After 2 weeks…what have I learned?

I overestimated Arkansas. Not that I underjudged Jacksonville State, a team I consider to be one to the Top-5 in FCS. But the Arkansas team I evaluated pre-season would’ve put on a show and coasted in the second half, winning by 20+ points. The Razorback team I watched beat the Gamecocks in OT has been hit hard by injuries and is nearly constantly distracted by their coach, Bret Bielema. He needs to quit mouthing off and pay attention to his own team issues. Let his wife, Jen, use social media and other venues to chime in. That’s worked so well for them in the past.

I overestimated Wyoming. I had them winning 3 games this year. However, after their loss to FCS foe North Dakota (the one without any mascot) and one of my bottom picks Eastern Michigan, it’s hard to look at the Cowboys remaining schedule and find much hope for a win. They’ve gotta be circling their Nov 28th date with UNLV as a must-win game, because that’s the closest chance I’m seeing for now.

I underestimated Connecticut. I thought they might not win a game, and the Huskies go 2-0. I’m certainly not ready to pencil them into the Championship playoffs. In fact, they may lose out from here. Still, UConn is 2 wins better than I gave them credit for.

I also underestimated Eastern Michigan. I didn’t give them any chance of winning any games all year long, and they go out and blow out Wyoming in the second game after a narrow loss to Old Dominion in their first contest. The way the Eagles are going, they have a decent chance to beat Army on Sept 26 and Miami (O) on Nov 7. That would mean 3 wins, which is 1 more than any of the last 3 seasons.

Something I got right…

The loser of the Georgia State-New Mexico State game might not win at all this season. I thought it would be Georgia State dropping that game, but they beat NMSU. Now, the onus is on the Aggies to get the goose-egg out of the win column.

Other items I’ve noticed…

Minnesota is a sneaky-good team. Their defense stands strong, holding TCU and a viable Colorado State team to 23 and 20 points respectively. The Gophers aren’t going to blow away many teams, but they will be in each and every contest and I think stand a good chance to represent the west in the Big-10 title game.

Duke beat North Carolina Central 55-0. This is the same NC Central team that beat St Augustine’s (a Division 2 school) the previous week, 72-0. Would Duke beat St. Augustine’s 127-0?

Of the 5 teams putting up the best defensive stats, one might’ve expected to see Mississippi. The other four – California, Illinois, Syracuse and Boston College – have come out of nowhere. Well, that and a pretty easy schedule so far. See why it’s so easy to get too distracted after just a couple weeks? Let’s see which teams are there after 5 weeks.

Things I predict…

Akron’s offense, which has scored a total of 10 points in their first 2 games, should explode this week. No, the coach hasn’t found a secret offensive weapon. Their schedule delivers Savannah State to the Zips’ doorstep this week. Colorado State put up 65 on Savannah State in Week 1. Akron should be good for around 45.

Arizona scored 42 points the first week and 44 the second. 46 (or more) points will come this week as they host Northern Arizona.

Vanderbilt’s offense gets to celebrate early and often this week against Austin Peay. That’s a good thing, because I see them averaging just under 10 points a game from Week 4 onward.

Boston College has given up 3 points in 2 games (against FCS opponents). Their defense gets their eyes opened as they host Florida State. The Seminoles roll for at least 30.

Connecticut, which has scored 42 points in their first 2 games, won’t cover that in their next 5. At Missouri, Navy, at BYU, at UCF and hosting South Florida, the Huskies will be hard pressed to average more than a TD per game.

Georgia gave up 14 points to Louisiana-Monroe and another 14 to Vanderbilt. It’s likely they’ll do the same hosting the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Georgia State has given up 55 points in their first 2 games. Oregon scores more against them in one game this weekend.

Washington State gets a 2-game winning streak rolling with a big win this week over Wyoming. Wazzu rolls up over 600 yards in offense and scores at least 7 TDs while the Cowboy D sits idly by.

One thing I wanted to remind you about…

D1FFL.com is 2 weeks into the season, but it’s not too late to join a public league or start a private one and invite your friends. Leagues can start any week and play through the rest of the season. Why not give it a go? It’s totally free to play. Sign up, start up and get your teams. We could be seeing YOUR name on the Top-50 list.

Teams most likely to…

An analytical look at FBS football and some of the teams in it.

Teams most likely to go undefeated:

Ohio State – What’s not to love about the Buckeyes? A QB who could start on 95% of the FBS teams moves to a slot receiver spot so he can get more playing time? Ohio State should win their dozen games all by double-digit margins. Buckeyes roll. Average margin of victory – 36 points.

TCU – TCU is loaded, especially with returning QB Trevonne Boykin. Their defense lost several key starters, but all that unit needs to do is break service a couple times a game and the offense will run away with it. The Horned Frogs’ closest games will be at Minnesota to start the season, at Kansas St mid-season, and hosting Baylor to end the season. Plenty of time to focus on each of those, especially with likely 50- to 60-points wins over the likes of Stephen F Austin, SMU and Kansas in between. Average margin of victory – 36 points.

Boise St – One tough game at BYU will determine the Bronco’s fate. All the others should be winnable by at least 10 points. Average margin of victory – 24 points.

Marshall – A fairly talented team combined with what I consider to be the 124th-rated schedule (out of 128) should put the Thundering Herd on the fast track to a perfect regular season. The season finale at Western Kentucky (THAT should be an entertaining shootout to watch on the day after Thanksgiving!) might be the only bump in Marshall’s road. Average margin of victory – 22 points.

Georgia Tech – This may be a stretch by a bit, but I think the Yellow Jackets are up to the task. They have a tough game at Clemson and host Georgia to end the year. Everything else should turn out just fine, but it’s a very thin line between 12-0 and 10-2, especially with the toughest schedule out of the five teams listed here. Average margin of victory – 18 points.

Teams most likely to go winless:

Eastern Michigan – The Eagles may remember 2014 fondly after 2015. After all, Eastern Michigan did beat Buffalo and Morgan State last year. This season, neither of those teams are on the Eagles’ schedule. Despite having a relatively easy schedule in 2015 (100th of 128), Eastern Michigan could easily lose all 12 games by at least 2 touchdowns. Yeah, they’re THAT bad this year. Average margin of defeat – 28 points.

Kansas – The perennial Big-12 doormat may have peaked the last two years with 3 wins each season. This year, the Jayhawks face the 5th-toughest schedule and have nothing to put up against it. Most winnable game is at Iowa State. Average margin of defeat – 25 points.

SMU – The Mustangs were near the bottom of virtually every statistical category last year. Pick a stat, SMU stunk. SMU hosts North Texas in week 2 for their best shot at a win. If not there, then not at all. The one wild-card is their new coach, Chad Morris.  Average margin of defeat – 24 points.

The loser of the New Mexico State – Georgia State game – I give New Mexico State the edge to win this game because the Aggies are hosting. NMSU also has 2 other games that may be winnable, hosting Troy and Idaho. The Georgia State Panthers won their first game in 2 years last year – a 1-point victory over Abilene Christian (a team newly promoted to FCS status). If they don’t beat the New Mexico State in this contest, their only other hope for a win is when they host the South Alabama Jaguars. Ga St’s average margin of defeat – 23 points.

Connecticut – You’ll understand why the Huskies are on this list after week 1, when they lose to FCS Villanova by a dozen or more. If UConn can recover quickly, their best hope for a win this year comes the following week when they host Army. Average margin of defeat – 23 points.

