Sully's Big Blog! Commentary on College Football, Weekly Games, And Strange Statistics!

Sully’s 4 Pack of Winners in Week Four!

To say last week’s picks were a disaster would be kind. We were 0-3, thankfully it was our worst week ever vs picking against the Spread!

Here is what happened. Oklahoma State struggled against Tulsa, the Cowboys won, as predicted, but did not cover the 23 they were giving Golden Hurricanes.

Georgia Tech was getting 7.5 points vs Central Florida and coming off an impressive win over Florida State, 16-13! UCF took GT to the woodshed blasting the Rambling Wreck, 49-21! We predicted that UCF would win, but not cover … oops!

Finally, We took Louisville and gave Miami the 2.5 points. The Canes played well in all phases, as did Louisville on offense, however, the Cardinals did not show up on defense and when they did… they were clueless!

This week is all about redemption! 4-0 Baby!!! So here we go…

All lines are opening lines on the Vegas Hot$heets!

Game One: Alabama @ Missouri, Line; Bama -27!

These teams have played 3 times since Mizzou joined the SEC, Bama won twice by the identical score of, 42-10 and the last time they met, the Tide rolled, 39-10! Bama returns 12 starters,(7 on O & 5 on D), they also will bring an attitude with a focus! Last year was the 1st time the Tide failed to roll into the CFP. They are favored to win the West Division and while the Tigers are in the East, their quest to return to the CFP begins tomorrow. Mizzou returns 11 starters (4 on O & 7 on D) and a new coach, Eli Drinkwitz, a new DC, & a new QB. Sully Says: Take Bama and give the Tigers the 27!

Game Two: Mississippi State @ LSU, Line: LSU -19!

It would be fair to say that no team in the history of college football has lost more high quality players than LSU did to the 2020 NFL draft! The Tigers had 14 players drafted in the in the NFL’s seven rounds. The most ever, since the League moved from 12 to 7 levels of selection! LSU returns the fewest starters of any Power 5 (P5) program 8 (3 on O & 5 on D)! Enter Mike Leach (HC last year @ Washington State), his Air Raid attack, and his new QB, KJ Costello, a grad transfer from Stanford! Sully Says: Take Mississippi State & the 19 points!

Game Three: Florida @ Ole Miss, Line: Florida -12.5!

These teams have played only 5 times since 2000, the last meeting was in 2015 @ Gainesville’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Florida won, 38-10! Ole Miss leads the series, 12-11-1. The respective coaches, by themselves, make this match-up intriguing. Danny Mullen @ Florida, in his 3rd year @ Florida (21-5) and many are predicting that the Gators are ready to unseat Georgia in the East Division & Lane Kiffin, 1st year @ Ole Miss, is no stranger to SEC success, from his days @ Alabama! This is one game that I will be tuned in on Saturday. Sully Says: Take Florida and give the Rebels the 12.5!

Game Four: South Carolina @ Tennessee, Line: Tennessee -3: This is a desperate game for SC’s Will Muschamp and his staff. Muschamp is beginning his 5th year and is only one game over 500 @ 26-25, This will not fly in Columbia and the Gamecocks are up against it, especially when you look at their revised 2020 schedule. They have drawn Texas A&M, Auburn, LSU, & Ole Miss from the West Division, and when you coupled this with Florida & Georgia from the East … ouch! The QB match-up is roughly even, UT has an unit edge @ RB, O-Line, D-Line, LB, DB, ST, & the Volunteers have recruited better. Sorry Will; Sully Says: Take Tennessee and give the Gamecocks the 3!

Take a look at our Recruiting Page and compare who recruits better with the game’s pick!

Enjoy the Games!

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Five Best Games of Week Four

The sites listed below and Phil Steel’s Magazine are major Contributor’s to this blog!

5. Louisville 1-1 @ Pitt 2-0: Louisville officially joined the ACC on July 1st, 2014. UL & Pitt have played 17 times, Pitt leads the series, 9 wins to 8 for Louisville. As ACC members, they have met only once, in 2015, Pitt won, 45-34!

Louisville is in the Atlantic Division of the ACC, while Pitt plays in the Coastal Division. The ACC has 14 teams (15 this year … ND) in football and unlike the B-10, P-12, or the B-12 (who play 9 CG) the ACC plays only 8 conference games. This explains why Pitt & Louisville have met only once in 6 seasons and in fact, this is a Covid-19 game, as the teams were not schedule to play in 2020!

Pitt Head Coach (HC), Pat Narduzzi, believes this is the best front 7 that he has had in his 6 years at Pitt. The D is led by a trio of outstanding linemen, DE Patrick Jones, NT, Jaylen Twyman & DE, Rashad Weaver, Phil Campbell leads the way @ LB, and all everything, SS, Paris Ford patrols the back end! The Offense is led by QB, Kenny Pickett, who passed for over 3000 yards last season, 13 TD to 9 INT, while completing 61% of his passes!

Louisville in its showdown with Miami, looked completely, confused on D. UL’s DC, Bryan Brown’s defense gave up back to back 75 yards TD’s and a 40 yard plus pass play, in which no one was within 15 yards of the receiver. They have a lot to resolve in preparing to play Pitt, to say the least!

The Offense played well against Miami! They will need to play at least as well to have any chance vs this Pitt Defense. QB, Micale Cunningham passed for 307 yards on 26 / 36, a 72% completion rate, and a ratio of 3 TD’s to 1 Pick! He will need to do this very good work again, if they are to move the ball against Pitt. Yet, it won’t matter, if the D fails to show up again!

Louisville @ Pitt, ACCN / 11:00, Pitt -3.5!

4. Florida 0-0 @ Ole Miss 0-0: The coaches are a good enough reason to watch this game, Danny Mullen @ Florida & Lane Kiffin @ Ole Miss!

These clubs have met 24 times, somewhat surprisingly, Ole Miss leads the series 12-11-1. Their last meeting was in 2015, a 38-10 tail-whippin’ the Gators put on the Rebels, in Gainesville! Two weeks before that game in 2015, Ole Miss rolled up the Tide, 43-37 and were favored, but 4 Rebel TO’s later, well … not so much Favored!

Ole Miss went a disappointing 4-8 last year, yet return 13 starters, including their QB, (8 on offense & 5 on Defense) John Rhys-Plumlee! Rhys-Plumlee plays more with his legs & feet then with his arm, it will be interesting to see how his skill set plays out with the Lane Train!

Florida is coming off an 11-2 season, losing to only, LSU, 42-28 & UGA, 24-17. The Gators return 12 starters 6 on offense (including their QB, Kyle Trask) & 6 on defense.

This will be Florida’s first visit to Vaught-Hemingway since 2007. The Gators went in a big favorite (-23) and put up 500 plus total yards, yet barely got out with a win, 30-24!

Danny Mullen is 5-4 vs his old rival, Ole Miss, from 2009 through 2017 when coaching @ Mississippi State and playing the Rebels in the EGG Bowl! This time Mullen, clearly, Mullen has the better roster as the teams prepare to square off on Saturday!

Florida @ Ole Miss, ESPN / 11:00, Florida -12.5

3. Kentucky 0-0 @ Auburn 0-0: The Tigers are 26-6-1 all time vs the Cats; winning 17 of the last 18, by an average of 13 points per game. Auburn had won 15 in a row from, 1967 through 2005 until, finally, in 2009, Kentucky got a win, 21-14 and then proceeded to lose the next 2 games (2010, 37-34 & 2015, 30-27)!

