Mark Lindquist


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CFB Preview: Team Nos. 19-11

Saturday, August 26, 2017

*Note: Fantasy targets provided by Rotoworld's CFB guru, Thor Nystrom, whose rankings can be found here (quarterbacks), here (running backs), here (wide receivers), here (tight ends) and here (kicker/defense).

(19). Georgia Bulldogs

Thor Nystrom’s fantasy targets:
Nick Chubb (No. 22 RB)
Sony Michel (No. 120 RB)
Terry Godwin (No. 115 WR)
Isaac Nauta (No. 24 TE)
Georgia D (No. 7 D)

NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: RB Nick Chubb (Rds. 1-3 grade, per Charlie Campbell)

How should I think about this team?: An offensive line and a receiver or two away from being a Playoff contender.

The Bulldogs are stacked. The offense is loaded with elite talent in five-star sophomore QB Jacob Eason, the elite running back duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and highly-touted sophomore TE Jacob Nauta.

Georgia is also better equipped to deal with injuries than most, with stud recruits QB Jake Fromm, four-star sophomore RB Elijah Holyfield and five-star freshman RB D’Andre Swift. All that’s great, but all the dynamite in the world isn’t going to ignite if your offense line leaks water all over the wick.

Despite boasting multiple elite running backs, Georgia was consistently stuffed at the line of scrimmage last fall. An offensive line that finished No. 101 in S&P+ Adj. Line Yards just lost three starters. Even if Eason has time to throw this fall, will his receivers get open and make a play? Isaiah McKenzie is gone, leaving Terry Godwin, sophomore Riley Ridley and five-star sophomore Mecole Hardman atop the depth chart. None of the three has done much at the collegiate level yet.

The defense should be Playoff-caliber. It features a nasty front seven full of future NFL players like DT Trenton Thompson, DE Jonathan Ledbetter and LBs Davin Bellamy, Lorenzo Carter and Roquan Smith. The secondary lost a few contributors but remains veteran-laden and should be strong.

Add it all up and you have a team that could either sneak into bowl season as a major disappointment, or win the SEC if all the pieces come together. We’re splitting the middle with this project, calling for an 8-4 finish.

Bovada over/under win total: 8.5
Prediction: UNDER
Projected record: 8-4


(18). Texas Longhorns

Thor Nystrom’s fantasy targets:
Shane Buechele (No. 31 QB)
Chris Warren (No. 35 RB)
Kyle Porter (No. 132 RB)
Devin Duvernay (No. 50 WR)
Collin Johnson (No. 59 WR)

NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: OLB Malik Jefferson (Rd. 4 grade, per Tony Pauline)

How should I think about this team?: Objects in your rearview mirror ARE closer than they appear.

If you hate the Longhorns, I hope you enjoyed the schadenfreude of last season. You may not see Texas finish with another losing record for some time.

Texas has averaged only 6.6 wins per season since 2010 (16-21 in the three years under Charlie Strong), but the times are a-changin’. Last year’s Baby Horns finished 3-6 in the Big 12, but actually outgained conference foes by nearly 20 yards per game. With most of that team back, new HC Tom Herman should hit the ground running with former HC Charlie Strong’s collection of stud recruits.

The offense could be scary so long as sophomore QB Shane Buechele (or touted freshman Sam Ehlinger) masters the spread, zone-read heavy system being installed by Herman and former Ohio State OC Tim Beck. The offensive line, fronted by future first-round pick LT Conor Williams, is one of the nation’s best. The receiving corps is one of the nation’s deepest and one of its most athletically explosive. Texas lost 2,000-yard rusher D’Onta Foreman to the NFL, but the hope is that the monstrous RB Chris Warren (comped to Jerome Bettis by the RB coach) gets healthy in time to do his best Foreman impression in 2017. Warren dealt with the mumps in the spring and concussions early in fall camp, so the Longhorns may be forced to turn to Kyle Porter a year early.

The defense remains a work-in-progress. It’s been horrific the past two years, allowing over 30 ppg both times, but does have two things going for it: 1.) It’s absurdly talented (if you believe recruiting rankings), and 2.) Most of it returns in 2017. New coordinator Todd Orlando fielded superb rushing defenses at Houston. If he and his 3-4 scheme can improve that aspect of Texas’ defense, everything else should fall into place. Easier said than done, but Orlando does have a superstar to build around in OLB Malik Jefferson.

