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Tag Archives: Clemson Tigers

Bama Prevails in CFP, Sights Turn to 2016 Season

Alabama fans

Alabama fans are on top of the world after defeating the Clemson Tigers in the second College Football Playoff Game Jan. 11, 2016.

We were hoping for a great National Championship Game, and ClemsonAlabama did not disappoint!

Deshaun Watson and Clemson fought hard to the bitter end, but Bama’s big plays were just too much for too long. The Crimson Tide earned its fourth national championship since 2009 with the final score of 45-40.

We’ll be doing quarterly drawings for a Polar Bear Cooler, so sign up at watch our Facebook Page for announcements of winners so you can tailgate this summer and fall while staying the coolest fan at the stadium.

Nick Saban joins Bear Bryant as the only coaches in college football history to win five national titles.  Speaking of dynasties, in this week’s FCS Championship game, North Dakota State won its fifth consecutive national title after defeating Jacksonville State.

This time last year, everyone was talking about how Ohio State were favorites to dominate. Now there’s speculation that Clemson is likely to start 2016 ranked No. 1 with Watson a favorite for the next Heisman. The Crimson Tide will probably lose this year’s winner, Derrick Henry, and a lot of other talent, along with defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who was named Georgia’s coach, but Saban never seems to have any problem reloading.

To order our new Basketball newsletter, The Tipoff, call us at (423) 267-0953. The cost is $12 for 12 weeks of the most weekly comprehensive information on college basketball schedules, scores and results available on a weekly basis.

The latest issue of The Kickoff, our 17th issue of the season, includes our Final Top 25, with Alabama, Clemson, Stanford, Ohio State and Oklahoma at the top. We include superlatives and upsets, plus trends from throughout the season.

The issue includes stats and scores from all of the Bowl games and our final Power Ratings from the results. How does your team stack up among all 128 FBS schools?

“We would like to thank everyone for helping to make this, our 65th year in publication, a successful year,” said Tommy Duff, Editor of The Kickoff. “The Kickoff would not exist without your continued support. We look forward to adding even more improvements in 2016, which we have already started mapping out. See you next fall!”

With the College Football Playoff done, the slate is wiped clean with all teams making a fresh start and their eyes on the prize this fall. Over the next several months, bragging rights will be redeemed and hopes build with potential.

Our attention now turns to fresh answers for the same questions we annually ponder…

  • Will new coach hires empower teams to turn things around? Will the powerhouses suffer with the loss of talent? Which coaches will enter the new season feeling some heat to either deliver success or find new jobs?
  • What weaknesses do schools need to find solutions? What new chess pieces will programs be able to move? Which teams will win the recruiting wars? What new weapons will teams add to their arsenals of talent?
  • Who are the future high school and JUCO stars in the making? Which teams and players will actually live up to the hype? Which ones are destined to crack under the pressure of lofty expectations? Which players will return healed from injuries?
  • Who will advance to the next level and enter the NFL draft early? How well are they expected to do? Can they compete in the different environment?

These questions are part of what makes college football great: the anticipation of what can be achieved with the right talent, team chemistry and coaching. The Kickoff predicts which prospects have the potential to be future stars, elevate programs, or at least contribute right away.

The Kickoff puts out 6 monthly issues between February and July covering recruiting, spring practice and transfer. We hope that if you haven’t already, you will invest in a full year subscription (23 issues for $28) to The Kickoff so you can have our information at your fingertips as momentum builds for another great year of college football!

To subscribe to The Kickoff, visit or call us at (423) 267-0952.

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Midseason Reflections on College Football Season

We are midway through the 2015 College Football Season and the stakes of each game are getting higher as we inch closer to the Playoffs!

Tommy Duff, Editor of The Kickoff, reflected on the season thus far and the challenges ahead for teams still in the hunt…

In the Oct. 19th edition of Kickoff Top 25, we had TCU and Ohio State replaced in the top spots by Utah and LSU. There were 14 undefeated teams in our Top 25, with single-loss Alabama ranked at No. 9. Our Strength of Schedule analysis in that issue showed that Ohio State played a schedule with the largest difference between their ranking and their average opponent ranking in 2015. This indicates that the Buckeyes may not have the “easiest” straight schedule, but in regards to their official rating, they have more of a schedule advantage than any other team in the country.

“Ohio State hasn’t looked good against lower rated teams and does not have any quality wins, plus they have two quarterbacks, which means they don’t have a quarterback,” Duff said. “TCU has been inconsistent. They only beat Iowa State (which had a 2-4 record) by 24 points last week. That’s the second time they’ve nearly been knocked off by a lower rated team.”

