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Tag Archives: college football predictions

LSU Takes Top Spot in AP Top 25 After Auburn Win

NCAA: College Football Players can Profit From Likeness

Note: As we write this blog, there is breaking news that the NCAA is announcing greater leniency on players receiving compensation for use of their likeness in products like college football video games. And at least one Congressman has Tweeted that if this is the case, the IRS may treat college scholarships as income. We will provide more coverage of this issue as more details are revealed. 

We hope everyone has had a smooth experience with our new experience of receiving the PDF version of The Kickoff college football newsletter. First class mail subscribers of our print edition are not impacted.

If you are a subscriber, you should have received an email from The Kickoff with the subject line “The Kickoff (Vol. 69, Issue #10).”

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Previewing Week 8 of the College Football Season

Michigan and Penn State are two of the most successful college football programs. This weekend, the two schools will face off with College Football Playoff implications.

As the Week 8 marquee matchup, the #16 Wolverines hope to knock off the #7 Nittany Lions. This is a rivalry in which the home team has typically prevailed in recent history, including Michigan winning eight of the last nine home games in the series.

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Our Boldest Predictions for the 2019 Season

Changes are Coming to College Football

 

Hello again, and welcome back to The Kickoff blog. As the leading predictor of college football results and statistics, we wanted to take some time in today’s blog to go over some of the boldest predictions that are floating around during the offseason. While it is true that every offseason brings with it a large amount of off the wall predictions, we feel that the predictions that we are going to list in today’s blog post have some merit to them and, as a result, deserve a little more analysis than the typical rumors that get thrown about. With just around three months until the start of the 2019 season, there are now a handful of teams that we believe will be ranked among the elites in August. In addition to these noteworthy teams, we feel that a few teams are going to come out as darkhorse candidates this season and could surprise quite a few people. Continue reading below to learn more!  

 

Notre Dame: Highly Ranked Flop or Potential Powerhouse?

 

The term “flop” may be a bit harsh when it comes to describing Notre Dame but there is a chance that the Fighting Irish, despite a load of talent returning on both sides of the football, finishes the year with three regular-season losses. This number would surely keep the Irish well shorty of their expectations this season as quarterback Ian Book returns as a preseason Top 10 pick. Notre Dame will not be favored in road trip games against Georgia or Michigan and there are several other games that could go either way for the team during their fall schedule. We predict that their hopes of getting back to a Playoff game after the predicted setback that is going to hit them in Athens.

 

The Tennessee Volunteers are Going to Win 9 Games

 

We know that this prediction sounds a little ludicrous after the Vols’ abysmal season last year, but hear us out. Jeremy Pruitt has laid the groundwork for a successful season and we are predicting a better than expected finish for Tennessee this season, especially if they can go into Gainesville and beat the Gators in their SEC opener. The offense this season should be improved under Jim Chaney as long as their is solid play up front. Depth could be an issue if the Vols experience any major injuries in the beginning of the season, however, we expect Tennessee to only lost to Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mizzou during the regular season. This will be a tough year for the boys in orange, but we expect them to surprise more than a few people with their performance this season.

 

Heisman Finalist: Sam Ehlinger

 

Sam Ehlinger has that rare quality where he can make the players around him want to use every last ounce of energy they have to win football games. Not only is he an outstanding player with a canon for an arm, he is a player that inspires his team to be better than their individual selves. We feel that Ehlinger is one of the players this season that has it, that intangible factor that is needed to be successful in the important leadership position that comes with being a quarterback. If Ehlinger decides to step up and take the next step as a passer this season, a step that we see happening after last years showing, we expect that he could exceed 50 total touchdowns by season’s end. Because of this, we feel that his play will be too impressive for Heisman voters not to mention him in spotlight games.

 

Join us again next time as we continue to cover some of our boldest predictions for the 2019 college football season. If you would like to keep up with the latest, most in depth stats in college football, we encourage you to signup for our monthly Kickoff stats package. We break down all of the important information so that you can accurately predict which teams are going to come out on top this season.

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!”

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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.

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 kickofforders@gmail.com 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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