Saturday, September 26, 2020

M+J's 2020 College Football Upset Watch/Picks- Week 3

With SEC Football back today, there are now 6 FBS conferences playing. Big Ten, Mountain West, and Pac-12 have officially announced their returns. The season now seems like it is here to stay so here is the first post of the season. With shortened seasons of mainly conference play, how will the committee select 4 playoff teams? Will Covid cause any key games to be canceled? It will be an interesting ride this season.  

UPSET WATCH



West Virginia over Oklahoma State
The Cowboys offense was very underwelming last week against Tulsa and needs to step up if they want to win today. The Mountaineers are looking to pull the upset in Stillwater. Their offense looked great against Eastern Kentucky but the Cowboys are a much better team. Can the Cowboys bounce back after last week's performance?

South Carolina over Tennessee
Opening Day for the SEC and the Gamecocks are ready to beat a ranked Tennessee team. The Vols need to prove their pre-season hype and not fall victim to an upset. With the excitement in the air, can the Gamecocks start the SEC season 1-0?

Louisville over Pittsburgh
The Cardinal's defense did not look great against Miami and the Panthers offense struggled against Syracuse. Louisville is looking to bounce back against Pittsburgh as this is the biggest test for the Panthers so far. Will it be the Pitt offense or Cardinal's defense that shows weekly improvement?

Army over Cincinnati
This game could have a lot of offense. Both teams have not been tested yet with wins over inferior opponents. The Black Knights have been sharp on defense so far but have not faced an offense like the Bearcats. Will it be a shootout or defensive battle?

Georgia Southern over Louisiana
Louisiana almost lost to Georgia State last weekend as their target gets bigger this week. The Eagles would love to beat a ranked opponent. The Ragin Cajuns need to start strong today otherwise there might be a repeat of last week. 


Weekend Picks
Score Projections:
Oklahoma 45, Kansas State 14
Florida 28, Ole Miss 17
Auburn 38, Kentucky 24
UCF 56, East Carolina 21
Louisville 34, Pittsburgh 27
Louisiana 27, Georgia Southern 20
Tulane 30, Southern Mississippi 17
SMU 40, Stephen F. Austin 21
Georgia Tech 21, Syracuse 17
LSU 41, Mississippi State 24
Texas 37, Texas Tech 21
Cincinnati 42, Army 34
West Virginia 28, Oklahoma State 27 
Georgia 35, Arkansas 7
Virginia 30, Duke 10
Alabama 34, Missouri 14
Miami 35, Florida State 10
South Carolina 27, Tennessee 21
Virginia Tech 27, NC State 17
Baylor 42, Kansas 14
BYU 38, Troy 24







BLOWOUT ALERT OF THE WEEK PROJECTION:

Texas A&M 42, Vanderbilt 7
SNOOZE FEST OF THE WEEK PROJECTION:
Boston College 28, Texas State 7
PAINT DRIER OF THE WEEK PROJECTION:
TCU 17, Iowa State 10
TOILET BOWL OF THE WEEK PROJECTION:
UL- Monroe 31, UTEP 21

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Bubble Watch- 4 Days Until Selection Sunday

With only 4 days until Selection Sunday, Championship Week really picks up today. The bubble is much stronger this season, so it is hard to use last season as a precedent.



March Madness is here, and it should be a very dramatic weekend. Beware of bid stealers!

Here is the current breakdown:


Safety Zone
AAC: Houston
ACC: Florida State, Duke, Louisville, Virginia
A-10: Dayton
Big East: Creighton, Villanova, Seton Hall, Butler, Providence
Big 12: Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, 
Big Ten: Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois
MVC: Bradley
MWC: SDSU, Utah State
PAC-12: Oregon, Colorado, Arizona
SEC: Kentucky, Auburn
Southern: ETSU
WCC: Gonzaga, BYU, St. Mary's

Neutral Zone- Almost Locks
Oklahoma, USC, Marquette

Danger Zone- Current At-Large Contenders
Rutgers, Stanford, LSU, Florida, Arizona State, Indiana, Texas Tech, UCLA, Richmond, NC State, Wichita State, Cincinnati, Xavier, Texas, Northern Iowa, Memphis, Mississippi State, Saint Louis, Rhode Island

Rutgers (19-11 NET: 31 vs Tier 1 4-9 vs Tier 2 5-1)
- Rutgers has solid home wins over Seton Hall, Maryland, and Wisconsin which holds strong. Their road record is the only thing holding them back. Only 1 Q3/Q4 loss which is to St. Bonaventure. Odds look good, but the committee has penalized bad road teams before.