UK HC, Mark Stoops, is 44-44 @ Kentucky (before he got to Kentucky, if you had given those guys a ball with points, they would stare @ it, try to bounce it, shoot baby hooks with it, and basically had no idea as to happened to the round ball) in the SEC! With the exception of Saban, he has done as good a job as anyone in that league!

His counterpart, Gus Malzahn, is beginning his 9th year @ Auburn, he is currently 62-31 @ Auburn & 71-34 overall. Gus is 2-1 in his last 3 Iron Bowls’ vs College Football’s Flagship (not yet Clemson), Alabama!

Kentucky returns 15 starters (8 on O & 7 on D) Terry Wilson will start at QB, he started 2 games a year ago before going down with a season ending injury. Auburn will counter with 10 returning starters (5 on O & 5 on D), However, they do return true freshmen QB, Bo Mix, who started all 13 games a year ago! WR, Anthony Schwartz is widely regarded as the fastest player in all of college football!

Kentucky @ Auburn, SECN / 11:00; Auburn -9.5

2. Mississippi State 0-0 @ LSU 0-0: I keep hearing & reading that LSU had 14 players drafted in the 2020 draft, yet I could only find 13, finally in the 7th round (& I should have known) there was a Sullivan causing a math error! Either way, the Tigers did break Alabama’s record of 12 players taken in an NFL draft.

Five Tiger players were taken in the 1st round: (QB, Joe Burrow; LB, K’Lavon Chaisson; WR, Justin Jefferson; LB, Patrick Queen; & RB, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. In the 2nd Round: 2 players were taken, Safety, Grant Delpit & CB, Kristian Fulton! 3rd Round: 3 players were selected, G, Damien Lewis; C, Lloyd Cushenberry; & LB, Jacob Phillips. 4th Round: 2 players were taken off the draft board, OT, Saahdig Charles & DT Rashard Lawrence. 6th Round, LS (long snapper) Blake Ferguson and in the 7th round: WR, Stephen Sullivan!

I know this has nothing to do with Saturday’s game, yet, I wanted to list this for you. so we all got a sense of how much LSU lost and the enormity of trying to get that many replacements ready to play with no spring and an amended summer! Talent, yes, everywhere. Experience, you’ll need the Hubble Telescope to find it! Don’t forget, QB coach/OC, Joe Brady & DC, Dave Aranda have also left! Eddie (Orgeron) will be needing a whole lot of Jambalaya to get through this transformation!

All this coupled with the arrival of Washington State’s Mike Leach in Starkville, Mississippi. Baton Rouge is about to experience its first Air Raid. The only similarity Leach has with State of Louisiana is he thinks he’s a pirate, the reality is; he “ain’t” and there aren’t any!

This is must see TV come Saturday!

Mississippi State @ LSU, CBS / 2:30, LSU -19

1 Tennessee 0-0 @ South Carolina 0-0: This, in my humble opinion, is the best game of the day. Will Muschamp is entering his 5th year @ USC (University of South Carolina, they actually had a 6 year court battle with the other USC and lost to Southern Cal when the U.S. Patent & Trademark office ruled that the West Coast USC had priority when it came to the marketing of the SC logo)) and is one game above 500 @ 26-25! This is not going to fly in Gamecock country!

Meanwhile, Jeremy Pruitt, is beginning his 3rd year @ Tennessee and is also one game above 500 @ 13-12! However, Pruitt won his last 6 games in 2019, including a whipping of the Gamecocks, in Knoxville, 41-21. A game that SC was favored in by 4 points!

This game is, in no small part, all about perception! Pruitt’s team is perceived to be on the rise, while Muschamp’s team is thought to be ‘treading water’!

The SEC East Division royalty, when I started the site in 2009, included Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, & South Carolina. Overtime, the East became a 2 team show, Florida & Georgia and the other 5 programs being placed in no particular or consistent hierarchy. Today, the prevailing thought is that the 4 best team’s in the East Division are UGA, FL, UT and Kentucky and some would argue the team in the other Columbia (Mizzou), is the better program!

This year the SEC is playing a 10 game, conference only Schedule! SC has its normal run of the East (Florida, Georgia, UT, Kentucky, Mizzou, & Vandy) & has drawn LSU, Auburn, A&M & Ole Miss in its crossover games with the West Division. In my opinion, Muschamp needs to win 6 games to hold on to his job and it better start on Saturday with a win, @ home, over the Volunteers. I think SC (on paper, as U know in the real world upsets happen)) can beat UT, UK, Vandy, Mizzou, & Ole Miss, but where do they get the 6th win? UGA?; The Gators?; Auburn?; LSU? or A&M? This USC ride in 2020 is one of the most interesting and unpredictable this season?

UT & SC have met 11 times since 2009, the Gamecocks hold a 1 game edge, 6 wins to the Volunteers 5! Muschamp & Pruitt have split their 2 games, SC won in 2018, 27-24 & UT won, as mentioned, in 2019, 41-21!

South Carolina is coming off a 4-8 campaign, while Tennessee was 8-5 last year. UT returns 17 starters (9 on O & 8 on D) SC brings back 13 (7 on O & 6 on D). Both team’s QB return; UT’s Jarrett Guarantano (152 completions of 257 attempts for 59% completion rate; passed for 2158 yards with a ratio of 2-1, 16 TDs’ / 8 INT), while SC’s Ryan Hilinski ( 238 Completions of 405 attempts for 58% completion rate; passed for 2387 yards with a ratio of slightly better than 2-1, 11 TD’s to 5 INT’s). UT returns more players and recruits better than Carolina (UT is ranked 16th on SCFP and SC is rated @ 19) Yet, I do not believe these slight differences between the teams give Tennessee an overwhelming advantage!

Welcome back SEC and let the madness begin!

Tennessee @ South Carolina, ABC / 6:30, UT -3!

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Five Most Interesting Games of Week Four

5. West Virginia 1-0 @ Oklahoma State 1-0: To say that the Cowboys lost a few head of cattle last week would be a gross understatement; how about the whole herd was rustled; while they tossed, turned, and mostly slept walked through their game vs Tulsa! OSU comes into the 2020 season as the darkhorse to unseat Oklahoma as the B-12 Rodeo Champs. Based on what they showed last week, they couldn’t ride a 3 legged puppy!

Look it, Ok State is thought to have the most talented WR / RB combo in the country; Tylan Wallace @ wide out & Chuba Hubbard at running back, so where were they last Saturday? It should also be noted that the Cowboy O-Line is widely regarded as the 2nd best in the B-12, behind only OU! So one could also ask, where were they? Three points through 3 quarters?

Hubbard had 27 carries for 93 yards (3.4 YPC) and was held under 100 yards for the 1st time in 11 games!

Okie State’s, QB, Spencer Sanders, he led the cowboys to 3 points on their 1st drive, but was injured (ankle) on the first play of Cowboy’s 2nd possession. After Sanders went down, OSU did not put points on the board until the 4th quarter. This lack of offensive production, for a high performing offense, came against a Tulsa D that won 4 games in 2019 and gave up an average 31 PPG!

WR, Tylan Wallace had only 4 catches for 94 yards, 2 of the 4 receptions came in the 4th quarter, for one for 34 yards & another for 29 yards. This translated to 2 catches for 31 yards through the 1st 3 quarters! How is that possible? How is not targeted more than this? It is common knowledge that he gets separation as well as any receiver in the country!

