Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 5: Stanford Wants a Word

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 5

College Football is the only sport that can show you what it’s like to simultaneously feel alive and like you want to die? That is why is it is by far the greatest sport there is! Before we get to College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 5, you can reference the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 4.

The two most frustrating parts of being a college football fan are the biased polls and the terrible non-conference schedules. Last week the AP poll had BYU (2-1) ranked #25, but Cal (3-0) who beat BYU only received enough votes to be #30. And it had Wisconsin who lost to BYU but had played nobody ranked above both teams. These are the kinds of things that regularly happen in polls. I cannot change the schedules but I can rank the college football top 10 teams by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. The best teams who play the best schedules will always be ranked highest. Only the games that have been played matter. I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change every week as more games are played.

1.  Alabama (4-0)

Alabama is so good that Nick Saban has asked the media to write about the things they don’t do well. He needs something to show his players, so they don’t get complacent. The only thing that can stop the Crimson Tide right now is complacency. Tua Tagoviloa is improving on his near perfect play at quarterback. This week against Texas A&M he threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns. Granted, his job is a lot less stressful knowing Alabama’s defense and running game always show up.

2. Notre Dame (4-0)

My biggest knock on Notre Dame was their inability to throw the ball with their quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Brian Kelly must have read the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 4 because he replaced Wimbush with Ian Book. Book was impressive throwing the football against Wake Forest. I am extremely close calling Notre Dame a playoff team. Next week they get a test at home from Stanford.

3. LSU (4-0)

LSU only played Louisianna Tech this week, but they dominated. And the Tigers still have two quality wins over Miami and Auburn. LSU’s Achilles heel has not changed in nearly a decade. They do not have a dangerous passing attack. LSU will lose one or two games this season if Ed Orgeron cannot turn Joe Burrow and the passing attack into a real threat. The LSU defense continues to be stout. We will see what they are made of in a couple weeks when they play Georgia.

4. Stanford (4-0)

I almost threw up at the end of this game. The bottom line is that despite being dominated by Oregon all game, Stanford made plays when it counted. The best player on Stanford’s team is not Bryce Love, it’s KJ Costello. David Shaw’s team is always run first. But he will need to use the pass to set up the run if the Cardinal hope to make the College Football Playoffs. Stanford is boring to watch, but they win and are tough to beat.

5. Oklahoma (4-0)

Oklahoma squeezed out an OT victory against Army. Army was 19 seconds shy of having three entire quarters of possession. Every top team faces a couple of gut-check games each season, and this was one for the Sooners. Ordinarily, a team could take a huge fall after a close game against an unranked non-power 5 opponent. However, any time you play a triple option service academy, you could be in for a dogfight. Kyler Murray and the Sooners still look great at the #5 spot.

6. Clemson (4-0)

It appears Dabo Swinney is going to turn the quarterback reigns over to Trevor Lawrence. Kelly Bryant is a good quarterback, but the situation at Clemson is the same as Alabama. There is an incumbent quarterback who has won a ton of games, but the young kid is just making the team undeniably better. When teams this good have a legit passer it makes them a clear top 10 team. After Virginia Tech lost to Old Dominion today, it doesn’t look like there will be much opposition for the Tigers in the ACC.

7. Ohio State (4-0)

Ohio State got Urban Meyer back from “suspension” and didn’t miss a beat. Dwyane Haskins feasted on Tulane for lunch. He is the best passing quarterback Urban Meyer has coached since Alex Smith at Utah (No Cam Newton doesn’t count for this discussion. The Buckeyes are extremely fast, strong, and athletic. Ohio State may be the only team in the country who can line up athlete for athlete with Alabama. The Michigan game may be the only time Ohio State is challenged for the rest of the season. That TCU win doesn’t look so hot after they got beat up by Texas this week.

8. Georgia (4-0)

Georgia is EXTREMELY talented, and I believe they are a good team, but the fact remains that their schedule has been extremely soft so far. Their best wins are against South Carolina and Missouri. Neither one of those teams has beat anyone of any significance. So, until Georgia gets some quality wins, they will rank way below where their potential lies. Jake Fromm and his wide receivers seem to be getting in a good grove. If he can continue to play at a high level, the Bulldogs will have a shot to knock off Bama in the SEC championship.

9. Washington (3-1)

Washington knocked off Arizona State who beat Michigan State. That looks like a solid win. The Washington vs. Stanford game in a few weeks will be for a spot in the College Football Playoffs. I still believe that Washington has the second-best defense in the country behind Alabama. They are fast and physical. The good news for the Huskies is that Jake Browning had a solid game. If he can occasionally be special against good teams, Washington will be in the conversation for a top 4 spot.

10. West Virginia (3-0)

Will Grier had a week off and only got stronger. The Mountaineers  Kansas State led by Grier’s 356 yards and five touchdowns. Their schedule provides many opportunities to move up the rankings. Next week West Virginia has a showdown with Texas Tech who opened up a can of whoop-ass on the #10 team from the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 4, Oklahoma State.

Next Up:

Penn State, Texas, Michigan, Oregon (all need a quality win)

I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. Leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 4: Conference Play for the Playoffs

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 4

Week three for college football is in the books and it’s time to get into the heart of conference play. Time to see where everybody lands in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 4. The Power rankings are based on three things: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here.

I have to again express my frustration with the Pac-12 start times. Part of the reason the conference doesn’t get the respect it deserves is that so many quality games are played with 7:30 or 7:45 pm PT kickoffs when many voters are sleeping. This week many people will miss out on seeing Arizona State and Washington play. It’s imperative that more college fans see the Pac-12 so they know the truth when media experts talk about the “eye test.” Hopefully, the conference figures out another solution to get it’s best games nationally televised without playing them so late.

Here are the Pac-12 Power Rankings from last week.

12. UCLA (0-3)

(L) at Fresno State 38-14

Lord have mercy. UCLA could finish the season defeated 0-12. There is no way that happens, right? They have to get their offense right by the end of the year, right? Until they do, they will occupy Oregon State’s usual #12 spot in the Pac-12 Power Rankings. The Bruins offense is caught between a true freshman quarterback and a bad offensive line. It is going to be a loooooooong season in Westwood.