The Kickoff was high on Utah and LSU based on several factors, including wins against quality opponents in top-rated conferences, including the Tigers’ win over a Florida team that was undefeated until last week. “At this point, Utah has the most quality wins” over teams like Michigan, California, Arizona State and putting up 62 points against Oregon. Utah ended up losing Saturday to USC 42-24. LSU beat Western Kentucky 48-20.

In the Oct. 26 issue, LSU lept to the top of our Top 25 while Clemson jumped from No. 7 to No. 4. FSU, which lost a heartbreaker to Georgia Tech, fell from No. 8 to No. 15. Alabama moved up two spots after beating Tennessee in a close one. 

Duff said he expects the winner of the Alabama-LSU game to be in the Playoffs. “Leonard Fournette is one of the best players we’ve seen since Bo Jackson in terms of pure natural talent, speed and size. He just demolishes people, which is very rare. He hasn’t had less than 150 yards in a game all season. It is possible LSU is going to fall a bit in the ratings as their schedule eases up. When you look at strength of teams played, they benefitted from their opener against McNeese State being cancelled due to weather on Sept. 5th.”

In other words, we still have a lot of football left to play.

The weeks ahead will determine which coaches get pink slips or trophies. We’ve already seen Steve Spurrier and Steve Sarkisian leave their teams after 2-4 and 3-2 starts respectively. “I knew Spurrier wouldn’t last long with the way South Carolina was performing, but I was surprised he quit in the middle of the season,” Duff said.

Ohio State was atop our Preseason Top 25. Our No. 3 pick, Auburn, is perhaps the biggest shocker of the year, now at 4-3 and out of playoff contention after Saturday’s 4-Overtime game at Arkansas. The Tigers still have Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia, Idaho, and Alabama  remaining on their schedule.

“The media, including The Kickoff, bought into a lot of hype about Jeremy Johnson based on the limited amount of work he did last season as a starter, which looked fabulous and suggested he had better skills than Nick Marshall, but the kid lost his confidence after throwing interceptions, plus Auburn lost Carl Lawson, who was supposed to be their leader on defense and an All-American. Gus Malzahn forgot how important a mobile quarterback was in his system,” Duff said.

Comparing the preseason and last week’s Kickoff Top 25s, Oregon, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Boise State, and Tennessee, all have failed to meet their potential in 2015. Teams that haven’t disappointed so far include TCU, Ohio State, Baylor, Michigan State, Clemson, FSU, Oklahoma State, and Arizona.

Our games of the week last week were Clemson at Miami, FL and Tennessee at Alabama.

We went with undefeated Clemson, which enjoyed a 13.6 difference in Power Ratings with the 4-2 Hurricanes. “Clemson could be in the playoffs, as they have done their thing under the radar this season. They’ll need better quarterback play to get past Florida State on Nov. 7th,” Duff said. The Tigers shut them out 58-0, leading to Al Golden being fired this week.

We assigned the Crimson Tide (6-1) a 9 point difference in Power Ratings over the Volunteers. Duff expected the game to be a close one. “Butch Jones has taken the leash off Josh Dobbs and let him play his own game. Statistically, Tennessee ran the ball all over Georgia. Alabama’s defense is set up to stop a classic pro offense and has problems whenever they face a spread offense with a mobile quarterback,” he said. Bama ended up winning 19-14.

It’s not too late to get our Halftime Subscription so you can arm yourself with knowledge when you face off at your family’s Thanksgiving Dinner against your know-it-all uncle who went to that rival school! We have nine issues left to publish this season. Pay just $10.62 to get a Mid-Season Email/PDF Subscription ($19.58 for printed issues sent 1st Class mail to your home or office).  As the season progresses, we’ll lower the price weekly so you only pay for what’s left of the season. Hey, better late than never to get in the game! Email [email protected] to sign up today.

Also, test your knowledge of college football by participating in our Thursday Throwdown trivia on Facebook. We stumped quite a few people this week with our question about the 1985 Fresno State team that was the only unbeaten Division 1-A team in the country, ranked 16th in the Coaches Poll that year.

Talk to us this weekend while we watch the games. Which upsets are you expecting? How is your team doing so far this year? Sound off! Use the hashtag #thekickoff on Facebook and Twitter so we can follow your conversations.

Enjoy this weekend’s games. We’ll be watching alongside you.

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