Our @MountainWest 2013 Preseason Top 5 Teams

Mountain West Logo

2013 Mountain West Conference Top 5 Rundown

If there was ever a conference that  couldn’t wait for the off-season to end and football begin, it’s the Mountain West.  For a conference at times looked like it could fold, the Mountain West gathered it’s pieces, hit the delete button on some network called the “Mountain” and instead signed a huge (ok, nice or big) deal with ESPN, where it’s Cinderella, Boise State will be featured for all of their games.  The deal will also allow the rest of the league to shine in multiple other games that will be shown throughout the season but enough talk about football, let’s talk TV, wait strike that, reverse it.  Ok, so the storyline in the Mountain West for 2013 is can Boise State maintain it’s dominance and win the inaugural Championship Game or can Fresno State, finally, after years of preseason love, win the big games and take it’s talents to the BCS?  Man, we really want to bet on Fresno but oh, #@&%* here’s the Rundown!!!


Fresno State Logo




1.  Fresno State 11-1

We hate this pick!  There we said it, we hate this pick!  Why? Fresno State has broken our hearts too many years when we thought they were going to return to being a Top 25 team every year and trade wins against Boise State like a good rival, instead they never did.  Now, here we sit, with another Carr going into his senior season for the Bulldogs, we might have a different coach but we have a team, stacked of seniors, starters, playmakers.  We have a team that lost to Tulsa by one point, they’re only other losses, to Oregon and Boise State, this year Fresno has no Oregon, now they have Colorado and they get Boise State at home.  This might seem dramatic but their whole season is going to ride on a home game against Rutgers, if they win that opener, and they go into their game against Boise at 3-0, Fresno could have a special season, maybe undefeated.  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, as we said early we hate the pick but all of our research says it’s the year.  Urggh, we already want to take it back.  PS, don’t be surprised if this season turns magical that Carr ends up in the Heisman talk…


Boise State Broncos Logo




2.  Boise State 11-1

Ok, we really don’t want to say anything here other then, if Boise had the kind of returners that Fresno State had, we would be calling for a BCS return, instead we see Boise having a Boise year, winning all of their games but 1 and being shut out of a major bowl.  They either lose one in the regular season or the Championship game but they will lose a game.  Now, why is Fresno State ahead, because, we think that Boise might get the best of them during the regular season, but we see Fresno coming back and winning the Championship Game, giving them the outright title.  Now, the team, has leadership all over the field on offense but the defense needs to learn and we don’t know if they will be together early enough.  We like everything about Boise, they have built a program that plugs pieces into it’s system and then they go this Boise team will have to wait another year or two until they return to BCS not because they don’t belong because only one team from the Mountain West can make a major bowl and to do that they have to go undefeated.  If we respected this conference, at the end of the year, if Boise sits with one loss and Fresno sits with one loss, they would both deserve a shot at any other one loss team in the country and we always like our money on the team with a chip on it’s shoulder.






3.  Utah State Aggies 8-4

The Mountain West has a big drop off for the 2013 season after the first two teams, after Boise and Fresno, we have a couple of teams that overachieved in 2012 that are going to have a tough run if they want to match the win totals of the previous season.  That group begins with Utah State.  The Aggies last year came within 5 points of a perfect 13-0 season, one that led to it’s coach leaving for an opportunity at Wisconsin (one of the teams they lost to, pretty impressive statement).  Now, in 2013 Utah State finds themselves in a new conference that features games against Boise State and Air Force rather then UTSA and Texas St.  One thing we really like a bout Utah State is the offensive line, the line returns all of it’s starters and the QB, this fact could lead Utah St to a major upset against Boise St or USC but for now we like the Aggies to have a solid year, and maybe with some luck 9 regular season wins and 10 with a bowl victory.