11. Arizona (1-2)

(W)  Southern Utah 62-31

The good news is that Arizona got a win and Khalil Tate threw for over 300 yards and five touchdowns. The bad news is there is no more Southern Utah’s on the schedule. Arizona will need to improve on their -2 turnover margin if they are going to beat Oregon State in Corvallis this weekend. I am still perplexed as to why this team that most thought would compete in the South division is so bad. The Wildcats still have time to turn it around during Pac-12 play.

10. Oregon State (1-2)

(L) Nevada 37-35

The Beavers lost last week’s game to Nevada on a last-second missed FG. This team is clearly better under Jonathan Smith than they have been over the last couple seasons. They lead the conference in explosion plays of 30 yards or longer (12). I expect a good showing from the Beavers as the Wildcats roll in town. This team has dark horse potential to finish the season number 8 or 9 in the Pac-12 Power Rankings.

9. USC (1-2)

(L) Texas 37-14

The loss against Texas was really ugly. The Trojans rushed for a mindblowing -5 yards. I cannot even remember the last time I saw a box score from a team full of four and five star athletes held to negative rushing yards. Clay Helton has a lot of questions to answer and adjustments to be made. The best way to sum up USC last two weeks is to quote Ryan Abraham of uscfootball.com, “When you lose badly and don’t change anything, you are likely to lose badly again.” Sidenote: true freshman Amon-Ra St. Brown is legit at wide receiver! Will Helton get this talented team to play better?

8. Washington State (3-0)

(W) Eastern Washington 59-24

We don’t know much about Washington State because they haven’t played anybody. The Cougars have put up good numbers in their three “pad your record for a bowl game birth” games. But, they will get a real test this week when they show up at The Coliseum to play USC. After watching the last two games USC played, the Cougars will believe this is a game they should win. If Mike Leach can pull off a victory against the Trojans we could be watching the beginning of a truly special season for Washington State.

7. Utah (2-1)

(L) Washington 21-7

Last week I said Utah’s lack of offense was a huge concern. Their offensive deficiencies showed up in a major way against Washington. In addition, the Utes have not taken care of the football. After three weeks, Utah is dead last in the Pac-12 for turnover margin (-6). The only reason they didn’t get demolished by Washington is that their defense is extremely stout. Kyle Whittingham has a team that is defensively capable of winning the south division, but offensively not.

6. Arizona State (2-1)

(L) San Diego State 28-21

It hurt to watch the ending of their game against San Diego State. You wouldn’t think that a targeting call that gets a player ejected could penalize the targeted team, but it did this week. The Herm Edwards hire looks like a sage move by Arizona State right now. If they can get their offense going earlier in games I like them to win the Pac-12 South. We need to see a lot more Manny Wilkins to N’Keal Harry for the Sun Devils to see a birth in the Pac-12 title game.

5. Oregon (3-0)

(W) San Jose State 35-22

What an ugly win for the Ducks. Washington State beat San Jose State 31-0 so most expected Oregon to run away with this game, but that didn’t happen. Though they were never in any danger of losing, the team didn’t look as polished against San Jose State. Perhaps the Ducks were overlooking San Jose State and looking towards their week 4 matchup with Stanford. Game Day will be in Eugene this week for Oregon’s most important game of the year. A win against the Cardinal could propel this team to a Pac-12 North title and a potential playoff birth. A close loss against a top 10 team would signal that the Ducks are close to being back in the Pac-12 elite. Justin Herbert will need to live up to the hype and play his best game of the season.

4. Cal (3-0)

(W) Idaho State 45-23

Justin Wilcox is a miracle worker. He has managed to turn the worth defense in the country in 2016 into leading the nation in interceptions. Don’t be surprised if after the season his name starts circulating some of those big money head coaching jobs. Chase Garbers has cemented himself as the starting quarterback and leader of the offense. Again I say, the Golden Bears officially are a threat to everyone in the Pac-12. They aren’t a threat to win the Pac-12, but they have upgraded themselves from cupcake to “potential trap game” status.

3. Colorado (3-0)

(W) New Hampshire 45-14

There was no hangover from their emotional win at Nebraska. The Buffaloes came out and handled their business against the vaunted New Hampshire Wildcats. I’ll admit I had to google their mascot. Week 4 provides a bye for Colorado and an extra week of preparation for UCLA. Did I mention that their wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr is one the best players in the Pac-12?

2. Washington (2-1)

(W) Utah 21-7

By this point, it probably seems like I’m picking on Jake Browning. However, he is the only thing separating Washington from being a threat to win a national championship. The Washington passing game has to show up better against good defenses. There are so many times that their defense is dominant against quality competition, but the offense can’t put up enough points to put the game out of reach. If Chris Petersen can get his senior quarterback going, this team can be dangerous.

1. Stanford (3-0)

(W) UC Davis 30-10

It appeared that Stanford was just as conservative against UC Davis as Oregon was against San Jose State. Bryce Love didn’t even suit up for the game despite reports that he was healthy. KJ Costello is getting more confident and efficient at quarterback. Stanford’s passing attack is back to Andrew Luck status. The Cardinal have an epic showdown this week with the Ducks. I am sticking by my prediction that the winner of that game will win the Pac-12 title and stay on top of the Pac-12 Power Rankings.

Leave a comment or voice your opinions at ImMad@unafraidshow.com

Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 4: Alabama or Bust

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 4

College Football is by far the greatest sport there is! Before we start, you can reference the College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 3.

The two most frustrating parts of being a college football fan are the biased polls and the terrible non-conference schedules. I cannot change the schedules but I can rank the college football top 10 teams by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. The best teams who play the best schedules will always be ranked highest. Only the games that have been played matter. I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change every week as more games are played.