Their were 2 positives in this game for OSU, 1) the defense played well and 2) the cowboys found a way to win, 16-7!

This week West Virginia presents a far greater challenge as the Cowboys begin the quest to win the B-12! OSU’s QB, Spencer Sanders, status is unclear as of Tuesday!

I am interested to see if the OSU staff & players are done reading about themselves and ready to prove they are who people think they are, and more importantly, prove they are who they, themselves, think they are?

West Virginia @ Oklahoma State / ABC 2:30 / OSU -8.5

4. Army 2-0 @ Cincinnati 1-0: Army comes into this game with 2 impressive wins, they hammered Middle Tennessee, 42-0 and blasted Louisiana Monroe, 37-7! While Cincy rolls in with a 55-20 win over Austin Peay (an FCS team from the Ohio Valley Conference).

The Bearcats are thought to be one of 3 or 4 Group of Five (G5) teams that have an outside shot at making the College Football Playoffs (CFP) in 2020. Their chances were reduced last week, when the B-10 announced their return to the field!

Army plays as an independent and the past few weeks have taken on C-USA (Middle Tennessee) and the Sun Belt conference (SBC), ULM and pushed them up and down the field. This week they are in with the American Athletic Conference (AAC), the best conference in the G5 realm and one of the best (if not the best … apologies to Central Florida) team’s in that league!

How good is Army? Is Cincinnati the best team in the G5 this year? Before we get to excited about the Cadets, please note, the 2 teams that Army beat are a combined 0-4; ULM is 0-2, losing to Army 37-7 & Texas State, 38-17 while Middle Tennessee, is also 0-2, losing to Army, 42-0 & Troy, 47-14!

For that matter, we don’t know much about Cincy either, the team they beat. Austin Peay, is 0-3 (lost to Central Arkansas 24-17, Pitt, 55-0 & the Bearcats, 55-20). Please note, AP scored more points against Cincinnati’s defense then they did vs. Central Arkansas & were shut out by Pitt’s D.

The winner of this game will be put into position make an early statement about where they are in the G5 hierarchy. UC needs to be mindful that Army played Oklahoma to overtime (OT), before falling, 28-21 in 2018 & lost to Michigan, in 2 OTs’, 24-21, in 2019.

Army needs to stop with this ‘being close’ stuff and win one of these games. I, for one, am interested to see if that happens come Saturday?

Army @ Cincinnati / ESPN 2:30 / Cincinnati -11

3. Miami 2-0 @ Florida State 0-1: This game used to be played with National Championships in the balance, now it reduced to one of the 5 most interesting games of week four! In part, because of what the game use to be, say ‘Wide Right’ and every college football fan in Florida knows exactly what you mean or if you see film of Bobby Bowden staring into the abyss, we all know what that means; he just lost another game to the U, on a miss FG.!

Miami leads the series, 34-30, the largest margin of victory is the Canes, 47-0 tail-whipping of the Noles in 1976. Miami comes in on a 3 game winning streak and FSU’s Head Coach, Mike Norvell, is out with Covid-19! These teams first met on Oct. 5, 1951, Miami won, 35-13 & last met on Nov. 2, 2019, Miami won that game as well, 27-10!

The home team is just 4-10 since 2006 & 15 of the last 18 games have been decided by a TD or less! Both of these teams are top 20 recruiting programs. The Seminoles are rated as the 15th best recruiting program in the country, while Miami 17th best on Sully’s College Football Page! See list below of the top 66 P5 teams!

Florida State @ Miami, ABC / 6:30, Miami -11.5

2. Troy 1-0 @ BYU 1-0: You may be wondering why this game? The SEC begins, the B-12 is playing in conference, and so is the ACC. Some of those games will be address in the Best Games of Week Four and some of these 1st Conference meeting are simply not very good games!

This is a Covid-19 game! BYU & Troy have never met on the Gridiron, Saturday night will be their 1st encounter. Troy is one of the 42 FBS teams that the Cougars have not played in their 97 year history!

BYU absolutely annihilated Navy in their 1st game, 55-3! Impressive, especially when you consider the Midshipmen were down to Tulane, 24-0 in the 2nd half of last week’s game, before battling back to a stunning, 27-24, win!

The Sun Belt Conference (SBC) got off to an historic start in the opening week of the 2020 season, beating 3 B-12 opponents (Louisiana 34 Iowa State 13, Arkansas State 35 Kansas State 31, & Coastal Carolina 38 Kansas 23)! Best start ever!!

Given how strong BYU looked against Navy, a win here by the Men of Troy would send signals around the country that the SBC is no longer the weakest of the 10 FBS Conferences!

Troy @ BYU, ESPN / 9:15, BYU -15.5

#1. Alabama 0-0 @ Missouri 0-0: Not only did Bama not win the CFP in 2019, for the 1st time since its inception, the Tide did not make the cut! They are not happy and I, for one, am anxious to see how ‘unhappy’?

Missouri is 1st up. The Tigers joined the SEC on July 1, 2012 (with Texas A&M) and have faced off with the Crimson Tide 3 times, 2012, Bama won 42-10; 2014, the Tide won again, 42-10 (same score), and then in 2018, the Tide rolled yet again, 39-10 (almost the same score). I think it is safe to say Mizzou is stuck on 10!

That said, Missouri has beaten Alabama! The 1st meeting between these teams was in 1968, Bear Bryant was coaching Alabama and Dan Devine was @ Missouri, the Tigers won, 35-10! Mizzou other win was in 1975, 20-7, in Birmingham, AL! Bama won the remaining game the teams played as non-members of the SEC, in 1978, 38-20, in Columbia, MO! Bama leads the series 4-2!

Another point of interest is their new (kind of new) QB, Mac Jones, who in 2019 had the unenviable task of replacing perhaps the greatest Bama QB since Kenny (the Snake) Stabler, Tua Tagovailoa. How will he fair this coming season? He has great skill around him, at RB Najee Harris, @ WR Jaylen Waddle & DeVonta Smith, & the anchor of their defense, MLB, Dylan Moses, returns from a torn ACL!

Alabama brought in the 2nd rated high school QB in the country, Bryce Young! Many thought he would win the job for the 2020 season, but with no spring FB and limited summer camp, no surprise that the ‘guy’ is Mac!

Alabama @ Missouri, ESPN / 6:00, Bama -27

Enjoy the Games!!

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Games, Sites, Dates, & Lines in Week Four

Thursday’s Game

UAB (C-USA) 1-1 @ S. Alabama (SBC) 1-1: TV: ESPN / 6:30, Line: UAB -5

Friday’s Game

Middle Tennessee (C-USA) 0-2 @ UTSA (C-USA) 2-0: TV: CBSSN / 7:00, Line: UTSA -8; UTSA (Texas San Antonio)

Saturday’s Games:

Kansas State (B-12) 0-1 @ Oklahoma (B-12) 1-0: TV: FOX / 11:00; Line: OU -28

Florida (SEC) 0-0 @ Ole Miss (SEC) 0-0: TV: ESPN / 11:00, Line: Florida -12.5

Notre Dame (ACC) 2-0 @ Wake Forest (ACC) 0-2: TV: ABC / 11:00, Line: ND -17

Kentucky (SEC)0-0 @ Auburn (SEC) 0-0: TV: SECN / 11:00, Line: Auburn -9.5

UCF (AAC) 1-0 @ E. Carolina (AAC) 0-0: TV: ESPN+ / 11:00 Line: UCF -25.5

Georgia Southern (SBC) 1-0 @ Louisiana (SBC) 2-0, TV: ESPN 2 / 11:00, Line: Louisiana -14

