Tuesday, September 30, 2014

BartenderCabbie System College Football Top 25 9/30/2014

The college football season now is going into the sixth week and, while there is a lot of question mark, some of the cream is rising to the top.

1. FSU: An escape from a better than expected NC State team nearly knocked them out of the top spot. Likely interchangeable with Oklahoma and Alabama at this point. The Bartendercabbie System will stick with the AP in this matter. For now.

2. Oklahoma: Looking like a team on the move. Could be number one. Could be number three.

3. Alabama: Could be interchangeable with number one or two.

4. Oregon: Top notch but there have been a few red flags.

5. Auburn: No reason (yet) to keep them out of the top 5.

6. Baylor: Still hard to say what they have certain. Looking good but a very weak schedule thus far.

7. Michigan State: Best of the Big Ten. Wisconsin at their heels. Ohio State? Hard to say.

8. Notre Dame: A legitimate top 10 team? Perhaps. Perhaps not. 

9. Texas Agriculture: May be ranked a bit high here. Or not.

10. UCLA: Another PAC 12 team with some question marks? You bet. Still the record shows.....

11. Mississippi: Had a good bit of trouble with Memphis last week. Thing is, the Tigers might be a top 25 team this season.

12. Mississippi State: Good team. Perhaps under rated what with them being Mississippi State and all.

13. Wisconsin: Up and coming. Could challenge in the Big Ten.

14. LSU: Yeah. Maybe.

15. Georgia: Have probably reached the pinnacle of success in the polls.

16. Stanford: Off a tad. We will see what they (and Notre Dame) are really made of directly.

17. BYU: A dangerous team for anyone at this point.

18. USC: A legitimate top 25 squad this season. What a difference a year makes.

19. Kansas State: Snyder will do more with a little. It is what he (usually) does.

20. North Carolina State: Really? Yep.  Perhaps a team on the move. Had FSU on the ropes. What happened?

21. Arkansas: The Hogs? Yes. Their run oriented offense will bother some folk in the SEC. Their defense will need to step up. Thrown the record out the window. For now.

22. Nebraska: The McNeese State near loss sticks out with this team. They are capable of dismal play. Perhaps ranked a bit high.

23. Ohio State: Have a lot to prove yet. Coaching staff may be the problem here. Loads of talent.

24. Oklahoma State: Not sure what they have yet really. Appear to be deserving. At this point.

25. East Carolina: Could be for real. Well coached.

On the brink in no particular order.
1. Missouri: May deserve to be in. Excellent win over a fairly decent South Carolina squad.
2. Memphis: This team should make some noise as conference play opens. Tough group. Much better than your standard Tiger squad.
3. Duke: Well coached group who could sneak in.
4. Miami: Ditto
5. Northern Illinois: Best of the MAC. Would likely need to run the conference schedule.
6. South Carolina: I would not count Spurrier out quite yet.
7. Arizona State: On the brink. Coached by an ass who does know how to get things done.
8. Arizona: Probably not after this upcoming Thursday night.
9. Maryland: Looks like they might be able to compete in the Big Ten after all.
10. TCU: Have played a very weak schedule. We will see what they really have pretty quick when they meet the Sooners. A good performance (even a "good" loss) will propel them into the bottom section of the Top 25. A win? Who knows.
11. Air Force: Perhaps. Will need to beat their Academy foes and pretty much run the table the rest of the way. They looked pretty good the other day.
12. Boise State: Will need to run the table the rest of the way. New coach has his work cut out for him. They were down a good bit even before Peterson split for "greener pastures."
13. Clemson: Still a slight possibility. Well coached. Little depth it seems.
14. Louisville: Not convinced. Coach is a proven winner though (along with being a horse ass).
15. Cincinnati: Fairly commendable performance against the Buckeyes. Not a fan of coach T.
16. Georgia Tech: Good record thus far. A team to keep an eye on. Could work their way in shortly.
17. West Virginia: Has a shot at the Top 25. Coach is likely on the hot seat at this point.
18. Marshall: Probably the best of CUSA. Could conceivably run the table in conference play.
19. Washington: Would have to improve. Well coached, but is that coach in the right place?
20 Temple: Better than anyone would expect at this point. Wouldn't that be something?
21. Nevada: Hmmm. Worth watching. Perhaps.
22. ULM: Could be if they run the Sun Belt. Unlikely proposition. A lot of parity probably among some of the old guard (Cajuns, Arkansas State), and perhaps one of the newcomers (Georgia Southern). A real long shot.

