The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 5, 2016

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Picks For February 6-7, 2016

Breaking News: The University of Louisville has self-imposed a ban on the postseason for this year.  This means one extra bubble team just benefitted greatly.

 

Here are this weekend’s picks from the top 6 conferences.

 

Remember:

Red= An algorithm based 100% on the Four Factors

White= An algorithm combining the Four Factors and a Least Squares formula on who beat who where and when

Blue= A 100% ratings’ based algorithm concentrating on scoring margin and strength of schedule

All ratings rounded to nearest whole number except when that number is 0.  Then, even if the rating is 1/1000 of a point different, the team 1/1000 of a point better is listed as a 1-point favorite.

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, February 6, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Pittsburgh Virginia -2 1 1
Wake Forest Florida St. -4 -5 -3
Louisville Boston College 24 26 19
Duke North Carolina St. 12 12 10
Virginia Tech Clemson 1 1 -1
Notre Dame North Carolina -3 -1 -5
TCU Kansas -10 -10 -12
Oklahoma St. Iowa St. -4 -4 1
Texas Texas Tech 7 6 8
Kansas St. Oklahoma -7 -3 -7
West Virginia Baylor 8 8 10
Xavier Marquette 15 14 12
Creighton Depaul 12 15 17
Providence Villanova -4 -2 -5
St. John’s Butler -11 -14 -8
Seton Hall Georgetown 6 16 9
Michigan Michigan St. -3 -3 -5
Nebraska Rutgers 16 17 14
Maryland Purdue 5 5 6
Penn St. Indiana -10 -24 -15
California Stanford 8 8 7
Washington Arizona -3 -2 -9
Washington St. Arizona St. -3 -5 -3
Oregon St. Colorado 2 -1 -1
Alabama Missouri 11 10 10
Kentucky Florida 6 4 7
Texas A&M South Carolina 9 7 10
Georgia Auburn 10 13 7
LSU Mississippi St. 8 9 14
Arkansas Tennessee 7 7 8
Ole Miss Vanderbilt -2 -3 2

 

Games Schedule for: Sunday, February 7 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Georgia Tech Miami (Fl.) -3 -2 -5
Illinois Iowa -13 -11 -16
Oregon Utah 11 9 12

 

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February 1, 2016

America’s Most Accurate Bracketology Composite—February 1, 2016

As Ground Hog’s Day approaches, the numbers of potential at-large teams drops into a more manageable number.  Conference tournament action kicks off in less than four weeks, and four dozens of teams, their only chance to make the Big Dance will be to win their conference tournament.

In the past week, a couple of conferences on the verge of having a second team guaranteed to make the Field of 68 became clearer to the 32 Bracketologists that we consider A-1.  The West Coast Conference now looks like a two-bid league for sure with both Gonzaga and St. Mary’s on pace to become locks.  The American Conference is close to being assured of at least two teams with Cincinnati coming on strong and Connecticut looking like they have just enough positives on their resume to get in the Dance.

In the case of the Missouri Valley, Wichita State opened up a three-game lead over rivals Evansville and Southern Illinois, as the Shockers now look like a Sweet 16 team with the entire roster healthy.  San Diego State has lapped the field in the Mountain West, and it looks like the Aztecs will be the lone team to earn a spot in the field if they win the conference tournament as well.

The bubble has been reduced to just 15 teams this week, with the top five on the bubble in the field, and the bottom 10 on the outside, looking in.

Here is this week’s One-bid Conference Review.

America East

Stony Brook (8-0/17-4) made it 13 wins in a row with a 27-point win over contender Maine and a road win against Vermont by double digits.  The Seawolves have enough talent to pull off a Round of 64 upset and cannot be overlooked.  SBU should be no worse than 14-2/23-6 entering the AmEast Conference Tournament.  Only Albany (6-2/17-6) still has a chance to take away the top seed, and we don’t see it happening.  It will be a monumental upset if any team other than the Seawolves win this bid.

 

Atlantic Sun

North Florida (7-0/18-6) has begun to distance themselves from the rest of the league.  Florida Gulf Coast (4-3/13-10) has dropped three games in a row, while Jacksonville (5-2/13-11) has moved into second place.  UNF looks like a 12-2/23-8 team at worst entering A-Sun Tourney play.  The Ospreys have a pair of guards that can shoot opponents out of the game when they get on a hot streak.  Dallas Moore and Beau Beech can knock it in from downtown and get inside the arc for open shorter looks.  They both scored 31 points at LSU earlier in the season and might have upset the Tigers had Ben Simmons not gone for 43 points.

 

Big Sky

Montana (8-1/13-7)  maintained the lead in the Big Sky with a road win over middle-of-the-pack rival Montana State, while top contender Weber State (7-1/15-6) swept the league’s two bottom-feeders.  The top two teams meet Saturday, February 27, in Ogden, with the winner most likely to earn the top-seed.  Unlike in years past, when only the top four, six, or eight teams qualified for the conference tournament, and the top-seed hosted it, the league has switched to a new format where all 12 teams qualify for the tournament, and it will be played in Reno.

 

Big South

This league is one of the most interesting of the low major conferences.  Seven teams are still in contention for the conference tournament.  Winthrop (8-3/16-6) is the hot team, having won eight consecutive games.  The Eagles are tied for first with UNC-Asheville (8-3/15-8).  Five other teams are within two games of first.  The conference tournament is at last place Campbell.

 

Big West

The top two teams both suffered setbacks last week but still remain the teams to beat.  Defending champion UC-Irvine (6-1/17-6) still has the best roster for scaring an #2 or #3 seed, but Hawaii (5-1/16-3) may have the better overall talent.  As usual for the league, the conference tournament is in Anaheim, and that should help Irvine a little.

 

Colonial

This is a five-team race to the conference championship, and any of the five could compete in the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament.  Presently, UNC-Wilmington (8-2/16-5) and Hofstra (8-2/16-6) are both enjoying healthy winning streaks, but February presents both schools tough finishing schedules.  The co-leaders face off for the first of two times Thursday night in Hempstead.  The out-of-conference schedules were not strong enough to merit an extra bid from this league, but there are two or even three teams talented enough to compete in the Field of 68.

 

Conference USA

UAB (8-1/18-4) is in the catbird’s seat in C-USA.  The Blazers are close to locking up the top-seed in the conference tournament, and the league has made it easier for them by putting the conference tournament in Birmingham.  Middle Tennessee (7-2/15-6) is firmly in control of the important second spot, where the top two seeds receive byes to the third day of the tournament.  UAB must still visit MTSU on Sunday, February 21.

 

Horizon

Valparaiso (9-1/19-4) is running away with this race.  Wright State (7-3/13-10) defeated Valpo earlier this year, but the Crusaders will have the chance to get revenge at home later this month.  The top two seeds receive byes to the conference tournament semifinal round.  Valpo could earn a 10-seed if they win out, but they will not receive an at-large bid if they are upset in the conference tourney.

 

Ivy

The one holdout when it comes to conference tournaments, the Ivy League still may be faced with a playoff of two or even three teams.  Currently, two teams remained unbeaten in league play.  Yale (4-0/13-5) knocked off previously unbeaten in Ivy play Princeton Saturday night, while Columbia (4-0/15-6) won at Harvard.  The Bulldogs and Lions face off Friday night in New Haven, with a return game in the Big Apple on March 5.  There is a good chance that the two might be forced to play a rubber game on March 12.

 

Metro Atlantic

The top three teams have begun to distance themselves from the rest of the league.  Monmouth (9-2/17-5) has won eight of nine games, including wins over the other two contenders, Siena (8-3/15-7) and Iona (8-3/11-9).  The three contenders each face the other two one more time this year, starting with Monmouth facing Siena in Albany tonight.  The MAAC Tournament will be in Albany again.

 

Mid-American

The MAC returns to its old conference tournament format with the four first round games played on campus sites and the winners joining the four teams receiving byes in Cleveland for the final three rounds.  Even though the league is still divided into divisions, the teams will be seeded one to 12 in the postseason.  In a showdown of division leaders last Tuesday, Akron (6-2/17-4) bested Northern Illinois (5-3/16-5).  Kent State (6-2/15-6) and Central Michigan (5-3/12-9) currently hold on to the other two of the top four seeds, but there are teams behind these four capable of winning the lone automatic bid.

 

Mideastern Athletic

This race tightened since we last reported, as South Carolina State (7-2/12-11) won at league-leader Hampton (8-1/12-8) Saturday.  It was the only regular season meeting between the top two teams, so Hampton does not have to go to Orangeburg.

 

Missouri Valley

Wichita State (10-0/16-5) has opened up a three-game lead over Evansville (7-3/18-5) and Southern Illinois (7-3/18-5), and short of SIU winning out in the regular season, which would include a Wednesday night win over the Shockers, this league will be reduced to one bid if WSU wins the automatic berth.

 

Mountain West

San Diego State (9-0/16-6) is on the verge of doing in the MWC what Wichita State has done in the MVC.  The Aztecs are now 2 1/2 games ahead of number two New Mexico (6-2/13-8).  The conference tournament is in Vegas, but the home team UNLV Rebels are mired in a distant seventh place and in utter disarray, so do not expect the home team to win the tournament or even make it to the semifinals.

 

Northeast

This remains an exciting race, as six teams remain in contention for the conference championship.  Seeding is very important in the NEC, because all conference tournament games are played on the superior-seed home courts.  Saturday, Wagner (7-3/14-7) won at Mount St. Mary’s (7-3/10-13) to become the hot team.  Fairleigh Dickinson (7-3/11-10) will make the 30-mile trek to Staten Island Thursday night to face Wagner.

 

Ohio Valley

Belmont (8-1/16-7) lost its first league game of the season, when the Bruins lost at Tennessee Tech (8-2/16-7).  The Golden Eagles also bested Tennessee State (6-2/15-6) earlier in the week.  TTU must still face the other two contenders on enemy turf this month.  Morehead State (6-3/12-9) is in fourth place in the East Division, but that record would be good for first in the West Division.  The top two seeds earn byes to the semifinal round.

 

Patriot

Bucknell (9-1/12-9) has won nine of their last 10 games, and the Bison hold a 2 1/2 game lead over Navy (6-3/15-7), after the Midshipmen lost twice to bottom division opponents last week.  All conference tournament games are played at the home courts of the higher seeds, and it will be very difficult for anybody to beat Bucknell at Sojka Pavilion.

 

Southern

With non-conference wins over Georgia, Dayton, and Illinois, and a loss at Iowa State, Chattanooga (7-1/18-3) might be capable of advancing past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, if star big guard Casey Jones can return from his ankle injury and play at the same pace prior to the injury.  This team is solid and capable of winning 30 games.  Any other team earning the bid from this league will be a great disappointment, because the Mocs are 10 points better than anybody else when Jones is healthy.

 

Southland

Brad Underwood should be coaching in a Power 5 conference.  The head man of Stephen F. Austin (8-0/15-5), even in his early 50’s, is talented enough to get a big time job and lead a major conference team to a Final Four.  The Lumberjacks face their sternest test of the conference season this Saturday, when they venture to co-leader Houston Baptist (8-0/14-7).  Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (7-1/16-4) is close behind but lost at home to SFA over the weekend.

 

Southwestern Athletic

Three teams appear to be above the rest in the league, but it looks like an almost certainty that the winner of the automatic bid will have to turn around on just two or three days off to play a First Four game in Dayton.  Texas Southern (8-0/9-11), Southern (7-2/15-7), and Jackson State (6-2/11-10) are the top three, while Alcorn State (6-3/8-12) is eligible to play in the SWAC Tournament, but ineligible to play in any postseason tournament.  If the Braves were to win the Conference Tournament, the league will then choose the representative.

 

Summit

How about a race with four teams tied for first as they round the final turn and head for home?  Locked in a tight race are South Dakota State (7-2/18-5), IPFW (7-2/18-6), Omaha (7-2/15-8), and IUPUI (7-2/11-13).  The conference tournament remains in Sioux Falls, so the Jackrabbits have the advantage over the other three co-leaders.  For Omaha, this is the Mavericks’ first year as an eligible member of Division 1.  Omaha may actually be the best of the quartet, and they still must face SDSU twice.

 

Sun Belt

Arkansas-Little Rock (9-1/19-2) probably has no chance at an at-large bid, even if they were to win out through the conference tournament semifinals before losing in the championship game.  Even at 29-3, the Trojans would likely be headed to the NIT.  UALR’s chief competition is Louisiana-Lafayette (7-3/11-8).

 

This leaves 46 teams from multiple bid leagues.  Here is a rundown on each conference.

American

Safe

—–

Okay for Now

Cincinnati (6-3/16-6)

Bubble–IN

Connecticut (5-3/15-6)

Bubble–OUT

Tulsa (6-3/14-7)

Temple (6-3/12-8)

 

Atlantic Coast

Safe

North Carolina (8-0/19-2)

Louisville (6-2/17-4)

Virginia (6-3/17-4)

Miami (5-3/16-4)

Okay for Now

Duke (4-4/15-6)

Pittsburgh (6-3/17-4)

Notre Dame (6-3/15-6)

Bubble–IN

Syracuse (5-5/15-8)

Florida State (4-5/14-7)

Bubble–OUT

Clemson (6-3/13-8)

 

Atlantic 10

Safe

Dayton (8-1/18-3)

Okay for Now

Virginia Commonwealth (8-0/16-5)

Bubble–IN

St. Joseph’s (7-1/18-3)

Bubble–OUT

George Washington (5-3/16-5)

 

Big 12

Safe

Oklahoma (6-2/18-2)

Baylor (6-2/17-4)

West Virginia (6-2/17-4)

Kansas (5-3/17-4)

Iowa St. (5-3/16-5)

Okay for Now

Texas (5-3/14-7)

Bubble–IN

Texas Tech (2-6/12-8)

Bubble–OUT

Kansas St. (2-6/13-8)

 

Big East

Safe

Villanova (8-1/18-3)

Xavier (7-2/19-2)

Providence (6-3/18-4)

Okay for Now

Seton Hall (5-4/15-6)

Bubble–IN

Butler (3-6/14-7)

Bubble–OUT

Creighton (5-4/14-8)

 

Big Ten

Safe

Iowa (8-1/17-4)

Maryland (8-2/19-3)

Michigan St. (6-4/19-4)

Purdue (7-3/19-4)

Okay for Now

Michigan (7-2/17-5)

Indiana (8-1/18-4)

Bubble–IN

—–

Bubble–OUT

Wisconsin (5-4/13-9)

 

Pac-12

Safe

Oregon (7-2/18-4)

Arizona (5-4/17-5)

Utah (6-3/17-5)

USC (6-3/17-5)

Okay for Now

Colorado (6-3/17-5)

Bubble–IN

California (4-5/14-8)

Washington (6-3/14-7)

Bubble–OUT

UCLA (4-5/13-9)

Oregon St. (3-6/12-8)

 

Southeastern

Safe

Texas A&M (7-1/18-3)

Kentucky (6-2/16-5)

Okay for Now

Florida (5-3/14-7)

South Carolina (6-2/19-2)

Bubble–IN

LSU (6-2/13-8)

Bubble–OUT

Vanderbilt (4-4/12-9)

Alabama (2-6/11-9)

West Coast

Safe

—–

Okay for Now

St. Mary’s (9-1/18-2)

Bubble–IN

Gonzaga (9-2/17-5)

Bubble–OUT

BYU (7-3/16-7)

 

The 68 Teams Seeded

1 Oklahoma
1 Villanova
1 North Carolina
1 Xavier
2 Iowa
2 Kansas
2 Virginia
2 Texas A&M
3 Maryland
3 Oregon
3 Michigan St.
3 Iowa St.
4 West Virginia
4 Miami (FL.)
4 Louisville
4 Purdue
5 Kentucky
5 Dayton
5 Providence
5 Baylor
6 Arizona
6 Utah
6 USC
6 Duke
7 Texas
7 Michigan
7 Indiana
7 Florida
8 Pittsburgh
8 South Carolina
8 Wichita St.
8 Notre Dame
9 Colorado
9 Virginia Commonwealth
9 St. Mary’s 
9 Cincinnati
10 Valparaiso
10 St. Joseph’s
10 Syracuse
10 California
11 Florida St.
11 Seton Hall
11 Connecticut
11 Washington
11 Gonzaga
12 Butler
12 LSU
12 Texas Tech
12 Monmouth
12 San Diego St.
13 UALR
13 Chattanooga
13 South Dakota St.
13 Stony Brook
14 Akron
14 UNC-Wilmington
14 UC-Irvine
14 UAB
15 Yale
15 Belmont
15 North Florida
15 Stephen F. Austin
16 Winthrop
16 Montana
16 Hampton
16 Wagner
16 Bucknell
16 Texas Southern

Last Four IN:Gonzaga, Butler, LSU, Texas Tech

First Four OUT: Wisconsin, UCLA, George Washington, Clemson

Next Four OUT: Vanderbilt, Kansas St., Oregon St., Creighton

 

 

August 20, 2015

2015 Pac-12 Conference Preview

The Pac-12 Conference almost made the leap to the top Power 5 league in our preseason ratings this year.  At number two, the Pac-12 was just a few tenths of a point behind the perpetual powerhouse known as the Southeastern Conference.  However, a couple of key injuries in the SEC in recent days has actually catapulted the Pac-12 a few tenths of a point ahead.

The Pac-12 schedule is a little stronger this year than its chief competitor league, as this league plays far fewer FCS schools than the SEC, and because it plays nine conference games, the Pac-12 teams have more difficult road games than the SEC.  That said, the power rating averages for the two leagues are virtually identical (although the ratings will not be fully updated until the end of the month).

Like the SEC, the Pac-12 is not all that balanced in quality between its two divisions.  The North Division has two top teams in Oregon and Stanford, one team on the rise but still not powerful in California, and three rebuilding teams in Washington, Washington St., and Oregon St.

In the South, with Colorado returning a lot of experience and depth, it is possible that all six teams will become bowl eligible.  Also, since the nine-game schedule means inter-divisional games include four of every team’s nine total league games, with all the parity, it appears that no team will go undefeated in the league and probable that the winners of both divisions could be 7-2.  And, at 7-2 in league play, there will be little chance that the actual toughest conference will send a team to the playoffs.

In the North Division, Oregon and Stanford will battle it out to see which team advances to Levi’s Stadium to play in the Pac-12 Championship Game.  These two rivals have won the conference championship for six consecutive seasons.  Stanford was a bit down last year, while Oregon had its best squad since the 2010 team played in the National Championship Game.

Both teams suffered major personnel losses from last year.  Stanford must replace seven starters on defense including their front three (two were NFL Draft picks) and the two of the top defensive backs in the league (also NFL Draft choices).  However, Coach David Shaw had a lot of depth on this side of the ball, and we do not see the Cardinal becoming generous when the other team has the ball.  After giving up just 16 points per game last year, SU may give up 21 to 23 this year.

The Stanford offense was a bit inconsistent last year.  In losses to USC, Notre Dame, Arizona St., Oregon, and Utah, the Cardinal rushed for just 115 yards per game.  In their eight wins, SU rushed for 186 yards per game.  It led to Stanford dropping to its lowest rushing output since before Jim Harbaugh brought the smashmouth style of ball to Palo Alto in 2007.  With nine starters returning on this side of the ball, the Cardinal should be a little more consistent this year.  This will never be an offense that wows like Oregon, but the SU attack unit better helps the Cardinal defense by controlling the ball more and keeping the defense off the field.
Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan almost decided to transfer as a 5th year senior, but he thought twice and remained on the farm.  Hogan is considered the most underrated passer in the conference, and having the veteran return is worth an extra touchdown per game.  Hogan completed nearly 2/3 of his passes last year for nearly eight yards per attempt.

Hogan’s heroes on the other end of his passes are talented.  Even with the departure of incredible possession receiver Ty Montgomery, the Cardinal are deep with receiving talent.  Tight end Austin Hooper is NFL ready as a true sophomore.  Wideout Devon Cajuste will stretch the field vertically with his breakaway ability.

The running game relies more on depth than one star, as there are no Stepfan Taylor’s on the roster.  Remond Wright, Christian McCaffrey, and maybe a true freshman or too will rotate in the lineup.  Wright can run straight ahead a little better ,while McCaffrey is the better pass receiver.  True freshman Cameron Scarlett has the potential to be the multi-purpose back Stanford likes to use, but he is a true freshman.

Stanford has the best offensive line in the division with two potential high draft choices in guard Joshua Garrett and tackle Kyle Murphy.

As stated earlier, the Cardinal defense will take a minor step backward this season, but there is still talent on this side of the ball.  Inside linebacker Blake Martinez will contend for 1st team All-Pac-12 honors this year after leading SU with 102 tackles in 2014.  Outside linebacker Kevin Anderson is a better blitzer than pass defender, but he has all-conference potential as well.  Outside linebacker Peter Kalambayi is not as strong of a blitzer as Anderson, but he is a better pass defender, so the SU linebacker unit will be strong this year.

The keys to the success or lack thereof of this defense will be in the rebuilt front wall and in the secondary.  Somebody will have to step up to replace the efforts of departed stars Henry Anderson, James Vaughters, and David Perry, who combined for 22.5 sacks and 33.5 total tackles for loss.

Stanford’s schedule helps and hurts their chances to become a playoff team.  The Cardinal host Oregon this year and figures to be the favorite in this game.  They also host Notre Dame, a team that could be 11-0 when they come to the farm.  On the other hand, SU plays road games against Northwestern and USC early in the year, and it might be difficult if not impossible to win both games.  Then, of course, in order to get to the playoffs, they would have to win the Conference Championship Game.  In a balanced league with five or six teams good enough to win the league crown, we don’t see Stanford or any other Pac-12 team making it to the Final Four this year.

Oregon is the clear cut other contender in the Pac-12 North.  The Ducks may have been the best team in the nation until numerous injuries forced them to go with backups late in the year.  Ohio State had to replace their starting quarterback twice, and they had incredible depth at that position, but Oregon lost multiple offensive linemen and did not have the equivalent of multiple Cardale Jones’, and it cost the Ducks in their regular season loss against Arizona (a dozen sacks against Marcus Mariota!)

The Heisman Trophy winner is rarely easily replaceable, and in this case, replacing a quarterback that threw 42 touchdown passes with just four interceptions, while amassing 4,454 yards through the air and another 770 on the ground (more than 900 without the sacks), is totally impossible.  Transfer Vernon Adams might be one of the top five QBs in the league, whereas Mariota was the best in college football in years!

The Duck offensive line is not going to be as strong as last year’s as well, so Adams is going to face more pressure than Mariota did, with the exception of when the injuries left Mariota running for his life.  The running game will go down as well, as run blocking will be harder to learn than pass blocking.  Expect Royce Freeman’s numbers to go down some this year, if not in total yards gained, then in yards per carry.