Louisville (ACC) 1-1 @ Pitt (ACC) 2-0, TV: ACCN / 11:00, Line: Pitt -3.5

G-Tech (ACC) 1-1 @ Syracuse (ACC) 0-2, TV: ESPN 3 /11:00, Line: GT -7

Georgia State (SBC) 0-1 @ UNC Charlotte (C-USA) 0-1, TV: ESPNU 11:00, Line: UNC Charlotte -1

Campbell (Big South / FCS) 0-2 @ Appalachian State (SBC) 1-1, TV: ESPN+ / 11:00, Line: App St. -38

Florida International (C-USA) 0-0 @ Liberty (IND) 1-0, TV: ESPN 3 / 12:00, Line: Liberty -6.5

Iowa State (B-12) 0-1 @ TCU (B-12) 0-0, TV: FS1 / 12:30, Line: ISU -2.5

Tulane (AAC) 1-1 @ Southern Miss (C-USA) 0-2, TV: Local, 1:30,Line: Tulane -3.5

Mississippi State (SEC) 0-0 @ LSU (SEC) 0-0, TV: CBS 2:30, Line: LSU -19

Texas (B-12) 1-0 Texas Tech (B-12) 1-0. TV: FOX / 2:30, Line: Texas -15.5

Army (IND) 2-0 @ Cincinnati (AAC) 1-0, TV: ESPN / 2:30, Line: Cincy -11

West Virginia (B-12) 1-0 @ Oklahoma State (B-12) 1-0, TV: ABC / 2:30, Line: OSU -8.5

UTEP (C-USA) 2-1 @ UL Monroe (SBC) 0-2, TV: ESPNU / 2:30 , Line: ULM -7.5

Tulsa (AAC) 0-1 @ Arkansas State (SBC) 1-1, TV: ESPN2 / 2:30, Line: AR St. -2

Georgia (SEC) 0-0 @ Arkansas (SEC) 0-0, TV: ESPN Network / 3:00, Line: Georgia -24

Duke (ACC) 0-2 @ Virginia (ACC) 0-0, TV: ACCN / 3:00, Line: UVA -5.5

Texas State (SBC) 1-2 @ Boston College (ACC) 2-0, TV: ESPN 3 / 5:00, Line: -17.5

South Florida (AAC) 1-1 @ Florida Atlantic (C-USA) 0-0, TV: CBSSN / 5:00, Line: FAU -3.5

Alabama (SEC) 0-0 @ Missouri (SEC) 0-0, TV: ESPN / 6:00. Line: Bama -27

North Texas (C-USA) 1-1 @ Houston (AAC) 0-0, TV: ESPN+ / 6:00, Line: UH -20.5

Houston Baptist (Southland Conference / FCS) 0-2 @ Louisiana Tech (C-USA) 1-0, TV: ESPN 3 / 6:00, Line: LT -23

Stephen F. Austin (Southland Conference / FCS) 0-2 @ SMU (AAC) 2-0, TV: ESPN+ / 6:00, Line: SMU -32.5L

Vanderbilt (SEC) 0-0 @ Texas A&M (SEC) 0-0, TV: SECN ALT / 6:30, Line: A&M -28

Florida State (ACC( 0-1 @ Miami (ACC) 2-0, TV: ABC / 6:30, Line: The U -11.5

Tennessee (SEC) 0-0 South Carolina (SEC) 0-0, TV: SECN / 6:30, Line: UT -3

Kansas (B-12) 0-1 @ Baylor (B-12) 0-0, TV: ESPNU / 6:30, Line: Baylor -17.5

NC State (ACC) 1-0 @ Virginia Tech (ACC) 0-0, TV: ACCN / 7:00, Line: VT -9.5

Troy (SBC) 1-0 @ BYU (IND) 1-0, TV: ESPN / 9:15, Line: BYU -15.5

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Best 4 Games of Week 3

1st Game

Teams: Houston (AAC) 0-0 @ Baylor (B-12) 0-0

Game Location: Baylor’s McLane Stadium

Day, Date & Time: Saturday, 9/19/20, 11:00

Network: ESPN

Best Win(s): Neither Team has played a game in 2020

Worst Loss: Neither Team has played a game in 2020

Common Opponents: None

Vegas Hot$heets Favorite:  The Game opened with Baylor -7.5, that line has now dropped to -4.0

Historic Football Matchups

These teams have played 28 times (Old Southwest Conference foes), Baylor leads the series, 14-13-1. Their last meeting was in 1995, a game Baylor won 47-7, the Bears are on a 2 game win streak, having also won in 1994, 52-14!

Sully Says: Their are a whole lot of new faces that will play critical roles in this game! Baylor’s coach from a year ago, Matty Rhule, is off to the NFL & the Carolina Panthers, replaced by Dave Aranda; while Dana Holgorsen has lost his starting QB to the transfer pool, D’Eriq King will be starting for Miami FL this weekend. Baylor was 11-3 last year, losing twice to OU, 34-31 & 30-23 in the B-12 championship game! Houston struggled last year going 4-8, but return 19 starters and technically, as King opted out after the Cougars 3rd game in the 2019 season, their QB, Clayton Tune! Baylor returns only 9 starters (7 on O & 2 on D) That said, their QB Charlie Brewer is back (21 TD to 7 picks) The Pick: The Bears find a way in this game, take Baylor -4!

2nd Game

Teams: Tulsa (AAC) 0-0 @ Oklahoma State (B-12) 0-0

Game Location: OSU’s Boone Pickens Stadium

Day, Date, & Time: Saturday, 9/19/20, 11:00

Network: Espn

Best Win: Neither Team has played in 2020

Worst Loss: Neither Team has played in 2020

Common Opponents: None

Vegas Hot$heets: Line opened at Ok State -20, has moved to -23 as of Thursday night!

Historic Football Matchups

Oklahoma State leads the series 41-25-5. The Cowboys are on a 7 games win streak. These teams 1st played on October 16, 1914, the most recent meeting, 2019, OSU won, 40-21! 3

Sully’s Says: OSU returns 17 starters (7 on O & 10 on D), this includes their QB, Spencer Saunders (Passed for over 2000 yards and was their 2nd leading rusher behind, all world RB, Chuba Hubbard, rushing for over 600 yards. Speaking of Hubbard, he is widely regarded as one of the nation’s best RB, rushing for 2096 yards a year ago! Tulsa was 4-8 in 2019, return 13 starters (including QB, Zach Smith, 3279 yards. 57 completion percentage, & 19-9 ratio). The Cowboys are picked by many to upend OU this year in the B-12, including Rick Neuheisel, who is all in with the Cowboys! The Pick: After week One, the B-12 is on life support, losing 3 games, @ home, to the Sun Belt! Look for OSU to score early and often, as the Cowboys cover the 23!

3rd Game

Teams: UCF (AAC) 0-0 @ Georgia Tech 1-0 (ACC)

Game Location: Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (GT home field)

Day, Date, & Time: Saturday, 9/19/20, @ 2:30

Network: ABC

Best Win: GT shocked FSU, 16-13, holding the Seminoles to 109 yards rushing and out-gaining State, 438 to 307! Central Florida opener is vs GT this weekend!

Worst Loss: GT is 1-0 and UCF has not played in 2020.