When Strong left Austin, he said whoever coached the team next would win 10 games in 2017. With this group, anything less than nine would be a disappointment. We’re projecting an 8-4 regular season and for the Horns to be favored in their postseason assignment.

Bovada over/under win total: 7.5
Prediction: OVER
Projected record: 8-4


(17). Michigan Wolverines

Thor Nystrom’s fantasy targets:

Chris Evans (No. 57 RB)
Tarik Black (No. 142 WR)
Ian Bunting (No. 35 TE)
Michigan defense (No. 13 D)

NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: C Mason Cole (Rds. 1-2 grade, per Tony Pauline)

How should I think about this team?: Can I interest you in another 10-3 season, Wolverine fans?

A third straight 10-3 finish might feel disappointing or even stale, but if Jim Harbaugh can pull it off, I’ll consider it his finest moment as Michigan’s coach. That I’m projecting it in light of the roster turnover he’s dealing with speaks to the elite stratosphere Harbaugh has reached as a coach: No matter the odds, trust the guy.

At this time of year, that’s not the easiest thing to do. Michigan’s ho-hum No. 41 S&P+ offense must replace its top rusher, four of its top five receiving targets and three All-Big Ten offensive linemen. Michigan’s nasty defense lost even more, including its top three defensive linemen, its top linebacker, and its top five defensive backs. The Wolverines lost 42 seniors, 17 of whom started. Heisman finalist Jabrill Peppers declared for the draft early, creating another hole.

On offense, Wilton Speight is expected to win the starting quarterback job. Swapping in Chris Evans as the leading ball carrier for De’Veon Smith is no downgrade, but Speight will wish he had his 2016 teammates at most other spots. The offensive line took a huge shot when Erik Magnuson, Kyle Kalis and Ben Braden exhausted their eligibilities, and it took another when Harbaugh indicated that T Grant Newsome might need to take a medical redshirt for the knee injury he suffered in October.

The Wolverines return an elite NFL prospect in C Mason Cole, but question marks abound elsewhere on the line. As with other positions, though, the next-man-ups at Michigan are all blue-chip recruits. At TE, Ian Bunting and Tyrone Wheatley are hoping to replace Jake Butt, and at WR, five-star Donovan Peoples-Jones and four-stars Tarik Black, Nico Collins and Oliver Martin will join forces with Grant Perry, Kekoa Crawford and Eddie McDoom in an attempt to replace Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson.

Offensive regression is almost assuredly in store. All of which leaves much pressure on the defense to be just as nasty this year. It finished No. 2 in S&P+ in Don Brown’s first year (one season after Brown’s last Boston College defense finished No. 3 in S&P+).

Brown loses DEs Chris Wormley and Taco Charlton, DT Ryan Glasgow and LB linebacker Ben Gedeon, but he can build his defense from the inside out with the elite interior combo of DTs Maurice Hurst and Rashaun Gary.

Michigan won’t finish No. 1 in S&P+ pass defense again—not with Peppers, CBs Channing Stribling and Jourdan Lewis and safeties Dymonte Thomas and Delano Hill out the door. Moving the ball on Michigan will be a tall task again. But whereas last year the Wolverines defense had basically no holes, you’ll probably be able to throw the ball a bit on this version. That’s a problem in modern college football, and it’s exacerbated by what will be a mediocre Michigan passing offense.

This is a throwback team, even more so than recent Harbaugh teams. That we still expect the Wolverines to go 10-3 says more about Harbaugh than it does his roster.

Bovada over/under win total: 9
Prediction: PUSH
Projected record: 9-3


(16). Florida Gators

Thor Nystrom’s fantasy targets:
Malik Zaire (No. 55 QB)
Jordan Scarlett (No. 61 RB)
Antonio Callaway (No. 52 WR)
DeAndre Goolsby (No. 11 TE)
Eddie Pineiro (No. 12 K)
Florida D (No. 4 D)

NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: OL Martez Ivey (Rds. 1-2 grade, per Charlie Campbell)

How should I think about this team?: If Jim McElwain has at long last fixed the offense, the Gators are Playoff contenders; if not, they’ll look exactly as they always do.

