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Tag Archives: College Football Playoff

First College Football Playoff Poll Announced

Our Kickoff Games of the Week are #1 LSU at #2 Alabama, #5 Penn State at #13 Minnesota, and #22 Wake Forest at Virginia Tech.

Changes to the AP, Kickoff Top 25 as CFP Poll Announced

On the AP Poll, LSU remains in the top spot, closely followed by Alabama. It’s going to be fun watching these two SEC powerhouses clash this weekend and answer the question of “Who is the best of the West?”

Teams on the rise include #6 Georgia, #8 Utah, #9 Oklahoma, #11 Baylor, #15 Notre Dame, #16 Wisconsin, #18 Iowa, #19 Memphis, #20 Kansas State, #22 Wake Forest, and #24 San Diego State. Florida fell 4 spots to #10 while SMU fell 8 spots to #23. Appalachian State dropped out of the AP Top 25.

Last week’s Kickoff #2, Ohio State, fell to #4 on our poll behind LSU at #2 and Clemson at #3. Florida fell from #6 to #12. To see the other changes, subscribe to get your issues of The Kickoff college football newsletter.

The College Football Playoff Rankings were released Tuesday night. The initial Top 4 teams are #1 Ohio State, #2 LSU, #3 Alabama, and #4 Penn State, with #5 Clemson and #6 Georgia waiting in the wings. Then it is #7 Oregon, #8 Utah, #9 Oklahoma, and #10 Florida filling out the rest of the Top 10. 


Six teams on the poll have not played another team on the Top 25, including Alabama, Boise State, Clemson, Minnesota, Utah, and Wake Forest.

Also in this week’s issue, we list the Single Season D1/FBS Rushing Leaders, the Yearly D1/FBS Rushing Leaders, a Conference breakdown, the Kickoff FBS Strength of Schedule through November 2nd, News and Notes, On this Date in 1994, Trivia, the Kickoff Thermostat, Division 1A FBS Expanded Standings, Average Margin of Victory Leaders, Kickoff times and television schedules, opening over/under odds and our picks, the opening consensus odds and picks, October trends, and our Power Ratings for this weekend’s games.

Willie, We Barely Knew You

The Florida State Seminoles fired Head Coach Willie Taggart after Saturday’s embarrassing 27-10 loss to Miami. He got the axe after coaching just 21 games, finishing 9-12. They weren’t bowl eligible last season. Don’t feel too bad for the coach, who will get a buyout in the $18 million range. Former Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox, who hired Taggart in December 2017, stepped down eight months later to join the NCAA.

What do you think? Was Taggart given enough time to rebuild? Will other coaches be reluctant to come to FSU? Or will firing Taggart before the end of the season give the Seminoles an edge on other schools who are waiting? Former Tennessee and USC Coach Lane Kiffin has reportedly expressed an interest in the job.

Who will we see cut loose next? Clay Helton at USC? Chad Morris at Arkansas? Mike Bloomgren at Rice? Scott Frost at Nebraska? Joe Moorhead at Mississippi State? Barry Odom at Missouri? Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern? Dana Holgorsen at Houston?

The hot seat is getting very warm as these coaches run out of time to turn things around.

The Kickoff College Football Bowl Preview

2016 college football

It’s time for teams to go bowling. We’re already in the thick of the bowl schedule as it all builds to the New Year’s Day matchups. The Kickoff will publish our wrap up issue on January 10th, but Editor Tommy Duff shared some thoughts ahead of that.

“The most interesting matchup that is not in the College Football Playoff is USC vs. Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29th,” Duff said. “OSU feels like they deserved to be in the playoff, but USC has just as strong of an argument, also going 11-2 during the regular season, and they lost against a stronger team than Iowa.”

Boise State, Troy, Georgia State, Marshall, and Middle Tennessee have all won their bowls so far and are looking ahead to next season. The Kickoff listed the complete bowl schedule (with our Kickoff Power Rankings) in Issue 16, out Dec. 11th.

Duff said the post-season is generally more difficult to predict this year.

“The Orange Bowl Winner will be whoever has any motivation left between Miami and Wisconsin. (They are) two teams in playoff contention all year that fell apart in the final week,” Duff said. “I think Auburn should win against UCF, which is losing their head coach. I expect LSU to win against Notre Dame, which is overmatched.”

“Regarding the College Football Playoffs, can a Big XII offense take care of business against a defense as talented as Georgia’s? I think they can, but UGA has the potential to give Baker Mayfield problems,” Duff said. “Of course, the marquee matchup is the third playoff meeting between Bama and Clemson. Clemson was playing better towards the end of the year, but Bama should be much healthier and is still the team to beat.”

If Georgia prevails in the Rose Bowl and Alabama beats Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, producing an All-SEC national championship game, Duff said experience points to Alabama winning. “If Oklahoma beats Georgia, then I think they will beat Bama,” he said.

In addition to winning the Heisman, Baker Mayfield led several of the stats this season, including percentage of completed passes, efficiency rating, total yards per play, and being responsible for touchdowns at 46. He was also named to the 2017 Kickoff All American team, along with Sooners Mark Andrews, Orlando Brown, and Obgonnia Okoronkwo. These ingredients combine for a potent threat to Clemson defending its national title if the two teams should go head-to-head.

“As we close our 67th season in publication, we would like to thank all of our corporate and individual subscribers for continuing to support The Kickoff,” Duff said. “It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to share your excitement for the sport of college football every fall. College football is not only a game; it’s a cultural pastime shared throughout the United States, and we are truly blessed to spend Saturdays with you. We look forward to seeing you in 2018. We wish you a safe and happy holidays!”

To celebrate the holidays, The Kickoff is offering a special where readers can get 29 issues for the price of 23!

Take advantage of this special limited-time offer and you can begin receiving Email/PDF issues of our college football newsletter in February 2018 – then receive the 6 monthly issues we publish between February and July (covering recruiting, the NFL draft, spring practice, etc.), 17 weekly issues during the actual season and bowl games, PLUS an additional six issues – all for the price of a 23 issue regular subscription ($39.00) that normally only covers 12 months!

You can be all set with no need to renew your subscription until fall of 2019! This is a great deal, especially if you subscribed to the 17 weekly issues for 2017 and wish you could keep following the action.

That’s just slightly more than $2 a month to receive the kind of insight you’ve come to trust from The Kickoff for the next 18 months! You won’t find a better deal than this. It’s our way of saying Thank You and Merry Christmas.

This offer is available ONLY for our PDF/Email edition. Get it today for yourself or Gift it to a friend or family member this Christmas! This offer ends Dec. 31st.

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!

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