Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What The Hell - I'll Go Again

It has been about a year and a half since I have graced these pages and now I think I will start up again. Stay tuned. Plenty of drivel on the way.

Friday, January 16, 2015

BartenderCabbie System College Football Final Top 25 2014 Season

It was a pretty good and entertaining 2014 season. There was, as usual, plenty of surprises, the prowess of TCU and the real weakness of FSU to name a couple. It is also a bit surprising that Ohio State actually lived up to their potential (3 QBs who could start anywhere else is a good thing to have apparently), and of course predictably Oklahoma fell short (way short this time) of their potential. That being said here is the final Bartendercabbie System Top 25 for (as us purists call it) Division I.

1. Ohio State: Proven on the field of play.
2. Oregon: Toss up between this group and the Frogs. A Heisman winning QB who is not a ego maniacal punk or (alleged) criminal? What is up with that?
3. TCU: A team that should have been in the mix in this newfangled college football "playoff system." Fast bunch.
4. Alabama: I don't think the Saban/Kiffin thing will last long term.
5. Michigan State: Another good showing
6. Baylor: Had some ups and downs but a well coached ball club. Has talent
7. Florida State: Finally exposed but did run through their conference somehow. Too many close calls in a rather weak league for them to be considered a top 4 team frankly. Not that they aren't a good team. They are.
8. Georgia Tech: Not quite sure if they deserve to be this high, but they did take care of business when it needed to be done.
9. UCLA: Improving. Will be a force in the PAC 12 and perhaps nationally next season. Well coached.
10. Mississippi State: Frankly a dream season although the faithful are disappointed. Well coached.
11. Mizzou: Good football team in the sort of overlooked SEC East.
12. Georgia: Has talent. Coaching suspect.
13. Boise State: New man moves over from Arkansas State and keeps things moving forward. Funny this ASU seems to be the cradle of top notch coaches here of late.
14. Clemson: Made a statement in their bowl outing. Well coached. A rebuild this season.
15. Ole Miss: Can be a Top 5 team on a good day. Can be fairly horrible on a bad.
16. Kansas State: Snyder again does something with almost nothing.
17. Arizona State: OK
18. Arizona: Ditto
19. Wisconsin: Pretty good. Rather tough schedule.
20. Arkansas: Better than a good many teams with nicer looking records. A team to watch in the SEC next season. Perhaps nationally?
21. Memphis: Keep the staff together and they may be able to build on a great season.
22. USC: Improved since the departure of that damn fool Kiffin.
23. Marshall: Best of CUSA hands down despite the upset by WKU. Should scare any team in the top 25.
24. Auburn: Well coached. Decent team. Fans not happy but a better coach is not likely to be found. Anywhere.
25. Louisville: OK.

On the bubble
Utah: Just not convinced this squad is top 25 material this season.
Air Force: Best of the Service Schools.
Utah State: Perhaps, just perhaps, the best team in the state of Utah when all was said and done.
BYU: Would have been a power had Hill not gone down. Likely would have been a club that finished in the top 15.
Duke: A good season for Blue Devil football. Not quite up to last year's squad but a decent team none the less. Great staff. Can they sustain?
Notre Dame: Most thought they were finally for real. They weren't. Had a nice win over a rebuilding LSU squad over in Nashville to cap off the season.
Georgia Southern: The class of the Sun Belt was not eligible for post season. Pity. Might have surprised some folk.
Louisiana: The Cajuns are a good Sun Belt club. Again.
Northern Illinois: Best of the MAC.
Nebraska: OK. Maybe. A long way to go before anyone takes them real seriously on the national level.
Minnesota:  A good season for Gopher football. Can they keep building on this moderate success?
Louisiana Tech: Looked like a team that can compete some on a bigger stage (the loss to FCS Northwestern State notwithstanding).
UCF: Dangerous to anyone on a good day.
Houston: I would have given the coaching staff a bit more time. Might have made a good hire though. Time will tell.
Stanford: Off year. Will they revert back to the Stanford we know and love after quite a few years of being pretty darn good? Time will tell.
LSU: Hmmmm. Probably not. Maybe
PSU: Ditto
Colorado State: Good MWC team but Top 25 material they are not.
Texas Aggies: A rebuild year. What will Sumlin do without a stellar college QB behind center? This year sort of showed that I guess. Say what you will about Johnny "Football" but he did some amazing stuff in college. Yes I know he's a punk and not NFL material. Perhaps he should change his handle to "Johnny Arena Football?
Oklahoma: What the hell happened? Loaded with talent. Loaded.
Bowling Green: Pretty much time to stop...

