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2020 CFB Catch All Thread

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https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/28636331/college-football-most-intriguing-2020-games-headlined-nick-saban-vs-lane-kiffin

College football's most intriguing 2020 games headlined by Nick Saban vs. Lane Kiffin

Feb 11, 2020

Alex Scarborough  ESPN Staff Writer

It's only February, but who's kidding whom here? It has been a month since the CFP National Championship and we're already looking ahead to the start of the 2020 season, circling the most compelling games on the calendar.  The criteria here is more games of interest than of importance. That's why you won't see the annual Texas-Oklahoma, Michigan-Ohio State and Auburn-Alabama rivalries. We've all come to expect those games to matter, so we're looking for a different mix of matchups that will draw people in for other reasons.

  • Michigan at Washington, Sept. 5

Set aside the abrupt retirement of Chris Petersen and the ascension of Jimmy Lake to head coach at Washington. With all due respect, this game really isn't about that -- or those picturesque views of Husky Stadium, which looks out over the bay in Seattle, either. Rather, the focus will be squarely on Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who finds himself squarely on the hot seat and can't afford starting the season off with a loss.

  • North Dakota State at Oregon, Sept. 5

A 12-win season and a Rose Bowl win was great and all, but now what? With quarterback Justin Herbert gone, whom will Oregon turn to behind center? Coach Mario Cristobal has a lot of questions to answer, and not much time to do it. North Dakota State is no ordinary cupcake FCS season-opening opponent. The Bison are a powerhouse, having won three consecutive FCS National Championships and riding a 37-game winning streak.

  • Texas at LSU, Sept. 12

Welcome to the A/C Bowl, Part II. The first installment last year in Austin was a wild ride, and not just the pregame DBU debate and the game itself when LSU quarterback Joe Burrow began his Heisman Trophy campaign with a bang. The real fireworks came afterward when LSU coach Ed Orgeron claimed that the air conditioning in the visitors locker room wasn't working, which Texas denied. When asked about returning the favor, Oregon laughed and said, "I'm sure we have a plan or two to make them as comfortable as they can possibly be."

  • Auburn vs. UNC, Sept. 12

The ACC is in desperate need of a team other than Clemson to step up. Could it be UNC in Year 2 of the Mack Brown era? Beating Auburn in Atlanta would be a start. UNC returns its stellar freshman quarterback Sam Howell, while Auburn's defense will be without standout defensive linemen Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson.

  • Georgia at Alabama, Sept. 19

Nick Saban is bound to lose to one of his former assistant coaches someday, right? I mean, we're at 19 wins and counting, and the streak is bordering on ridiculous. So maybe with Georgia coach Kirby Smart coming back to Tuscaloosa for the first time since he left his post as defensive coordinator, it's time for it to end. Alabama will be breaking in an inexperienced starting quarterback, and Georgia's defense is loaded. The loss of longtime starting quarterback Jake Fromm hurts, of course, but replacing him with Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman and bringing in Todd Monken to overhaul the offense means the Bulldogs are dangerous.

  • Florida State at Boise State, Sept. 19

Last year's second-half meltdown against Boise State was the beginning of the end of Willie Taggart's short-lived run as head coach at Florida State. But that doesn't mean the pain is coming to an end for Seminoles fans just because Taggart is gone. Going on the road to the blue turf of Boise, where the Broncos are primed for a huge season, will be a tough task for a team looking to regain respectability under new coach Mike Norvell.

  • Oklahoma at Army, Sept. 26

How often do we see legacy programs like Oklahoma go on the road to play a service academy? Most schools avoid Army and its triple-option offense at all costs. But the Sooners are making the risky, albeit scenic, trip to West Point, New York, early in the season and with a young quarterback (Spencer Rattler) in tow.

  • Alabama at Ole Miss, Oct. 3

Something tells me the reunion of Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin won't feature a lot of hugs at midfield. Kiffin certainly cherished his time as offensive coordinator at Alabama from 2014 to 2016, when Saban essentially threw him a lifeline and helped turn around his career, but now that he's back in the SEC at Ole Miss, don't be surprised if he takes aim at his old boss. The talent disparity is obvious but Kiffin is nothing if not creative and he'll have one of the most electric quarterbacks in the conference (John Rhys Plumlee) to work with.

  • Texas A&M at Auburn, Oct. 17

It feels like every story about Jimbo Fisher begins or ends with a note about the eye-popping $75 million guaranteed contract Texas A&M gave him back in December 2017. And now it's time, in his third year leading the program and with veteran quarterback Kellen Mond back for his senior season, for the Aggies to get their return on investment. They should be undefeated heading into the trip to Auburn, after all, coming off games against Abilene Christian, North Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Fresno State. Beating the Tigers would signal a step forward. Losing would raise serious questions and start the hot-seat talk right away.

  • Alabama at LSU, Nov. 7

Man oh man did LSU enjoy beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa last year, celebrating on the field as if it had won a national championship. Joe Burrow was carried away on his teammates' shoulders, for goodness sake. And that very public celebration would have been enough to light a fire under Alabama for the rematch of bitter SEC rivals. Strength coach Scott Cochran has been known to make a motivational mountain out of a molehill, after all. But then a clip of Ed Orgeron shouting, "Roll Tide, what? F--- you!" in the locker room was leaked and it sparked what will surely be one of the most intense games in the rivalry when Alabama goes into Death Valley.

  • Clemson at Notre Dame, Nov. 7

Cover your ears, Dabo Swinney. This isn't meant to be disrespectful to you or your conference. We all know how you feel about that. But look at your schedule and find the playoff-caliber test. Whether it's a weak ACC (not your fault, of course) or an out-of-conference schedule that includes Akron, The Citadel and South Carolina (kind of your fault), there's just not a lot there. So it will all come down to one game: a trip to South Bend against a Notre Dame team that has high expectations and a senior quarterback in Ian Book. Win and you're in. Lose and the dream of taking back the national championship might be over in November.

  • Mississippi State at Ole Miss, Nov. 26

Who can forget the end of last year's Egg Bowl, when a pretend dog urination gesture led to a missed extra point and an Ole Miss loss? In an already storied and colorful rivalry, that was one for the ages. But then the dominoes started to fall. Ole Miss fired coach Matt Luke and replaced him with the brash and enigmatic Lane Kiffin. Not to be outdone, Mississippi State then fired Joe Moorhead a month later and stole back the spotlight by replacing him with the always eccentric Mike Leach. It's fitting then that their first meeting will have center stage as the lone FBS game on Thanksgiving night.

Others to watch

Ohio State at Oregon, Sept. 12: The beginning of a great home-and-home series serves as a rematch of the inaugural CFP National Championship Game in 2015.

Tennessee at Oklahoma, Sept. 12: Two storied programs will meet, but the first big test for Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler will be the biggest draw.

Penn State at Virginia Tech, Sept. 12: Can Penn State take the next step as a program? It starts here.

Washington at Washington State, Nov. 27: The Apple Cup will have new coaches on both sides with Jimmy Lake taking over the Huskies' program and Nick Rolovich leading the Cougs.

Nevada at UNLV, Nov. 28: A fight broke out after the game-winning touchdown in overtime last year. Don't be surprised if emotions are running high in the rematch.

 

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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"Hot seat talk" if Auburn is Dumbo's first loss? I mean, I fully expect aggy to have already lost one, maybe two, of their supposed "gimme" games before then, but losing to Auburn has never embarrassed aggy before, so why start now?

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28 minutes ago, Walden Ponderer said:

"Hot seat talk" if Auburn is Dumbo's first loss? I mean, I fully expect aggy to have already lost one, maybe two, of their supposed "gimme" games before then, but losing to Auburn has never embarrassed aggy before, so why start now?