Common Opponents: None

Vegas Hot$heets: UCF opened as a 7.5 Favorite and it has held @ UCF -7.5

Historic Football Matchups

Sully Says: Georgia Tech is in its 2nd season of transitioning from an a triple option offense to a spread. In 2019, they finished last in the Coastal Division, but the did upset Miami, 28-21, in OT on the road! The Yellow Jackets have already played and won a huge game against a Florida State, 16-13. UCF has not lined it up yet and Tech is at home! GT has 19 starters back and a true freshman @ QB, Jeff Sims, who beat out returning starter, James Graham. UCF was 10-3 last year and return 16 starters including their QB, Dillon Gabriel (passed for over 3600 yards, 59% completion rate. & a 29 to 7 TD to INT ratio! The Pick: UCF wins but does not cover the 7.5!

4th Game

Teams: Miami (ACC) 1-0 @ Louisville (ACC) 1-0

Site Location: Cardinal Stadium

Day, Date, & Time: Saturday, 9/19/20, @ 6:30

Network: ABC

Best Win: Louisville beat Western Kentucky 35-21, while Miami beat UAB, 31-14

Worst Lost: Neither team has lost a game in 2020

Common Opponents: None!

Vegas Hot$heets: Louisville opened as a 2 point Favorite, the line has moved to 2.5 as of Thursday night!

Historic Football Matchups

These team have played twice as ACC opponents, Louisville won in 2013, 39-9, the year before they joined the ACC & 31-13 in 2014 as ACC foes. The U won last year’s game (2019), 52-27! Over the years, these teams have played 14 times, Miami has won 10, Louisville 3, & one tie! Prior to last year’s game, the Cardinals had won three in a row, in fact, accounting for all of their wins in this series. In other words, Miami was 9-0 prior to 2006! This is a Covid Game as these teams were not scheduled to play before all these adjustments.

Sully Says: This is the day’s best game! The fact that the ACC has added ND (a 15 team & dismantled their divisions for 2020) means Louisville no longer has to deal with Clemson in the Atlantic Division, a team that has keep them out of the ACC Championship game! Miami is also impacted, in that it that it no longer has the easier path through the Coastal Division to the ACC championship. As a result, this game is critical for both teams. Especially, for Miami, who does not play Notre Dame in the revised schedule! The ACC suddenly looks stronger this season, Clemson and then who, UNC, Miami, Louisville, ND, Pitt? The ACC will be fun to watch this season! The PICK: Louisville wins & covers the 2.5 @ home!

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College Football Week III Games 9/18 & 9/19

This week’s games kick off on Friday, with Campbell University, a private Baptist University in Buies Creek, North Carolina at Coastal Carolina located in Conway, South Carolina.

Campbell lost last week to to Georgia Southern, 27-26, while Coastal Carolina took the their game right Kansas, beating the Jayhawks, 38-23!

There is no line on this game, as it is an FBS (85 scholarship program) vs an FCS (63 scholarships program). My source for point spreads is always the Vegas Hot$heets!

Also please note: we are not a gambling site and use only the opening line, in other words, we do not follow the money, which will move the line up or down throughout the week!

The Saturday Games @ 11:00

Tulsa AAC 0-0 @ Oklahoma State B-12 0-0: On ESPN; Ok State opens as a 20.5 favorite. The Cowboys lead the series 43-28-5 and have won 9 of the last 10 games! The B-12 needs a dominant win by the Cowboys!

Austin Peay OVC (FCS) 0-1 @ Cincinnati AAC 0-0: On ESPN+; No line, FBS vs FCS! Cincy has won 18 straight home openers and is 6-0 all time vs the Governors. For those of you who are wondering where the Hades is Austin Peay, it is located in Clarksville, TN!

Louisiana SBC 1-0 vs Georgia State SBC 0-0: On ESPN2; Louisiana opens as a 17 point favorite. This is a Sun Belt Conference game. Georgia State is 2-3 in their last five SBC openers and have lost 4 straight to Louisiana. The Ragin Cajuns won their opener by beating highly regarded Iowa State 31-13 in Ames, Iowa!

Syracuse ACC 0-1 @ Pitt ACC 1-0: On ACCN; Pitt opens as a 20.5 Favorite, Pittsburgh dismantled an over-matched Austin Peay, 55-0, last week, while Syracuse looked clueless against UNC, losing 31-6! The Panthers are 15-3 since 2002 vs the Orange, they have won 4 of the last 5 and 2 in a row! In 2016, Pitt won a wild game, 76-61. Let’s hope for something like that on Saturday!

Liberty (IND) 0-0 @ Western Kentucky C-USA 0-1: On ESPNU; WK, despite its opening loss @ Louisville, 35-21, opens as a 13 point favorite! That said, Liberty has beat Western Kentucky in their only 2 meetings, when both team were playing as FCS programs. Since Liberty has moved to the FBS, they have played 2 teams from C-USA and are 1-1 in those games. WK is 19-4 vs non P5 opponents in non-conference (NC) games!

Navy AAC 0-1 @ Tulane AAC 1-0: On ABC; Tulane has opened as an 8 point favorite! The Green Wave has been beached by the Midshipmen 6 of the last 7, winning for the 1st time in five tries in 2018, 29-28! Navy won last year’s game 41-38 @ home! 9-7!was manhandled in their opener by BYU, 55-3. Kenny Niumatalolo said after the game, they had not hit once in their prep for the Cougars, do to Covid. Based on the BYU result, Coach Niumatalolo said, they would be amending their approach. Good idea Kenny! Tulane beat South Alabama in their opener, scoring 21 unanswered after falling behind, 24-6 in the 3rd quarter.

Boston College ACC 0-0 @ Duke ACC 0-1: On ESPN3; Duke was a 6 point favorite when the line opened, I believe it has dropped to Duke by 3.5 or 4! Surprisingly, these Conference rivals have met only 3 times since 2009, while they are in different divisions, one would still expect more then 3 games in 11 years? The lack of games is related to the ACC having 7 teams in each division and playing only 8 conference games, 6 in the division and 2 divisional crossover games. BC won the 2010 game, 21-16, while Duke won in 2011, 20-19 and again in 2015, 9-7!

Houston AAC 0-0 @ Baylor B-12 0-0: 1st game for both teams, the line opened with Houston a -7.5 Dog! To say the B-12 needs a win would be a gross understatement, this game is a good start back for the B-12, as the AAC is regarded as the best conference in the G5 and Houston one of its better teams. Baylor and Houston have played 28 times, with the 1st meeting in 1950, a 34-7 Bears over the cougars , at Waco! The series now stands @ Baylor with 14 wins and Houston 13 and the teams have tied once! That said, they have not played since 1995, a 47-7 Baylor rout!

Saturday’s 12:30 Kickoff

Appalachian State SBC 1-0 @ Marshall C-USA 1-0: On CBSSN; App State opened as a 3.5 Favorite. Both teams won their opener, The Herd beat an FCS team, Eastern Kentucky, 59-0 on Sept 5th, while the Mountaineers got after UNC Charlotte, 35-20! These teams have played 22 times, with Appalachian State owning a 14 to 8 edge in wins. Their last meeting was in 2002 @ Huntington WV, a 50-17 Marshall win!