UTSA – The Roadrunners do have a game at Southern Mississippi on Oct 17th to point for, or they would be higher on this list. Average margin of defeat – 21 points.

San Jose State – The Spartans barely fit on this list. They play a toss-up game at UNLV (and I give the ever-so-slight edge to the home team) and have winnable games hosting Fresno State and New Mexico and playing at Hawaii. Average margin of defeat – 11.

Teams likely to show the most improvement:

Pittsburgh – They took their lumps last year, going 6-7 with a 1-point loss to Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl. This year, I could see them going 10-2, with the only losses being at Georgia Tech and at Virginia Tech. Of course, the Panthers also have 7 games that I see them winning that they could lose. So, 10-2 is looking optimistically while 3-9 is also within their reach, but new head coach Pat Narduzzi (former Defensive Coordinator at Michigan State) will probably keep Pitt on the upswing.

Arkansas – I would have the Razorbacks at the top of this list except for all the injuries that have occurred in the fall camp. Arkansas went 7-6 last year and they could be looking at 10-2 this season. Close games at Alabama and at Mississippi are their two foreseen losses, and close wins at Tennessee and LSU are the biggest chances for an 8-4 season.

Appalachian State – The Mountaineers went 7-5 last year, but they return practically everyone and play in the Sun Belt. 11-1 is not at all a stretch this year, with the one loss to Clemson and all the wins coming by an average of 21 points.

Stanford – The Cardinal went 8-5 last year in what many could term a “rebuilding year”. Well, they are back on track this year and host two of their three most difficult games (Oregon and UCLA). Their lone loss looks to be a Week 3 game at USC, and that’s really a very winnable game.

Virginia Tech – Among VaTech’s 6 loses last year were a 3-point loss at Georgia Tech, a 5-points loss at Pitt, a 2-point loss to Boston College and an inexplicable 3-point OT loss at Wake Forest. ON the other hand, the Hokies did hand Ohio State their only loss of the season. If the Hokes can play consistent football on both sides, 10-2 is not at all out of the question.

Penn State – Penn State went 7-6 last year. This season, they should improve mostly due to more in-game experience of their junior QB. The Nittany Lions start with a tough game at Temple, and play a difficult game at Northwestern to start November. They should win 10 of their games, but the two most likely losses (at Ohio State and at Michigan State) will probably be by more than 20 points each, showing the clear divide between upper mediocrity and something special.

Teams most likely to plummet:

Air Force – The Falcons went 10-3 last year, including a win over Western Michigan in the Idaho Potato Bowl. This year, 6-6 seems much more likely. They could even be grounded during the 2015 bowl season.

UTSA – You know it’s not going to be pretty when a team that went 4-8 last year makes this list as well as the “Most Likely to Go Winless” list, but the Roadrunners did just that. I guess the only good news is that a plummet from 4-8 to 0-12 isn’t really all that far.

Kansas – Yep, the Jayhawks are another team that makes the two bad lists. The one thing saving them from the top spot on this list is that they only won 3 games last year.

Ohio – The Bobcat’s record might drop from a 6-6 record to something more like 3-9. Head Coach Frank Solich’s 11th year may be his last.

Teams most likely to make their first-year coach look good:

Nebraska – Hired the likeable Mike Riley away from Oregon State, and Mike may be able to run for Governor after this season. Riley inherits a solid squad that could go 10-2 in a weakening Big-10 West, beating Wisconsin at home and losing only to Minnesota on the road and Michigan State at home.

Buffalo – Lance Leipold moves up from Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he won 6 national championships in 8 years. Buffalo returns enough talent to go from 5-6 last year to potentially 9-3 this year. That makes ANY hire look pretty good, and Leipold is a good hire anyways.

Teams most likely to make their first-year coach look bad:

Colorado State – The Rams lost a good one in Jim McElwain, and turned to Georgia Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo. However, Colorado State went 10-3 last year while 7-5 is more likely this season. Oh, there will be some grumbling.

Oregon State – Maybe Mike Riley left at just the right time. Gunslinger Sean Mannion is in the pros, and the defensive cupboard is bare. Enter Gary Anderson. He can get the defense going, but just not this first season. 5-7 last year will likely morph into 3-9 in the Beaver calendar year “Anderson 1”.

Are you ready for some college football???

Oh, yeah! All around the country, college football fans are reading up on their favorite teams as fall camps open, pads and helmets start popping, and the 2015 college football season draws near.

D1FFL.com – America’s most unique take on college fantasy football – is ready for all comers to play FOR FREE! You get to draft complete units, not individual players, from all 128 FBS college teams. 128?? Yep, we welcome the Charlotte 49’ers to the fold this year (while we say a temporary adios to UAB), so you can take teams from any FBS conference. From the B1G and the SEC, through the Pac-12 and Big-12 and ACC to the independents, Sun Belt, Mountain West, AAC, MAC and Conference USA. You get to choose. Pick teams that have mascots or colors you like. Pick teams you like to root for. Or, go all-stats and draft for matchups throughout the season. You get to choose how involved you want to be!

We’ve made a few changes since last year:

Leagues…folks can create leagues pretty much any time during the year. Say you give it a try, like what you see, and want to get a small league together for the last 7 weeks. You can do that! You can create a league ANY time during the regular season (which excludes the bowl games).

Everyone gets involved during bowl games… we’ve added more playoff games during the bowl season. It’s no longer just the battle to division champions. Whoever finishes second in one division will take on the #2 finisher in the other division, and on down the line! You don’t just watch anymore. Oh, no!

Setting your picks, weeks in advance…last year you had to wait until, say, Week 6 to set your lineup for that week, even though you just KNEW you had a great matchup. Now, you can set you lineup ahead, as far as you want in the regular season. Know you have an offense that you definitely want to use in Week 4? Select that week and adjust your active roster to get that O off the bench and onto the field.

2 players managed to beat The Commish in total points for the season last year. Think you’re up to the challenge? Won’t know until you try, and only 2 of 600 successful last season.

At long last, let the games begin!

The Commish

As NCAA Football Commissioner…

Well, rats! Santa didn’t give me the #1 item on my list, which is to be made NCAA Football Commissioner. Nevertheless, here is what I would have done.

I recently showed how the FBS level of college football could thin the herd by dropping 16 teams down a level to FCS. Those 16 teams are: UAB, Hawaii, Georgia State, Massachusetts, Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Eastern Michigan, UNLV, New Mexico State, Idaho, Tulane, Akron, Army, Indiana and Iowa State. Justification for that is at http://www.d1ffl.com/underfurtherreview/?p=100.

With those 16 teams gone there would be 112 teams at the FBS level of college football. That works out to 8 conferences of 14 teams each. 14 teams can be split up into 2 divisions of 7 teams each. All teams in FBS have to be in a conference. No “Independents”. Sorry Notre Dame and BYU. If you want to play with the big boys, you have to be a part of a conference. These conferences would be “Football Only”, so all other sports would stay with current conference alignments.