 

Hot Seat for Dumbo may start with their first loss on April 18th...  😂😂😂

2020 Texas A&M Football Schedule

DATE/OPPONENT / LOCATION    

  • Sat, Apr 18   Texas A&M  College Station, TX | Spring Game
  • Sat, Sep 5.   Abilene Christian   College Station. TX
  • Sat, Sep 12   North Texas  College Station. TX
  • Sat, Sep 19    Colorado    College Station. TX
  • Sat, Sep 26    Arkansas *  Arlington, TX
  • Sat, Oct 3    @ Mississippi State  Starkville, MS
  • Sat, Oct 10   Fresno State  College Station. TX
  • Sat, Oct 17    @ Auburn   Auburn, AL
  • Sat, Oct 24    @ South Carolina  Columbia, SC
  • Sat, Nov 7     Ole Miss   College Station. TX
  • Sat, Nov 14    Vanderbilt  College Station. TX
  • Sat, Nov 21   @ Alabama  Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Sat, Nov 28     LSU    College Station. TX

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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A&M will have at least two losses when it goes to Auburn; spring game & Leach in Starkville. If Jimbo has fully embraced what it means to be an aggie, he likely will have lost to Arkansas as well. 

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Long Detailed article in case you are interested... 2nd Edition.  (For reference, here is the first version.)

Way-Too-Early College Football Top 25: LSU loses ground, Clemson still No. 1  

Mark Schlabach.  ESPN Senior Writer 6:06 AM CT 

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/28726502/way-too-early-college-football-top-25-lsu-loses-ground-clemson-no-1 

1. Clemson

2. Ohio State

3. Alabama

4. Georgia

5. Penn State

6. Oregon

7. Florida

8. LSU

9. Oklahoma

10. Notre Dame

11. Texas A&M    😂😂😂

12. Oklahoma State

13. Wisconsin

14. Auburn

15. Michigan

16. Minnesota

17. Cincinnati 

18. Iowa State

19. Boise State

20. Iowa

21. USC

22. North Carolina

23. Texas

24. Appalachian State

25. Baylor     😆😆😆

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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https://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/28724972/acc-student-athletes-allowed-one-transfer-exemption

ACC: Student-athletes should be allowed one-time transfer exemption

Feb 17, 2020    Adam Rittenberg.   ESPN  

The ACC is joining the Big Ten in supporting a one-time transfer exemption for student-athletes in all sports.  The league announced Monday that it "unanimously concluded" at its annual winter meetings that athletes in all sports should be allowed to transfer one time without having to sit out a year of competition. NCAA rules currently allow a one-time transfer exemption for athletes in all but five sports: football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball and men's ice hockey. Athletes transferring in those sports must sit out a year of competition unless they graduate from their original institution or obtain an immediate-eligibility waiver from the NCAA.

Big Ten athletic directors confirmed last month that the league in 2019 introduced a proposal for a one-time transfer exemption in all sports. The proposal is not being considered because the NCAA board of directors in November imposed a moratorium on all transfer related proposals. Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith told ESPN that he hoped the Big Ten's proposal would "force a discussion" among other leagues about changing the transfer rules.

"The ACC discussed the transfer environment and unanimously concluded that as a matter of principle we support a one-time transfer opportunity for all student-athletes, regardless of sport," the ACC said in a statement Monday. "As a conference, we look forward to continuing the discussion nationally."

A Big Ten athletic director said the league hopes the moratorium soon will be lifted, and the proposal could be considered as early as this spring, with a potential vote at the 2021 NCAA convention.

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https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/28708116/2020-preseason-college-football-fpi-breakdown

2020 CFB Preseason FPI Rankings

RANKING
TEAM CONFERENCE
1. Clemson ACC
2. Ohio State Big Ten
3. Oklahoma Big 12
4. Alabama SEC
5. Penn State Big Ten
6. Wisconsin Big Ten
7. Texas Big 12
8. Texas A&M SEC
9. Notre Dame Independent
10. Georgia SEC
11. Florida SEC
12. LSU SEC
13. USC Pac-12
14. Oregon Pac-12
15. Auburn SEC
16. Michigan Big Ten
17. Oklahoma State Big 12
18. North Carolina ACC
19. Tennessee SEC
20. Minnesota Big Ten
21. UCF American Athletic
22. Nebraska Big Ten
23. Florida State ACC
24. Utah Pac-12
25. Virginia Tech ACC
26. Indiana Big Ten
27. Iowa Big Ten
28. Stanford Pac-12
29. Washington Pac-12
30. California Pac-12
31. Iowa State Big 12
32. TCU Big 12
33. Kentucky SEC
34. South Carolina SEC
35. Louisville ACC
36. Purdue Big Ten
37. Miami (FL) ACC
38. Northwestern Big Ten
39. Mississippi State SEC
40. Cincinnati American Athletic
41. Arizona State Pac-12
42. Ole Miss SEC
43. Pittsburgh ACC
44. Baylor Big 12
45. Houston American Athletic
46. Texas Tech Big 12
47. Virginia ACC
48. West Virginia Big 12
49. UCLA Pac-12
50. Kansas State Big 12
51. Boise State Mountain West
52. Navy American Athletic
53. Missouri SEC
54. Washington State Pac-12
55. Georgia Tech ACC
56. Colorado Pac-12
57. Memphis American Athletic
58. Michigan State Big Ten
59. North Carolina State ACC
60. SMU American Athletic
61. Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt
62. BYU Independent
63. Arizona Pac-12
64. Duke ACC
65. Illinois Big Ten
66. Arkansas SEC
67. Oregon State Pac-12
68. Maryland Big Ten
69. Wake Forest ACC
70. Tulsa American Athletic
71. Buffalo MAC
72. Syracuse ACC
73. Western Kentucky Conference USA
74. Tulane American Athletic
75. Appalachian State Sun Belt
76. Air Force Mountain West
77. Wyoming Mountain West
78. Boston College ACC
79. Southern Miss Conference USA
80. Marshall Conference USA
81. Vanderbilt SEC
82. Western Michigan MAC
83. Rutgers Big Ten
84. Miami (OH) MAC
85. UAB Conference USA
86. South Florida American Athletic
87. Arkansas State Sun Belt
88. San Diego State Mountain West
89. Florida Atlantic Conference USA
90. Ohio MAC
91. Temple American Athletic
92. Middle Tennessee Conference USA
93. Fresno State Mountain West
94. Ball State MAC
95. Utah State Mountain West
96. Colorado State Mountain West
97. East Carolina American Athletic
98. Nevada Mountain West
99. Georgia Southern Sun Belt
100. Army Independent
101. Toledo MAC
102. Northern Illinois MAC
103. Central Michigan MAC
104. Kansas Big 12
105. Louisiana Tech Conference USA
106. Kent State MAC
107. Georgia State Sun Belt
108. San Jose State Mountain West
109. Rice Conference USA
110. Troy Sun Belt
111. Charlotte Conference USA
112. Coastal Carolina Sun Belt
113. Louisiana-Monroe Sun Belt
114. South Alabama Sun Belt
115. North Texas Conference USA
116. UTSA Conference USA
117. UNLV Mountain West
118. Old Dominion Conference USA
119. Hawaii Mountain West
120. Florida International Conference USA
121. Eastern Michigan MAC
122. Liberty Independents
123. Connecticut Independents
124. New Mexico Mountain West
125. Texas State Sun Belt
126. New Mexico State FBS Independents
127. Bowling Green MAC
128. Akron MAC
129. UTEP Conference USA
130. UMass Independent

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SEC: An hour before hitting the field for spring practice, Alabama has announced that they are suspending practice until further notice. Source tells FootballScoop the entire SEC is doing this. Update: The SEC has now announced it is suspending “all organized team activities, including competitions, team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings” through April 15.

Georgia: Kirby Smart and staff members required to self-quarantine, per report.

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Posted (edited)

https://www.si.com/college/2020/03/20/college-football-spring-coronavirus-impact-unc

How One College Football Team Is Staying in Shape While Staying Home 

The coronavirus outbreak has created logistical challenges for college football teams who would normally be holding spring practice.

LAKEN LITMAN   MAR 20, 2020

Backpacks stuffed with books. Duffle bags filled with sand. Water jugs. This is what at-home workout equipment looks like during a pandemic. With gyms, among so many other things, shut down around the globe as the coronavirus continues to spread, people are turning their living rooms, kitchens and even bathrooms into pseudo fitness studios.

This includes Division I athletes, who must figure out another way to keep up their strength and conditioning with many college campuses closed. The NCAA recently canceled all winter and spring championships for 2020 and some conferences have canceled all athletic related activities through the end of the 2019-20 academic year. So how do student-athletes stay in shape without access to their school’s multimillion-dollar facilities and state-of-the-art technology and equipment?

