
No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 9 South Carolina South Carolina
Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe Louisiana-Monroe
Eastern Illinois at Minnesota Minnesota
Howard at Akron Akron
Presbyterian at Northern Illinois Northern Illinois
Chattanooga at Central Michigan Central Michigan
Idaho State at Utah Utah
Boise State vs. No. 18 Ole Miss* Ole Miss
Cal Poly at New Mexico State New Mexico St
Tulane at Tulsa Tulane
Temple at Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
Rutgers at Washington State Washington St
North Dakota at San Jose State San Jose St
Weber State at No. 19 Arizona State Arizona St
Friday, August 29
UNLV at Arizona Arizona
BYU at Connecticut BYU
Jacksonville State at No. 8 Michigan State Michigan State
Villanova at Syracuse Syracuse
Bowling Green at Western Kentucky Bowling Green
Colorado State vs. Colorado* Colorado
UTSA at Houston Houston
Saturday, August 30
Penn State vs. UCF* Penn St
No. 5 Ohio State at Navy Ohio St
No. 7 UCLA at Virginia UCLA
Delaware at Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
Appalachian State at Michigan Michigan
North Dakota State at Iowa State North Dakota St
Indiana State at Indiana Indiana
Northern Iowa at Iowa Iowa
Western Michigan at Purdue Purdue
Troy at UAB Troy
Tennessee-Martin at Kentucky Kentucky
Youngstown State at Illinois Illinois
Wofford at Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Georgia Southern at North Carolina State NC State
Colgate at Ball State Ball State
Nicholls State at Air Force Air Force
Southern Utah at Nevada Nevada
Boston College at Massachusetts Boston College
West Virginia vs. No. 2 Alabama* Alabama
Rice at No. 17 Notre Dame Notre Dame
Florida Atlantic at No. 22 Nebraska Nebraska
South Dakota State at No. 24 Missouri Missouri
James Madison at Maryland Maryland
California at Northwestern Northwestern
Duquesne at Buffalo Buffalo
Hampton at Old Dominion Old Dominion
Marshall at Miami (OH) Marshall
Arkansas at No. 6 Auburn Auburn
UC Davis at No. 11 Stanford Stanford
Montana at Wyoming Wyoming
Portland State at Oregon State Oregon St
William & Mary at Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
No. 16 Clemson at No. 12 Georgia Georgia
Liberty at No. 23 North Carolina UNC
Elon at Duke Duke
Ohio at Kent State Kent St
Morgan State at Eastern Michigan Eastern Michigan
Louisiana Tech at No. 4 Oklahoma Oklahoma
New Hampshire at Toledo Toledo
Savannah State at Middle Tennessee Middle Tennessee
Bethune-Cookman at Florida International FIU
Northern Arizona at San Diego State SD State
Idaho at Florida Florida
Austin Peay at Memphis Memphis
Western Carolina at South Florida USF
Samford at TCU TCU
Central Arkansas at Texas Tech Texas Tech
Montana State at Arkansas State Arkansas State
Southern University at Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Lafayette
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas State Texas State
Stephen F. Austin at No. 20 Kansas State Kansas State
Fresno State at No. 15 USC USC
Southern Miss at Mississippi State Mississippi State
No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State* Florida State
UTEP at New Mexico New Mexico
North Texas at Texas Texas
NC Central at East Carolina East Carolina
No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU* LSU
South Dakota at No. 3 Oregon Oregon
No. 25 Washington at Hawaii Washington
Sunday, August 31
Utah State at Tennessee Tennessee
SMU at No. 10 Baylor Baylor
Monday, September 1
Miami (FL) at Louisville Miami

2014 College Football Predictions

By Michael Schneid

The 2014 College Football season is finally upon us! 

Here are some miscellaneous (or motley) predictions for the upcoming season.

Conference Champions: 
*if the conference has a championship game, loser in parenthesis
  • ACC: Florida State (over UNC)
  • Big 12: Baylor
  • Big Ten: Michigan State (over Wisconsin)
  • Pac-12: Stanford (over USC)
  • SEC: Alabama (over South Carolina)
  • AAC: Cincinnati
  • C-USA: Marshall (over UTSA) 
  • MAC: Toledo (over Bowling Green)
  • MWC: Utah State (over Fresno State)
  • Sun Belt: Louisiana-Lafayette

Coaches who will be fired after the 2014 season:
  • Mike London, Virginia
  • Charlie Weis, Kansas
  • Kyle Flood, Rutgers
  • Kyle Whittingham, Utah
  • June Jones, SMU
  • Tim Beckman, Illinois

Coaches who are not coaching Power-5 conference teams but will be in 2015
  • Mark Hudspeth (Louisiana-Lafayette HC)
  • Chad Morris (Clemson OC)
  • Doc Holliday (Marshall HC) 
  • Pat Narduzzi (Michigan State DC)

Most Overrated QB:
Trevor Knight, Oklahoma
Knight went 32-44, 348 yards, 4 TDs in the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. But there isn't any evidence he can sustain huge numbers over a 12 game season. The Sooners have high expectations and a high ranking entering 2014, largely because of the expectations for Trevor Knight, who will flop as a starter.