In Bill Connelly’s preview of Florida on SB Nation, he included this gem of a stat: During McElwain’s time at Florida, the Gators are 14-0 against teams No. 61 or worse in S&P+ and 5-8 against teams in the top-60. The reason? McElwain’s yet to fix the offense, the unit that eventually sunk predecessor Will Muschamp.

Will this year be any different? That depends on your level of confidence in Notre Dame grad transfer QB Malik Zaire (or hyped redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks) and OC Doug Nussmeier. Nussmeier was a rising star in the industry until he left Alabama for Michigan in 2014. The past three years -- one with the Wolverines, two with the Gators -- his units have been bad. To be fair, he hasn’t been given a legitimate quarterback to work with in Gainesville. Last year, Nussmeier protected the Group of 5-caliber duo of Luke Del Rio and Austin Appleby by grinding out the clock starting in the first quarter and calling most of his passes on running downs.

Such shenanigans won’t be necessary if either Zaire or Franks is good. Florida has the makings of contending pieces elsewhere on offense. RB Jordan Scarlett is a strong prospect, the top receiving corps (led by Antonio Callaway, Brandon Powell and Tyrie Cleveland) is one of the best in the SEC, and the TE duo of DeAndre Goolsby and C’yontai Lewis would make most FBS programs envious. Callaway is a headache off the field -- he’s suspended for the opener -- but when he’s active, defenses must account for his every move.

The offensive line struggled with injuries, inexperience and ineffectiveness last year. It’ll be better in 2017, with seven returners with starting experience, including lauded NFL prospect Martez Ivey.

If the offense is solid -- that’s a big if -- then look out. Because Florida’s defense is always awesome, finishing No. 13 or better in Def. S&P+ every year since 2007. The front seven is going to be strong again, ensuring another vicious run defense, but McElwain’s staff will have to rebuild the secondary on the fly. CBs Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson and S Marcus Maye are now in the NFL, and the top returning safety, Marcell Harris, tore his Achilles last month.

Perhaps we’re being victimized by magical thinking, but we see an offensive breakthrough along with another strong defensive showing. If we’re right, the Gators are headed for a double-digit win season with a ceiling of a Playoff berth.

Bovada over/under win total: 8
Prediction: OVER
Projected record: 10-2


(15). Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Thor Nystrom’s fantasy targets:

Brandon Wimbush (No. 18 QB)

Josh Adams (No. 41 RB)

Equanimeous St. Brown (No. 31 WR)

Chase Claypool (No. 165 WR)

Alize Mack (No. 4 TE)

Justin Yoon (No. 24 K)

NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: WR Equanimeous St. Brown (Rd. 1 grade, per Charlie Campbell)

How should I think of this team?: An exorcism of last year.

Some teams just have weird seasons, where everything comes together in just the wrong way. That was Notre Dame in 2016. Peeling back the layers on a 4-8 campaign reveals one-possession losses in seven games. The Irish simply could do no right, be it against Texas, NC State, Virginia Tech or Michigan State. That rotten luck should flip this year.

Gone is DeShone Kizer after an occasionally rocky final season in South Bend. Kizer’s replacement, junior Brandon Wimbush, comes with all of the bells and whistles in terms of pedigree that you might expect from an emergent Notre Dame quarterback. Wimbush has just seven pass attempts for his career, but coaches have raved about his work ethic in camp and the dual-threat passer’s presence was enough to shove Malik Zaire down to Florida.

He’ll have everything he needs around him for success, including explosive running-back tandem Josh Adams and Dexter Williams, plus a potential first-rounder-to-be in WR Equanimeous St. Brown, who came up just shy of 1,000 yards last season while averaging 16.6 yards a catch.. They also have a billion tight ends, with Durham Smythe, Brock Wright and Alize Mack the headliners in that crew. Head coach Brian Kelly said that the team plans on using them heavily. Rounding out the offense is a stocked, experienced line which sees four of five starters from a year ago coming back to give it another ride. It’s an intriguing offense if Wimbush and his through-the-roof upside can come through.

Notre Dame began last season in disastrous fashion on defense, which ultimately resulted in DC Brian VanGorder’s dismissal early in the campaign. They stabilized after VanGorder hit the road and now return an experienced linebacking corps and a deep secondary. There’s more noticeable room for wobble on the defensive line, where the team must replace DE Isaac Roshell and DT Jarron Jones. Still, despite those absences, new DC Mike Elko -- who did fantastic work at Wake Forest under Dave Clawson before taking the Notre Dame gig this winter -- has surprisingly few immediate concerns.

