Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 5: North Division is Dominant

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 5

The Pac-12 had a great week in week 4. The heavy hitters in the conference (Washington, Stanford, USC, Oregon) all had great performances on national television. Stanford vs. Oregon is the game of the year so far. Great performances in prime time go a long way in determining the College Football Playoff top 4. The top of the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 5 was decided by razor-thin margins.

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. Respect is not given, it is earned.

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

12. UCLA (0-3)


UCLA has a real shot at a win on Friday night against Colorado. Strange things always happen during those Friday Night Pac-12 games. And Chip Kelly’s squad had a full week off to figure out some way to retool the Bruins anemic offense. There are betting lines around who will win a game first UCLA, or Nebraska. If UCLA gets a win, they will get out of the Pac-12 Power Rankings cellar.

11. Oregon State (1-3)

(L) Arizona 14-35

There are a bunch of programs that have gimmicks for players to wear or use after turnovers. Oregon State has a “turnover chainsaw.” While it’s not corny like Florida State’s “turnover backpack, there is so much potential for something bad to happen. When I played in Jacksonville, Jack Del Rio put a big wood stump and an ax in the middle of the locker room. He would always tell us to “Keep Chopping Wood.” To make a long story short, Our punter Chris Hansen chopped into the wood, and the ax split the wood, he cut his leg, and couldn’t play anymore that season.

That story had nothing to do with Oregon State, but it was much more interesting than anything going on with the Beavers.

1o. Arizona (2-2)

(W) Oregon State 35-14

Finally, we saw the Arizona team we thought would compete for the Pac-12 South division. Khalil Tate’s ankle is still not healthy, so the Wildcats offense is extremely limited. Arizona struggled through their nonconference schedule, but are still 1-0 in conference play. The Wildcats get USC at home this week. A win would put them in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 South. Wouldn’t it be a strange twist of fate if we all severely overreacted to the first three weeks of the season?

9. Washington State (3-1)

(L) USC 36-39

The loss on Friday night against USC was tough. Washington State had an opportunity to win the game on their last drive until an inexplicable 3rd down play call. We didn’t know much about the Cougars heading into the USC game, but we learned a lot. Gardener Minshew is a legit passer. He carved up the Trojans defense to the tune of 344 yards and three touchdowns. With Minshew leading Mike Leach’s ‘Air Raid’ system, Washington State has a chance against any team in the Pac-12.

8. Utah (2-1)


Utah will be looking to rebound from their week 3 loss to Washington at Washington State this weekend. The theme of the bye week should have been offensive efficiency. The Utes rank 10th in the Pac-12 in the percentage of possessions that result in points at 23.8%. The top two teams, Washington State and Oregon, sitting at 50.9%, and 44.8% respectively. Utah’s top-notch defense will have a tough task trying to stop the ‘Air Raid’ attack on Washington State. Kyle Whittingham had to find a way to get his offense going if the Utes have hopes of the south division crown.

7. USC (2-2)

(W) Washington State 39-36

USC got a much-needed win against Wazzu after back-to-back ugly losses. It was not pretty, but a win is a win. There is still concern about the Trojans inability to run the ball. They also struggled on pass defense as well against Washington State. The bright spots for USC were JT Daniels and wide receivers St. Brown, Pittman, and Vaughs. Daniels threw for a very solid 241 yards passing and three touchdowns. All three wideouts made phenomenal catches and showed they must be respected. What is it going to take for USC fans to buy into Clay Helton at head coach?

6. Arizona State (2-2)

(L) Washington 20-27

Herm Edwards is doing his thing down at Arizona State. They lost a competitive game to Washington that no one really thought would be as close, to begin with. The Sun Devils middle of the road record mirrors their conference ranking in most meaningful statistical categories. We need to see more of Manny Wilkins throwing the ball to N’Keal Harry if Arizona State is to rise in the Pac-12 Power Rankings.

5. Colorado (3-0)


Something tells me that Colorado better bring their A-game on Friday night against UCLA. The Buffaloes have done a great job defensively in their first three games. They have only allowed opponents to score on 17% of their drives. Steven Montez has to keep his level of play high if Colorado is going to have another quality season like two seasons ago. Their Nebraska win doesn’t look nearly as good at this point. Colorado is still untested, but they will be soon.

4. Cal (3-0)


Cal’s first real test of the season will be this weekend against Oregon. The Golden Bears secondary was leading the nation in interceptions before their bye. They will be challenged mightily by the nation’s best quarterback, Justin Herbert. When I talked to the Cal coaches, they said the team is ready and believes they can compete with any team on their schedule. If they are going to stay in the game with Oregon, they will need to step up their offensive production. Cal ranks last in the Pac-12 in explosive plays over 30 yards with one. And they are next to last in the Pac-12 for the percentage of possessions that result in points at 23.2%.


