Exxedera’s FBS Top 25 – Week 9

Week eight of the college football season featured a huge top 10 upset as Wisconsin fell to the fighting Illini of Illinois. As for the rest of the Big Ten Penn State stayed undefeated against Michigan while Minnesota also started 7-0 for the first time since 1960.

Let’s see how the rest of the country ranks in this weeks top 25.

Power Rankings

1. LSU Tigers (7-0)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0)

3. Clemson Tigers (7-0)

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0)

5. Oklahoma Sooners (7-0)

6. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-0)

7. Florida Gators (7-1)

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1)

9. Oregon Ducks (6-1)

10. Georgia Bulldogs (6-1)

11. Auburn Tigers (6-1)

12. Texas Longhorns (5-2)

13. Baylor Bears (7-0)

14. Utah Utes (6-1)

15. Wisconsin Badgers (6-1)

16. Minnesota Gophers (7-0)

17. SMU Mustangs (7-0)

18. Cincinnati Bearcats (6-1)

19. Appalachian State Mountaineers (6-0)

20. Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2)

21. Michigan Wolverines (5-2)

22. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-2)

23. Boise State Broncos (6-1)

24. Memphis Tigers (6-1)

25. Texas A&M Aggies (4-3)

Exxedera’s FBS Top 25 – Week 8

Joe Burrow for Heisman! I’m claiming it now. LSU’s quarterback looks like the best player in the country after a week six win against Florida saw the Tigers jump to 6-0 on the year. I ranked them #1 last week, let’s see how much that may have changed.

Power Rankings

1. LSU Tigers (6-0)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0)

3. Clemson Tigers (6-0)

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0)

5. Oklahoma Sooners (6-0)

6. Wisconsin Badgers (6-0)

7. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0)

8. Florida Gators (6-1)

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1)

10. Oregon Ducks (5-1)

11. Texas Longhorns (4-2)

12. Georgia Bulldogs (5-1) 

13. Michigan Wolverines (5-1)

14. Auburn Tigers (5-1)

15. Boise State Broncos (6-0)

16. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1)

17. SMU Mustangs (6-0)

18. Baylor Bears (6-0)


Exxedera’s FBS Top 25 – Week 2

College football is back and it only took us one week to bring back all of the excitement that fans have been missing for over half a year now. We only saw one top 25 matchup (Oregon vs. Auburn) but we saw some other games that were just as exciting as that one (Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa).

Without further ado let’s countdown our top 25 following week one’s action.

Top 25

1. Clemson Tigers (2019 Record: 1-0)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (2019 Record: 1-0)

3. Georgia Bulldogs (2019 Record: 1-0)

4. Oklahoma Sooners (2019 Record: 1-0)

5. Ohio State Buckeyes (2019 Record: 1-0)

6. Michigan Wolverines (2019 Record: 1-0)

7. LSU Tigers (2019 Record: 1-0)

8. Texas Longhorns (2019 Record: 1-0)

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2019 Record: 1-0)

10. Texas A&M Aggies (2019 Record: 1-0)

11. Auburn Tigers (2019 Record: 1-0)

12. Utah Utes (2019 Record: 1-0)

13. Florida Gators (2019 Record: 1-0)

14. Wisconsin Badgers (2019 Record: 1-0)

15. Oregon Ducks (2019 Record: 0-1)

16. Washington Huskies (2019 Record: 1-0)

17. Penn State Nittany Lions (2019 Record: 1-0)

18. UCF Golden Knights (2019 Record: 1-0)

19. Iowa Hawkeyes (2019 Record: 1-0)

20. Stanford Cardinal (2019 Record: 1-0)

21. Syracuse Orange (2019 Record: 1-0)

22. Michigan State Spartans (2019 Record: 1-0)

23. Washington State Cougars (2019 Record: 1-0)

24. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2019 Record: 1-0)

25. Boise State Broncos (2019 Record: 1-0)

Travis Etienne Looked Like Clemson’s Heisman Hopeful, Not Trevor Lawrence

The Clemson Tigers opened the season against Georgia Tech in a matchup that was supposed to be an opening day coming out party for sophomore QB Travis Lawrence. Instead he threw more interceptions than touchdowns (1 TD, 2 INT’s) along with less than 200 yards, although he did add a rushing touchdown to his stat line.

