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

Who are the real Power 5 Teams?

As you may know, the terms Power 5/Group of 5 are not NCAA verbiage, the Association describes these 10 conferences and 7 independents as the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). That said, the FBS is often referred to as 2 constructs, used fluently by ESPN & others, as the Power 5 (P5) or the Group of 5 (G5).

The language P5 & G5 is used by the College Football Playoff (CFP) Committee and the P5 includes 5 conferences & 1 independent, ACC, B-12, Big Ten, Pac 10, SEC, & Notre Dame! ND is a full member of the ACC in every other sport, save football & Hockey. The ACC does not play Hockey & the Irish joined the B-10 as an affiliate in that sport!

While not a member of a so-called P5 Conference, no one disputes (or should dispute) that ND play’s a Power 5 schedule. In 2018, the Irish took on 10 Power 5 opponents (Navy & Ball State being the exceptions), in 2019, ND battled 9 P5’s, & in 2020, Notre Dame ‘kicked it off’ against 10 P5’s in the regular season and beat them all.

Further, it should be noted that Irish do not play a FCS opponent. While the SEC & ACC together, played a 63 scholarship program (FCS scholarship limit), 28 times in each of these years, 2018, 2019, & 2021, meaning every team in these respective leagues played, at least, 1 FCS team (Florida played 2 in 2018 & 2019 & Virginia 2 in 2019) in each of the 3 years identified (the SEC & ACC played 87 games vs the FCS in those 3 years)!

Finally, the CFP committee uses these five criteria as metrics as to who gets into the playoffs.

  1. Strength of schedule: ND fits, since 2000, they have averaged out as having the 16th best schedule in the country & 6 times in the top 10!
  2. P5 Conference Bias: While not in a P5 Conference, as mentioned, the Irish, clearly, play a Power 5 slate!
  3. Number of P5 programs on a CFP Candidates Schedule: As mentioned, ND will play 9 or 10 P5’s every year. The SEC & ACC play 8 conference games & usually 1 non-conference (NC) game vs a P5 opponent, for a total of 9. The B-10, P-12 & B-12 play 9 conference games & usually 1 NC P5 opponent for 10 games vs power 5 opponents, rarely will a P5 team play 11 Power 5 teams in the regular season!
  4. Conference Championship: 2 teams made the CFP before ND, who did not win their respective conference title, in fact, they did not win their division! Ohio State in 2016 & Alabama in 2017. ND made its first appearance in 2018!
  5. Benchmarks of Teams who made the 1st 4 CFP’s: a. Average Win total of FBS opponents; 6.7 wins; b. Average win total vs Selection Sunday’s Top 25’s; 3 wins! c. Average win total vs teams with 500 or better records; 7.8 wins. d. Average # of FBS opponents played in that year: 12 FBS teams * ND hit every benchmark in their 2 appearances (2018 & 2020)

The real fuss should not be about the Irish, but rather about teams like Cincinnati, Central Florida (2017 & 18), Memphis (2019), Boise State (2014), Houston (2015), & Western Michigan (2016)! These teams were the highest ranked G5 teams in the years’ from 2014 through 2020 and while awarded a seat at the table of ‘The New Year 6′ bowl games’, they were never seriously considered for a spot in the CFP!

So the first question one should want answered is; “how did they (G5) do in their New Year 6 appearance, against the big, bad, Power 5 programs? Well, here are the results of those 7 games:

  1. 2014: Boise State (11-2) 38 Arizona (10-3) 30 (W)
  2. 2015: Houston (12-1) 38 Florida State (10-2) 24 (W)
  3. 2016: Wisconsin (10-3) 24 Western Michigan (13-0) 16 (L)
  4. 2017: UCF (13-0) 34 Auburn (10-3) 27 (W)
  5. 2018: LSU (9-3) 40 UCF (12-0) 32 (L)
  6. 2019: Penn State (10-2) 53 Memphis (12-1) 39 (L)
  7. 2020: Georgia (7-20) 24 Cincinnati (9-0) 21 (L)

Unlike many of the 1st round CFP semi-final’s (Oregon 55 Florida State 20, Alabama 38 Michigan State 0, or Clemson 31 Ohio State 0), these P5 vs G5 games were all competitive; 5 of the 7 games were decided by a single score and in the other 2 games, the loser scored 24 & 39 points! All 7 games have been highly entertaining!

So if we were to take a hard look at the P5 and use the #65 as a guide (number of teams in the 5 conferences, SEC, ACC. & B-10 have 14 each, PAC 12 has 12 teams, B-12 has 10 members, plus Notre Dame = 65 teams). Then rank the 130 FBS teams, 1 to 130 and use 65 as our cut off, above we place in the Group of 5 and lower than 65, we place in the Power 5. An attempt to place teams where their actual talent & skill suggest they should be ranked, as opposed to the arbitrary (ok, at least more arbitrary) simple membership in a P5 conference!