3. Oregon (3-1)

(L) Stanford 31-38

The loss against Stanford was an All-Time heartbreaker. But, there is good news. Even with the loss, the Ducks exploded back on the national scene and made a serious statement. Oregon looked, fast, physical, and well coached. They have arguably the best quarterback in the nation with Justin Herbert. And their defense is extremely stingy against the run only allowing a conference-best 2.13 yards per carry. The Ducks had been sitting outside the top three of the Pac-12 Power Rankings for weeks because they hadn’t played anybody. Now, that they have, it is clear they are a top tier team. Now the question is: Will the Ducks let Stanford beat them twice and have a letdown against Cal?

2. Washington (3-1)

(W) Arizona State 27-20

The Huskies were extremely impressive in the way they closed out the game against Arizona State. They executed their 4-minute offense to perfection. Jake Browing who I often pick on deserves a lot of credit for his play. He took care of the football and made plays when his team needed them. Browning will need to step up his play as Washington heads to the toughest part of their schedule. The Huskies defense leads the Pac-12 with only one explosive play over 30 yards given up.  Chris Petersen’s team has a lot more competition in the Pac-12 than most predicted in the preseason.

1. Stanford (3-0)

(W) Oregon 38-31

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. It does not get any easier for the Cardinal as they head to South Bend this weekend to play Notre Dame.

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Big Ten Power Rankings Week 5: The Showdown In Happy Valley

Big Ten Power Rankings

The matchup we all have been waiting for has finally arrived. Undefeated Ohio State will travel to undefeated Penn State on Saturday night as the two juggernauts square off for Big Ten supremacy. Not only will this game have Big Ten stipulations on the line, but the winner will have the inside track to the College Football Playoff.

In case you want to reference the Big Ten Power Rankings from last week.

14. Rutgers (1-3)

Lost to Buffalo, 42-13

“Does the Big Ten regret accepting Rutgers into the conference? My column.”

Although the above headline is a joke, I’m not kidding with that sentiment. Getting their doors blown off by Kansas was one thing, but losing to Buffalo at home is embarrassing. It’s not that Rutgers lost to Buffalo, who happens to be 4-0 on the year. It’s that Rutgers got blown out to a team from the MAC. That should not happen especially when you’re in the Big Ten. The Rutgers defense, which was supposed to be the team’s strength, has given up a staggering 149 points in three straight losses. If the Scarlett Knights suffer another blowout loss, Chris Ash may not have a job by the end of the year. Rutgers plays Indiana at home on Saturday.

13. Nebraska (0-3)

Lost to Michigan, 56-10

No one expected miracles from Scott Frost, but I doubt anyone expected him to be 0-3 to start his tenure. Nebraska ran into a buzzsaw in the Big House as Michigan pounced on the Cornhuskers early on their way to a 56-10 beatdown. With a record of 0-3, Nebraska is off to their worst start since 1945, and they have been outscored 113-57. Nebraska will look to win their first game of the year on Saturday when they travel to Purdue.

12. Purdue (1-3)

Beat Boston College, 30-13

Now, this is the Purdue team that everyone expected to see at the start of the year. David Blough’s 3 TD passes led the way as the Boilermakers picked up their first win of the season over Boston College, 30-13. Purdue could very well be 4-0 because they have had chances to win in each of their first three games. The Boilermakers have lost by a combined 8 points in three games. Purdue will look to make it two straight as they travel to Nebraska on Saturday afternoon.

11. Northwestern (1-2)

Bye week

After a bye week, Northwestern has to face the red-hot Michigan Wolverines in Evanston on Saturday afternoon. If Northwestern wants to stay in this game, their offense can’t disappear in the second half like it has the past three games.

10. Illinois (2-2)

Lost to Penn State, 63-24

The good news: Illinois was beating Penn State 24-21 early in the third quarter.

The bad news: Penn State started trying again and scored 42 unanswered points to win the game, 63-24.

Truthfully, the positives outweigh the negatives for me. Did Illinois lose by 39? Yes, but they were winning the game in the third quarter and played a great first half. It’s not like they were blown out by a non-Power 5 School (CC: Rutgers). It was Penn State, who has a chance to make the College Football Playoff. It’s clear that Lovie Smith has some talent at the running back position with Reggie Corbin and Mike Epstein, who combined for 160 yards rushing. Plus, the Illini have been playing with their backup quarterback so let’s see what starter AJ Bush can do when he returns. Illinois has a bye week.

