Rankings and Ratings

August 23rd

Bleacher Report: Predicting the Pac-12 bowl games

From Bleacher Report

Rose Bowl – USC … Prediction: (3) USC vs. (2) Ohio State

The Rose Bowl will feature two of the sport’s best programs anyway, but this would be a classic Pac-12 vs. Big Ten matchup.

USC will be tested immediately with Stanford and Texas on the docket in September. However, the Trojans would have plenty of time to atone for one loss, especially since they avoid Washington in crossover action. Knocking off the Dawgs in the Pac-12 Championship Game would atone for an early misstep.

Ohio State is eyeing a third College Football Playoff berth in four years, and it sure feels likely. Although the Buckeyes’ closing stretch is tough, their experience is hard to pick against.

Sam Darnold versus Ohio State’s defensive line is an enticing thought—and one that could define his draft stock, too.

Fiesta Bowl – Washington … Prediction: Wisconsin vs. Washington

The Fiesta Bowl should be loving the outlook of 2017.

Either Washington or USC will likely represent the Pac-12 in this clash between at-large programs. Our projection leans toward the Dawgs, but their defense will be a complete nightmare to face if the secondary performs as it has during the offseason. Don’t underestimate UW and its home-heavy schedule in 2017.

Although the Pac-12 isn’t officially tied to the Fiesta Bowl, it’s a probable result because of proximity. The opponent will likely come from the ACC or Big Ten unless a Mountain West team secures the Group of Five’s bid to a NY6 game.

Miami, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin are all reasonable guesses at this point, but we’ll give the Big Ten runner-up a nod. Wisconsin should cruise to a West Division crown and potentially an 11-1 record during the regular season.

Alamo Bowl: Texas vs. Stanford

Tom Herman’s coaching history suggests he will spark Texas. And since the Alamo Bowl has the first choice of Big 12 programs not in a New Year’s Six game, the Longhorns will likely be priority No. 1. That guideline also applies to the Pac-12, where Stanford will battle USC and Washington for a more prestigious game. No matter which team comes up short, the Alamo Bowl will flaunt a superb matchup.

Holiday Bowl: Iowa vs. Oregon

Iowa is limited in postseason possibilities because it cannot or likely won’t return to the TaxSlayer and Outback Bowls, respectively. If a Big Ten team automatically qualifies for the Orange Bowl, the Citrus Bowl is out, too. The Holiday Bowl is the next best thing. Similar to the above game, it would feature a slow-paced offense (Iowa) against an up-tempo attack (Oregon).

Foster Farms Bowl: Minnesota vs. Washington State

Looks familiar, huh? These programs met in the postseason last year. However, Minnesota won’t quite have the clout for a game in Florida, Maryland is closer to the Pinstripe Bowl and the Gophers likely won’t return to the Holiday Bowl. Washington State is soundly a top-five Pac-12 team, but an eight- or nine-win year presumably sends them to Santa Clara if the Holiday Bowl prefers a bounce-back Oregon squad.

Sun Bowl: Colorado vs. Georgia Tech

The preseason narrative for both schools is generally the same: solid but not trustworthy. While there are obvious replacements for graduated quarterbacks, execution is a lingering worry. Georgia Tech made consecutive trips to El Paso in 2011 and 2012, but the four-year gap should be a long enough stretch between appearances. It would be Colorado’s first experience in the Sun Bowl.

Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. UCLA

The Mountain West champion will take on a Pac-12 squad. Boise State has a reload on offense, but Brett Rypien can stabilize the Broncos from under center. Although UCLA is back on the national radar thanks to Josh Rosen’s return from injury, the Bruins will lack the consistency to make a serious charge in the Pac-12.

Cactus Bowl: Baylor vs. Utah

Utah is a perennial bowl team, but the schedule does the Utes no favors in 2017. They can slide into the Pac-12’s final postseason slot, which should be opposite a decent Big 12 squad even if the conference sends a pair of programs to NY6 games. Baylor won’t push for a league crown, but a soft nonconference slate will buoy the Bears.


August 21st

Colorado shut out of the preseason national rankings

For the 15th consecutive season, the University of Colorado failed to make the national preseason rankings. The Buffs were ranked 15th in the 2016 final Associated Press poll; 17th in the final USA Today Coaches’ poll, yet failed to make the Top 25 for the start of the 2017 season.

Despite winning ten games and the Pac-12 South last year, the Buffs failed to impress voters over the past nine months. The loss of eight defensive starters – and three defensive coaches – certainly helped to make it easier to dismiss the Buffs. Colorado did earn a measure of respect from the coaches, coming in at No. 27 overall. Associated Press writers, however, were not swayed, with the Buffs coming in at No. 35 overall.