Lindy Sports College Football Preview does exactly that, the magazine ranks all 130 teams without deference to which conference they play. So I’ve created a list of P5 teams who have fallen out of the Power 5 (not in Lindy’s Top 65) and Group of 5 teams, whose skill & talent levels say they are among the 65 best in the country!

Power 5 Teams Ranked Out of the Top 65    

#110 Kansas; #96, Vanderbilt; #91 Syracuse; #80 Duke; #79 Michigan State; # 78 Georgia Tech; #76 Illinois; #75 South Carolina; #74 Louisville; #73 Washington State; #72 Maryland; #70 Texas tech; & #69 Oregon State.

Of the 65 teams considered to be Power 5 squads simply by conference affiliation, 13 have have dropped out via Lindy’s Sports ranking & SCFP interpretation of the data! So whose in our P5 from the Group of 5?

Group of 5 Teams ranked in the Top 65

#8 Cincinnati; #23 Coastal Carolina; #29 Liberty; #31 Nevada; #32 Boise State; #33 Central Florida; # 36 Louisiana; # 38 Ball State; #49 SMU; #56 San Jose State; #61 Toledo; #62 Appalachian State; and #63 Memphis.

These 13 programs, according Lindy’s team evaluations, are among the 65 best for the 2021 season & according to SCFP interpretation of that data, are de facto Power 5 teams in 2021!

One last thought; what about strength of schedule? Cincinnati is the highest ranked G5 team and the Bearcats do play two (2) Preseason Top 25 teams, @ Indiana & @ Notre Dame! How about teams ranked above them vs Lindy’s T 25, Alabama plays 5 Top 25, Georgia 3, Clemson 1 (NC Georgia), Oklahoma 3, Ohio State 3, Texas A&M 3, & Iowa State 4! If Cincy can beat IU & ND, on the road, and they (IU & ND) win 9 or 10 games , can Cincinnati be the 1st G of 5 team to make the CFP?

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Pat Sullivan Discusses ‘It’s all About skills’ with Charlie Jett!

Take a few minutes to listen to Pat Sullivan & Charlie Jett, while they discuss critical skill development & its implementation.

Charlie is an international certified coach, who specializes in Career Management, Skill Development, & Career Crises. Pat is a Hall of Fame Coach & Educational Leader, whose career spanned 44 years!

If you are serving your community in any manner of leadership or aspire to such, I can guarantee you that the few minutes you spend listening, to Charlie & Pat, will assist you to that end. In fact, the limited minutes you take to ‘tune in’, can have a life long impact on how to help others learn critical skill development and how best to implement in their lives and the lives of those they serve!


https://itsallaboutskills.com/?s=Pat+Sullivan

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Lindy’s Sports Preseason Top 25 for the 2021

  1. Alabama: The Tide returns only 3 starters on offense, yet #1?
  2. Clemson: QB Uiagalelei, the new Watson, Lawrence? Not yet!
  3. Oklahoma: OU Led the Nation with 9 dropped TD passes
  4. Georgia: Have to replace 9 NFL draft picks from 2020 season
  5. Ohio State: QB Fields is gone / as are 7 of top 10 tacklers on D
  6. Texas A&M: Only 1 starter from the O-Line returns
  7. Iowa State: 3 fumbles & INT vs OU in B-12 championship
  8. Cincinnati: Play @ IU & ND, will they survive Indiana trips?
  9. North Carolina: 2 starting WR’s & RB’s have departed to NFL
  10. Oregon: Hammered in their bowl game, 34-17, by ISU
  11. Notre Dame: 2 starters return on offense, enough said!
  12. Florida: The Gator 2020 D was the worst since WWI! Say what?
  13. Wisconsin: Bucky averaged 25 PPG in 2020, worst in 12 years
  14. Miami: Will D’Eriq King’s ACL injury allow the same mobility?
  15. Ok St. QB Spencer Sanders has 27 TO in 20 games! Say again?
  16. LSU: The D allowed 34.9 PPG, worst in LSU history by a full TD!
  17. Washington: QB consistency & 2020 key losses on D are concerns!
  18. Iowa: QB play has to even out & the D loses key up-front personnel!
  19. Arizona State: P-12 schedule & ASU receivers are issues in 2021.
  20. Indiana: IU will not be overlooked in 2021, their game date circled!
  21. Penn State: Lion D allowed 27.7 PPG/QB Clifford needs to improve!
  22. USC: Air Raid? What happened to student body left & right?
  23. Coastal Carolina: Non-Conference schedule is really weak! Kansas?
  24. Texas: The Horns win recruiting battles, but lose on Saturdays’!!
  25. Auburn: Gus is gone & we will see?

Some insights to Lindy’s Top 25!