9. Minnesota (3-1)

Lost to Maryland, 42-13

After falling behind in the first half 21-3, Minnesota had no chance for a comeback. Turnovers will kill your ability to win games, and with three turnovers on the day including 2 INTs thrown by Zack Annexstad, that’s pretty much a death wish. It wasn’t a great day for the Minnesota defense as they gave up 432 yards of total offense to the Terps. I don’t care who you are; if you can’t stop the run, you’re not going to win many games. Minnesota has a bye week.

8. Maryland (3-1)

Beat Minnesota, 42-13

Remember when Maryland was blown out by Temple two weeks ago? They seemed to take out their frustration on Minnesota as the Terps dominated the Golden Gophers from start to finish on their way to a 42-13 victory. Maryland found their groove again in the running game as the Terps rushed for 315 yards and 4 TDs. I still have question marks about Kasim Hill’s ability to throw the ball, but if the Terps have success on the ground, they will win games. Maryland has a bye week.

7. Indiana (3-1)

Lost to Michigan State, 35-21

With a chance for a statement win, Indiana could not overcome Michigan State’s fast start on their way to a 35-21 defeat. Although the running game was excellent the previous three games, Indiana was not able to control the line of scrimmage as Sparty held Stevie Scott and the Hoosiers to 29 rushing yards. Indiana travels to Rutgers this Saturday.

6. Michigan State (2-1)

Beat Indiana, 35-21

Just like Wisconsin, Michigan State was looking to rebound after a brutal loss, which is exactly what happened as they defeated an undefeated Indiana team, 35-21. Quarterback Brian Lewerke’s two first-half touchdowns and Shakur Brown’s interception for a touchdown gave Sparty a 21-7 lead in the first half, which was too big of a deficit for Indiana. After Ohio State /Penn State this weekend, the next biggest game in the battle for the Big 10 will be October 13 as Sparty travels to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions. Michigan State plays Central Michigan on Saturday.

5. Iowa (3-1)

Lost to Wisconsin, 28-17

Iowa had the lead going into the fourth quarter, but the Hawkeyes were outscored 14-0 in the 4th quarter on their way to defeat 28-17. Not only would this win be a resume booster, but it would’ve given Iowa the ability to control their own destiny in the Big Ten West. With the loss to Wisconsin, Iowa will have to win out and hope Wisconsin loses two conference games, which is very unlikely, in order to play in the Big 10 title game. Iowa has a bye week.

4. Wisconsin (3-1)

Beat Iowa, 28-17

In a game where many believed the running game would be the focal point, it was quarterback Alex Hornibrook who was the star of the game in Wisconsin’s hard-fought come-from-behind win over Iowa in Kinnick Stadium. Many experts and writers (including myself) believed Hornibrook would need to take the next step as a passer to lead the Badgers to new heights. I’d say 205 yards and 3 TDs in a huge road test is taking the next step. This was a quality bounce-back win for the Badgers. Wisconsin has a bye week.

3. Michigan (3-1)

Beat Nebraska, 56-10

Remember when Michigan looked lost on offense in their loss to Notre Dame? That seems like it happened a lifetime ago as the Wolverines dominated the visiting Nebraska Cornhuskers, 56-10. The stats won’t show it (120 yards and 1 TD), but quarterback Shea Patterson looks more comfortable and poised in Jim Harbaugh’s offense. The defense is one of the best in the country, which should come as a surprise to no one. Michigan is on a roll and looks like it can’t be stopped. Michigan travels to Northwestern on Saturday.

2. Penn State (4-0)

Beat Illinois, 63-24

Illinois was on the verge of an upset. Illinois had the lead early in the third quarter with a score of 24-21. Penn State not only erased the thought of an upset, but destroyed it with a monstrous second half in which they scored 42 unanswered points to win 63-24. Running back Miles Sanders is making it a little easier for fans to forget about Saquon Barkley as Sanders rushed for 200 yards and 3 TDs. The biggest game of the Big Ten season (so far) takes place on Saturday night as Ohio State comes to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions.

1. Ohio State (4-0)

Beat Tulane, 49-6

Urban Meyer is back as the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Frankly, they didn’t need him to blow out Tulane. For me, the Heisman favorite is Dwayne Haskins. The quarterback was as close to perfect as you can get. Haskins threw for 304 yards and and 5 TDs in the first half alone before sitting on the bench for the second half. Although Haskins is 4th in the Heisman watch, Haskins will have a huge opportunity this weekend to improve his stock if he goes into Happy Valley and beats Penn State. Ohio State plays Penn State on Saturday night.

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, “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.

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Big Ten Football Power Rankings Week 4: O-H-I-O!