Saturday’s 1:30 Kickoff

South Florida AAC 1-0 @ ND ACC 1-0: On USA; This game opened with South Florida being a -24.5 Dog. These teams have met only once, in 2011, a 23-20 Bulls victory over the the Irish. In that game, USF forced the Irish into 5 turnovers while the Irish were unable to turn the Bulls! In their opener, USF beat an FCS team, the Citadel out of the Southern Conference (SoCon), 27-6! Notre Dame struggled with Duke, winning a hard fought, 27-13, victory. Check out the Irish Backs, Kyren Williams & Chris Tyree, they have the look of something special!

Saturday’s 2:00 Kickoff

Stephen F. Austin Southland Conference (SLC) 0-1 @ UTSA (USA) 1-0: On ESPN3; No Line, FBS vs FCS! SFA lost to UTEP, 24-14 in their opener, while Texas San Antonio won, 51-48, over Texas State, in 2 OT’s! These teams have no played in the last 11 years!

Saturday’s 2:30 Kickoffs

UNC Charlotte (C-USA) 0-1 @ North Carolina 1-0: On ESPN3; Charlotte opened as a 26.5 Dog! This is the 1st ever meeting between the 2 Carolina schools. Charlotte lost their opener to App State, yet played well, losing 35-20, but had the ball down 28-20 late in the 4th quarter. UNC has one of the best QB’s in the country in Sam Howell , you see the strength of his arm on the outs and his skill to read the D when he throws the ball over the middle. He is the real deal! The Tar Heels hammered Syracuse in their opener, 31-6,

UCF (AAC) 0-0 @ Georgia Tech (ACC) 1-0: On ABC; Central Florida open as 7.5 Favorite! This will be UCF’s 1st game, while GT had a great win last week beating Florida State, 16-13, a game they were not expected to win! These team have played 3 times, all won by GT, yet have not played since 2000. All 3 games were in Atlanta (GT Home Stadium) and Yellow Jacket Coach Geoff Collins is familiar with UCF having played them twice while @ Temple! That’s the good news, the bad news, Collins lost both times!

Florida Atlantic (C-USA) 0-0 @ Georgia Southern (SBC) 1-0: On ESPN; Florida Atlantic opens as a 5.5 Favorite! This is the 1st meeting between these programs! FAU is 1-11 in NC (non-conference) road games since 2014 and 14-23 vs current SBC teams! While GS is 7-0 vs C-USA after transitioning from the FCS to the FBS! Georgia Southern won its opened, 27-26 vs Campbell University, clearly not an impressive outing Eagles. This is FAU opener!

Saturday’s 3:00 Kickoffs

The Citadel 0-1 @ Clemson (ACC) 1-0: On ACCN (ACC Network), No Line (FCS vs FBS). Clemson is 33-0 vs FCS teams, the last 2 years they beat Furman, 48-7 & Wofford, 55-10 last year. The Citadel did play Alabama to a 10-10 half time tie in 2018, before falling 50-17! Turn out the lights on this one. However, I would recommend tuning in to watch Trevor Lawrence & Travis Etienne!

Troy (SBC) 0-0 @ Middle Tennessee State (C-USA) 0-1: On ESPN 2; Troy is a 3.5 Favorite! Troy & MT have met 20 times, the Blue Raiders have taken down the ‘Men of Troy’ 12 times while losing 8 of the contests. This is Troy’s 1st game of 2020, while MT was blasted by Army in their opener, 42-0!

Saturday’s 5:00 Kickoffs

SMU (AAC) 1-0 @ North Texas (C-USA) 1-0: On CBSSN; SMU is a 14.5 Favorite. SMU won its 1st game of 2020, 31-24, over Texas State, while North Texas outscored, an FCS opponent, Houston Baptist, 57-31. SMU is 32-6-1 in this series, as this is their 40th meeting. However, it should be noted, when NT is @ home, they are 6-1 vs the Mustangs!

Saturday’s 6:00 Kickoff

Central Arkansas (SLC) 1-1 @ Arkansas State (SBC) 1-1: On ESPN+ No line (FCS vs FBS) Both teams enter the contest at 1-1. Central Arkansas beat Austin Peay, 24-17 and lost to UAB, 45-35, while Arkansas State lost to Memphis, 37-24 and the upset Kansas State, 35-31. The last time these in state rivals met, 2016, the FCS team, Central Arkansas won, 28-24, and did so @ Arkansas State home site, Jonesboro, Arkansas!

Saturday’s 6:30 Kickoffs

Miami (ACC) 1-0 @ Louisville (ACC) 1-0: On ABC; The line opened with Miami a 2 Dog! This may be (is) the day’s best game. These teams have met 3 times since 2013, Louisville won the 1st 2 games, 36-9 in 2013 & 31-13 in 2014, Miami won last year’s game (2019), 52-27! Miami’s QB, D’Eriq King, a transfer from Houston, is a player to watch. Many think Miami will challenge UNC for the top spot in the Coastal Division and that Louisville is the 2nd best team in the Atlantic Division, behind only Clemson! This should be a fun game to watch!

Louisiana Tech (C-USA) 0-0 @ Southern Miss (C-USA) 0-1: On ESPN 2; The line opened with SM as a 3.5 Favorite! The Golden Eagles have taken down LT in 4 of the last 5 meetings, including 3 in a row! SM lost their opener to South Alabama, 32-21 and welcomes LT, to what will be their 1st game of the 2020 season!

Texas State (SBC) 0-2 @ UL Monroe (SBC) 0-1: On ESPNU; Texas State opened as 1 Point Favorite! Texas State has losted their 1st 2 games of the 2020 season, lost to SMU, 31-24 & to UTSA, 51-48, in 2 OT’s! ULM got popped by Army, 37-7, in their opener! The Warhawks are 12-4 vs TS, including winning the last 4 games by an average of 9.5 points!

Saturday’s 7:00 Kickoff

Wake Forest (ACC) 0-1 @ NC State (ACC) 0-0: On ACCN; NC State has opened as a 3 point Favorite! Last time the Demon Deacons traveled to Raleigh, NC, they shocked the 22nd ranked Wolfpack, 27-23! This was the Deacons’ 1st road win over a ranked opponent since 2008! WF has taken down State in 3 straight games, winning by an average of 14.6 PPG! This is the Wolfpack’s 1st game of 2020, while it is WF’s 2nd, losing to Clemson in their 1st outing, 37-13!

Saturday’s 8:00 Kickoff

Abilene Christian (SLC) 0-0 @ UTEP (C-USA) 1-1: On ESPN3; No Line, (FCS vs FBS). These Texas teams have not played since 1959, when UTEP was known as Texas Western. The name was changed in 1967 to U.T @ El Paso and now commonly referred to as UTEP! AC leads the all time series 3-2! The Wildcats beat the miners in that 1959 encounter, 28-22! UTEP is 1-1 having beat Stephen F. Austin, 24-14 and then getting busted up by Texas, 59-3! This is Abilene’s opener!

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College Football 9/12/20 Saturday’s Results

College Football is off and running … well sort of! Last year on the on this past Saturday, I entered 116 game results, this year 19! So while it is back, clearly it is on life support. Let’s hope those willing to participate stay healthy as we travel through these uncharted seas!

Saturday’s big winner was a shocker, The Sun Belt Conference (SBC) is widely regarded to be the weakest league in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Yet not on this past Saturday.

There are 10 conferences in the FBS and 7 independents for a total of 130 teams. The conferences are broken into 2 groups. Power 5 (P5) & Group of 5 (G5).

The P5’s consist of the ACC, B-10, B-12, Pac 12, & SEC, a total of 64 teams. On Sully’s College Football Page we count Notre Dame & BYU in this P5 (as do the B-10, SEC, & others) category for a total of 66 P5 teams.