1.  Alabama (3-0)

Geez… It is just too easy for Alabama to score with Tua Tagoviloa at quarterback. He is accurate, has weapons, and can run when the play breaks down. he is the best signal caller that Nick Saban has ever had. They cannot be stopped, by anyone. Then there is the defense; they are fast, physical, and disciplined. Just hand Nick Saban another National Championship now if Tua stays healthy. Imagine how much he would be worth if the NCAA system wasn’t a joke and he could trade on his own name, likeness, and image.

2. LSU (3-0)

Huge wins for Coach O over Miami and Auburn. LSU has earned a huge jump into the Unafraid Show College Football Top 10. As usual, the Tigers have a good defense. They slowed Auburn’s offense which has given them fits over the last couple seasons. But, the most impressive part of LSU’s game this year has been their passing offense. Joe Burrow proved he can be trusted to throw the football a lot. If he can keep this up, the Tigers had a shot against Alabama. Not really, maybe they can keep it close though.

3. Oklahoma (3-0)

The Sooners are explosive. They lost their starting running back Rodney Anderson for the season last week, but the offense didn’t miss a beat. My next statement is not an exaggeration. Oklahoma’s offense may be more explosive with Kyler Murray at quarterback than last years’ Baker Mayfield led offense. As long as the Sooners stay focused they have a great shot at the College Football Playoffs top 4.

4. Ohio State (3-0)

Ohio State made it to the end of Urban Meyer’s “suspension” 3-0.  The Buckeyes were on the ropes against TCU but ended up winning with an extremely dominant second half. Ohio State has so much speed and athleticism at their skill positions. Every time the wide receivers or running backs touch the football they can score. Dwayne Haskins is the most accurate passer the Buckeyes have had in recent memory. This kid can spin it.  Did I mention that their defense is fast and physical too?

5. Notre Dame (3-0)

In general, I am a Brian Kelly doubter. However, this 2018 Notre Dame team appears to be different than the overhyped versions the past few seasons. Maybe they won’t fizzle out toward the end of the season. The Fighting Irish have been extremely physical on both sides of the ball through the first three games. The reality for Notre Dame is that they can run the ball against anybody, but will struggle if they are forced to pass it. That means as good as the Fighting Irish aren’t a real threat to the big dogs.

6. Clemson (3-0)

The Tigers deserve respect for handling their business in the face of adversity. Hurricane Florence is bearing down on many of their player’s families yet they won big. The only frustrating part about their win was that it was against Georgia Southern. Clemson got me all excited about them after beating Texas A&M, but again their schedule again let me down. Two of their three wins are against Furman and Georgia Southern. If Clemson is supposed to climb back up in the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 they will need to dominate their upcoming ACC schedule.

7. Stanford (3-0)

Just like Clemson, Stanford played a cupcake which only makes teams fall in the rankings. Byrce Love didn’t even suit up for the Cardinal against UC Davis. Next week, Stanford will need all hands on deck as they head up to Eugene, Oregon to face the Ducks.

8. Georgia (3-0)

Georgia is EXTREMELY talented and I believe they are a good team, but the fact remains that their schedule has been extremely soft so far. Between Georgia, Clemson, and Stanford, Georgia has had the least impressive quality win. The Bulldogs beat South Carolina soundly, but we have no idea how good South Carolina is. They will opportunities to move up the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 as they play some known quantities like LSU and Auburn.

9. Washington (2-1)

Washington got a quality win against Utah in week 3. The Huskies defense showed up big and shut the Utes down. Their defense is really really good. The only team I’ve seen with a better defense this season is Alabama. The only downside to this team is that if the Huskies defense ever struggles, they will lose the game. Jake Browning cannot win the game for Washington. They better hope it never comes to that, but it will.

10. Oklahoma State (3-0)

Welcome to the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Cowboys. Hopefully, you can stay for a while.

*Newsflash – Oklahoma State has a defense. Yes, you read that correctly. Oklahoma State has a defense. They beat a really solid Boise State team. Taylor Cornelius is throwing the ball every bit as good as Mason Rudolph was last season. The Big XII has three quality teams that could make the playoff, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and TCU.

Next Up:

Virginia Tech, Penn State, Auburn

I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.

Pac-12 Football Power Rankings Week 3: Party Crashers Enter Top 3

Pac-12 Football Power Rankings

Week two for college football is in the books, and it’s time to see where everybody lands in the Pac-12 Football  Power Rankings Week 3. Overall the conference had a good week except for loses by Arizona and UCLA. The Power rankings are based on quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here.

Before we start I have to again express my frustration with the Pac-12 start times. Part of the reason the conference doesn’t get the respect it deserves is that so many quality games are played with 7:45 pm PT kickoffs when many voters are sleeping. Many people missed out on seeing Arizona State and judging them with their so-called “eye test”. Hopefully, the conference figures out another solution to get it’s best games nationally televised without playing them so late.

Here are the Pac-12 Power Rankings from last week.

12. Arizona (0-2)

(L) Houston 45-18

From darkhorse preseason Pac-12 South winner to the cellar. I have no clue what is going on in Tucson. The Wildcats look atrocious offensively and defensively. Khalil Tate was supposed to single-handedly give Arizona a chance to win the south division. His best asset is his legs, and he has barely run the ball. Part of me wonders if he is injured. Their defense has surrendered 72 points in the first two weeks. At this point, Arizona will be lucky to win 2 games. I liked Kevin Sumlin’s hire by Arizona, but the only coach in the country off to worst start at his new school is Willie Taggart at Florida State.

11. UCLA (0-2)

(L) at Oklahoma 49-21

Chip Kelly is off to a rough start at UCLA as well, but the expectations were extremely low coming into the season. I expect everyone to laugh when I say there were some bright spots in the 49-21 beat down the Bruins suffered… but there were. The defense which was among the worst in the nation last year in most categories had some shining moments. Dorian Thompson-Robinson got his first start and passed the ball efficiently when he wasn’t under duress. UCLA will struggle all season because their offensive line play is not good. Bruins fans better cross their fingers against Fresno State next weekend.