Big Ten Football Power Rankings Week 4

Did any team in the Big Ten want to win this past week? Half of the teams lost including Wisconsin, who was upset at home by BYU. This week, many teams will kick off their conference schedules as Big Ten play is set to kick off.

Let’s take a look at the Big Ten Week 4 Power Rankings.

14. Purdue (0-3)

Lost to Missouri, 40-37

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Purdue, think again as the Boilermakers lost on a last-second field goal to Missouri, 40-37. The offense was in full force for Purdue, accumulating 614 yards including 572 from the arm of David Blough. The only downfall was that the defense was allergic to stopping Missouri as they gave up 608 yards. It’s now or never for Jeff Brohm as they face an undefeated Boston College on Saturday.

13. Nebraska (0-2)

Lost to Troy, 24-19

If Nebraska wants to return to prominence, they can’t lose to Troy. That’s unacceptable and Coach Scott Frost knows it. Nebraska was missing freshman sensation Adrian Martinez at quarterback and it showed especially on third down, where the Cornhuskers were 5 for 13. Things don’t get any easier for Scott Frost as they take on Michigan at the Big House to open up Big Ten play.

12. Rutgers (1-2)

Lost to Kansas, 55-14

Don’t let Kansas get hot! All jokes aside, Rutgers should be embarrassed since they lost to a team that won back to back games for the first time since 2009. NINE YEARS! This game was never close since Kansas defense forced six turnovers. There’s nothing more to say after a 41 point loss. Rutgers plays Buffalo on Saturday.

11. Illinois (2-1)

Lost to USF, 25-19

On the positive side, Illinois looked good for three quarters. Going into the fourth quarter with a 19-7 lead, USF outscored the Illini 18-0 in the final quarter to win, 25-19. Despite losing the game, things are starting to turn in the right direction for the Illini. Last year, they were blown out by USF. This year, they should’ve won the game. Lovie Smith’s young team will only gain more experience as the season goes on. Illinois plays Penn State at home on Friday night.

10. Northwestern (1-2)

Lost to Akron, 39-34

I 100% jinxed Northwestern. One of my dark horses in the Big Ten has been nowhere to be found these past two games, suffering their latest defeat to Akron, 39-34. Once again, Northwestern struggled in the second half as they were outscored 36-13. This was a game that quarterback Clayton Thorson would like to erase from his memory. Don’t expect to win games if your quarterback throws for not one, but two pick 6s along with a fumble in the end zone. Northwestern has a much needed bye this weekend before a huge matchup with Michigan in two weeks.

9. Maryland (2-1)

Lost to Temple, 35-14

Oh no. Maryland, you were doing so well and had so much promise after two impressive wins to start the season. That was all erased after Temple blew out the Terps in College Park, 35-14. Maryland had been a dominant force on the ground in their previous two games. Not against Temple as the Owls stacked the box and controlled the line of scrimmage the entire game and held a Maryland team that was averaging close to 300 yards on the ground to 132 yards. If you can’t run the ball, you have to be able to pass, right? The Terps suffered tremendously in the air with quarterback Kasim Hill finishing with 56 passing yards, which is not good by any stretch of the imagination. Maryland will look to bounce back this week against Minnesota.

8. Minnesota (3-0)

Beat Ohio, 26-3

Row the boat! Don’t look now, but PJ Fleck and his Golden Gophers are 3-0 on the season. For a true freshman walk-on, Zack Annexstad is doing quite a fine job at quarterback. Through three games, Annexstad has thrown for 537 yards and 4 TDs and 0 INTs. You can’t ask for much more from a young quarterback. The schedule is going to get harder as they will play Maryland, Iowa, and Ohio State over the next three games. If Minnesota can go 2-1, watch out CC: Rest of Big Ten.

7. Indiana (3-0)

Beat Ball State, 38-10

Indiana is only a basketball school? Think again as the football team is undefeated after crushing Ball State, 38-10. In only his second career start, running back Stevie Scott had another stellar game, finishing the day with 114 yards with two touchdowns. If Indiana wants to be taken seriously in the Big Ten race, they will have a chance to silence their doubters with a win over Michigan State on Saturday night.

6. Michigan State (1-1)

Bye week

Michigan State had a bye week and since it was coming off a loss, I felt dropping them in the rankings was the fair thing to do. More often than not, the Spartans will be near the top of the Big Ten and I still believe this team can give Ohio State trouble later this season. Sparty will look to rebound this Saturday as they head to Bloomington to take on an underrated team in Indiana.

5. Michigan (2-1)

Beat SMU, 45-20

It seems like the loss to Notre Dame was ages ago as the Wolverines have found their grove, winning two games in a row in dominating fashion. This is the Shea Patterson that fans had hoped for as the transfer quarterback threw for over 235 yards and 3 TDs. Don’t look now, but the Wolverines are rolling as they enter Big Ten play on Saturday at home against Nebraska.