While the G5’s includes the remaining 5 conferences, American Athletic Conference (AAC). Mountain West Conference (MWC), Conference-USA (C-USA or simply USA), Mid-American Conference (MAC), and Sun Belt Conference! A total of 64 teams, 59 in conferences and 5 independents (Liberty, U-Conn, U-Mass, New Mexico State, & Army)!

The SBC took on 3 B-12 teams, Iowa State, Kansas State, & Kansas all on the road. They were the underdog (dog) in all three games. The problem for the B-12 was no one notified Louisiana, Arkansas State, & Coastal Carolina that they had no chance in these games. As a result, Louisiana hammered ISU, 31-14, Arkansas State outscored KSU, 35-31, & Coastal Carolina took it to the Jayhawks, 38-23!

The best team in SBC, Appalachian State, beat UNC Charlotte (USA), 35-20, while Georgia Southern struggled against an FCS (Football Championship Subdivision/63 scholarships to the FBS 85 scholarships) team, Campbell University, but found a way, winning, 27-26!

The SBC did lose 3 games on Saturday, yet, 2 of their losses did little harm to the conference’s image. South Alabama led Tulane (AAC) until the final minute, falling 16-13 and Texas State lost to a C-USA team, Texas San Antonio (UTSA) in 2 OT’s, 51-48! Louisiana Monroe (ULM) got popped by what is looking to be an outstanding Army team, 37-7. The Black Knight’s blasted Middle Tennessee State the week prior, 42-0. Navy better head out to sea!!

The big loser in week one? No question, it was the B-12! The 3 losses mentioned above and then Texas Tech performance against Houston Baptist, a weak FCS team (1-10 in both 2017 & 2018 and just 5-7 in 2019), playing in the the Southland Conference (SLC) beating them, barely, 35-33!

The heavy weights in the B-12 did throw their weight around; OU blasted an FCS opponent, Missouri State, (Missouri Valley Football Conference) 48-0, while Texas annihilated Texas El Paso (UTEP) a member of C-USA, 59-3. The Miners are often regarded as the weakest program in all of the FBS (they managed one win in 2019, beating, none other than, Houston Baptist, 36-34)! West Virginia hammered another FCS program, Eastern Kentucky, 56-10. While these margins of victory were impressive, the opposition was not!

Since the B-12 is playing a 9-1 format in 2020 (9 conference games & 1 non-conference (NC) game) they need to showcase the strength of their league by winning these NC games. If Texas Tech upsets Texas or ISU upends OU, where does that leave OU & Texas in the CFP Committee minds’, when comparing them to other one loss P5’s, whose conference performed well vs NC opponents?

The ACC played in conference this week! Clemson looked strong beating Wake Forest, 37-13, North Carolina (UNC) rolled over Syracuse, 31-6, & Duke played Notre Dame (ND) tough before falling, 27-13! The QBs’ in these three games were points of national attention, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence & UNC’s Sam Howell were as advertised, while ND’s Ian Book seen confused by the Blue Devils defense in the 1st half before righting the ship in the 2nd!

Here is a link to Sully’s College Football Page and all of Saturday’s results! When you arrive at the site, click on the game date box, it will bring up a calendar, go to the 12th and it will bring up all of Saturday’s games!

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Saturday’s Games 9/12//2020

There on 19 games being played on Saturday. For a complete list:

Hi-light the link below and it will bring you to the page on sully’s College Football Page where the games are listed.

Once there, you will need to click on the game date box, it will bring up a calendar and then just click on this saturday’s date (9/12/20) and you can see all 19 games being played on that date.


Since it is early in the season there is no data to compare/evaluate the game under “view matchup” and you will have to get game times & viewing info from ESPN (as they have a bigger staff than Sully’s College Football Page) which is a total of me!

Here are some games of interest:

Syracuse @ North Carolina: @ 11:00 a.m. on ACCN (Atlantic Coast Conference Network) Check out UNC QB, Sam Howell, who is coming off an outstanding freshman year and he will have plenty of help as the ‘Heels’ return 17 starters! Syracuse was coming off a 10 win season in 2018 but struggled in 2019 going 5-7. The Orange will counter @ QB with Danny DeVito, (an elite 11 QB in HS) who should have a much better year in his 2nd go-round as a starting QB! Syracuse returns 11 starters, 7 on offense! Favorite: UNC -19.5

Louisiana @ Iowa State: 11:00 a.m. on ESPN! Iowa State is widely considered a ‘dark horse’ to dethrone Oklahoma in the 2020 season! The Cyclone QB, Brock Purdy, is considered the 2nd best QB in the B-12, behind only Texas’ Sam Ehlinger and ISU returns 5 starters on offense and 8 on D! Louisiana is the 2nd best team in the Sun Belt Conference , behind only  Appalachian State! The Ragin Cajuns won 11 games last year and return 14 starters, 7 on either side of the ball! The Cajuns play 2 QB’s (Levi Lewis & Jai’ave Magalei), who both return, bring back a 1000 yard rusher (Elijah Mitchell /1,147 yards) and are one of the most aggressive defenses in all of College Football!   Favorite: ISU -11.5!

Duke @ Notre Dame:  1:30 on NBC! For the 1st time in ND long & storied history, they will play football in a conference format as opposed to playing as an independent! The Irish return 12 starters(5 on O & 7 on D). Their QB Ian Book, passes for 34 TD to 6 INT’s in 2019 and should be able to build on those numbers as his entire O-line is back for the 2020 season. The Irish also feature Preseason All-Americans Picks at all 3 levels on defense; DE: Daelin Hayes, LB: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, & Safety: Kyle Hamilton. Duke counters with on of the best TE in the ACC, Noah Gray, while Clemson transfer, Chase Brice, will take over at QB! On D, the Blue Devils strongest unit is their secondary, they return 3 starters and add Michigan transfer, J’Marick Woods! Duke returns 14 starters, 7 aside Favorite: ND -20

Two other Games of Note:

Georgia Tech @ Florida State:  2:30 on ABC! Favorite: FSU -11

Clemson @ Wake Forest: 6:30 on ABC! Favorite: Clemson -31

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Notre Dame Doesn’t Belong … C’mon man!

If you and I are anywhere near the same page, then you have to be tired of fans / ESPN talking heads screaming that the Irish don’t belong when they fail to show up in a big games!

I am specifically thinking of two games! First, the 2012 BCS National Championship Game, @ Hard Rock Stadium, when an Alabama Tide put an inglorious end to the notion that this Irish Wake would end in a celebration, it actually ended in a closed casket, 42-14, funeral! The other game was the 2018 mauling of the ND Leprechaun by the Clemson Tiger,  a 30-3, whipping, in the CFP Semi-final game, played in the Cotton Bowl!

Getting beat badly is a different concept then “don’t belong”!

If I heard “don’t belong” when an Oklahoma got hammered in the 2005 Orange Bowl edition of the BCS National Championship Game, by USC, 55-19, or when Bama smashed Michigan State, 38-0 in CFP’s 2015 semi-final played in the Cotton Bowl. Yet, I never heard it said that OU or MSU didn’t belong”, all I heard was that SC & Bama were teams for the ages!

Ok, I don’t think anyone thinks the 2004 USC team or 2015 Bama team were not great, they were and then some!

Yet, that has nothing to do with whether or not OU or MSU earned their way into the CFP!  That was determined by how they performed over a 12 or 13 game season & not some form of hindsight, based on getting hammered in one game!