  1. Conference realignment. I want to reward those conferences that have moved to 14-teams, and will keep them intact as much as possible. In some cases, that just requires a little tweaking as a team or two might have been dropped to the FCS due to lack of competitiveness. Other conferences had to be blown up entirely. The Sun Belt and MAC names disappear as those teams remaining in FBS get absorbed into other conferences. I also tried to keep geography relevant in placing teams with conferences. Here are my proposed conferences and divisions (Division Names are entirely optional and just used for distinguishing purposes):
    •  Pac-14: North Division – Boise State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington, Washington State. South Division – Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Nevada, UCLA, USC, Utah.
    • Mountain: East Division – Air Force, Arkansas State, BYU, Colorado State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Utah State. West Division – Fresno State, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UTEP, UTSA, Wyoming.
    • Big-14: South Division – Baylor, Houston, North Texas, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech. North Division – Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Rice, Texas State, Tulsa.
    • Big Ten: East Division – Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers. West Division – Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Wisconsin.
    • ACC: Atlantic Division – Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, NC State, Syracuse, Wake Forest. Coastal Division – Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla), North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech.
    • SEC: East Division – Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt. West Division – Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri.
    • American: North Division – East Carolina, Louisiana Tech, Old Dominion, UCF, USF, West Virginia, Western Kentucky. South Division – Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Troy.
    • Conference–USA: East Division – Cincinnati, Connecticut, Marshall, Miami (O), Navy, Ohio, Temple. West Division – Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan.
  2. Conference play. All conferences play 9 conference games as determined by the conference commissioner/scheduling committee. Teams are allowed to schedule up to 3 non-conference games each year, all from other FBS conferences. The only FCS-FBS game allowed on an annual basis would be Army-Navy. See #6 below for other exception. Teams that have current commitments against FCS teams must drop those games and schedule replacement games against other FBS teams. The NCAA would compensate the FCS teams for this sudden loss of income by paying $500,000 per currently scheduled occurrence.
  3. Football Schedule. All regular season games must be played between the Thursday before Labor Day weekend and the weekend following Thanksgiving. This is usually a 13-week period and occasionally a 14-week period. Conference Championships would then be held one week after the end of the regular season. Conferences are allowed to decide whether the championship game is held at a home or neutral site, as currently determined.
  4. Playoffs. The playoffs are easy. Win your conference and you are in. The first round of playoffs would be held 2 weeks after conference championship weekend, and held at the home field of the higher seeded team. Team seedings would be determined by the Playoff Committee (see #8 below). The semi-finals and championship game would be done exactly as it is now with rotating venues. Semi-finals played on New Year’s Day and the championship game approximately 2 weeks later.
  5. Bowl games. Bowl games would continue to happen with the following restrictions:
    • Teams must have a winning record to be bowl eligible. No .500 teams would get to go to a bowl because a loss would put them below .500.
    • No bowl games after New Year’s Day. Smaller bowls have crept in to the gap between New Year’s and the Championship game, but I’m moving them back. With the record restriction mentioned above, there would be fewer bowl games anyway, so no need to spread them out as much. Bowl games could be scheduled for any date between the 3rd Thursday of December and New Year’s Day.
  6. FCS “creep”. No FCS team would be allowed to move up to FBS-level play without taking the place of an existing FCS team in an existing conference, with the following restrictions:
  7. The proposed move must make geographical sense. Eastern Washington could not apply to play in the ACC, for instance. Replacing a team in the Pac-14 or Mountain conferences would be geographically reasonable.
  8. The team wishing to move up must petition the NCAA to schedule a series of 3 games with the team it wants to replace. 2 of these 3 games must be played on the home field of the current FBS team. The FCS team must win at least 2 of these 3 games to be allowed to make the move, replacing the FBS team in the conference and all scheduled games, both in-conference and non-conference. If the FBS team wins at least 2 of the games, no change occurs.
  9. Scheduling. No team would be allowed to schedule non-conference games more than 4 years out. This would allow FCS teams to petition to move up and games be scheduled accordingly.
  10. Selection Committee. The role of the selection committee would be reduced since all FBS Playoff teams would be conference champions. The Committee’s task would be to rank the 8 conference champions to determine the playoff format and first-round locations. These rankings/seedings would be announced the Sunday after conference championships were concluded. The Committee would otherwise shut the hell up.

Week 14 – It “only” took 21 days to happen!

The 21-day-long “Week 14” is over and the numbers are in. I thought that perhaps scores would be higher over the Nov 27-Dec 13 period because the best performance of a unit would count if the team played in multiple games. Indeed, that is precisely what happened. Numerous teams had one unit perform better in one game as opposed to the other. Some teams did much better in the first of the two games they wound up playing and several did better the second time around. The net result to D1FFL.com players was higher scores. Gators (Public League 10) was the high scorer for the week with 116 points (71 O, 36 D, 9 ST). irish (PL 11) and Macedonia (PL 20) tied for second place with 110 points each. Reverse Mortgage Guy (OCCU 2nd-Year League) scored 108 points and my Commish’s Team (PL 15) rounded out the Top-5 with 106 points. A total of 9 players equaled or eclipsed the century mark, whereas in the past several weeks, our top scorer was just at 100 points.

This the final “week” to cover the bowl season, and with the possibility of teams playing 2 games again – in fact we know that either Alabama or Ohio State and Florida State or Oregon will do just that – scores could be high again. That is of crucial importance for the season-long scoring title. take yo lunch retains his lead with 1189 total points. Commish’s Team rests in second place with 1180 points. Southern Eagles lies in 3rd place with 1166 points, followed by Panthers (1165) and Gators (1160). It’s likely that one of these 5 will be the 2014 scoring champion. Let’s Go ‘Neers has an outside chance with 1092 points, but it would take a remarkable performance on his part in addition to all the 5 players ahead of him just laying an egg. I don’t see that happening, as I’m assuming all 5 will be partaking in their respective league championships.

Commish’s Team has the highest points from the O units with 756 while take yo lunch leads in D points (311) and ST points (176) as well.

The Arkansas State O unit did the best during Week 14, scoring 80 points to edge Louisiana Tech’s 79. Those two teams, along with Western Kentucky and Marshall, all scored 9 TDs. Of the four units, all but La Tech gained over 700 yards. Marshall gave up 4 INTs and 3 sacks to end up with 71 points. Wrn Kentucky threw 2 INTs and allowed 2 sacks for a total of 77 points. All teams that played scored on the positive side, but Army, Syracuse, Texas, Tulane and USF each managed just 4 points of O fantasy scoring value. Oregon was the highest scoring O unit (7th place with 61 points) that didn’t give up a turnover or a sack.

Heading into the bowl season, it’s no surprise that Baylor stands atop the list on a points-per-game basis with 58. Marshall and Oregon are next with a 53 ppg average. However, since Marshall and Oregon each played in a conference championship game, the actual number of points scored by Oregon (643) and Marshall (641) is higher than the point production of Baylor (639). Wake Forest ended up as the cellar dweller in Offensive points, averaging a mere 8 ppg. SMU wound up a step ahead at 9 ppg.

TCU’s decimation of Iowa State wasn’t the performance that earned the Horned Frogs the 42 point-high mark of Week 14. Rather it was when TCU crushed Texas the week prior. TCU allowed more points (10 vs. 3), but the D scored twice, forced 6 turnovers (4 INTS and 2 fumbles), recorded 3 sacks and forced 9 punts. Ohio State’s whitewashing of Wisconsin put the Buckeyes in second place with 36 D unit points and Louisiana Tech’s D mustered up 28 points for third spot. With lots of points being scored on offense, D units suffer. Rice gave up 64 points and put of a -9 points for the defensive effort. Kansas (-6), Georgia State (-5), New Mexico State (-4), Notre Dame (-3), Eastern Michigan (-2) and Southern Mississippi (-1) all fell south of the break-even line. Utah State was an interception away from scoring in all 8 metrics used to calculate D points.