The Oregon defense took some heavy losses, but there is talent in all three units.  End DeForest Buckner is a capable run stopper and pass rusher.  The secondary is a tad suspect this year, as no current player can replace Erick Dargan or Troy Hill.

The Ducks’ schedule should bring them back to the pack and more than likely behind Stanford in the standings, if only due to the tiebreaker.  Oregon must make a road trip to a revenge-seeking Michigan State team that may be playing for a chance to get into the playoffs if they can run the table against the other 11 opponents on their schedule not wearing scarlet and gray.  The Ducks play at Stanford and at Arizona State, and they also draw USC from the South, so this team will find great difficulty winning 10 regular season games.

California improved from 0-9/1-11 in 2013 to 3-6/5-7 last year under second year coach Sonny Dykes.  The Golden Bears added more than two touchdowns per game to their pass it all over the field offense, but their defense still gave up 40 points and 500+ yards per game.  This year, Cal should add points to its offensive average and shave off points on its defensive average, but they won’t challenge the top two in this division.  Look for the Bears to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2011, but with road games against Texas, Uta, UCLA, Oregon, and Stanford, as well as a home game against USC, Cal will become bowl eligible and play in one of the minor bowls, maybe even having to replace a team as an at-large candidate.

Washington took a small step backwards last year under first year coach Chris Petersen.  Like the other former Boise State coaches, Petersen was unable to work the magic at his new school, and the Huskies lost six times, while going just 4-5 in the league.  This year’s squad has been decimated by graduation, and UW will lose more than they win.  To make matters worse, the Huskies begin the season at the blue turf in Boise, and the Broncos will prevail with an easy win.  A game three match at home against Utah State will be tough, and then the next seven games (Cal, at USC, Oregon, at Stanford, Arizona, Utah, and at Arizona St.) will take its toll on this young team.  How they come out of that tough stretch will determine if UW can win at Oregon St. or at home against Washington St. for the Apple Cup.

The Pirate has been grounded ashore in Pullman, Washington.  Coach Mike Leach has not pilfered wins at Washington St. like he did at Texas Tech.  The Cougars have put up incredible passing numbers, but sacks and no running game has allowed defenses to force a lot of turnovers.  70-yard drives that end without points have become the norm here, and decent but not spectacular defenses have worn down having to play upwards of 75 plays per game.  This year, WSU returns a veteran offensive line that should provide better pass protection for the passing game.  However, an adequate passer has to be found.  Luke Falk saw action last year, but he averaged an interception for every 34.7 attempts.  When you pass the ball as much as 70 times in a game, two interceptions are enough to give you an “L”.

Oregon State starts over from scratch with a new coach, a new quarterback, and practically an entirely new defense.  The Beavers have seen their win total drop from nine to seven to five in the last three years, and it is easy to believe the trend will continue this year.  New head coach Gary Andersen has won at every stop he has made in his head coaching career, so he should eventually bring OSU back to where they were for most of this century and not take the program back to where it was for the 30+ years before that.

Andersen has not yet named a starting quarterback, but true freshman Seth Collins may have the edge.  Collins is not your typical true freshman candidate to start at quarterback, and this means the Beavers are lacking a Pac-12 caliber passer this season.  Whoever ends up at QB will have at least one star and one near star receiver at his disposal.  Victor Bolden (star) and Jordan Villamin (near star) should combine for 100+ receptions again after teaming for 108 last year.

The defense is in a major rebuilding mode and can be considered in disarray at the start of the year.  The top six tacklers from last year are gone.  Also gone are all of the players that intercepted a pass.  Among those expected to start this year, one has been dismissed.  So, it could be a long year in Corvallis, and OSU could go 0-9 in league play.

The South Division is going to be wide open, as five of the six teams could possibly contend for the division crown, while the sixth should be improved enough to become bowl eligible.

How do you separate USC, UCLA, Arizona St. Arizona, and Utah?  Picking one of these five teams to win the division is tough, and you would not be criticized for choosing any of this quintet.  What it means is that the winner of this division is sure to have multiple losses.  We believe the division champion will be 7-2, but it would not shock us to see a logjam of 6-3 teams.

One team must be the South Division representative in the Pac-12 Championship Game, so we will go with the chalk and choose USC to win the tiebreaker at the top.  The Trojans have the best quarterback in the league, and in recent years the Pac-12 team with the best quarterback has won the conference championship.  Cody Kessler is not only the top QB in the league, we rate him as the top QB in college football.  Had it not been for Mariota playing in the same conference, Kessler might have earned 1st team All-America honors last year when he completed 70% of his passes with 39 TDs and just 5 INTs, while averaging nearly 8.5 yards per attempt.

Had the Trojans not had to replace most of the receiving corps and their star running back, we might have picked USC to go 9-0 in the league and win the Conference Championship Game.  However, the Trojans’ cupboard is closer to bare than stocked at the wideout and running back positions.  JuJu Smith is the loner holdover contributing receiver, while Justin Davis takes over as the featured back.  Davis should top 1,000 yards rushing thanks to the league’s premier offensive line that returns all five starters from a year ago.

The USC defense should be somewhat stronger this year than last, when the Trojans surrendered 25.2 points and 408 yards per game.  Sam linebacker Su’a Cravens could be the next Trojan defender to grace the 1st Team All-American squad.  Cravens is a former safety.  His quickness means that most offensive linemen cannot stop him, while his strength means most blocking backs cannot move him.  Expect up to 20 stops for loss this year and a good number of picks from this star.

The only weakness in the USC defense might be in the pass rush.  USC dumped enemy quarterbacks 33 times, which is pedestrian in the pass-happy Pac-12.  If the Trojans are to become the USC of old, that number must go up about 30-35%.  Losing the best defensive lineman in college ball, Leonard Williams, to the NFL means it isn’t going to happen, and thus USC becomes a leading contender in the South Division rather than the clear-cut choice.

Jim Mora, Jr. took over a UCLA program that had struggled for several years, and in his first three years, the Bruins finished 9-5, 10-3, and 10-3.  The Bruins’ big conference nemesis has not been rival USC.  Stanford has their number, and until UCLA can top their northern rival, the Bruins are going to continue coming up a game short.  This year, the Stanford game is on the road, so it will take an incredible effort to end the long losing streak.

The first problem the Bruins will have this year is trying to replace Brett Hundley at quarterback.  Hundley was a dual threat QB, and his running and passing numbers will not be replaced by the returning QBs on this roster.  True freshman Josh Rosen is the nation’s top incoming quarterback, but no true freshman will match an NFL Draft pick.  Expect some mistakes with some incredible passing days, but it should keep the Bruins in the same spot in the pecking order–just behind first place.

Rosen will have a lot of support in the skill positions, as the receivers and backs are talented and deep.  Paul Perkins might lead the conference in rushing for the second year in a row, while the quintet of Jordan Payton, Thomas Duarte, Devin Fuller, Eldridge Massington, and Mossi Johnson (combined for 202 receptions, 2,504 yards, and 16 TDs) welcomes true freshman phenom Chris Clark to the fold.  Clark hopes to recover in time for the season from a bout of mononucleosis.

The entire offensive line returns intact this year, so Rosen will have all the tools needed to shine.  Center Jake Brendel might be the league’s top Rimington Award contender if it weren’t for his counterpart across town.  Tackle Caleb Benenoch will play on Sunday either next year or 2017.  The other tackle, Conor McDermott is still growing at 6-8 and 300+ pounds, and he could eventually become a first round pick in the draft.

The UCLA defense has been somewhat of a liability, but it is difficult to dominate on this side of the ball in the wide open conference.  One defensive player that shines is linebacker Myles Jack.  According to our player ratings, which we use to make the team ratings, Jack is the highest-rated player in the Pac-12 and the highest rated linebacker in college football.

UCLA did not have an exceptional pass rush last year, and this tested the secondary, leading to some poor pass defense days.  This year, the secondary figured to be much improved with five experienced starters returning,  but cornerback Priest Willis decided to try his trade in the SEC and transferred to Texas A&M.

Utah, Arizona, and Arizona State figure to challenge the two LA schools, but at the start of the 2015 season, we rate this trio a few points back and in the second tier.  The margins are close enough that with just a little improvement, any of these three teams can move up to the first tier.  We expect the unexpected in the Pac-12 South, so figure on at least one of these three teams to beat either USC or UCLA (or both) and be in the race in late November.

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham actually rates in the top five tier with Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, James Franklin, and Brian Kelly in our PiRate Ratings coaching factor.   We calculate that Graham gives his team about 6.5 points more per game than the average coach, and 15.5 points more than the equivalent of a “replacement coach” similar to a replacement player in baseball.

The 2015 Sun Devils return the bulk of the team that went into the final game against Arizona with a shot at winning the division, after winning the flag in 2013.  Quarterback Mike Bercovici takes over the reins of the offense in a full-time capacity after seeing spot starting duty last year.  He merely guided the Sun Devils to wins at USC and at home against Stanford, so ASU will continue to top 250 passing yards and 35 points per game this year.

All Pac-12 receiver Jaelen Strong took his 82 catches to the Houston Texans, but fret not for the Devils.  With D. J. Foster, Ellis Jefferson, Gary Chambers, and Kody Kohl returning, and with JUCO Gump Hayes joining this group, ASU will move the ball through the air with success again this year.

Demario Richard took over at running back as the season progressed, while Foster saw more and more playing time at receiver, and the Sun Devils have capable backups without Foster having to return to this spot.

The offensive line is what may prevent ASU from challenging USC and UCLA.  The unit is down a bit and lacks enough quality depth to keep pressure off Bersovici.

Defensively, the Sun Devils will be much improved this year with the return of 14 of their top 16 tacklers from 2014.  The strength of this side is an interior front that returns three starters including gargantuan nose tackle Mo Latu, a human Rock of Gibraltar.  Latu will not make many tackles, but offenses don’t really try to run at him, since he cannot be moved out of the way.  His presence allows linebackers Antonio Longino and Salamo Fiso to roam freely and make the plays.

The secondary features a couple of players with all-conference potential.  Cornerbacks Lloyd Carrington and Kweishi Brown and free safety Jordan Simone form a formidable trio.

Arizona State will get a good gauge on how talented they are when they open the season in Houston against Texas A&M.  The Sun Devils then face USC and UCLA in back-to-back weeks.  They could be 5-0 and in control in the South or as low as 2-3 at this point, and the early advancement of that offensive line is crucial.

Utah is starting to get more respect as one of the two new members of the league.  The Utes posted their first winning record in Pac-12 play last year, including wins over UCLA, USC, and Stanford.  If not for an upset loss at home to Washington St., Utah would have played Arizona in November with a chance to take the South Division title.

The Utes’ defense was a little better than their offense last year, but the stop troops lost three stars that will be hard to replace.  Nate Orchard recorded 18.5 sacks, and Eric Rowe was credited with 14 passes defended.  Both were high draft picks this Spring.

Fortunately for Coach Kyle Whittingham, defensive end Hunter Dimick returns.  Dimick dumped enemy quarterbacks 10 times last year.  Jason Fanaika added five sacks, but his spot in the lineup may be taken up by Kylie Fitts, a transfer from UCLA.  Last year, the Utes recorded 55 QB dumps, creating the moniker of “Sack Lake City.”  Expect the sacks to drop to the 40’s this year.

The back seven is led by multi-talented hybrid linebacker Gionni Paul and Mike linebacker Jared Norris.   Paul finished second in the league with four interceptions, while making 61 tackles, all the while playing on an injured leg.  He is healthy to start the season, so expect even better play from him.  Norris led the Utes with 116 tackles last year, including 13 for loss.

The offense is a bit shaky, not spectacular, but not incompetent.  Utah was the only Pac-12 team not to average 200 or more passing yards per game last year, and this could continue to be a problem in 2015.  As of this writing, the starting quarterback job is still undecided.  Three-year starter Travis Wilson is a decent run/pass option, but decent doesn’t win Pac-12 titles.  Challenger and former Oklahoma Sooner Kendal Thompson appeared to be winning the job last year until an injury ended his season.  In August drills, neither has stepped up to win the job, and the old saying “If you have two quarterbacks, you have none” could prove true (don’t tell this to Urban Meyer).

Utah’s running game helped their defense more than their passing game last year, as the Utes were the only team in this division not to average 150 total scrimmage plays in their conference games (Arizona topped 160).  Devontae Booker will challenge for the conference rushing title after coming in a close second last year.  Booker combines power and speed in the mold of an Eddie George or Eric Dickerson.

The receiving unit lacks a star.  It is partly because there isn’t a stud passer throwing the passes, but this unit also is partly responsible for there not being a star QB.  The one true deep threat from 2014 is gone, and it leaves a pair of possession receivers as the top two returnees.

The offensive line has talent but little depth.  Former defensive lineman Sam Tevi immediately moves into the starting lineup here, and he will need some real game play to learn how to play tackle.  Center Siaosi Aiono might contend for all-conference honors in another conference, but in the Pac 12, he is not even in the top three in this division.

Utah has one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year, as they play no cupcakes out of conference.  They begin with a home game against Michigan in Jim Harbaugh’s debut with the Maize and Blue.  A Friday night tilt against rival Utah State follows, and then a trip to Fresno State closes out the pre-Pac-12 slate, which begins at Oregon.  If Utah can win nine games again this season, Whittingham should receive some national coach of the year votes.

Arizona took the Pac-12 South flag last year with a perfect November, but after upsetting Oregon in the regular season, the Wildcats took a punishing loss in the conference title game, followed by a Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State.  Coach Rich Rodriguez always has an explosive spread offense, and when he has an experienced quarterback, his teams’ numbers go up.  Anu Solomon returns after earning Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 honors as a freshman.  Solomon threw for almost 3,800 yards last year, while leading UA to almost 35 points per game and 463.6 yards per game.  Another year of experience could lead to some scary numbers, like 40 points and 500 yards per game.

Nick Wilson came in fourth in the league with 1,375 rushing yards, while crossing the goal line 16 times, doing so while injured for part of the year.  If healthy, Wilson could challenge the 1,800 yard barrier this year.

Most of the receiving corps from 2014 is back, led by Cayleb Jones and Samajie Grant.  Jones led the ‘Cats with 73 receptions and 1,019 yards, while Grant averaged 16 yards on his 45 catches.

Like their intrastate rival, Arizona’s liability is in their offensive line.  Inconsistent play last year led to breakdowns in their losses, and there appears to be little chance that this issue will be resolved in 2015.  Arizona cannot afford to surrender 40+ sacks, which might happen this year.

Defensively, the Wildcats did not put fear in many opponents.  UA gave up 450 yards per game, proving to be mediocre against the run and worse against the pass.  They won six of their games by outscoring the opposition, and they will have to repeat that again this year to have any chance of repeating as division champ.

One unit on this side that takes a back seat to no rival is the linebacker unit.  With Scooby Wright in the middle, some plus plays will always be made.  If tackles were votes, Wright would have won the Pac-12 race by a landslide last year.  He brought down enemies 163 times.  His 14 sacks were third best in the league, and his 29 total tackles for loss headed the league.

Will Parks leads an inexperienced secondary.  UA relies on a 5-man backfield, and Parks proved to be equally adept at covering the run and the pass last year playing the toughest defensive position in the game; the “spur” position is much like the old “monster” position from days gone by.  Parks must be a linebacker and a safety at the same time, and he proved he was up for the job last year.

Arizona will be competitive once again this year, but it will be difficult to repeat their feats of last year.  The Wildcats should be 3-0 when UCLA comes to Tucson in late September, and the entire season could be riding on getting the win in that game.  Even if UA wins that one, they have a major disadvantage with a schedule that finds them playing 12 games in 12 weeks (the only contender in the division saddled with this issue).

Colorado has yet to become a threat in the Pac-12.  The Buffaloes have been down since Gary Barnett was forced to vacate the coaching position a decade ago.  We believe CU has found the answer to their malaise in Coach Mike MacIntyre.  Coach Mac has been building toward this season, and with a favorable schedule that includes an extra game against Hawaii, our “experts” on the PiRate ship believe the Buffs are looking at a possible 14th game in December this year.

The CU offense averaged just 18 points and 300 yards before MacIntyre took over the reins.  In his first year, the output jumped to 25 points and 370 yards.  In year two, it moved up to 29 points and 440 yards.  If the progression continues, expect CU to top 30 points and 450 yards per game this year.  With experience returning at quarterback, running back, and receiver, as well as a majority of the offensive line, we believe those numbers are obtainable.

Start with Sefo Liufau, an exciting quarterback who only needs to cut down on his interceptions to become a budding star.  With two years of starting experience, Liufau should top 3,500 passing yards while reducing the picks (15 last year).  His top two targets from 2014 are back.  Nelson Spruce and Shay Fields caught a combined 150 passes for 1,6084 yards and 16 touchdowns, while showing that they both could break the long gainer.  Depth is a bit of a concern here, so they must stay healthy if CU is to reach bowl eligibility.

You will not see Christan Powell blazing the all-conference list, but you can expect him to top five yards per carry and protect Liufau from the blitz.  Look for Phillip Lindsay to contribute more this year as well.

The offensive line has improved greatly in the last two years, and it will be even better on the whole this year, but it is not up to the standards of USC and UCLA.  In a division of stars at the center spot, Alex Kelley will get little mention, but Kelley is the leader of this group and a capable blocker too.

Before the Buffs can become a legitimate threat in the South Division, the defense has to improve by leaps and bounds.  Expect some improvement this year, but not leaps and bounds.  With eight starters returning, CU can hope to get their statistics under 35 points and 450 yards per game for the first time since 2010.

The defensive line will be the number one concern for MacIntyre and new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt.  The man expected to lead this unit, nose tackle Josh Tupou, was dismissed, and then a freak off-field injury to end Tyler Henington left this unit in utter disarray.  It will be difficult to develop a decent pass rush, and this team only made 22 sacks last year.

The farther back you go in this defense, the more talent you find, but the linebackers and defensive backs will not be confused for Stanford’s.  Addison Gillam, Kenneth Olugbode, and Chidobe Awuzie all return as starters at linebacker, while Kenneth Crawley leads two other returning starters in the backfield.

The Buffs should begin the season 4-0 before facing a grueling stretch of conference games against Oregon, Arizona State, and Arizona.  The key then becomes the October 24 game at Oregon State.  If CU can win to improve to 5-3, then with Washington State still on the schedule, the Buffs will need just one upset win to become bowl eligible.  While 6-7 seems more likely, we have a lot of faith in MacIntyre, and we credit Leavitt with molding defenses.  Therefore, we believe that CU will find that one upset that gets them into a bowl for the first time since 2007.

Pac-12 Media Preseason Poll

Pac-12 Conference Media Poll
Pos. Team 1st Place Total Champ. Votes
North Division
1 Oregon 37 262 17
2 Stanford 8 231 1
3 California 0 174 0
4 Washington 0 129 0
5 Washington St. 0 89 0
6 Oregon St. 0 60 0
South Division
1 USC 32 254 21
2 Arizona St. 0 200 3
3 UCLA 6 180 2
4 Arizona 0 155 0
5 Utah 0 105 0
6 Colorado 0 46 0

Pac-12 Media Preseason All-Conference Team

Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference Team
Offense Player School
Quarterback Cody Kessler USC
Running Back Devontae Booker Utah
Running Back Paul Perkins UCLA
Wide Receiver D. J. Foster Arizona St.
Wide Receiver Nelson Spruce Colorado
Wide Receiver Caleb Jones Arizona
Tight End Austin Hooper Stanford
Tackle Tyler Johnstone Oregon
Tackle Kyle Murphy Stanford
Guard Joshua Garnett Stanford
Guard Chris Borrayo California
Center Max Tuerk * USC
Defense Player School
End Hunter Dimrick Utah
End DeForest Buckner Oregon
Tackle Kenny Clark UCLA
Tackle Eddie Vanderdoes UCLA
Linebacker Myles Jack ^ UCLA
Linebacker Scooby Wright Arizona
Linebacker Su’a Cravens USC
Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson USC
Cornerback Fabian Moreau UCLA
Safety Budda Baker Washington
Safety Jordan Simone Arizona St.
Special Teams Player School
Punter Tom Hackett Utah
Kicker Andy Phillips Utah
Return Specialist Adoree’ Jackson USC
Return Specialist Charles Nelson Oregon

PiRate, Mean, Bias, and Average Ratings

Pac-12 Conference
North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oregon 127.0 118.6 126.8 124.1
Stanford 119.3 115.6 120.3 118.4
California 116.1 109.9 116.4 114.1
Washington 102.5 100.6 102.3 101.8
Washington St. 102.1 95.6 100.3 99.3
Oregon St. 94.2 91.8 93.2 93.1
South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
UCLA 125.4 117.9 123.7 122.3
USC 122.8 117.6 122.8 121.1
Arizona St. 119.3 113.6 118.8 117.2
Utah 119.3 111.9 118.9 116.7
Arizona 118.8 108.9 118.2 115.3
Colorado 108.2 102.6 107.6 106.1
P12 Averages 114.6 108.7 114.1 112.5

PiRate Ratings Predictions and Bowl Projections

PiRate Ratings Predicted Records
Pos Team Conf. Overall Bowl
North Division
1 Stanford 7-2 10-3 ^ Holiday
2 Oregon 7-2 9-3 Foster Farms
3 California 5-4 7-5 At-Large
4 Washington 2-7 4-8 None
5 Washington St. 1-8 3-9 None
6 Oregon St. 0-9 2-10 None
South Division
1 USC 7-2 10-3 * Rose
2 UCLA 7-2 10-2 Alamo
3 Utah 5-4 8-4 Las Vegas
4 Arizona 5-4 8-4 Sun
5 Arizona St. 5-4 7-5 Cactus
6 Colorado 3-6 7-6 At-Large
* Wins Title Game
^ Loses Title Game

Coming Next: The Southeastern Conference

Will the toughest league in college football cannibalize itself out of a playoff spot this year?

June 24, 2013

The Better Approach to the NCAA Playoffs

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:37 am

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The NCAA Football Playoff is just two seasons away from becoming a reality.  This is the final season for the BCS Bowl system formula to select two teams to play for the National Championship.

In more years than not, the two teams perceived to be the best two played in the National Championship Game, but was that really the case?

There were seasons where one or more teams appeared to be the class of the country, only to find that another team was actually better, by a large amount in some seasons.

The Southeastern Conference has dominated the National Championship in the 21st Century, and in one of those rare occasions where the SEC was snubbed, an undefeated team might have been better than one of the two teams playing in the title game.  Witnessing all the seasons where a one-loss SEC team pounded its opponent in the championship contest makes one wonder if Auburn might have been the best team in 2004, and at least more deserving than Oklahoma for playing in the title game.

Just because the championship has been expanded by adding two more teams, there is no reason to believe that the NCAA has fixed its problems.  Look at BoiseState in 2006 and 2009.  Look at TCU in 2010.  Look at Utah in 2004 and 2008.  We really cannot state that any of these five undefeated teams did not deserve to be in the Championship Game.