10. Oregon State (1-1)

(W) Southern Utah 48-25

Do you realize how bad UCLA and Arizona had to be for Oregon State to move up two spots after playing Southern Utah? This is the first time in two seasons that Oregon State was not clearly dead last in the Pac-12 power rankings. Oregon State did more good things without their starting quarterback in their 77-31 loss to Ohio State than we have seen from the either UCLA or Arizona. This is a shame that we have to figure out blowout metrics to determine who belongs at the bottom of the list. The Beaver gets the Nevada Wolfpack this week. When will Jonathan Smith get his first Pac-12 win?

9. Washington State (2-0)

(W) San Jose State 31-0

It doesn’t matter who Mike Leach puts at quarterback his offense will score points. Gardner Minshew has thrown for 733 yards and six touchdowns in his first two games as the starter. The only problem I have seen with the Cougars is they have too many turnovers. The team has given the ball away five times in the first two weeks. The Cougars should have another cakewalk this week against Eastern Washington.

8. Utah (2-0)

(W) Northern Illinois 17-6

Utah fell from #4 to #8 after a win because I am extremely concerned about the Utes offense. They started extremely slow in week one against Weber State, and could only manage 17 points against Northern Illinois. Utah is a tough and defensive-minded football team, but if you cannot score points in the Pac-12 you can’t win. They have Tyler Huntley played efficiently last week, but it just didn’t turn into touchdowns. When good teams play inferior talent, they should destroy them. If they don’t, alarm bells start going off in my head.

7. USC (1-1)

(L) Stanford 17-3

Clay Helton is catching a lot of flack for the way in which his team lost. USC was dominated by Stanford in almost every meaningful statistical category. I believe Stanford is a team that can make the College Football Playoffs this year so this loss doesn’t mean the Trojans suck. It just means they got beat up by a better team. JT Daniels looked like a true freshman against Stanford and will need to have a short memory when he takes the field at Texas in a few days.

6. Washington (1-1)

(W) North Dakota 45-3

What am I supposed to make out of the Huskies? Washington gifted Auburn a game they should have won then boat races North Dakota. Jake Browning stayed consistent to form. He feasts upon bad defenses and struggles mightily against good ones. We will learn more about the Huskies after they play at Utah on Saturday. Until then, I just know that Washington is 1-1 with a close loss to Auburn is better than anything a Utah and Washington State have done at 2-0

5. Oregon (2-0)

(W) Portland State 62-14

Ducks fans are probably shocked the Ducks fell from #3 to #5. Well, the truth is they deserve to be here based upon the schedule they have played. I believe the Ducks are a good team and can win the Pac-12 North and championship this year. However, Cal, Colorado, Arizona State, and Stanford all have played and beat better competition. Herbert has continued to look fantastic, and I am excited to see him in Pac-12 play. The defense looks much improved and will get a huge test in two weeks against Stanford. Ducks fans who were pissed Willie Taggart left now seem to be excited that he is gone.

Pac-12 Football Power Rankings

4. Cal (2-0)

(W) BYU 21-18

The Golden Bears officially are a threat to everyone in the Pac-12. They aren’t a threat to win the Pac-12, but they have upgraded themselves from cupcake to “potential trap game” status. I was unsure how Cal would fair against BYU after the Cougars took Arizona behind the woodshed, but they got it done. The best thing about Cal is their defense. They have been taking the ball away and playing very physical. Chase Garbers established himself as the starting quarterback against BYU. Their Achilles heel this season will be closing out games. In both week one and week, two Cal was up two scores late but still needed an onside kick recovery to seal the deal.

3. Colorado (2-0)

(W) Nebraska 33-28

Colorado tried everything in their power to lose the game against Nebraska, but they flew home with the victory. Steven Montez has played well but made far too many little mistakes that often cost you in tight games. I would give Colorado a chance in the Pac-12 South, but with the exception of Laviska Shenault Jr, their skill position players don’t look very dynamic with the ball in their hands. Overall, Colorado has had a fantastic start to their 2018 campaign. I don’t expect them to stay this high in the Pac-12 Power Rankings all season, but you never know, stranger things have happened.

2. Arizona State (2-0)

(W) Michigan State 16-13

It is extremely unfortunate that most of the country was sleeping through a good Pac-12 After Dark game. Arizona State did not play particularly well offensively, but they made enough plays to win the game. N’Keal Harry showed up with the game-tying touchdown despite being double teamed all game. Arizona State looks like the team to beat in the south division right now. Maybe that Herm Edwards hire wasn’t as crazy as y’all thought it was.

1. Stanford (2-0)

(W) USC 17-3

My Pac-12 champion pick is looking very solid right now. Everything is falling into place for a week four showdown in Eugene against Oregon. College GameDay will likely be in attendance for the showdown. Winner of that game will win the conference.

Bryce Love gets a ton of the attention when people talk about Stanford. But I am here to tell you that he is no longer their best offensive player. That title now belongs to their quarterback KJ Costello. He is the reason I believe Stanford has a legit shot of making the College Football Playoffs. He is accurate, mobile, and has some dog in him. I don’t know what happened to the Stanford defense between the SDSU and USC games, but it worked. They went from looking like a question mark to looking like a strength. I can’t wait for conference play to get in full swing.

Leave a comment or voice your opinions at ImMad@unafraidshow.com

Pac-12 Football: Week 2 Power Rankings

Pac-12 Football Power Rankings Week 2

Week one for college football is in the books, and it’s time to see where everybody lands in the Pac-12 Football Week 2 Power Rankings. Overall the conference had a good week except for loses by Washington and Arizona. I know the Pac-12 wants more national television games, but these 7:45 pm PT kicks aren’t helping anybody. I live on the west coast, and I fell asleep before the BYU vs. Arizona game was over. So, there is no way old College Football Playoffs voters are watching the game in its entirety. The conference has to find a way to get SEC and ACC teams to come west, and nationally televised games are a way to get it done.

