CFB Off Season

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Author: [College Football] Topic: CFB Off Season
WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 4/25/2017 11:02:29 AM
FRESNO STATE - New coach Jeff Tedford inherits a team that went 1-11 overall and 0-8 in the Mountain West Conference.  Tedford will have 10 starters back on offense and 6 starters returning on defense. Even with 16 starters returning, it's obvious this team needs a major shakeup on both sides of the ball as the Bulldogs struggled in every aspect of the game last year.  The offense ranked 125th nationally managing just 17 points per game.  The defense wasn't much better ranking 83rd in scoring defense by giving up 31 points per game. Let's just say the Bulldogs have a ways to go to regain their footing.  Tedford is in for a tough first season!

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 4/26/2017 8:16:52 AM
UAB - University Alabama Birmingham returns to competitive football for the first time in more than two years after the program was shut down due to financial concerns.  The public outcry following the school's decision led to a fundraising campaign that generated more than $43 million.  The school reinstated the football program in 2015, but NCAA rules required the Blazers to go through a training and preparation adjustment period.  UAB is finally clear to resume play in 2017.  Although the Blazers didn't play a 2016 schedule, many of the players on the roster participated in fall camp last season.  They practiced three or four times per week and held scrimmages during what traditionally would be game days.  I wouldn't sleep on UAB this year because this team is going to surprise some folks.

Alabama A&M.....@Ball State.....Coastal Carolina.....@North Texas.....Louisiana Tech.....Middle Tennessee State.....@Charlotte.....@Southern Miss.....Rice.....@UTSA.....@Florida.....UTEP

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 4/27/2017 11:44:39 AM
AUBURN - (Best Case Scenario)  They pull off the upset over the rebuilding Clemson team early on, setting the tone for a relatively easy part of the season.  They get to 6-0 before going to LSU, and win two of the three straight road games before dealing with Georgia.  They're 8-1 before going into the final three weeks with Georgia and Alabama at home to get to the SEC Championship Game.  While 11-`1 might be too much to ask for, 10-2 is possible and 9-3 more likely.  As long as the Tigers get to the Bama game with a chance to win the West Division, everything should be going along well.  Did I mention best case scenario?

Ga Southern.....@Clemson.....Mercer.....@Missouri.....Miss State.....Ole Miss.....@LSU.....@Arkansas.....Open.....@Texas A&M.....Georgia.....La-Monroe.....Alabama

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 4/28/2017 9:09:42 AM
WASHINGTON - The defending Pac-12 champions will open the 2017 campaign on the East Coast against Rutgers - a team they defeated 48-13 last season.  The Huskies who have won 15 straight home contest against nonconference opponents with the last loss coming in 2010, will return home for back-to-back games against Montana (Sept. 9) and Fresno State (Sept.16).  Washington has covered 11 out of 14 games after they score 40 or more points playing a nonconference opponent.  Could be some situational plays early season to keep an eye on.

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 4/29/2017 12:09:19 PM
ILLINOIS - Injuries and inconsistent play hampered Illinois (3-9) during Lovie Smith's first season with the program.  Eight of the nine losses were by double-digits, with seven of those games by 20 points or more.  The team finished with its worst single season record since 2012.  Illinois finished next-to-last in the Big Ten in total offense last season despite returning seven starters from 2015.  The entire starting defensive line is gone, putting more pressure on linebackers and secondary.  If Illinois hopes to bounce back in 2017, the Illini will need to find a consistent quarterback and rebuild a depleted defensive line.  With just 9 starters returning from last year, there are plenty of holes to fill on a team with not a whole lot of talent.  Another tough year in Champaign!

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 4/30/2017 7:56:47 AM
MASSACHUSETTS - UMass football has hit on hard time lately with the program looking for its first winning season since 2010.  The program was transitioning from the Mid-American Conference to independent play in 2016 and featured a difficult schedule, including four opponents from Power 5 conferences.  Coupled with the fact that team returned 10 starters and it was easy to see why seven of the team's ten losses were by double digits, including a 42 point loss to BYU.  Even with an easier schedule this season, don't expect much from the Minuteman.  This team has been a money burner the past few years.