Stanford (20-11 NET: 30 vs Tier 1 4-7, vs Tier 2 3-3)
- The Cardinal have a great net ranking and some decent wins including a big one over Oregon. Only 1 Q3/Q4 loss which is to Cal. The 7-10 Q1/Q2 record is not great. A win over Cal in the PAC-12 tourney is a must.

LSU (21-12- NET: 28 vs Tier 1 4-8 vs Tier 2 7-1)
- The Tigers appear safe in most projections but when you dissect their resume to see who they beat, their lack of a signature win could be troublesome.Their only win over a likely tourney team is fellow bubbler Florida. There are others against bubble teams as well. They also have a 1 Q3/Q4 loss which came to Vanderbilt. Avoiding a bad loss in the SEC tourney is a must here.

Florida (19-12)- NET: 29 vs Tier 1 5-9, vs Tier 2 4-3)
- Like LSU, Florida's only real signature win is a home win over Auburn, which could easily fall to a Q2 win still, which leaves a neutral win over Providence before the Friars started playing well. No Q3/Q4 losses here is a plus, but the overall resume does not feel too safe yet.

Arizona State (20-11  NET: 52 vs Tier 1 5-8, vs Tier 4-3)
- Arizona State has 3 Q1A wins and should be fine. A suspect NET of 52 is the only real reason to be worried here. As long as, they keep 0 Q3/Q4 losses on their resume, they should be fine.

Indiana (19-12) NET: 59 Tier 1 4-10, Tier 2 5-2
- The Hoosiers love home cooking. All of their good wins came at home, and the Hoosiers have been dismal on the road falling victim to multiple blowout losses. Wins over Florida State and Michigan State help, but a poor NET ranking and road record could spell trouble for the Hoosiers. A loss to Nebraska could be devastating.

Texas Tech (18-13 NET: 22 vs Tier 1 3-10, vs Tier 2 4-3)
- Texas Tech has several negatives on their resume. Their NET ranking of 22 is the main thing that has kept them on most projected brackets. However, if we were going by RPI, they would rank in the 70s. In addition, they have struggled to win games against Q1/Q2 with a 7-13 record. They do have wins over tourney teams Louisville (N), West Virginia (H), and Oklahoma (H), but only their NET says they should be a tourney team.

UCLA (18-12)- NET: 76 vs Tier 1 6-7, vs Tier 2 3-3
- The Bruins have a historic comeback and find themselves in the at-large picture. Their 6 Q1 wins including 3 Q1A wins look strong. Their main negatives are the NET ranking in the 70s and 2 Q3/Q4 losses. If the NET gets into the Top 70, one would think there wouldn't be much to doubt.

Richmond (24-7) NET: 38 Tier 1 3-4, Tier 2 3-2
- The Spiders have a better resume than VCU from last season which received an 8 seed, so that is a plus for the Spiders. The main problem is that the bubble is much stronger this season. Their Wisconsin (N) and Rhode Island (A) wins are great. Having 18 wins against Q3/Q4 is not. A trip to the A-10 finals seems like it would be enough, but it will largely depend on how the other tourneys go.

NC State (19-12)- NET: 54 vs Tier 1 4-5, vs Tier 2 4-5
- The Wolf Pack are in familiar territory as they seemed to be around the cut line each year. Wins over Duke (H), Wisconsin (H), and Virginia (A) stand out well, but there is not much else helping them. A NET of 54 is not the greatest as well as 2 Q3/Q4 losses. It seems to be a coin flip on where they may end up. If their big 3 wins are valued heavily, they will be in. However, the negatives may outweigh the positives.