“Instead of a dumbbell squat, we’re giving them direction on how to fill a duffle bag with sand or books or anything that they have to give it some weight,” says North Carolina’s head strength coach Brian Hess. “So now we’ll do a goblet squat. It’s the same movement, but now we’re loading it with anything we can put together at home.”

At UNC, Hess and his strength staff are putting together voluntary workout programs for football players to do at home. A gallon of water can become a kettle bell. A coffee table can become a bench. When Hess worked as an assistant strength coach at Harvard from 2009-11, he had to come up with exercises for a Nordic skier who was studying abroad in Patagonia. With the coronavirus outbreak halting team workouts until further notice, he’s falling back on that experience. “This isn’t the first time I’ve had to write a program with no weights involved,” he says.

Hess’s plan is to email players PDFs with personalized workouts, including diagrams and explanations of each movement, each week. Ideally the guys will establish a routine and train at similar times as if they were working together in Chapel Hill. Hess expects this will be easier to manage once players receive their academic schedules and begin online classes next week.

The team will be split into four groups of 25 players—mostly organized by position—reporting to a specific strength coach. Hess, for example, will be in charge of the linemen. Coaches hope this will keep communication smooth, whether it's via email, Zoom or text.

While he’s still in the process of finalizing the program, Hess explained what the first week might look like: Players begin with the same dynamic warmup they’ve done before as a team, then move into a duffle bag goblet rear foot elevated squat, maybe four sets of eight reps each side, then into a bag goblet reverse lunge. Hess notes that single leg work will be a big focus because he’s got to keep movements challenging despite the lack of load. The rest of the workout might include a bag RDL, bag hip bridge and core movements. As far as cardio and conditioning, Hess hopes players can get to a field or a flat road and set up some cones—or something similar—for change-of-direction work.

After three weeks, Hess and his staff will re-evaluate how things are going and make necessary adjustments.

“We will give them as many options as we can to replicate the best training program we can,” Hess says.

Eventually, depending how long it takes to get back on campus, Hess will add position-specific concepts the best he can. It might just be that conditioning will be different for each group, or that some of the explosive work and plyometrics would change slightly if you’re a skill player or a lineman.

“Once we get to the time of year where that becomes our focus, we’ll have a new program ready for the guys from an at-home standpoint,” Hess says.

North Carolina went 7–6 under Mack Brown last season but has the tools to be an ACC Coastal contender. The Tar Heels had the nation’s No. 19 recruiting class for 2020 and currently have the No. 4 class for 2021. Four-star quarterback Drake Maye, a top-10 quarterback in his class, recently flipped his commitment from Alabama to UNC. But in order to legitimately compete with Clemson within the conference and keep up the program’s momentum, players can’t get lax while they’re stuck at home.

“If you’re a lazy player or your eating habits are bad, we’ve challenged parents to help us, but we’ve also challenged players,” Brown says. “Teams that have a lack of discipline or are irresponsible are going to lose ground and lose games this spring, not next fall.”

Hess adds that while he’s not worried the team will get out of shape, he reminds them that “if we have to start at zero when you come back, that will put us further behind. But if we can start back with some conditioning and then hit our summer program as planned, with some modifications made, we’ll be in a much better spot.”

Players still have access to team nutritionist Kelsee Gomes, too, who will regularly communicate with players about how their diet is going. UNC is also working with the NCAA to figure out how to continue helping players who might be mid-rehab and providing guys with certain nutritional items, like supplements, that they’d normally have access to on campus.

“We’re just making sure guys don’t regress after working so hard,” Hess says.

Hess admits he will be interested to see where his players end up when this is all over and life is back to normal. No one has any idea when college football teams will get back to campus. Or when fall camp will start. Or if the season will be impacted. Right now, all the UNC strength staff can do is keep players moving and help them stay in the best shape possible, understanding that a bag goblet squat simply isn’t the same thing as a dynamic effort squat where bar speed is measured by chains and bands. But it will have to do for now.

“It’s making the best out of a bad situation,” Hess says.

Edited by LTtxfan

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On 2/19/2020 at 3:13 PM, Walden Ponderer said:

I call bullshit. Kansas at 104? You're telling me there's 26 FBS teams they could beat?

 

spacer.png

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https://www.si.com/college/2020/03/20/college-football-spring-coronavirus-impact-unc
How One College Football Team Is Staying in Shape While Staying Home 
The coronavirus outbreak has created logistical challenges for college football teams who would normally be holding spring practice.
LAKEN LITMAN   MAR 20, 2020
Backpacks stuffed with books. Duffle bags filled with sand. Water jugs. This is what at-home workout equipment looks like during a pandemic. With gyms, among so many other things, shut down around the globe as the coronavirus continues to spread, people are turning their living rooms, kitchens and even bathrooms into pseudo fitness studios.
This includes Division I athletes, who must figure out another way to keep up their strength and conditioning with many college campuses closed. The NCAA recently canceled all winter and spring championships for 2020 and some conferences have canceled all athletic related activities through the end of the 2019-20 academic year. So how do student-athletes stay in shape without access to their school’s multimillion-dollar facilities and state-of-the-art technology and equipment?
“Instead of a dumbbell squat, we’re giving them direction on how to fill a duffle bag with sand or books or anything that they have to give it some weight,” says North Carolina’s head strength coach Brian Hess. “So now we’ll do a goblet squat. It’s the same movement, but now we’re loading it with anything we can put together at home.”
At UNC, Hess and his strength staff are putting together voluntary workout programs for football players to do at home. A gallon of water can become a kettle bell. A coffee table can become a bench. When Hess worked as an assistant strength coach at Harvard from 2009-11, he had to come up with exercises for a Nordic skier who was studying abroad in Patagonia. With the coronavirus outbreak halting team workouts until further notice, he’s falling back on that experience. “This isn’t the first time I’ve had to write a program with no weights involved,” he says.
Hess’s plan is to email players PDFs with personalized workouts, including diagrams and explanations of each movement, each week. Ideally the guys will establish a routine and train at similar times as if they were working together in Chapel Hill. Hess expects this will be easier to manage once players receive their academic schedules and begin online classes next week.
The team will be split into four groups of 25 players—mostly organized by position—reporting to a specific strength coach. Hess, for example, will be in charge of the linemen. Coaches hope this will keep communication smooth, whether it's via email, Zoom or text.
While he’s still in the process of finalizing the program, Hess explained what the first week might look like: Players begin with the same dynamic warmup they’ve done before as a team, then move into a duffle bag goblet rear foot elevated squat, maybe four sets of eight reps each side, then into a bag goblet reverse lunge. Hess notes that single leg work will be a big focus because he’s got to keep movements challenging despite the lack of load. The rest of the workout might include a bag RDL, bag hip bridge and core movements. As far as cardio and conditioning, Hess hopes players can get to a field or a flat road and set up some cones—or something similar—for change-of-direction work.
After three weeks, Hess and his staff will re-evaluate how things are going and make necessary adjustments.
“We will give them as many options as we can to replicate the best training program we can,” Hess says.
Eventually, depending how long it takes to get back on campus, Hess will add position-specific concepts the best he can. It might just be that conditioning will be different for each group, or that some of the explosive work and plyometrics would change slightly if you’re a skill player or a lineman.
“Once we get to the time of year where that becomes our focus, we’ll have a new program ready for the guys from an at-home standpoint,” Hess says.
North Carolina went 7–6 under Mack Brown last season but has the tools to be an ACC Coastal contender. The Tar Heels had the nation’s No. 19 recruiting class for 2020 and currently have the No. 4 class for 2021. Four-star quarterback Drake Maye, a top-10 quarterback in his class, recently flipped his commitment from Alabama to UNC. But in order to legitimately compete with Clemson within the conference and keep up the program’s momentum, players can’t get lax while they’re stuck at home.
“If you’re a lazy player or your eating habits are bad, we’ve challenged parents to help us, but we’ve also challenged players,” Brown says. “Teams that have a lack of discipline or are irresponsible are going to lose ground and lose games this spring, not next fall.”
Hess adds that while he’s not worried the team will get out of shape, he reminds them that “if we have to start at zero when you come back, that will put us further behind. But if we can start back with some conditioning and then hit our summer program as planned, with some modifications made, we’ll be in a much better spot.”
Players still have access to team nutritionist Kelsee Gomes, too, who will regularly communicate with players about how their diet is going. UNC is also working with the NCAA to figure out how to continue helping players who might be mid-rehab and providing guys with certain nutritional items, like supplements, that they’d normally have access to on campus.
“We’re just making sure guys don’t regress after working so hard,” Hess says.
Hess admits he will be interested to see where his players end up when this is all over and life is back to normal. No one has any idea when college football teams will get back to campus. Or when fall camp will start. Or if the season will be impacted. Right now, all the UNC strength staff can do is keep players moving and help them stay in the best shape possible, understanding that a bag goblet squat simply isn’t the same thing as a dynamic effort squat where bar speed is measured by chains and bands. But it will have to do for now.
“It’s making the best out of a bad situation,” Hess says.
That's an interesting article. A lot will be said about programs this Fall.