The results from week one still leave all the Unafraid Show Pac-12 Preseason picks alive. Here are the week two rankings:

12. Oregon State (0-1)

(L) Ohio State 77-31

You ordinarily don’t have much positive to say about a 77-31 loss, but there were quite a few positives for the Beavers. Oregon State played practically the entire game with their backup quarterback Connor Blount after Jake Luton was injured and scored 31 points against a top 5 team. The Beavers rushing attack was impressed as they rushed for 197 yards on 39 carries. Oregon State is clearly a much-improved team under Jonathan Smith. By the time Pac-12 play starts the Beavers will no longer be a gimme game.

11. UCLA (0-1)

(L) Cincinnati 26-17

This was not the game anybody expected in Chip Kelly’s debut. We all expected UCLA to struggle at times this season, but an anemic offense against Cincinnati was unexpected. By the end of the game, it was obvious why Kelly chose to start Wilson Speight at quarterback over Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Thompson-Robinson was pressed into action when Speight was knocked out of the game with an injury. The freshman showed flashes in relief but he’s not quite ready for the primetime. UCLA also has problems with their rushing defense and offensive line. Unless Chip Kelly can pull a rabbit out of his hat 2018 is going to be a rough season for the Bruins.

10. Arizona (0-1)

(L) BYU 28-23

I was absolutely confused watching the Arizona offense. Their greatest weapon is Khalil Tate’s legs and they didn’t unleash him at all. He finished with only 8 rushing attempts. It is almost like Kevin Sumlin wanted to make sure Tate’s passing ability was showcased. He finished the game 17/34 with 197yds 1 TD. Arizona will have to employ a lot more run-pass option to maximize Tate’s skill set and make their offense explosive. My preseason prediction for Pac-12 South winner looked super suspect.

9. Colorado (1-0)

(W) Colorado State 45-13

I was not sure how this game would go after the Buffaloes only won 17-3 last year and were shutout in the second half. Mike MacIntyre’s team dominated Colorado State from cover to cover. The key to Colorado’s success this year will be great play from junior quarterback Steven Montez. He lit up the scoreboard in week one to the tune of 338 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. He looks to have made significant progress since last season. If Montez can continue to play at a high-level Colorado will be strong in conference play, particularly at home.

8. Washington St (1-0)

(W) 41-19 Wyoming

I couldn’t be any more happy for the Washington State Cougars. After offseason tragedy, they were playing with heavy hearts but came out and got a win. Per the usual, Mike Leach found a way to get his  ‘Air Raid’ offense to score a lot of points. The Cougars defense was impressive in only giving up 209 total yards. The Cougars should cruise to 3-0 to start the season.

7. Arizona St (1-0)

(W) UTSA 49-7

It is so hard to judge teams when they play “Nobody State” in week one. However, a win is a win despite it not being very impressive. Manny Wilkins to N’Keal Harry is a deadly combination for the Sun Devils offense. Harry is a mismatch 1-on-1 for most cornerbacks so teams have to give safety help over the top which opens up the running game. Benjamin and Floyd were the beneficiaries in week one. Remember when I said I believed Arizona would win the Pac-12 South? I may have meant Arizona State.

6. Cal (1-0)

(W) North Carolina 24-17

The most impressive thing about Cal’s win over North Carolina was their defense. They forced 4 turnovers and held on even with mixed results from their quarterbacks. In just his second season Justin Willcox has turned 2016’s worst defense in the country into a respectable defense. The Golden Bears weakness is the quarterback position. Bowers, Garbers, and McIlwain all saw time under center, but neither of them was particularly impressive. It won’t matter how good Cal’s defense is if they don’t get better play from the QB position.

5. Washington (0-1)

(L) Auburn 21-16

What a horrendous loss to Auburn. The Huskies had every opportunity to win that road game masquerading as a neutral site game. The good news is that Washington showed they could bring their B game and compete with anybody. The bad news is that I was right about Jake Browning in the Pac-12 preseason rankings. I told ya’ll he would be the Achilles heel for this team after the media picked the Huskies to win the conference. Browning is a senior so we expected smart play but his game was marred with bad decision after bad decision. I was impressed with the Washington defense. They largely help Auburn’s tricky offense in check. The front seven dominated the game and showed it will be tough for Pac-12 teams to run the football against them.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Oregon

4. Utah (1-0)

(W) Weber State 41-10

After starting off down 10-0, Utah did exactly what they were supposed to do. They demolished a team with inferior talent. However, they must stop fumbling. The Utes fumbled three times during the game. If Tyler Hundley can stay healthy continue to play at this level the Utes will be a serious threat to win the Pac-12. He finished with over 250 yards passing and 4 TDs. Their defense looked tough. There seems to be a different feel to Kyle Whittingham’s team this year. Utah will be looking to finally get over the hump in the Pac-12 South.

3. Oregon (1-0)

(W) Bowling Green 58-24

The Ducks started the game extremely flat offensively and defensively. After they settled down, the game was a runaway. Justin Herbert was as good as advertised passing the ball. The running game featured 6 different running backs touch the football. Jim Leavitt’s defense looks to be even better and more physical than last year. I am so happy to see the pillow fights stop. The Ducks have no competition in their first three games. So the focus over the next three weeks will be keeping everyone healthy and being sharp for their week 4 matchup against Stanford.

2. USC (1-0)

(W) UNLV 43-21

Ordinarily, I would be critical of USC struggling with the likes of UNLV. But, the Trojans got the win with a freshman quarterback, new #1 running back and wide receiver. Those young guys will be walking into the fire this week. The Trojans travel to the farm to play Stanford. JT Daniels will have to grow up quick if USC wants to compete for the Pac-12 crown. USC needs to beat Stanford to calm the Clay Helton naysayers

1. Stanford (1-0)

(W) San Diego State 31-10

Stanford started extremely slow against San Diego State, but they put the pedal to the metal in the second half. Bryce Love was held to just 29 yards on 18 carries, but K.J. Costello showed up big time. Costello answered any questions about his ability to carry the load as a passer by finishing with 332 yards and 4 TDs. My one question about the Cardinal team surrounds the run defense. San Diego State’s Juwan Washington ran for 158 yards. If Stanford can sure up their run defense, they have a legit shot to win the Pac-12.