4.  San Diego State Aztecs 8-4

If you were to ask most college football fans how many wins the Aztecs had each of the last three season, we doubt that any of them would know that they have gone, 9,8,9 and that they had a share of the conference title for 2012.  Moving towards the 2013 season, coach Rocky Long, has his players ready to compete with enough starters on both sides of the ball returning, San Deigo State might not win the conference but they should be able to keep the trend of having at least 8 wins a year.  The Aztecs return a total of 16 starters but will have to solidify the right side of the offensive line to make sure that QB Dingwell has the time needed to run Bob Toledo’s offense.  With tough game against Ohio State and Oregon State in weeks two and three, SDSU will have to stay healthy and learn from those teams so they can be ready for league play.  If we had to pick a team other then Fresno to play in the title game and then to win in a huge upset against Boise, we like the idea of SDSU crashing the Bronco’s party in back to back years but that’s just crazy talk.


San Jose State Spartans Logo




5.  San Jose State Spartans 7-5

San Jose State, like SDSU and Utah St, overachieved last year, sometimes if happens when a perfect storm of experience, coaching, schedule and luck all come together for a program.  The Spartens, had a schedule that featured only tough games against Stanford and Utah St with good games against BYU and LaTech.  This year those same games are Stanford, Minnesota and Utah State, then we will add SDSU, Navy, and then Fresno State.  San Jose State will have a winning season, just not a double digit one like last year.


AP Top 25 Released with No Surprises
August 17, 2013

Today the AP Top 25 College Football poll was released with no surprises and very little to spark up new conversation.

1. Alabama
2012 Record: 13-1
Coaches Poll: 1
First Game: vs. Virginia Tech

2. Ohio State
2012 Record: 12-0
Coaches Poll: 2
First Game: Buffalo

3. Oregon
2012 Record: 12-1
Coaches Poll: 3
First Game: Nicholls State

4. Stanford
2012 Record: 12-2
Coaches Poll: 4
First Game: San Jose State

5. Georgia
2012 Record: 12-2
Coaches Poll: 5
First Game: at Clemson

6. South Carolina
2012 Record: 11-2
Coaches Poll: 7
First Game: North Carolina

7. Texas A&M
2012 Record: 11-2
Coaches Poll: 6
First Game: Rice

8. Clemson
2012 Record: 11-2
Coaches Poll: 8
First Game: Georgia

9. Louisville
2012 Record: 11-2
Coaches Poll: 9
First Game: Ohio

10. Florida
2012 Record: 11-2
Coaches Poll: 10
First Game: Toledo

11. Florida State
2012 Record: 12-2
Coaches Poll: 12
First Game: at Pittsburgh

12. LSU
2012 Record: 10-3
Coaches Poll: 13
First Game: vs. TCU

13. Oklahoma State
2012 Record: 8-5
Coaches Poll: 14
First Game: vs. Mississippi State

14. Notre Dame
2012 Record: 12-1
Coaches Poll: 11
First Game: Temple

15. Texas
2012 Record: 9-4
Coaches Poll: 15
First Game: New Mexico State

16. Oklahoma
2012 Record: 10-3
Coaches Poll: 16
First Game: Louisiana-Monroe

17. Michigan
2012 Record: 8-5
Coaches Poll: 17
First Game: Central Michigan

18. Nebraska
2012 Record: 10-4
Coaches Poll: 18
First Game: Wyoming

19. Boise State
2012 Record: 11-2
Coaches Poll: 19
First Game: at Washington

20. TCU
2012 Record: 7-6
Coaches Poll: 20
First Game: vs. LSU

21. UCLA
2012 Record: 9-5
Coaches Poll: 21
First Game: Nevada

22. Northwestern
2012 Record: 10-3
Coaches Poll: 22
First Game: at Cal

23. Wisconsin
2012 Record: 8-6
Coaches Poll: 23
First Game: UMass

24. USC
2012 Record: 7-6
Coaches Poll: 24
First Game: at Hawaii

25. Oregon State
2012 Record: 9-4
Coaches Poll: 25
First Game: Eastern Washington

[via http://www.cbssports.com]