The true star of the night was running back Travis Etienne Jr. who continues to exalt his prowess in the rushing game. He first bursted out with a 90 yard touchdown in the first quarter that was not only a career high, but also a Clemson record. He finished with 205 and three touchdown while averaging 17 yards a carry. That impressive running alone can carry Clemson to another national championship but when Lawrence gets back rolling again, watch out.

Exxedera’s Top 10 FBS Quarterbacks For 2019.

The 2019 college football season is only a few days away and that means we’re only a few days away from the start of quarterbacks making electrifying plays with their arms and legs.

Last year’s national championship featured the top two quarterbacks in the nation, but who landed at #1? Who else landed on our list? Read below and find out

#1. Tua Tag

#2. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

#3. Jake Fromm, Georgia

#4. D’eriq King, Houston

#5. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

#6. Justin Herbert, Oregon

#7. Jacob Eason, Wasington

#8. Shea Patterson, Michigan


Will The ACC Soon Succeed The SEC As The Most Dominant Conference?

The ACC has enjoyed a handful of success recently.. Wait, that’s wrong.

Clemson has enjoyed a handful of success recently. The Tigers have enjoyed two championships in three seasons as they look to unseat Alabama for the most dominant dynasty of the modern era. Head coach Dabo Swinney has enjoyed that success, having been the Tigers head coach since 2010 and having seen many of his Tigers teams be in national championship contention (2012-15). The first turn of the corner came in 2011 when Clemson knocked off defending champion Auburn in a clash of Tigers to open up the season. From them on it’s been total domination for Clemson, culminating in their first National Championship in 2016 behind the greatness of DeShaun Watson. But they weren’t the first team to unseat an SEC Foe for the big crown.

In 2013, the Florida State Seminoles put together arguably the most underrated season of all-time. Redshirt Freshman Jameis Winston led the team to a perfect 14-0 record behind a prolific offense (They averaged 51.6 points a game) and stingy defense (They yielded 12 points per game, including giving up 31 in the National Championship). The Noles have taken steps backwards every year since and this year they had the first losing season since ___ leaving many to wonder what happened to FSU’s greatness. Well for one, a coaching change happened. Jimbo Fisher had been the head coach since previous HC Boddy Bowden retired in 2011. Then before the 2018 season, he bolted for Texas A&M and their Texas sized football stadium (A&M seats more fans than anyone in the country) and Texas sized yearly payroll. But will Fisher be as successful in the SEC as he was in the ACC?

The Rest of the ACC is rounded out by teams such as Miami, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Louisville and others who have been competitive at times, yet none have pushed the National Championship bill like Clemson and FSU (Besides Miami in 2017 when they started 10-0 and were ranked #2). In retrospect, the ACC is like other conferences in that they are top heavy. The best teams win consistently and run the conference for years and years, however the same can be said of the SEC as of recent.

Alabama and Georgia are by far the cream of the crop of the SEC. Heck, the two teams have faced off in back to back years as the #1 and #2 teams in the nation, 2017 in the National Championship and 2018 in the SEC Championship. But who else in the conference has pushed these two to the brink in the past few years? The only team that comes to mind is Florida this past season, although programs such as Auburn, LSU & Mississippi State had times where they each ranked inside of the top 15 at times.

It’s Now Or Never For The Oregon Ducks

The time is now.

No more inexcusable losses, no more fast starts yet slow finishes, no more high hopes dashed. No more. The time is now.