There are 61 voters in the Associated Press poll, with only seven voters placing Colorado in their Top 25. The highest ranking came from Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, who had the Buffs at No. 21. One other voter had CU at No. 22, one at No. 23, two at No. 24, and two at No. 25.

One of those who voted CU as the No. 24 team in the country was Brian Howell at the Daily Camera. Howell’s votes can be found here. The CU vote:

24. Colorado: Despite the Buffs going 10-4 and winning the Pac-12 South, it seems most pundits can’t forget the 10 consecutive losing seasons from 2006-15. I get it, but I also think the Buffs did enough last year, and have enough coming back this year, to warrant a spot in the preseason Top 25.

There is one possible upside to the CU slight in the polls. The last time the Buffs entered the season as a ranked team, in 2002 … they lost. In the Buffs’ first game of the 2002 season, Colorado State upset Colorado, 19-14. That Colorado State team went onto to a ten-win season and a No. 23 final ranking. It was also the last time CSU defeated a ranked team (0-19 v. ranked teams since), and the last time the Rams won a conference championship.

So the 2017 Buffs will just have to settle for entering the season with a chip on their shoulders …

Associated Press preseason poll … CU way back at No. 35

… This poll just goes to show how much ten years of dismal play has hurt Colorado. The media has bought into an immediate reversion to mediocrity for the Buffs, while giving No. 23 Texas (5-7 in 2016), No. 24 Washington State (which has only seven total returning starters), No. 28 Notre Dame (4-8), No. 33 Oregon (4-8) and No. 36 UCLA (4-8) multiple benefits of the doubt. Here’s guessing that the Buffs, even with a 3-0 non-conference record, will not be ranked in the AP poll when Washington comes to town September 23rd … 

  1. Alabama (52)
  2. Ohio State (3)
  3. Florida State (4)
  4. USC (2)
  5. Clemson
  6. Penn State
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Washington 
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Oklahoma State
  11. Michigan
  12. Auburn
  13. LSU
  14. Stanford 
  15. Georgia
  16. Louisville
  17. Florida
  18. Miami
  19. South Florida
  20. Kansas State
  21. Virginia Tech
  22. West Virginia
  23. Texas
  24. Washington State
  25. Tennessee

Others receiving votes: TCU 98, Utah 85, Notre Dame 65, Boise State 37, NC State 26, Northwestern 25, Pittsburgh 23, Oregon 21, Houston 19, Colorado 18, San Diego State 9, UCLA 9, BYU 5, Appalachian State 4, Nebraska 4, Tulsa 4, Kentucky 3, Texas A&M 3, Michigan State 1

USA Today Coaches preseason poll – Nine Pac-12 teams receiving votes

From USA Today …

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Florida State
4. USC 
5. Clemson
6. Penn State
7. Washington 
8. Oklahoma
9. Michigan
10. Wisconsin
11. Oklahoma State
12. LSU
13. Auburn
14. Stanford 
15. Georgia
16. Florida
17. Louisville
18. Miami, FL
19. Kansas State
20. West Virginia
21. USF
22. Virginia Tech
23. Texas
24. Tennessee
25. Utah

Others Receiving Votes

Washington State 99Colorado 72; TCU 58; Boise State 49; Notre Dame 49; Texas A&M 46; Pittsburgh 45; North Carolina State 39; Oregon 37; Northwestern 25; Nebraska 23; Memphis 22; Arkansas 22; Mississippi State 19; San Diego State 18; Appalachian State 11; Brigham Young 10; Georgia Tech 10; Tulsa 10; Wyoming 9; Western Michigan 8; Temple 8; North Carolina 8; Houston 7; Troy 6; Minnesota 6; Iowa 5; Louisiana Tech 4; Syracuse 3; Arizona 2; Army 1; Colorado State 1; Michigan State 1; Maryland 1; Toledo 1; UCLA 1.




2 Replies to “Rankings and Ratings”

  1. Yeah but last year we weren’t even in the “others receiving votes”. The respect factor is slowly inching up.


  2. My favorite thing about this (as a Buff living in Omaha “At least it isn’t Lincoln” Nebraska) is that Colorado is getting more national respect than the super cool Cornhuskers. Mike Reilly is a super nice guy and is currently averaging 2 interviews a day. He knows he is the anti Bo and a transitional coach. It is nice to see the rest of the nation catching on.

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