4. Iowa (3-0)

Beat Northern Iowa, 38-14

How about those Hawkeyes? Iowa defeated another in-state rival this past week, beating Northern Iowa, 38-14. The defense is the undisputed strength of this team, surrendering only 24 points in three games. Iowa is doing what they have to do, which is winning games at home. Now, a Wisconsin team will come into Kinnick on Saturday in a battle for Big Ten West supremacy. Expect a raucous environment.

3. Wisconsin (2-1)

Lost to BYU, 24-21

Trap game, anyone? It turns out that Wisconsin was looking ahead to their clash with Iowa instead of focusing on BYU as the Badgers lost at home to the Cougars, 24-21. Wisconsin’s picked a bad time to suffer their first non-conference home loss since 2003. Credit to BYU, they executed the perfect game plan, holding Wisconsin to 4 of 13 on first downs. This doesn’t end the Badgers’ pursuit of a conference title, but their hopes for a spot in the College Football Playoff have been erased. Wisconsin takes on Iowa in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday night.

2. Penn State (3-0)

Beat Kent State, 63-10

Ever since their overtime victory in Week 1, the Nittany Lions have been on fire. Usually Trace McSorley will beat you with his arm, but this week, McSorley was lethal in the ground game, accounting for 54 yards and 3 TDs. In general, the Penn State running game is going to be a problem for future Big Ten opponents. If Penn State can get past Illinois unscathed, it will set up the monstrous matchup with Ohio State in Happy Valley.

1. Ohio State (3-0)

Beat TCU, 40-28

OH! IO! In their toughest test of the season, the Buckeyes scored three third-quarter touchdowns in the span of four minutes to pull away from TCU, 40-28. Ohio State is without a doubt the best team in the Big Ten right now. With another great game from quarterback Dwayne Haskins (344 yards and 2 TDs), it makes you wonder why he wasn’t playing last year over J.T. Barrett. The win came at a cost though because Nick Bosa had to leave the game with a groin injury and currently has no timetable for a return. On the flip side, you know who is returning? Urban Meyer. Let the PR nightmare begin. Ohio State plays Tulane in Columbus on Saturday afternoon.

Big Ten Football Power Rankings Week 3: It’s Lonely at the Top

Big Ten Football Power Rankings Week 3

This past week, the biggest surprise in the Big Ten was the loss by Michigan State to Arizona State. Other than that, most of the teams in the Big Ten Football Power Rankings Week 3 took care of business. Ohio State is a juggernaut, Penn State and Michigan bounced back, and Iowa is on the rise.

Let’s take a look at the Big Ten Week 3 Power Rankings.

14. Purdue (0-2)

Lost to Eastern Michigan, 20-19

If Purdue wants to return to the top of the Big Ten, they can’t lose games to Eastern Michigan. It seems so simple, but you will always struggle to win games when you give up 347 yards in the air to the opposition. On the bright side, Purdue dominated on the ground, rushing as a team for 341 yards and a score. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the Boilermakers lost at home to a non-Power 5 school. That can’t happen. Purdue will look to pick up their first win against Missouri on Saturday.

13. Rutgers (1-1)

Lost to Ohio State, 52-3

Well, at least Rutgers tried. 52-3 is embarrassing, but Ohio State is on another level. The Buckeyes will be in the Top 10 all year. Rutgers had zero chance even if they were allowed 13 men on the field at all times. The only bright spot (by default) was kicker Justin Davidovicz, who made his lone field goal attempt. 134 yards of total offense is not going to beat any team, let alone Ohio State. Rutgers takes on Kansas this weekend in a very winnable game.

12. Illinois (2-0)

Beat Western Illinois, 34-14

Lovie gets (another) W! Illinois took care of business once again against inferior competition as they beat Western Illinois, 34-14. The ground game was the story as running backs Mike Epstein, and Reggie Corbin combined for 168 yards, and Corbin scored 1 TD. For a program that has not had a lot to cheer about in recent years, starting a season 2-0 is something to be proud of, no matter who they played. Illinois gets their first test of the season as South Florida comes to town. The game will be played at Soldier Field.

11. Nebraska (0-1)

Lost to Colorado, 33-28

Scott Frost’s debut did not go according to plan as Nebraska could not hold onto the lead late, surrendering a touchdown pass in the final minute to lose to Colorado, 33-28. Nebraska found its quarterback of the future in true freshman Adrian Martinez, who was sensational all game, combining for 304 all-purpose yards and 3 TDs. However, it may have come at a price as Martinez had to leave the game late with a leg injury. If Martinez can’t go this week, look for Andrew Bunch to get the start against Troy.