The Oregon Ducks have been on of the most successful team in college football without a championship in the last decade plus joining programs such as Boise State, Wisconsin & Stanford as teams with a 76% or better winning percentage with no championship. They’ve reached two championship game in the span unlike the three aforementioned programs, however they lost to Auburn in 2010 and Florida State in 2014.

Those championship games were played under two separate head coaches. Chip Kelly, who is the engineer of Oregon’s fashionable uptempo spread system that swept through college football and Mark Helfrich who served as Kelly’s Offensive Coordinator before taking over the head position prior to the 2014 season. Helfrich was known as a masterful recruiter during his time as coordinator, recruiting quarterbacks Dennis Dixon, Darren Thomas, Marcus Mariota & Johnny Manziel to the Ducks (Many don’t even know Manziel was a Duck for a year), but when he became the HC he regressed as a recruiter and the state of the program following Mariota’s departure showed that.

Fast forward to 2019 and the Ducks have gone through three different head coaches in the past three seasons. The only difference this upcoming year will be that the last of the three, Mario Christobal is remaining on the sidelines as the head man for another year after a 9-4 record in his first season. Christobal, like Helfrich is known as a great recruiter and his biggest recruiting job to date may be getting QB Justin Herbert to return for his senior season. A likely first-round pick in April’s draft, Herbert threw for 3,151 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior. Oregon navigated their way to a 5-1 record and a number 12 ranking before falling off and going 4-3 the remainder of the season. That’s almost reminiscent of the 2017 season when they began 4-1 and ended up 7-6 to end the year.

Let’s Face It, Kirk Cousins Just Isn’t A Winner

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been one of the prolific passers in the league since he first became the Washington Redskins’ full time starter in 2015. In his three full seasons at the helm he complied three consecutive 4,000 yard seasons, including a 4,917 yard season in 2016. In those three seasons Cousins led the Redskins to only one playoff appearance, a wild-card round loss in 2015. Some blamed Cousins, others blamed head coach Jay Gruden for the lack of playmakers around cousins. The Redskins went out and drafted more playmakers over the next two seasons (Josh Doctson, Semaje Perine, etc.) to no avail. The Skins then failed to make the playoffs over the next two seasons and their quarterback who had set many Redskins records in just three seasons as the starter, moved on.

Cousins then settled in the Minnesota Vikings on what was the largest contract in NFL history based on year-to-year salary. Doubt then crippled into the minds of football fans such as myself who felt that the contract was a big haul for a player who hadn’t proved much besides the fact that he had a good arm. Nonetheless, the Vikings had better offensive weapons (Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, Adam Theilen) to go along with a better defense than what the Redskins had to offer. With better weapons comes higher expectations at the QB position and in a way Cousins delivered. He had a 70% completion percentage to go along with another 4,000 yard season (His fourth in a row) and 30 passing touchdowns, yet there was one glaring problem: The Vikings missed the playoffs.

In four seasons as a full-time starter, Kirk Cousins has only started in one playoff game.

The Vikings weren’t supposed to miss the playoffs in 2018. After all they were a game away from the Super Bowl in 2017 and had upgraded quarterbacks from Case Keenum to Cousins. So what happened? Well for one, running back Dalvin Cook hit the injury bug and the running game became less effective causing more teams to focus on stopping the passing game. That especially showed in the Vikings final three losses in which Cousins failed to lead his team past 10 points. In fact, Cousins and the Vikings went 0-5-1 against teams with winning records this season which isn’t exactly the recipe for success. It goes to show that when his team needed him the most, Cousins wasn’t able to deliver and prove that he was worthy of that extra fat contract that he signed over the offseason.

Can Cousins throw the football very well? Yes. Can he lead his team to worthy victories that will elevate his team? It hasn’t been seen yet. And at age 30, the time is only ticking.

Will Justin Fields Be Able To Keep Ohio State At The Top Of The Big Ten?