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5 hours ago, JFKFC said:

Folks..... this season will be canceled. 

 

I could see a scenario where it might be delayed, but not canceled...

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Posted (edited)

"ESPN FPI ranks college football's toughest conferences"

By BRAD CRAWFORD    Apr 28th

Who will earn the title of college football's toughest conference this season? With the SEC already tooting its horn following another impressive NFL Draft showing, the road to a national title could once again go through the South.

According to ESPN's latest Football Power Index preseason power rankings, the SEC and Big Ten will garner top billing in the national title hunt during the 2020 season. Every Power 5 conference has at least three squads ranked inside the way-too-early projections, but the SEC and Big Ten — who each produced a College Football Playoff participant last season — are dwarfing the others.

However, neither is the most balanced Power 5 league when it comes to competitive balance. 

ESPN defines its FPI as a "measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team's performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily."

ESPN revealed its updated FPI Top 25 for 2020 earlier this spring and now has a comprehensive look at the nation's toughest conferences entering the summer. This Power 5 conference ranking is determined by average FPI ranking position by team in every league:

5. ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE

9610385.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs 

Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 3

Average FPI ranking by ACC team: 47.5

The word: The ACC can thank its lucky stars for Clemson, college football's new perennial juggernaut. Outside the of the Tigers, the league is relatively weak with only three teams inside ESPN's preseason FPI Top 25. However, Florida State and North Carolina, at Nos. 26 and 29, respectively, could be worthy nationally-ranked teams if both can start the season on a hot streak given the schedule. Still, this league's national relevance revolves around Clemson and how the Tigers shoulder expectations to go 12 with an over-under win total projection of 11.5, per oddsmakers.

Travis Etienne's return to the ACC's best offense can't be understated. He makes Trevor Lawrence's life much easier offensively following Tee Higgins' departure to the NFL. Brent Venables will need to find a new alpha on defense since he'll no longer have Isaiah Simmons to lead, but that's never been an issue during his impressive tenure as Dabo Swinney's most important assistant. Keep an eye on wide receiver Justyn Ross. He should achieve first-team All-America status this fall as WR1. Given the schedule and Clemson's track record of dominance in the ACC, safe to assume the Tigers will be unbeaten once more as a top four seed entering the postseason.

4. PAC-12 CONFERENCE

Kayvon Thibodeaux

Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 3

Average FPI ranking by Pac-12 team: 41.9

The word: Hoping to break a nation-leading four-year drought of missing the College Football Playoff (Washington, 2016) this season, the Pac-12 flexes two national contenders and a third team that should hover around the Top 25 this fall according to ESPN's FPI. Before we get to the league's best squad, let's look at the other two — USC and Utah. With quarterback Kedon Slovis returning, the Trojans are ranked No. 13 in the preseason FPI, sandwiched between Florida and USC. ESPN pens the Utes at No. 24.

Equipped with one of the more talented rosters in program history on the strength of an elite signing class, Oregon expects to compete for a final four berth this fall after squandering its opportunity in 2019 with an unexpected late-season loss at Arizona State. Much of that could fall on the shoulders of quarterback Tyler Shough, who was Justin Herbert's backup last season as a redshirt freshman. In limited duty, he showed command of an offense that shouldn't change all that much under new OC Joe Moorhead, who coached at Mississippi State in 2019. Tailback CJ Verdell will be one of the playmakers helping Shough ease into that transition as QB1. The Ducks are ranked No. 8 in ESPN's preseason FPI.

3. BIG TEN CONFERENCE

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Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 7

Average FPI ranking by Big Ten team: 35.7

The word: The Big Ten Conference may have nation-leading seven teams ranked inside ESPN's preseason FPI rankings, however low rankings from Rutgers, Maryland and Michigan State have skewed the numbers a bit and given the Big Ten an average FPI ranking by team at 35.7 — third-best in college football. The Big Ten has two teams — Ohio State and Wisconsin — with a greater than 5 percent chance to win the national championship. No other Power 5 conference has more than one team held in such high regard. In fact, the Buckeyes have a 63.3 percent chance to get back to the Playoff and a 38.3 chance to reach the national championship game. Ohio State is one of four teams in college football this season with at least a 16 percent chance to go unbeaten and is projected to go 11-1 in the regular season.

The two wild-card contenders in the Big Ten, per the FPI, are Penn State and Michigan. The Nittany Lions come in at No. 7, while the Wolverines appear at No. 19. Coming off another 11-win season, James Franklin's team has a 29.1 percent chance of winning arguably college football's toughest division and a 15.2 percent chance to win the conference. Ironically, the Nittany Lions have a better chance at reaching the Playoff than they are standing tall as champs of the Big Ten. That's a testament to Ohio State and potentially a quality loss for Penn State in they eyes of the final four selection committee.

2. SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

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Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 6

Average FPI ranking by SEC team: 34.4

The word: Surprised to see the SEC in the No. 2 spot, here? We were too. The SEC has the second-most preseason Top 25 teams with six — all included inside the first 15 — but the issue is with the bottom of the league. It's a top-heavy conference, ESPN's FPI predicts, with Vanderbilt (No. 100) and Mississippi State (No. 72) bringing up the rear to skew the league's average FPI rating. No conference nationally has more Top 10 teams than the SEC (Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Auburn).

Can the SEC repeat as national champions? After losing 14 starters and its top two assistant coaches, LSU's task to win another one will be difficult. Surprisingly, there's only two SEC teams even inside ESPN's Top 5 after placing three of the top four in last year's preseason FPI rankings and the Tigers aren't one of them (No. 6). The return of Biletnikoff winner JaMarr Chase bolsters a talented core of wideouts despite heavy draft losses and the Tigers are confident new assistants they've hired to fill holes left by Dave Aranda (Baylor head coach) and Joe Brady (Panthers offensive coordinator) will be home runs.

1. BIG 12 CONFERENCE

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Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 4

Average FPI ranking by Big 12 team: 33.6

The word: Here's a surprise — the Big 12 enters the 2020 season as potentially college football's most competitive league. Thanks to top-to-bottom balance per ESPN's FPI, the Big 12 features two title contenders — Oklahoma at No. 10 and Texas at No. 11 — along with several teams on the verge, including Oklahoma State (No. 17) and Iowa State (No. 27). With nine teams in the Top 45, the Big 12 flexes strength across the league with Kansas being the lone bottom-dweller (No. 98). The FPI projects West Virginia and Texas Tech to also rebound in 2020 as possible bowl teams.

Following a full coaching staff makeover, this is a make or break campaign for Longhorns leader Tom Herman, who enters his fourth season knowing all eyes will be glued to Austin to see if Texas is Big 12 title material and then some. Chris Ash inherits a defense that largely underachieved last season for various reasons and will continue the development of Joseph Ossai and Caden Sterns, two leaders on that side. The most important player for Texas is quarterback Sam Ehlinger. This team's championship hopes ride on his shoulders. If he can stay healthy, new OC Mike Yurcich believes the sky is the limit for this offense.

https://247sports.com/LongFormArticle/ESPN-FPI-ranks-college-footballs-toughest-conferences-SEC-Big-Ten-ACC-Big-12-146569402/#146569402_6

 

 

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/29124560/how-spread-offense-conquered-college-football-hal-mumme-joe-burrow

How the spread offense conquered college football, from Hal Mumme to Joe Burrow

Quote

It had to be LSU that landed the final blow.

