Archive for May, 2011

Most Popular Online Teams in NCAA Football 12

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Here are the five teams we think will be most heavily used online this year, plus a few more that will show up often. It’ll be the usual suspects that are the online favorites this year.


1. Ohio State – Year after year Ohio State is one of the most heavily used teams in online play. Don’t expect that to change this year. Terrelle Pryor will again provide an excellent combination of running ability and passing from the QB position, and Boom Herron, DeVier Posey and company will complement Pryor nicely. Add in what should be one of the higher ranked defenses in the game and the home field advantage of Ohio Stadium, and we expect the Buckeyes to be the most heavily used team once again in NCAA 12.

2. Oregon – Though used often, the Ducks aren’t usually a top choice for online users. However, coming off a national championship appearance and with QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James, Oregon will get plenty of love this year. No defense on the game will have the speed to match Oregon’s offense, and if users take advantage of the Ducks’ no-huddle offense they will be nearly unstoppable on O. The defense should be good but not great, but with an offense capable of 50+ points that won’t be an issue online.

3. Oklahoma – Every year there is a team on NCAA Football that is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to ratings. Last year it was Alabama and two years ago it was Florida. Despite Auburn being the defending champs, Oklahoma is the best bet to be preseason #1 this year and they will have the ratings to back up the #1 spot. QB Landry Jones and WR Ryan Broyles will make the Sooners’ no-huddle a nightmare for opposing defenses, and LB Travis Lewis can blow up offensive game plans. Expect most of the rest of the Oklahoma starters to be rated highly as well.


4. Michigan – Much like Ohio State, Michigan is routinely one of the most heavily used teams online. But unlike the Buckeyes, Michigan has had relatively few playmakers the last few years. That will change this year with Denard Robinson expected to be ranked highly at the QB position. Users who like a scrambling QB (and there are a lot of those type of users) will love Michigan this year and will run wild with Robinson.

5. Alabama – The Tide’s online popularity sky-rocketed last year, and they should be used heavily again this year. Though several stars are gone, RB Trent Richardson and a potentially dominant defense will make the Tide an appealing option again this year. AJ McCarron should be good enough to make Alabama’s passing game a threat, and the o-line will make stopping Richardson a daunting task for any opposing defense.

Honorable Mention: Nebraska, LSU, Florida – Taylor Martinez and an outstanding defense will make the Huskers a top option online, while both LSU and Florida have enough highly-rated skill players to keep any user happy. These three teams will all be a threat to crack the top 5.


College Football’s 2011 Hot Seat

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Last year, 3 of our 5 coaches on the hot seat lost their jobs, and yet another enters 2011 at the top of our list of coaches on the hot seat entering the 2011 season.

1. Paul Wulff, Washington State: Wulff has just 5 wins in 3 full years with the Cougars, including a dismal 2-25 record in conference play. Despite a public vote of confidence from AD Bill Moos last year, logic leads us to believe Wulff already has one foot out the door. WSU must show improvement in the wins column this year, but fortunately for Wulff and the Cougar faithful it should be a realistic goal. It’s not often that 4-5 wins will allow a coach to keep his job, but that could very well be the scenario Wulff faces this season.

2. Mike Locklsey, New Mexico: Locksley, much like Wulff at this point last season, is entering his third season with his team and has led two disappointing campaigns in his first two seasons with the Lobos. The difference between the two coaches is that Wulff had a history of winning before arriving at Wazzu, while Locksley is a first-time head coach. Locksley also has had a few off-the-field issues as well in his short time in Albuquerque, and a large buyout clause in his contract may be the only reason he is even returning for year three. Fan outcry against Locksley was an issue last season, and it will only heighten this year if the Lobos don’t improve.

3. Rick Neuheisel, UCLA: Neuheisel is just 15-22 in his 3 years in LA, and his Bruins teams have been a Pac 10 bottom-feeder. UCLA’s subpar record is made even worse by the fact that Neuheisel has continually brought in highly-touted recruiting classes. Unfortunately for Bruins fans those recruits haven’t panned out on the field – yet. Neuheisel will still have another year left on his original contract after the 2011 season, so odds are that he will keep his job barring a major collapse this year. Still, anything short of a bowl game this season will keep the rumor mill churning about Neuheisel’s job safety.