May have forgotten someone who is on the brink or has a legitimate shot. UVA perhaps?

Have a good week and enjoy the games.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 6 2014 College Football Forecast and Predictions

There were a number of good games yesterday with a minor upset in the SEC and another near upset. Florida State was, for a good while, in jeopardy of losing their number one ranking when they called on a pesky (and better than most expected) Wolfpack squad. There were not really a lot of stellar match ups (as far as media hype goes), but there was some good football played regardless. Last week the Bartendercabbie System was 6-4 for a total thus far of 39-11. There are a number of top notch match ups on tap upcoming so on to the predictions for week 6.

1. Arizona vs Oregon: This Thursday night match up should show the Ducks come out on the long end of the stick. It could be a blow out. Go with Oregon.

2. San Diego State vs Fresno State: I have not watched either of these teams this season but they appear pretty evenly matched just going by records. If the Walrus was still in charge up Fresno way I might go with them. He is not. I will blindly pick the Aztecs. I'm sure Fresno State is missing Pat Hill and his mustache right about now and I am also thinking the Aztecs are missing Hoke. I bet Hoke is missing his days in San Diego too. Just a guess mind. 

3. Ohio State vs Maryland: The "experts" have said that Maryland would not be able to compete in the Big Ten. I call bullshit on that. The Big Ten has some pretty good teams but maybe not one that will finish in the Top 10. The Turtles may not (or may) have quite what it takes to upend Ohio State at this point but it could be very close. Go with the Buckeyes.

4. Stanford vs Notre Dame: This one is always interesting and this year the Irish may (or may not) be for real. They certainly appear to be. Stanford might be just a tad off from their recent past but they do have talent and should be up for the game. Go with the team from California in an upset of sorts.

5. Oklahoma vs TCU: The Frogs have been flying under the radar thus far and haven't really played a challenging team. The Sooners may well compete for top spot in the land and certainly are the favorite in the Big Twelve with only Baylor looking like a major challenge. Go with the team from Oklahoma.

6. USM vs MTSU: Southern Mississippi used to be a team that anyone should fear. What happened? MTSU is a pretty good CUSA football team and should win here although it could be close.

7. Bama vs Ole Miss: The Rebs had a heck of a time with Memphis and only pulled away in the fourth. Their offense could not get going with the swarming Tiger defense dogging them every step. The Tide have had a really easy time thus far, playing a fairly typical SEC non conference schedule along with a down Florida, (although WVU did give them some problems for quite a while), and have to talent to wear down Ole Miss. Go with Alabama.

8. Navy vs Air Force: Have the Midshipmen finally fallen from the best (by far) of the service academies to now second best? Appears so thus far this season. The Falcons looked like a rather competent team yesterday with their handling of a fairly decent Boise State squad. These games can be hard to predict but I will go with the team with the better record. Take Air Force for the win.

9. TAMU vs Mississippi State: A toss up here and no mistake. The Aggies had really more than they could handle when they met the Hogs on "neutral" ground in Arlington. The Razorbacks beat themselves more than the Aggies beat them. (Let me be clear here. Despite the loss, the Razorbacks are marginally the better team). The Texas team certainly had trouble with the punishing running game that Arkansas brought to the table. The Hogs have brought some old school, pound the ground football to the table in the SEC certain. That being said, Mississippi State had a signature win two weeks back over the Louisiana Tigers and will be up for this one. This could go either way and I will flip that coin and go with the team from Mississippi.

