Tagline FBS Top 25 2019 Week 2

Week Two has come to a close – Here is the Updated Tagline Top 25.

Note, the first few weeks will see teams fluctuate heavily – by Week 5, the algorithm part of this is balanced out.

Rank Team Record Points Prev. Rank
1 Alabama 1993 1
2 Clemson 1903 2
3 Wisconsin 1865 5
4 Ohio State 1810 6
5 Georgia 1804 3
6 Oregon 1780 14
7 LSU 1764 4
8 Auburn 1676 8
9 Maryland 1671 30
10 Notre Dame 1649 11
11 Washington State 1643 18
12 Penn State 1641 7
13 Texas A&M 1639 16
14 UCF 1619 17
15 Oklahoma 1598 10
16 Michigan State 1587 20
17 Utah 1565 13
18 Florida 1562 9
19 Iowa 1550 25
20 USC 1532 28
21 Michigan 1515 12
22 Texas 1504 19
23 Mississippi State 1481 23
24 Baylor 1476 60
25 North Carolina State 1464 45

Others on the Bubble: Miami (FL), Kansas State, Virginia, South Carolina, Missouri, Boise State, North Carolina

Dropped from Rankings: Miami (FL), Boise State, Stanford, Virginia

College Football 2019 – Week 2 Underdog Picks

Record On the Season: 2-3 (1 Outright Win)

Last week was not the most excellent start to the year, but Week One is never easy for the underdogs.  For those that picked Georgia State against Tennessee, I applaud you – I was not one of them.  Nonetheless, onward to Week Two, headlined by two huge out of conference matchups: Texas A&M at Clemson and LSU at Texas.  I will be taking the Tigers in both games; while the Aggies look improved, going into Death Valley is a challenge this group has yet to face and Trevor Lawrence looks on a new level for 2019, and LSU was ferocious last weekend – Texas won’t have the players to stop the purple and gold.

As for my Week Two underdog plays:

  • Ohio (+4.0) at Pittsburgh
    • The Panthers did not look good in their opener against Virginia. They couldn’t move the ball and looked stunted at every drive.  Meanwhile the Bobcats offense under Nathan Rouke put away Rhode Island in the first half, accounting for three TDs.
  • Texas A&M (+16.5) at Clemson
    • The Tigers should win pretty handily against the Aggies, but a line this large is too tempting to pass up. Last year’s matchup was a close one in the fourth and I do expect much the same.  Cannot fathom Clemson winning by more than two touchdowns, and even that is high.
  • Colorado (+4.0) v Nebraska
    • The Buffaloes stunned the Huskers last year in Lincoln. Now with the rivalry renewed, and Nebraska coming into town, Colorado will look to get back to back wins over hated competition to start the Mel Tucker era.  They looked great against Colorado State in Denver last weekend while Nebraska created a lot more questions than they answered.  Steven Montez shined last weekend and could be a Pac-12 star in the making.
  • Nevada (+24.5) at Oregon
    • The Zoo will be rocking Saturday when the Wolfpack come to town. After a heartbreaking loss to Auburn, the Quack Attack will want to show they are still on top of the west.  But a 24.5 point margin is tough to overcome against a Nevada team that is always a scoring threat.  And to put that 24.5 point margin, Oregon has just 1 win in their last 12 games in which they covered that many points, while Nevada has stayed within the 24.5 point margin in all but 1 of their last 14 games.
  • Arkansas (+4.0) at Ole Miss
    • A matchup of SEC bottom feeders is where we will finish this week out. Ole Miss could not move the ball last week in Memphis, accounting for only 173 yards of offense in the loss.  Meanwhile, Arkansas had the offense moving against FCS Portland State, but failed to capitalize.  Still, they should have no problem dealing with the Rebels, who haven’t won since they went into Little Rock last year and beat the Razorbacks.

Tagline Sports FBS Top 25 2019 Week 1

With Week One in the Books, Here is the Updated Tagline Top 25.

Note, the first few weeks will see teams fluctuate heavily – by Week 5, the algorithm part of this is balanced out.