  1. How about the fact that the Tide loses 8 starters on offense (including QB, RB, & WR) and are still a preseason #1!
  2. How about the fact that OU receivers did not just drop 9 passes, they dropped 9 TD passes!!
  3. On SCFP, we like UGA (Georgia is ranked 2nd on SCFP’s T-25)! QB, TJ Daniels (USC transfer) can deliver the ball accurately; on the outs, over the middle, & down the field! RB Zamir White, leads a 4 headed monster @ RB (ranked as America’s 2nd best crew), their WR’s are rated as the 5th best unit nationally, the O-Line is 3rd, the D line is 3rd, & the LB room is considered to house the 2nd best group in the Land! UGA will take down Clemson in week one!
  4. How about ND, 2 starters back on O and yet ranked 11th by Lindy, 12th by Athlon and 8th on SCFP. Kelly and his staff are getting the right fit/personnel to fill their program’s positional philosophies.
  5. Wisconsin is finally starting to recruit as a top 25 program. They have been as good (perhaps the best) at developing their players into their system. The fact that they are now attracting better players to Madison is why they are ranked 13 coming off their weakest year in the past 10!
  6. Lindy ranked 2 G5 (Group of 5) teams in his Top 25, Cincy @ 8 & Coastal Carolina as the nation’s 23rd best squad. On SCFP, we rank the P5 & G5 in different polls. We have Cincinnati @ #1 in our Top 20 G5 grouping & CCU @ 8.
  7. IU has the best QB, Michael Penix, in the B-10! For reasons known but to God, Lindy has OSU’s QB, C.J. Stroud as the conference’s best! C’mon man, the guy hasn’t taken a meaningful snap yet! Penix battled Fields, 42-35, in what was the Bucks closest game until the CFP final!
  8. Is this the year that Hern Edwards slams the door on his doubting Thomas critics? Remember when he was hired and college folks ‘lost their minds’ about a ‘pro guy’ and being clueless about the college game. Hern simply said ‘pretty sure this is football and I get football’! Lindy has ASU picked to win the P-12 South and battle Oregon for the P-12 title. Herm’s time?
  9. Texas has a new coach, exit Tom Herman / enter Steve Sarkisian. The Horns remain among the greatest underachievers in all of college football. They are the 7th best recruiting program in the college game and yet, have averaged a mere 7 wins a year since 2015. While the main rival, OU, has averaged over 11 during that same time frame! Oh yeah, did I mention that the Longhorns recruit better than the Sooners? Texas 7th / OU 9th!
  10. Finally, Gus Malzahn was fired this past season by Auburn. Now not being on site, you can miss the whole side of the barn, as U don’t / may not have a critical element of/in the decision. That said, let’s give Auburn the benefit of the doubt; yet what in God’s name were Tennessee, South Carolina, & Vanderbilt thinking? Malzahn beat Saban 3 times in 8 years: 2013, 34-28; 2017, 26-14; & 2019, 48-45! Tennessee hired Josh Heupel from UCF, Vanderbilt hired a coordinator from ND, Clark Lea, & South Carolina hired Shane Beamer (Frank’s Beamer’s son). Beamer has never served as a coordinator and clearly, is a big reach. He has coached @ Georgia (Smart) & OU (Riley), and @ South Carolina with Spurrier (2010-13). I’m just confused how one of these three Universities didn’t gobble up Malzahn? Gus is now at Central Florida, he has replaced, Josh Heupel!

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Athlon’s Preseason Top 25 for the 2021!

Athlon’s magazine has hit the news stands and here is their preseason Top 25. Unlike Sully’s College Football Page (SCFP), they rank the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) as a whole. They do not break the Power 5 (P5) & Group 5 into different ranking categories! So you will find Cincinnati (8), Louisiana (23), & Coastal Carolina (24) listed below.

Cincy is from the American Athletic Conference (AAC), while Louisiana & Coastal Carolina are both out of the Sun Belt Conference (SBC), On SCFP, Cincinnati is the #1 ranked team in our G5 Poll, Louisiana holds down the #5 spot, & Coastal Carolina comes in at #8!

You can compare & contrast Athlon’s preseason poll with Sully’s rankings provided below; You will note, we agree on the top teams, but not in the same order. Take a moment to see other similarities and distinctions and let me what you think!

https://sullyscollegefootballpage.com/wordpress/power-5-top-25/

We will provide Lindy’s Sports Top 25 tomorrow!