10. Minnesota (2-0)

Beat Fresno State, 21-14

The boat is off and running! Minnesota and its young core moved to 2-0 this past weekend with a win over visiting Fresno State. The game came down to the wire as Fresno State was a few yards away from tying the game late in the fourth quarter. Fresno tried a half-back pass on 1st-and-goal from the 4, but Antione Winfield Jr. made a spectacular play to intercept the pass and seal the game for the Golden Gophers. PJ Fleck will look to start 3-0 this weekend as Minnesota plays Miami (OH).

9. Indiana (2-0)

Beat Virginia, 20-16

I don’t care who you play. Winning a non-conference game on the road against a Power 5 school is impressive. Indiana went into Virginia and beat the Cavs 20-16. Indiana was not as explosive on offense as they were in week 1, but the Hoosiers found themselves a running back with Stevie Scott. The true freshman was a workhorse, rushing for 204 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. This weekend could prove to be a trap game for Indiana as they play Ball State before taking on Michigan State in two weeks.

8. Northwestern (1-1)

Lost to Duke, 21-7

I apologize to all the Northwestern fans for saying the ‘Cats should be 3-0 before the end of the month. The Cats could not stop Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, who threw for 3 TDs before leaving the game with an injury on their way to a 21-7 victory. Just like the first game, Northwestern came out firing out of the gates with a touchdown in the 1st quarter, but could not muster any points the rest of the way. If Northwestern wants to challenge for the Big Ten West title, they will need to fix their second-half offensive problems.

7. Maryland (2-0)

Beat Bowling Green, 45-14

Fear the Turtle! The Terrapins dominated Bowling Green on the ground, rushing for an impressive 444 yards with 5 TDs. Tayon Fleet-Davis lead the team with 2 TDs, and Ty Johnson, Lorenzo Harrison III, and Javon Leake all scored 1 TD. Maryland has another winnable game this weekend against Temple. The Terps could slowly turn into the dark horse of the Big Ten.

6. Michigan (1-1)

Lost to Western Michigan, 49-3

Poor Western Michigan. It was nothing personal, but the Wolverines had to beat them badly. Michigan lost a tough game to Notre Dame in their opener, and the media crushed them with Jim Harbaugh taking the most of the criticism. We knew Michigan was going to take out their frustration on Western Michigan and that’s exactly what happened. The Wolverines offense exploded 451 yards of offense in a 49-3 win. Michigan plays SMU at the Big House this weekend.

5. Iowa (2-0)

Beat Iowa State, 13-3

I said this last week, and I’ll say it again. To any opponent that plays Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, good luck because you are going to need it. The Kinnick Voodoo worked again as Iowa beat Iowa State 13-3, which marked their fourth straight victory over their in-state rival. The defense was the story as the Hawkeyes held the Cyclones to 188 yards on 56 plays. Iowa did what they do best. They ran the ball, played good defense, and controlled the clock. If Iowa gets past Northern Iowa this week, that will set the stage for a giant matchup with Wisconsin in, you guessed it, Kinnick Stadium.

4. Michigan State (1-1)

Lost to Arizona State, 16-13

Michigan State’s playoff hopes took a huge hit after the last second 16-13 upset loss at the hands of Arizona State. Sparty was leading 13-3 going into the fourth quarter before being outscored 10-0 to lose the game. While quarterback Brian Lewerke had a solid day (over 314 yards passing), the running game was left behind in East Lansing as the Spartans only mustered up 63 yards rushing. The silver lining for Michigan State is that this was a non-conference loss, so their hopes for a Big Ten title are more than alive. Michigan State is off this week.

3. Penn State (2-0)

Beat Pittsburgh, 51-6

It’s safe to say that Penn State woke up and learned from their Week 1 mistakes. The Nittany Lions dominated Pittsburgh from start to finish, outscoring the Panthers 44-0 after the first quarter in a 51-6 blowout. McSorley threw for 2 TDs, but the running game lead by Mike Sanders was the difference maker for Penn State as the Nittany Lions rushed for 211 yards and 3 TDs. Penn State plays Kent State this week in Happy Valley.

2. Wisconsin (2-0)

Beat New Mexico, 45-14

Jonathan Taylor runs the ball. Jonathan Taylor moves the chains. And Jonathan Taylor scores touchdowns. Rinse. Repeat. The running back had a dominating performance against New Mexico. Taylor ran for 233 yards on 33 carries and scored 3 touchdowns. Not that the Badgers needed to throw the ball, but quarterback Alex Hornibrook will need to throw the ball more than 8 times in order to win a Big 10 title. Wisconsin plays BYU at home in week 3.