4. Bob Toledo, Tulane: Toledo received a one year contract extension last fall and has the opportunity to prove himself this fall in his 5th season at Tulane. Tulane has never won more than 4 games in any of Toledo’s first 4 seasons on the job, but he returns a boat load of starters this year and should be poised to crack bowl eligibility. On the flipside, if the Green Wave continue to struggle this season despite a large group returning, Toledo will likely be dropped at the end of the year.

5. Jim Tressel, Ohio State: It’s rare to have a coach with a winning percentage over 80% on the hot seat, but the heat on Tressel is due to off-the-field issues, not his team’s performance on the field. Prepare to hear plenty this fall about potential NCAA sanctions facing the Buckeyes and questions about Tressel’s job security, especially through the first 5 games when Tressel, QB Terrelle Pryor, and others are serving a suspension. Barring a major NCAA crack-down on the Buckeyes, we expect Tressel to survive the season and head into next season with his job as secure as ever.


ACC Football Predictions – 2011 Season

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011



  • 1. Florida State (7-1): The Seminoles are not (yet) at the level of dominance they displayed throughout the 90’s, but they should run away with the Atlantic this year. First-round draft pick Christian Ponder is gone, but QB EJ Manuel is ultra-talented and looks ready to take the reins of the offense. The rest of the skill players are back and that includes three capable running backs and four solid WR’s. The defense improved drastically last season from the year before and DE Brandon Jenkins leads a unit that should again be near the top of the ACC. LB Nigel Bradham is also back and CB Greg Reid gives FSU a dominant player at each level of the defense. The schedule is as forgiving as there is in the ACC, so a dominant conference run is a legitimate possibility and the Seminoles could be looking at a return to a BCS bowl this January.
  • 2. NC State (5-3): Last year’s league-leading passing attack is completely gone; QB Russell Wilson has headed north and 3 of the top 4 receivers have moved on. However, QB Mike Glennon, a pro-style passer, has a big arm and the potential to be the best true passing QB in the league. RB Mustafa Greene is back to take some of the load off of Glennon. The real strength of the team should be the defense, which was in the middle of the pack last season but returns the entire secondary and two quality LB’s. The Wolfpack won’t threaten FSU for the division crown, but they should be next in line. (more…)

Big East Football Predictions – 2011 Season

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Considered the worst of the BCS conferences, the Big East is routinely home to one of the most exciting conference races in all of college football. Last year Connecticut won a 3-way tie, and this year it could be another close race. Look below for our picks for the 2011 season.


  • 1. West Virginia (6-1): The excitement in Morgantown is growing as new OC Dana Holgorsen brings his high-powered offense to West Virginia and QB Geno Smith. Smith will have plenty of speedy WR’s to spread the ball around to, but losing RB Noel Devine will take its toll. The WVU defense, led this year by DE Bruce Irvin, is always among the best in the conference. Though the D returns just four starters, we expect it to be good enough to allow Smith and company to put the Mountaineers back into a BCS bowl game. One thing is for sure, the season’s final two games (Pitt and at USF) will decide the conference.
  • 2. Pitt (5-2): No Dion Lewis, no problem for the Panthers. RB Ray Graham is ready and able to step into the void left by Lewis. Tino Sunseri is an underrated quarterback, and Mike Shanahan is a budding star at WR. Much like WVU though, Pitt’s real strength is on defense. Eight starters are back from a solid unit, led by LB Max Gruder, one of the best players in the conference. It’s tough to predict the impact new coach Todd Graham will have, but the Panthers will be right in the thick of the Big East race once again. (more…)

Big 12 Football Predictions – 2011 Season

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Nebraska and Colorado may be gone, but the Big 12 will look mighty familiar this fall. Oklahoma looks to be the dominant team, and the rest of the traditional Big 12 South schools will be falling in line behind. Check out our preview below for how we think the conference will end up this season.