  1. Alabama Last Game: Beat Ohio St. 52-24; Up Next: Vs Miami
  2. Clemson: Last Game: Lost Ohio St. 49-28; Up Next: vs Georgia
  3. Oklahoma: Last Game: Beat Florida, 55-20; Up Next: Tulane
  4. Ohio State: Last Game: Lost Alabama, 52-24; Up Next: @ Minn.
  5. Georgia: Last Game: Beat Cincinnati, 24-21; Up Next: Clemson
  6. Texas A&M: Last Game: Beat UNC, 41-27; Up Next: Kent State
  7. Iowa State: Last Game: Beat Oregon 43-17; Up Next: @ Utah
  8. Cincinnati: Last Game: Lost UGA, 24-21; Up Next: Miami, OH
  9. Oregon: Last Game: Lost ISU, 43-17; Up Next: Fresno State
  10. N. Carolina: Last Game: lost T A&M, 41-27, Up Next: @ V-Tech
  11. Florida: Last Game: Lost OU, 55-20; Up Next: FAU
  12. ND: Last Game: Lost Alabama, 31-14; Up Next: @ Florida St.
  13. Wisconsin: Last Game: Beat WF, 42-28; Up Next: Penn State
  14. Miami: Last Game: Lost Ok St, 37-34; Up Next: vs Alabama
  15. Arizona St. Last Game: Beat OR St, 46-33; Up Next: S. Utah
  16. Iowa, Last Game: Beat UW, 28-7; Up Next: Indiana
  17. LSU: Last Game: Beat Ole Miss, 53-48; Up Next: vs Louisville
  18. USC: Last Game: Lost Oregon, 24-17; Up Next: San Jose St.
  19. Penn State: Last Game: Beat IL, 56-21, Up Next: @ UW
  20. Texas: Last Game: Beat Colorado, 55-23; Up Next: Louisiana
  21. Indiana: Last Game: Lost Ole Miss, 26-20, Up Next: @ Iowa
  22. Washington: Last Game: Lost Stan, 31-26; Up Next: Montana
  23. Louisiana: Last Game: Beat UTSA, 31-24; Up Next: @ Texas
  24. Coastal Carolina: LG: Lost Liberty, 37-34 OT, Up Next: Citadel
  25. TCU: Last Game: Beat La-Tech, 52-10; Up Next: Duquesne
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Four Teams from the SEC & B-10 that are perceived to be weak; while actually being really good!

The SEC

Kentucky:

Wildcat coach, Mark Stoops has quietly done one of the best coaching jobs in college football, yet, no one seems to know the work! When I started the site in 2009, there were four teams in the SEC East (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, & Tennessee) that were national powers. Let’s see how the ‘Cats’ have done against two of these divisional rivals, Tennessee & South Carolina, in recent years! In their last four meetings with the Volunteers, the Cats have won twice, including the 2020, 34-7, pounding of the Vols. It also should be noted that one of the losses (2019) was by 4 points, 17-13! That said, Kentucky has beaten South Carolina 5 times in the their last 6 meetings, including the Cats blasting of the Gamecocks, last year (2020), 41-18! The Cats beat Penn State, 27-24 in the Citrus Bowl, Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl, 37-30, & NC State, 23-21 in last year’s Gator Bowl. Kentucky has won their last three bowl games, all against quality programs. Yet, the national perspective remains that Kentucky is a ‘Basketball School’ and one of the weakest teams in the SEC East, instead of what the really are, the division 3rd best team behind Georgia & Florida!

Mississippi State:

The Bulldogs were in a similar situation in 2012 to Kentucky’s 2009 predicament. There were four teams (Alabama, Auburn, LSU, & Texas A&M) that were considered to be among the Nation’s top 15 programs and Ole Miss & Arkansas hovering near or in the top 25. MSU is considered, at best, an also run in the SEC West Division! While that belief continues to thrive into 2021, the facts suggest something quite different. The Bulldogs have taken down Auburn 3 times in the past 7 games; beaten LSU twice in the past four meetings, & have stopped Texas A&M 3 times in their past 5 tilts. MSU has won the Egg Bowl vs Ole Miss, in three of the last five and beaten Arkansas in three of their past four games! In Cross-Divisional Games, the Bulldogs have split their last 6 meetings with the Gators, Volunteers, & Gamecocks! Hardly the stuff of a ‘weak program!’

Big Ten

Indiana:

The Big Ten’s “Basketball School” has long been consider the game you can mark down as a win in mid-July! While the team’s in the B-10 East know better, that belief still permeates within the college football world. Yet, what is the reality? Let’s take a peek! Ohio State is one of 5 elite programs (Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma , & Georgia) while Penn State & Michigan are considered top 15 teams. Michigan State has fallen on hard times in recent years, yet are the only other B-10 team (OSU) to make the college football play-offs. Maryland & Rutgers are often considered (still) outliers in B-10 football circles. Here are the facts! Indiana has spilt the last 2 meetings with Michigan, Penn State, & Michigan State. Have won 3 in a row vs Maryland and prevailed against Rutgers, five straight times! In the Hoosiers crossover divisional games, they have split with Northwestern, handled the Illini 3 in a row, and have taken down arch-rival Purdue in 3 of their last 5 meetings! Time to rethink Indiana football!