What to watch for during the season -- Notre Dame faces a second half filled with bear traps, including contests against USC, Miami and Stanford, the latter two of which will be road dates. A run at the Playoff might require them to go undefeated through September into October so as to cushion against what will at least be one loss down the stretch. The schedule is more manageable early, with only a home game against Georgia in Week 2 looming as a potential road block. If they can get past the Bulldogs, though, they should hit their showdown with USC at 6-0.

Bovada over/under win total: 7.5

Prediction: OVER

Projected Record: 10-2  


(14). Louisville Cardinals

Thor Nystrom’s fantasy targets:

Lamar Jackson (No. 1 QB)

Jeremy Smith (No. 93 RB)

Dez Fitzpatrick (No. 60 WR)

Jaylen Smith (No. 87 WR)

NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: QB Lamar Jackson (Rds. 1-2 grade, per Tony Pauline)

How should I think of this team?: Lamar Jackson striking the Heisman pose.

Louisville romped all over Florida State in the third week of the season a year ago, a coming out party for Lamar Jackson, who was kept in check as a passer but rushed for 146 yards and four touchdowns anyway. Then he proceeded to march his way to a Heisman Trophy on the strength of 3,543 passing yards, a 30/9 TD/INT ratio, 1,571 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. Stare at those numbers for a moment and then remember that he was an exceedingly raw true sophomore who was just learning how to play quarterback. Even if Jackson isn’t able to match the pure number output from a year ago -- and he probably won’t -- he’s going to be a better player.

Jackson has undergone an unfair offseason makeover in the media, a barely-there backlash to his Heisman which has more been spawned from The Offseason than any actual logic outside of, “Ummmm, sure, what about that other guy?”. Offseason chatter is just that and it’s going to cease to matter the moment the season starts.

A less settled proposition than Jackson, himself, comes in the offensive line. After all, he can’t show off his new spiffy passing skills he’s been honing in the offseason if he is lying on his back. Louisville brings back just two of five starters on the line from a year ago and that was the same line which essentially disintegrated against Houston and (in a bowl loss) LSU. Jackson can only do so much when he’s running for his life. After all, you don’t see the babysitter in HALLOWEEN completing passes at a high clip when Michael Myers (Ed Oliver) is doing his stabbing thing. At least Jackson will have friends in the backfield to share in his misery-- gone is the uninspiring Brandon Radcliffe, to be replaced by the trio of Jeremy Smith, Reggie Bonnafan and Malik Williams. Louisville also had exciting freshman back Colin Wilson as an option before Wilson broke his hand a week into preseason camp. But he could make a cameo later in the year.

New faces will be starring in the receiving corp, too, as wideouts Jamari Staples and James Quick and TE Cole Hikutini have passed through the turnstile. Like sharks, though, Louisville has a replacement set of teeth which should fill in just fine. L-Jax will have a huge (like size-wise) receiving corps to work with and it’s filled with electric athletes like Jaylen Smith and Dez Fitzpatrick. The Cardinals boasted a scary offense a year ago and if Jackson -- who has had eight months to improve as a passer -- ups his game, it’s going to reach God Mode levels.

There’s less upside on the defense. They proved one of the nation’s best against the run a year ago, but must now replace DT DeAngelo Brown, an uncertain proposition in a 3-4 defense. The secondary returns essentially its entire starting group of cornerbacks, though that’s not necessarily a good thing -- again, Louisville’s pass defense was serviceable at best last year. If there’s not enough bracing the backbone up front, it’s going to put corners on islands.

This is not a perfect team and has questions at running back, wide receiver, defensive line and in the secondary. But it also has Lamar Jackson. It’s rare that one player is so dominant he can almost singlehandedly make up for deficiencies elsewhere. Louisville hosts Clemson on September 16 and travels to Tallahassee to face off with Florida State on October 21. Can guarantee that Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher are thinking about those games in the moment before sleep.