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/1/2017 12:22:13 PM
BOSTON COLLEGE - What kind of opening schedule do you want when you're breaking in a new quarterback.  Probably not Northern Illinois, Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Clemson.  Whoever wins the starting quarterback job better rise to the occasion or else the hopes of a good season will be lost.  With Louisville and Florida State on the schedule, getting back to seven wins may be too much to ask.

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/2/2017 8:22:54 AM
SEC/NFL DRAFT - For the eleventh straight year, the Southeastern Conference led all conferences in the NFL Draft.  Take a look.

SEC  (53)
ACC  (42)
Pac-12  (36)
Big Ten  (35)
AAC  (15)
Big-12  (14)
MAC  (11)
C-USA  (9)
MWC  (8)
Sun Belt (5)
Independent  (3)
FCS  (14
Division II  (7)

Teams with most players drafted:

Michigan (11).....Alabama (10).....Miami (9).....Florida (8).....LSU (8).....Utah (8).....Ohio State (7).....Clemson (6).....North Carolina (6).....Tennessee (6)

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/3/2017 7:19:22 AM
AIR FORCE - The Falcons have averaged at least four wins over the past three seasons over nonconference foes (12-3) including a perfect 3-0 record against FCS teams.  The Falcons are looking for their first win against Michigan (0-2) when they travel to Ann Arbor in mid September.  The program goes for its 21st Commander-in-Chief trophy - second in a row - when it takes on Navy and Army later in the season.  Air Force has been money when playing their third game of the season winning 12 of 16 against the spread..  San Diego State will be third on the schedule this season.

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/4/2017 7:29:28 AM
AKRON - Terry Bowden (24-37) is entering his 6th season with the Zips.  Akron finished 5-7 last year including 3-5 in the MAC.  Injuries and a lack of depth hurt the team in 2016.  Fifteen starters return this year allowing more experience and depth.  Akron hasn't won more than eight games in a season since 1969.  Bowden has pulled the program out of the depths of despair, but he hasn't managed to deliver consistent winning seasons.  A tough nonconference schedule won't help the team's chances of bouncing back in 2017.  (Penn State, Arkansas PB, Iowa State, Troy)

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POISON66 PM POISON66
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Posted: 5/5/2017 3:19:08 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by WalterTibbs:

CENTRAL MICHIGAN - Just when it seemed the Chippewas were about to become a major factor last year after a 5-2 start and big win over Oklahoma State, they couldn't get the offense going, losing five of their last six games including a 55-10 bowl embarrassment to Tulsa.  Now, there's plenty of hope to be at least as good with most of the defensive parts back along with just about everyone of note on the offensive side, EXCEPT for quarterback.  Losing Cooper Rush could be the team's killer.  With 3,540 yards and 23 touchdowns last season, the four-year starter is gone.  No other quarterback on the team threw a pass.  Just how much will the loss of Rush hurt is the big question entering the 2017 season.Welcome your comments...........................

Actually, this was the game that Oklahoma State got screwed in where the MAC refs gave CMU the ball and an untimed down . Amazing that all 10 officials including replay didn't know the rules. Unbelievable.
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POISON66 PM POISON66
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Posted: 5/5/2017 3:21:14 AM
Enjoy your write ups, how about Oklahoma State? Thanks in advance
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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/5/2017 12:46:09 PM
OKLAHOMA STATE - If the Cowboys would play a little defense to go along with a very dangerous offense, they would be a very good team.  Unfortunately for Cowboy fans, the defense which ranked #102 last year probably won't be any better.  Five starters are back on a defense that gave up 466 yards per game last year...202 of it against the run.  Defense is a big problem but you certainly can't say that about the offense.  Quarterback Mason Rudolph has a fantastic pack of veteran receivers to keep Oklahoma State in most any game.  James Washington may be the best receiver in the country.  He caught 71 passes for 1,380 and 10 touchdowns last year and could have easily gone pro, but he chose to come back for his senior year.  He and Rudolph may just be the best pitch-catch combo in the country.  I would guess Oklahoma State will win 10 games again this season with the offense having to win a lot of firefights.  They averaged 37 points per game last year and I would think even more this season.  I'm guessing a lot of over/under opportunities with the Cowboys for 2017.