Wichita State (23-8) NET: 41 Tier 1 2-5, Tier 2 7-3
- The Shockers are squarely on the bubble and really lack a signature win. Their only win over a sure tourney team is against Oklahoma (H). They do have a good NET of 41 and have no Q3/Q4 losses. In general, their resume is bland, and work is definitely to feel good about their chances.

Cincinnati (20-10)- NET: 51 vs Tier 1 2-6, vs Tier 2 7-0
- The Bearcats are another turnaround story. However, they have 4 Q3 losses and only have 1 win over a sure tourney team (Houston-H). A 7-0 record vs Q2 looks good, but a lack of signature wins teamed with bad losses usually does not go well. The Bearcats need to do work in the AAC tourney.

Xavier  (19-12)- NET: 45 vs Tier 1 3-11 vs Tier 2 7-1
- Xavier has done well against non-tourney teams since only 1 loss is against a non-tourney team so far. However, they only have 2 wins over tourney teams Seton Hall (A) and Providence (H). Work is needed to be done here. They have not done well with their many opportunities thus far.

Texas (19-12) NET: 69 Tier 1 5-8, Tier 2 2-4
- The Longhorns have battled back into strong consideration. They have 0 Q3/Q4 losses. However, a NET of 69 and no true signature win outside of West Virginia (H) puts Texas in dangerous waters. They meet Texas Tech in possible elimination/play in game.

Northern Iowa (23-6) NET: 48 Tier 1 1-1, Tier 2 3-2
- The Panthers lost to Drake in the quarterfinals and now must wait. Their resume is better than Belmont's from last season. As mentioned though, the bubble is stronger this season. The 3 Q3 losses don't help, but the rest of the resume looks pretty good for a mid-major candidate. It is pretty much up to what the committee wants to do with this high achieving mid-major.

Memphis (21-10) NET: 58 Tier 1 2-5, Tier 2 6-2
- Like Cincy, Memphis does not have much to offer for quality wins and has 3 Q3 losses.Wins over Houston (H), Tennessee (A), and NC State (N) stand out. Temple was in the 1st 4 last season in which their resume is better than Memphis from this season. That's not good for the Tigers.

Mississippi State (20-11)- NET: 50 vs Tier 1 2-7, vs Tier 2 6-2)
- The Bulldogs are in the mix but clearly have work to do. Their win at Florida is their only one over a tourney team, and they also have a pair of Q3 losses. A deep run in the SEC tourney is needed.

Saint Louis (22-8)- NET: 49 vs Tier 1 2-5, vs Tier 2 2-2)
- Wins at fellow bubblers Richmond and URI are great. Only 1 Q3/Q4 loss is not bad either. SLU may get round 3 against Dayton in which they almost won in their previous meetings. A win over Dayton could really put them in.

Rhode Island (21-9)- NET: 57 vs Tier 1 1-6, vs Tier 2 7-2)
- URI has a great Q2 record with only 1 bad loss. Their lack of a great win does not help, and they wouldn't get Dayton until the A-10 final. URI has to make the final to have somewhat of a chance here.


Fringe Candidates:
Purdue, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oregon State, UConn, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame

Monday, March 9, 2020

2020 NCAA Tournament Bracket Projection- March 11th 2020

SOUTH(1)- Houston, TX
Omaha, NE
1 Kansas
16 Robert Morris/Prairie View
8 USC 
9 Marquette
Spokane, WA
5 BYU
12 Cincinnati
4 Michigan State
13 Belmont
Greensboro, NC

6 Iowa
11 UCLA/NC State
3 Kentucky
14 Bradley
St. Louis, MO
7 Illinois
10 Utah State
2 Creighton
15 North Dakota State


EAST(4)-New York City, NY
Cleveland, OH
1 Dayton
16 Northern Kentucky
8 Houston
9 Oklahoma
Cleveland, OH
5 Butler
12 Liberty
4 Wisconsin
13 Akron
Greensboro, NC
6 Auburn
11 East Tennessee State
3 Maryland
14 UC-Irvine
Cleveland, OH
7 Colorado
10 Florida
2 Villanova
15 Little Rock