Take 2009.  Both BoiseState and TCU ran the table in the regular season.  They were denied a spot in the title game based on schedule strength.  This is a major flaw that is not being addressed by the NCAA.  How do we know that had either of these teams played for the title that they would have beaten Alabama that year.

Schedule strength is a joke when determining who deserves to play for the national title.  As an example, let’s say that the entire 1st and 2nd team All-Americans were juniors in eligibility but seniors as students.  Now, let’s say that every one of the 22 position players and special teams players decided to transfer to Eastern Michigan.

It would be obvious that Eastern Michigan would be the best team in the nation by far, maybe even a little better than the weakest NFL teams.  EMU would easily go 12-0 and then run all over the MAC East winner in the Conference Championship Game.

Now, let’s say that the Eagles played Illinois State, Idaho, Army, and South Alabama outside of the MAC.  Add games with Akron, U Mass, Miami of Ohio, from the East with the five MAC West teams, and their strength of schedule might be around #120.  This 13-0 team might have a chance at playing as the last selected BCS Bowl team, but the Eagles would have zero chance to play for the championship.  Yet, we all would know that they were the best college team since Army in 1945!  What a travesty to deny this best team in modern football a chance to play for the title!  Do we deny the Baltimore Ravens a chance to get to the Super Bowl, if their schedule is weaker than New England’s?  Ask yourself this: how many times in the last 20 years has the team with the best record made it to the Super Bowl?

The NFL is the number one sports league in the world for a reason.  There is no selection committee choosing who gets into the NFL playoffs.  Every fan in the world can see which teams are in the playoffs without a fancy computer formula that has needed to be tweaked multiple times when it was easy to tell that the most deserving teams did not always receive an invitation.

The NCAA needs to set up a similar system to where all fans can know for sure which teams will make the playoffs.  Rather than choose the representatives, the teams’ play on the field should be the only deciding factor.

It is rather easy to do if you ask us on our PiRate ship.  It would require minimal adjustment to pull it off.  We believe the NCAA FBS division should be subdivided into FBA-1 and FBS-2.  There are about 80 schools that play at a level where they could possibly field a playoff-caliber team.  The other 46, and soon to be more do not have the resources as of now to play at the highest echelon of college football.

Thus, it would be our plan to take these 80 schools and place them into four, 20-team league, subdivided into two, 10-team divisions.  We are not all that far away from having that now.

With 10 teams in a division, every team would be able to play itself into the playoff without having to be selected.  The teams would play every other team in their division plus three at-large games that would have minimal impact on their making the playoffs.

After 12 games, with nine of the games coming within the division, a divisional champion would move on to play the opposite divisional champion in each of the four leagues.  The four champions would then become the four teams in the NCAA playoffs.  No seeding would be done.  The four league championship games would be played at neutral sites, and the four winners would not be seeded.  They would face off in the semifinals on a rotation with East playing Midwest and South playing West one year; East playing South and Midwest playing West the next year; and East playing West and South playing Midwest the next year.

The East, South, Midwest, and West Leagues could keep conference names, so we could be looking at a 20-team ACC, 20-team SEC, 20-team Big 20, and 20-team Pac-20.

We suggest the leagues continue to keep their current teams, with the exception of the Big 12 which would send teams into different leagues.

So, the ACC would keep its Atlantic and Coastal divisions with the seven current teams scheduled to be there in 2014 (Louisville replacing Maryland in the Atlantic Division.  To this 14-team league, we would add West Virginia, Cincinnati, South Florida, Central Florida, Connecticut, and East Carolina with three going to the Atlantic and three to the Coastal.

The SEC would keep its 14 teams in the present form and then add Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Houston, and SMU,

The Big 20 would take the 14 Big Ten schools of 2014 (Maryland and Rutgers already coming to the conference) and add Kansas, Kansas St., Iowa St., Oklahoma, OklahomaSt., and Notre Dame.

The expanded Pac-20 would include the current 12 members plus BYU, Boise St., Fresno St., Nevada, San Diego St., San Jose St., Hawaii, and Utah St.

Every one of these 80 teams could begin each season knowing that if they won their division, nothing could prevent them from becoming National Champion.

For divisional ties, a tiebreaker system similar to the NFL would be used to break all ties.  A coin flip would be the last of about 7 or 8 tiebreakers (The NFL has never needed to use this, and the chances would be so infinitesimal to believe it would happen while the Sun still shines on the Earth.

Here is an example of how it would work.  We will say that in 2016 under this plan, Florida St. and West Virginia won the two ACC divisions after West Virginia and Louisville had to go to the third tiebreaker to determine who won.  Florida St. then beat West Virginia in the ACC Championship Game to earn the first spot in the NCAA Playoffs.

In the SEC, Texas, LSU, and Alabama all finished tied at 7-2 in their division, but Texas held the tiebreaker over its two rivals. Florida tied South Carolina in the other division but won the head-to-head contest to represent the East Division.  Texas then won the SEC Championship Game.

In the Big 20, Ohio St. won one of the divisions outright, while Oklahoma and Nebraska tied at 8-1, but the Sooners won the head-to-head contest to take the tiebreaker. Ohio St. then beat Oklahoma in the Big 20 Championship Game.

In the Pac-20, Oregon and USC both went 9-0/12-0, with USC winning the Pac-20 Championship Game.  The Trojans are considered the overwhelming number one team, but that matters not in these playoffs.  They are just one of the four participants in the NCAA Playoffs.

This would be the season where the East and West play each other and the South and Midwest play each other in the semifinal round.  So, in the Final Four, we would see Florida St. take on USC and Ohio St. face Texas, with the winners advancing to the National Championship Game.

March 14, 2013

NCAA Basketball Tournaments Update–Thursday, March 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 4:12 am

DANCE TICKETS PUNCHED

Florida Gulf Coast 24-10

Belmont 26-6

Harvard 19-9

Liberty 15-20

Creighton 27-7

Western Kentucky 20-15

Davidson 26-7

James Madison 20-14

Gonzaga 31-2

Iona 20-13

Long Island 21-13

South Dakota St. 25-9

Valparaiso 26-7

Bucknell 28-5

 

 

Note: Above RPI Rankings are from Monday, March 11.

 

Today’s Conference Tournaments in Action

1st Rounds

Atlantic Coast

Atlantic 10

Big Ten

 

2nd Rounds

Big East

Southeastern

 

Quarterfinals

Big Sky

Big 12

Big West

Conference USA

Mid-American

Mid-Eastern Athletic

Pac-12

Southland

Southwestern Athletic

Western Athletic

 

Note: Below RPI Rankings are from the day before each conference tournament began

 

America East Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Stony Brook

14-2

24-7

71

2

Vermont

11-5

21-10

128

3

Hartford

10-6

17-13

171

4

Albany

9-7

23-10

164

5

Maine

6-10

11-19

273

6

U M B C

5-11

8-23

312

7

N. Hampshire

5-11

9-20

293

8

Binghamton

1-15

3-27

338

 

Conference Tournament—Albany, NY  (Championship Game at Higher Seed)

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

1

2-Vermont  61  7-New Hampshire  42

 

 

2

6-U M B C  69  3-Hartford  62

 

 

3

1-Stony Brook  72  8-Binghamton  49

 

 

4

4-Albany  50  5-Maine  49

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

5

2-Vermont  85  6-U M B C  72

 

 

6

4-Albany  61  1-Stony Brook  59

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 –Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

7

4-Albany at 2-Vermont

11:30 AM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.americaeast.com

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Miami (Fl)

15-3

24-6

4

2

Duke

14-4

27-4

1

3

North Carolina

12-6

22-9

18

4

Virginia

11-7

21-10

68

5

N. Carolina St.

11-7

22-9

28

6

Florida St.

9-9

17-14

84

7

Maryland

8-10

20-11

83

8

Boston College

7-11

15-16

119

9

Georgia Tech

6-12

16-14

129

10

Wake Forest

6-12

13-17

163

11

Clemson

5-13

13-17

175

12

Virginia Tech

4-14

13-18

170

 

Conference Tournament—Greensboro, NC

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

1

8-Boston College vs. 9-Georgia Tech

12:00 PM

ESPNU

2

5-North Carolina St. vs. 12-Virginia Tech

2:00 PM

ESPNU

3

7-Maryland vs. 10-Wake Forest

7:00 PM

ESPNU

4

6-Florida St. vs. 11-Clemson

9:00 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

5

1-Miami (Fl) vs. Winner Game 1

12:00 PM

ESPN2

6

4-Virginia vs. Winner Game 2

2:00 PM

ESPN2

7

2-Duke vs. Winner Game 3

7:00 PM

ESPN2

8

3-North Carolina vs. Winner Game 4

9:00 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

9

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

1:00 PM

ESPN

10

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

3:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 17

 

 

11

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

1:00 PM

ESPN

 

Atlantic 10 Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

St. Louis

13-3

24-6

26

2

Va. Commonwealth

12-4

24-7

25

3

Temple

11-5

23-8

37

4

La Salle

11-5

21-8

39

5

Butler

11-5

24-7

20

6

U Mass

9-7

19-10

57

7

Xavier

9-7

17-13

80

8

Richmond

8-8

18-13

81

9

Charlotte

8-8

20-10

63

10

St. Joe’s

8-8

17-12

86

11

Geo. Washington

7-9

13-16

134

12

Dayton

7-9

17-13

108

 

Conference Tournament—Brooklyn

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

1

8-Richmond vs. 9-Charlotte

12:00 PM

Online

2

5-Butler vs. 12-Dayton

2:30 PM

Online

3

7-Xavier vs. 10-St. Joe’s

6:30 PM

Online

4

6-U Mass vs. 11-Geo. Washington

9:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

5

1-St. Louis vs. Winner Game 1

12:00 PM

Online

6

4-La Salle vs. Winner Game 2

2:30 PM

Online

7

2-Va. Commonwealth vs. Winner Game 3

6:30 PM

Online

8

3-Temple vs. Winer Game 4

9:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

9

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

1:30 PM

CBSSN

10

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

4:00 PM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 17

 

 

11

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

1:00 PM

CBS

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.atlantic10.com

 

 

 

 

Big East Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Georgetown

14-4

24-5

9

2

Louisville

14-4

26-5

3

3

Marquette

14-4

23-7

10

4

Pittsburgh

12-6

24-7

40

5

Syracuse

11-7

24-8

16

6

Notre Dame

11-7

24-8

44

7

Villanova

10-8

20-12

51

8

Providence

9-9

17-14

81

9

Cincinnati

9-9

22-10

46

10

St. John’s

8-10

16-15

78

11

Rutgers

5-13

15-16

108

12

Seton Hall

3-15

15-18

131

13

South Florida

3-15

12-19

130

14

DePaul

2-16

11-21

198

 

Conference Tournament—New York City

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

1

12-Seton Hall  46  13-South Florida  42 ot

 

 

2

11-Rutgers  76  14-DePaul  57

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

3

9-Cincinnati  61  8-Providence  44

 

 

4

5-Syracuse  75  12-Seton Hall  63

 

 

5

7-Villanova  66  10-St. John’s  53

 

 

6

6-Notre Dame  69  11-Rutgers  61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

7

1-Georgetown vs. 9-Cincinnati

12:00 PM

ESPN

8

4-Pittsburgh vs. 5-Syracuse

2:00 PM

ESPN

9

2-Louisville vs. 7-Villanova

7:00 PM

ESPN

10

3-Marquette vs. 6-Notre Dame

9:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

11

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

7:00 PM

ESPN

12

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

9:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

13

Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12

8:30 PM

ESPN

Online Site: www.bigeast.org

Big Sky Conference

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Montana

19-1

23-6

89

2

Weber St.

18-2

24-5

96

3

North Dakota

12-8

15-15

231

4

Montana St.

10-10

13-16

311

5

N. Colorado

10-10

12-17

275

6

S. Utah

8-12

11-19

306

7

N. Arizona

8-12

11-20

260

Conference Tournament—Missoula, MT (U. of Montana)

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

1

2-Weber St. vs. 7-N. Arizona

5:00 PM

BigSkyTV.org

2

3-N. Dakota vs. 6-S. Utah

7:30 PM

BigSkyTV.org

3

4-Montana St. vs. 5-N. Colorado

10:00 PM

BigSkyTV.org

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

4

2nd Highest Remaining Seed vs. 3rd Highest

7:30 PM

BigSkyTV.org

5

1-Montana vs. Lowest Remaining Seed

10:00 PM

BigSkyTV.org

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 –Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

6

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

9:00 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.bigskyconf.com

 

 

 

Big Ten Conference

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Indiana

14-4

26-5

5

2

Ohio St.

13-5

23-7

14

3

Michigan St.

13-5

24-7

7

4

Wisconsin

12-6

21-10

43

5

Michigan

12-6

25-6

12

6

Iowa

9-9

20-11

76

7

Purdue

8-10

15-16

114

8

Illinois

8-10

21-11

41

9

Minnesota

8-10

20-11

23

10

Nebraska

5-13

14-17

101

11

Northwestern

4-14

13-18

159

12

Penn St.

2-16

10-20

181

Conference Tournament—Chicago

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

1

8-Illinois vs. 9-Minnesota

12:00 PM

Big Ten Network

2

5-Michigan vs. 12-Penn St.

2:30 PM

Big Ten Network

3

7-Purdue vs. 10-Nebraska

6:30 PM

ESPN2

4

6-Iowa vs. 11-Northwestern

9:00 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

5

1-Indiana vs. Winner Game 1

12:00 PM

ESPN

6

4-Wisconsin vs. Winner Game 2

2:30 PM

ESPN

7

2-Ohio St. vs. Winner Game 3

6:30 PM

Big Ten Network

8

3-Michigan St. vs. Winner Game 4

9:00 PM

Big Ten Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 –Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

9

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

1:40 PM

CBS

10

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

4:10 PM

CBS

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 17

 

 

11

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

3:30 PM

CBS

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.bigten.org

 

 

 

Big 12 Conference

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Kansas

14-4

26-5

6

2

Kansas St.

14-4

25-6

21

3

Oklahoma St.

13-5

23-7

24

4

Oklahoma

11-7

20-10

34

5

Iowa St.

11-7

21-10

47

6

Baylor

9-9

18-13

62

7

Texas

7-11

16-16

114

8

West Virginia

6-12

13-19

120

9

Texas Tech

3-15

11-19

227

10

T C U

2-16

11-21

226

Conference Tournament: Kansas City

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

9-Texas Tech  71  8-West Virginia  69

 

 

2

7-Texas  70  10-T C U  57

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

3

4-Oklahoma vs. 5-Iowa St.

12:30 PM

ESPN

4

1-Kansas vs. Winner Game 1

3:00 PM

ESPN

5

2-Kansas St. vs. 7-Texas

7:00 PM

ESPN3

6

3-Oklahoma St. vs. 6-Baylor

9:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

7

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

7:30 PM

ESPN3 or ESPNU

8

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

10:00 PM

ESPN3 or ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

9

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

6:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.big12sports.com

 

 

 Big West Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Long Beach St.

14-4

18-12

112

2

Pacific

13-5

19-12

111

3

Cal Poly

12-6

17-12

166

4

UC-Irvine

11-7

18-14

151

5

Hawaii

10-8

17-13

211

6

UC-Davis

9-9

14-16

228

7

U C S B

7-11

11-19

239

8

Cal St. Fullerton

6-12

14-17

258

 

Conference Tournament—Anaheim

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

1

2-Pacific vs. 7-U C S B

3:00 PM

FoxCS-Pacific

2

3-Cal Poly vs. 6-UC-Davis

5:30 PM

FoxCS-Pacific

3

1-Long Beach St. vs. 8-Cal St. Fullerton

9:00 PM

FoxCS-Pacific

4

4-UC-Irvine vs. 5- Hawaii

11:30 PM

FoxCS-Pacific

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

5

Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest

8:30 PM

ESPN3

6

2nd Highest Remaining Seed vs. 3rd Highest

11:00 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 –Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

10:30 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.bigwest.org

 

 

 

 

Conference USA

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Memphis

16-0

27-4

17

2

Southern Miss

12-4

23-8

37

3

U T E P

10-6

17-13

98

4

East Carolina

9-7

18-11

92

5

Tulsa

8-8

16-14

152

6

Houston

7-9

18-11

194

7

U A B

7-9

16-16

149

8

Tulane

6-10

19-13

186

9

Marshall

6-10

13-19

203

10

S M U

5-11

15-17

213

11

Rice

1-15

5-25

322

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

7-U A B  53  10-S M U  52

 

 

2

6-Houston  72  11-Rice  67

 

 

3

8-Tulane  66  9-Marshall  64

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

4

2-Southern Miss vs. 7-U A B

1:00 PM

CBSSN

5

3-U T E P vs. 6-Houston

3:30 PM

CBSSN

6

1-Memphis vs. 8-Tulane

7:00 PM

CBSSN

7

4-East Carolina vs. 5-Tulsa

9:30 PM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

7

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

4:00 PM

CBSSN

8

Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7

6:30 PM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

9

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

11:30 AM

CBS

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.conferenceusa.com

 

 

 

Mid-American Conference

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Akron

14-2

24-6

53

2

Ohio U

14-2

23-8

74

3

Western Michigan

10-6

19-11

132

4

Kent St.

9-7

19-12

145

5

Ball St.

8-8

15-15

225

6

Bowling Green

7-9

13-19

254

7

Eastern Michigan

7-9

16-17

235

8

Buffalo

7-9

14-19

231

9

Central Michigan

4-12

11-20

260

10

Northern Illinois

3-13

5-25

331

11

Miami (O)

3-13

9-22

269

 

Conference Tournament—Cleveland (1st round at higher seeds)

 

Game #

Day 1 – Opening Round

Time

TV

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

1

8-Buffalo  74  9-Central Michigan  72 ot

 

 

2

7-Eastern Michigan  45  10-N. Illinois  44

 

 

3

11-Miami (O)  63  6-Bowling Green  52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

4

8-Buffalo  76  5-Ball St.  61

 

 

5

7-Eastern Michigan  58  11-Miami (O)  47

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

6

4-Kent St. vs. 8-Buffalo

6:30 PM

Online

7

3-W. Michigan vs. 7-Eastern Michigan

9:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

8

1-Akron vs. Winner Game 6

6:30 PM

Online

9

2-Ohio vs. Winner Game 7

9:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

10

Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9

6:30 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.mac-sports.com 

 

 

Mideast Athletic Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Norfolk St.

16-0

21-11

169

2

UNC-Central

15-1

22-9

151

3

Hampton

11-5

14-16

282

4

Savannah St.

11-5

19-13

155

5

Morgan St.

10-6

15-14

251

6

Delaware St.

8-8

14-17

276

7

North Carolina A&T

8-8

17-16

253

8

Bethune-Cookman

7-9

14-19

293

9

Coppin St.

5-11

8-24

309

10

Florida A&M

5-11

8-23

333

11

Howard

4-12

7-24

334

12

South Carolina St.

2-14

6-24

342

13

MD-Eastern Shore

2-14

2-26

345

 

Conference Tournament—Norfolk, VA

 

Game #

Day 1 – Opening Round (Day 1)

Time

TV

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

1

4-Savannah St.  59  13-MD-Eastern Shore  44

 

 

2

5-Morgan St.  61  12-South Carolina St.  52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Opening Round (Day 2)

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

3

8-Bethune-Cookman  89  9-Coppin St.  78

 

 

4

7-North Carolina A&T  65  10-Florida A&M  54

 

 

5

6-Delaware St.  73 11-Howard  61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals (Day 1)

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

6

8-Bethune-Cookman  70  1-Norfolk St.  68 ot

 

 

7

7-North Carolina A&T  55  2-UNC-Central  42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Quarterfinals (Day 2)

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

8

3-Hampton vs. 6-Delaware St.

6:00 PM

Online

9

4-Savannah St. vs. 5-Morgan St.

8:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

10

8-Bethune-Cookman vs. Winner Game 9

6:00 PM

Online

11

7-North Carolina A&T vs. Winner Game 8

8:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6 – Championship Game

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

12

Winner Game 19 vs. Winner Game 11

5:00 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.MEACsports.com

 

 

 

 

Mountain West Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

New Mexico

13-3

27-5

2

2

Colorado St.

11-5

25-7

15

3

U N L V

10-6

24-8

22

4

San Diego St.

9-7

22-9

30

5

Boise St.

9-7

21-10

37

6

Air Force

8-8

17-13

71

7

Fresno St.

5-11

11-19

123

8

Wyoming

4-12

19-13

68

9

Nevada

3-13

12-19

166

 

Conference Tournament—Las Vegas (UNLV)

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

1

8-Wyoming  85  9-Nevada  81

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

2

3-U N L V  72  6-Air Force  56

 

 

3

2-Colorado St.  67  7-Fresno St.  61

 

 

4

1-New Mexico  59  8-Wyoming  46

 

 

5

4-San Diego St.  73  5-Boise St.  67

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

6

1-New Mexico vs. 4-San Diego St.

9:00 PM

CBSSN

7

2-Colorado St. vs. 3-U N L V

11:30 PM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

8

Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7

6:00 PM

CBS

 

Online Site: www.themwc.com

 

Pac-12 Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

U C L A

13-5

23-8

30

2

California

12-6

20-10

48

3

Oregon

12-6

23-8

53

4

Arizona

12-6

24-6

13

5

Colorado

10-8

21-10

35

6

Washington

9-9

18-14

87

7

Southern Cal

9-9

14-18

106

8

Stanford

9-9

18-14

63

9

Arizona St.

9-9

21-11

90

10

Utah

5-13

14-17

171

11

Washington St.

4-14

13-19

183

12

Oregon St.

4-14

14-18

179

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

9-Arizona St.  89  8-Stanford  88 ot

 

 

2

5-Colorado  74  12-Oregon St.  68

 

 

3

10-Utah  69  7-Southern Cal  66

 

 

4

6-Washington  64  11-Washington St.  62

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

5

1-UCLA vs. 9-Arizona St.

3:00 PM

Pac-12 Regional

6

4-Arizona vs. 5-Colorado

5:30 PM

Pac-12 Regional

7

2-California vs. 10-Utah

9:00 PM

Pac-12 Regional

8

3-Oregon vs. 6-Washington

11:30 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

9

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

9:00 PM

Pac-12 Regional

10

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

11:30 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

11

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

11:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: championships.pac-12.com/mens-basketball/

 

Patriot League

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Bucknell 12-2 28-5 52
2 Lafayette 10-4 19-15 173
3 Lehigh 10-4 21-9 105
4 Army 8-6 16-15 213
5 American 5-9 10-20 261
6 Colgate 5-9 11-21 255
7 Holy Cross 4-10 12-18 249
8 Navy 2-12 8-23 314

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

1-Bucknell  58  8-Navy  42

 

 

2

4-Army  65  5-American  44

 

 

3

2-Lafayette  77  7-Holy Cross  54

 

 

4

3-Lehigh  71  6-Colgate  64

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

 

Games at Higher Seed

 

 

5

1-Bucknell  78  4-Army  70

 

 

6

2-Lafayette  82  3-Lehigh  69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Finals

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

 

Game at Higher Seed

 

 

7

1-Bucknell  64  2-Lafayette  56

 

 

Online Site: http://www.patriotleague.org

Southeastern Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Florida

14-4

24-6

9

2

Kentucky

12-6

21-10

50

3

Ole Miss

12-6

23-8

56

4

Alabama

12-6

20-11

60

5

Tennessee

11-7

19-11

54

6

Missouri

11-7

22-9

32

7

Arkansas

10-8

19-12

78

8

Georgia

9-9

15-16

124

9

L S U

9-9

18-11

91

10

Vanderbilt

8-10

14-16

127

11

Texas A&M

7-11

18-14

95

12

South Carolina

4-14

14-18

208

13

Mississippi St.