1. Ohio State (2-0)

Beat Rutgers, 52-3

The “We can play defense, too” game. After surrendering 31 points to Oregon State a week ago, the Buckeyes defense responded in a huge way, allowing only 3 points in a 52-3 win over Rutgers. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins had another tremendous day, throwing for 233 yards and 2 TDs. If Haskins can put up these numbers in Big 10 play, the Heisman campaign will only strengthen. The Buckeyes have a huge test this Saturday night as they travel to Texas to face TCU.

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.

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College Football: ACC Coaching Power Rankings 2018

Who is #1 in the ACC Coaching Power Rankings?

The ACC is an interesting conference when it comes to the strength of its coaches. There is one king in the ACC, and that’s Dabo Swinney. It’s a no-brainer, and his resume speaks for itself. Every other coach is playing for second. A few names such as Mark Richt of Miami, Bobby Petrino of Louisville, and Justin Fuente come to mind. If no one can knock Dabo off the top, can any team at least take down Clemson for conference supremacy?


Big XII Coaching Power Rankings

Pac-12 Coaching Power Rankings

Big Ten Coaching Power Rankings

Here are the ACC Coaching Power Rankings.

14. Syracuse – Dino Babers

Well, at least they beat Clemson last year. Syracuse football is one of the toughest jobs in the country because of the location. Syracuse is a basketball school in central NY that is trying to compete with the likes of Florida State and Miami every year. Florida or Central NY?  It is a pretty simple choice for most kids. Getting kids to turn down the sunshine for snow is not exactly the easiest recruiting pitch. Do I think Dino Babers is a bad coach? No. Do I think he can do better than back-to-back 4-8 seasons? Absolutely. If Babers can win at least three games in the ACC this year, he might have a job for a few more years. Baby steps for the Orange.

13. Steve Addazio, Boston College

Steve Addazio is a smart coach. If you’re a vital member of Urban Meyer’s staff for two National Championships at Florida, you must be doing something right. However, his time at Boston College has been below average in the win/loss category. In 6 seasons with the Eagles, Addazio’s record is 31-33. For a Power 5 school, it’s nothing to brag home about. However, Addazio is well-respected and revered by both his peers and the school, who signed him to a contract extension through 2020. For my money, Steve Addazio is probably one of the most likable dudes out there. I use the word dude because Addazio coined the legendary phrase, “Guys being dudes.” For that, Addazio has my stamp of approval.

12. Pittsburgh – Pat Narduzzi

Pittsburgh football is the definition of mediocre. Since 1999, the Panthers win total has been between 5 and 9 wins besides 2009, which was their only 10 win season this century. Will Pat Narduzzi be able to take the Panthers back to the top tier of college football, which is a place they have not been since Dan Marino played quarterback. Narduzzi is a master of defense and proved that by becoming one of the best defensive coordinators in college at Michigan State. In three seasons at Pittsburgh, Narduzzi’s Panthers have been slightly above average with a season-high win total of 8. Last season, Narduzzi shocked all of college football when his Panthers beat previously unbeaten Miami in the final game of the regular season. Can Narduzzi build momentum off of that historic win?

11.Virginia – Bronco Mendenhall

The record may not show it, but Bronco Mendenhall has made significant strides with Virginia. Winning has not exactly been part of the program with their last winning season coming in 2011. Mendenhall built a very respectable program at BYU with 11 straight trips to bowl games. Year 1 was a learning year for Mendenhall and the Cavaliers, which resulted in 2 wins. However, the Cavs shocked a lot of people last year as they not only tallied 6 wins but reached a bowl game. Let’s see what Mendenhall can do in Year 3 with the program.

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College Football: Big XII Coaching Power Rankings 2018

Lincoln Riley

Who is #1 in the Big XII Coaching Power Rankings?

Welcome to the Big XII, where offense thrives, and defenses die. If you like points, this is the conference for you. If you like defense, you might as well turn off the game because it’s rarely played with the exception of TCU. Because of this, it can be hard to determine how the Big XII stacks up against other conferences like the Big 10, Pac-12, ACC and SEC if one side of the ball is, for the most part, neglected. However, the top of the conference is loaded with teams like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and TCU who regularly compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.


Pac-12 Coaching Power Rankings

Big Ten Coaching Power Rankings

Can Lincoln Riley take the Sooners to its third playoff trip? Can Gary Patterson and Mike Gundy lead their teams to the promised land? Let’s take a look at the coaching power rankings for the Big XII.