Rank Team Record Points Prev. Rank
1 Alabama 1-0 1930 2
2 Clemson 1-0 1897 1
3 Georgia 1-0 1793 3
4 LSU 1-0 1728 7
5 Wisconsin 1-0 1675 19
6 Ohio State 1-0 1648 5
7 Penn State 1-0 1646 13
8 Auburn 1-0 1633 9
9 Florida 1-0 1625 8
10 Oklahoma 1-0 1619 10
11 Notre Dame 1-0 1606 6
12 Michigan 1-0 1605 4
13 Utah 1-0 1571 18
14 Oregon 0-1 1537 17
15 Miami (FL) 0-1 1534 24
16 Texas A&M 1-0 1502 11
17 UCF 1-0 1499 23
18 Washington State 1-0 1494 22
19 Texas 1-0 1479 20
20 Michigan State 1-0 1478 15
21 Boise State 1-0 1472 31
22 Stanford 1-0 1462 25
23 Mississippi State 1-0 1460 14
24 Virginia 1-0 1454 37
25 Iowa 1-0 1453 16

 

College Football 2019 – Week 1 Underdog Picks

A new college football season is among us! After a teaser Saturday last weekend with the Battle of the Sunshine State between Florida and Miami, we have a full slate of games to enjoy this weekend.  While I’ll be trekking back to Happy Valley to watch Penn State take on the Idaho Vandals, so many other college football fans will be cheering on their squad for the first time since 2018.  With the start of another season, it is time for my underdog selections:

  • Boise State (+6.5) at Florida State
    • Originally slated to be in Jacksonville, this game has been moved to Doak Campbell Stadium due to Hurricane Dorian.  That does give Florida State an edge, but by how much.  Boise State has a good bit of talent to replace, especially on the offensive side, but they return a solid slate on defense that was already ferocious last year.  Meanwhile Florida State is still figuring out the keys to winning – lots of problems plagued their team last year and it didn’t seem like there were big moves made to improve such.  Boise State fights tough and while they may not have the size to contend, they have the talent and should put up a fight against a Seminoles team that needs help.
  • James Madison (+6.0) at West Virginia
    • This is as much of a rebuilding year as ever for West Virginia, as they lose almost all the keys to last year, including their head coach.  Neal Brown helped to rebuild Troy, but it still took him a year to get there; meanwhile one of the top schools in the FCS is coming in riding high and ready to pounce – this is a tough out for the Mountaineers and they have a huge chance of falling to the Dukes at home.
  • Holy Cross (+21.5) at Navy
    • One of the hottest teams to end the FCS season last year in the Crusaders comes into this battle with the Midshipman with a lot of talent remaining.  They are a high scoring team that loves to play on the road and will spell a challenge for a Navy team that is in rebuild mode.
  • Oregon (+3.5) v Auburn
    • Honestly, I’m surprised that Oregon is the underdog here – they are a pre-season favorite to win the Pac-12 and make it to the College Football Playoff, have perhaps the No. 1 Overall Pick at QB, and return a ton of talent.  Meanwhile, Auburn needs to find their identity after an up & down year in 2018 – starting freshman Bo Nix as their QB into what will be a tough environment at Jerry’s World.  In this rematch of the 2011 National Championship, I’ll be going with the Ducks to pull off the upset.
  • Fresno State (+13.5) at USC
    • Much like Florida State, USC is coming in off a year where they couldn’t put anything together.  Now they start the year with a tough Fresno State team that will test USC up and down the field.  This will be a low-scoring affair, especially with the Bulldogs defense, giving them the edge in the spread and possibly and edge to pull off the outright upset.

Tagline Sports 2019 College Football Predictions

Once again, it is the dawn of a new college football season.  With the memory of Clemson’s route of Alabama in the National Championship still fresh in everyone’s mind, it is time to move towards crowning out next champion.  Unlike the previous few seasons, there was a lot of turnover of the previous leaders; many went to the NFL, while graduated onto the next stages of their careers.  The ferocious Clemson defensive line have gone on to Sundays while the Big Ten’s best QBs found themselves new locations to start under center.  Nonetheless, it is a time to recruit, regroup, and refocus on the task at hand.

With that, yesterday you saw the first ever Tagline Sports Top 25.  Today its time for predictions for the 2019 season.  This spans from conference placings and champions to playoff predictions and bold statements.  And with that here we go!


ACC

Championship Game: Clemson (10-2) over Virginia (9-3)

Biggest Riser: Duke (9-3)

Biggest Dropper: Syracuse (6-6)

Bold Prediction: Clemson will go 0-2 in games inside the state of North Carolina.