Bovada over/under win total: 9
Prediction: OVER
Projected Record: 10-2


(13). Oklahoma State Cowboys

Thor Nystrom’s fantasy targets:

Mason Rudolph (No. 6 QB)

Justice Hill (No. 15 RB)

James Washington (No. 5 WR)

Jalen McCleskey (No. 93 WR)

Marcell Ateman (No. 162 WR)

NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: WR James Washington (Rd. 2 grade, per Tony Pauline)

How should I think about this team?: College football’s rendition of the Greatest Show on Turf

Oklahoma State may the country’s best offense. QB Mason Rudolph, he of the prototypical frame and Rds. 1-3 NFL grades, throws one of the best deep balls in the country. This fall, he’ll play with arguably the country's best receiving corps, a group featuring Rd. 1 prospect James Washington (coming off consecutive 1,000-plus yard seasons), Jalen McCleskey, Marcell Ateman (returning from injury), Chris Lacy and former LSU five-star signee Tyron Johnson.

This group will spread you out, test you to deep, and then gash you with RB Justice Hill when you move your secondary back. Oklahoma State’s passing attack is conscientiously explosive -- Rudolph threw only four interceptions on over 400 passes last year, an absurdly low INT rate for a signal-caller who averaged over nine yards per throw.

The issue is the defense, which has finished outside the Def. S&P+ top-60 for three years running. Last year’s shoddy unit lost some of its best players, including defensive tackles Vincent Taylor and Motekiai Maile and most of the secondary (S Jordan Sterns and CBs Lenzy Pipkins and Ashton Lampkin).

The defensive line returns a pair of All-conference candidates at DE, but the back seven remains a huge problem spot. Between returning starter Tre Flowers and CB convert Ramon Richards, the safeties should be fine, but it’s a scary proposition to head into a season in the pass-happy Big 12 with a championship-caliber roster devoid of experience at linebacker and cornerback.

The Pokes will score at will this fall. But it’s hard to envision the defense being able to force stops against the Oklahoma’s and TCU’s of the world, to say nothing of the Baylor’s, Texas’, West Virginia’s and Kansas State’s. For that reason, they look like a wildly-entertaining team that will cough up a few games they were supposed to win.

Bovada over/under win total: 9

Prediction: OVER

Projected record: 10-2


(12). Oklahoma Sooners

Thor Nystrom’s fantasy targets:

Baker Mayfield (No. 3 QB)
Rodney Anderson (No. 53 RB)
Abdul Adams (No. 82 RB)
Jeff Badet (No. 33 WR)
Jeff Mead (No. 47 WR)
Marquise Brown (No. 164 WR)
Mark Andrews (No. 3 TE)
Austin Seibert (No. 9 K)
Oklahoma D (No. 21 D)

NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: TE Mark Andrews (Rd. 2 grade, per Tony Pauline)

How should I think about this team?: No Stoops, no Samaje, no Mixon, no Dede? No problem.

Bob Stoops retired in early June. The news came on the heels of Oklahoma’s spring practices, wherein the Sooners attempted to rejigger an offense that lost over 4,500 yards from scrimmage when Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon and Dede Westbrook left for the NFL.

For most programs, this level of offseason tumult would threaten to sink the upcoming season. For Oklahoma, it does not guarantee that they’ll be worse than the past two 11-2 teams they’ve fielded. In fact, the Sooners very well may be better.

For that to happen -- for the Sooners to win the Big 12 title and compete for a Playoff berth -- new HC Lincoln Riley, a 33-year old whiz kid who spent the past two years as offensive coordinator, will have to prove that he’s more than a skilled playcaller. Riley will also have to reengineer an offense that just lost three of college football's best skill talents.

Don’t put it past him. Riley’s offense will again be run by QB Baker Mayfield, who has finished in the top-four of Heisman voting each of the past two years. Mayfield is protected by one of college football’s best offensive lines, and that unit should greatly help Oklahoma’s new running back tandem pick up where the old one left off. RB Abdul Adams flashed in garbage time last year and appears to be the frontrunner to start.

I’m even more intrigued by former four-star RB Rodney Anderson, a twitched-up banger who’s hoping to finally be healthy. The pass-catching corps should be fine between more usage for prized NFL prospect TE Mark Andrews and the acquisitions of Kentucky grad transfer WR Jeff Badet and JUCO import Marquise Brown. I also expect WR Jeffery Mead to break out.