You knew the battle was almost over when Nick Saban's Alabama changed its stripes, opened up its offense and kept winning. When the Los Angeles Rams nearly won the Super Bowl with a quarterback from an Air Raid offense, then the Kansas City Chiefs did win one with an even better Air Raider, the ref had to think seriously about stopping the fight. But when LSU not only adopted a spread identity in 2019, but then proceeded to put together maybe the best offensive season in the history of college football, the fight was done.

The spread offense revolution is over. The spread won.

The Tigers had come to personify Big Burly Manball more than anyone. They were the school of workhorse backs and impossibly physical defenses. They beat Alabama in 2011 while scoring six points in regulation, after all. But after a couple of aborted modernization attempts, head coach Ed Orgeron put together the perfect mix of personnel to operate a devastating, innovative spread offense. Despite playing half the teams in the 2019 SP+ year-end top 10, LSU threw for more than 6,000 yards and rushed for more than 2,500, went 15-0 and took home both the national title and, through quarterback Joe Burrow, the Heisman Trophy. Seven Tigers offensive players were selected in the 2020 NFL draft, and more will be next year.

Despite ties to national titles won by Oklahoma (2000), Florida (2006, 2008) and Auburn (2010), the spread was, for much of the 2010s, still regarded by many as an alternative, as something you attempted if you had the perfect quarterback for it or if you didn't have the recruits to run a regular offense.

Everything else is the alternative now. The spread offense is the default college football offense, and considering which quarterbacks are getting selected the highest in the draft each year (Baker Mayfield in 2018, Kyler Murray in 2019, Burrow in 2020), it is the pro-style offense of the day too.

What the college football offense has become

Part of the draw of college football comes in the variety. There are lots of different ways to try to win a game; in a landscape that often includes dramatic talent differences among teams, a bold attempt to do something different can pay off handsomely, at least for a while. After all, the spread revolution itself was defined by a series of bold gestures: Kentucky hiring Valdosta State head coach and Air Raid offensive mastermind Hal Mumme in 1997, for instance, or new Tulane head coach Tommy Bowden hiring an unknown offensive coordinator named Rich Rodriguez from Glenville State, also in 1997. Bob Stoops took on a risk of his own when in 1999, as new head man at option haven Oklahoma, he hired Mumme's protégé, Mike Leach. There is a place for bold and different in this sport.

Still, coaches follow what works, and as Miami head coach Manny Diaz once put it to me, "There's such a thing as a 'college football offense': 90% of America runs 60% of the same plays."

So how does that 60% of 90% look at the end of the spread revolution? Teams aren't throwing more, but they're throwing more efficiently. The spread revolution has been more or less defined by four innovations: the Air Raid, the zone read, tempo and the run-pass option.

In 1989, the year Mumme got his first collegiate head-coaching job at Iowa Wesleyan, the average top-50 college football quarterback (per passer rating) averaged 25.8 passes thrown per game. The average had jumped to 29.1 by 1999 -- a jump that probably had more than anything to do with the phasing out of the triple option as a mainstream attack -- but in 2019, the average remained just 29.9. This isn't the NFL, where analytics breakthroughs have led to higher pass rates. For all the air-it-out attacks, there are still plenty of grind-it-outs.

Mumme and Leach, however, still made a significant impact in both the literal spread of college football offenses, horizontally and vertically, and the development of the passing game itself.

"For so long in college football, it was an I-tight formation with a fullback and a tight end," Memphis offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said. "You allowed the defense to, what we would say, play in a box, in a nice, tight, little area. Offenses eventually said, 'We don't want to do this; we're gonna make you defend the entire field.' You were going to spread the defense out, get the linebackers in space and try to create some mismatches with some fast slot receivers."

Those mismatches, combined with better route combinations and a larger variety of receiving targets, have resulted in dramatically more efficient passing:

  • Top 50 quarterbacks in 1989: 132.6 passer rating, 57% completion rate, 13.7 yards per completion, 4.0% interception rate
  • Top 50 quarterbacks in 1999: 136.8 passer rating, 59% completion rate, 13.3 yards per completion, 3.2% interception rate
  • Top 50 quarterbacks in 2009: 147.9 passer rating, 64% completion rate, 12.6 yards per completion, 2.6% interception rate
  • Top 50 quarterbacks in 2019: 154.1 passer rating, 65% completion rate, 13.0 yards per completion, 2.0% interception rate

The difference is even more stark among the best of the best. Seventeen of the 20 highest single-season passer ratings ever, and each of the top eight, were recorded in the 2010s. Mayfield set the bar at 196.4 in 2016, then topped himself (198.9) in 2017. Tua Tagovailoa (199.4) and Murray (199.2) both cleared that in 2018, then Burrow (202.0) topped them all last fall.

In 1989, Iowa State's Bret Oberg ranked seventh in the country with a 143.7 passer rating. That would have ranked 44th in 2019.

It's still all about options (but the pitch man is 12 yards downfield)

Rodriguez allegedly stumbled into the zone read concept when Glenville State quarterback Jed Drenning bobbled a snap while attempting to run an inside zone handoff. He kept the ball instead, which fooled the defensive end, and took it upfield for a nice gain. Looking for any advantage he could find, Rodriguez put it in the playbook. It followed him to Tulane, Clemson and eventually West Virginia, where as head coach he won or shared parts of four Big East titles, booked three top-10 finishes and nearly made the 2007 national title game.

Needless to say, other coaches adopted it too.

"It's always said that there's no patent on scheme," Rodriguez said. "There's no secret sauce. If someone's having success, whether college, pro or even high school, coaches are gonna watch the film. I remember, I think it was the year we won the Sugar Bowl at West Virginia [in 2005], we might have had 50 other colleges visit us. And we were sharing everything! We might learn from you too!"

The zone read forced the defensive end to stop and read the situation instead of making an all-out charge at a shotgun quarterback. It evened the numbers out, forcing defenses to account for an extra ball threat. This set into motion a fun game of cat and mouse. Defenses deployed safeties or outside linebackers as overhangs, protecting the end and positioning someone to tackle the QB on the keeper. Offenses responded by throwing bubble screens and quick passes to the perimeter, while coaches such as Oregon's Chip Kelly had a lot of fun reading not only the end but basically every player near the line of scrimmage on the zone read. And as defenses began to further reposition themselves horizontally, offenses began to look for ways to capitalize vertically. Enter the run-pass option.

Joe Moorhead, now the offensive coordinator at Oregon after stints as Penn State's OC and Mississippi State's head coach, has a pretty clear memory of where the concept came about for him: "We were playing at Miami of Ohio in 2005." He was Akron's OC at the time. "I can see it -- we were going left to right on the screen, and the ball was on the left hash," Moorhead explained. "It was a two-tight end set. We called it 15 Lock Stick, and the [strongside] linebacker dove in to stop the inside zone, so we threw the ball to a tight end in the flat. It was a run coupled with a throw off of a second-level defender," or what we now know as the RPO.

Moorhead and other coaches began figuring out the guys in conflict -- guys with both run and pass responsibilities who had to react quickly to what was unfolding -- and reading them like they did the defensive end. Whatever he chose to defend, the offense did the opposite. "It was the point guard era of the spread offense," Diaz said. "You had to take your guy out of run-pass conflict and play some version of man-to-man to defend those things. And if you can't play man" -- and only so many can -- "there are issues."

"Everything now is conflict," Iowa State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock said. "It's always been about conflict, but in the past, it was always some form of same-play conflict: run or pass." The triple option, for instance, put edge defenders in conflict when it came to the quarterback keeping the ball, giving it to the fullback on the dive or pitching it to the pitch man out wide. But if it was a run, it was a run.

"I'm old enough to remember when the wishbone came about," Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. "When Alabama sprang out the wishbone against Southern Cal [in 1971], that's not me reading it in a book -- I'm old enough to remember it! Coaches would talk with other coaches about how to defend the dive-quarterback pitch: 'Get somebody inside the loaded [box], get somebody outside the loaded.' The spread offense is at the peak of the new norm, and when you add the RPO, it's really dive-quarterback pitch! The pitch man's just running a route down the field."