It was a super year of college ball and I hope you enjoyed the season as much as I did. Stay tuned. More to come........

Sunday, January 11, 2015

FCS Championship Is In The Books

The IAA err FCS Championship is in the books. ND State predictably won but it was not easy. Not by a long shot. The Redbirds came to play......One can only hope the D1 game is as entertaining.
On a side note, one thing that both the Bison and Redbirds had in common this year is that both lost to Northern Iowa. Oh, and both teams are members of the MVC. So in essence the game was both for the FCS Championship and the MVC Championship.

A good game it was.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

College Football Bowl Predictions 2014 Season

The college football bowl season is upon us, starting today in fact, and there are some good match ups and some that leave a bit to be desired. Nothing unusual there...
The BartenderCabbie System is 97-53 straight up this season and with that being said, on to the predictions.......

1. Nola Bowl: This one is a pretty good match up between the Cajuns and the Wolfpack of Nevada. This game has become a regular stop for Louisiana and they have been quite successful here. Nevada brings a pretty darn good team and I would go with them for the win.

2. New Mexico Bowl: Utah State vs UTEP for this one. These particular Aggies of Utah are one of those teams that the "big boys" in college ball are (or should be) a little leery of facing. They are the better of the two and will win here.

3. Las Vegas Bowl: The Utes are likely a deeper team than the Rams of CSU but look for the team from Colorado to pull off a minor upset.

4. Idaho Potato Bowl: This bowl on the blue field is not very interesting this year. Air Force is the better of the two and will find themselves victorious over WMU.

5. Camellia Bowl: The what? South Alabama vs Bowling Green? Too many bowl games to be sure. I would go with South Alabama here for no real good reason.

6. Miami Beach Bowl: Now this should be a good game. Memphis is under rated and well coached and BYU got derailed a bit early with the loss of their stellar QB. Both good teams and I would go with the Tigers for the win.

7. Boca Raton Bowl: If you happen to be in the Miami area for the prior game you may as well stick around and catch this one between Marshall and NIU. The Herd may be thinking this is a consolation game of sorts after being talked about for most of the season as a team that might get a "New Years" bowl. WKU spoiled that for them. They will have to guard against a "let down" performance. NIU is the best of the MAC, although they have had better squads in the recent past. Go with Marshall for the win here.

8. Poinsettia Bowl: SDSU vs the Midshipmen might be an interesting match up. Navy has relinquished (for this year) the title of "best of the service schools" and SDSU can be pretty good. This is a toss up and I will go with SDSU for the win.

9. Bahamas Bowl: OK. This one between CMU and WKU could be decent. Both teams are under the radar for the most part and also both are pretty darn good squads for their respective conferences. Go with the Hilltoppers in a close one.

10. Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs Rice? Will anyone show up? Rice has trouble getting asses in the seats at home even when they have a pretty good season (which has become par for the course of late). That being said, the Owls are likely the marginally better team and will come away with a victory. Rice needs to find a way to keep their coaching staff intact.

11. Heart of Dallas Bowl: Illinois and Louisiana Tech square off in what would likely be a toss up. The Bulldogs are slightly under rated perhaps and Illinois is Illinois. Well the did reach a bowl game (of sorts)......Go with the Louisiana team in what some would consider a minor upset.

12. Quick Lane Bowl: Rutgers vs NC may or may not be worth watching. Early in the season some folk picked the Tar Heels to be a team worth watching. They were not. Other folks said that there was no way Rutgers could compete in the "powerful" Big Ten. They can. What does all this mean? Not much other than it might be a decent game. Go with the team from NJ in a close one.

13. St. Petersburg Bowl: UCF is not the team they were last year but still a dangerous team to most anyone on a good day. There is not much to NC State frankly. Yes they did give FSU fits but then so did just about everyone else. I would go with the team from Orlando here.