  • 1. Oklahoma (8-1): The Sooners are the early favorite to enter the 2011 season as the #1 team in the nation. The only question on offense is who will replace RB DeMarco Murray, not only as a runner but as a receiver. The rest of the offense returns mostly intact and will be firing on all cylinders from day one, led by QB Landry Jones and WR Ryan Broyles. The defense loses 3 starters to the NFL, but the returning starters are led by LB Travis Lewis and should be among the best in the conference, if not the best. Though there is no single game on the schedule that looks like a loss, it will be tough to navigate the Texas schools and a season finale at Oklahoma State without dropping one game. If the Sooners do get through unscathed, they can book their spot in the BCS National Championship.
  • 2. Oklahoma State (7-2): The loss of RB Kendall Hunter will hurt, but the rest of the offense is back and ready to put up monster numbers again. Also gone is OC Dana Holgorsen, the architect of OSU’s dynamic offense last season. Though QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon are as good as any duo in the country (with the possible exception of their in-state rivals), we think the loss of Holgorsen means the offense will take a bit of a step back this season. Mix in a defense that was the weak point last season and we think the Cowboys will fall short of their lofty pre-season expectations. (more…)

Pac 12 Football Predictions – 2011 Season

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

The Pac 12 will have a new look this fall, and the favorite in the South won’t even be eligible for the Pac 12 Championship Game. That makes an already competitive division even more wide-open. In the North, Andrew Luck and Stanford will look to unseat defending Pac 10 champion Oregon in a two-team race.



  • 1. Oregon (8-1): A pair of Heisman contenders return to lead the defending conference champions. QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James will again wreak havoc on opposing defenses with Chip Kelly’s lightning-fast offensive tempo. The defense was almost as good as the offense last year, but a slight step back is likely this season. Still, a pair of top-tier safeties, a deep line, and a rising star in CB Cliff Harris should keep the Ducks atop the conference again this fall. The weak points appear to be at LB and finding a WR to replace 1,000 yard receiver Jeff Maehl. While another NC appearance is probably a bit out of reach, the Ducks will be near the top of the BCS standings all season long.
  • 2. Stanford (8-1): Don’t hand the division to Oregon just yet. QB Andrew Luck and company will have the Cardinal nipping at the Ducks’ heels throughout the fall. Luck has to break in a new go-to WR and some new lineman, but the line does return two all-conference players and RB Stepfan Taylor is a perfect complement to Luck’s arm. The defense gave up the fewest points in the conference last season, and LB’s Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas lead a unit that could be just as good this season. Stanford should be in a position to make the November 12th meeting with the Ducks a Pac 12 Championship play-in game. (more…)

Big 10 Football Predictions – 2011 Season

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

There hasn’t been this much mystery surrounding the Big 10 race in years. A new team was added, new divisions were made, and the perennial favorite has fallen on hard times. Read on to find out how we think the Big 10 will shake out this fall.


Legends Division

  • 1. Nebraska (5-3): The Huskers are the new face in the Big 10, but expectations are already high. Many around the nation feel Nebraska is the favorite to win the whole conference in light of the recent events at OSU. Though they will have plenty of competition, Nebraska certainly has the talent to win the Big 10. DT Jared Crick and LB Lavonte David will anchor what could end up as the top defense in the conference, despite the loss of 3 players from the secondary. If QB Taylor Martinez can stay healthy he has the potential to tear up the Big 10 almost as much as Denard Robinson did last season. But despite the talent, the Huskers lose nearly half of their starters from last year and have a tough conference slate. We think they could fall anywhere from 4-4 to 7-1 in the conference, but 6-2 is our prediction, which will be good enough for a spot in the first Big 10 Championship Game.
  • 2. Michigan State (5-3): How good are the Spartans? They are coming off of a 12-2 season but got dismantled in those two losses and never quite looked as good as their record indicated. The Spartan offense could be this year’s version of Wisconsin last season. QB Kirk Cousins is one of the most efficient passers in the country and MSU goes 3-deep with deadly backs. Mix in some talented WR’s and a solid line and it’ll be tough to slow the Spartans down this fall. The thing that could hold them back however, is the defense. Though DT Jerel Worthy anchors a nasty defensive line, we think the losses of Greg Jones and Eric Gordon from the LB group will hurt the Spartans. The first four conference games are brutal, but if MSU can somehow get through that stretch 3-1, a BCS bowl will be there for the taking. (more…)

SEC Football Predictions – 2011 Season

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Auburn may have won the National Championship last season, but this year they aren’t even the favorites to win their own division. The Tigers will have their hands full in what may be the best division in the best conference in all of college football – the SEC west. Read on to find out how we think the big dogs in the SEC will sort out this season.