4-14

10-21

233

14

Auburn

3-15

9-23

248

 

Conference Tournament: Nashville

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

13-Mississippi St.  70  12-South Carolina  59

 

 

2

11-Texas A&M  71  14-Auburn  62

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

3

8-Georgia vs. 9-L S U

1:00 PM

SEC Network

4

5-Tennessee vs. 13-Miss. St.

3:30 PM

SEC Network

5

7-Arkansas vs. 10-Vanderbilt

7:30 PM

SEC Network

6

6-Missouri vs. 11-Texas A&M

10:00 PM

SEC Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

7

1-Florida vs. Winner Game 3

1:00 PM

ESPNU

8

4-Alabama vs. Winner Game 4

3:30 PM

ESPNU

9

2-Kentucky vs. Winner Game 5

7:30 PM

ESPNU

10

3-Ole Miss vs. Winner Game 6

10:00 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

11

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

1:00 PM

ABC

12

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

3:30 PM

ABC

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Finals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 17

 

 

13

Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12

1:00 PM

ABC

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com

 

 

 

Southland Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Stephen F. Austin

16-2

26-3

68

2

Northwestern St.

15-3

21-8

102

3

Oral Roberts

13-5

18-13

140

4

Southeast Louisiana

10-8

12-17

237

5

Nicholls St.

8-10

9-21

293

6

Sam Houston St.

8-10

16-16

238

7

Central Arkansas

7-11

13-17

282

8

McNeese St.

7-11

14-16

241

 

Conference Tournament: Katy, TX

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

8-McNeese St.  62  5-Nicholls St.  59

 

 

2

6-Sam Houston St.  69  7-Cent. Arkansas  63

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

3

4-Southeast Louisiana vs. 8-McNeese St.

6:00 PM

Online

4

3-Oral Roberts vs. 6-Sam Houston St.

8:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

5

1-Stephen F. Austin vs. Winner Game 3

6:00 PM

ESPN3

6

2-Northwestern St. vs. Winner Game 4

8:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

8:30 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.southland.org

 

 

 

 

Southwestern Athletic Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Southern

16-2

17-14

191

2

Jackson St.

9-9

10-17

312

3

Alcorn St.

8-10

10-23

307

4

Prairie View

8-10

13-18

323

5

Alabama St.

8-10

10-21

326

6

Alabama A&M

6-12

11-19

329

7

Grambling

0-18

0-28

347

 

Conference Tournament—Garland, TX

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals (Day 1)

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

6-Alabama A&M  59  7-Grambling  51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2-Quarterfinals (Day 2)

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

2

3-Alcorn St. vs. 4-Prairie View

9:00 PM

3

2-Jackson St. vs. 5-Alabama St.

1:30 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

4

1-Southern vs. 6-Alabama A&M

9:00 PM

5

Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

3:30 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 –Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

7

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

4:30 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.SWAChoops.org

 

 

 

Western Athletic Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Louisiana Tech

16-2

26-5

49

2

Denver

16-2

21-8

58

3

New Mexico St.

14-4

21-10

59

4

UT-Arlington

11-7

17-12

137

5

Utah St.

11-7

21-9

105

6

Idaho

7-11

12-17

196

7

Texas St.

5-13

11-21

287

8

San Jose St.

3-14

9-20

244

9

U T S A

3-14

9-21

284

10

Seattle

3-15

8-22

295

SJ St. & UTSA game postponed on Mar. 7 due to roof leak

 

Conference Tournament—Las Vegas

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

1

7-Texas St.  68  10-Seattle  56

 

 

2

9-U T S A   67  8-San Jose St. 49

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

3

3-New Mexico St. vs. 6-Idaho

3:00 PM

Online

4

2-Denver vs. 7-Texas St.

5:30 PM

Online

5

1-Louisiana Tech vs. 9-U T S A

9:00 PM

Online

6

4-UT-Arlington vs. 5-Utah St.

11:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

7

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

9:00 PM

Online

8

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

11:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

9

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

11:00 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.wacsports.com 

 

 

As The Bubble Blows

Providence and Stanford both saw their slim chances to get into the dance taken away in first round tournament losses yesterday.   BoiseState saw its decent chance fall to a very slim chance with its opening round loss to San DiegoState.  If Tennessee and Virginia both win their opening tournament games, the Broncos are probably NIT-bound.

Other

The MEAC suffered greatly in its chances to avoid having its representative avoid the opening round in Dayton.  Their top two teams, both of whom dominated the rest of the league in the regular season, both fell yesterday.  Norfolk St. (16-0 in regular season) fell to Bethune-Cookman, while UNC-Central (15-1) lost to North Carolina A&T.  The two lower-seeded upset winners now get a day off before facing higher seeds that must play today.

March 12, 2013

NCAA Basketball Tournaments Update–Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DANCE TICKETS PUNCHED

Florida Gulf Coast 24-10

Belmont 26-6

Harvard 19-9

Liberty 15-20

Creighton 27-7

Western Kentucky 20-15

Davidson 26-7

James Madison 20-14

Gonzaga 31-2

Iona 20-13

Long Island 21-13

South Dakota St. 25-9

Valparaiso 26-7

 

 

Note: Above RPI Rankings are from Monday, March 11.

 

Today’s Conference Tournaments in Action

Big East Conference—1st Round

Horizon League—Championship Game

M E A C—1st Round (Part 2)

Mountain West Conference—1st Round

Northeast Conference—Championship Game

W A C—1st Round

 

Note: Below RPI Rankings are from the day before each conference tournament began

 

America East Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Stony Brook

14-2

24-7

71

2

Vermont

11-5

21-10

128

3

Hartford

10-6

17-13

171

4

Albany

9-7

23-10

164

5

Maine

6-10

11-19

273

6

U M B C

5-11

8-23

312

7

N. Hampshire

5-11

9-20

293

8

Binghamton

1-15

3-27

338

 

Conference Tournament—Albany, NY  (Championship Game at Higher Seed)

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

1

2-Vermont  61  7-New Hampshire  42

 

 

2

6-U M B C  69  3-Hartford  62

 

 

3

1-Stony Brook  72  8-Binghamton  49

 

 

4

4-Albany  50  5-Maine  49

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

5

2-Vermont  85  6-U M B C  72

 

 

6

4-Albany  61  1-Stony Brook  59

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 –Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

7

4-Albany at 2-Vermont

11:30 AM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.americaeast.com

 

 

Big East Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Georgetown

14-4

24-5

9

2

Louisville

14-4

26-5

3

3

Marquette

14-4

23-7

10

4

Pittsburgh

12-6

24-7

40

5

Syracuse

11-7

23-8

16

6

Notre Dame

11-7

23-8

44

7

Villanova

10-8

19-12

51

8

Providence

9-9

17-13

81

9

Cincinnati

9-9

21-10

46

10

St. John’s

8-10

16-14

78

11

Rutgers

5-13

15-15

108

12

Seton Hall

3-15

15-17

131

13

South Florida

3-15

12-19

130

14

DePaul

2-16

11-21

198

 

Conference Tournament—New York City

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

1

12-Seton Hall  46  13-South Florida  42 ot

 

 

2

11-Rutgers  76  14-DePaul  57

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

3

8-Providence vs. 9-Cincinnati

12:00 PM

ESPN

4

5-Syracuse vs. 12-Seton Hall

2:00 PM

ESPN

5

7-Villanova vs. 10-St. John’s

7:00 PM

ESPN

6

6-Notre Dame vs. 11-Rutgers

9:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

7

1-Georgetown vs. Winner Game 3

12:00 PM

ESPN

8

4-Pittsburgh vs. Winner Game 4

2:00 PM

ESPN

9

2-Louisville vs. Winner Game 5

7:00 PM

ESPN

10

3-Marquette vs. Winner Game 6

9:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

11

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

7:00 PM

ESPN

12

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

9:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

13

Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12

8:30 PM

ESPN

Online Site: www.bigeast.org

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Kansas

14-4

26-5

6

2

Kansas St.

14-4

25-6

21

3

Oklahoma St.

13-5

23-7

24

4

Oklahoma

11-7

20-10

34

5

Iowa St.

11-7

21-10

47

6

Baylor

9-9

18-13

62

7

Texas

7-11

15-16

114

8

West Virginia

6-12

13-18

120

9

Texas Tech

3-15

10-19

227

10

T C U

2-16

11-20

226

 

Conference Tournament: Kansas City

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

 

1

8-West Virginia vs. 9-Texas Tech

7:00 PM

ESPN3

 

2

7-Texas vs. 10-T C U

9:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

 

3

4-Oklahoma vs. 5-Iowa St.

12:30 PM

ESPN

 

4

1-Kansas vs. Winner Game 1

3:00 PM

ESPN

 

5

2-Kansas St. vs. Winner Game 2

7:00 PM

ESPN3

 

6

3-Oklahoma St. vs. 6-Baylor

9:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

 

7

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

7:30 PM

ESPN3 or ESPNU

 

8

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

10:00 PM

ESPN3 or ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

 

9

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

6:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.big12sports.com

 

 

 
 

Conference USA

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Memphis

16-0

27-4

17

2

Southern Miss

12-4

23-8

37

3

U T E P

10-6

17-13

98

4

East Carolina

9-7

18-11

92

5

Tulsa

8-8

16-14

152

6

Houston

7-9

18-11

194

7

U A B

7-9

15-16

149

8

Tulane

6-10

18-13

186

9

Marshall

6-10

13-18

203

10

S M U

5-11

15-16

213

11

Rice

1-15

5-25

322

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

7-U A B vs. 10-S M U

4:30 PM

Online

2

6-Houston vs. 11-Rice

7:00 PM

Online

3

8-Tulane vs. 9-Marshall

9:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

4

2-Southern Miss vs. Winner Game 1

1:00 PM

CBSSN

5

3-U T E P vs. Winner Game 2

3:30 PM

CBSSN

6

1-Memphis vs. Winner Game 3

7:00 PM

CBSSN

7

4-East Carolina vs. 5-Tulsa

9:30 PM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

7

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

4:00 PM

CBSSN

8

Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7

6:30 PM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

9

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

11:30 AM

CBS

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.conferenceusa.com

 

 

 

Horizon League

 

Seed

Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Valparaiso 13-3 26-7 63
2 Detroit 12-4 20-12 58
3 Wright St. 10-6 21-12 166
4 Green Bay 10-6 18-15 167
5 Illinois-Chicago 7-9 17-15 164
6 Youngstown St. 7-9 17-15 190
7 Loyola (Chi) 5-11 15-16 218
8 Cleveland St. 5-11 14-18 196
9 Milwaukee 3-13 8-24 301

 

Conference Tournament—1st Round & Championship @ Higher Seed, Quarterfinals & Semifinals at Valparaiso

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 5

 

 

1

4-Green Bay  62  9-Milwaukee  46

 

 

2

5-Illinois-Chicago  82  8-Cleveland St.  59

 

 

3

6-Youngstown St.  62  7-Loyola (Chi)  60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

4

3-Wright St.  66  6-Youngstown St.  59

 

 

5

4-Green Bay  64  5-Illinois-Chicago  63

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

6

3-Wright St.  56  2-Detroit  54

 

 

7

1-Valparaiso  70  4-Green Bay  69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

8

1-Valparaiso  62  3-Wright St.  54

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.horizonleague.org

 

 

Mid-American Conference

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Akron

14-2

24-6

53

2

Ohio U

14-2

23-8

74

3

Western Michigan

10-6

19-11

132

4

Kent St.

9-7

19-12

145

5

Ball St.

8-8

15-14

225

6

Bowling Green

7-9

13-19

254

7

Eastern Michigan

7-9

15-17

235

8

Buffalo

7-9

13-19

231

9

Central Michigan

4-12

11-20

260

10

Northern Illinois

3-13

5-25

331

11

Miami (O)

3-13

9-21

269

 

Conference Tournament—Cleveland (1st round at higher seeds)

 

Game #

Day 1 – Opening Round

Time

TV

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

1

8-Buffalo  74  9-Central Michigan  72 ot

 

 

2

7-Eastern Michigan  45  10-N. Illinois  44

 

 

3

11-Miami (O)  63  6-Bowling Green  52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

4

5-Ball St. vs. 8-Buffalo

6:30 PM

Online

5

7-Eastern Michigan vs. 11-Miami (O)

9:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

6

4-Kent St. vs. Winner Game 4

6:30 PM

Online

7

3-W. Michigan vs. Winner Game 5

9:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

8

1-Akron vs. Winner Game 6

6:30 PM

Online

9

2-Ohio vs. Winner Game 7

9:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

10

Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9

6:30 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.mac-sports.com

 

 

 

Mideast Athletic Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Norfolk St.

16-0

21-10

169

2

UNC-Central

15-1

22-8

151

3

Hampton

11-5

14-16

282

4

Savannah St.

11-5

19-13

155

5

Morgan St.

10-6

15-14

251

6

Delaware St.

8-8

14-17

276

7

North Carolina A&T

8-8

16-16

253

8

Bethune-Cookman

7-9

13-19

293

9

Coppin St.

5-11

8-24

309

10

Florida A&M

5-11

8-23

333

11

Howard

4-12

7-24

334

12

South Carolina St.

2-14

6-24

342

13

MD-Eastern Shore

2-14

2-26

345

 

Conference Tournament—Norfolk, VA

 

Game #

Day 1 – Opening Round (Day 1)

Time

TV

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

1

4-Savannah St.  59  13-MD-Eastern Shore  44

 

 

2

5-Morgan St.  61  12-South Carolina St.  52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Opening Round (Day 2)

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

3

8-Bethune-Cookman  89  9-Coppin St.  78

 

 

4

7-North Carolina A&T  65  10-Florida A&M  54

 

 

5

6-Delaware St.  73 11-Howard  61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals (Day 1)

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

6

1-Norfolk St. vs. 8-Bethune-Cookman

6:00 PM

Online

7

2-UNC-Central vs. 7-North Carolina A&T

8:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Quarterfinals (Day 2)

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

8

3-Hampton vs. 6-Delaware St.

6:00 PM

Online

9

4-Savannah St. vs. 5-Morgan St.

8:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

10

Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 9

6:00 PM

Online

11

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

8:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6 – Championship Game

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

12

Winner Game 19 vs. Winner Game 11

5:00 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.MEACsports.com

 

 

 

 

Mountain West Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

New Mexico

13-3

26-5

2

2

Colorado St.

11-5

24-7

15

3

U N L V

10-6

23-8

22

4

San Diego St.

9-7

21-9

30

5

Boise St.

9-7

21-9

37

6

Air Force

8-8

17-12

71

7

Fresno St.

5-11

11-18

123

8

Wyoming

4-12

19-12

68

9

Nevada

3-13

12-19

166

 

Conference Tournament—Las Vegas (UNLV)

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

1

8-Wyoming vs. 9-Nevada

8:00 PM

Mtn W TV

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

2

3-U N L V  vs. 6-Air Force

3:00 PM

CBSSN

3

2-Colorado St. vs. 7-Fresno St.

5:30 PM

CBSSN

4

1-New Mexico vs. Winner Game 1

9:30 PM

CBSSN

5

4-San Diego St. vs. 5-Boise St.

12:00 AM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

6

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

9:00 PM

CBSSN

7

Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

11:30 PM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

8

Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7

6:00 PM

CBS

 

Online Site: www.themwc.com

 

Northeast Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Robert Morris 14-4 24-10 114
2 Wagner 12-6 20-12 124
3 Long Island 12-6 21-13 195
4 Bryant 12-6 19-12 146
5 Mt. St. Mary‘s 11-7 19-14 156
6 Quinnipiac 11-7 15-17 191
7 Central Connecticut 9-9 13-18 197
8 St. Francis, NY 8-10 12-19 216

 

Conference Tournament—Games at Campus Sites.  Higher Seeds Host All Games.  Teams Will Be Re-Seeded After Quarterfinals

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

1-Robert Morris  75  8-St. Francis (NY)  57

 

 

2

2-Wagner  72  7-Central Connecticut  50

 

 

3

3-Long Island  91  6-Quinnipiac  83

 

 

4

5-Mt. St. Mary‘s  75  4-Bryant  69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

5

5-Mt. St. Mary’s  69  1-Robert Morris  60

 

 

6

3-Long Island  94  2-Wagner  82

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Finals

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

7

3-Long Island  91  5-Mt. St. Mary’s  70  

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.northeastconference.org

 

Pac-12 Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

U C L A

13-5

23-8

30

2

California

12-6

20-10

48

3

Oregon

12-6

23-8

53

4

Arizona

12-6

24-6

13

5

Colorado

10-8

20-10

35

6

Washington

9-9

17-14

87

7

Southern Cal

9-9

14-17

106

8

Stanford

9-9

18-13

63

9

Arizona St.

9-9

20-11

90

10

Utah

5-13

13-17

171

11

Washington St.

4-14

13-18

183

12

Oregon St.

4-14

14-17

179

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

8-Stanford vs. 9-Arizona St.

3:00 PM

Pac-12 Regional

2

5-Colorado vs. 12-Oregon St

5:30 PM

Pac-12 Regional

3

7-Southern Cal vs. 10-Utah

9:00 PM

Pac-12 Regional

4

6-Washington vs. 11-Washington St.

11:30 PM

Pac-12 Regional

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

5

1-UCLA vs. Winner Game 1

3:00 PM

Pac-12 Regional

6

4-Arizona vs. Winner Game 2

5:30 PM

Pac-12 Regional

7

2-California vs. Winner Game 3

9:00 PM

Pac-12 Regional

8

3-Oregon vs. Winner Game 4

11:30 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

9

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

9:00 PM

Pac-12 Regional

10

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

11:30 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

11

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

11:00 PM

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: championships.pac-12.com/mens-basketball/

 

 

Patriot League

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Bucknell 12-2 27-5 52
2 Lafayette 10-4 19-14 173
3 Lehigh 10-4 21-9 105
4 Army 8-6 16-15 213
5 American 5-9 10-20 261
6 Colgate 5-9 11-21 255
7 Holy Cross 4-10 12-18 249
8 Navy 2-12 8-23 314

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

1-Bucknell  58  8-Navy  42

 

 

2

4-Army  65  5-American  44

 

 

3

2-Lafayette  77  7-Holy Cross  54

 

 

4

3-Lehigh  71  6-Colgate  64

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

 

Games at Higher Seed

 

 

5

1-Bucknell  78  4-Army  70

 

 

6

2-Lafayette  82  3-Lehigh  69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Finals

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

 

Game at Higher Seed

 

 

7

2-Lafayette at 1-Bucknell

7:30 PM

CBSSN

 

Online Site: http://www.patriotleague.org

 

Summit League

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 South Dakota St. 13-3 25-9 75
2 Western Illinois 13-3 22-8 126
3 North Dakota St. 12-4 24-9 81
4 Oakland 10-6 16-16 132
5 I P F W 7-9 16-17 264
6 Mo.-Kansas City 5-11 8-24 287
7 South Dakota 5-11 10-20 242
8 I U P U I 1-15 6-26 325

 

Conference Tournament—Sioux Falls, SD

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

1

1-South Dakota St.  66  8-I U P U I  49

 

 

2

2-Western Illinois  54  7-South Dakota  53

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

3

5-I P F W  91  4-Oakland  72

 

 

4

3-North Dakota St.  69  6-UM-Kansas City  58

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 –Semifinals

 

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

5

1-S. Dakota St.  72  5-I P F W  56

 

 

6

3-North Dakota St.  55  2-Western Illinois  43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

7

1-South Dakota St.  73  North Dakota St.  67

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.thesummitleague.org

 

Southeastern Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Florida

14-4

24-6

9

2

Kentucky

12-6

21-10

50

3

Ole Miss

12-6

23-8

56

4

Alabama

12-6

20-11

60

5

Tennessee

11-7

19-11

54

6

Missouri

11-7

22-9

32

7

Arkansas

10-8

19-12

78

8

Georgia

9-9

15-16

124

9

L S U

9-9

18-11

91

10

Vanderbilt

8-10

14-16

127

11

Texas A&M

7-11

17-14

95

12

South Carolina

4-14

14-17

208

13

Mississippi St.

4-14

9-21

233

14

Auburn

3-15

9-22

248

 

Conference Tournament: Nashville

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

12-South Carolina vs. 13-Mississippi St.

7:30 PM

SEC Network

2

11-Texas A&M vs. 14-Auburn

10:00 PM

SEC Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

3

8-Georgia vs. 9-L S U

1:00 PM

SEC Network

4

5-Tennessee vs. Winner Game 1

3:30 PM

SEC Network

5

7-Arkansas vs. 10-Vanderbilt

7:30 PM

SEC Network

6

6-Missouri vs. Winner Game 2

10:00 PM

SEC Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

7

1-Florida vs. Winner Game 3

1:00 PM

ESPNU

8

4-Alabama vs. Winner Game 4

3:30 PM

ESPNU

9

2-Kentucky vs. Winner Game 5

7:30 PM

ESPNU

10

3-Ole Miss vs. Winner Game 6

10:00 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

11

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

1:00 PM

ABC

12

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

3:30 PM

ABC

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Finals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 17

 

 

13

Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12

1:00 PM

ABC

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com

 

 

 

Southland Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Stephen F. Austin

16-2

26-3

68

2

Northwestern St.

15-3

21-8

102

3

Oral Roberts

13-5

18-13

140

4

Southeast Louisiana

10-8

12-17

237

5

Nicholl St.

8-10

9-20

293

6

Sam Houston St.

8-10

15-16

238

7

Central Arkansas

7-11

13-16

282

8

McNeese St.

7-11

13-16

241

 

Conference Tournament: Katy, TX

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

1

5-Nicholls St. vs. 8-McNeese St.

6:00 PM

Online

2

6-Sam Houston St. vs. 7-Central Arkansas

8:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

3

4-Southeast Louisiana vs. Winner Game 1

6:00 PM

Online

4

3-Oral Roberts vs. Winner Game 2

8:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

5

1-Stephen F. Austin vs. Winner Game 3

6:00 PM

ESPN3

6

2-Northwestern St. vs. Winner Game 4

8:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

8:30 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.southland.org

 

 

 

 

Western Athletic Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Louisiana Tech

16-2

26-5

49

2

Denver

16-2

21-8

58

3

New Mexico St.