Blind Resumes: Who is the Most Dominant Pac-12 Team?

Most Dominant Pac-12 Team

Who Runs the Pac-12?

College football fans love debating other college football fans about hypothetical events. Most fans rely on emotions and feelings instead of stats and facts to drive their arguments and opinions. Conversations are always heated when Pac-12 fans debate the most dominate Pac-12 team. Unafraid Show has indisputable stats to solve these debates thanks to our friend @SportsPac12. We will use the blind resumes of the four most dominant Pac-12 teams over last two decades to determine who runs the Pac-12.

If we were judging, historically USC will always win this debate because they had such a headstart on everyone else in the conference except UCLA. So, we will focus on recent history to determine who runs the Pac-12. Anybody can have an outlier season and win a conference championship, but it is extremely difficult to maintain success longterm. Take an objective look at the blind resumes to determine who currently runs the Pac:

Most Dominant Pac-12 Team

Leave a comment to submit your vote for the Pac-12 Most Dominant Team!

Can you name the teams without google help?

No matter who your favorite team is, the future is extremely bright for the Pac-12 conference. The conference has the best coaching it has ever had from top to bottom. There are multiple national championships in store for the conference over the next decade.

Check out the Pac-12 preseason rankings and predictions for who is the most dominant Pac-12 team and who will win the conference.

Team A: Stanford Team B: USC Team C: Oregon Team D:Washington

For more thoughts on who is the most dominant Pac-12 team as well as more fresh, creative, powerful content for sports fans, check out my UnafradShow podcast.

Pac-12 Preseason Rankings: Who Will Win The Conference in 2018?

The 2018 season is just days away, so it is time for the Pac-12 Preseason Rankings. I think we can all agree that it is time for the “Conference of Champions” to finally see another championship in football. This year, the conference has at least three legitimate threats to hoist the national championship trophy. The conference has the best cast of coaches from top to bottom in the history of the conference. The question is which one of them will be the first to get to the promised land? The Pac-12 Champion will likely have to be undefeated to make the College Football Playoffs because we have learned the BCS and now the playoff rankings favor the SEC and ACC.

South Division

Per the usual, the South division is up for grabs. There has been a different winner every year since 2013 with only one team winning it twice. The media loves USC to win the South but I disagree. I believe the division will have one of it’s best races since 2014. The division has added Herm Edwards, Chip Kelly, and Kevin Sumlin as coaches so you know the next few years will be intense.

1.Arizona (10-2)

Potential Losses: USC, Utah, Oregon,

I know I am in the minority here, but the door is wide open for the Wildcats to win the Pac-12 South. They avoid Washington and Stanford on the schedule. USC is breaking in a new quarterback, top running back, and wide receiver. Every other game in the south is winnable when Khalil Tate is your quarterback. If Kevin Sumlin can muster something that even resembles a good defense the Wildcats will win the South.

2. USC (10-2) 

Potential Losses: Texas, Stanford, Arizona, Notre Dame

USC is one of those rare places where a coach can go 21-6 in his first two full seasons and the jury still be out on him as a coach. Welp, that’s the reality when you get absolutely housed by Alabama, Notre Dame, and Ohio State in the process. The Trojans have a lot of turnover at key starter offensive positions (QB, RB, WR). Clay Helton will need to do his best coaching job yet to get all those 5* players to get him 10+ wins again.

3. Utah (7-5)

Potential Losses: Washington, Stanford, Arizona, USC, UCLA, ASU, Oregon

Do not be surprised if Utah either wins the South or finishes second. Since USC is vulnerable the Utes will have a “Why not us” mentality heading into every game. Last season Tyler Hunley showed he is a real difference-maker at the quarterback position. Utah is always one of the toughest teams in the Pac-12 and 2018 will be no different. Kyle Whittingham has been extremely close to getting his team “over the hump”. Could this be the year?

4. UCLA (6-6)

Potential Losses: Oklahoma, Washington, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, ASU, USC, Stanford

The Bruins are predicted by most to miss a bowl game and finish 4-5th in the division. I’d agree that Chip Kelly is short on the players to run his system, but he’s still Chip Kelly college football juggernaut. Do not be surprised by any “outlier” results from this team. All eyes will be on their week 2 matchup at Oklahoma. If UCLA wins that game… scary. I do believe that teams like Arizona, Utah, and Arizona State better seize the opportunity to get a Pac-12 championship this season. It will get a lot more difficult as UCLA gets this thing rolling.

5. Arizona State (6-6)

Potential Losses: Everyone except UTSA, Oregon State, Colorado

I have no idea how Herm Edwards will do record-wise as the head coach of the Sun Devils, but I do know they won’t be winning the South this season. He hasn’t coached in ten years and hasn’t been a college coach in three decades. I do know that he will develop his young men into high character men and his team will play hard. Arizona State is one of those rare places that is not a powerhouse but could be. Arizona is a state with a good amount of high school talent, and close enough to California and Texas to get some of their most talented players.

6. Colorado (4-8)

Potential Losses: Everyone except New Hampshire

With the exception of their 10-4 season in 2016, the Buffaloes have had little success since joining the Pac-12. The good news is that Colorado has Junior quarterback Steven Montez back under center. Their best chance to steal a couple of games are against Oregon State, Washington State, and Cal.

North Division

The Pac-12 North Division is one of the toughest divisions in all of college football. Whenever you have three teams that can win a division, you know it’s tough. The king of the castle for the last two years has been the Washington Huskies. There will be a dogfight this season between Washington, Stanford, and Oregon. The media showed a lot of confidence that Washington will win the conference in the preseason poll. However, I firmly disagree.Cal, Washington State, and Oregon State do not have a chance to win the division, but there will be no SEC November cupcakes when they are on the schedule.

1. Stanford (11-1)

Potential Losses: Oregon, Washington

Stanford is consistent and coached by the best coach in the Pac-12. The difference between last year’s Stanford team and this year is the quarterback position. If K. J. Costello can stay healthy, the combination of him throwing the ball and Bryce Love rushing could prove too much for the Pac-12 and may earn them a spot in the CFB Playoff top 4.