14. Military Bowl: Cincy vs Virginia Tech is another one of those bowl games that just should not be played. Go with the team from Ohio.

15. Sun Bowl: Arizona State vs Duke could be good. Duke has had another excellent season (as far as Blue Devil football goes) and the Sun Devils are among the best of the rest in the PAC 12. Both teams are well coached (although the HC at ASU is a blithering ass and the Duke HC is a class guy), and both have pretty good squads. I will go out on a limb and pick Duke.

16. Independence Bowl: A bit more was expected out of Spurrier's squad and frankly some folks thought Miami might again begin to be a team to take seriously on the national level. This consolation game in Shreveport will be good as both teams will be out to prove they matter. Go with South Carolina in what may be one of the best games of the bowl season.

17. Pinstripe Bowl: BC vs PSU......Ho Hum. Go with BC in an upset of sorts.

18. Holiday Bowl: This game between USC and the Huskers could be good. Nebraska likely has more talent but USC will come out on top.

19. Liberty Bowl: This game in Memphis between the Mountaineers and the Aggies will be one to watch. The Aggies are in rebuild mode and WVU is among the best of the rest in the Big Twelve. Go with WVU in a close one.

20. Russell Athletic Bowl: Oklahoma should have in theory been a contender for the "big game at the end." The Sooners weren't even serious contenders in their conference. Coaching problem likely....On the other hand, Clemson does not have the coaching issue. They just don't have the talent the Sooners do. Might not matter. Go with Clemson.

21. Texas Bowl: A good one here. Arkansas is much better than their record and frankly the Longhorns are a bit lucky to be here. The Hogs smash mouth brand of football may (or may not) ultimately work well in the SEC but it should be enough to win over this year's Longhorn squad. Go with Arkansas.

22. Music City Bowl: Well Nashville is a nice town although it can get a little chilly this time of year. LSU should be able to beat a Notre Dame team that proved to be over rated after all. Unless of course Miles makes some sort of boneheaded call that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. He is known to do such.....

23. Belk Bowl: Louisville vs Georgia is not a real interesting match up. Both teams are probably pretty even and I will toss the coin and predict that the Bulldog defense will let them down again. Go with Louisville.

24. Foster Farms Bowl: The what? Maryland vs Stanford? Go with the team from California.

25. Chick Fil-A Bowl: TCU (and Baylor) along with the rest of the Big XXII are not happy about being left out of the college football "playoff" festivities. TCU will have to guard against a let down against an Ole Miss team that is very very dangerous. TCU is quicker and better but this may (or may not) be a close one. Go with the Frogs.

26. Fiesta Bowl: When will we see a real playoff in the ranks of "big time" college ball? Guess never. Boise State, had they remained undefeated (like Marshall nearly did) still would not have been considered for entry into the elite. What a scam. Anyway this game is a home game for the Arizona team and they are the better team and will win. Not that the Broncos did not have a commendable season........

27. Orange Bowl: Mississippi State vs Georgia Tech may be good. The Bulldogs are the better team and Georgia Tech has been playing above their talent level. Go with the team from Mississippi.

28. Outback Bowl: Wisconsin was completely embarrassed in their last outing. They are a better team than that. Auburn fell off a bit but is still marginally the better squad. Go with the Tigers.

29. Cotton Bowl: Baylor (and TCU) are better  than the fourth team selected for the "playoff" and the Bears will have to guard against feeling like this is a consolation game. The Cotton is one of the premier bowl games and this will be more or less a home game for the Bears. They should be able to beat the Spartans but MSU comes in as a good, well coached football team. Go with Baylor.

30. Citrus Bowl: Missouri again proved they can compete in the SEC and the Gophers have had a pretty darn good season. The Tigers are better but MN. is scrappy. Go with the Gophers in a minor upset.

31. Rose Bowl: Are the Ducks a better team than FSU? I would say yes. Quicker. Let us be honest, FSU has had an awful lot of lucky breaks this year. Not to say they aren't a good football team. They are. The Ducks are just better and will prove it on the field.