American

Championship Game: Houston (9-3) over UCF (10-2)

Biggest Mover: Houston (9-3)

Biggest Dropper: Cincinnati (6-6)

Bold Prediction: UConn will win two in-conference road games.


Big Ten

Championship Game: Penn State (11-1) over Purdue (10-2)

Biggest Mover: Purdue (10-2)

Biggest Dropper: Michigan (7-5)

Bold Prediction: Michigan will fall to Penn State, Notre Dame, and Maryland in consecutive weeks, but will beat Ohio State.


Big 12

Championship Game: Oklahoma (10-2) over TCU (10-2)

Biggest Mover: TCU (10-2)

Biggest Dropper: West Virginia (2-10)

Bold Prediction: Jalen Hurts will make it to NY and capture Oklahoma’s third straight Heisman Trophy, but will not make it three in around 1st-overall draft picks.


C-USA

Championship Game: North Texas (12-0) over Marshall (10-2)

Biggest Mover: Florida Atlantic (9-3)

Biggest Dropper: Louisiana Tech (3-9)

Bold Prediction: North Texas will be the Group of 5 representative in the New Year’s Six.


MAC

Championship Game: Toledo (11-1) over Miami OH (8-4)

Biggest Mover: Bowling Green (8-4)

Biggest Dropper: Buffalo (5-7)

Bold Prediction: The MAC will go 2-0 in their games against Kentucky (Toledo 8/31 and Eastern Michigan 9/7).


Mountain West

Championship Game: Boise State (11-1) over San Diego State (10-2)

Biggest Mover: San Jose State (7-5)

Biggest Dropper: Utah State (7-5)

Bold Prediction: Fresno State will stun USC and Minnesota to open the season.


Pac-12

Championship Game: Arizona State (10-2) over Oregon (9-3)

Biggest Mover: UCLA (8-4)

Biggest Dropper: Utah (6-6)

Bold Prediction: Herm Edwards will win Coach of the Year.


SEC

Championship Game: Alabama (10-2) over Georgia (10-2)

Biggest Mover: Arkansas (6-6)

Biggest Dropper: Florida (6-6)

Bold Prediction: Alabama will lose a big first half lead in the SEC Championship Game, only to win the game on the last drive thanks to an untimely Georgia fumble as they try to close out the game.


Sun Belt

Championship Game: Appalachian State (11-1) over Arkansas State (8-4)

Biggest Mover: Appalachian State (11-1)

Biggest Dropper: Georgia Southern (6-6)

Bold Prediction: App State QB Zac Thomas will be a finalist for the Maxwell Award.



College Football Playoff & New Year’s Six

Fiesta Bowl (Semifinal): (1) Clemson over (4) Oklahoma, 27-10

Peach Bowl (Semifinal): (2) Alabama over (3) Penn State, 28-13

Cotton Bowl:  Oregon over North Texas, 24-19

Orange Bowl: Notre Dame over Virginia, 32-0

Rose Bowl: Arizona State over Purdue, 34-28

Sugar Bowl: Georgia over TCU, 38-7

 

National Championship: Alabama over Clemson, 45-13


And with that, we are on to the 2019 College Football Season. First up – Florida & Miami this Saturday. College football is back!

Tagline Sports FBS Top 25 Preseason 2019

Just as quick as the sun set on Santa Clara for the Alabama Crimson Tide, the sun rises on another College Football Season, with defending champion Clemson looking to to once again show why they deserve to be on top.  But with an ever changing landscape, college football never has a dull moment.  Perhaps the biggest change will come near the top, with Ohio State needing to fill the holes left by Urban Meyer and Dwayne Haskins; will Ryan Day and Justin Fields be the answer in Columbus?  Meanwhile, in Norman, the Sooners will once again have a transfer quarterback at the helm, with Jalen Hurts swapping one crimson jersey for another.  Can Lincoln Riley make another star in the center of the country as he did with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray?  As for their rivals one state south, Texas put a statement finish on their season with a win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl – now its Sam Ehlinger’s time to put up and push the Longhorns forward.

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Belmont Stakes 2019 – Selections

As we turn the calendar to June, we find ourselves at the final leg of the Triple Crown – the Belmont Stakes.  A field of ten line up to show the world what they can do, here in the Test of Champions.  For these horses, they will do something they may never do again in their careers, race at a mile and a half on the dirt.  Both speed and stamina is tested as the field takes a trip around the famed New York oval, Big Sandy.