14-4

21-10

59

4

UT-Arlington

11-7

17-12

137

5

Utah St.

11-7

21-9

105

6

Idaho

7-11

12-17

196

7

Texas St.

5-13

11-21

287

8

San Jose St.

3-14

9-20

244

9

U T S A

3-14

9-21

284

10

Seattle

3-15

8-22

295

SJ St. & UTSA game postponed on Mar. 7 due to roof leak

 

Conference Tournament—Las Vegas

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

1

7-Texas St.  68  10-Seattle  56

 

 

2

9-U T S A   67  8-San Jose St. 49

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

 

 

3

3-New Mexico St. vs. 6-Idaho

3:00 PM

Online

4

2-Denver vs. 7-Texas St.

5:30 PM

Online

5

1-Louisiana Tech vs. 9-U T S A

9:00 PM

Online

6

4-UT-Arlington vs. 5-Utah St.

11:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

7

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

9:00 PM

Online

8

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

11:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

9

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

11:00 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Online Site: www.wacsports.com

 

 

 

As The Bubble Blows

No teams played into The Bubble or out of The Bubble last night.  

March 8, 2013

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments Update–Friday, March 8, 2013

Today’s Conference Tournaments in Action

Atlantic Sun—Semifinal Round 

Horizon—Quarterfinal Round

Metro Atlantic—Opening Round

Missouri Valley—Quarterfinal Round

Ohio Valley—Semifinal Round

Southern Conference—Opening Round

Sun Belt Conference—Opening Round

West Coast—Quarterfinal Round

 

America East Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Stony Brook

14-2

23-6

71

2

Vermont

11-5

19-10

128

3

Hartford

10-6

17-12

171

4

Albany

9-7

21-10

164

5

Maine

6-10

11-18

273

6

U M B C

5-11

7-22

312

7

N. Hampshire

5-11

9-19

293

8

Binghamton

1-15

3-26

338

 

Conference Tournament—Albany, NY  (Championship Game at Higher Seed)

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

1

2-Vermont vs. 7-New Hampshire

12:00 Noon

ESPN3

2

3-Hartford vs. 6-U M B C

2:00 PM

ESPN3

3

1-Stony Brook vs. 8-Binghamton

6:00 PM

ESPN3

4

4-Albany vs. 5-Maine

8:00 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

5

Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

5:00 PM

ESPN3

6

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

7:00 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 –Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

11:30 AM

ESPN2

 

at Higher Seeded Winner’s Home Court

 

 

 

Online Site: www.americaeast.com

 

Atlantic Sun Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Mercer 14-4 22-10 131
2 Florida Gulf Coast 13-5 22-10 109
3 Stetson 11-7 15-15 223
4 SC Upstate 9-9 16-16 228
5 Jacksonville 9-9 14-18 268
6 North Florida 8-10 13-19 220
7 East Tennessee St. 8-10 10-22 263
8 Lipscomb 7-11 12-18 235

 

Conference Tournament—Macon, GA (Mercer)

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals Time TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 06, 2013    

1

#2 Florida Gulf Coast  73  #7 N. Florida  63    

2

#1 Mercer  82  #8 Lipscomb  48    

 

     

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals    

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 07, 2013    

3

#3 Stetson  67  #6 East Tennessee St.  46    

4

#5 USC-Upstate  76  #4 Jacksonville  62    

 

     

 

Day 3 – Semifinals    

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 08, 2013    

5

#2 Fla. Gulf Coast vs. #3 Stetson 5:30 p.m. ESPN3 & CSS

6

#1 Mercer vs. #5 USC-Upstate 8:00 p.m. ESPN3 & CSS

 

     

 

Day 4 – Finals    

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 09, 2013    

7

Semifinal Winners 12:00 p.m. ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.atlanticsun.org

 

Big South Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Charleston Southern 12-4 18-11 186
2 High Point 12-4 17-13 248
3 Gardner-Webb 11-5 21-11 185
4 UNC-Asheville 10-6 16-16 202
5 Coastal Carolina 9-7 14-15 246
6 V M I 8-8 14-16 311
7 Campbell 7-9 13-20 293
8 Radford 7-9 13-19 313
9 Winthrop 6-10 14-17 275
10 Liberty 6-10 13-20 324
11 Presbyterian 4-12 8-24 339
12 Longwood 4-12 8-24 336

 

Conference Tournament—Conway, SC (Myrtle Beach Area) (Coastal Carolina)

Game #

Day 1 – First Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 5

 

 

1

5S Winthrop  60  4N Radford  58 ot

 

 

2

6N Longwood  87  3S UNC-Asheville  72

 

 

3

3N Campbell  81  6S Presbyterian  73

 

 

4

5N Liberty  78  4S Coastal Carolina  61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 7

 

 

5

1S Charleston Southern  54  5S Winthrop  47

 

 

6

2N V M I  90  6N Longwood  86

 

 

7

2S Gardner-Webb  71  3N Campbell  57

 

 

8

5N Liberty  61  1N High Point  60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

9

1S Charleston Southern vs. 2N V M I

12 Noon

ESPN3

10

2S Gardner-Webb vs. 5N Liberty

2:00 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4-Finals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

11

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

12 Noon

ESPN2

 

Online TV Site: www.bigsouthsports.com

 

Colonial Athletic Association

 

Seed

Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Northeastern 14-4 19-11 160
2 Delaware 13-5 18-13 127
3 James Madison 11-7 17-14 207
4 George Mason 10-8 17-13 155
5 Drexel 9-9 13-17 205
6 William & Mary 7-11 13-16 265
7 Hofstra 4-14 7-24 321

 

Conference Tournament—Richmond, VA

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

1

4-George Mason vs. 5-Drexel

3:30 PM

Online

2

2-Delaware vs. 7-Hofstra

6:00 PM

Online

3

3-James Madison vs. 6-William & Mary

8:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

4

1-Northeastern vs. Winner Game 1

2:00 PM

NBCSN

5

Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

4:30 PM

NBCSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3-Finals

 

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

6

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

7:00 PM

NBCSN

 

Online Site: http://www.caasports.com

 

Horizon League

 

Seed

Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Valparaiso 13-3 24-7 63
2 Detroit 12-4 20-11 58
3 Wright St. 10-6 19-11 166
4 Green Bay 10-6 17-14 167
5 Illinois-Chicago 7-9 17-14 164
6 Youngstown St. 7-9 17-14 190
7 Loyola (Chi) 5-11 15-16 218
8 Cleveland St. 5-11 14-18 196
9 Milwaukee 3-13 8-24 301

 

Conference Tournament—1st Round & Championship @ Higher Seed, Quarterfinals & Semifinals at Valparaiso

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 5

 

 

1

4-Green Bay  62  9-Milwaukee  46

 

 

2

5-Illinois-Chicago  82  8-Cleveland St.  59

 

 

3

6-Youngstown St.  62  7-Loyola (Chi)  60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

4

3-Wright St. vs. 6-Youngstown St.

6:00 PM

ESPN3

5

4-Green Bay vs. 5-Illinois-Chicago

8:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

6

2-Detroit vs. Winner Game 4

6:00 PM

ESPNU (10:30)

7

1-Valparaiso vs/ Winner Game 5

8:30 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

8

Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7

9:00 PM

ESPN

 

Online Site: http://www.horizonleague.org

 

M A A C

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Niagara 13-5 18-12 123
2 Rider 12-6 18-13 135
3 Loyola (MD) 12-6 21-10 98
4 Iona 11-7 17-13 117
5 Canisius 11-7 18-12 110
6 Manhattan 9-9 12-17 200
7 Fairfield 9-9 17-14 170
8 Marist 6-12 10-20 250
9 Siena 4-14 7-23 297
10 St. Peter’s 3-15 9-20 283

 

Conference Tournament—Springfield, MA

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

1

8-Marist vs. 9-Siena

7:30 PM

Online

2

7-Fairfield vs. 10-St. Peter’s

9:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

3

1-Niagara vs. Winner Game 1

2:30 PM

ESPN3

4

4-Iona vs. 5-Canisius

4:30 PM

ESPN3

5

2-Rider vs. Winner Game 2

7:30 PM

ESPN3

6

3-Loyola (MD) vs. 6-Manhattan

9:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

7

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

2:00 PM

ESPN3

8

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

4:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

9

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

9:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.maacsports.com

 

Missouri Valley Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Creighton 13-5 24-7 36
2 Wichita St. 12-6 24-7 40
3 Northern Iowa 11-7 18-13 79
4 Evansville 10-8 18-13 96
5 Indiana St. 9-9 17-13 78
6 Illinois St. 8-10 17-14 120
7 Missouri St. 7-11 11-21 211
8 Bradley 7-11 16-16 181
9 Drake 7-11 15-16 150
10 Southern Illinois 6-12 14-17 177

 

Conference Tournament—St. Louis (Arch Madness)

 

Game #

Day 1 – Opening Round

Time

TV

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 7

 

 

1

9-Drake  81  8-Bradley  66

 

 

2

7-Missouri St.  61 10-Southern Illinois  53

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

3

1-Creighton vs. 9-Drake

1:05 PM

ESPN3

4

4-Evansville vs. 5-Indiana St.

3:35 PM

ESPN3

5

2-Wichita St. vs. 7-Missouri St.

7:05 PM

ESPN3

6

3-Northern Iowa vs. 6-Illinois St.

9:35 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

7

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

2:35 PM

ESPN3

8

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

5:05 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

9

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

2:05 PM

CBS

 

 

Online Site: http://www.mvc-sports.com

 

 

Northeast Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Robert Morris 14-4 24-9 114
2 Wagner 12-6 20-11 124
3 Long Island 12-6 19-13 195
4 Bryant 12-6 19-12 146
5 Mt. St. Mary‘s 11-7 18-13 156
6 Quinnipiac 11-7 15-17 191
7 Central Connecticut 9-9 13-18 197
8 St. Francis, NY 8-10 12-19 216

 

Conference Tournament—Games at Campus Sites.  Higher Seeds Host All Games.  Teams Will Be Re-Seeded After Quarterfinals

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

1-Robert Morris  75  8-St. Francis (NY)  57

 

 

2

2-Wagner  72  7-Central Connecticut  50

 

 

3

3-Long Island  91  6-Quinnipiac  83

 

 

4

5-Mt. St. Mary‘s  75  4-Bryant  69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

5

5-Mt. St. Mary’s at 1-Robert Morris

2:30 PM

ESPN3

6

3-Long Island at 2-Wagner

12:00

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Finals

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

7:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.northeastconference.org

 

Ohio Valley Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Belmont 14-2 24-6 24
2 Murray St. 10-6 20-9 128
3 Eastern Kentucky 12-4 24-8 65
4 Tennessee St. 11-5 18-13 111
5 Morehead St. 8-8 15-18 172
6 Southeast Missouri 8-8 17-16 224
7 E. Illinois 6-10 11-21 272
8 UT-Martin 5-11 9-21 306

 

Conference Tournament—Nashville

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

5-Morehead St.  73  8-UT-Martin  66

 

 

2

6-Southeast Missouri  78  7-E. Illinois  68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 7

 

 

3

4-Tennessee St.  88  5-Morehead St.  75

 

 

4

3-Eastern Kentucky  84  6-S E M O  69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

5

1-Belmont vs. 4-Tennessee St.

7:00 PM

ESPNU

6

2-Murray St. vs. 3-E. Kentucky

9:00 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

7:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://ovcsports.sidearmsports.com

 

Patriot League

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Bucknell 12-2 26-5 52
2 Lafayette 10-4 18-14 173
3 Lehigh 10-4 21-8 105
4 Army 8-6 16-14 213
5 American 5-9 10-20 261
6 Colgate 5-9 11-21 255
7 Holy Cross 4-10 12-18 249
8 Navy 2-12 8-23 314

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

1-Bucknell  58  8-Navy  42

 

 

2

4-Army  65  5-American  44

 

 

3

2-Lafayette  77  7-Holy Cross  54

 

 

4

3-Lehigh  71  6-Colgate  64

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

 

Games at Higher Seed

 

 

5

4-Army at 1-Bucknell

4:30 PM

CBSSN

6

3-Lehigh at 2-Lafayette

2:00 PM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Finals

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

 

Game at Higher Seed

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

7:30 PM

CBSSN

 

Online Site: http://www.patriotleague.org

 

Southern Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Davidson 17-1 23-7 82
2 College of Charleston 14-4 22-9 147
3 Elon 13-5 20-10 176
4 Appalachian St. 10-8 14-15 270
5 Western Carolina 9-9 13-18 251
6 Samford 9-9 11-20 281
7 Chattanooga 8-10 13-18 276
8 Wofford 7-11 13-18 240
9 Georgia Southern 7-11 13-18 277
10 UNC-Greensboro 6-12 8-21 330
11 The Citadel 5-13 8-21 327
12 Furman 3-15 6-23 342

 

Conference Tournament: Asheville, NC

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

1

8-Wofford vs. 9-Georgia Southern

11:30 AM

ESPN3

2

5-Samford vs. 12-Furman

2:00 PM

ESPN3

3

7-Chattanooga vs. 10-UNC-Greensboro

6:00 PM

ESPN3

4

6-Western Carolina vs. 11-The Citadel

8:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

5

1-Davidson vs. Winner Game 1

12:00 PM

ESPN3

6

4-Appalachian St. vs. Winner Game 2

2:30 PM

ESPN3

7

2-Elon vs. Winner Game 3

6:00 PM

ESPN3

8

3-College of Charleston vs. Winner Game 4

8:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

9

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

6:00 PM

ESPN3

10

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

8:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

11

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

7:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.soconsports.com

 

Summit League

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 South Dakota St. 13-3 22-9 75
2 Western Illinois 13-3 21-7 126
3 North Dakota St. 12-4 22-8 81
4 Oakland 10-6 16-15 132
5 I P F W 7-9 15-16 264
6 Mo.-Kansas City 5-11 8-23 287
7 South Dakota 5-11 10-19 242
8 I U P U I 1-15 6-25 325

 

Conference Tournament—Sioux Falls, SD

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

1

1-South Dakota St. vs. 8-I U P U I

7:00 PM

FOXCS

2

2-Western Illinois vs. 7-South Dakota

9:30 PM

FOXCS

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

3

4-Oakland vs. 5-I P F W

7:00 PM

FOXCS

4

3-North Dakota St. vs. 6-UM-Kansas City

9:30 PM

FOXCS

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 –Semifinals

 

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

5

Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 3

7:00 PM

FOXCS

6

Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 4

9:30 PM

FOXCS

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

9:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.thesummitleague.org

 

Sun Belt Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Middle Tennessee 19-1 27-4 23
2 South Alabama 14-6 17-11 149
3 Arkansas St. 12-8 18-11 154
4 Florida Int’l 11-9 16-13 137
5 Arkansas-Little Rock 11-9 17-14 163
6 Western Kentucky 10-10 16-15 178
7 Florida Atlantic 9-11 14-17 209
8 Louisiana-Lafayette 8-12 12-19 229
9 North Texas 7-13 12-19 233
10 Troy 6-14 11-20 271
11 Louisiana-Monroe 3-17 4-22 299

 

Conference Tournament—Hot Springs, AR

Note: This Tournament Uses Two Courts— S=Summit Arena, C=Convention Center Court

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

1

6-Western Kentucky vs. 11-UL-Monroe

7:00 PM  S

Online

2

8-UL-Lafayette vs. 9-North Texas

7:30 PM  C

Online

3

7-Florida Atlantic vs. 10-Troy

9:30 PM  S

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

4

4-Florida Int’l vs. 5-Ark.-Little Rock

7:00 PM  C

Sun Belt Network

5

1-Middle Tennessee vs. Winner Game 2

7:30 PM  S

Sun Belt Network

6

3-South Alabama vs. Winner Game 1

9:30 PM  C

Sun Belt Network

7

2-Arkansas St. vs. Winner Game 3

10:00 PM  S

Sun Belt Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

8

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

7:30 PM  S

Sun Belt Network

9

Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7

9:00 PM  S

Sun Belt Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

10

Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9

7:00 PM  S

ESPN

 

Online Site: http://www.sunbeltsports.org

 

West Coast Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Gonzaga 16-0 29-2 10
2 St. Mary’s 14-2 26-5 41
3 B Y U 10-6 21-10 62
4 Santa Clara 9-7 21-10 90
5 San Francisco 7-9 14-15 152
6 San Diego 7-9 14-17 180
7 Pepperdine 4-12 12-17 204
8 Portland 4-12 11-21 219
9 Loyola Marymount 1-15 9-22 253

 

Conference Tournament: Las Vegas

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

9-Loyola Marymount  65  8-Portland  54

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 7

 

 

2

9-Loyola Marymount  61  5-San Francisco  60

 

 

3

6-San Diego  62  7-Pepperdine  59

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

4

4-Santa Clara vs. 9-Loyola Marymount

8:00 PM

ESPNU

5

3-B Y U vs. 6-San Diego

10:30 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

6

1-Gonzaga vs. Winner Game 4

8:00 PM

ESPN2

7

2-St. Mary’s vs. Winner Game 5

10:30 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Finals

 

 

8

MONDAY, MARCH 11

8:00 PM

ESPN

 

Online Site: http://www.wccsports.com

 

As The Bubble Blows

Pop goes the bubble for a couple of major conference schools.  Kentucky lost by double digits for the third consecutive time away from Rupp Arena, and the Wildcats face a must-win game at home against Florida tomorrow.  You have to figure that politics will play a large role when their resume comes forth by the Selection Committee.  Like the heavyweight champion of the world, you have to have a knockout to knock the champ off the throne, especially when that champ is the Joe Louis of basketball.  If the Cats lose to Florida and then fail to make it to at least Saturday in the SEC Tournament, then you have your knockout.

 

Virginia’s loss to Florida State moves the Cavs from definitely in to possibly out if they fail to beat Maryland and depart early in the ACC Tournament.

 

Butler’s win over UMass insured the Bulldogs’ ticket to the Dance and forced the Minutemen to win the A-10 Tournament to get in.

 

Colorado moved to the top level of the bubble with a 23-point win over Pac-12 Conference leader Oregon, sweeping the Ducks.  They did so without the services of the nation’s leading scorer Andre Roberson, who sat out with a virus.  The Buffs are now 4-2 against Top 25 teams, and if their jerseys said, “Kentucky,” CU would be looking at a 6-seed.

 

It wasn’t a bad loss since it came to a team that was 12-4 in league play entering the night, but Louisiana Tech’s loss to New Mexico ended any possible at-large possibilities for the Bulldogs.

 

Other Big Games of Note for Friday, March 08, 2013

Princeton at Yale:  The Tigers lost at home to Yale and cannot afford to get swept.  Princeton holds a half-game lead over Harvard for the Ivy League title, and the Tigers close with three road games.  They must sweep the weekend tilts at Yale and Brown, because the finale at Penn will be much more difficult, even though the Quakers have a worse record than either of this weekend’s opponents.

 

Columbia at Harvard:  The Crimson have a much easier path to close out the regular season.  They host Columbia and Cornell, the sixth and seventh place teams in the Ivy.  Count on Harvard winning both to finish Ivy League play at 11-3.  One Princeton loss means there will be a playoff for the NCAA bid.

 

Kent State at Akron: The Zips have the regular season MAC title already in their pockets, but they have major troubles at the wrong time.  Point guard Alex Abreu, the quarterback on the floor, has been suspended indefinitely following his felonious arrest for traffic marijuana.  The Zips have won 20 of 21 games and appeared to be safe as an at-large team if they did not win the MAC Tournament.  KentState provides Akron with stiff competition, and the Golden Flashes have enough talent to pull off the upset tonight and to also win the conference tournament.  Losing Abreu is like the Denver Broncos losing Peyton Manning.  Expect the Zips to be about 12-15 points weaker per game without him.

 

 

September 19, 2011

PiRate Ratings: College Football for September 22-24, 2011

Let’s tune in to our favorite radio drama serial—All My Expansions.  In today’s episode, the evil John Swofford has taken away two suitors, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, from his neighbor, John Marinatto.  That leaves Marinatto in a bit of purgatory with his comrade Dan Beebe.  Beebe has already lost a suitor, Texas A&M, to Mike Slive, and that western, swashbuckling, showman Larry Scott is going to rustle away the rest of Beebe’s prime cattle in Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Texas.

 

Tune in tomorrow to see if Baylor’s lawsuit against Texas A&M will have any effect on the SEC, or if it comes back to bite the Bears on the tush, leaving them out in the cold after every other conference shuns them.

 

We will find out if Texas Governor Rick Perry gets hit from Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann on his A&M to the SEC issue.  On second chance, they have so much ammunition on the Gardasil issue, a higher debt to GDP ratio in Texas than in California (that Perry has more than doubled since he has been governor), and the fact that Texas has the most minimum wage jobs per capita in the US.  So he can slide and continue to be just a former A&M yell leader.

 

Okay, political rants aside, there were some big games this past weekend.  Oklahoma went on the road and held Florida State at bay for most of the night.  Florida once again punished Tennessee in the Swamp.  Andrew Luck went on the road to Tucson and led Stanford to an impressive win.  Miami showed the nation that Ohio State will probably lose more games this season.  Temple almost upset Penn State.  Most of all, it is amazing to see a number of surprising 3-0 teams.  In the ACC, Clemson ended Auburn’s long winning streak, and the Tigers are 3-0.  North Carolina, without Butch Davis, is 3-0.  In the Big East, South Florida and West Virginia are only mildly surprising 3-0 teams, while you can say the same about Illinois and Michigan in the Big Ten.  Iowa State, Wyoming, Vanderbilt, and Florida International may be the four biggest surprise teams at 3-0.  The Cyclones own wins over Iowa and Connecticut.  The Cowboys won at Bowling Green.  Vanderbilt blew Ole Miss off the field, while Florida International beat Central Florida after beating Louisville.

 

Here are the rankings for the 120 FBS teams this week:

 

#

Team

PiRate

1

Oklahoma

133.8

2

Alabama

130.7

3

Stanford

130.4

4

L S U

128.7

5

Texas A&M

128.4

6

Oregon

125.3

7

Boise St.

125.0

8

Oklahoma St.

122.7

9

Wisconsin

122.5

10

Florida St.

121.3

11

Notre Dame

120.6

12

Arkansas

119.9

13

Florida 

119.2

14

S. Carolina

116.8

15

Nebraska

116.3

16

Miss. State

115.9

17

Miami

115.1

18

Va. Tech

114.7

19

Arizona St.

114.4

20

Utah

114.2

21

Missouri

114.0

22

Southern Cal

113.0

23

Michigan

112.8

24

Texas

112.5

25

Michigan St.