Most Underrated QB(s): 
Everyone in the AAC.
The American Athletic Conference is no longer considered a "power" conference but there is a lot of fire power at quarterback. East Carolina is one of three new coming teams and are led by senior QB Shane Carden. Houston, Cincinnati, and Temple all have young sophomore QBs who have a good chance to develop into something special.

        2013 Stats:
  • Shane Carden 4,139 yards, 33 touchdowns, 10 INTs
  • John O'Korn 3,117 yards, 28 TDs, 10 INTs
  • PJ Walker - 2,084 yds, 20 TD, 8 INT, 332 yards rushing, 3 TDs
  • Gunner Kiel - did not play in 2013 (previously committed to LSU and Notre Dame)

Most Overrated Teams:
  • ACC: Clemson
  • Big 12: Oklahoma 
  • Big Ten: Wisconsin 
  • Pac-12: UCLA
  • SEC: Auburn

Breakout Players (P5 teams):
  • ACC: Karlos Williams, RB, Florida State
  • Big 12: Davis Webb, QB, Texas Tech
  • Big Ten: Geno Lewis, WR, Penn State
  • Pac-12: DaVonte Neal, WR, Arizona
  • SEC: Maty Mauk, QB, Missouri

Players from Non-Power 5 Conferences who you should know: 
  • Rakeem Cato, QB, Marshall
  • Chuckie Keaton, QB, Utah State
  • Bryan Bennett, QB, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Mekale McKay and Shaq Washington, WRs, Cincinnati
  • William Stanback, RB, UCF
  • Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina
  • Deontay Greenberry, WR, Houston

10 Random/Bold Predictions: 
  1. Gary Patterson will move on from TCU and coach at another Power 5 school
  2. Greg Schiano will be the head coach of Rutgers in 2015
  3. Penn State will finish second in the B1G East division
  4. Cincinnati will clinch a major bowl bid as the top ranked team from the non-power 5 conferences
  5. Florida will win 8 games. So will Auburn
  6. Tennessee will fail to clinch a bowl bid for the 4th consecutive season
  7. Stanford will beat Oregon again
  8. After a disastrous finish in 2013, Northwestern will return to a bowl game
  9. Navy will find their way into the top 25 at some point during the season
  10. 5 of the 7 ACC Coastal teams will go 4-4 in the ACC, creating a 5-way tie for first place.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

1st and Ten: NFL QB Thoughts

 By Michael Schneid

The Bills easily have the worst QB depth chart in the NFL. EJ Manuel is the starter, entering his second year. The Bills released Dennis Dixon and Thaddeus Lewis this week, to make room to sign Jordan Palmer. Palmer will compete with Jeff Tuel in the final preseason game to determine who will back up Manuel. Manuel only started

Ryan Fitzpatrick is also among the worst starters in the league. Blake Bortles has been lighting it up throughout the pre-season and in practices. The Texans better hope Jadaveon Clowney is healthy and everything he has been advertised to be.

Brian Hoyer is being set up to fail. And it makes sense. Browns open at Pittsburgh, than face the Saints and Ravens at home before a week 4 bye. Cleveland will likely be 0-3 at this point, with the slight possibility of starting 1-2. Unless Hoyer's numbers are Pro Bowl-esque, Johnny Manziel will likely start vs the Titans in Week 5. The Browns are simply giving him an extra month to learn plays and learn the speed of the NFL game by watching on the sidelines.

The Redskins should trade Kirk Cousins after the 2014 season. People are going to continue to compare him to RG3 and some will continue to call for him to start. The only way to avoid the QB controversy is to move on of the two QBs. Of course, it may be easier if Robert Griffin plays to his potential as well.

The Rams aren't in serious trouble. Shaun Hill is not a bad QB. Sam Bradford wasn't exactly a great QB. The Rams defense is still scary and has a ton of potential and they were going to rely heavily on Zac Stacy and the run game anyways. If Hill can avoid turnovers and simply manage the game, the Rams can sneak into the playoffs.

Matt Schaub is done. He has looked awful this preseason and Derek Carr should be starting sooner than later for the Raiders this season. This would be the second straight year the Raiders brought in a veteran, who had nothing left in the tank and were forced to start a young QB.

2014 is a make-or-break season for Jake Locker. The Titans QB has weapons and has a new, offensive-minded head coach. If Locker cannot succeed under Ken Whisenhunt, who helped Philip Rivers have a resurgent year in 2013, Locker is unlikely to succeed under any head coach.

The Vikings are making the right move starting Matt Cassel over Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is the future, but Cassel can help the Vikings, who have a lot of talent on offense along with Norv Turner coaching the offense.

Josh McCown is unlikely to replicate his success from last year. Mike Glennon is clearly not the future in Tampa Bay and after this season, the Bucs will likely be in the market for a QB in the draft.

Another team who may be in the market for a QB in 2015 is Kansas City. The Chiefs were a big surprise last year and were the league's last unbeaten team. Alex Smith has one-year remaining on his contract. If he doesn't play at a high enough level, the Chiefs may decide to move on and go with more of a playmaking QB, over a game-managing QB like Smith.