TCU’s performance tied them with Temple as the leading D units, scoring 22 ppg each. Ole Miss is in third place just a points behind at 21 ppg, followed closely by Memphis, Utah State and Clemson, all averaging 20 ppg from their D units. Georgia State ends the year with the worst D unit, averaging a mere points per game. SMU’s suspect D is easily 3 times better, but still next-to-last at 3 ppg. California, Colorado, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Eastern Michigan are all tied for next-to-next-to-last with an average of 5 ppg.

Auburn’s ST unit led the FBs with 21 fantasy points on 3 PATs kicked, 1 2-points conversion and 5 FGs made (4 under 30 yards and 1 in the 30-45-yard range). Texas State was a close second with 20 ST points, followed by Kansas St (19) , Kentucky and Marshall (18 pts each). Northwestern’s 16 points came about somewhat oddly, with 2 regular PATs, 2 2-points conversions, a field goal made from 30-45 yards out and a kick returned for a TD. USF was the lone unit under zero with -1 points due to a missed FG attempt.

West Virginia, TCU and Utah all are tied atop the season-long competition, averaging 12 ST points per game. However, technically, West Virginia is slightly ahead with 149 points, as opposed to Utah’s 148 and TCU’S 142. All 3 teams play in a bowl game, so any of the 3 could still win. Eastern Michigan, Tulane SMU, and Kent State’s seasons are over, which might be for the best. Their ST units each averaged an FBS-low 3 ppg. Ern Michigan “loses” the tie with an actual total of 36 points. SMU would be next with 38, then Kent State (40) and Tulane (42).

League championships will be decided during the bowl season as division winners go head-to-head. Scoring titles are on the line. Team Unit battles are still being fought. Lots to look forward to, but much to look back upon as well. I’m grateful to everyone who has played in D1FFL.com this year. I wish you all a healthy, happy, harmonious holiday season and a prosperous 2015.

The Commish

Too many FBS teams…time to do some weeding.

Everyone has been focusing on the FBS Playoffs and which teams will be selected as the Top-4. I have been examining the bottom of FBS football, and I believe it’s time to thin the herd.

First off, let me say I’m not opposed to teams moving on up from FCS/1AA to FBS/1-A football. Appalachian State and Georgia Southern have done so this year, and done well. They first proved that they could play in the upper echelons of FCS football by accounting for 3 and 6 national championships respectively since 1978.

Georgia State flew straight into FBS football last year, and went 0-12. They’re “improved” to 1-11 this year, but it’s clear that their football sights were set much higher than their current level of ability. They should’ve started in FCS, so send them back for seasoning.

A list of some other failures in teams moving up begins with Massachusetts, who has gone 5-31 (.139) in their 3 years in FBS. Toss in Buffalo. The Bulls are 52-137 (.275) since migrating to FBS/1-A football in 1998. Florida International (36-84, .300 since 2009) and Florida Atlantic (42-77, .353 since 2009) are in that same boat.

Eastern Michigan has never really been relevant in FBS football. They have gone 70-183 over the past 21 years for a .277 percentage. That’s about 3 wins a year, year in and year out. They did go 6-6 in 2011, but that’s referred to as “the glory year”.

UNLV is a mere 5 wins better at 75-186 (.287), with a 7-6 record in 2013 that included a 14-36 trouncing at the hands of perennial power North Texas.

Temple’s record over 21 years is not enviable at 75-179, as that’s just .295. However, over the past 6 years the Owls have gone 9-4, 8-4, 9-4, 4-7, 2-10, 6-6. That’s 38-35, which tells me they are getting better and prove worth keeping around. Same goes for Kent State, who, despite their .301 percentage over 21 years (76-177-1), has been doing better as of late, with a record of 32-41 since 2009 and went 11-3 as recently as 2012.

New Mexico State, on the other hand, has been nowhere for years, amassing a .304 percentage with 78 wins opposing 179 losses. The Aggies have had double-digit losses for 5 of the past 6 years. Send them down to the Big Sky Conference. Oh, and let them take Idaho back with them. These two teams have bounced around from conference to conference, even playing as independents, and just cannot find a comfortable home. They are part of the Sun Belt Conference now. Idaho is 1134 miles from Las Cruces, where New Mexico State is located, and that’s the closest Sun Belt competitor to Idaho. The Vandals have suffered with a 70-153 record since moving up to FBS in 1996. Face it, Boise State and Nevada (Reno) have what it takes to make it. Idaho doesn’t.

Tulane has been relevant once in the past 21 years, going 7-6 in 2013. All other years have been below .500 ball, usually more like 4-8. Their 21-year record is 90-169 (.347) and the past 5 years is 18-44 (.290). I’m not seeing “turn around” in their future, time to move down a level. Akron and North Texas have identical .349 percentages over 21 years. However, N Texas has improved in the past 5 years (25-36, .410) while the Zips have sunk (13-47, .217). Keep the Mean Green, jettison the Zips.

There are some teams that deserve special consideration. I’ll look at them individually.

Duke. 73-184 since 1993. That’s batting .284 – fine for baseball, not so hot for football. However, the Blue Devils are 31-32 over the past 5 years, for an improvement of over 20 percentage points. I feel that’s sufficient evidence to keep them in FBS.

Army. The Cadets are marching along at a .312 clip, never going more than a game over .500 (7-6 in 2010) and rarely relevant in anything but the annual tilt with Navy (which Navy has dominated recently, winning 12 straight and 15 of the last 17 games). I really want to keep Army in FBS, but they’re an independent, so aren’t affiliated with any conference. Navy is joining the American Athletic Conference next year. Army played 2 FCS teams this year, losing to Yale and beating Fordham. It just seems like a better fit for Army in the FCS. Sure, I’d certainly allow the Army-Navy game to continue.

Vanderbilt. 86-171 (.335) since 1993. 29-34 in the most recent 5 years, which is .126 better. Vandy took a step backwards this year after several successful seasons under James Franklin before he bolted for Penn State. Can the Commodores right the ship, or will they sink back into the morass? I can wait to see, rather than jettison them to FCS-land.

SMU. 86-170 (.337) since 1993 and 28-36 (.438) in last 5 years. The Mustangs are showing some life and some improvement (despite their 1-11 showing this year. They get to stay.

Indiana. I know, a sacrosanct part of the Big Ten Conference. Still, they are just 87-169 (.340) since 1993 and pretty much the same (19-41, .317) in the last 5 years. The Hoosiers had one winning season (2007, 7-5) since the current players were born. Certainly there is a good fit for the conference as a replacement. If they can swipe Rutgers and Maryland from the (former) Big East and ACC conferences, they surely could take West Virginia form the Big-12.

Iowa State. 93-168-1 (.357) since 1993 and 22-40 (.355) in the last 5 years. I get it, not every team can be a rock star. For each team that wins, another has to lose. But still, in the past 12 years, the Cyclones’ wins have numbered 2, 7, 7, 4, 3, 2, 7, 5, 6, 6, 3, and 2. That’s TOTAL wins, not in-conference. In conference, since 1996, Iowa State is 42-114 (.269). It’s time.