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/6/2017 7:16:30 AM
PITTSBURGH - Assistant coaches move all the time, it's just part of the business.  Often times those changes can be overcome with the consistency of a head coach, support staff and relationships established with teammates.  But when there's a new offensive coordinator, and a new quarterback like Pitt has this year, the installation of a new system is going to take some time.  Offensive coordinator Matt Canada moving to LSU is a set back for sure.  Question is how fast the players pick up new offensive coordinator Shawn Watson's offense.  The big plus: No Clemson, Florida State or Louisville on the schedule.

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/8/2017 8:29:07 AM
SEC Returning Starters 2017

(School, Total, Offense, QB Returning, Defense)

Georgia...(17)...7...1...10
Kentucky...(17)...8...1...9
S. Carolina...(16)...10...1...6
Vanderbilt...(16)...9...1...7
Auburn...(15)...8...1...7
Missouri...(15)...10...1...5
Florida...(14)...9...1...5
Tennessee...(14)...7...0...7
Arkansas...(13)...7...1...6
Miss State...(13)...7...1...6
Texas AM...(12)..5...0...7
Alabama...(11)...6...1...5
LSU...(11)...6...1...5
Ole Miss...(11)...5...0...6

**Eleven SEC schools have returning quarterback starters.

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/9/2017 10:57:51 AM
STANFORD - Remember this name...Bryce Love.  Love inherits some big shoes with the departure of Christian McCaffrey, but there's a track record to go off here.  Love rushed for 783 yards and 3 touchdowns last season.  He averaged 7.2 yards-per-carry behind McCaffrey the last two seasons.  Love closed the 2016 season with back-to-back 100-yard games against Rice and North Carolina; a sign of what's to come in 2017.

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/10/2017 7:25:24 AM
Big Ten Returning Starters 2017

(School, Total, Offense, QB Returning, Defense)

Northwestern  (16)...8...1...8
Penn State  (16)...9...1...7
Indiana  (15)...6...1...9
Iowa  (15)...7...0...8
Ohio State  (15)...8...1...7
Wisconsin  (15)...8...1...7
Maryland  (14)...7...0...7
Minnesota  (14)...8...0...6
Purdue  (13)...5...1...8
Rutgers  (13)...5...1...8
Illinois  (11)...5...0...6
Nebraska  (10)...4...0...6
Michigan St.  (9)...4...0...5
Michigan  (5)...4...1...1

**Michigan will have to find a ton of new starters, especially on DEFENSE!

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/11/2017 12:52:36 PM
UTAH STATE - The Aggies have lost 17 straight road openers and will look to avoid 18 in a row when they travel to Wisconsin for the first time since 2012.  After a home game against Idaho State, the Aggies return to the road with hopes of snapping a four-game road losing streak against nonconference foes.  Utah State wraps up its out of conference schedule looking to snap a three-game losing streak to instate foe, BYU.  The Aggies return just nine starters for the 2017 season.  Five starters return on an offense that ranked 108th last year in scoring (23 ppg).  The defense had its moments but the team simply wasn't producing enough points to keep up with the rest of the Mountain West Conference.  With a nonconference schedule of Wisconsin, Idaho State, Wake Forest and BYU, the Aggies are probably facing another tough year.