Rodriguez has found plenty of ways to implement the RPO game into his playbook. It's hard to see why you wouldn't. "Anything you run in the quick passing game, you can basically tag onto a run play," he said. "In college, where the [blockers] can get three yards downfield, you can run just about every run play, specifically your zone, with your quick game and have the best of both worlds." Even predominantly run-based attacks such as those of Minnesota and Louisiana found extreme benefit to incorporating the RPO.

Tempo is mostly situational now

In 2009, teams averaged 26.6 seconds of clock time between snaps. By 2013, that had sunk to an even 25. That season, 22 teams snapped the ball at least 1,000 times. Led by examples such as Art Briles' Baylor and Kelly's Oregon, some spreads had grown devastating in their ability to maximize personnel advantages and keep defenses frazzled and scrambling with no-huddle attacks.

Defenses have adapted, shrinking and simplifying their calls in the same way that offenses did.

"Part of the offense's advantage was just trying to go as fast as you can," said Jeff Thorne, head coach of Division III national champion North Central. "We could limit the defense's calls and force them to not be able to communicate well. But I think that has totally flipped. A defense feels like they can communicate with one word, just like an offense can. One word can mean a coverage or a blitz or a front, whatever it might be. Their communication has caught up, and I don't think that just going fast all the time is necessarily the answer anymore."

Indeed, by 2019, FBS offenses were back to averaging 26 seconds between snaps, the lowest since 2010. Only eight had 1,000-plus snaps. Once offenses realized there wasn't as much of an advantage to tempo, it quickly became a situational thing. "When this all started," Steele said, "the spread was tied to the no-huddle. You didn't hear any conversation about college football where someone was not talking about either how great the no-huddle was or a defensive coach was talking about how unfair it was. Now, no one even talks about it. It's just the way we play."

In one way, offenses have maybe ceded too much ground.

Per Sports Info Solutions, about 24% of snaps in 2019 -- not including the first play of a given drive -- took place within 30 seconds of real time from the end of the last play. That included 28% of first- and second-down snaps, but only 14% of third-down snaps. After using a little bit of tempo, offenses reset before a big third-down call.

That means the defense gets to reset too.

"I think that's a mistake," Rodriguez said. "I understand you want to get it right, but sometimes we think too much. And if you do that, you're playing back into the defense's hands. On third down, you're gonna see a whole new crew come in, they're gonna have third-down personnel. If you're an offensive guy, you have the ability to not let them sub. We make a point of that: When we play teams that sub a lot, we're gonna go faster on third down."

The Air Raid offense developed by "mad scientists" Hal Mumme, right, and Mike Leach, center, hit the field at Iowa Wesleyan beginning in 1989. Courtesy of Iowa Wesleyan

Good defense is all about multiplicity

Today, offense comes down to reads and conflict. How much can your quarterback process both before the snap and directly after? How well can your structure isolate specific defenders and make them guess wrong? That makes it tricky for a defense to scout opponents in the traditional way.

"People always try to take away whatever a team does best," Heacock said. "Well, the hardest part now is when they're in these offenses, what are they running the most of? That's hard to decipher. They're so based on what you're doing, and what they do best in one game might not be what they do best in another. I think it used to be, a team lines up, and, 'Hey, they're a power team, a tight end run team, an inside zone team.'" And now they're just designed to do whatever you're not set up to stop.

Heacock set up his Iowa State defense, then, to show as little as possible. He crafted a unique version of the 3-3-5 defense, with a tight front three and eight players who swarm to the ball. In a way, they do what offenses have long sought out to do -- create space for their runners. Their effect is to prevent big plays and force offenses to tolerate going five yards at a time. "I'd never heard of doing this, to be honest," Heacock said. "We just tried to do what we could do in the conference we were playing in with the guys that we had. But when you look out there on offense, everything looks the same. That's where you're trying to get an advantage."

Other defenses have gone in a different direction. If the spread offense is about getting defenses to declare themselves, declare the thing offenses are least interested in doing. "Someone told me a long time ago," Diaz said, "one way to take away the triple option is to take away the option. You tell them what you want them to do and then force them to do it."

You can do that in part with the alignment of your players. You also can do it by convincing the quarterback he sees something he doesn't.

"Give 'em as many false reads as you can give 'em," Steele said. "We went to seven defensive backs against LSU [in 2019]. Now we had the luxury of having players who could do what we asked 'em to do -- it comes back to talent and having the players -- but it helped us some. Now the key to that is being able to hold up in the run game. So you've gotta have the right kind of DB." Most don't. But Auburn held LSU to 5.8 yards per play and 23 points -- by far LSU's season lows -- in a narrow loss.

"Defenses do a great job of showing quarterbacks something pre-snap," Slippery Rock offensive coordinator Adam Neugebauer said, "but you better not just assume that's the coverage and that's the picture. We tell our quarterbacks, 'Find the proof.' They're going to show you what you want to see, but on the snap, the leverage is going to change."

The more familiar defensive coaches get with the spread, the more they can adapt. "Because so many offenses are running these things now," Moorhead said, "defenses aren't just seeing it three or four times a season, they're seeing it every day in spring ball and fall camp. That makes a huge difference."

"When I was coaching on other staffs before I met Coach [Matt] Campbell," Heacock said, "I had coached against it, but I had never coached with it. What's helped me understand it is practicing against it every single day on the practice field. Instead of having to be an expert three times a year, you have to be an expert 365 days a year. It helps you understand their mindset."

Good offense is all about multiplicity

In 2000, Northwestern offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson visited Rodriguez at Clemson to learn how to create a tactical advantage while maintaining the power principles he and head coach Randy Walker preferred. The move reaped immense dividends: The Wildcats flipped from 110th to 10th in scoring offense and won a share of the Big Ten title, all while maintaining their power principles.

Things began to get particularly interesting when Bob Stoops hired Wilson as Oklahoma's co-offensive coordinator in 2002.

"When we started years ago," Wilson said, "it wasn't by design, it wasn't to be smart; it was just kind of out of necessity. When we got to Northwestern, we just weren't quite as good. Randy wanted to run the ball and be in I-formation, but we didn't have fullbacks and tight ends. He didn't want to throw the ball, so we started looking at the gun spread.

"I got hired [at Oklahoma] because Bob wanted to run a little bit more, but we had that Leach-style passing that we kinda morphed into the spread run game. I think that's where it kind of took off. Fifteen, 20 years ago, you were either throwing the ball every play -- Air Raid -- or you were basically a quarterback option attack." Over time, you could do both.

By 2008, Wilson had come across the perfect spread recipe. The Sooners' attack, led by future No. 1 pick Sam Bradford, could go no-huddle or slow things down. They could line up players such as tight end Jermaine Gresham, running back Demarco Murray and H-back Brody Eldridge in a number of different spots to, as Wilson put it, "go from little to big without substituting." They used countless formations. A defense had no way to know what was coming next and, thanks to tempo, no time to prepare for it. The Sooners averaged 51 points per game and scored 60 or more in each of the last five games of the regular season.

OU stumbled at the finish line that year, blowing a couple of goal-line chances and losing in the BCS title game to Florida. But the Sooners showed how offenses could take things further as defenses adapted.

Johns, a former Wilson assistant at both Northwestern and Indiana, did with incredible Memphis running back Kenneth Gainwell what Wilson did with Murray years earlier, moving him around to create mismatches, helping him to gain 1,459 rushing yards and 610 receiving yards in 2019.

Gainwell types are a product of the time. "Down at the high school level," Johns said, "everyone lines up in spread. A lot of times those kids who end up in the slot are the kids that are maybe too small to be just running backs in college. Maybe they're not tall and long enough to be a true outside receiver, but man, they're really good athletes. If you can recruit the Kenny Gainwells, who are almost tweeners -- they were slot receivers in high school, but you can hand them the ball or have them run routes -- those are the kids that are coming out a lot more in high school."

And those are the kids who can prevent defenses from getting too comfortable.

Versatility was a key to North Central's 2019 Division III national title. "We use just about every formation you can be in," Thorne said. "You have to have the right personnel to do that, though. We had two really versatile tight ends, we were blessed with a couple of good running backs and really good receivers, so we could get into all sorts of different formations."