Financial difficulties are taking out UAB football. I know, they want to keep playing football, and if they dropped down to FCS-level they might be more competitive. Over the past 21 years, the Blazers have played sub-.400 ball (85-135 for .386) and the past 5 years have been worse at 18-42, for a .300 percentage.

Hawaii football is also really struggling. They weren’t pulling in large crowds when they were winning a lot. In 2010, with a 10-4 record, home attendance averaged 37,308, or just under 75% capacity of their home stadium. Even in the Rainbows’ best year, 2007, when they finished 11-1, loding only to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, the ‘Bows average home attendance was 43,507 – just 87% of capacity. Hawaii’s record over the last 21 years is 131-147-1 (.471). Over the past 5 years, it’s been worse, 24-40 (.375). With attendance dropping as well as winning percentages, it’s time to pull the plug.

There are some other teams that are on the cusp, but should stick around to see if they can stay competitive. South Alabama is in their 3rd year of FBS play, and have been 6-6 each of the past 2 years after a 2-11 start. Louisiana-Monroe (or ULM) is just 93-168-1 since 1993, but they’re 27-34 in the past 5 years and have pulled off some upsets of SEC teams in recent memory. San Jose State (94-164-1, .365) doesn’t have a good long-range winning record, but the past 5 years have shown improvement (26-36, .419). If they can improve facilities and keep competitive, they are worth keeping. If finances prove to been too much, then the Spartans will go the way of the Blazers and maybe the Rainbow Warriors.

So, of 128 teams now in FBS, take out UAB, Hawaii, Georgia State, Massachusetts, Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Eastern Michigan, UNLV, New Mexico State, Idaho, Tulane, Akron, Army, Indiana and Iowa State. Oh, and keep Charlotte from moving up. The 49ers are in just their second year of football and have gone 5-6 each year in FCS. Let them get better and then let’s see. That would lower the number of FBS teams to 112. Hmmm. 8 conferences with 2 divisions of 7 teams each would be 112 teams. 8 conference winners, 8-team FBS playoff. That could work!

Week 13 – Lucky for some, not so much for others

Records are made to be broken, true, but so soon? A mere week after Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon breaks the 15-year-old FBS single-game rushing record, Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine ups the ante and is now the single-game record holder. Both of these records were set without playing a complete game. Gordon sat the entire 4th quarter while Perine broke Gordon’s mark early in the 4th. Does Gordon wish he’d been kept in longer?

No scoring records were broken in D1FFL.com last week, but one player did reach triple-digits. Numero Uno (of Public League 19) hit the century mark on the schnoz with 57 O points, 26 D and 17 ST. Let’s Go ‘Neers (PL 13) was second with 95 points and steelhead raiders finished third with 92. take yo lunch retains the season-total points lead with 1101. Southern Eagles soared into second place with 1096 and Gators stands in third place with 1076. I slipped to 4th with 1074 points, thanks in large part to Marshall, who underperformed last week against UAB.

Colorado State led the O units last week with 70 points. 8 TDs and 698 yards overcame 2 fumbles and a sack allowed to top the list. Boise State finished the week second with 66 points and BYU ended in third place with 65. Western Kentucky (10th place with 54 points) was the highest scoring team that didn’t allow a sack or turn over the ball. Florida International hit the bottom of the barrel last week, scoring -4 fantasy points with their O unit. Virginia Tech, Mississippi and South Alabama all scored -2 points. Georgia State, Kansas and SMU also finished to the negative with -1. Ole Miss would up 35 points below their average O point production while BYU skied to 27 points above their norm.

Baylor remains atop the season-long production list, averaging 58 points per game. Oregon now stands in second place with a 52 ppg average. Marshall dropped to third at 51. Wake Forest and SMU are still co-cellar-dwellers with a 7 ppg average.

Arizona throttled Utah and scored 38 D points to lead the nation. Arkansas was second with 35 points and Boise State was third with 32. BYU and Wake Forest both hit 30 points. Arizona returned 2 balls for TDs on 4 turnovers (3 Fumb, 1 Int), got in 3 sacks and forced 9 punts while allowing just 10 points. Arkansas captured 6 turnovers in their shutout of Mississippi. BYU’s shutout included a safety. New Mexico’s D wasn’t very D-like, and scored -4 points. Wyoming was the only other D unit on negative numbers at -2. Oklahoma forced 11 punts and Florida, Ohio State and Boise state all forced 10.

Mississippi and Temple are tied with the best average D score at 22 ppg. Clemson is hot on their tiger tails with 21 and Utah State, Memphis and TCU are all at 20. Georgia State trails the pack with 1 ppg, while SMU doubles that with 2 ppg. Arizona was the overperformer last week, going 23 points above their usual effort. Syracuse’s 4-point D game with 11 under their norm.

UCF’s Special Teams unit was the tops in that category, scoring 26 points last week with 5 PATs, 4 FGs (3 in the 30-45-yard range) and one kick returned for a TD. Only 7 kicks were returned for scores all weekend. Kansas State scored 19 ST points to finish the week in second place, and Oklahoma was third with 17 points. Connecticut failed to score a point via ST play, but missed a FG attempt and lost a fumble to score -3 ST fantasy points.

West Virginia, Utah and TCU all are averaging 12 ppg to lead the ST pack. SMU and Eastern Michigan trail with a 2 ppg average.

Defenses recovered 96 fumbles last week. That’s a high for the season. Previous high was 91 in Week 10. Low is 71 in Week 9. Most passes intercepted in a week was 115 (both Weeks 2 and 5, least is 82 I Week 9. Bowling Green blocked 2 kicks last week, of the 11 total.

Oregon and Baylor have each scored 65 Offensive TDs, but Marshall (with 62 TDs) leads in total yardage with 6187. Oregon and Army have each thrown just 2 INTs, compared t New Mexico State’s 22. Missouri has lost a single fumble while Eastern Michigan has lost 16. Wake Forest has allowed 45 sacks, compared to Georgia Southern’s 3. Georgia, Oregon and Rice have all lost the ball just 7 times on offense and special teams combined. New Mexico State gives it away a lot, 32 times so far.

Mississippi’s D has given up just 135 points. Georgia State more than 3 times that many, 454. Temple’s D leads in TDs scored (8) and fumbles recovered (18). BYU leads the nation with 3 safeties. Louisville has intercepted 23 passes this year, while Buffalo, Colorado, Washington State and Wyoming have just done that twice. Utah has gotten 51 QB sacks this year; Navy and New Mexico State 4 each. Clemson has now forced 91 punts to lead the nation. SMU, on the other hand, has forced opponents to punt a mere 29 times.

Maryland’s kicker still has not missed this year – 36 PATs and 16 FGs on the mark.

Week 13 was an unlucky number for several teams as they picked up their 7th loss, meaning ineligibility for bowl games. 11 teams faced elimination, but an amazing number of them staved off having to be home for the holidays, at least for another week. Northwestern beat Purdue, Virginia crushed Miami (Fla), Pittsburgh stomped Syracuse, Fresno St thrashed Nevada, Illinois edged Penn St, Old Dominion beat Louisiana Tech and Akron took out Massachusetts. So, of the 11, only 4 failed to keep the hope of an extended football season alive. One, Buffalo, was done in, not by a loss but by a canceled game. They might’ve beaten Kent State, as the Golden Flashes were winless in MACtion, but the game was postponed-then-cancelled. Even if Buffalo wins their last game against Massachusetts, they will only be 5-6, instead of the requisite 6-6 for bowl game eligibility. Ohio, Wyoming and USF were eliminated in the more traditional way, with a 7th loss. That’s a total of 36 teams who will end the season under .500, out of 128 FBS teams. More will be under that .500 mark by Saturday night.