10. Kansas – David Beaty

Without a doubt, the Big XII program that believes in their coach the most is Kansas. Am I crazy? No, and here’s why. Name one coach in America that can go 0-12 and 2-10 in back-to-back seasons and still earn a contract extension. I’ll name that coach for you. It’s David Beaty. All the credit in the world to this guy for keeping his job despite having a record of 3-33 (!!!) in three years. You can’t help but root for Coach Beaty. The only way to go is up so best of luck to Coach Beaty. Rock chalk!

9. Baylor – Matt Rhule

Matt Rhule is a brave man for taking the Baylor job. He inherited a toxic situation at the university and surrounding the football team in the wake of the allegations under Art Briles tenure as head coach. While Rhule deserves a long leash, he likely won’t get one. The Rhule won 10 games at Temple twice, which is remarkable in itself. The Baylor Bears fan base will be looking for that same success. They are accustomed to 10+ win seasons and won’t settle for excuses. Rhule must drastically improve on his 1-11 record in Waco. Otherwise, his seat temperature will go from cool to inferno very quickly.

8. Texas Tech – Kliff Kingsbury

Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure at Texas Tech can be described with one word: disappointing. He is 30-33 overall, and 6-12 in the Big XII over the last two seasons. But why hasn’t this worked? Kingsbury knows how to develop quarterbacks cc: Case Keenum, Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes. The program loves Kingsbury because he was a legendary quarterback for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech lights up the scoreboard every week. Why is this not working again? Oh, that’s right. Texas Tech is allergic to defense. Two years ago, Kingsbury’s Red Raiders allowed a mind-blowing 554.3 yards per game, which was easily last in the Big XII. However, the defense made some strides last year, and “only” gave up 443 yards per game. The good news is will most of their starters for the upcoming season. If they can improve on the defensive side, even more, Texas Tech will be a dark horse to make the conference title game.

7. Iowa State – Matt Campbell

Iowa State, enjoy Matt Campbell for now because the NFL and college football bluebloods will be knocking on his door soon. That’s how coveted Campbell will be. In two years in Ames, Ames has turned Iowa State into a highly respected team in the Big XII. There are no more guaranteed wins when teams see Iowa State on the schedule. Last season Campbell led the Cyclones to 8 wins, the program’s highest win total since 2000. If he keeps the momentum growing from last year, watch out. Iowa State should be fighting in the top half of the conference all year.

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College Football: Big-10 Coach Power Rankings 2018

Without a doubt, the Big Ten Conference has the best college football coaches in the FBS. From top to bottom, the conference has some of the most respected and talented coaches in the nation. There is a clear cut #1 for the best coach in the Big Ten, but you can make plenty of convincing arguments for #2 to #7. The talent pool is loaded.

Is this the year that a Big Ten school not named Ohio State wins the College Football Playoff? In preparation for the upcoming season, here are the coaching rankings for the Big Ten.

14. Illinois – Lovie Smith

Smith has had no love whatsoever since his return to the college game. Smith took the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl but has only managed to win five games in 2 years. The Fighting Illini were extremely short on talent, and a winning culture when Lovie arrived. So his principal job has been teaching his guys how to win and get more talent. Illinois just landed the third-ranked quarterback in the Class of 2019, Isaiah Williams. If the Illini can make improvements this year, with Williams coming in 2019, things could be on the upswing for Smith.

13. Tom Allen – Indiana

When you think of the Indiana Hoosiers, basketball, basketball, and more basketball comes to mind. Football? Not so much. Coach Tom Allen is in his second full season with the Hoosiers and will look to bolster its struggling defense. Although Indiana was 5-7 last year, the Hoosiers lost in overtime to Michigan and lost to Michigan State by 8. Only time will tell if the football program can get as much notoriety as the basketball program.

12. Chris Ash – Rutgers

Rutgers used to be at the top of the Big East with Greg Schiano coaching guys like Ray Rice, and Brian Leonard. However, Rutgers has been anything but good the past two seasons, with records of 2-10 and 4-8. The good news is Chris Ash seems to be doing the right things at Rutgers to stop the bleeding. Although it was only 4 wins last year, it was an improvement from the previous season. Ash won a national championship as co-defensive coordinator Ohio State so look for him trying to transfer some of that magic to the Scarlett Knights.

11. DJ Durkin – Maryland

Maryland and coach DJ Durkin came into the 2017 season with an optimistic attitude and that translated to an opening week upset win over Texas. However, injuries derailed the season as the Terps faded quickly. Despite the woes, Maryland has high hopes for 2018 thanks to Durkin’s successful recruiting campaign, which has the 28th recruiting class on 247Sports Composite Team Rankings. Expect Maryland to make a Bowl game in 2018.

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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.

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