2. Oregon ( 10-2) 

Potential Losses: Stanford, Washington, Arizona

There is no team that has a wider variance for the number of wins than the Oregon Ducks. They have a new head coach, a potential #1 NFL draft pick at QB, a much-improved defense, but are coming off back to back disappointing seasons. The Ducks entire season hinges on two things: keeping Justin Herbert healthy and beating Stanford week 4. If Oregon beats Stanford, Washington will be on upset alert.

3. Washington (10-2) 

Potential Losses: Auburn, Stanford, Oregon

It is hard to pick against Washington because they are talented and well coached. I love Chris Peterson’s defense, but their Achilles heel this year will be the quarterback. Jake Browning is a quality college quarterback, but Stanford and Oregon field much better options at the position. If Jake Browning raises his level of play against top-tier opponents the Huskies can win the Pac-12 and National Championship. But, I have a little sneaky suspicion there will be chaos in the North.

4. Cal (7-5)

Potential Losses: Oregon, Arizona, Washington, USC, Stanford

I really like the improvement that Cal made last season. The Golden Bears will be even better in Justin Wilcox’s second season. However, their schedule is rough and they don’t quite have the horses to compete with the top 3 teams. I would not be surprised if Cal sneaks a win against one of their “losses”.

5. Washington State ( 5-7 )

Potential Losses: USC, Utah, Oregon, Stanford, Cal, Arizona, Washington

Washington State is in a tough position. Mike Leach runs the ‘Air-Raid’ offense, but they are without their expected starter Tyler Hilinski at quarterback. His suicide sent shockwaves through all of college football. We all have Cougar nation in our thoughts and prayers this season. If you ever need help or are considering suicide please call 800-273-Talk.

6. Oregon State (3-9)

Potential Losses: Everyone except Southern Utah

There is nowhere to go but up for the Beavers as they only managed a single win last year. New coach Jonathan Smith will have the team more competitive, but they still have a long way to go. Their only opportunities for conference wins this year are Cal and Colorado. The goal should be getting one of those.

Championship Game

Arizona vs Stanford


Schedules Make it Easy For the SEC to Make the College Football Playoff

College Football Playoffs Schedule Scam

Schedules are the biggest scam in college football. The College Football Playoff Ponzi scheme, and the SEC is Bernie Madoff, same as the BCS was. All the Power 5 conferences do the work, but the SEC collects the rewards. The SEC (Bama in particular) deserves credit for winning the tournament, but often as a whole conference is severely overrated. When the CFB Playoff was formed we were told teams would be ranked based upon schedule quality and quality of wins over being undefeated. This has not been true. The curtain has to be lifted so fans can watch the season with open eyes. Isn’t it time that fans get the games we want to see and the undeniable four best teams in the playoff games? We are all being had by ridiculous schedules that manipulate who makes it to the playoff. Teams only get 12 guaranteed games per season. So why on earth should teams be rewarded for playing 3 non-competitive non-conference games per year?? Nobody really wants to pay to leave games at halftime. In 2018, Alabama and Georgia are were top 5 teams but were in the top 10 for easiest non-conference schedules. As fans, we spend our time, hard earned money, and devote our Fall lives to college football. We should we never waste an entire Saturday watching bad games!

College Football Committee Can’t Do Its Job Properly

The notion that the College Football Playoff Committee can accurately and fairly decipher who the top four teams in the country are is outrageous. How can they, when these schedules give us so few quality common opponents between conferences? This is the committee’s fault though. We will NEVER see schedules get better until the committee punishes teams that don’t win their conference or play competitive non-conference games. As a college football fan, you should absolutely be frustrated with the quality of the games we get. I’m assuming that all of you are like me and love college football and enjoy watching good games and debating other fans. If that’s the case, there is no way to be ok with a team that didn’t win their conference and played a bad non-conference schedule to be in the top 4.

The committee has essentially said that it is acceptable to lose your conference, play eight conference games while playing three non-power 5 teams, including an FCS team and get into the playoffs. Do not give me the “everybody does it” line. Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Notre Dame, USC, Miami, Cal, and others managed to schedule at least 2 power five non-conference games. That means everyone else can do it as well.

I’ve long said that college football schedules are consistently manipulated by the SEC and ACC, who have an advantage. Pac-12, Big XII, and Big 10 teams have a significantly smaller margin for error when trying to compete for championships. Let me explain how this works by using this table:

College Football Playoffs Ponzi Scheme

You can clearly see why the ACC and SEC have a win-loss advantage. Notice that there is a seven-loss difference between the ACC/SEC, and Big 10 which all have 14 teams. Seven more losses mean an additional game for each team in the BIG 10 against a team that could beat you. Imagine how easy the path to the championship would be if Ohio State could sub out that Iowa game for Mercer. Now, let’s compare those numbers to the Pac-12, which has 12 teams and 54 total conference losses. That is only two losses less than the ACC and SEC, despite having two more teams.

If that was too complicated, an easier way to explain all this is by looking at the average number of losses per team in each conference. SEC and ACC teams will lose a half-game less than all other conferences.

In theory, all this would not be a big deal if the conferences made up for that conference game with a competitive non-conference game. However, in most cases that is NOT what happens.

One of the biggest conversations when comparing teams is comparing how many losses each team has. However, all wins are not created equal. I’ve heard the argument that the Big XII, Big 10, and Pac-12 “play themselves out” of the playoffs by losing too much in-conference. The reality is playing 8 conference games instead of 9 conference games creates a systematic advantage for the SEC and ACC.