111.8

26

Georgia 

111.5

27

Clemson

111.2

28

Penn State

110.8

29

Washington

110.4

30

California

110.2

31

Auburn

109.9

32

T C U

109.1

33

W. Virginia

108.9

34

Tennessee

108.9

35

Arizona

108.7

36

Illinois

108.6

37

Texas Tech

108.3

38

Maryland

107.6

39

Baylor

107.4

40

Iowa

107.2

41

Cincinnati

107.1

42

Pittsburgh

106.6

43

N.C. State

106.4

44

N. Carolina

106.3

45

S. Florida

105.3

46

Georgia Tech

104.9

47

Oregon St.

104.8

48

Washington St.

104.5

49

Ohio State

104.2

50

Vanderbilt

103.9

51

B Y U

103.8

52

Air Force

103.6

53

S.D. State

103.2

54

Tulsa

102.7

55

Navy

102.6

56

Iowa State

102.4

57

U C L A

102.2

58

Wake Forest

101.8

59

Colorado

101.5

60

Kansas St.

100.8

61

Connecticut

100.3

62

Northwestern

100.1

63

Nevada

99.6

64

Houston

99.3

65

S M U

99.1

66

Minnesota

99.0

67

Virginia

98.8

68

Duke

98.6

69

Boston Coll.

98.2

70

Hawaii

97.0

71

Utah St.

96.6

72

Purdue

96.5

73

E C U

96.4

74

Central Florida

96.2

75

Ole Miss

96.0

76

Kentucky

95.4

77

Rutgers

95.0

78

Southern Miss.

94.5

79

Toledo

94.0

80

Syracuse

93.9

81

Fresno St.

93.9

82

Florida Int’l

93.8

83

San Jose St.

92.8

84

La.Tech

92.4

85

Western Michigan

92.3

86

Miami (O)

92.2

87

Temple

91.9

88

Louisville

91.9

89

Kansas

91.1

90

Rice

90.9

91

Ohio U

90.8

92

Arkansas St.

90.8

93

Colorado St.

90.8

94

Northern Illinois

90.7

95

Wyoming

89.7

96

Army

86.8

97

UL-Monroe

85.9

98

Bowling Green

85.5

99

Idaho

85.4

100

Troy

85.1

101

UNLV

84.4

102

Indiana

83.9

103

Tulane

83.5

104

Marshall

83.5

105

Central Mich.

80.6

106

U A B

80.5

107

U T E P

80.1

108

Ball St.

79.5

109

New Mexico

79.0

110

New Mexico St.

78.8

111

Buffalo

76.9

112

UL-Lafayette

76.6

113

Middle Tennessee

76.6

114

Kent St.

76.1

115

N. Texas

73.1

116

Western Ky.

73.1

117

Eastern Mich.

72.9

118

Florida Atlantic

69.1

119

Akron

66.5

120

Memphis

64.2

 

Here they are by conference.

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Florida State

0-0

2-1

121.3

Clemson

0-0

3-0

111.2

Maryland

1-0

1-1

107.6

North Carolina State

0-1

2-1

106.4

Wake Forest

1-0

2-1

101.8

Boston College

0-1

0-3

98.2

       
Coastal Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Miami-FL

0-1

1-1

115.1

Virginia Tech

0-0

3-0

114.7

North Carolina

1-0

3-0

106.3

Georgia Tech

0-0

3-0

104.9

Virginia

0-1

2-1

98.8

Duke

1-0

1-2

98.6

 

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

West Virginia

0-0

3-0

108.9

Cincinnati

0-0

2-1

107.1

Pittsburgh

0-0

2-1

106.6

South Florida

0-0

3-0

105.3

Connecticut

0-0

1-2

100.3

Rutgers

0-0

1-1

95.0

Syracuse

0-0

2-1

93.9

Louisville

0-0

2-1

91.9

 

 

Big Ten

       
Leaders Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Wisconsin

0-0

3-0

122.5

Penn State

0-0

2-1

110.8

Illinois

0-0

3-0

108.6

Ohio State

0-0

2-1

104.2

Purdue

0-0

2-1

96.5

Indiana

0-0

1-2

83.9

       
Legends Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Nebraska

0-0

3-0

116.3

Michigan

0-0

3-0

112.8

Michigan State

0-0

2-1

111.8

Iowa

0-0

2-1

107.2

Northwestern

0-0

2-1

100.1

Minnesota

0-0

1-2

99.0

 

 

Big 12

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Oklahoma

0-0

2-0

133.8

Texas A&M

0-0

2-0

128.4

Oklahoma State

0-0

3-0

122.7

Missouri

0-0

2-1

114.0

Texas

0-0

3-0

112.5

Texas Tech

0-0

2-0

108.3

Baylor

0-0

2-0

107.4

Iowa State

0-0

3-0

102.4

Kansas State

0-0

2-0

100.8

Kansas

0-0

2-1

91.1

 

 

Conference USA

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

East Carolina

0-0

0-2

96.4

Central Florida

0-0

2-1

96.2

Southern Mississippi

0-1

2-1

94.5

Marshall

1-0

1-2

83.5

U A B

0-1

0-2

80.5

Memphis

0-0

1-2

64.2

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Tulsa

1-0

1-2

102.7

Houston

0-0

3-0

99.3

S M U

1-0

2-1

99.1

Rice

0-0

1-1

90.9

Tulane

1-1

2-1

83.5

U T E P

0-1

2-1

80.1

 

 

Independents

       
Team

 

Overall

Rating

Notre Dame  

1-2

120.6

B Y U  

1-2

103.8

Navy  

2-1

102.6

Army  

1-2

86.8

 

 

Mid American Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Miami (O)

0-0

0-2

92.2

Temple

1-0

2-1

91.9

Ohio U

0-0

3-0

90.8

Bowling Green

0-0

2-1

85.5

Buffalo

0-1

1-2

76.9

Kent St.

0-0

0-3

76.1

Akron

0-1

0-3

66.5

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Toledo

0-0

1-2

94.0

Western Michigan

1-0

2-1

92.3

Northern Illinois

0-0

1-2

90.7

Central Michigan

0-1

1-2

80.6

Ball State

1-0

2-1

79.5

Eastern Michigan

0-0

2-1

72.9

 

 

Mountain West Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Boise State

0-0

2-0

125.0

T C U

1-0

2-1

109.1

Air Force

0-1

1-1

103.6

San Diego State

0-0

3-0

103.2

Colorado State

1-0

2-1

90.8

Wyoming

0-0

3-0

89.7

UNLV

0-0

1-2

84.4

New Mexico

0-1

0-3

79.0

 

 

Pac-12 Conference

       
North Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Stanford

1-0

3-0

130.4

Oregon

0-0

2-1

125.3

Washington

0-0

2-1

110.4

California

0-0

3-0

110.2

Oregon State

0-0

0-2

104.8

Washington State

0-0

2-1

104.5

       
South Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Arizona State

0-0

2-1

114.4

Utah

0-1

2-1

114.2

Southern Cal

1-0

3-0

113.0

Arizona

0-0

1-2

108.7

U C L A

0-0

1-2

102.2

Colorado

0-0

1-2

101.5

 

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Florida

1-0

3-0

119.2

South Carolina

1-0

3-0

116.8

Georgia

0-1

1-2

111.5

Tennessee

0-1

2-1

108.9

Vanderbilt

1-0

3-0

103.9

Kentucky

0-0

2-1

95.4

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Alabama

0-0

3-0

130.7

L S U

1-0

3-0

128.7

Arkansas

0-0

3-0

119.9

Mississippi State

0-2

1-2

115.9

Auburn

1-0

2-1

109.9

Ole Miss

0-1

1-2

96.0

 

 

Sunbelt Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Florida International

1-0

3-0

93.8

Arkansas State

0-0

1-2

90.8

Louisiana-Monroe

0-0

1-2

85.9

Troy

0-0

0-2

85.1

U.of Louisiana

0-0

2-1

76.6

Middle Tennessee

0-0

0-2

76.6

North Texas

0-1

0-3

73.1

Western Kentucky

0-0

0-3

73.1

Florida Atlantic

0-0

0-2

69.1

 

 

Western Athletic Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Nevada

1-0

1-1

99.6

Hawaii

0-0

1-2

97.0

Utah State

0-0

1-1

96.6

Fresno State

0-0

1-2

93.9

San Jose State

0-1

0-3

92.8

Louisiana Tech

0-0

1-2

92.4

Idaho

0-0

1-2

85.4

New Mexico State

0-0

1-2

78.8

 

 

And, here are the PiRate Rating Spreads for this week with the opening lines.

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings

   

 

 

 

Thursday, September 22  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

CINCINNATI North Carolina St.

3.7

27-23

NL

   

 

 

 

Friday, September 23  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

B Y U Central Florida

11.6

24-12

4   

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

Saturday, September 24  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

OHIO ST. Colorado

6.7

27-20

16 1/2

DUKE Tulane

18.1

35-17

10   

SYRACUSE Toledo

2.9

24-21

3 1/2

EAST CAROLINA U a b

18.9

35-16

NL

SOUTH FLORIDA U t e p

28.7

42-13

26   

ILLINOIS Western Michigan

20.3

30-10

15 1/2

RUTGERS Ohio U

8.2

31-23

17 1/2

PENN ST. Eastern Michigan

41.9

48-6

30   

MIAMI (FL) Kansas St.

18.3

28-10

11 1/2

S m u MEMPHIS

32.4

52-20

21 1/2

MARYLAND Temple

18.7

39-20

10   

MICHIGAN ST. Central Michigan

33.7

44-10

23   

Georgia OLE MISS

12.0

29-17

6 1/2

MIAMI (O) Bowling Green

9.2

28-19

7   

Army BALL ST.

4.3

24-21

5 1/2

Virginia Tech MARSHALL

28.2

42-14

20   

ALABAMA Arkansas

14.8

35-20

12 1/2

WASHINGTON California

3.2

31-28

1    

L s u WEST VIRGINIA

16.3

30-14

6   

MICHIGAN San Diego St.

13.6

35-21

9 1/2

GEORGIA TECH North Carolina

1.6

28-26

4 1/2

Florida KENTUCKY

20.8

31-10

11   

Notre Dame PITTSBURGH

11.0

35-24

3 1/2

Florida St. CLEMSON

6.6

31-24

3   

SAN JOSE ST. New Mexico St.

16.5

27-10

NL

Fresno St. IDAHO

5.5

28-22

7   

Connecticut BUFFALO

20.9

31-10

12 1/2

OREGON ST. U c l a

6.1

30-24

1 1/2

TEXAS TECH Nevada

12.2

35-23

15 1/2

SOUTH CAROLINA Vanderbilt

16.4

33-17

18 1/2

MISSISSIPPI ST. Louisiana Tech

27.0

48-21

18   

BAYLOR Rice

19.5

41-21

19 1/2

VIRGINIA Southern Miss.

7.8

28-20

1 1/2

TEXAS A&M Oklahoma St.

9.2

45-36

3   

Nebraska WYOMING

23.6

44-20

25 1/2

OKLAHOMA Missouri

23.3

37-14

19 1/2

UTAH ST. Colorado St.

8.3

28-20

7 1/2

BOISE ST. Tulsa

25.8

50-24

27   

Oregon ARIZONA

13.1

38-25

16   

ARIZONA ST. Southern Cal

4.9

21-16

1 1/2

AUBURN Florida Atlantic

44.8

59-14

31 1/2

IOWA Louisiana-Monroe

25.3

35-10

21 1/2

TROY Middle Tennessee

11.5

28-16

9   

Indiana NORTH TEXAS

7.8

35-37

6 1/2

FLORIDA INT’L Louisiana-Lafayette

20.2

34-14

19   

 

September 18, 2011

Are You Ready For The Big 128?

College football conference realignment is in full swing, and ‘tis the season to play our favorite party game—The Football Merry Go-‘Round.

 

The Big 12 is now close to becoming comatose.  Only a miracle will save this league.  It may survive in name only, much like the American Basketball Association was reborn.  The ball was the only surviving remnant from the original ABA.

 

The Big East is now on death watch.  Losing Syracuse and Pittsburgh may not be the only defections.  TCU may reconsider its admission.  Rutgers and West Virginia may be on the radar of other leagues.

 

The ACC, SEC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 will survive and become the four superconferences.  The Big East could survive but become a second tier league with what’s left over in the Mountain West and Western Athletic Conference and what’s left of Conference USA after that league is raided by other leagues.

 

Many fans are claiming that this realignment will ruin the college game.  We disagree.  If you believe that leagues should remain pat, then are you in favor of a Southern Conference that includes Alabama, Florida, Duke, Sewanee, Tulane, VMI, and Washington & Lee?  They were all part of the SC when that league had more than 20 members.

 

Do you miss the Border Conference, with Hardin-Simmons, Arizona State, and Texas Tech dominating the league?  You don’t recall Hardin-Simmons?  They played in three bowl games—in less than three weeks one year! (look it up)

 

What about that Skyline Conference?  Haven’t heard of that one either?  It really existed.  Denver was a member, and we’re not talking about the Broncos.  Denver left the Rocky Mountain States Conference to join the Skyline; that nasty Skyline Conference put the RMSC out of business.

 

Do you think the NFL ruined the professional game when it realigned?  Is it important that the Arizona Cardinals used to be in the NFC East, and the Atlanta Falcons used to be in the NFC West?  No, the game is now one of America’s biggest industries.

 

College football realignment will make the game better.  We can see a scenario where the conferences become quasi-divisions in one 128-team league.  Imagine eight, 16-team divisions.  Could you see something else springing from a league with eight divisions, like maybe PLAYOFFS?

 

There are 120 FBS teams in 2011, and three more are planned for 2012.  Texas State and Texas-San Antonio will join the WAC next year, while U Mass will join the MAC as its 14th member.  There is room for five more FCS schools to move up to FBS, and we have selectively chosen Villanova, Maine, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, and William & Mary to move up.

 

Now, let’s get the carousel moving.  We will go ahead and place Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Pac-12, moving that league to 14.

 

Add Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC, making it 14 for that loop.

 

Texas A&M is so already an SEC member, the 2012 league schedule is being made up with 13 teams.

 

T C U is supposed to go to the Big East next year, so let’s keep that intact.  The Big East is now at seven teams.

 

The Pac-14 will not settle at 14 and Commissioner Larry Scott is a showman.  He wants Texas and Texas Tech, but we do not believe he would allow Texas to bring the Longhorn Network along.  So, let’s say he adds just Texas Tech.  He needs one more team to make a 16-team book.  So, which western team is the logical choice?  How about Boise State?  Put the Broncos in the super conference and you have our first 16-team super league.

 

The SEC cannot stand pat at 13.  They must have 14 quickly, and they eventually must get to 16 before they are left out of the big bonanza.  Missouri is the obvious choice for team number 14, and the Tigers bring in two new Top 20 markets in St. Louis and Kansas City (as well as Chicago to some extent, because the Chicago media market reaches into parts of the downstate that follow Missouri).  The SEC holds at 14 while trying to come up with the big deal of the day.

 

The ACC courts Texas and even allows the Longhorns to include their network for home games, but Deloss Dodds says “no thanks.”  He thinks he can make a deal with the Pac-12 before it becomes the Pac-16, but he is left out due to that network thing.  So, for now, Texas must go independent and signs a long-term deal to play Notre Dame.  There is even discussion to make it a home-and-home two-games per year deal.

 

The ACC needs two more teams, and they rob the Big East once again.  John Swafford had already plucked two big football programs in Pitt and Syracuse, but it almost goes unnoticed that these schools also have exceptional basketball programs, which the ACC cherishes.  So, Swafford grabs two more great multi-sport programs—Louisville and Connecticut.  The ACC now holds at 16.

 

The Big Ten has to get involved before there are no more teams to grab.  They have to add four to get to 16.  Of course, they want Notre Dame, and Texas might come along since the two schools are now joined at the hip.  However, enough teams in the Big Ten are animus toward the Irish and their multiple refusals to enter the league in the past.  So, Notre Dame does not come, and Texas stays independent.  Jim Delany adds Rutgers and West Virginia, thus rendering the Big East a minor conference unable to retain an automatic BCS Bowl invitation.  The Big Ten is at 14 and needing to add two teams quickly before there are no quality teams left.  Before the Big East can try to salvage their league, Delany reaches out to Kansas and Kansas State.  The Big Ten has their 16 teams.

 

The Big East has to act quickly or put up the “going out of business sign.”  They keep TCU because the Horned Frogs have no place to go.  They add Baylor and Iowa State, the last two teams from the Big 12.  They accept Villanova and Maine coming up from the FCS ranks.  They beg Temple to come back, and the Owls do so.  Then, they raid CUSA and pluck Central Florida, SMU, Houston, Rice, UAB, East Carolina, Memphis, and Tulsa.  They now have 16 members but no automatic BCS Bowl bid.

 

The SEC has yet to add their final two teams, and there are no viable options left other than Cincinnati and South Florida.  No, wait a minute!  Mike Slive has just pulled off the big shocker.  He offers Notre Dame a deal they cannot turn down—naming one of the new divisions, “The Rockne Division.” Texas is forced to come along and abandon their Longhorn network in favor of an even greater SEC network.  The SEC has pulled off the major deal.  This 16-team league stays the king of them all, and the payout to its 16 member institutions moves north of 30 million dollars annually.

 

The remaining independents, Army, Navy, and BYU realize that they may be forced to play three or four FCS games each year to fill out a schedule, so they quickly look to join a conference.  Army and Navy go to the Mid-American Conference, and then Marshall comes along as well, giving the MAC 16 teams.  BYU moves to the new league that has formed with former WAC and MWC teams.

 

Louisiana Tech leaves the WAC to move to a league with teams closer to home, so they join Conference USA, which will not be CUSA much longer.  The league merges with the Sunbelt Conference, becoming the Southern 16 Conference.  It becomes 16 teams with the addition of Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, and William & Mary.

 

The WAC and Mountain West Conferences realize that if they merge, they too will have a 16-team loop.  The new Great Western Conference is born.

 

So, there you have eight 16-team leagues.  Four super conferences receive automatic BCS Bowl bids.  There are five BCS bowls for now, so the top six teams after the four automatic bids are issued receive at-large bids.  The Cotton Bowl ups its payment and becomes the 6th BCS bowl, returning to its prominence of yesteryear.

 

Now, there are 12 spots for BCS Bowl teams.  The grand reward is ready to be implemented, a 12-team playoff with the four super conference champions getting first round byes.

 

 Let’s look at the new conferences one-by-one.

 

The Super Conferences

 

A C C

Atlantic: Boston College, Clemson, Connecticut, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina State, Syracuse, and Wake Forest

Coastal: Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Virginia Tech

 

Big 16

Leaders: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

 

Legends: Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern

 

S E C 

Rockne:  Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt

 

Bryant: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas, and Texas Tech

 

Pac-16:

Mountain: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Utah

 

Coastal: California, Oregon, Oregon State, Southern Cal, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, and Washington State

 

Non-Automatic Qualifying Conferences

 

Big East

East: Central Florida, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Maine, South Florida, Temple, UAB, and Villanova

 

West: Baylor, Houston, Iowa State, Memphis, Rice, SMU, TCU, and Tulsa

 

Mid-American

East: Akron, Army, Buffalo, Kent State, Marshall, Massachusetts, Navy, Ohio U

 

West: Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Miami (O), Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan

 

Southern 16

East: Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Georgia Southern, Middle Tennessee, Troy, Western Kentucky, and William & Mary

 

West: Arkansas State, Louisiana, Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Southern Miss, Tulane, and Tulsa

 

Great Western

East: Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Utah State, and Wyoming

 

West: Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, and Utah State

 

Here is a sample look at what the 2015 season could bring with this divisional alignment and a 12-team playoff.

 

Automatic Qualifiers

A C C Champion: Florida State 12-1  seeded 2

Big Ten Champion: Nebraska 11-2  seeded 3

S E C Champion: Alabama 12-1  seeded 1

Pac-16 Champion: Southern Cal 11-2  seeded 4

 

8 At-Large Teams

  5. Florida 11-2

  6. Michigan 10-2

  7. Oregon 11-2

  8. Oklahoma 10-2

  9. Notre Dame 10-2

10. Pittsburgh 10-2

11. T C U 13-0

12. L S U 9-3

 

First Round

L S U at Florida

T C U at Michigan

Pittsburgh at Oregon

Notre Dame at Oklahoma

 

Second Round

Highest seeded first round winner at Southern Cal

2nd highest seeded first round winner at Nebraska

2nd lowest seeded first round winner at Florida State

Lowest seeded first round winner at Alabama

 

Semifinals

Lowest remaining seed at highest remaining seed

3rd highest remaining seed at 2nd highest remaining seed

 

National Championship Game

Two Remaining Teams at predetermined location like current Super Bowl

August 25, 2011

2011 Pac-12 Conference Preview

2011 Pacific 12 Conference Preview

 

Larry Scott didn’t start the fire, but he did ignite it.  After Nebraska bolted the Big 12 for the Big Ten, Scott tried to lure Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado to form the first 16-team super-conference.  Sure, the Western Athletic Conference tried a 16-team setup in the 1990’s but the winner did not receive a bid to a major bowl.

 

Although Scott had to settle for Colorado and Utah, he fired the first shot toward what could become four major conferences of 16 teams.  It isn’t far beyond the imagination to see a four-team playoff down the road with a “plus one” format.

 

The strength of the league is in the North Division this year.  The South is faced with the strong possibility of sending its number two team to the first Pac-12 Championship Game, since Southern Cal is still on probation and prohibited from appearing in post-season games.

 

NORTH DIVISION

Stanford

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Stanford has a reputation for producing great quarterbacks over the decades.  Four past passers are in the College Football Hall of Fame—Frankie Albert, John Brodie, Jim Plunkett, and John Elway.  Add Trent Edwards, Steve Stentstrom, Turk Schonert, and others.  Could the current quarterback actually be the best of the bunch?  If you believe A-Rod is better than Gehrig and Ruth or Pujols is better than Musial, then maybe you can say the same about Andrew Luck.

 

Luck is the best college quarterback in 2011, and he is the prohibitive favorite to cart off the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and most importantly, the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  A joke is already going around NFL circles that one or more teams may deliberately “sandbag” this year in an attempt to post the worst record and take the next Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

 

Luck completed almost 71% of his passes last year for 3,338 yards and 32 touchdowns.  He averaged almost nine yards per attempt, which is almost unstoppable.  As a runner, he added over 500 yards when sacks are factored out.  As long as he stays 100% healthy, he is the player you want to watch every week—the modern day Babe Ruth of college football.

 

Receivers

Luck lost his top two targets from 2010, but we do not believe it will greatly affect his production.  Great QBs can take average receivers and make them look like stars; just ask Indianapolis Colts fans. 

 

Unlike almost every other college team, Stanford actively includes two tight ends for a considerable amount of playing time.  It allows the Cardinal to get extra blocking for the running game, and it makes it very difficult on diminutive safeties trying to stop 250-pound receivers.