32. Sugar Bowl: Alabama is not quite as powerful as they have been in the recent past. Still they are certainly a top four squad. Ohio State is back and no mistake although they should perhaps have not been the fourth team selected. They can prove the doubters wrong in New Orleans though. NOLA is SEC territory to be sure but the Buckeyes may have a surprise in store. I would still go with the Tide in a close one. Long and short is I predict Alabama and Oregon will vie for the "national title" after the Sugar and Rose are in the books.

33. Armed Forces Bowl: Houston has fired their head coach for some reason or other. He has done a pretty commendable job down in Cougar country......Pitt is Pitt and I predict that the Coogs will come away with a victory here.

34. Taxslayer Bowl: Iowa vs Tennessee is uninteresting. I will go with the Vols.

35. Alamo Bowl: KSU vs UCLA may or may not be good. KSU is the better team and no mistake. Look for a Wildcat win.

36. Cactus Bowl: There are far too many bowls. Washington vs Oklahoma State? Toss a coin and go with the Cowboys.

37. Birmingham Bowl: Well at least a lot of money will come to town. Die hard Florida fans will make the trip and the North Carolina ain't that far away. Go with ECU. On another note, it is a shame that UAB disbanded their football program. College sports is a business after all. What? You thought it a mere game?

38. Go Daddy Bowl: This one would be interesting if Danica Patrick did a pole dance at halftime. Other than that the Arkansas State/Toledo match up is just not something most are interested in. For the first time in a few years though the ASU squad is not the best team in Arkansas. Each of the last three Indians errr Red Wolves coaches have moved on to success. I, for one, still miss Big Tom as HC up Toledo way. Flip the coin here and go with Toledo for the victory.

39. FCS Championship: Whoever wins today (Sat 20 Dec) will find themselves fodder for a very very good  ND State team. I predict that the game will be between the Bison and New Hampshire but the Bison should win whoever they meet.

Well who will be in the big game at the end to decide the "Division I National Championship?" I am going to say it will be between the Tide and the Ducks and will go out on a limb and predict the Ducks to be the ultimate number one. We will see..............

Have a good holiday season and enjoy the games...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bartender Cabbie College Football Top 25 2014 Pre Bowl

The regular season has come to a close in "big time" college ball (the West Point/Navy game notwithstanding) and while there are some good match ups in the FCS ranks, it is pretty much a lock that ND State will take the trophy for that level (although I do like Chattanooga and SHSU). As far as the upper division, well we have pretty much the same type scam that has been run on college football fans (and schools) for years. This newfangled playoff committee has pretty much turned out to be a joke.... No news there...That being said, on to the Pre Bowl College Football Top 25 for the 2014 season...

1. Oregon: Fast. Probably the team to beat.
2. Alabama: Beatable but a dangerous team to anyone
3. FSU: Finds a way to win. There has been a lot of lucky breaks for the 'Noles this year.
4. Baylor: Quite a bit quicker than most but a one loss Big Twelve team won't get any consideration apparently. Did have a very weak non conference slate one has to admit.
5. Ohio State: May (or may not be) deserving of the spot that places them in the college football "playoff." The Bartender Cabbie System would have them on the outside looking in.
6. TCU: Perhaps should have had a bit more consideration. Near loss to the Jayhawks likely hurt their chances.
7. Kansas State: The best three loss team in the country. Can play some good ball.
8. Mississippi State: Dangerous to anyone anytime anywhere.
9. Michigan State: Perhaps, just perhaps, the best squad in the Big Ten not from Ohio.
10. Ole Miss: The Rebs have fallen off lately.
11. Arizona: Better than they showed last week.
12. Georgia Tech: Good ACC team. Very good.
13. Georgia: OK.
14. UCLA: Well coached. Will be a force in the PAC 12 shortly.
15. Arizona State: Graham knows how to win - jerk that he is.
16. Missouri: Odd that they never really did much in the Big Twelve.
17.Auburn: Good SEC team.
18. Arkansas: Arkansas? Yes. Better than their record and moving in the right direction.
19. Boise State: The best of the rather weak Mountain West. Not convinced this is quite as good as the Bronco teams we have seen in the recent past. We will see....
20. Wisconsin: What happened Badgers?
21. Clemson: A decent ACC team. Well coached.
22. LSU: A rebuild season although folks are again calling for Miles' head.
23. Louisville: OK. Petrino does know how to win.
24. Utah: Probably playing above their talent level.
25. Memphis: I would give them consideration over some of the higher profile squads. Coach Fuente has them moving in the right direction certain. Maybe he will stick around?