The only legitimate complaint from the 2004 season, in my opinion, is from an undefeated Auburn (13-0), who never got a shot @ the BCS National Championship! Can you imagine an undefeated SEC team not getting into (even a BCS 2 game format) a national championship game now? Not me!!

So why don’t we hear about how good Bama was in 2012? A team that went 13-1, their only loss was at home, a shocker to A&M, 29-24. The Tide could not roll up that little Dope, Johnny Manziel, as he ran all over Bryant-Denny! That year (2012) the Alabama D pitched 4 shout outs, while holding 12 of their 14 opponents under 20, meanwhile their O scored over 30 points in 12 of their 14 games & over 40 points, in 7 of 14 contests. Bama was great, yet the storyline was Notre Dame did not belong? C’mon man!

That year, ND beat 11 P5 programs, including the PAC 12 & Rose Bowl Champs, Stanford 20-13 in OT, B-12 Champion, Oklahoma, 30-13, while stopping 3 B-10 teams (Michigan, 13-6, MSU, 20-3, & Purdue, 20-17) 2 other PAC 12 teams fell to the Irish (USC 14-10 & ASU 37-34), 3 Big East squads, Pitt 29-26 in OT, BC, 21-6, & Miami 41-3 and finally, BYU (counted as a P5 opponent by the B-10 & SEC) 17-14! As I said, Notre Dame played their way into the BCS in 2012!

So then comes 2018 & a 13-0 Clemson! The Tigers put it to the Irish, 30-3 and the Naysayers started in yet again, stating that a 27 point lost was proof positive that the Irish got in by Rep only, and had little to nothing to do with on field performance. Forget the fact that ND went 12-0, beat 10 P5 opponents, including: Michigan (10-3) 24-17, Stanford (9-4) 38-17, Syracuse (10-3) 36-3, Northwestern (9-5, who won the B-10 West Division that year) 31-21, Pitt (who won the ACC’s Coastal Division) 19-13, and periential powers Florida State, 42-13 & USC, 24-17!

Yet the focus is once again on someone other that ND should have got the bid!

Ok, who?

B-10 champ OSU, certainly a good thought @ 13-1, except they had a loss to a 6-7 Purdue team and a bad loss, as losses go, 49-20! This coupled with a 55-24 loss to Iowa the year before, (2017) and a 31-0 loss to Clemson in the 2016 CFP @ the Fiesta bowl. It was long debated that OSU should not have got in that year (2016) as Penn State beat the Bucks, 24-21, won the Division, & the B-10 championship over Bucky, 38-31. PSU did not get in because they had 2 losses (Pitt 42-39 & Michigan 49-10) and no one gets in with 2 losses, not yet anyway! Fair or unfair to OSU, these things were on the committees’ mind!

How bout’ the P-12 Champ, Washington? Nope, they had 4 losses and as stated no team with 2 losses has ever gotten into the CFP. Not a chance for the Huskies!

Clemson, the ACC Champ & OU, the B-12 Champ, & Bama the SEC Champ were invited!

So that left ND or a 2nd SEC team! (I can still hear the echoes, as the rest of the country had begun to sabre rattle about 2 SEC teams getting in). Not me, I want the most deserving/best 4 teams in the CFP!

So let’s look to see who was available for consideration from the SEC in 2018…

UGA (11-2) won the East Division and played Bama tough, a 32-28 loss in the SEC Championship Game, but Georgia had 2 losses in 2018, 1 to Alabama (that loss would not eliminate you) but a 2nd loss to South Carolina, 35-7! The Dawgs weren’t gettin in!

Texas A&M (11-2) Beat Bama, 29-24, yet lost to Florida, 20-17 & LSU 24-19. Two and gone, that’s somebody’s hard & fast rule!

So nothing really that says; take us … not an undefeated ND!

So back to Clemson & 2018, The week after they beat Notre Dame by 27 points (30-3), the Tigers beat the standard-bearer for all of college football, Alabama, by 28 (44-16). I did not hear a peep of a suggestion that “Bama did not belong”! Heresy! Well, we do have the Catholics in the conversation, might as well involve the Inquisition!

One final point:

There have been 12 CFP Semi-Final games, 3 have been decided by single digits,

The 2014 Sugar Bowl, OSU 42 Bama 35; The 2017 Rose Bowl, UGA 54 OU 48 (2 OT’s); & The 2019 Fiesta Bowl, Clemson 29 OSU 23!

Nine games have been decided by 11 or more points: so most of these match-ups have not been nail biters. Here are the least to most competitive of those nine Semi-Final Games!

1) 2014 Rose Bowl, Oregon 59 FSU 20 (39 point win for Oregon), 2) 2015 Cotton Bowl, Alabama 38 MSU 0 (38 point win for the Tide over Sparty), 3) 2019 Peach Bowl: LSU 63 OU 28 (35 point LSU win); 4) 2016 Fiesta Bowl: Clemson 31 OSU 0 (31 point Clemson win); 5) 2018 Cotton Bowl: Clemson 30 ND 3; ( 27 point Clemson win); 6) 2015 Orange Bowl: Clemson 37 OU 17 (20 point Clemson win); 7) 2017 Sugar Bowl: Bama 24 Clemson 6 (18 point win for the Tide); 8) 2016 Peach Bowl: Bama 24 Washington 7 (17 point win for Alabama) & 9) 2018 Orange Bowl: Bama 45 OU 34 (11 point Bama win)

So … of the 12 CFP Semi Final Games, 3 have been great games and 9 have been about one of the teams making a statement about their superior talent & skill levels, at least on that day!

So I hope you can see why I am saying, “a team does not belong” is far more related to hindsight (a one game performance perspective) as opposed to a 12 or 13 game season to determine who should be awarded an invite!

So let’s @ least consider that the concept of determining who gets in the game should be judged on how they played during the season and not rethought because of how they play in that game.

ND deserved to be in those 2 games, they went 24-0, in 2012 & 2018 seasons, beat 21 P5 opponents, including conference or division champs, and belonged in those games, irrespective of how they performed.

And let’s hope the next time the Irish get in, they will show up and actually compete; that way, Sully won’t have to write all this sh*t to defend the Irish, when others have suffered similar or worse ‘beat downs’ and were not labeled “Don’t Belong”!


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Pat Sullivan’s Podcast on Attitude/Leadership and Team Building

Pat Sullivan: Coach, Author, & Speaker

Pat coached basketball for 44 years, 10 @ the High School and 34 at the collegiate level

Pat’s teams won 602 games,

He was recognized by his peers 11 times as “Coach of the Year”

Pat has been inducted into 8 “Hall of Fames”

He has been honored for life time achievement by 3 Associations; Lewis University, the Joliet Chamber of Commerce, & the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.

Pat has directed Basketball camps and clinics throughout the U. S. and Europe (Ireland, Belgium & Greece).

The University of Saint Francis, where Pat served, has named their primary athletic facility after him, the Patrick J. Sullivan Recreational Center.

Pat has written 2 outstanding books that capture both Pat’s wisdom & knowledge on his 44 year journey as an administrator and coach.

1) Attitude: The Cornerstone of Leadership

2) Team-Building: From the Bench to the Boardroom

Please take a few minutes to spend with Pat as he discusses his books with Annie Jennings PR, a nationally known Strategic Communications and Public Relations Firm that market the best ideas found in print with highly successful people!


Both of Pat’s Books can be found on Amazon!

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