2013 Top 5* @TheACCFootball Conference Predictions!

ACC LogoAtlantic Coast Conference Preseason Top 5* Rundown

The ACC this year is a tale of two stories, the Atlantic Division where we find a battle between two (outside) National Championship contenders and the Coastal Division where we find a battle between two storied programs trying to return to a National Championship mold.  The ACC welcomes two additional programs in Pittsburgh and Syracuse in it’s expansion to a 14 team field.  The season kicks-off like a Fast and the Furious opening scene, with Clemson playing host to the Georgia Bulldogs, in a game that will have BCS implications.  Meanwhile down in Atlanta, Alabama’s Pro-Football Team known as the Crimson Tide roll into town to face-off with Frank Beamer’s Hokies who will be looking to see if they can keep up with the best for four full quarters of football.  Is it August 31st yet?  Here’s the ACC Rivals Rundown:

1.  Clemson University Tigers 11-1 (Atlantic Division Champions)

We have a hard time here at the RR believing in the Clemson Tigers, but with 13 returning starters between defense and offense led by one of our Heisman Trophy contenders in QB Tajh Boyd, this year we are going all in on the Tigers.  Standing in the way of Clemson is a schedule that starts right out of the gate with Georgia coming into Memorial Staduim, a game that will determine if we are talking about a National Title run or just an ACC Title run.  We like the Tigers in that game and see them coasting until they match-up with Florida State on Oct. 19th, in the game that will determine the Atlantic division.  After that If they can survive a trap game against Georgia Tech at home, Clemson could find themselves playing South Carolina in the final game of the season with the national media talking BCS, BCS, BCS.

2.  Florida State Seminoles  10-2        

The question surrounding FSU this year is:  Reload or Rebuild?  After a season that could’ve seen the Seminoles playing for a National Championship, Jimbo Fisher is looking to replace his playmakers on both sides of the football.  The schedule sets up nicely for a young team looking to develop before they match-up against the heavyweights of Clemson, Miami, and Florida.  FSU should be 6-0 before going into the game with Clemson but Clemson has too much experience and gets the Seminoles at home, which is the difference maker.  The answer is, they will be reloading this year and if leaders can emerge on offense watch out for the Seminoles to be in the national picture.

3.  Virginia Tech Hokies 10-2 (Coastal Division Champions)

Last season the Hokies found themselves struggling to become bowl eligible but after winning their final two regular season and beating Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl, the Hokies finished the 2012 campaign on a high note.  Since then, they have revamped the offensive coaching staff and are poised to return to the double digit win total that they have become accustom to in Blacksburg.  The Hokies find themselves with the most difficult opening game in all of college football, a neutral site game against the defending Champs, Alabama.  If they survive that test and take away the positives, Virginia Tech could go on an eight game winning streak setting the scene for a coastal division match-up against the Hurricanes, even if they lose that head to head, we still like Virginia Tech to meet Clemson for the ACC Championship and the chance for a BCS return.  In true Beamer fashion, it will rely on defense and special team, while hoping the offense isn’t too far behind.

4.  The University of Miami Hurricanes 9-3

It’s been too long since the “U” dominated college football with it’s on and off the field actions, as we look at our 2013 predictions it’s tempting to say that they have arrived and this is the year…however, it’s not.  On the bright side, the program is about to turn the corner and starting being in the conversation once again.  The ‘Canes return a what will be one of the most exciting offenses in college football but still have a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball.  The defense gave up a school record in points last year and have only 4 starters returning (which could be a good thing).  They have a tough schedule with Florida and Florida St, but could be playing for a Coastal Division Championship when they meet Virginia Tech.  We like Miami to be playing for a National Title in 2015 and a BCS shot in 2014 but this year they will be finishing behind the Hokies.

 5.  Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets  8-4

Last year Georgia Tech had a bad schedule, why?  They faced what turned out to be a bad Virginia Tech before they knew they were bad and lost in OT.  Then they lost, again in OT, a couple of weeks later to an slightly above average Miami team.  Those two losses deflated their sails and they couldn’t recover until they found themselves at 3-4 and yet somehow Georgia Tech still found themselves beating USC on New Year’s Eve in the Sun Bowl.  This year they bring back 16 starters, 11 which are seniors, they start with Elon and Duke then could easily find themselves at 2-3 before they finish the season at 8-4.  With the experience The Yellow Jackets are bringing back, they get our “Outsiders” chance to surprise everyone and win the division if they can get through a three game stretch of North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Miami.