This means there will be some extra meaning in several “Rivalry Week” games. 5-6 Illinois travels to Evanston to take on 5-6 Northwestern. 5-6 Virginia Tech hosts 5-6 Virginia. 5-6 UAB must win at 3-8 Southern Mississippi to be bowl eligible. Same for Tennessee, who travels to 3-8 Vanderbilt. 5-6 Pittsburgh must win at 6-5 Miami (Fla). 5-6 Oregon State hosts 10-1 Oregon. 5-6 Old Dominion travels to 3-8 Florida Atlantic. 5-6 Oklahoma State hosts 8-3 Oklahoma. 5-6 Ohio travels to 2-9 Miami (O). 5-6 Michigan must win, on the road, at that most hated of places, Ohio State (10-1). 5-6 Kentucky travels to 8-3 Louisville. 5-6 Fresno State hosts 4-8 Hawaii. 5-6 California hosts 7-4 BYU, and 5-6 Akron travels to 1-9 Kent State. Some of those matchups look like a runaway win…on paper. But which team with the 5-6 record wouldn’t like to become bowl eligible at the hands of their hated rival? Which “inferior” team wouldn’t like to throw a wrench in the National Title hopes of their foes? Which “superior” team wouldn’t like to not only beat their rival but also make them stay home instead of going to a bowl game? The stakes are high, very high.

The Commish

12 Weeks and Counting….

We’re getting our first taste of an FBS Championship Playoff for the holidays this year. Will it be worth the wait? In the meanwhile, here’s a look at the goings-on of college football and college fantasy football last week.

The Eugene Rain, a team from OCCU 2nd-Year League, reigns as the Week 12 leading scorer with an even 100 points. ER scored 57 points on Offense, 29 on Defense and 14 on Special Teams to hit that triple-digit mark. Others had higher scores in each unit category, but no one strung them together better. Woo Pig ended up second for the week with 93 points and my own Commish’s Team would up in third with 83.

The Season-long scoring title race got more interesting as points were somewhat harder to come by. take yo lunch remains on top with 1019 points, but now he has Commish’s Team breathing down his neck with 1016 points. Southern Eagles is in third place with 1005, and we are the only 3 above the 1K point level. Next nearest is 985. Commish’s Team leads in total O points with 661 and take yo lunch leads in both D points (276) and ST points (154). Only a few weeks remain in the 2014 season. One bad week can end a bid to come out on top.

We know Wisconsin had an outrageous week last week. Can’t do badly if your running back hits the stride for over 400 yards. But Buffalo (yes, the same team that might not have a game this week due to the Lake Effect Blizzard that dropped some 4’-6’ of snow) did even better, scoring 65 O points to lead the FBS (compared to Wisconsin’s 64). The Bulls scored 8 TDs and gained 536 total yards while only turning the ball over twice and allowing no sacks. The Badgers also had 8 TDs, gained more yards with 627, but lost 4 fumbles and allowed a sack. That sack cost Wisconsin a share of the week’s lead. Western Kentucky’s O scored 63 fantasy points for third place. Navy (4th with 60 points) was the highest team with no turnovers or sacks allowed. Next closest was Georgia, tied for 26th with 40 points. For the week, offenses turned over the ball 168 times. You would presume that Worsening weather played some part in that, but Week 2 saw 181 O turnovers and Week 5 saw Offenses give it up 186 times. I got nothing. LSU should have done so well (as nothing), as their O unit was even worse, scoring -2 points last week. Clemson did what Clemson does and manages a -1 O score for last week.

After 12 Weeks, Baylor remains the hot commodity in Offenses, averaging 58 points per game. Marshall’s O averages 54 ppg, and they were actually “off” a bit last week with “only” 48 points. Oregon (who was idle last week as was Baylor) stands in third spot with an average of 52 ppg. SMU and Wake Forest are on the other end of that roll call, with each O unit averaging a mere 8 ppg.

Memphis owned the stellar D unit of last week as the Tigers scored 40 points. 2 defensive TDs, 5 turnovers grabbed, a sack and 10 punts forced. All while allowing just 7 points scored against them. Georgia Tech (34 points) and Michigan St (30 points) were the next closest teams. Hawaii (10th with 23 points) and Arkansas (T12th with 21 points) were the only D units to score shutouts last week. Penn State, Wisconsin, Bowling Green and Florida International joined Memphis in causing headaches (and 5 turnovers) for their opponents. Georgia Southern’s D got gashed by Navy’s O unit and suffered the consequences with a -6 point performance (call that a “defen-sieve” performance). Army (-4), Eastern Michigan (-3) and Nevada (-1) were all the worse for wear on the D side of the ball.

Idle Mississippi retains the D scoring lead, averaging 23 ppg. Temple is right behind with 22 ppg, and Memphis and Utah State are tied for 3rd with a 21 ppg average. Georgia State, although idle, fell to the bottom of the D averages as SMU did well enough to rise to a 2 ppg average while GA St stayed at zero.

The mighty Northwestern Wildcats had the exemplary Special Teams unit, scoring 19 points as they dusted Notre Dame in OT. 3 PATs made, plus 4 FGs (none under 30 yards and 1 over 45) even offset one missed FG attempt to lead all teams in scoring. Cincinnati and UTSA tied for second with 15 points. TCU got one kick returned for a TD to join a host of 7 teams with 14 ST points. San Jose State got blanked by Hawaii and their ST unit missed 3 FG attempts for an ST score of -3 to trail in the category. LSU also got blanked and had -2 ST points to show for it. Auburn, Georgia Southern and Kent State all were at -1.

Utah maintains its small lead over the pack, averaging 13 points a game with their ST unit, but they seem to be faltering as they only got 2 ST points last week. TCU (14 points in Week 12) and West Virginia (idle) are tied for second place with an average of 12 ppg. Eastern Michigan is dead last, averaging a mere point per game with their Special Teams unit. Everyone else is averaging 3 or better.

A look at a few category statistical extremes.

Marshall’s O has scored 61 TDs and gained 5672 yards. SMU has scored 10 TDs and Wake Forest has gained 2046 yards. Oregon and Army have each thrown 2 INTs while New Mexico State has tossed 21 of them. Missouri and Nevada have each lost just one fumble. 4 teams have lost 13 each. Georgia Southern has allowed just 3 sacks, as opposed to the 41 allowed each by Louisiana-Monroe and SMU.

Mississippi’s D unit has allowed the fewest points (111) scored against it, while Georgia State is handing out points to opponents (46 thus far). Temple’s D unit has scored 8 TDs this year. That’s almost as many as SMU’s Offense unit! Louisville’s ball hawks have picked off 22 opposing passes. 6 teams have just 2 INTs. Temple has recovered 18 fumbles, while Oklahoma State has yet to snag a bobble. Oft-maligned Northwestern and Eastern Michigan have been blamed for many things, but each D unit has blocked 6 kicks. Next highest is 4. Utah’s D has recorded 49 sacks. Must be a state thing, as Utah State is next with 41. Navy and New Mexico State have just 4 sacks each. Clemson has forced 82 punts while SMU has made opponents punt just 27 times.