On the bubble in no particular order
1. Northern Illinois: Best of the MAC
2. Nebraska: Pelini fired? May or may not be a good decision. Let us be honest, Nebraska left the Big Twelve to again become a "major power." Does not seem to be happening in the marginally weaker Big Ten either.
3. Cincinnati: Good AAC team.
4. UCF: Not quite what they were last season but a dangerous squad none the less.
5. Marshall: Could surprise some top 10 squads on a good day. Well coached.
6. USC: Lane gone (inexplicably to Alabama) and that immediately improved the Trojan prospects.
7. Oklahoma: Should be a contender with all that talent. Problem must be coaching. Has to be.
8. Texas: Improving somewhat. Good coach but he might not be a long term fit in Austin. Too early to tell.
9. Texas A&M: Guess young "Johnny Football" was the team last year. Sumlin is a good coach but this is the first season in years that he has not had a stellar college QB going back to his days at UH.
10. Minnesota: Pretty darn good Big Ten team. Nice to see frankly.
11. Duke: Well coached. Not quite last year's squad but a pretty darn good team.
12. WVU: Hope Dana keeps his job. I like him and his hair.
13. Oklahoma State: Maybe. Nice job against the Sooners last week.
14. Colorado State: Commendable season.
15. Air Force: The best of the service schools this season.
16. Georgia Southern: Looked good in their first year in the "big time." Is anyone surprised?
17. East Carolina: Perhaps a bit of a stretch.
18. Stanford: Fell off this season.
19. BYU: One has the feeling that this would have been a top 25 squad had not the top notch QB gone done early.
20:  Utah State: Can be a dangerous team. It would be a team I would not schedule if I was looking for a non conference cream puff. Hear that SEC?
21. Louisiana Tech: OK - stretching things a bit. Time to stop.
22. Houston: Really time to put an end to this. Firing the coach was a stupid move on the part of the administration. Stupid. Unless they can get Sumlin or Briles back of course.....Don't go looking for the fired Gator HC. Rumors........

I am looking forward to putting out the Bowl projections here shortly and will even throw in the FCS Championship Game. Picking ND State for that but hoping Chattanooga pulls one out as this is being written to advance and/or SHSU continues to win....

Have a good week and enjoy the games (If you like lower division ball there are some good match ups on tap.)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Week 15 2014 College Football Forecast and Predictions

Time is short so onto the predictions for week 15. Some rather important games on tap..........Last week the Bartendercabbie System went 5-5 for a total on the season thus far of 91-49.....

1. NIU vs Bowling Green: 1st quarter under way already and if I were a betting man I would go with the Huskies here to become the MAC Champion.

2. Louisiana Tech vs Marshall: The Herd are the better club and will come back after their near inexplicable loss to WKU last week. Go with Marshall to take the CUSA crown.  Could be close.

3. Alabama vs Mizzou: Upset here. Go with Missouri. The Tide are beatable by many just above average teams on any given day. This season anyway. Nick and Lane are not getting along and that bodes ill at some point. What the heck were they thinking in Tuscaloosa anyway hiring that damn fool Kiffin. It reminds me of what Sherman said of Judson Kilpatrick --"I know that Kilpatrick is a hell of a damn fool, but he is just the sort of man I want to lead my cavalry." Only difference is why on earth would Saban need Kiffin. He is (Kiffin) a hell of a damn fool but who would want him to lead their offense?

4. Wisconsin vs Ohio State: Another upset? Perhaps. Toss up and I will go with the Badgers.....OSU always just seems to come up short.

5. KSU vs Baylor: The Wildcats may perhaps be one of the best in the land right now. Baylor let a TTU squad come back on them last week. Go with KSU. They are playing good ball.

6. Iowa State vs TCU: The Frogs should win this one handily but think back a couple weeks when they almost let a KU squad take them. Same could happen here but, well, probably not. Go with TCU.

7. FSU vs Georgia Tech: Oh yes this one. The Seminoles find a way to win week in and week out albeit against (at times) somewhat suspect competition. I would go with them to find another way to eek one out for the win and conference championship.