Once upon a time Justin Fields was in a two-headed race with QB Trevor Lawrence to see who would be the number once recruit in the country. Fields then committed to the University of Georgia (UGA) in what was at first viewed as a questionable move seeing that UGA had just lost the CFP National Championship Game with a true freshman quarterback in Jake Fromm. The move only became more questionable when fans barely saw Fields touch the field due to him sitting behind Fromm, who is now slated to be one of the best QB’s in the 2020 NFL draft. In contrast, Trevor Lawrence captured a national championship in just his first season under center and was a late season Heisman trophy candidate after finishing with over 3,200 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.

Can Justin Fields have the same impact for Ohio State that Lawrence had on Clemson?

It is to be noted that Fields isn’t stepping into a situation where his head coach has a championship pedigree (Ryan Day is a rookie head coach) or one where he will have to sit behind a veteran behind getting his snaps (Fields is expected to start at OSU). However it should also be noted that Ohio State isn’t just any slouch even with a rookie head coach at the helm as they’ve won three of the last five Big Ten titles. The Buckeyes are by far the most consistent team in the Big Ten as they are usually top five annually in recruiting and they’re returning a handful of skill players including J.K. Dobbins, Austin Mack, and K.J. hill who will certainly help Fields out by making plays on the perimeter.

The aforementioned skill players have never played with a quarterback as dynamic as Fields either. Hell, Ohio State hasn’t seen a quarterback as dynamic as Fields since Braxton Miller honestly, and that’s no shade to what J.T. Barrett was able to do pre-injury. Dobbins played with Barret and last year’s starter Dwayne Haskins and i’m sure that even he’ll tell you that Fields isn’t as polished of a passer as the two but in terms of athleticism, he tops the two easily.

We haven’t even touched on Ohio State’s defense which is expected to see little to no drop-off despite losing a number of multi-year starters. Fields will be able to benefit heavily from a defense that is able to get off the field on third downs, reminiscent to how Clemson, Alabama and even UGA help their dynamic QB’s get the most out of their abilities. Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper headline the defensive starters who will be a big help to Fields’ first season success at Ohio State.

As long as Justin Fields is able to stay healthy and use his dynamic playmaking ability to win ball games then Ohio State will be just fine and probably be back to their 2014 national championship form.

2019 Is Make Or Break For Jim Harbaugh

When the Michigan Wolverines hired Jim Harbaugh to be there head football coach in 2015 they envisioned Big 10 and National championships galore. However the former 49ers coach hasn’t even been able to get his squad to appear in a Big Ten title game in four full seasons. His teams haven’t been bad though as the 2015, 2016 and 2018 teams all achieved 10-3 records however in two of those years (’15,’16) they ranked third in the Big 10 eastern division.

Not the Big Ten, the Big Ten east.

Quarterback Shea Patterson is back after he threw for 2,600 yards and 22 touchdowns while leading Michigan to a 10-3 record.

2018 was certainly Harbaugh’s best year at the helm as his team parlayed a week one loss to eventual playoff contender Notre Dame into a nine game win streak. The 9-1 record to begin the season had the Wolverines sitting at #4 in that weekns CFP’s top 25 ranking. However they ran into their kryptonite, the Ohio State Buckeyes (More on them later) whom they lost to before dropping to Florida in the Peach Bowl. Why can’tthe Wolverines finish any of their seasons strongly?

Two words: Ohio State

The Buckeyes are 4-0 over the Wolverines in the four years that Harbaugh has been the head coach. That’s pretty alarming considering that in 2016 and 2018 “The Game” decided which team would represent the Big Ten East in the Big Ten title game. More importantly, in both of those years Michigan was a top 4 team and in prime position to glide into the College Football Playoff.

If Michigan is going to become true championship contenders John Harbaugh is gong to have to figure out a way to get his team through the Ohio State roadblock. The Buckeyes have a new head coach in Ryan Day so hopefully Harbaugh’s experience will be able to will his team over the hump. Is Harbaugh a good enough coach to get his team to a championship? Yes.

Will he actually be able to is the real question that Harbaugh must answer. 2019 is the year he must answer that.