 

The Cardinal have three excellent tight ends capable of making a big play.  Coby Fleener caught 28 passes and averaged 15.5 yards per catch with seven touchdowns last year; he became a star in the Orange Bowl with three touchdown receptions.  Levine Toilolo and Zach Ertz will also see significant amounts of playing time.

 

Stanford’s new wideouts will do just fine and will not be a liability.  Griff Whalen and Chris Owusu should average about 14-18 yards per catch and combine for about 90-110 receptions.  There is ample depth here with Jemari Roberts, Jamaal-Rashad Patterson, and Drew Terrell.  Terrell is a sleeper; he could emerge as a star.

 

Running Backs

What makes the offense so unstoppable is the running game.  Defenses cannot forget it is there, because the Cardinal can beat you on the ground.  Stepfan Taylor returns after gaining 1,137 yards with 15 touchdowns.  Taylor is also a big weapon in the passing game, and he grabbed 28 passes.  Defenses forget him on a running fake, but Luck is great at faking to him and then passing to him when the defense covers the downfield receivers.

 

Behind Taylor are three other competent backs that will receive playing time.  Anthony Wilkerson, Tyler Gaffney, and Usua Amanam teamed for 789 yards and seven scores in 2010.  This unit is loaded.

 

Stanford uses a fullback, but he is a blocker 99% of the time.  Last year’s “third guard,” Owen Marecic, was so good, he was a fourth round draft pick.  He also played full-time at linebacker, frequently playing 90-100 scrimmage plays in a game.  The new Marecic will be Ryan Hewitt, but he will only play on this side of the ball.

 

Offensive Line

The line must replace three excellent players from last year, including 1st Team All-American Chase Beeler at center.  Khalil Wilkes and Sam Schwartzstein are battling neck and neck to replace him.

 

David DeCastro is entrenched at one guard spot after earning 1st Team All-Pac-10 honors in 2010.  Kevin Danser will start on the other side.  At tackle, Jonathan Martin earned 1st Team All-Pac-10 accolades last year.  Tyler Mabry and Cameron Fleming are in a heated battle for the other tackle position. 

 

While not as talented overall as last year, this unit will still be an asset.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Stanford gave up just 56 points in their final six games last year, and the defensive line really toughened up down the stretch.  They allowed just 89.7 yards rushing 276.8 total yards per game in that stretch.

 

New head coach David Shaw appointed defensive back coach Derek Mason and former San Francisco 49er defensive coach Jason Tarver as co-defensive coordinators.  With the change comes a switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4 defense.

 

Terrence Stephens will start at the nose.  At 290 pounds, he is a little on the light side for a two-gap defender.  Ben Gardner and Matthew Masifilo start at the end positions.  This unit is the weakest link on the team, and it will be here where Stanford either wins or loses the Pac-12 title.

 

Linebackers

Two starters return from last year, and of course, there will be an extra linebacker in the alignment this year.  Shayne Skov will start at one inside position, while Chase Thomas will start at an outside position.  They led the Cardinal with 84 and 70 tackles respectively.  Both players co-led the team with 7 ½ sacks, and they combined for 22 tackles behind the line.  They also showed prowess for stopping passes, combining for nine passes defended.

 

Trent Murphy and Max Bergen will be the new starters on this unit.  Bergen made 21 tackles in limited playing time last year.  Blake Lueders could crack the starting lineup this year.  Keep an eye on Alex Debniak.

 

Secondary

Three starters return to this unit, and it should be in good shape.  Safety Delano Howell is the stud of this unit.  He led the Cardinal with five interceptions and 10 passes defended.  Michael Thomas returns to the other safety spot after finishing third on the team with 61 tackles.

 

At cornerback, Johnson Bademosi started nine times last year, while Barry Browning takes over for Richard Sherman, another NFL draft choice.

 

OTHER

Stanford lost a lot of talent via graduation, but the biggest loss will be coach Jim Harbaugh, who graduated to the 49ers.  Shaw has never been a head coach, but we believe he has enough talent to learn on the job without losing a game due to inexperience.

 

The Cardinal were one of four teams to average better than 40 points per game and give up less than 20 points per game (Oregon, Boise St., and TCU were the others).  In the 21st Century, any team that can pull off this feat is capable of contending for a national title.  We believe Stanford’s offense could be just strong enough to control the ball and the clock and allow the defense to mature without giving up 25 points per game.  We would not be surprised if Stanford repeats their averages of last year.

 

SUMMARY

Stanford has a dream schedule for a Pac-12 team.  They open the season with area rival San Jose State and then go on the road to Duke.  They should be 2-0 before opening conference play on the road at a rebuilding Arizona.  They then get a week off before hosting UCLA and Colorado.  A road game with Washington State follows, before Washington, without Jake Locker, comes to Palo Alto.  Stanford should be 7-0 when they head to the Coliseum to face Southern Cal in the first of a tough closing schedule.  By then, the defense should be up to snuff.  Following USC, Stanford has a trap game with Oregon State in Corvallis.  Then, on November 12 is the big rematch with Oregon, and this time it is at Stanford Stadium.  Arch-rival Cal comes in the following week, and then the Cardinal close out at home with Notre Dame, in what could be a battle of 11-0 teams.

 

Stanford has not run the table with a bowl win since 1940 when they became the first college team to use the modern T-Formation.  Could it happen again?  We believe it could, but chances are the defense will stumble at least one time.  The Pac-12 does not get its due in the eastern half of the country, but there is a lot of talent spread throughout the teams, and upsets are more prevalent here than in any of the Big Six conferences.

 

Oregon

Oregon is another of the teams that faced off-the-field issues during the summer.  The football program made several thousand dollars in payments to a recruiting service in Texas for what appeared to look like a third grade art project given in return, as well as the delivery of multiple key recruits out of the Lone Star State.  Running back Lache Seastrunk left UO over the controversy.  The NCAA is investigating.

 

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Darron Thomas made fans forget Jeremiah Masoli.  Thomas made the Ducks fly last year.  He passed for 2,881 yards and 30 touchdowns and rushed for more than 550 yards (sacks not included).  He can only hope for a repeat as a 2nd Team All-Pac-12 choice, but he is the best quarterback in the league after the new “franchise” down the road.

 

Receivers

Like Mr. Luck, Thomas loses his top two targets from a year ago.  Jeff Maehl and D. J. Davis teamed for 119 receptions and 15 touchdowns, but their replacements will be quicker and more elusive this season.

 

One of those speedy guys is not quite 100% as of this writing.  Josh Huff has the talent and potential to play on Sundays.  He is recuperating from an ankle injury.  Rahsaan Vaughn will fill in for him until he is ready.  Justin Hoffman will see significant time and will use his size and speed to make big plays.  Lavasier Tuinei is more of a possession receiver, and he is the leading returning pass-catcher with 36 receptions. 

 

Tight end David Paulson returns after catching 24 passes and showing some ability to run to daylight.  He earned 1st Team All-Pac-12 honors last year.

 

Running Backs

Oregon’s Heisman Trophy candidate is LaMichael James.  James led the league with 1,731 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.  If Oregon ran the ball 70% of the time (instead of 61%), James might be a serious candidate to top 2,000 yards on the ground.  James also caught 17 passes, with three going for touchdowns.

 

Slot back Kenjon Barner should change his name to “Burner.”  The track sprinter is a hybrid running back/receiver.  He rushed for 551 yards and six touchdowns (6.1 yds/rush) and caught 13 passes with two more scores.

 

This dynamic duo plus the running ability of Thomas gives the Ducks the best running game in the league and one of the best in the nation—the best of the non-triple option teams.

 

Offensive Line

It will be hard to replace the three graduated stars from this unit, but the Ducks could still have the best blocking corps in the Pac-12.  Carson York is a returning 1st Team All-Pac-12 at guard.  Ryan Clanton will be the new starter at the other guard spot.  Mark Asper and Darrion Weems will start at tackle, while the center position is still a two-man race between Hroniss Grasu and Karrington Armstrong.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Here is the first question mark in 2011.  Three starters must be replaced.  End Terrell Turner returns after recording just 32 tackles and 2 ½ sacks.  At the other end spot, Dion Jordan saw limited action in 2010, making 33 tackles and two sacks.  The two new tackles will be Ricky Heimuli and Wade Keliikipi, who combined for 27 tackles.  The defensive line was exposed by Auburn in the Championship Game, but the Ducks gave up only 117.5 rushing yards per game in the regular season.  Expect that number to jump by about 20 to 25 yards this year.

 

Linebackers

This is the second and even bigger question mark.  The Ducks will be without their top two linebackers from last year.  Casey Matthews led in tackles and played both the run and pass better than most.  Spencer Paysinger was almost as talented.

 

Josh Kaddu is the lone holdover.  He was the weakest of the three starters last year and is not a candidate to become an all-conference player.  Dewitt Stuckey and Michael Clay will be the two new starters.  Clay saw as much time as Kaddu and made 42 tackles.

 

Secondary

This was to be the best defensive backfield in the league, but it is not now.  The front seven may not provide a decent pass rush, diminishing the secondary’s effectiveness.  The bigger factor in the decline is the suspension of one of its key components; cornerback Cliff Harris is out indefinitely after running afoul of the law, and Oregon’s defense begins to show a couple of holes and enough vulnerability to be exploited by quality teams (like LSU, USC, and Stanford) with these factors.  Harris was the premier cover corner in the nation last year.  He intercepted six passes and had an unbelievable 23 passed defended.  He is not replaceable.  He also led the nation with four punts returned for a touchdown, so his loss is worth about as much as Stanford losing Luck.

 

Anthony Gildon will start at one corner after seeing limited action last year.  Eddie Pleasant and John Boyett make a decent pair of safeties, but without Harris, this secondary will be lit up against quality passers.

 

OTHER

It is hard to predict what the investigatory cloud hanging over the program might do for team morale.  Oregon figured to be a top contender for the National Championship Game following their narrow loss to Auburn last year.  However, the cloud hanging over is definitely a black one.  It could eventually cost Coach Chip Kelly his job.  Other players could be implicated as the season progresses.

 

SUMMARY

The schedule is a bit more difficult this season, and we cannot see the Ducks running the table in the regular season.  An opener with LSU at Jerry Jones’ Cowboys’ Stadium in Arlington could be interesting if only for the fact that both teams have off-the-field issues.  The Ducks could get lucky if more than one key opponent is unable to play.  Oregon has to play at Stanford, and they host Southern Cal.  We believe at least one of those teams will get them this year.

 

Oregon State

OFFENSE

Quarterback

In a league with multiple NFL quarterback prospects, Ryan Katz gets overlooked.  Katz might be a contender for all-conference designation in other leagues, but in the Pac-12, he does not even challenge for third team.

 

Katz completed 60% of his passes for 2,401 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.  He should improve upon those numbers in his second season as a starter. 

 

Backup Cody Vaz has potential, but he is nursing a bad back and will miss the start of the season.

 

Receivers

Katz’s top three receivers (Markus Wheaton, Jordan Bishop, and tight end Joe Halahuni) are back for more after teaming for 107 catches and 12 touchdowns.  However, the sensation of the August practices has been a true freshman.  Brandin Cooks was challenging for a starting bid until he injured his ankle.  When he is fully recovered, look for him to contribute immediately.

 

James Rodgers caught only 16 passes last year in limited action, as he missed most of the season with knee injuries.  He has undergone two surgeries earlier this year, so he may not be ready to play.  He was a star in 2009 when he was last healthy.  Redshirt freshman Obum Gwachman could start in Rodgers place.  This unit will allow Katz to surpass his stats of last year.

 

Halahuni had shoulder surgery earlier this season, and he will miss all of September.  Backup tight ends Tyler Perry and Connor Hamlett face one game suspensions that will be staggered.  Tight end will be a concern in the early part of the season.

 

Running Backs

“The Quizz” is gone.  Jacquizz Rodgers left early and was a fifth round NFL Draft choice.  There will be a drop in talent and production here this year, as Coach Mike Riley uses the committee approach to replace him.

 

True freshman Malcolm Agnew may be the surprise opening day starter for OSU.  Terron Ward and Ryan McCants are contending with Agnew, but all three should see ample playing time. 

 

Offensive Line

Four of the five positions are set in stone.  The four holdovers from last year are center Grant Johnson, guard Burke Ellis, and tackles Michael Philipp and Mike Remmers.  Philipp and Remmers have the potential to become all-conference blockers.  Joshua Andrews was set to start at the vacant guard slot, but he suffered a concussion in practice and could be out for the opener.  Grant Enger had been moved to tight end but was moved back to guard and may start. 

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Injuries and academics are causing Riley some headaches this pre-season.  Both of his projected starting tackles will not be available for the opening of the season.  Dominic Glover, who recorded 43 tackles with 7 ½ for loss, is not academically eligible, and Riley is not sure when he will be available.  Kevin Frahm injured his meniscus and could be out four weeks. 

 

Redshirt freshman Scott Crichton will start at one end, while Taylor Henry should start at the other spot.  Henry started four games last year.  Rusty Fernando will become the designated pass rusher and come in on passing downs.

 

Manu Tuivailala should start at one of the tackle positions, with the other one still up for grabs as of this writing.  The Beavers will struggle here for the first month of the season.

 

Linebackers

The trio in this unit better overachieve, or else OSU’s defense will give up an increase in points per game for the fifth year in a row.

 

Rueben Robinson returns to the middle linebacker spot after registering 35 tackles in seven starts.  Cameron Collins started twice and saw considerable action in the other games.  He made 39 tackles.  Michael Doctor played in every game as a reserve and registered 11 tackles.  This group is not a top trio, but it is the best unit on this side of the ball.

 

Secondary

Once again, here is a unit that has been hit with injuries.  Top cornerback Brandon Hardin suffered a shoulder injury that required surgical repair.  He is out until October.  Two reserves are out for the season.

 

Safety Lance Mitchell finished third with 74 tackles last year.  He intercepted two passes and knocked away three others.  Anthony Watkins will start at the other safety position.  He got in on 27 tackles as a key reserve last year.  Ryan Murphy should see plenty of playing time.

 

Jordan Poyer figures to start at one cornerback position.  As a reserve in 2010, he had six passes defended.  Rashaad Reynolds will replace Hardin at the other corner.  He made 14 tackles and had no passes defended last year.

 

OTHER

The Beavers have seen their points allowed increase from 22.2 to 22.6 to 23.1 to 25.0 to 26.8 in the last five seasons.  The possibility of extending that negative streak to six is very high.  OSU could give up more than 28 points per game this season with all their injury troubles and a tough schedule against high-scoring opponents.

 

SUMMARY

The Beavers took a step backward last season, finishing with seven losses for the first time in over a decade.  This program has been on a small decline since 2006. 

 

Oregon State was once one of the weakest programs in major college football.  They went close to three decades without a winning season.  There was a quick transition from winning seasons in the 1960’s to losing seasons for the next 30 years.  Could the Beavers be on the cusp of repeating history?  We don’t know the answer, but we are a little pessimistic about 2011.

 

Katz is going to have to improve to a level similar to Thomas at Oregon if the Beavers are to score enough points to win most games.

 

The schedule gives them one cupcake—the opener with Sacramento State.  Conference games at home against UCLA, Arizona, and Washington are winnable, and road games with Cal and Washington State are winnable.  The Beavers must win all five of these games to become bowl eligible, and we cannot see this happening.

 

Washington

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Jake Locker had his critics.  He threw too many off-target passes; he held onto the ball too long and took a lot of sacks; he ran the ball when he could have passed it, etc.

 

A quarterback at Southern Mississippi in the late 1980’s had many of the same criticisms bestowed on him.  His name was Favre.  Locker is Favre redux, and the Huskies will quickly realize how much he is missed.  Locker completed just 55.4% of his passes, for 2,265 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final year at UW.  He added over 500 rushing yards (sacks removed) and six touchdowns. 

 

Keith Price takes over after completing 19 of 37 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns as a true freshman.  He has talent and potential, but he will not duplicate Locker’s performance.

 

Receivers

Coach Steve Sarkisian welcomes back two stars on this side of the ball.  One of them is wideout Jermaine Kearse.  Kearse hauled in 63 passes for 1,005 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2010. 

 

Devin Aguilar and Kevin Smith will supplement Kearse.  Aguilar caught 28 balls and averaged 12.6 yards per catch. 

 

The Huskies have two young, but inexperienced, quality tight ends; Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the top incoming recruit and should play right away, while redshirt freshman Michael Hartvigson will see significant playing time.

 

Running Backs

The other star on this offense is Chris Polk.  As a sophomore, he rushed for 1,415 yards and nine touchdowns, and he nabbed 22 passes for 180 yards.  Polk recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss the start of the season.  Jesse Callier will replace him.  Callier rushed for 400+ yards and actually averaged a little more per rush than Polk.  Fullback Jonathan Amosa will open holes for Polk and Callier.

 

Offensive Line

Three starters return to the blocking corps.  Center Drew Schaffer, guard Coline Porter, and Tackle Senio Kelemente combined for 36 starts with Kelemente earning some all-conference consideration.

 

Erik Kohler should start at the vacant tackle position, while redshirt freshman Colin Tanigawa will take the vacant guard position.  Overall, this is a fair unit. 

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

The Huskies gave up more rushing yards last year than the year before, but four tough opponents accounted for most of that deterioration. 

 

The Huskies have depth here.  All four starters return from last year, but one or two may be supplanted by others.  Alameda Ta’Amu is the big man in the trenches.  The 6-3, 330-pound tackle plugs multiple gaps.  True freshman Danny Shelton could start opposite him.  Hau’oli Jamora and Everette Thompson should start at end, with Josh Shirley serving as a designated pass rusher.  Providing depth in the line are Sione Potoa’e and Talia Crichton.  This unit will perform better in 2011.

 

Linebackers

Here is Sarkisian’s headache, and the reason the defense may not improve overall.  Middle linebacker Cort Dennison is a good defender, having made 93 tackles with 8 ½ behind the line and defending five passes.  John Timu and Princeton Fuimaono are untested.  Garret Gilliland is available here as well.  This is the weakest trio in the Pac-12, and replacing Mason Foster and his league-leading 161 tackles will be impossible.

 

Secondary

When healthy, this is a tough unit.  However, as of this writing, one of its key components is recuperating from an ankle injury that may prevent him from starting the season opener.  Cornerback Quinton Richardson intercepted two passes among his 10 passed defended, and he will likely be replaced by Greg Ducre for the Eastern Washington game.

 

Safety Nathan Fellner led the Huskies with five interceptions and 13 passes defended.  Cornerback Desmond Trufant posted 48 tackles and defended five passes.  His counterpart will be sophomore Sean Parker, who picked off one pass in limited duty.

 

OTHER

2011 presents UW with a tough schedule.  The non-conference slate includes games with Hawaii and Nebraska (in Lincoln).  In conference play, the Huskies must play at Utah, Stanford, USC, and Oregon State.  The Apple Cup game with WSU has been moved to Qwest Field and will not be as much of a home field advantage.

 

 

SUMMARY

We have a lot of confidence in Sarkisian and his two coordinators, Doug Nussmeier on offense and Nick Holt on defense.  They have just enough talent to compete against everybody but Stanford and Oregon.  UW could win six or seven games again even without Locker at quarterback.

 

California

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Coach Jeff Tedford has developed some outstanding quarterbacks here, including current Super Bowl Champion QB Aaron Rodgers, Kyle Boller.  As OC at Oregon, he had Joey Harrington, A. J. Feely, and Akili Smith.  At Fresno State before that, he tutored Trent Dilfer, David Carr, and Billy Volek.  In other words, Tedford knows a thing or two about quarterback development.

 

This year, he welcomes Zach Maynard from the University of Buffalo.  Maynard has beaten out last year’s starter Brock Mansion and sophomore Allan Bridgford.  Look for Maynard to easily surpass last year’s off-season for Cal in yardage and touchdowns (2,101 yards and 15 touchdowns).  Look for a return of 200+ yards through the air and 20 touchdowns or more.

 

Receivers

The Bears’ top two receivers return in Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen, who teamed for 96 receptions and 1,255 yards.  Michael Calvin started three times and caught 13 passes.  Anthony Miller returns at tight end after hauling in 13 passes.  Look for steady improvement here with Maynard throwing the pigskin.

 

Running Backs

Tedford is also known for developing 1,000-yard rushing backs.  Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, and the just departed Shane Vereen are prime examples.  Vereen does not have a likely 1,000-yard back replacing him this year.

 

This could be a year in which Cal uses a running back by committee.  Isi Sofele, Covauhgn DeBoskie-Johnson, and C. J. Anderson could split the carries, but the freshman Anderson has the skills to eventually become the feature back.  Cal averaged just 159 yards on the ground, which is a multi-year low in the Tedford era.  Look for better overall results, with the new trio combining for about 175 yards per game.

 

Offensive Line

This will be an improved unit in 2011.  Three starters return, including 1st Team All-Pac-12 tackle Mitchell Schwartz.  Guards Brian Schwenke and Matt Summers-Gavin are the other two veterans of the line.  Dominic Galas will start at center.  He started once in 2009.  Matt Williams is a famous sports name in the Bay area; Cal’s version will start at the vacant tackle position.  This group could give up less than 20 sacks and block well enough for the backs to average better than 4.5 yards per rush.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

There is rebuilding to do all throughout the defense this year, and the Bears will take a step backward on this side of the ball.  The line returns just one starter from the 3-man unit and loses a 1st team all-conference player in Cameron Jordan.

 

DeAndre Coleman returns at end after registering 18 tackles as a platoon player.  He did not make a sack or hurry a quarterback.  Trevor Guyton started four games and played in seven more, getting in on 29 tackles with 8 ½ for loss.  At the nose position is a human eclipse.  Viliami Moala is 6-3 and 350 pounds.  The true freshman is one of Cal’s most prized recruits, and he has won the starting job from day one.

 

Linebackers

Two starters return to this four-man unit, one of whom is a legitimate star.  The Bears lose another star with the departure of leading tackler Mike Mohamed to the NFL Draft.

 

Mychal Kendricks led the Bears with 8 ½ sacks and 15 total tackles for loss.  His fellow inside linebacker mate, D. J. Holt, returns after making 85 tackles.  On the outside, redshirt freshman David Wilkerson will man one spot, while the other one is up for grabs between Chris McCain, Ryan Davis, and Cecil Whiteside, none of whom have played here.

 

Secondary

Two starters return to the back line of defense.  Safety Sean Cattouse is the closest thing to a star on this unit.  He intercepted a pass and broke up seven others last year.  D. J. Campbell will start opposite him after making 21 tackles in reserve last year.

 

Marc Anthony returns at one cornerback slot.  He was credited with eight passes defended with two interceptions.  The new corner will be Steve Williams, who intercepted a pass and knocked away four others in reserve.  Overall, this is a reliable but not spectacular secondary.

 

OTHER

The kicking game is in good shape with the return of two quality players.  Bryan Anger narrowly missed leading the league in punting, while Giorgio Tavecchio has a strong leg and was 4-6 on field goal attempts from beyonf 40 yards.