Northwestern:

The Cats are often referred to as a “Developmental Program” and their accomplishments summarily dismissed as a group of players that lack talent and skill, a team that wins because they are often overlooked or not taken seriously! Let’s take a hard look @ what the Wildcats have done the past few years, both in their division & conference! NW has beaten Purdue in 6 of their last 7 meetings, the Cats have beat up rival, Illinois six straight times, & humbled Nebraska in 3 of their last 4 meetings. They have taken down Iowa in 4 of their last five games and stopped Minnesota in 2 of their last 3 cross state line battles. Only powerhouse Wisconsin, in the B-10’s West Division, has managed to play the Cats even in the past four years, splitting two games apiece! NW has prevailed against Penn State in 2 of the last 3 games and won 3 of 5 vs MSU! In last year’s bowl game, the Wildcats blasted Auburn, 35-19, from the Mighty SEC for their fourth straight postseason win! Is it not time that we recognize Northwestern as one of the B-10’s best and stop dismissing them as a ‘Development Program’?

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Top 25 Ranked Teams / Top 25 Recruiting Programs

  1. Alabama / 1. Georgia
  2. Georgia / 2. Alabama
  3. Oklahoma / 3. Clemson
  4. Clemson / 4. Ohio State
  5. Ohio State / 5. LSU
  6. Texas A&M 6. Texas A&M
  7. Oregon / 7. Texas
  8. Notre Dame / 8. Oregon
  9. North Carolina / 9. Oklahoma
  10. Florida / 10. Florida
  11. USC / 11. Notre Dame
  12. LSU / 12. Michigan
  13. Penn State / 13. Penn State
  14. Miami / 14. Auburn
  15. Wisconsin / 15. Miami
  16. Texas / 16. Tennessee
  17. Michigan / 17. Florida State
  18. Auburn / 18. Washington
  19. Iowa State / 19. Nebraska
  20. Ole Miss / 20. North Carolina
  21. Indiana / 21. USC
  22. Washington / 22. Ole Miss
  23. Florida State 23. Mississippi State
  24. Iowa / 24. Wisconsin
  25. Northwestern/ 25. Kentucky

The highest rated recruiting program not ranked in Sully’s Top 25, is Tennessee at 16.

Nebraska is the 19th best recruiting program, yet the B-10 West Division program has not qualified for a bowl (6 wins) let alone broke into the Top 25. This, since home town hero (QB on the 1997 Co- National Champ), Scott Frost, has returned from a very successful run at Central Florida.

Mississippi State, the 23 best recruiting program, is also unranked. Their new coach, Mike Leach, took a few years @ Washington State to get the right personnel in place to begin to challenging for division & conference championships. However, the SEC West is a long way (in more than just miles) from the PAC 12 North!

The final unranked Top 25 Recruiting Program, a 3rd SEC program, is Kentucky. While they are likely to be the 3rd best team in the East Division of the SEC, behind Georgia & Florida and better than Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee. & Vandy, They are just outside our Top 25 and likely, at some point in the 2021 season, to break into the Top 25!

The weakest recruiting, Top 25 Team, is Northwestern. They are the 52nd best recruiting program, yet won the B-10 West Division and manhandled the 14th best recruiting program, Auburn, 35-19, in the Citrus Bowl.

Iowa, finished the 2020 season, by winning their final 6 games, including a blowout victory over Wisconsin, 28-7! The Hawks are overachievers (sometimes called a developmental program) as they are rated as the 32nd best recruiting program, 8 places higher (lower) then where they are ranked.

Three teams are ranked & recruiting at the exact same level, Texas A&M #6, Florida @ 10, & Penn State even up at 13!

QB’s can elevate recruiting team ranks! This is evidenced by North Carolina’s (Sam Howell) & USC’s (Kedon Slovis). UNC is the 20 ranked recruiting Program, yet considered to be the 9th best team in the country; While the Trojans are ranked as the 11th best team in the land, 10 spots better than where they recruit.

http://sullyscollegefootballpage.com/content.cfm?PageID=14h

Sully’s College Football Page Power 5 (P5): Top 25 for 2021

The web-addresses above will take you our Recruiting Ratings (an explanation will be provided on how we determine recruiting ranks; who is ranked where & how they are/were ranked on the Recruiting Page) & Top 25 pages. Take a few minutes to compare & contrast these lists as they have some obvious connections, yet confusing disconnects!

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SCFP Top 25 P5; Top 20 G5; & Top 15 FCS!