Slippery Rock had the best offense in Division II last year for a lot of the same reasons.

"We showed an unorthodox formation every single week," said Neugebauer, a disciple of Gary Goff (Valdosta State's head coach and a former player for Mumme and Leach). "Even with a great defensive coordinator, if they see something they haven't seen before, you make them adapt on the fly. That causes them to have to communicate more on the sidelines -- 'OK, this is what we're gonna do to set up' -- but now they're not talking about our base plays, they're talking about how to line up against us. And that's where we get an upper hand. If you allow the defense to get set and line up properly, they won."

"That's what made Central Florida so tough when [Scott] Frost was there," said Steele, whose Auburn team lost to UCF in the 2018 Peach Bowl. "It was like a new game every week: 'Have they changed coaching staffs this week?' It was different stuff."

In 2019, though, LSU proved you could still add concepts to the repertoire, not simply use a large quantity of what already exists. The adjustment to slowing down RPO attacks has generally been playing man coverage instead. It produces cleaner assignments and fewer in-conflict defenders. It also leaves you vulnerable to getting gashed if you don't have guys who can play man defense well.

"Offenses try to equate the numbers or get a numbers advantage by using the quarterback either as an extra guy in the run game or in the RPO part," Rodriguez said. "Defensively, the answer is to play press man, take away all those easy RPOs and throws. But now you're seeing teams like LSU that throw a bunch of rub routes and pick routes" -- route combinations designed to beat man coverage -- "because you're giving them so much single coverage.

"That's where the chess match goes."

We might be through with the giant innovations for a while. We might have to wait for another true offensive shock such as the zone read or RPO. But the chess match indeed continues.

 

 

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On 4/29/2020 at 5:24 PM, LTtxfan said:

"ESPN FPI ranks college football's toughest conferences"

By BRAD CRAWFORD    Apr 28th

Who will earn the title of college football's toughest conference this season? With the SEC already tooting its horn following another impressive NFL Draft showing, the road to a national title could once again go through the South.

According to ESPN's latest Football Power Index preseason power rankings, the SEC and Big Ten will garner top billing in the national title hunt during the 2020 season. Every Power 5 conference has at least three squads ranked inside the way-too-early projections, but the SEC and Big Ten — who each produced a College Football Playoff participant last season — are dwarfing the others.

However, neither is the most balanced Power 5 league when it comes to competitive balance. 

ESPN defines its FPI as a "measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team's performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily."

ESPN revealed its updated FPI Top 25 for 2020 earlier this spring and now has a comprehensive look at the nation's toughest conferences entering the summer. This Power 5 conference ranking is determined by average FPI ranking position by team in every league:

5. ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE

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Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 3

Average FPI ranking by ACC team: 47.5

The word: The ACC can thank its lucky stars for Clemson, college football's new perennial juggernaut. Outside the of the Tigers, the league is relatively weak with only three teams inside ESPN's preseason FPI Top 25. However, Florida State and North Carolina, at Nos. 26 and 29, respectively, could be worthy nationally-ranked teams if both can start the season on a hot streak given the schedule. Still, this league's national relevance revolves around Clemson and how the Tigers shoulder expectations to go 12 with an over-under win total projection of 11.5, per oddsmakers.

Travis Etienne's return to the ACC's best offense can't be understated. He makes Trevor Lawrence's life much easier offensively following Tee Higgins' departure to the NFL. Brent Venables will need to find a new alpha on defense since he'll no longer have Isaiah Simmons to lead, but that's never been an issue during his impressive tenure as Dabo Swinney's most important assistant. Keep an eye on wide receiver Justyn Ross. He should achieve first-team All-America status this fall as WR1. Given the schedule and Clemson's track record of dominance in the ACC, safe to assume the Tigers will be unbeaten once more as a top four seed entering the postseason.

4. PAC-12 CONFERENCE

Kayvon Thibodeaux

Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 3

Average FPI ranking by Pac-12 team: 41.9

The word: Hoping to break a nation-leading four-year drought of missing the College Football Playoff (Washington, 2016) this season, the Pac-12 flexes two national contenders and a third team that should hover around the Top 25 this fall according to ESPN's FPI. Before we get to the league's best squad, let's look at the other two — USC and Utah. With quarterback Kedon Slovis returning, the Trojans are ranked No. 13 in the preseason FPI, sandwiched between Florida and USC. ESPN pens the Utes at No. 24.

Equipped with one of the more talented rosters in program history on the strength of an elite signing class, Oregon expects to compete for a final four berth this fall after squandering its opportunity in 2019 with an unexpected late-season loss at Arizona State. Much of that could fall on the shoulders of quarterback Tyler Shough, who was Justin Herbert's backup last season as a redshirt freshman. In limited duty, he showed command of an offense that shouldn't change all that much under new OC Joe Moorhead, who coached at Mississippi State in 2019. Tailback CJ Verdell will be one of the playmakers helping Shough ease into that transition as QB1. The Ducks are ranked No. 8 in ESPN's preseason FPI.

3. BIG TEN CONFERENCE

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Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 7

Average FPI ranking by Big Ten team: 35.7

The word: The Big Ten Conference may have nation-leading seven teams ranked inside ESPN's preseason FPI rankings, however low rankings from Rutgers, Maryland and Michigan State have skewed the numbers a bit and given the Big Ten an average FPI ranking by team at 35.7 — third-best in college football. The Big Ten has two teams — Ohio State and Wisconsin — with a greater than 5 percent chance to win the national championship. No other Power 5 conference has more than one team held in such high regard. In fact, the Buckeyes have a 63.3 percent chance to get back to the Playoff and a 38.3 chance to reach the national championship game. Ohio State is one of four teams in college football this season with at least a 16 percent chance to go unbeaten and is projected to go 11-1 in the regular season.

The two wild-card contenders in the Big Ten, per the FPI, are Penn State and Michigan. The Nittany Lions come in at No. 7, while the Wolverines appear at No. 19. Coming off another 11-win season, James Franklin's team has a 29.1 percent chance of winning arguably college football's toughest division and a 15.2 percent chance to win the conference. Ironically, the Nittany Lions have a better chance at reaching the Playoff than they are standing tall as champs of the Big Ten. That's a testament to Ohio State and potentially a quality loss for Penn State in they eyes of the final four selection committee.

2. SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

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Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 6

Average FPI ranking by SEC team: 34.4

The word: Surprised to see the SEC in the No. 2 spot, here? We were too. The SEC has the second-most preseason Top 25 teams with six — all included inside the first 15 — but the issue is with the bottom of the league. It's a top-heavy conference, ESPN's FPI predicts, with Vanderbilt (No. 100) and Mississippi State (No. 72) bringing up the rear to skew the league's average FPI rating. No conference nationally has more Top 10 teams than the SEC (Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Auburn).

Can the SEC repeat as national champions? After losing 14 starters and its top two assistant coaches, LSU's task to win another one will be difficult. Surprisingly, there's only two SEC teams even inside ESPN's Top 5 after placing three of the top four in last year's preseason FPI rankings and the Tigers aren't one of them (No. 6). The return of Biletnikoff winner JaMarr Chase bolsters a talented core of wideouts despite heavy draft losses and the Tigers are confident new assistants they've hired to fill holes left by Dave Aranda (Baylor head coach) and Joe Brady (Panthers offensive coordinator) will be home runs.

1. BIG 12 CONFERENCE

9440598.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs

Number of teams ranked in ESPN's FPI Top 25: 4

Average FPI ranking by Big 12 team: 33.6

The word: Here's a surprise — the Big 12 enters the 2020 season as potentially college football's most competitive league. Thanks to top-to-bottom balance per ESPN's FPI, the Big 12 features two title contenders — Oklahoma at No. 10 and Texas at No. 11 — along with several teams on the verge, including Oklahoma State (No. 17) and Iowa State (No. 27). With nine teams in the Top 45, the Big 12 flexes strength across the league with Kansas being the lone bottom-dweller (No. 98). The FPI projects West Virginia and Texas Tech to also rebound in 2020 as possible bowl teams.