 

Cal will have to play its home games away from campus this season, as Memorial Stadium undergoes some surgery.  The Bears will host Fresno State at Candlestick Park and play the rest of their home games at AT&T (Giants baseball) Park.  If the Giants are in the NLCS, Cal will have to move its game with USC.

 

SUMMARY

It all depends on the rebuilt defense.  Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast knows his stuff, and we believe he will mold the new players into a cohesive unit.  They will not stop everybody on the schedule, but just remember what Cal did to Oregon’s offense last year—15 points and 317 yards (Oregon gained almost 450 yards against Auburn).

 

The offense will be much improved and will easily top last season’s averages.  We would not be shocked if the Bears top 28 points per game and 400 total yards per game.

 

The schedule has just one cupcake—a week three game with Presbyterian.  Cal opens with Fresno State at Candlestick Park, and that is a trap game for sure.  Through a quirk in the schedule, the Bears will play 10 conference games this year.  The Colorado game will not count in the league standings, as this game was already on the schedule before the Buffs joined the Pac-12. 

 

Here is the catch.  Cal was 1-4 on the road last year, and in effect, all 12 games this year will be on the road.  If the two municipal parks provide them with the same homefield advantage as Memorial Stadium, then the Bears will go bowling in El Paso, Las Vegas, or a similar venue.  If not, then Tedford could be sitting on a hot seat.

 

Washington State

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Jeff Tuel is not another Jason Gesser or Alex Brink, but he is going to have a year not too different than the two former stars.  Tuel completed almost 60% of his passes for 2,780 yards and 18 touchdowns last year, and he has the potential to top 3,000 yards in 2011.

 

Marshall Lobbestael has starting experience, and if Tuel is injured, all will not be lost.  He does not have the accuracy of Tuel, but he will not be a deer in the headlights if he must go in.

 

Receivers

The Cougars return three starters here, one of whom was a Freshman All-American last year.  Marquess Wilson could be a 1st Team All-Pac-12 member this year after taking in 55 passes for 1,006 yards and six touchdowns.  He is a threat to take even a one yard pass and turn it into a long touchdown bolt.

 

Jared Karstetter hauled in a team-leading 62 passes and scored seven times.  He is strictly a possession receiver and uses his height to his advantage over smaller cornerbacks.  Isiah Barton and Gino Simone teamed up for 32 receptions and will supplement the two primary options.  Look for true freshman Henry Eaddy to challenge for a starting spot early in the season.

 

A new tight end/h-back must be found.  Coach Paul Wulff will choose between Jared Byers, Andrei Lintz, and Aaron Dunn.  This unit is in good shape overall.

 

Running Backs

WSU has not been able to generate a running game in six years.  The last three seasons have seen the Cougars rush for an average of less than 86 yards!  Of course, giving up 51 sacks in a season is enough to skew those rushing stats.  Removing the sacks, WSU rushed for about 115 yards per game with an average of 3.8 yards per rush.

 

Wulff will rely on a three-man platoon this year and hope to take enough heat off Tuel to prevent defenses from lining up and coming with five and six pass rushers.  Rickey Galvin, Logwone Mintz, and Carl Winston will split the load.  Look for the Cougars to top 100 yards rushing, but only by a little bit.

 

Offensive Line

This won’t be a major asset, but the blocking corps is going to be quite a bit improved in 2011.  Three starters return to this unit, but the new starters have enough experience to be considered quasi-starters.

 

Guard B. J. Guerra is the leader of this unit. He could challenge for 1st team all-conference honors this year.  Fellow guard John Fullington takes over on the other side after starting six times as a freshman.

 

Wade Jacobson and David Gonzales will man the tackle positions.  Jacobson started every game last year, while Gonzales has started seven games in the past.  He missed last season with an injury.

 

Andrew Roxas will be the new starting center.  He has nine career starts under his belt. 

 

This unit is not the equal of Oregon’s or Stanford’s, but they are no longer the weakest in the league here.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

The Cougars are still in need of a lot of improvement on this side of the line.  They gave up 220 yards per game on the ground (average of 5.6/rush) and made just 23 sacks. 

 

Two starters return to the trenches this year.  End Travis Long led the team with five sacks and 10 ½ tackles for loss.  Tackle Brandon Rankin made just 19 stops, but five were for losses.  The new starters figure to be Anthony Laurenzi at tackle and Adam Coerper at end.  Coerper is a fast developer; he moved from number four to number one in just a couple weeks.

 

Linebackers

This unit is a little stronger than the one in front.  Two starters return here.  Alex Hoffman-Ellis finished second on the squad with 81 tackles, while middle linebacker C. J. Mizell added 57 stops with six for loss.  Sekope Kaufusi is the new starter at the Sam position.  He made 22 tackles in a limited role last year.

 

Secondary

If there is a strong unit on this side of the ball, this is it.  However, it is hard to call this quartet a major asset. 

 

It is never great when your leading tackler is your strong safety.  Deone Bucannon led WSU with 84 tackles.  He intercepted a couple passes and knocked away five more.  Tyree Toomer is the other starting safety.  He is adequate against the pass but better supporting the run.

 

Cornerbacks Daniel Simmons and Nolan Washington combined for 62 tackles but only seven passes defended.  Washington is nursing a sore hamstring, so he will be slow to start the season.

 

OTHER

Washington State’s last winning season was 2003, which was the third consecutive 10-win season.  The Cougars have fallen on rough times since.  Defense has been the major problem, as WSU has given 35 or more points per game the last three years.  We believe that streak will come to an end this season, but not by much.

 

SUMMARY

The schedule should allow Wulff’s Cougars to start 2-0 after they open with Idaho State and UNLV.  Game three will be the bell-weather game.  When the Cougars go to San Diego State, they might even be favored.  If they win the game to move to 3-0, then there is a chance, albeit small, that they could find a way to win three in the conference and make it to a bowl.  We tend to believe they will fall short this year, but they could easily double their win total from last year.

 

SOUTH DIVISION

Southern California

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Matt Barkley is the best second best quarterback in a league since Colt McCoy at Texas in 2008 and 2009.  He might be the top quarterback in every other conference in America.  Last year even though he missed a game and parts of another, he completed 62.6% of his passes for 2,791 yards and 26 touchdowns. 

 

The Trojans are stocked here with three other quality passers.  Jesse Scroggins is out indefinitely with an injured hand, but true freshmen Max Wittek and Cody Kessler have star potential.  The Trojans will rely more on the pass this year, and we expect them to average more than 250 yards per game through the air.

 

Receivers

As a freshman, Robert Woods may have been one of the three best receivers in the league.  He finished with 65 receptions and six touchdowns last year and could top 80 receptions this season.

 

Behind him, the Trojans are inexperienced.  Marqise Lee could start as a true freshman.  Kyle Prater is a redshirt freshman, but at 6-05, he will be a tough matchup problem.  Brice Butler has played sparingly in two seasons.

 

Tight end/H-back Rhett Ellison hauled in 21 passes and scored three times in 2010.  Look for him to get more balls thrown his way this year.

 

Running Backs

Who would have thought that an internet gossip site could affect a college football team?  Starting tailback Marc Tyler ran his mouth off to TMZ.com, and it cost him his spot in the lineup.  Coach Lane Kiffin suspended him indefinitely over his remarks.  Funny, Kiffin’s name has been dragged through the mud from coast to coast in numerous internet sites, yet he still has a job.

 

Tyler led the Trojans’ ground game with 913 yards and nine touchdowns.  Curtis McNeal figured to be his replacement, but he injured his knee and is doubtful for the season opener.  Dillon Baxter and C. J. Morgan will share the reps at running back until one of the other two is able to play again. 

 

Offensive Line

The Trojans are deep here.  Their two-deep is almost as good as Oregon’s, even though just two starters return.  Center Khaled Holmes is one of the best in the league.  Ditto for tackle Matt Kalil.  John Martinez and Abe Markowitz will start at the vacant guard positions, while Kevin Graf will man the vacant tackle spot.  Look for this group to provide excellent pass coverage for Barkley and surrender less than 20 sacks for the seventh year in a row.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Any defense with Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron coaching is going to be tough up front.  The Trojans have the top defensive line in the league and one of the best in the country.

 

Three starters return, but nose tackle Armond Armstead will have to share his spot with newcomer George Uko, and DaJohn Harris may be relegated to the second team in favor of Christian Tupou.

 

Nick Perry starts at one end, while Wes Horton inherits the other end spot.  Devon Kennard and Kevin Greene will spell the two starters and allow the Trojans to have fresh anchors on the edge.

 

Linebackers

If there is an Achilles’ heel in the defense, it is in the linebacker unit.  It would be hard to find the heel here, because the Trojans’ linebackers are going to make a lot of plays this year.

 

Devon Kennard returns to the middle after making 72 tackles with seven for losses.  Chris Galippo was a part-time starter and made 29 tackles.  Marquis Simmons will split time with Hayes Pullard at the other outside spot.

 

Secondary

This unit is almost as strong as the front line.  The loss of Shareece Wright and his 10 passes defended will be hard to overcome, but new starting cornerback Tony Burnett saw a lot of action last year and made 26 tackles.  He will join Nickell Robey, who led the team with four picks.

 

The two starting safeties are back for more.  Jawanza Starling and T. J. McDonald combined for 126 tackles and nine passes defended.

 

Nickel back Torrin Harris is good enough to be a regular for most teams.

 

OTHER

Kiffin was cleared in the recent investigation of the Tennessee football program.  The Trojans will be off probation after this season, and they will not be eligible for the Pac-12 Championship Game this year.

 

SUMMARY

USC should be 6-0 when they travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame on October 22, although they must face Arizona State in Tempe on September 24.  They follow that game with Stanford at the Coliseum. A trip to Eugene to face the Quack Attack in November is followed by a visit from cross-town rival UCLA. 

 

Southern Cal should win at least eight games this year, and we would not be surprised if they go 10-2.

 

Arizona State

OFFENSE

Quarterback

When healthy, Brock Osweiler is an effective quarterback.  At 6-08, he has no trouble seeing over the line, but he is mobile enough to be an effective runner.  In limited action last year, he completed 57% of his passes for 797 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.

 

The Sun Devils will be in a heap of trouble if Osweiler is absent for any length of time.  Redshirt freshman Taylor Kelly is the next best option, but he is not ready for Pac-12 football.

 

Receivers

Coach Dennis Erickson has loads of depth here but no true stars.  His projected three starters, Aaron Pflugrad, Mike Willie, and Gerell Robinson, all topped 25 receptions and combined for 94 total with 13 touchdowns.  T. J. Simpson caught 29 passes for 481 yards, but he is still recovering from ACL surgery in the spring.  Juco Transfer George Bell could see action early.

 

Tevor Kohl and Christopher Coyle could form a double tight end set, but ASU does not throw to their tight ends and uses them basically for blocking.

 

Running Backs

The Sun Devils have some depth here.  Cameron Marshall returns after leading the team with 787 yards and nine touchdowns.  James Morrison saw limited action in 2010, but he will move to number two on the depth chart.  Deantre Lewis will not be ready for the start of the season after suffering a gunshot wound that damaged his hamstring.  He finished second with 539 rushing yards.

 

Look for Marshall to threaten the 1,000 yard mark if Lewis does not see the field this year.

 

Offensive Line

Arizona State welcomes back all five starters from 2010, and this is why the Sun Devils have an excellent shot of advancing to the first Pac-12 Championship Game.

 

Center Garth Gerhart is a Remington Trophy contender.  Tackle Evan Finkenberg could contend for all-conference honors.  Guards Andrew Sampson and Mike Marcisz and tackle Aderious Simmons round out the unit.  Look for the total number of sacks allowed to drop by 5-10 from a rather high 31 in 2010.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Erickson’s front four performed admirably last year, giving up just 120 rushing yards, but they did not provide enough of a pass rush.  Both ends, Junior Onyeali and Jamaar Jarrett, return after teaming for 22 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.  Bo Moos and William Sutton will be the new tackles.  They are one-gap aggressors and not big beefeaters.  Corey Adams is making a charge to replace Moos.

 

Linebackers

This could have been one of the top units in the nation, but the loss of key starter Brandon Magee with a torn Achilles’ tendon has dropped it several rungs on the national ladder.  Vontaze Burfict led the team with 90 tackles last year, but he did not record a sack and only knocked away three passes.  Colin Parker made 57 tackles, while Oliver Aaron made 47 with 7 ½ for losses.  Aaron replaces Magee.  Shelly Lyons could crack the starting lineup in place of Parker.

 

Secondary

Here is the problem with the defense.  ASU gave up 245 passing yards per game and allowed a completion percentage of 63.2%.  Two full-time and one part-time starter must be replaced.  Cornerback Deveron Carr started part-time and made just eight tackles.  At the opposite corner, Osahon Irabor made 40 tackles with three passes defended.  Safety Eddie Elder registered 64 tackles with 5 ½ stops for loss and five passes defended.  Clint Floyd will start at the other safety spot after recording 30 tackles.

 

OTHER

The Sun Devils had a -6 turnover margin last year, and a lot of that had to do with a defense that could not create turnovers.  Expect some improvement on that side of the ball but not much.

 

SUMMARY

This is Arizona State’s year to shine, but injuries could hamper the process.  With Southern Cal ineligible for the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Sun Devils are the best of the rest in this weaker division. 

 

ASU may not have a gaudy record, because their out of conference slate includes games against Missouri and Illinois.  They could easily start 1-3, because their first conference game is against the Trojans.  Even if that happens, the Sun Devils can still rebound and go 6-3 in the league.  That should be good enough for second in this division, and at 7-5, they would be playing Oregon or Stanford for the Pac-12’s automatic BCS bowl berth.

 

Arizona

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Nick Foles returns after passing for 3,191 yards and 20 touchdowns.  He completed 67+% of his passes.  The situation is muddled after Foles.  Expected backup Bryson Beirne sprained his ACL and is out for several weeks.  Last year’s backup Matt Scott plans to redshirt this year, and that leaves true freshman Daxx Garman as the only other choice should Foles go down.

 

Receivers

Coach Mike Stoops has quality talent here with the return of his top four receivers.  Juron Criner, David Douglas, David Roberts, and Terrence Miller teamed for 207 receptions and 18 touchdowns.  Criner was the breakaway threat, while the other three were excellent possession receivers.

 

Dan Buckner joins the group after transferring from Texas.  He had starting experience with the Longhorns.

 

Running Backs

One of UA’s two platoon backs return this season.  Keola Antolin rushed for a team-leading 668 yards; he scored seven times.  Antolin also caught 28 passes with two more touchdowns.  The talent behind him is average.

 

Offensive Line

Oh no!  That’s the best way to describe this unit, as all five starters are missing.  Center Kyle Quinn is the only player to ever start a game, and he started a grand total of one.  Guards Trace Biskin and Chris Putton are as green as any starter in college football.  Tackles Fabbians Ebbele and Mickey Baucus are redshirt freshmen.  ‘Zona is going to regress by a considerable amount, and Foles is in danger of having to run for his life.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

The front line is almost in the same boat as the offensive line.  The Wildcats lose two NFL Draft choices.  Tackle Justin Washington is the lone returnee.  He made 46 stops with 11 ½ for loss and will contend for 1st Team All-Pac-12 honors this year. 

 

Sione Tuihalamaka starts at the other tackle position.  He made 23 stops with three going for losses.  The ends will be Mohammed Usman and C. J. Parrish.

 

Linebackers

Paul Vassallo returns to his Will linebacker position after leading the team with 102 tackles and eight for loss.  Derek Earls returns at the middle spot after making 44 tackles.  David Lopez will be the new starter at the Sam position.  This is an average unit.

 

Secondary

If Arizona has a strength on this side of the ball, it is in the secondary.  Free safety Robert Golden finished tied for third in the league with 13 passes defended, but he only intercepted one pass.  He’ll team with Marquis Flowers, who made 11 tackles as a freshman.

 

At Cornerback, Trevin Wade needs to improve on his four passes defended, while Shaquille Richardson becomes a full-timer after coming up with nine passes defended.  Without a strong pass rush, this unit will struggle a little.  

 

OTHER

Arizona has to visit Oklahoma State just prior to playing Stanford, Oregon, and USC in consecutive weeks.  This four-game losing streak could damage the morale of the new starters and doom Arizona to a losing season.

 

SUMMARY

The only sure wins on the schedule are the opener with Northern Arizona and the finale with Louisiana.  There are chances for maybe four conference wins, so the Wildcats could get to 6-6.  Who knows?  When Arizona faces Arizona State, if they are 4-4 in league play, the game could even be for a trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game.

 

U C L A

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Stanford is noted for its great tradition of outstanding quarterbacks.  UCLA is noted for its awful tradition of injured quarterbacks.  It seems like every starter since Cade McNown graduated in the 1990’s has suffered some injury.

 

Kevin Prince is just the latest in that trend.  He made it through five games last year, passing for 384 yards out of the new pistol offense.  His knee was not well enough to allow him to set and throw quickly, and the extra running from the new formation sent him to the sidelines. 

 

Backup Richard Brehaut returns after leading the Bruins with almost 1,300 passing yards.

 

Two more QBs could see playing time this year; that is if tradition holds, and quarterbacks go out with injuries.  Nick Crissman was a highly sought-after passer four years ago, while true freshman Brett Hundley is a dual threat.  Hundley might have challenged for a starting spot, but he tore his meniscus playing basketball and will not be ready at the start of the season.  Even before he suited up, the injury bugaboo hit him.  Expect more of the jinx in 2011.

 

Late Note: Brehaut sprained his foot in practice and will miss a few days.  JINX!

 

Receivers

If a healthy quarterback can get in a rhythm and start several games, he will be happy with the group of receivers on hand.  Nearly everybody that caught or even dropped a pass in 2010 is back in 2011.  Leading receiver Taylor Embree strained a calf muscle and will be slowed to start the season.  Embree made 32 receptions but did not convert any into touchdowns.

 

Anthony Barr and Nelson Rosario will start at the other two receiver spots; they teamed for 38 receptions but just one touchdown.  Tight end Cory Harkey made 14 catches.  How many touchdowns did he score? Zero!  Of course, the Bruins only scored nine times through the air.  Randall Carroll is the one legitimate long ball threat.  He will see a lot of action after averaging 16.2 yards on his 15 receptions—and with two whole touchdowns!

 

Running Backs

At last, here is one position that will not cause Coach Rick Neuheisel nightmares.  Jonathan Franklin rushed for 1,127 yards and eight scores, while averaging 5.3 yards per rush.  Backup Derrick Coleman added 487 yards and five scores.  If the passing game develops like it could, the running game could see its yardage drop a little, but the average per carry could top 4.5 yards.

 

Offensive Line

Additional injuries and academic issues have put a dark cloud over this unit.  Guard Stan Hasiak had to enroll in a junior college due to grades.  His expected replacement, Jeff Baca, will miss the start of the season with an ankle injury.  The other guard spot was expected to be filled by Chris Ward.  He suffered a sprained ankle and will miss some practice time.

 

At least tackles Mike Harris and Sean Sheller are healthy and experienced.  Center Kai Maiava missed all of last year, but his healthy return is the one bright spot here.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

The Bruins are in good shape here with a lot of depth and decent talent.  Damien Holmes and Datone Jones make up a quality pair of ends.  That is, if Jones can make a 100% comeback after a medical redshirt year in 2010.  Justin Edison and Cassius Marsh can plug a lot of gaps from their tackle positions. 

 

Linebackers

Will linebacker Sean Westgate made 90 tackles with four sacks and 11 total for losses.  He played tough against the short pass, knocking away four passes.  The unit will build around him.  Patrick Larimore missed Spring Practice, but he should be ready for the start of the season.  Glenn Love will start at the other linebacker spot after making 16 tackles as a reserve.

 

While not spectacular, this trio will not be the reason UCLA loses games this year.

 

Secondary

What looked like a possible strength has taken a pounding through injuries.  Somebody needs to investigate UCLA’s practice field.  Are they going on pavement or something?

 

Three starters return to the defensive backfield, including strong safety Tony Dye.  Dye led the Bruins with 96 tackles (remember what we said about strong safeties leading in tackles), while breaking up nine passes and pilfering one other.  His counterpart will be Dietrich Riley, who made 21 stops in reserve last year.

 

The cornerbacks are set with Aaron Hester and Sheldon Price.  The duo teamed for 51 tackles and 14 passes defended.  Jamie Graham figured to contend for a lot of playing time after transferring from Vanderbilt, but he suffered a meniscus tear that requires surgery and will be out until at least October.  Anthony Jefferson had to have surgery for a herniated disk in his back and will also be out all of September.

 

OTHER

Neuheisel is on the hot seat.  His three years in Westwood have produced a pair of 4-8 seasons with a 7-6 season in between.  He has two new coordinators this year.  Norm Chow went to Utah, so former 49ers’ offensive guru Mike Johnson takes over.  Joe Tresey is the new DC.  He was Brian Kelly’s DC at Cincinnati for two years.

 

SUMMARY

An opening game against Houston will be very interesting and reveal if UCLA has any chance of moving up from the dregs of the conference.  The next game against San Jose State should produce a win, but game three is against Texas.  The Bruins could be 1-2 and looking at another losing season; they could be 2-1 with a chance to get to seven wins.  If the quarterback play comes around with no injuries, they could even be 3-0.  If that’s the case, and the jinx can be avoided, they could be a dark horse for the South Division title, or at least the eligible team title.

 

Utah

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Welcome to the Pac-12 Jordan Wynn.  Wynn is 1-1 lifetime against conference opponents.  The Utes beat California in the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl, and he almost upset Oregon in the 2009 regular season.

 

Last year in the Mountain West Conference, Wynn completed 62.2% of his passes for 2,334 yards and 17 touchdowns.  He missed Spring Practice, but he should be ready for the start of the season.  With new offensive coordinator Norm Chow tutoring him, he should produce better numbers even in a tougher league.

 

Juco transfer Jon Hayes will be the primary backup this year.

 

Receivers

Utah does not have exceptional talent here this year.  The depth is not there.  DeVonte Christopher is a gem; he led the Utes with 660 yards in receptions, averaging almost 17 yards per catch.

 

H-Back Luke Matthews is another big play receiver, but he only got his hand on 18 passes last year.  He will be called on to block more than catch passes. 

 

Reggie Dunn will split time with Dres Anderson at the flanker position, while Kendrick Moeai starts at tight end.

 

Running Backs

Utah must replace its two-platoon set of runners.  They combined for more than 1,400 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns.  Juco transfer John White will get first crack at starting, but Tauni Vakapuna should get a lot of attempts in short yardage situations.  He’s 5-09 and 229 pounds, so tackling him will be like stopping a large boulder coming down a mountain.

 

Offensive Line

This is not a strong unit.  Center Tevita Stevens is more than capable after earning 3rd Team All-MWC honors last year.  Tackles John Cullen and Tony Bergstrom have th