8. Fresno State vs Boise State: This is really a rather huge rivalry game. BSU used to be a near perennial threat to be a BCS buster and Fresno State was usually the best of the rest. Both have fallen off in the last couple of years but this should be a good game none the less and will decide the Mountain West winner. Go with BSU in a good, tough game.

9. Arizona vs Oregon: Oregon is the quicker team but are beatable. Will the Wildcats be able to do it. No. Go with the Ducks.

10 Houston vs Cincinnati: As pretty good AAC match up. Both are good teams for the conference and are evenly matched. Never thought much of Tuberville, no matter where he coaches, and the QB change earlier in the season has somewhat revitalized the Houston club. That being said this one is even and the coin will be flipped and land in the favor of Houston coming out on top.

Have a good week and enjoy the games.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Week 14 2014 College Football Forecast and Predictions

One thing we have learned from this season is that there are quite a few good teams but really no one stands out and can be considered a "great" group. Everyone except for (somehow) FSU and Marshall have at least one stain on the record and one gets the feeling that any team can be beaten on any given day by just about any opponent they schedule. What does this mean? Not much, although it does (or will directly) prove, right out of the gate, that the new "playoff" system for "big time" college ball is just as much garbage as the older system fans had to endure. Just too many squads that are perhaps deserving will be left out of the picture. Sound familiar?

Last week the Bartendercabbie group (me) inadvertently picked 11 games (blame it on a rare hangover?) and went 9-2. Let us throw out the Georgia/Chas Southern game and call it an even 8-2 for a total on the season thus far of  86-44.

On to the predictions........

1. TCU vs Texas: The Frogs are one of those teams that may find themselves on the outside looking in when all is said and done and this "playoff committee" finally has their say. Just not enough quality opponents the pundits are saying. Really? You are telling me that Ohio State (and FSU) face a quality schedule? Of course the one Frog loss came when they let the Bears come roaring back on them and the near loss to a lowly KU squad does not help their case. That being said, the Frogs have to take care of business here or the whole argument will become moot anyway.
This has the potential to be a good game. The Longhorns have improved somewhat and the Frogs are certainly beatable. Toss up perhaps and I will go with the speed of TCU to prevail.

2. LSU vs TAMU: A good game between underachievers in the SEC. Both are in somewhat of a rebuild (or reload) mode this season and the record proves it. Both are also pretty darn good football teams. Toss that coin and go with the Aggies at home.

3. Oregon vs Oregon State: The "Civil War" they call this one. Upset? Doubtful. Go with the Ducks. Don't count the Oregon out of being at the "big game at the end."

4. KSU vs KU: KSU is hands down the better team but their rivals may give them some problems. The Wildcats are far from great but seem to find a way to win consistently. Go with KSU.

5. Ohio State vs Michigan: This rivalry game could be interesting. OSU is much better of course but anything can happen here. Are the Buckeyes ripe for being on the wrong side in the W/L column here? Probably not. Go with Ohio State.

6. Ole Miss vs Mississippi State: This will be a fun one. The Rebs have imploded of late and the Bulldogs have only lost to the Tide. Go with MSU.

7. Auburn vs Alabama: The Tide are certainly beatable and Auburn does have the talent (and good coaching) to do so. This will be a good one and the winner will be a team from Alabama. Which one? Guess I will go with conventional wisdom here and pick the Tide.

8. Notre Dame vs USC: The Irish have imploded. What happened? Loads of talent up that way and a team that (finally) should have been in the top 10. USC is a pretty good PAC 12 team but certainly nothing special. Another toss up? Probably. Go with the Irish.

9. WKU vs Marshall: If the Herd prevail will they finally get some recognition from this newfangled "playoff" committee? At least enough to put them in the Top 25? At least in the ridiculous and now defunct BCS system there was a such thing occasionally as a "BCS buster." Oh the game? Go with the Herd.

10. Rice vs Louisiana Tech: The best of the rest in CUSA square off and both teams have something in common. They have each lost to a moving up from FCS into CUSA Old Dominion squad. This will be another good albeit under the radar game and I will go with the Owls for the win.

Double check the count. No hangover this time.  Yep 10 games (and 10 games only). Have a good and safe Thanksgiving week and enjoy the games.