  1. Alabama: Last Game: beat Ohio State, 52-24; Up Next: Miami
  2. Georgia: Last Game: beat Cincinnati, 24-21; Up Next: Clemson
  3. Oklahoma: Last Game: beat Florida, 55-20; Up Next: Tulane
  4. Clemson: Last Game: Lost to Ohio St., 49-28 ; Up Next: Georgia
  5. Ohio St: Last Game: Lost to Bama, 52-24; Up Next: @ Minn.
  6. TX A&M: Last Game: Beat UNC, 41-27; Up Next: Kent State
  7. Oregon: Last Game: Lost Iowa State, 43-17; Up Next: Fresno
  8. ND: Last Game: Lost to Bama, 31-14; Up Next: @ Florida State
  9. UNC: Last Game: Lost to Texas A&M, 41-27; Up Next: @ V-Tech
  10. Florida: Last Game: Lost to OU 55-20; Up Next: FAU 
  11. USC: Last Game: Lost to Oregon, 31-24; Up Next: San Jose State
  12. LSU: Last Game: Beat Old Miss, 53-48; Up Next: UCLA
  13. Penn State: Last Game: Beat Il, 56-21; Up Next: @ Wisconsin
  14. Miami: Last Game: Lost to Ok State, 37-34; Up Next: Alabama
  15. Wisconsin: Last Game: Beat WF, 42-28; Up Next: Penn State
  16. Texas: Last Game: Beat Colorado, 55-23; Up Next: Louisiana
  17. Michigan: Last Game: Lost to PSU, 27-17, Up Next: W Mich.
  18. Auburn: Last Game: Lost to N-western, 35-19; Up Next: Akron
  19. Iowa St.: Last Game: Beat Oregon, 43-17, Up Next: @ Utah
  20. Ole Miss: Last Game: Beat IU, 26-20; Up Next: vs Louisville
  21. Indiana: Last Game: Lost to Ole Miss. 26-20; Up Next: Iowa
  22. Wash.: Last Game: Lost to Stanford, 31-26; Up Next: Montana
  23. Florida St: Last Game: Beat Duke, 56-35; Up Next: ND
  24. Iowa: Last Game: Beat Wisconsin, 28-7, Up Next: Indiana
  25. Northwestern: Last Game: Beat Auburn 35-19; UP Next: MSU

SCFP Group of 5 (G5): Top 20 / 2021

  1. Cincinnati: Last Game: Lost to UGA, 24-21; Up Next: Miami Oh
  2. Boise State: Last Game: Lost to SJSU, 34-20 Up Next: @ UCF
  3. UCF: Last Game: Lost to BYU, 49-23 Up Next: Boise State
  4. Memphis: Last Game: Beat FAU, 25-10, Up Next: @ Nicholls St
  5. Louisiana: Last Game: Beat UTSA, 31-24 Up Next: @ Texas
  6. App St.: Last Game: Beat N. TX, 56-28; Up Next: ECU
  7. Liberty: Last Game: Beat CCU, 37-34 OT; Up Next: Campbell
  8. C Carolina: Last Game: Lost Liberty, 37-34 OT; Up Next: Citadel
  9. Houston: Last Game: Lost Hawaii, 28-14; Up Next: TX Tech
  10. Toledo: Last Game: Beat CMU, 24-23; Up Next: Norfolk State
  11. San Diego St: Last Game: Lost BYU, 28-14, Up Next: N Mexico St
  12. Hawaii: Last Game: Beat Houston, 28-14; Up Next: @ UCLA
  13. SMU: Last Game: Lost BYU, 28-14; Up Next: Abilene Christian
  14. W. Michigan: Last Game: Lost Ball St, 30-27; Up Next: Michigan
  15. Marshall: Last Game: Lost Buffalo, 17-10; Up Next: @ Navy
  16. GA Southern: Last Game: Beat L-Tech. 38-3: Up Next: GW
  17. UAB: Last Game: Beat Marshall 22-13; Up Next: Jacksonville St
  18. Buffalo: Last Game: Beat Marshall, 17-10; Up Next: Wagner
  19. L-Tech: Last Game: Lost GA Southern 38-3; Up Next: @ MS St
  20. Tulsa: Last Game: Lost Miss State, 28-26; Up Next: UC Davis

FCS Top 15

  1. SD St: Last Game: Lost S Houston, 23-21; Up Next: @ CO St
  2. ND St: Last Game: Lost S Houston, 24-20; Up Next: Albany
  3. J. Madison: L G: Lost S Houston, 38-35, Up Next: Morehead
  4. S Houston Last Game: Beat SD St, 23-21; Up Next: N. Arizona
  5. J-ville St: Last Game: Lost Delaware, 20-14; Up Next: @ UAB
  6. Weber St: Last Game: Lost S-ern Il, 34-31; Up Next: @ Utah
  7. E Washington: L G: Lost ND St. 42-20; Up Next: @ UNLV
  8. VMI: Last Game: Lost J. Madison, 31-24, Up Next: Davidson
  9. Delaware: Last Game: Lost SD St, 33-3; Up Next: @ Maine
  10. Monmouth: L G: Lost to S Houston, 21-15; Up Next: @ MTSU
  11. N Dakota: Last game: Lost J. Madison, 34-21; Up Next: Idaho St
  12. Sacred Heart: Last Game: Lost Delaware, 19-10; Up Next: TBD
  13. Holy Cross: Last Game: Lost SD State, 31-3; Up Next: @ U-Conn
  14. SIU Last Game: Lost SD State, 31-26; Up Next: SE Missouri
  15. Davidson: Last Game: Lost J-ville St. 49-14; Up Next: @ VMI
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Sam Houston State vs South Dakota State

South Dakota State, out of the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC), 8-1 vs Sam Houston, from the Southland Conference (SLC), 9-0 meet today in Frisco, Texas’, Toyota Stadium, @ 1:00 p.m. CST!