Utah’s kicker has made 7 FGs over 45 yards in length, and their kick return team has taken 4 to the house. Georgia’s return team has done the same. Maryland’s kicker has not missed as he is 47 of 47 in 34 PATs and 13 FGs this year. SMU’s kicking game is only hitting 70% of the time, missing 6 of 20 attempts.

Baylor’s is scoring a leading 49.4 points per game, adjusted to not consider points scored by defensive units. Marshall (45.6/16.3) and Wisconsin (39.5/15.3) are the only 2 teams to be on the Top-10 in both adjusted scoring offense and adjusted scoring defense (doesn’t include points scored by an opposing defensive unit). California (40.5/39.1) is the sole team on the Top-10 on the offensive side and the Bottom-10 on the defensive side. Eastern Michigan (13.0/38.8) and AMU (10.0/41.8) are the only teams to make both Bottom-10 lists. Including turnovers both on Offense and Special Teams, Georgia is best with a mere 5 losses. New Mexico State has passed it over 30 times.

22 teams had already been eliminated from bowl consideration prior through 11 weeks of  action. Then, in Week 12, Tulane, Indiana, Texas Tech, North Texas, Ball State, San Jose State, Kansas (despite a noble effort against TCU), Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico and Army all hit the magical 7th loss that will probably signal an end to their season with their final regular-schedule game. That’s 32 teams (out of 128), leaving 96 still viable teams. Still “plenty” of teams out there, but Northwestern (facing Purdue this week), Virginia (Miami FLA), Pittsburgh (Syracuse), Fresno State (Nevada), Illinois (Penn St), Buffalo (Kent St, maybe), Ohio (Northern Illinois), Wyoming (Boise State), Old Dominion (Louisiana Tech), USF (Memphis) and Akron (Massachusetts) all face elimination from bowl consideration. That could be 11 more teams removed, which really is beginning to threaten some bowl games. 5-6 Kentucky is safe as they are idle this week. I just sincerely hope that the NCAA grants NO waivers for bowl games. Bowl games are run as a “for profit” organization, and that also means they should face the possibility of running “for loss”. Survival of the fittest.

The Commish

Wild Week 11 Wonderings

The topsy-turvy world of college football was in fine form last weekend. From the near-TD fumble that led to a TD the other way in the Oregon-Utah game to the upset of Auburn to the near-upset of Alabama to the dismantling of Michigan State by Ohio State, there was loads of drama, intrigue and surprise in FBS football.

In D1FFL.com Fantasy College Football, there were some surprises as well. Reverse Mortgage Guy from OCCU 2nd’Year League led the scorers this week with a stellar 118 points (71 O, 28 D, 19 ST). Looks like he took Marshall (2nd in O points for the week), either Mississippi or Nrn Illinois (T4th in D), and Georgia (1st in ST). Absolute best could’ve been 123 points, so that’s not bad at all. steelhead raiders (Public League 14) was in 2nd place with 100 points and the throat slashers (PL20) came in 3rd with 99 points. That OCCU league and PL 20 are both second-chance leagues, meaning they started 4 weeks after the normal start of the D1FFL season, but good to see that they are thriving!

The Top-5 accumulative scorers remain the same, with some shuffling inside those rankings. take yo lunch has also taken the top spot, supplanting Southern Eagles with 964 points as opposed to 959. Panthers remains in 3rd place, now with 938 points. My team has moved up a notch to 4th as Commish’s Team (933) now leads Gators (918). Those are the only teams to have more than 900 points total for the season. I had 1245 total points last year. It’ll be interesting to see if that gets topped this year. Current projections would put take yo lunch over 1300 points. That Reverse Mortgage Guy has jumped up the season-long point total to 29th place. Pretty good, considering he is spotting a 4-week head start to the year-long players. Commish’s Team leads in O fantasy points with 613. take yo lunch leads in D points with 263 as well as ST points with 140.

Boise State led the O units last week with 73 fantasy points. Marshall (71) was second while Colorado State and Mississippi tied for third with 65 each. Marshall had more TDs than Boise St (9 to 8), but Boise had more total yards (658 to 521). Each team gave up a sack, but Marshall lost a fumble, which turned out to be the 2-point difference. Colorado State, Georgia, New Mexico and Minnesota all had games without blemishes (no turnovers, no sacks allowed) out of the top-10 O units. For the first time this season, no O unit had negative points. And, yes, SMU played!

Baylor continues to lead the O point production for the year, averaging 58 fantasy points per game. Marshall is second with a 55 ppg average and the Ducks of Oregon are third at 52. TCU and Michigan St are tied for 4th with 51 each and Ohio State and Georgia Southern are next, averaging 50 ppg each. SMU and Wake Forest are tied for last with an average of 7 ppg.

Arizona State and Aransas State both led the D units in fantasy points with 31 each. The first ASU gave up more points (31 as opposed to 10), but had more D TDs (2-1) and caused more turnovers (5-4) and sacks (6-5). The second ASU did force more punts (6-4). Bowling Green was third in D points for the week with 30, while Mississippi and Northern Illinois tied for 4th with 29 each. Ole Miss had the lone shutout last week, stifling Presbyterian. Penn State’s D had the odd status of giving up 1 point, as their opponent scored on a pick-6, which does not count against a team’s D unit. Indiana’s ST did score the extra point, which does count. Georgia Tech was the other team besides Arizona State to score 2 defensive TDs last week. Arizona State, Bowling Green and Northern Illinois all forced 5 turnovers. Penn State made their opponent punt 11 times, and Akron and Mississippi each forced 10 punts. Kentucky trailed the division with -9 points from their D unit. New Mexico (-6), Southern Mississippi (-6), Iowa (-4), NC State (-3), Georgia State (-2), and Washington, UNLV and Oklahoma (-1 each) were all on the wrong side of the D ledger last week.

Mississippi and Temple’s D units are tied for the 2014 lead, averaging 23 points per game. Utah State is next with 22 ppg. TCU and Clemson (21 ppg) and Louisville and Mississippi State (20 ppg) are the only other units averaging 20 fantasy points or better for the season. Georgia State and SMU are tied for last with an average of 0 points per game.

Georgia led all teams’ ST units with 19 points off 9 PATs and 2 kicks returned for TDs. The total would’ve been higher but for a fumble lost on a return. Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA all tied for second I ST point production with 18 each. Boston College, Indiana and Northwestern all scored 0 St points, but no team was in the negative.

The Top-3 ST units for the season are unchanged, just the numbers are lower. Utah’s ST unit is averaging 14 points per game. TCU and West Virginia are next with 12 ppg, and Oklahoma State is next with 11. SMU and Eastern Michigan are tied for last, averaging a mere 2 points per game.

That makes SMU tied for last in each of the three scoring categories, and averaging a TOTAL of 9 fantasy points per game.

Looking at numbers from last week compared to the prior 10-week averages, Boise State’s O unit far outperformed themselves. Scoring 73 points was 36 points better than their 37 ppg average. Troy (+33) and Minnesota (+32) were also at the top of their games. On the other end of the table, Buffalo’s single point from their O unit was 36 points below their average. Arizona’s O hit their 41 ppg average on the nose.