While most of the top horses that we saw on the Road to the Kentucky Derby will be sitting at home, we do get the Preakness winner, War of Will, to show up, competing in all three legs of the Triple Crown.  A good case can be made the he could have been the winner of the Kentucky Derby, had it not been for Maximum Security.  And yet, here we are – no Derby winner in the field (neither of them) and a race far from filled with star talent – but this may be one of the toughest Belmont Stakes in recent memory.  With favorites drawn wide and many with the pedigree to go long, its hard to land on just one horse to win here – there is no clear favorite, unlike many of the previous years, and rather a collection of talent that outlasted the spring grind.  With that, let’s go through the field.

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Preakness 2019 – Selections

As the Black-Eyed Susans bloom and the racing world shifts to Baltimore, a different vibe comes upon this year’s Preakness Stakes. Horse racing has been in the public eye these past two weeks – just moments after a historic disqualification of Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby the world has been abuzz about what will happen next. Controversy surrounded the sport, this time for good headlines, while everyone carried an opinion. No longer was horse racing talked about by its loyal fans – now everyone, from the paperboy to the janitor had something to say. As the sun sets on the Twin Spires and the mist rolls in at Old Hilltop, its time to move on to the Second Jewel of the Triple Crown, just without a Triple Crown.

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Kentucky Derby 2019 – Weekend Selections

When the sun comes up over Louisville on Saturday, shining down on the roses and through the twin spires, it will be time for the greatest two minutes in all of sports.  Few moments in sports can capture so much history.  Winners.  Champions.  Legends.  They all come together in the heart of racing.  It is neither the oldest, nor the longest Triple Crown race, yet it is the most important.  It was 1875 when Aristides was the first to come down the famed Churchill Downs stretch and be named the winner of the Kentucky Derby.  Yet it wasn’t until the 1890s when the race truly became what it is today, with the famed twin spires as the backdrop of a mile and a quarter test for the garland of roses.  Ben Brush, the first to taste the roses, became an instrumental part of the pedigree of 48 of the past 50 Derby winners.

Just a year removed from a Triple Crown, our second this decade after a long, and at many times seemingly endless, drought, we begin again with a new set of three year olds, all with a chance to cement themselves in history.  As the sun sets on Churchill Downs, a winner will be crowned, perhaps even a champion, and maybe, just like a year ago, a legend will be born.  Twenty horses.  Ten furlongs.  Two minutes.  One victor.  145 years of history – all down to 1.

Kentucky Derby weekend is unlike any other.  While the Breeders’ Cup may have the champions, Royal Ascot the pageantry, Saratoga the unchanged history, and Dubai the riches, nothing shares the same feeling that is felt come the First Saturday in May.  Moments after the Breeders’ Cup Classic wraps up, the focus of racing shifts away from the championship division and goes towards a bunch of then two year olds, all full of energy – and inexperience – that are gunning for one goal, be one of the twenty in the starting gate come 6:50pm on May 4th.  As the months tick by, the list slims and the cream of the crop rises to the occasion.  Races, in all corners of the world, name their representative to send to Kentucky.  From California to Florida, Ireland to Japan, horses across the world compete for much more than putting their name on a local trophy.  This weekend is another such occasion, when a culmination of months of work joins to one.

This weekend, champions of yesterday and today will arrive to the famed circle of Churchill Downs to compete for the ultimate prizes.  While we will watch many greats race on the undercards on Friday and Saturday, the features are for the three year olds in the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.  With that, let’s get into my selections for the weekend.  I will note, these races were handicapped for a projected wet ground, as heavy rains are in the forecast for the weekend in Louisville.

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Kentucky Derby 2019 – Contenders & Pretenders

With the untimely scratch of our Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach, this field takes a slightly different turn for home.  While the predicted pace doesn’t look to have been changed by much, although Maximum Security will look to have a bit more breathing room without Omaha Beach running right with him, the odds have, with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Game Winner the new favorite.  If he stays as the favorite come post time, he will be the first Kentucky Derby favorite not to have won on the year since Timber Country in 1995.

Now, as we take a look at the field, we need to see who is a contender and who is a pretender.  With the scratch of Omaha Beach, this has shaken things up and moved some talented horses up.

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