10. Georgia State vs Louisiana: There does not appear to be a Sun Belt team this season that could come close to breaking into the Top 25. Arkansas State and the Cajuns have knocked on that door quite a bit the last few seasons. Quite a number of  SBC schools have moved onto CUSA and the Sun Belt has taken in some teams moving up from the IAA err FCS ranks and brought back Idaho (that stalwart of southern football). In other words it is almost a complete rebuild of the conference. The old guard remains intact in Troy, ULM, ASU, and Louisiana (Lafayette) however. This game has one of the newcomers calling on the old guard. Both come in with a 1-3 record but the Cajuns have played a pretty tough non conference schedule (Boise State and Ole Miss). Their blow out loss to Louisiana Tech is somewhat of a mystery but.....it is doubtful that GSU has what it takes to win here. I expect the Cajuns to again be a force in Sun Belt action as Arkansas State does not appear to be what they have been recently, ULM lost one of the best recent college QBs you never heard of to graduation, and Troy has been a downright bad team for two or three seasons, and none of the newcomers looks like they will step right up (with the possible exception of Georgia Southern). All that being said, pick the team from Louisiana in this one over the Georgia boys. 

Have a good week and enjoy the games.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Week 5 2014 College Football Forecast and Predictions

Last week the Bartendercabbie System had an 8-2 record for a total of 33-7 in this still young season. On to the predictions for week 5. Kind of SEC heavy this week but this is perhaps one of the least interesting weeks for match ups of the season.

1. UTEP vs KSU: The Wildcats are a good team and UTEP is UTEP. Go with KSU.

2. W Michigan vs VA. Tech: The bloom is off the rose early after the Hokies signature win over the Buckeyes. They should have no problem here though. Go with the team from Virginia.

3. Arkansas vs TAMU: This could be a good one. The Hogs are vastly improved and the Aggies will have another chance to prove they are for real. I smell upset here and will go with the Razorbacks.

4. Duke vs Miami (FL): This could be a good one between a couple of teams with some major bowl aspirations. A toss up here and I will go with Duke.

5. Memphis vs Ole Miss: We will see if the Tigers have improved as much as some say. This could be close but it would be wise to go with the Rebs.

6. Louisiana Tech vs Auburn: Go with the Tigers. Wouldn't it be great though?.......

7. Texas vs Kansas: Texas has a long way to go before anyone can call them a good team. The starting QB wisely decided to call it quits before concussion issues catch up with him. I would still go with the Longhorns here although it may be closer than some expect.

8. Mizzou vs South Carolina: Mizzou will be looking to rebound after their loss and prove they are going to be again a force in the SEC. Perhaps they have just lost too many players from the group that performed so well season last. I would go with Spurrier's bunch.

9. New Mexico State vs LSU: Again the SEC choses to schedule "sure wins." They should have little trouble with this particular bunch of Aggies.

10. Vanderbilt vs Kentucky: Which team will ride the cellar in the SEC this season? It will be one of these two certain. I go with Vanderbilt to edge the Wildcats but the game is, in reality, a toss up.

Have a good week and enjoy the games.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 4 2014 College Football Forecast and Predictioons

There were some rather surprising upsets of sorts last week. The Hokies, who embarrassed the vaunted Buckeyes, fell to the Pirates of ECU and perhaps even more surprising, the Trojans fell to the BC. The "big game" of the week saw Spurrier's bunch edge the Bulldogs which may or may not be considered an upset.

Which conference is the "best" right now? Conventional wisdom would point to the SEC but it is still a bit early to say certain. Possibly the PAC12 is a distant second although again, it is too early to tell. It must be admitted that this "analyst" is now having some second thoughts about the real strength of the premier West Coast conference. Just too many question marks have arisen so far in this young season. Is UCLA really that good? Will Peterson turn things around in Washington? What about USC (and Stanford for that matter)? About the only thing we know certain is that Oregon is the team to beat and perhaps the only one in conference with a shot of playing in the big game at the end in the newfangled college "playoff" system.