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WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/12/2017 8:07:22 AM
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Starters 2017

(Total, Offense, QB Returning, Defense)

Syracuse  (20) ...9...1...11
NC State  (17)...9...1...8
Florida St.  (16)...7...1...9
Georgia Tech  (16)...8...0...8
Boston College  (15)...8...0...7
Miami  (15)...7...0...8
Wake Forest  (15)...9...1...6
Duke  (14)...7...1...7
Virginia  (14)...6...1...8
Clemson  (12)...5...0...7
Louisville  (12)...5...1...7
North Carolina  (12)...5...0...7
Virginia Tech  (12)...5...0...7
Pittsburgh  (10)...6...0...4

**Syracuse has the most returning starters of any school in the Power 5 conferences.
**Half the schools in the ACC will be starting new quarterbacks.

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alopez14325 PM alopez14325
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Posted: 5/13/2017 2:38:51 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by WalterTibbs:


NEGATIVE my friend.  If I'm a coach and have the same multi starters who couldn't stop a cold and help me lose 7,8,9 games.  I'm looking for new players with Talent.

I wouldn't get hung up on this starter crap unless they were tough as nails the previous season.  Twenty two starters coming back on a 2-10 team means the coach is in trouble.  Just saying........

I couldnt agree more.  Obviously every circumstance is different, but I hate just looking at the amount of returning starters, because it can be very misleading.  For example, Alabama might only have 2-3 returning defenders who were full time starters the year before (all of the sudden people are saying how their defense is going to be trash, only to find out they have 6 five star recruits who were redshirted the year before.)  

When people hear that Oregon is returning 10 starters from a year ago, that might give the impression they were young, and they're very close to being an elite defense.  However when you look at how terrible the defense was, and then you find out there were no injuries, which sidelined star players.  It becomes a situation, where not only are the starters terrible, but it says quite a bit that the rest of the team was so bad that nobody could earn playing time on the worst defense in the counrty.... 
alopez14325 PM alopez14325
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Posted: 5/13/2017 2:41:36 AM
Now if you're returning 10 starters who were all freshman, and improved as the season went a long.  Then maybe thats a different story, but if the worst offensive line is returning all 5 starters, I would expect another terrible season.
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Posted: 5/13/2017 3:09:30 AM
Air Force has been a very tough team the past few seasons.  The best thing that ever happened to them was when their starting QB went down, and Arion Worthmen took over.  He completely changed their season.  I actually like AF, but they're losing a lot of their best players.  Jalen Robinette, Jacobi Owens, and DJ Johnson will be missed on offense, but they still have McVay and Worthman.  

Defensively, I think they're really going to miss Weston Steelhammer, Brodie Hicks, and Jesse Washington will be extremely hard to replace on defense... I rarely bet against a triple option team, but I think Colorado State is the best team in the MW this year.
WalterTibbs PM WalterTibbs
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Posted: 5/13/2017 10:13:25 AM
Appreciate the comments Alopez!

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Posted: 5/13/2017 10:25:08 AM
BAYLOR - The Bears new look pro-style offense will be different than in previous years.  Baylor's offense will look like its going in slow motion at times to many who have followed the Bears over the years. It's all about controlling the ball, controlling the game, controlling the clock, keeping the defense off the field.  New coach Matt Rhule's Temple team finished 10th nationally in time of possession, keeping the ball for well over 33 minutes per game last year.  You won't be watching track meet football like in the past.  The Defense should be much better under Ultra-intense defensive coordinator Phil Snow.  Six starters and seven of the top tacklers will be back.  Getting better production out of the front seven is a priority for Snow as Baylor allowed 200 rushing yards or more 8 times last year.  Overall, depth issues is a problem but the starting 22 will be just find.  With a soft nonconference schedule (Liberty, UTSA, Duke) I expect the Bears to win eight games this season.

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Posted: 5/14/2017 7:53:56 AM
KANSAS STATE - At best the Wildcats would be considered a fringe playoff contender.  Yet they have a schedule that could put them in the conversation later in the season.  As has become a bit of a fall tradition, Kansas State should breeze through a cakewalk out-of-conference schedule with Central Arkansas, Charlotte and Vanderbilt and gets two of its toughest Big 12 opponents (Oklahoma, West Virginia) at home.  Assuming everything goes to plan, the Wildcats' entire season could come down to a trip to Oklahoma State in the second-to-last week of the regular season.

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