6.  University of North Carolina Tar Heels & N.C. State Wolfpack

Ok, here’s the deal and we’re not going into a long thing here, honestly, we don’t like either of these teams, N.C. State with it’s new coach and a North Carolina team that hasn’t been able to live up to it’s recruiting.  So here they sit, the problem is North Carolina was 9 points away (total) from going 10-1 in a year that they were not bowl eligible and N.C. State has a schedule that has 9 wins if they are on the same page by August 31st.  So, with both of them being dangerous, both having some nice upside, here they both sit tied for the final place in our Rivals Rundown of the ACC.

American Athletic Conference Preseason Top 5 Prediction

American Athletic Conference

This by far and away is the easiest conference in the country to pick the preseason favorite to win!  Alabama in the SEC is a solid pick but it’s not a pure runaway pick like this newly created conference.  Now that the Big East is no longer a college football conference we find ourselves with a mash-up cast of characters that spreads from New Jersey to Florida to Texas to Ohio.  The conference which will see another makeover next year will have some good football but no great Rivalry’s.  With that being said, here is my predicted order of finish of the Top 5 for the new American Athletic Conference!

1. Louisville Cardinals 12-0

Louisville is faced with a very interesting conundrum, is the season a failure if they don’t go undefeated?  The answer to this question is YES!  Look, after coming off of an 11 win season last year, one that ended in a smackdown of a national power in Florida at the Sugar Bowl, Coach Charlie Strong is ready to show us his best Urban Meyer at Utah impersonation, go undefeated, play in another major bowl (not the national title, even if they go undefeated) and see if he can pass up a major football power like USC knocking on your door.  Led by an experience QB, Teddy Bridgewater, the Cardinals have 7 home games and then only travel to Kentucky, Temple, South Florida, Connecticut, and finishing with their toughest road game, Cincinnati.  Like we’ve seen before, the last game could be the trap game that keeps them out of back to back BCS Bowl appearances.  With that being said, the Cardinals will finish undefeated, and end up an another BCS game.

 2. Cincinnati Bearcats 11-1

Normally, I hate picking first year coaches or first year QB led teams to go one game away from a perfect season but Cincinnati might be the perfect storm this year.  With Tommy Tuberville coming from a successful stint at Texas Tech to Nippert Stadium, this team could easily run the table setting up a clash of “surprise” to the national media unbeatens, when the meet up with Louisville on Dec. 5th.  Cincinnati has a couple of B1G hurddles early on with Purdue and Illinois (both programs are down) then they will have a tough road match up with USF and Rutgers, if they pass those tests look for QB Brendon Kay and the Bearcats to be ready to play in a better bowl then last year.  The Oddsmakers have them at over 9.5 wins for a +120, I’ll take it.

 3. University of Central Florida Knights 9-3

The Knights are ready to make the move after a successful end to their stay at Conference USA with the possibility of being the dark horse in the new AAC.  The have the coach, George O’Leary going into his 11th year at UCF, they return solid starters on offense led by QB Blake Bortles who threw for over 3,000 yards last season, and they return enough experience on defense to be dangerous.  The only problem, schedule.  The Knights have early games against Penn State and South Carolina, they then have to travel to Louisville before the schedule opens up with 4 of 6 home games.  I’m looking at a team that will sit 3-3 to go 6-0 at the end of the season with a chance for back to back double digit wins in a bowl ending appearance.