Defensively, Bowling Green was +22 with their 30-point performance. Indiana was +18 and both Arizona State and Northern Illinois were +17. Kentucky’s D had been averaging 17 points per game, but their -9 last week was -26 compared to that average. Oklahoma (-21), Washington (-21) and Iowa(-22) were all also well below their usual performance. Alabama (18), Colorado (6) and San Jose State (8) all hit their numbers for the year.

Among ST units, Georgia and UCLA were both 10 points above their 10-week average. Oregon, Oregon State and UTEP were all +9. West Virginia’s ST unit was way off par, 11 points under their average. Ball State (-10) was the other ST unit in negative double figures.

More teams got eliminated from bowl eligibility last week. As suspected, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Southern Mississippi and Wake Forest all punched their tickets to home over the bowl season. Florida International, Iowa State, Florida Atlantic and Connecticut all lost “play-out” games. Tulane held on with a win to stay alive. The Green Wave (playing Memphis this week) are joined by Indiana (Rutgers), Northwestern (Notre Dame), Texas Tech (Oklahoma), Ball State (Massachusetts), San Jose State (Hawaii), North Texas (UTEP), Kansas (TCU), Buffalo (Akron), USF (SMU), Louisiana-Monroe (Louisiana-Lafayette), New Mexico (Utah State) and Army (Western Kentucky) as teams that might lose that 7th game this weekend. Obviously, some of those games are more likely than others. Old Dominion, Wyoming, Virginia and Fresno State are idle and not threatened this week. That’s 22 teams eliminated from bowl consideration so far, and more to come. With 38 bowl games (including the play-ins to the natty), there needs to be 76 teams available (availabowl?). Of 128 teams in FBS, 106 are still in the running. Whose torch gets snuffed this week?

The Commish

Week 10 – It gets really interesting from here on out!

D1FFL.com had 5 players break the 100-point barrier last weekend, with Gators (Public League 9) taking top honors with 111 points (68 O, 24 D and 19 ST). Midget Pimp (OCCU 2nd-Year League), who led all scorers last week, “only” settled for 2nd-place this week with 109 points. Lets Go ‘Neers (PL 13) had 107 points, KokosSooners (PL 12) got 103 and Panthers (PL 14) had 102 to round out the Top-5. Our Top-8 were each from different leagues, which points out the diversity of drafting and add/drops as the season progresses.

Southern Eagles continues to lead overall scoring with 877 points through 10 weeks. Eagles has 530 O points to go along with 213 D and 134 ST to claim that top spot. Take yo lunch is right behind with 875 points and Panthers has moved up to third at 864. Gators (589 points) is the only other player higher than my 836 points for Commish’s Team. I might add that I have 4 teams in various leagues, and my overall H2H record is 31-1, with my lone defeat coming this past weekend in PL 7 at the hands of Southern Eagles. It wasn’t even close. I made bad choices, left a lot of points on the bench, and just wasn’t very competitive, losing 67-37. Perhaps we’ll meet again in the championship game.

Looking at team units, Oklahoma led the O units with 72 points. Being the only team with 8 TDs and over 700 yards offset 3 interceptions to gain the top spot. Baylor’s prolific O was second with 68 points (10 above their season-high average), and was the highest-scoring O that had no turnovers and allowed no sacks. Notre Dame’s O tied with Ohio State for 3rd, each scoring 60 fantasy points. Only Georgia State’s O was in the negative, with -8 points on a mere 62 total yards, 3 turnovers and 4 sacks allowed. OUCH!

UTEP’s D had another great week, scoring 36 points. They allowed 14 points, but scored 2 TDs themselves as well as snagging 5 turnovers, sacking the opposing QB twice and forcing 7 punts. NC State (now there’s a team I never thought I’d mention as a D leader this year) scored 33 defensive fantasy points and Iowa and Temple tied with 30. Temple’s D scored again last weekend. That’s 50 points they’ve scored this year. The Owls also forced East Carolina into coughing up 5 fumbles. The Washington Husky D has scored 42 points and no one else is over 30. Wisconsin (28 D points) and Appalachian State (27) scored the only shutouts last weekend. Kansas surrendered 60 points to Baylor and was dead last with -9 points. Others on the minus side of zero were Illinois (-5) Georgia State (-4), Pittsburgh (-4), Duke (-3), Iowa State (-2), and Miami (O), Navy and Western Kentucky each with -1.  Temple’s D continues to lead the ppg average with 24. Utah St, Mississippi and Clemson are all tied at 22 ppg, ad Ohio State, TCU and Louisville are tied with 21 ppg.

The Memphis Tigers Special Teams unit was rather special last week, scoring 22 points to lead the schools in that category. 4 PATs and 4 FGs (3 of them over 45 yards) actually created 23 ST points, but they missed one kick to drop a point off the final tally. Kansas State’s ST unit scored 21 fantasy points and Baylor was tied with Louisiana Tech and Penn State for third at 19. Utah’s ST unit dropped off slightly with 13 points last week, but still leads FBS with an average of 15 ppg.

There were 23 FGs made that were over 45 yards in length, and Memphis and Penn State’s kickers made 3 apiece. 5 kicks were returned for TDs, 56 FGs or PATs were missed and 8 fumbles were lost while returning kicks.

Duke, Georgia, Northern Illinois and Rice have all turned over the ball just 5 times offensively, while New Mexico State gives the ball away like Halloween candy, a prodigious 26 times so far. That’s essentially 3 times per game.

Maryland and Duke both have kickers who have not missed yet this season. 46 PATs and FGs without a whiff. Iowa State (34 kicks) and Wake Forest (22) are the only other teams with perfect kickers. SMU is the only team with a kicker making under 70% of his attempts, being 9 of 13 for 69.2%.

Mississippi and Louisville lead the nation with 18 interceptions each. 6 teams have only 2 INTs thus far. Temple leads the country in fumble recoveries with 16, while Oklahoma State is the lone team without any.

47 teams have already likely punched their ticket to one of the plethora of bowl games as they have won 6 or more games (NCAA requires a .500 record to be bowl eligible) (well, NCAA recommends, as they have granted waivers for a sub-.500 team from time-to-time). That list will grow as 22 more teams have 5 wins and need a victory this week to get their “golden ticket”.  With 38 bowl games (including the 2 playoff semi-finals), that allows for 76 teams. On the other side of the ledger, there are 14 teams that know their last game of the regular season will be their last game this year. Washington St, Colorado, UNLV, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Eastern Michigan, New Mexico St, Miami (O), Tulsa, Kent St, Idaho, Troy, Georgia St and SMU are all on that unfortunate list. 18 more teams are a loss away from joining the group. Likely to lose this week (and their opponent) are: Vanderbilt (Florida), Purdue (Wisconsin), Southern Mississippi (Marshall), Wake Forest (Clemson) and Tulane (Houston). Either Old Dominion or Florida International will get a 7th loss, as they play each other. Same with Iowa State and Kansas. Ditto North Texas and Florida Atlantic as well as Army and UConn. We look at the teams vying for a College Football Playoff berth and refer to their upcoming games against each other as “elimination games”. Meanwhile, on the underside of the FBS, real elimination games are going on as well.

Over the next 4 weeks, we will learn the names of 4 teams who will make up the first FBS Championship Playoff. We’ll see a lot of great football, some wild finishes and some heartbreaking turns of events. Enjoy the ride, and I’ll be writing about it again next week!

The Commish