Following a full coaching staff makeover, this is a make or break campaign for Longhorns leader Tom Herman, who enters his fourth season knowing all eyes will be glued to Austin to see if Texas is Big 12 title material and then some. Chris Ash inherits a defense that largely underachieved last season for various reasons and will continue the development of Joseph Ossai and Caden Sterns, two leaders on that side. The most important player for Texas is quarterback Sam Ehlinger. This team's championship hopes ride on his shoulders. If he can stay healthy, new OC Mike Yurcich believes the sky is the limit for this offense.

https://247sports.com/LongFormArticle/ESPN-FPI-ranks-college-footballs-toughest-conferences-SEC-Big-Ten-ACC-Big-12-146569402/#146569402_6

 

 

 

But ESPN is so biased.

Right?

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Siap... Sporting News

College football rankings: Top 25 for 2020 season

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/ncaa-football/news/college-football-rankings-top-25-2020-clemson-ohio-state/nksaexznh9m51jojwz2c4htqi

13. Texas

We're not going to say that three-word catch-phrase out loud, but perhaps we were a little early. Sam Ehlinger returns for his senior season, and the Longhorns' young talent showed how good they can be in the Alamo Bowl victory against Utah. Receivers Brennan Eagles and Jake Smith should thrive in increased roles, and the offensive line will be better. The defense will be improved around linebacker Joseph Ossai, who had 13.5 tackles for loss in 2019. It comes down to winning those close games: The Longhorns have six losses of seven points or fewer the last two seasons. The Sept. 12 trip to LSU will come with the same hype as it did in 2019. Will Texas live up to it? 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Aggy,  blOU, Bama, Tennessee, and ohio state.

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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Posted (edited)

https://247sports.com/longformarticle/college-football-preseason-rankings-athlon-magazine-reveals-top-25-clemson-ohio-state-alabama-lsu-147452915/

 

Athlon Magazine reveals official preseason top 25 rankings

By  SAM HELLMAN May 23rd

4. Oklahoma

Out goes Jalen Hurts. In comes Spencer Rattler, who got the 2019 season to grow within the Lincoln Riley offense. Hurts followed in the footsteps of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray as big transfer winners at OU. Is Rattler ready to take over the offense? 

Athlon says, “ Rattler – a five-star recruit in the 2019 class – performed well in limited action last season and is already among the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy this fall. Kennedy Brooks (1,011 yards) leads the way at running back, and the offensive line ranks among the best in college football with all five starters back, including All-America center Creed Humphrey.”

11. Texas A&M -- The Aggies check in third among SEC West teams in the Athlon standings. The third season in College Station for Jimbo Fisher has potential to be a breakthrough one. Quarterback Kellen Mond returns for his third season as a starter. He has 44 touchdowns to 18 interceptions with 6,004 passing yards, 975 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in his two seasons as a starter under Fisher. The Aggies are favorites in their first six games, which could set up for a decisive Oct. 17 road trip to Auburn

14. Oklahoma State

Mike Gundy loses offensive coordinator Sean Gleason to Rutgers. But Gundy and the Cowboys get two huge pieces back to support Spencer Sanders. Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace could both make Heisman Trophy noise in 2020. The Cowboys went 8-5 last year in what was his 14th straight winning season at Oklahoma State.

16. Texas — The Longhorns will have a new look with Tom Herman’s coaching changes, including the additions of Chris Ash and Mike Yurcich as defensive and offensive coordinators respectively. Yurcich, who worked at Ohio State last season, gets to work with one of the nation’s top quarterbacks in Sam Ehlinger. The senior threw for 3,663 yards, 32 touchdowns and 10 picks last season.

17. Iowa State — The Cyclones also bring back an excellent quarterback to Big 12 play, and rank just behind Texas among teams in the conference. The Cyclones have never had four-straight winning seasons as a program, and that will  be one of many goals for Matt Campbell. His quarterback, Brock Purdy, threw for 3,982 yards last season. A school record. Also a school record, his 27 touchdowns in 2019.

Edited by LTtxfan

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Posted (edited)

 

Spoiler... Hopefully it's BULLSHIT

Quote

 

 

 

Valero Alamo Bowl

Projection: Texas vs. USC

The word: Both of these Top 15 programs are expecting more out of the 2020 season, each blessed with top-end quarterbacks, but without a conference title for either, it's hard to assume a berth in the New Year's Six will happen unless they finish with a single blemish. Texas travels to LSU, takes on Oklahoma in Dallas and must navigate several other challenging matchups during Big 12 play. After the seismic opener vs. Alabama, the Trojans would likely have to run the table in the Pac-12 to reach the final four. Given Clay Helton's hot seat, USC will be an interesting team to watch for sure.

 

 

Quote

Hook'em!!

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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9 hours ago, LTtxfan said:

 

 

Notre Dame-Navy football game moving from Ireland to Maryland

Heather Dinich       ESPN Senior Writer

Quote

Notre Dame football will not open the season against Navy in Dublin, Ireland, on Aug. 29 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the teams will face each other at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, most likely on Labor Day weekend, Notre Dame announced Tuesday morning.

The decision to move the game to Navy for the first time in the 94-year history of the series was made after "extensive consultation" with the Irish government, medical authorities and the administrative staffs at both schools, according to the release. The 94th consecutive game of the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country will be televised nationally by ESPN or ABC.

"Our student-athletes have had great experiences competing in Ireland and are very disappointed not to be returning to Dublin in 2020," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. "The change of venue has been a very difficult decision for our colleagues at the Naval Academy, but we are in full support of their choice. We are also grateful for everything our partners in Ireland have done to make this a smooth transition. We look forward to going back to Ireland for a game in the not too distant future."

There is still no definitive timetable for the return of college athletics, although the NCAA has allowed football players across the country to begin to return to voluntary workouts this month. Talks to cancel the season opener in Ireland began last week, but it took several days of meetings for it to become official because of the immense planning involved. Plane tickets had already been purchased and hotel rooms booked. It's the first official change to the college football game schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic.  Around 40,000 people from the U.S. were expected to attend the sold-out game.

"We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August," Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in the statement. "But as expected, our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved. I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large. Once we have a definitive plan in place, we will announce the specifics pertaining to the game."

According to the release, both programs will continue to work closely with the event organizers to plan for a return to Ireland in the coming years. Information on ticket refunds will be forthcoming. In 2012, the last time the storied rivals played in Ireland, more than 35,000 fans traveled from the United States to see the game at Aviva Stadium.

"College football is one of the greatest spectacles in world sport and we had been thoroughly looking forward to welcoming Navy and Notre Dame here this summer for the first game of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic Series," said Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar. "Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, that is now not possible, but we hope to see both universities return to Aviva Stadium in the coming years. I want to personally thank both Chet Gladchuk and Jack Swarbrick for their efforts to bring the game to Ireland and we hope to welcome both teams back in the near future."

The game will mark the first time Notre Dame visits Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Each prior meeting hosted by Navy has been played at a neutral site. Overall, Notre Dame owns a 79-13-1 record (which includes two regular-season wins later vacated under a discretionary NCAA penalty) against the Midshipmen.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/29229460/our-top-college-football-quarterback-questions

Wow, ESPN not even trying to hide their SEC bias!!

  • Five SEC QB's discussed
  • Two PAC 12 QB's
  • 1 B12 QB opening 
  • 1 B10 QB 
  • 1 ACC QB

(No mention of Ehlinger, Fields, or Trevor Lawerence,  but not a QB ranking article)

 

"Life after Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa: Our top college football quarterback questions" 

  1. Who will have the pressure of following Joe Burrow's all-time season at LSU?  (SEC)

  2. Can Georgia fix its passing game?  (SEC)

  3. Who's replacing Shea Patterson at Michigan?

  4. Who's the best small-school quarterback?

  5. Who is the next superstar QB at Oklahoma?

  6. Can Mac Jones keep Alabama's offense humming?   (SEC)

  7. What will life be like after Justin Herbert at Oregon?

  8. Will K.J. Costello help Mike Leach get his offense up to speed in Year One?  ( SEC) 

  9. Can John Rhys Plumlee give Ole Miss some spark?   (SEC) 

  10. Can D'Eriq King bring some excitement back to The U? 

  11. What will Washington's offense look like after Jacob Eason?

 

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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