Over in the Big XII Oklahoma looks to be the real deal and Baylor has had little more than official scrimmages at this point. Lot of football left to be played.

The Bartender Cabbie system was 9-1 for week three with a total thus far of 25-5. That being said, on to the predictions for week 4.

1. Auburn vs KSU: The big game of the week on a Thursday night? Appears to be so. Auburn is a good football team and is a serious contender for the SEC title and all the marbles. KSU should make some noise in the BIG XII but likely will not challenge for conference crown. Go with Auburn here.

2. Tulane vs Duke: Most years this would be a good one between two top notch private schools who just don't do much on the gridiron. Once in a while either of these schools will have a year or two run with very competitive squads on the field and right now Duke is in that position. I would go with the team from North Carolina here.

3. Northwestern State vs Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs are so far having a pretty decent season. We will see how they do when  conference play commences. Back when both of these squads were in the lower division of college ball this was a yearly rivalry game. Usually played on the "neutral" field in Shreveport I do believe. Now the Bulldogs are in the big time and NSU is in the FCS Southland. The Demons should be up for this game but it would be wise to pick Louisiana Tech for the win.

4. Louisiana vs Boise State: Things are not starting off so well in Lafayette and likely won't get better this week. Conference play starts soon for the Cajuns and they should make some noise in the Sun Belt but will not have what it takes to beat the Broncos on the Blue Field.

5. Northern Illinois vs Arkansas: The Huskies may be one of the better teams in the MAC and the Hogs, while a long long way for being a serious contender in the SEC, have shown a good deal of improvement thus far. This one could be good and I will go with the Razorbacks here. It might be close.

6. Florida vs Alabama: A no brainer here. Go with the Tide. There will be a coaching staff change in Gainesville next season likely.

7. North Carolina vs East Carolina: Despite the preseason hype, North Carolina has not shown anyone that they are much. ECU had a signature win last week and should be on the lookout for a let down. This one will be a toss up and that coin will be flipped and I will go with ECU.

8. Miami (FL) vs Nebraska: This is an important game for both teams. Folks certainly doubt that either of these squads are worth much. Since this one is in Lincoln I would go with the Huskers here. But that didn't work out so well when the Cowboys of McNeese State came calling did it? Nebraska was  lucky to escape with a W in that one. Hmmm.  This game might well be another one of those toss ups and again I would go with the Cornhuskers. Could be wrong.

9. Clemson vs Florida State: The big one in the ACC. It is unlikely that anyone will unseat FSU in conference this season but Clemson might be the only team with any kind of legitimate shot to do so. They won't. Go with FSU. It has been said that the Seminoles are a "SEC like" team and I would have to agree with that assessment.

10. Rice vs Old Dominion: Rice has had a tough row to hoe up to this point and have performed reasonably well. Old Dominion is new to the upper division and have also performed rather well starting out. The Monarchs should come ready to play ball but the Owls are going to win this one. Go with Rice.

Have a good week and enjoy the games.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Week 3 2014 College Football Forecast and Predictions

I would be remiss in starting if I did not take time to remember the events of Sept 11, 2011. As usual the documentaries were in full swing and again as usual I took time to watch. I am sure I am not alone when I say that the feelings that wash over me are a combination of sorrow and furious anger. Thirteen years later we are still dealing with the trash responsible. Oh the names have changed as the once "big dog" and many of his minions are surely roasting, but we are still having to face this garbage and will for many years to come. Enough said on that subject. For now at least....

The college season has started off gangbusters to be sure. We might perhaps be learning that the Big X (How many teams do they have now?) might not be what one would consider a power conference anymore. A step above CUSA to be sure but not in the same league with the SEC and PAC12. I am starting to think that "west coast" ball is catching up and one of the squads in that league could very well be playing for all the marbles before all is said and done. Still early though although it must be noted that UCLA, an early dark horse PAC12 champion pick, while 2-0 at this point has struggled mightily and perhaps, just perhaps, does not deserve their ranking at this point. Memphis, their last opponent, does seem to be vastly improved and may make some noise in the newfangled and rather weird league they are currently a member of.
Nebraska? What can be said there? McNeese State did indeed prove they belonged on the field in Lincoln with the Huskers and almost pulled of a major upset. Who knew? Bo probably should start thinking about putting his digs on the market......