 4. Rutgers Scarlet Knights 8-4

For a brief moment in time last year, Rutgers where the talk of the town.  They had one loss, a new coach, and looked like maybe just maybe they could make a BCS game, then a loss to Pitt and Louisville ended it all.  This year it’s a tough call for the Scarlet Knights, my heart wants to say that they will compete for a title but with Central Florida coming in and with tough road games to Fresno State and Louisville I’m calling for a close but no cigar this year for Rutgers

 5. University of Houston Cougars  7-5

This might be the toughest pick of this top 5, oh wait, yes it is the toughest pick, the reason…no one knows which Houston team is going to show up this year.  Is it the explosive double digit win team or is it the pathetic team that showed up last year, I’m going with something in the middle.  Houston has enough talent returning on offense to score with most of their schedule, the question is how many points will it’s defense give up?  They will try to answer that question in bringing in a new D.C in Dave Gibbs, Gibbs is coming in from the NFL and will install a 3-4 defense.  The schedule plays into Houston’s favor setting up some early victories but then takes a nasty turn with BYU, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Louisville, and Cincinnati.  Let’s see which Houston shows up!

Ranger Pool: The Official College Football Fantasy Game

ncaa_football_top58attendance07_cSo, a little back story before you ready the blog further, I am a second generation participant, this game was started by my father and his college buddies as a way to put some friendly bets on the college football season.  It’s a blast, mainly because once the season starts, your rosters are set.  It’s not something you have to check on weekly, it’s there and you start following and rooting for teams all over the country.  When I explain it to non-hardocre college fans, they usually laugh at the fact that the University of Ohio or Boise St. (before they played on the national stage) or any other mid-major was selected before Florida or USC, they don’t get it.  Those of us who live and die preseason reading, Phil Steele or Athlon Sports or The Sporting News or Lindy’s, we get it.  This football season, if you or your friends start a pool please let me know!  As our draft approaches I’ll be posting who I think will go in what round and will also post the draft results for the public to comment on.


The story goes, a long, long, time ago, in a gentleman’s club somewhere in what once was called East Phoenix, AZ, now it’s just Central Phoenix or Arcadia, a group of college aged friends created a college football pool for them to bet against each other.  The pool has continued for well over 30+ years across multiple states and including a number of participates in this underground fantasy game.

Well, now for the first time ever, the Official Rules of The Ranger Pool will be released and written for public viewing.

Over the years and with the expansion of Division I Football the rules have evolved but the format has stayed the same.


Ranger Pool:  The Official College Football Fantasy Game.

  1. There will be a number of 10 participates within the pool, no more no less.
  2. Each participate will draft 8 teams.
  3. The draft will take place before the first kick-off of the College Football Season
  4. Each participate will pick 1 team per draft round, therefore the are 8 rounds in the draft.
  5. A team can only be drafted once.
  6. There will be an official rules committee in place to enforce these rules, the official committee can be either voted on or establish by a majority of players.
  7. The Rules Committee will decide what the pool of draftable teams are.  For example, most leagues will only pick teams from Dvision I or FBS Division of Teams or whatever the major division of college football will be called in the future.  However, some leagues based on geographical area might want to include conferences from sub-divisions to increase the available pool of teams.
  8. The draft is a snake formula, however it is mathematically perfect, for example if you draft 1 overall in round 1, then round 2 you would draft 10th, round 3 you would draft 2. and so on and so forth.  The official drafting order for each participate can be emailed or sent by the official rules committee.  Note, this is different from Snake Drafts that you always pick the same picks in alternating rounds.
  9. Once the draft is completed and all participates have 8 college football teams on their roster, the league is set and ready for the season to begin.
  10. WInners and Losers:  The beautiful part of this Fantasy game is it’s simplicity.
  11. Victory is achieved by having the overall highest combined winning percentage of a participants teams!  For example:
    1. Participant 1 Teams-

Alabama 11-0

Texas      9-2

Arizona St. 8-4

Louisville    5-7

Georgia Tech  6-5

UNLV             7-4

Northwestern   3-8

Toledo             9-2

Win Total- 58 Loss Total- 32

Percentage- 64.44%

  1. Order of Finish will be determined using the above formula for each participant.
  2. The regular season of college football games count only, no conference championship games, no bowl games.  An alternative version can be played by using championship or bowl games as a tie-breaker.
  3. Payout:  If used for better purposes, buy-in is collected prior to draft and payout is to the top three finishers after the season has been completed.  It is recommend that payout occurs at an end of year banquet with all participants in Las Vegas during bowl season.