Now that we are all on the same page regarding wins and losses, I’ll explain the manipulation of the committee rankings. The current formula to manipulate your way into the playoffs is: play eight conference games, one mandated power 5 team, two non-competitive FBS games, and 1 FCS team. That FCS game often presents itself in November. It is commonly referred to as a “November Cupcake,” which is a glorified bye week against teams like Mercer, Citadel, or Wofford. The “November Cupcake” is an important component for highly regarded SEC teams to move up in the playoffs because of timing. When other conferences have ranked matchups in November, SEC teams play “November Cupcakes.” This gives them an opportunity to move up the rankings without playing a competitive game, and one of the teams from the other conference has to lose. This is the formula how you consistently end up with top 10 matchups amongst SEC teams late in the season, which makes the conference appear stronger.

Even Nick Saban (Alabama’s Head Coach) agrees with me when asked about college schedules and teams being deserving of playoff bids:

“I think it’s subjective to some degree because we don’t all play each other. I could get into my theory on this. I personally want to play all Power 5 conference teams every week. I know people say we played Mercer College and we couldn’t get a game with anybody else. All right so…  If we all had to play twelve teams from the Power 5 conferences, we would have a better feel for which conferences were the strongest and there would be more crossover play… and maybe even play more conference games.  Fans would like it better. You guys [the media] would like it better. You’d have a better inventory to show people. We wouldn’t have these games that people don’t really want to come to, players don’t really want to play in. And I think you’d have a better idea of who the best conferences and the best teams were.”

-Nick Saban on “College Football Playoff Selection Show” (December 3, 2017)

The Solution

  1. Change the college football playoffs to eight teams.
  2. Take the five power five champions and three at-large teams.
  3. One of the at-large teams has to be the highest ranked non-power 5 team.

There are two solutions to solve the scheduling imbalance and increase the greatness of college football for fans:

  1. 9 conference games, two power 5 games, and one FBS non-power 5 game to continue to give money to the little guys.
  2. 8 conference games, two power 5 games, one FBS non-power 5 game, and one FCS game to continue to give money to the little guys.

Both of these options would give the fans a much better game experience and generate more revenue for athletic departments. Teams would be more encouraged to schedule home and home non-conference games against good teams. This would make selling season tickets much easier

This would also alleviate a lot of the nonsense discussion about resumes and strength of conferences when choosing playoff teams. The committee would have more data because teams would have played more common opponents. My plan would cause television ratings and revenue increases as well. That’s more money for the NCAA, coaches, sponsors, and athletic departments to keep out of the hands of the players. And isn’t that the #1 goal of college football?

Am I Wrighster or am I wrong?

Pac-12 Media Poll picks Washington to Win the Conference: They are Wrong!

Washington Huskies

The Pac-12 media poll is out. 37 of 42 media members who cover Pac-12 football voted Washington as their favorite to win the conference. If you let the media tell it, Washington should run away with the North division and the South will be competitive with USC winning. But, recent history tells us that the likely Pac-12 champion will be someone other than who the media picks. The media has only correctly predicted the winner of the Pac-12 title game twice since 2011 (Oregon 2011, 2014). 2018 will be extremely exciting for the Pac-12. This is the best coaching from top to bottom that the conference has ever had.

2018 Pac-12 Media Poll

The media will be wrong about their 2018 pick as well. Either Stanford or Oregon will win the North division and Arizona will win the South division. Washington is well coached and their defense will be solid per the usual, but Stanford and Oregon are lurking in the shadows. Stanford has the best coach, offensive line, and running back in the conference. If KJ Costello shows up in a major way, Stanford will be a treat to go to the College Football Playoffs. Oregon, on the other hand, is the biggest wildcard in the conference. They feature a new head coach, Mario Cristobal who will bring more of the SEC conference ground and pound to the Ducks. They also have the project top NFL quarterback prospect Justin Herbert and are very talented at all positions. Arizona is a major threat to USC in the South division. The Trojans are replacing their top quarterback, running back, and wide receiver all in the same season. Arizona has a nuclear weapon at quarterback in Khalil Tate. He has the ability to win any game for the Wildcats.

No matter who wins the conference should fair significantly better in bowl season than last year.

College Football: Pac-12 Coach Power Rankings 2018

Great players win games, but great coaches win championships. The Pac-12 always has plenty of great players and is littered with future first-round draft picks. The conference has also had coaching legends like Pete Carrol, John McKay, Terry Donahue, and Don James. Despite a rich history and tradition, the PAC-12 has never had a coaching roster as good as the upcoming 2018 season. From top to bottom, the conference is now full of some of the best coaching minds. Only the Big Ten (Meyer, Chryst, Franklin, Harbaugh, Dantonio, etc) can rival the coaching lineup the Pac-12 now has in its arsenal. Six of these coaches are in their first or second year at their schools, but all are making noise on the recruiting trail and creating a footprint on the college football landscape. Over the next 2-3 seasons, the Pac-12 collectively will have it’s highest finishes on the recruiting trail.

Despite last year’s abject failure as a conference, the future of the Pac-12 conference is extremely bright and will soon claim multiple national championships.

On to the coaches:

12. Oregon State- Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith is the biggest unknown of all the Pac-12 coaches. He put up big numbers as the offensive coordinator at both Washington and Montana. The best news for Smith is that there is nowhere to go but up for the Oregon State Beavers. They haven’t won one conference game in two of the last three years. The bad news for OSU is that is Smith is successful he won’t be in Corvallis long.

11. Colorado- Mike MacIntyre

To say that Colorado has struggled since joining the Pac-12 would be an understatement. MacIntyre took over the program in 2013 and has only been able to win more than 5 games once. In his defense, the university absolutely mishandled a powerhouse of a program and burned it to the ground before he got there. The school has not made a commitment to winning, and until they do the Buffaloes will continue to be Pac-12 bottom feeders. There are few coaches who could do better given what MacIntyre has had to work with.

10. Arizona State- Herman Edwards

The Herm Edwards experiment at Arizona State is either going to be feast or famine. Herm was a good NFL coach and is an excellent leader. But, he has never been a college head coach and hasn’t coached football in 10 years. It initially felt wrong ranking him this low, but their recruiting class wasn’t particularly special and he wasn’t able to retain his offensive and defensive coordinators. If Herm does well, re-ranking the coaches at the end of the season is going to be a nightmare.

Pages: 1 2 3 4