Projected 2014 College Football Final Top 25

Rarely does a national champion repeat in college football. The intervening factors that come between a 105-plus man roster and an undefeated season are so abundant, that the odds of repeated glory are against that team. Even so, Florida State brings back 13 starters, including Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston, arguably the nations top defense, and another manageable schedule. For these reasons, many are tabbing them defy the odds. I’m not. Though they have their weaknesses, Oregon has, in my opinion, the best player in the nation, Marcus Mariota. The Ducks’ supporting cast is great with a strong offensive line, 1,000-yard rusher, and playmakers on defense. I think this is finally their year. My other two projected playoff teams are Georgia and Oklahoma. I may be taking a small leap with these two teams, but the talent is there for both win their conferences. Potential playoff spoilers that I have listed in my top 25 are Notre Dame, Mississippi, Michigan, and Texas.

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2014 ACC Conference Preview

6919320I don’t think for anybody the ACC is a hard conference to pick a champion. The obvious answer is Florida State. The question is, who can perhaps challenge them. Among that group are Clemson, North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia Tech and maybe a couple others. The ACC had 11 teams in bowl games last year, so as a conference it shouldn’t be taken lightly. When you add that before last season FSU had a reputation for finding a way to lose a game they shouldn’t, I wouldn’t say the conference title is a guarantee. However, talent for talent, no one matches the Seminoles.

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2014 Big Ten Conference Preview

719013No team has more productive players than Michigan State. The consensus favorite to win the Big Ten, MSU is expecting big things from Connor Cook this season en route to a second title. Meanwhile, Ohio State continuously brings in the best recruiting classes in the conference and has athletes to win every game on their schedule. Yet despite all this, I think it is Michigan who as a whole has all the pieces to win the conference. It will surely take some stars aligning just right, and remaining injury free, but without Braxton Miller OSU does not have the offense to overcome Michigan’s defense. MSU will be favored when they meet the Wolverines, but the losses on defense may hurt them more than expected. A couple teams I am very high on are Indiana and Nebraska.

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2014 SEC Conference Preview

4780407The SEC once again looks to be the top conference in college football. This season should see familiar schools vying for the top spot in a close competition. Added to the mix, however, are Mississippi and Mississippi State. Both teams are developing the depth and talent to perhaps challenge for the conference title. While in years past the conference was fairly top heavy, the separation between the top and bottom appears to be lessening as more players continue to leave early from the big schools and new coaches appear to be moving things in the right direction from the “smaller” ones. Continue reading

Pancirco NCAAF final top 15

The national title game was a wild one and it looked like for a while Auburn would come out on top. In the end, it was Florida State who lasted the 60 minutes to come out on top. At the beginning of the season I identified FSU as my No. 2 team and my only uncertainty about them was starting a redshirt freshman at QB. That proved to be the least of things I needed to worry about until the championship game. But with a few minutes left in the first half, Jameis Winston finally turned it on helped spur on his team to victory. Florida State has finished, clearly, as my No. 1 team, but in a slight change from the norm, I’ve put Michigan State as my No. 2 team instead of Auburn. The Tigers played some tough teams and lost a close game against FSU, but my decision to rank the Spartan second has more to do with what they did do and not what Auburn didn’t do. The Spartans played like a team all year, cohesively as one unit, and proved to have the best defense in the country. Quarterback Connor Cook came a long way from their lone-loss against Notre Dame and this team is truly great. Finishing the season with two huge victories, I felt the Spartan deserved to be No. 2. Click “read more” to see the rest of the ranking.

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Painful Ohio State loss sobering for fans, beneficial for BCS

My girlfriend’s comments during sports games often go ignored. On a normal Saturday during the fall I have to endure questions about referee signals, comments on stylish matte helmets, and complaints about being in hour 9 of a game day football marathon. To say the least, she’s no Kirk Herbstreit. Apparently however, the many hours she spends on the sofa next to me have not been completely lost on her. Every now and then, she manages to catch me off-guard with a surprisingly intelligent question.

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Boxing Prediction: Pacquiao vs. Rios

Nearly a year after his devastating defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao returns to the ring in Macau, China, Saturday against Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. Rios is an aggressive fighter who only knows offense. Outside the ring, his foul-mouthed carefree attitude reflects his in-ring workmanship. Pacquiao, of course, is a workhorse who relies on blazing fast speed, angles and combinations to take out his opponents. Read below for my prediction on both this fight and the big British clash between Carl Froch and George Groves in Manchester, England.

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SEC Overrated?

How overrated is the SEC? Is it overrated at all? Or is it so good that even the middle of the road teams are taking down the big dogs? Truthfully, it’s hard to tell. SEC teams don’t typically play tough non-conference games, with the exception of Alabama who opened up with Virginia tech this year, played Michigan last year, Penn State in 2011, Virginia Tech again in 2009, and Clemson in 2008. That’s not to say however that they completely stray away from the other BCS conference schools, other noteworthy non-conference matchups this year included Georgia vs. Clemson, LSU vs. TCU, and Florida vs. Miami.

This is a good conference overall. Auburn is in the middle of a complete turnaround from their 3-9 season last year at 6-1, Tennessee looks much improved under new head coach Butch Jones, and Ole Miss is recruiting some great talent and it’s starting to show.

This isn’t just a good conference. It is likely the best conference.

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Prediction: Mayweather vs. Alvarez, Garcia vs. Matthysse

I view Canelo Alvarez giving Floyd Mayweather about as much trouble as Miguel Cotto gave him — meaning, unlike most of Mayweather’s opponents, he has a good chance at winning. Cotto fought Mayweather very close, and lost some steam the last two rounds which were the difference in the fight for me. Alvarez is younger than Cotto, less battle-worn, and I’d even say at this point stronger. He likely won’t surprise us with much movement, that’s Mayweather’s forte, but he is very adept at hunting down his opponent, and once he gets there placing his punches and wearing them down.

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Projected final top 10 and pre-season top 15

While today is the initiation of the 2013 college football season, I am looking ahead here with how I foresee the final season rankings looking leading into the bowl season. Below is my post-season top 10, which predicts Stanford and Texas to play in the BCS National Championship game. Yes, that means that I think Alabama is going to drop a game at some point during the season. Conventional logic tells you that they’re the best team in the nation, but it also says that winning national titles three years straight is very hard to do, and playing in the SEC, they are a beatable team despite their lighter schedule, Texas A&M did it last year.

Stanford is a great team. If they get past Oregon and Notre Dame, which they are very capable of doing, the rest of the schedule is manageable. On the other hand, Texas is a team that I see similar to Notre Dame of last year — great defense, great offensive line, and a quarterback who while needs improvement, can do enough. Oklahoma, TCU, and Oklahoma State will give them a chance to showcase their talent, win big games and earn their spot in the title game as an undefeated over a one-loss Alabama.

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