Last week the Bartender Cabbie system was 9-1 straight up with a total of 16-4 for the young season and still Vegas does not call......On to the predictions for week 3.

1. UCLA vs Texas: The Longhorns may (or may not) be dismal and there are certainly some questions about UCLA at this point. A Longhorn loss to BYU was not something totally unexpected but the ease of which the Cougars trounced the boys from Austin was a bit surprising. Just Thursday of this week the Cougars of Utah had much more trouble with the Cougars of Houston than they did last week with the Horns. Hmmmm. UCLA? Two lackluster victories put them at 2-0 but still they don't seem to be a top 10 (or 15) team. Granted Memphis is a better team than we have seen in the past and gave the Bruins all they could handle. That being said, today's game should show UCLA beating Texas. The margin of victory will say a lot about both teams. Go with the squad from California here.

2. UMASS vs Vanderbilt: Rumor is that the Minutemen may decide not to stay in Division I football and drop on back to the FCS. Don't know how true that is but time will tell I guess. Vanderbilt looks like they will be at the bottom of the SEC. In Nashville coaching makes all the difference in the world. Franklin (stupidly?) took his winning ways to PSU and the Commodores have dropped from a pretty good team that could surprise some of the SEC big dogs to a group that may have trouble competing in the Sun Belt. So it goes. This might be a toss up but I will go with Vandy here. So should you.

3. Iowa State vs Iowa: The Cyclones may not be quite as bad a team as their 0-2 record shows. The loss to ND State was not surprising as a good may teams in the upper division would suffer that fate. Some you might not expect even (Who would like to see the Bison take on the Buckeyes, Huskers, Gators, LSU, Notre Dame etc?). The Iowa State squad had KSU but finally fell as time was running out. Their cross state rival? Another middle of the pack Big X team. That makes this game pretty even and a toss up. I will flip the coin and go with Iowa State.

4. Louisiana Monroe vs LSU: Last year I would have given the Warhawks at least a fighting chance. The man behind center was probably one of the better college field generals in the game and you likely can't call his name. Nobody like Browning guiding the Warhawk offense this season. He was a special college player. The kids from Monroe should be up for this game but it will not be enough. Go with LSU. It could get ugly. 

5. Southern Miss vs Alabama: Remember when USM was a dangerous team for anyone? Hasn't been that long ago. Another tune up for Alabama here. Go with the Tide.

6. Tennessee vs Oklahoma: The Vols are probably improved some but the Sooners (along with perhaps Baylor) may be the only squad(s) in the BIG XII that are serious contenders for all the marbles this season. Go with the Oklahoma.

7. Rice vs Texas Agriculture: The Owls should have some success this season but just not today. Wouldn't it be great though? Go with the Aggies.

8. Nebraska vs Fresno State: The Huskers likely aren't much but I am guessing they are missing Pat Hill and his walrus mustache over in Fresno right about now. Go with Nebraska.

9. UTSA vs Okahoma State: UTSA may well be a pretty good ball club (for CUSA). There are questions about the Cowboys (nothing unusual there). Their whole last season was a question on which team would show up. That being said, I would imagine that the team from Oklahoma has the depth to win here and will. Go with OSU.

10. SLU vs Tulane: Southeastern Louisiana has only been back in the college game for few short years and are proving that they are certainly competitive in the FCS Southland. Tulane is Tulane. A very tough place to be successful. Harder than Rice or Vanderbilt even. This game should be a toss up and I will go with the kids from little ole Hammond here. Take SLU for a minor (very minor) upset of sorts.

Have a good week and enjoy the games.