The outcome will determine the champion of the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) in what has been the most challenging college football season since its being played during WWII!

South Dakota State enters the game as a 4 point favorite (opening line) which has now risen to 5.5 to 6.5 as we approach kick-off! The web-address listed below will take you to the Vegas Hot$heets for more information.

http://www.vegashotsheet.com/LiveLines-NCAA.html

I have also provided a game simulation (head to head comparison) from Sully’s College Football Page. This is an analysis of what the team’s specific numbers, when contrasted with one another, suggest will happen in today’s championship battle!

The Simulator looks at 8 categories, { 1) Total Yards; 2) Rushing Yards; 3) Passing Yards; 4) Scoring, For & Allowed; 5) Turnovers, Lost & Obtained; 6) 3rd Down, Conversions / Stops; 7) Red Zone, All Scores, For & Against; 8) Red Zone Scores, TD’s only}

The process the site uses is designed to create competitive interaction between the teams numbers. For instances, in the Total Yards Category, SDS offense averaged 409 yards per game, while SHS defense has allowed 359 YPG. The Simulator adds the two numbers together, gets a total (768), then divides by 2 to get a mean. The Game Simulator has deduced the SDS offense will run & pass for 384 Total Yards in today game.

It then reverses the process, the Simulator will now take SHS Offense (456), add it to SDS Defense (281), establish a total (737), & then divide by 2 to determine a mean, SHS will run & pass for 368.5 Total Yards in today’s championship game.

The Game Simulator has determined that SDS will outgain (remember, by the numbers) SHS, 384 yards to 368.5 yards! As a result, South Dakota State is awarded the point in the Total Yards Category!

The same format is used in all 8 categories and the higher number gets the point, except, for obvious reasons, in the the Turnover Category, where the lower number is awarded the point!

While the Boys & Gals from Vegas like South Dakota State to win the game, the site boldly disagrees. In the 8 categories assessed, the SCFP’s Game Simulator ‘thinks’ SHS will outperform SDS in 5 of the 8 categories and win the game 27-25!

The web-address will take you to the Game Simulator. When you arrive, enter the respective teams (South Dakota State & Sam Houston), it does not matter which drop Box you enter a specific team in, either is fine! Make sure you use 2021 in the year box for both teams. While this is the 2020 season, the games were played in 2021 & must be entered in the correct calendar year!

http://sullyscollegefootballpage.com/Football_Stats/Matchup.cfm

I think the singular most significant number listed here, is SHS ability to stop SDS run game. The Bearkats have limited opponents to a mere 82 rushing YPG, if they are able to corral the Jackrabbits rush game, 230 YPG; then it is likely that they overcome the Vegas oddsmakers & win the FCS Championship.

This should be fun & as always: Enjoy the games!

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FCS Results from Sunday, 5/2/21

The FCS Tournament has battled its way down to four really good teams. Here are the results from Sunday’s games!

#2 Sam Houston State knocked off North Dakota State (who had won 8 championships in 9 years), 24-20.

#3 James Madison beat North Dakota in a hard fought contest, 34-21!

Delaware stopped the #4 seed, Jacksonville State, 20-14.

South Dakota State, the #1 seed, struggled to put away Southern Illinois, 31-26, a team that they blasted in the regular season, 44-3.

To see this past week’s FCS Tournament results in more detail, please click on the web-address provided below! It will take you to our Game List Page, simply put the cursor in the Game Date Box, click, and a calendar will drop. The date you want for FCS quarter final results is May 2, 2021! Also check out the View Match-up to see what the numbers say should have happened in the games. Make sure when you get to the Game Simulator, Head to Head you have 2021 in the year box, as it will bring up 2020 initially, change it to 2021!

http://sullyscollegefootballpage.com/Football_Stats/Games_Listings.cfmh

The #1 seed South Dakota State (7-1) champions of Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) takes on Delaware (7-0), the champions of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)! The Game is @ home game for South Dakota State played @ Coughlin Alumni Stadium in Brookings, SD.

The #2 seed, Sam Houston State (8-0), champions of Southland Conference (SLC) takes on the #3 seed, a 7-0 James Madison, from the CAA! The higher seed is awarded home field advantage, as a result, this game will be played in Huntsville, TX, @ Bowers Stadium!