  • 1. South Carolina (5-3): The defending East champions look primed to repeat in 2011. RB Marcus Lattimore is only a sophomore but is already a star in the SEC. The good news for the ‘Cocks is that Lattimore won’t have to do it alone; QB Stephen Garcia is one of the top returning passers in the conference and the WR corps is maybe the best in the league. The defense is loaded with talent. Inexperience may be the one thing that holds this team back, as USC loses nearly half of its starters from a year ago. The schedule is as favorable as an SEC schedule can get, with no games against LSU and Alabama. It’s tough to see the Gamecocks running away with the division in such a tough conference, but this team is a sleeper to win the SEC.
  • 2. Georgia (5-3): The Bulldogs are coming off two straight under-achieving seasons, including a sub .500 record last fall, so this may be as important as any season in the Richt era. Losing A.J. Green will give the offense a different look, but QB Aaron Murray is fast becoming the best QB in the SEC and Georgia is loaded with talent at RB. Caleb King, Washaun Ealey, and incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell give the Bulldogs a 3-headed monster that can take the pressure off of the passing game. The defense is a bit of a mystery, but a step forward should be expected in the second year of DC Todd Grantham’s system. Mix in the easiest schedule in the SEC and Georgia should fight for a bid in the conference championship. (more…)

Toughest Places to Play in NCAA Football 12

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011’s predicted Top 25 toughest places to play in NCAA 12.
Sound off on our toughest places to play predictions comments section below.

1. Ohio State – Ohio Stadium
2. Alabama – Bryant-Denny Stadium
3. LSU – Tiger Stadium
4. Oregon – Autzen Stadium
5. Florida – Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
6. Penn State – Beaver Stadium
7. Oklahoma – Gaylord-Oklahoma Memorial
8. Nebraska – Memorial Stadium
9. Auburn – Jordan-Hare Stadium
10. Boise State – Bronco Stadium


11. Wisconsin – Camp Randall Stadium
12. Texas – DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium
13. Virginia Tech – Lane Stadium
14. West Virginia – Mountaineer Field
15. Tennessee – Neyland Stadium
16. Georgia – Sanford Stadium
17. Texas A&M – Kyle Field
18. USC – Los Angeles Coliseum
19. Clemson – Clemson Memorial Stadium
20. Florida State – Doak S. Campbell Stadium
21. Notre Dame – Notre Dame Stadium
22. Arkansas – Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium
23. TCU – Amon G. Carter Stadium
24. South Carolina – Williams-Brice Stadium
25. Iowa – Kinnick Stadium

Just missing the NCAA 12 toughest places to play top 25 list: Michigan, Missouri, NC State, Michigan St., Washington



NCAA Football 12 Top 25 Team Rankings

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

The final NCAA Football 12 Top 25 Rankings have been released. Compare our initial predictions with the actual rankings. Our initial predictions are at the bottom.

Final NCAA Football 12 Top 25 Rankings. **Please note these are the actual EA Sports NCAA 12 Top 25 rankings.

1. Oklahoma
2. Alabama
3. Stanford
4. LSU
5. Oregon
6. Ohio State
7. Oklahoma State
8. Boise State
9. Texas A&M
10. Florida State
11. Wisconsin
12. Auburn
13. South Carolina
14. TCU
15. Michigan State
16. Nebraska
17. Virginia Tech
18. Arkansas
19. Mississippi State
20. Florida
21. Notre Dame
22. Texas
23. Missouri
24. NC State
25. Arizona State


rosters annual NCAA Football 12 Top 25 Predictions. **Please note these are just our predictions and not the actual EA Sports NCAA 12 Top 25 rankings.

1. Oklahoma

2. Oregon
3. Alabama
4. LSU
5. Stanford
6. Florida State
7. Boise State
8. Ohio State
9. Texas A&M
10. South Carolina
11. Oklahoma State
12. Notre Dame

13. Wisconsin
14. Missouri
15. Arkansas
16. Nebraska
17. Michigan State
18. TCU
19. Virginia Tech
20. West Virginia
21. Mississippi State
22. Florida
23. Texas
24. Penn State

25. Auburn


Just missing the cut: Georgia, Arizona State, Miami, North Carolina, USC, Iowa

Agree or disagree with our rankings predictions? Share your opinion in our comments section.