MIDWEST(2)-Indianapolis, IN
St. Louis, MO
1 Baylor
16 Siena/NC Central
8 St. Mary's
9 LSU
Omaha, NE
5 Ohio State
12 Yale
4 Louisville
13 Vermont
Albany, NY
6 Virginia
11 Indiana
3 Seton Hall
14 New Mexico State
Tampa, FL
7 Providence
10 Stanford
2 Florida State
15 Winthrop


WEST(3)-Los Angeles, CA
Spokane, WA
1 Gonzaga
16 Boston Univ.
8 Arizona
9 Rutgers
Sacramento, CA
5 Penn State
12 SFA
4 Oregon
13 North Texas
Tampa, FL

6 Michigan
11 Texas Tech/Richmond
3 Duke
14 Hofstra
Sacramento, CA
7 West Virginia
10 Arizona State
2 San Diego State
15 Eastern Washington


Danger Zone
Last 10 in: Rutgers, LSU, Florida, Arizona State, Stanford, Indiana, Texas Tech, UCLA, Richmond, NC State

First 8 Out: Wichita State, Xavier, Texas, Northern Iowa, Memphis, Mississippi State, Saint Louis, Rhode Island

Teams Needing Deep Runs To Be Strongly Considered: Purdue, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oregon State, UConn, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame

Multiple Bid Conferences
Big Ten- 10
Pac-12- 7
Big East- 6
Big 12- 5
ACC- 5
SEC-4
WCC- 3
AAC- 2
A-10-2
MWC-2

Saturday, March 7, 2020

2020 NCAA Tournament Bracket Projection- March 7th 2020

SOUTH(1)- Houston, TX
Omaha, NE
1 Kansas
16 St. Francis (PA)/Prairie View
8 Providence
9 Indiana
Spokane, WA
5 BYU
12 Tulsa

4 Michigan State
13 Belmont
Greensboro, NC
6 Iowa
11 Xavier/Richmond
3 Kentucky
14 Bradley
Albany, NY
7 Virginia
10 Texas Tech
2 Villanova
15 Little Rock


EAST(4)-New York City, NY
Sacramento, CA
1 San Diego State
16 Eastern Washington
8 Houston
9 Oklahoma
Cleveland, OH
5 Butler
12 Liberty
4 Ohio State
13 Akron
Greensboro, NC
6 Auburn
11 UCLA
3 Maryland
14 Colgate
Cleveland, OH
7 Arizona
10 LSU
2 Dayton
15 North Dakota State


MIDWEST(2)-Indianapolis, IN
St. Louis, MO
1 Baylor
16 Siena/NC Central
8 St. Mary's
9 USC
Omaha, NE
5 Wisconsin
12 Yale
4 Louisville
13 Vermont
St. Louis, MO
6 Colorado
11 Rutgers/Texas
3 Creighton
14 New Mexico State
Tampa, FL
7 Illinois
10 Florida
2 Florida State
15 UC-Irvine


WEST(3)-Los Angeles, CA
Spokane, WA
1 Gonzaga
16 Winthrop
8 Marquette
9 Stanford
Sacramento, CA
5 Penn State
12 SFA

4 Oregon
13 North Texas
Tampa, FL
6 Michigan
11 East Tennessee State
3 Duke
14 Hofstra
Albany, NY
7 West Virginia
10 Arizona State
2 Seton Hall
15 Wright State


Danger Zone
Last 10 in: Indiana, Texas Tech, Florida, Arizona State, LSU, UCLA, Texas, Rutgers, Xavier, Richmond

First 8 Out: Wichita State, Utah State, NC State, Cincinnati, Northern Iowa, Purdue, South Carolina, Saint Louis 

Multiple Bid Conferences
Big Ten- 10
Big East- 7
Pac-12- 7
Big 12- 6
ACC- 4
SEC-4
WCC- 3
AAC- 2
A-10-2