Since the offense should be fine, Oklahoma’s hopes of returning to the Playoff rest with improving its defense, which was bad in the first half last year but rallied to allow less than 20.0 ppg in the last six games. The Sooners shifted back to a 4-3 scheme in the offseason, adding more girth to the front and theoretically helping the run defense. Havoc-wreaking edge rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo returns, as does the conference’s best secondary, led by CBs Jordan Thomas and Jordan Parker.

If the offense picks up where it left off and the defense retains the gains it made in the second half of last season, Oklahoma may just return to the Playoff after a one-year absence.

Bovada over/under win total: 9.5
Prediction: OVER
Projected record: 10-2


(11). Stanford Cardinal

Thor Nystrom’s fantasy targets:

Bryce Love (No. 27 RB)

Dalton Schultz (No. 28 TE)

Stanford D/ST (No. 11 D/ST)

NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: CB Quenton Meeks (Rds. 2-4 grade, per Charlie Campbell).

How should I think of this team?: The Pac-12’s best hope to topple USC/Washington.

The 2016 Stanford team just couldn’t quite get there. After opening at 3-0 with wins over Kansas State, USC and UCLA, a mystery injury struck Christian McCaffrey and matters started to devolve. Washington and Washington State defeated them by a combined 84-22 score before October was halfway over and then two weeks later they lost to Colorado 10-5 and officially began to scrape the bottom of the barrel. And then, in the most predictable of comebacks, they finished out the year on a five-game winnings streak.

That coincided directly with HC David Shaw’s decision to bench Ryan Burns for Keller Chryst. Chryst couldn’t beat out Burns in August camp, but when Shaw offered him an opportunity after the leaves had turned, he pounced on it, tossing at least two touchdown passes in three of his five starts. This encouraging direction for the Cardinal passing game took a hit when Chryst tore his ACL against North Carolina in the Sun Bowl. Shaw and staff have brought him along slowly over the offseason, to the point that he will be ready to start the team’s down-under season-opener against Rice. If Chryst can build on last year’s awesome finish, Stanford’s offense has all sorts of danger potential this fall.

Christian McCaffrey is no longer around to torment the Pac-12 with his do-everything brilliance, but Stanford has a replacement locked and loaded in the explosive Bryce Love. And we do mean explosive -- he averaged 7.1 YPC last season, down from his freshman average of 7.8 YPC. Yikes. A full season of Bryce Love  = get your popcorn ready. When Chryst does have the chance to let it fly, he’ll be looking for WRs Trent Irwin and JJ Arcega-Whiteside, with TE Dalton Schultz fronting a deep tight ends group. All of this will be backed (fronted?) by a stellar, experienced offensive line. The whole combination is like the offensive equivalent of Stanford’s Greatest Hits. Chryst just needs to play like the underrated Kevin Hogan (asking him to play like Andrew Luck would be a bit much) and this is a group with potential.

The Cardinal’s defense loses a few performers -- with edge rusher Solomon Thomas chief among them -- but it’s a stacked unit on the whole, particularly outside of the defensive line, where you can expect a number of stars in the secondary emerge. Safety Justin Reid and corners Alameen Murphy, Quenton Meeks and Alijah Holder are the headliners in one of the best secondaries in the conference -- a huge advantage given the Pac-12's plethora of pass-happy offenses -- and beyond that, the country. Attrition on the defensive line could potentially cost Shaw, here, but this should be a lockdown overall unit if everybody can stay on the field. Especially that secondary.

There’s an understandable notion that the conference is coming down to an old fashioned high-noon shootout between Washington and USC, but Stanford could throw a wrench in that. They’ll have multiple opportunities to do so -- and that Trojans game will come up in the second week of the season, a prime spot for an upset given that (presumably) you’re not going to get USC any rougher around the edges as you will at the beginning of the season. They’ll also have a shot at upsetting Washington on November 10. The problem with playing both programs is that, well, you have to play both programs. It wouldn’t surprise if Stanford took one of those contests. They aren’t getting both of them, though.

Bovada over/under win total: 8.5

Prediction: OVER

Projected record: 10-1

Mark Lindquist holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa and writes baseball and college football for He's currently working on a memoir about life, death, rock 'n' roll and his year teaching at a Chinese university. You can reach him on Twitter @markrlindquist.
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