Both Delaware & James Madison were/are undefeated thus far in the 2020 season (played in 2021), yet Delaware was declared the champion of the Colonial, based on the strength of having played one more conference game! The fighting Hens finished the regular season @ 4-0, while the Dukes ended their Colonial schedule @ 3-0! This in-balance was do to Covid 19 interruptions.

That said, the FCS selection committee thought that JM was the better team and seeded them 3rd of the 4 teams that they ranked. An unseeded Delaware, defeated the team that was rated 4th b the committee, Jacksonville State, this passed Sunday (5/2/21) 20-14!

I will have Sully’s College Football Page (SCFP) predictions on this weekend’s games, as well as what the ‘Wise guys in Vegas’ are thinking, later this week.

And as always: Enjoy the Games!

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FCS Tourney Results from 4/24/21

Sam Houston State (2 seed), the Southland Conference Football Champions, squeezed by Monmouth University, the Champions of the Big South Conference, 21-15 on Saturday (4/24/21)! Monmouth finished the amended season @ 5-1, while SHSU continues to the 2nd round with a record of 7-0!

Winners of the Ohio Valley Conference, Jacksonville State (4 seed) hammered Davidson, winners of the Pioneer Football League, 49-14! The Wildcats head for home finishing the 2020/2021 campaign @ 4-3, as the 7-1 Gamecocks reload for round II!

James Madison (3 seed), runner up in the Colonial Athletic Association, struggled with the Champion of the Southern Conference (SoCon), Virginia Military Institute (VMI), before winning a hard fought contest, 31-24! The Keydets head back to Lexington, VA with a record of 6-2 and will be watching, as the fellow Virginians (Harrisonburg), JMU @ 6-0, prepare for the next round!

Holy Cross, who won the Patriot League, took on the #1 seed, South Dakota State and were taken out back to the woodshed, falling 31-3! The Jackrabbits head to round II, with a record of 6-1, while the 3-1 Crusaders process back to Worcester, MA!

What many thought would be round 1’s best game, Eastern Washington vs North Dakota State was both interesting, yet not close! EWU jumped out to a 20 to 7 lead in the 1st half and then were stampeded by the Bison run game, allowing 422 rush yards! NDSU moves on with a 7-2 slate, as the wounded Eagles, losing 42-20, struggle to fly home to Cheney WA, with 5-2 record for the 20-21 season!

In the day’s one upset, Southern Illinois, who entered the tourney @ 4-3, the last team in, stunned Weber State (5-0) champions of the B-SKY, 34-31! The Saluki’s scored in the final minute and then held off a desperate attempt by the Wildcats to get within FG range in the final seconds of the game! A big win for the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC)!

Missouri State (Bobby Petrino, Arkansas & Louisville) now serves as the Bears head coach, in fact, he was voted the MVFC’s Coach of the Year! MSU was 0-3 in the 2020 (Fall) part of their schedule and then went 5-2 in 2021 (Spring) component of their schedule. North Dakota, an after thought in their own state (North Dakota State; 8 national championships in 9 years) is making a whole lot of noise in 2021. They beat South Dakota State (#1 seed in the 2021 tourney) 28-14 and rolled into the tournament at 4-1. UND blasted Missouri State, 44-10, in the 1st round of the FCS Tournament! The now Fighting Hawks (old Fighting Sioux… retired in 2012, well … sort of) head to round II, sporting a 5-1 record!

The day’s final game, pitted Northeast Champion, Sacred Heart (3-1) vs Delaware (5-0) the Colonial Athletic Conference winners. The Fighting Hens were 5-0 in the CAA, while James Madison, another CAA member, was also 5-0, yet had one less conference win, as a result, Delaware was awarded the conference crown! In a highly competitive game, Delaware escaped the Pioneers 19-10, with the game’s outcome being decided by turnovers! A 6-0 Delaware advances to the 2nd round!

Round Two: Sunday, May 2nd

North Dakota State 7-2 (MVFC) @ #2 Sam Houston State (SLC) 7-0; Time: 2:00 Visual Access: streamed on ESPN 3!

North Dakota 5-1 (MVFC) @ #3 James Madison 6-0 (CAA); Time: 5:00, Visual Access: ESPN 3

Southern Illinois 6-3 (MVFC) @ #1 South Dakota State 6-1 (MVFC); Time: 8:00 / Visual Access: ESPN 3

Delaware 6-0 (CAA) @ 4 Jacksonville State 8-1; Time: 2:00 / Visual Access: ESPN 3

More on these games later this week!

The Web-address posted below will take you to a team page and provide more details. It will take you our Game Search Page. Click on the Game Date Box, a calendar will drop, & then identify, April 24th as the date you want to view. All 8 games will appear and you can proceed from that point!

If you want to visit, View Match-up, you must change the year from 2020 to 2021!

http://sullyscollegefootballpage.com/Football_Stats/Games_Listings.cfm

And as always, Enjoy the Games!

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