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Brissett or Driskel, it doesn’t matter, Florida is in big trouble

Less than an hour before kickoff of the Florida/LSU game in Baton Rouge comes this tweet from Tracy Wolfson:

Jacoby Brissett out warming up. Jeff Driskell not.

This is bad news for a lot of people: Will Muschamp, Charlie Weis, Driskel, Brissett and Verne Lundquist, who is likely to fall asleep by halftime of what is sure to be an absolute blowout. It looks like the true freshman will be replacing the other true freshman against the second ridiculously scary defense the Gators have had to face in as many weeks.

Driskel replaced John Brantley last week against Alabama after the Tide knocked him out of the game. Now Driskel seems questionable at best leaving Brissett as the next option. A kid who has never played a down of college football, taking his first snap in the Bayou against the nation’s No. 1 team. Good luck with that.

LSU isn’t literally an NFL defense like you may hear often today. That’s hyperbole. But will most all of the players Brissett sees today one day be in the NFL? Yes. And he’s going to see a lot of them, mostly charging through his offensive line while frothing at the mouth.

If I was Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, I’d think of getting the ball out of Brissett’s hands as quickly as possible, just to protect your future investment. Although that might leave Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps open to certain injury, and you don’t want to lose them. Maybe take a knee on every down and just punt? This literally may be Florida’s best option.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Fade Material: 2011 College Football Week 6 Predictions

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck scrambles for first quarter yardage during play against Virginia Tech in the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl NCAA football game in Miami, January 3, 2011. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

If you haven’t hopped on this gravy train yet then shame on you because these picks are crashing and burning on a weekly basis now. After my 1-2-1 effort in Week 5, my season record is 10-8-2 but I’m now 4-7-1 over the past three weeks. It’s only a matter of time before that season record of mine gets below .500 and I’m providing true “Fade Material.”

Here are my picks for Week 6. I see a couple of backdoor covers and one underdog that should be down by 21 points by the end of the first quarter…

Florida State @ Wake Forest, 12:30PM ET
The Seminoles are having a hell of a time trying to run the ball (they’re 115th in the nation in rushing offense) and injuries are starting to mount for FSU. Meanwhile, Wake Forest has won three straight games for the first time since 2007 and quarterback Tanner Price is off to the best four-game start in school history (1,119 yards). The ‘Noles are just 2-5 against the spread in their last seven road games against the Demon Deacons, while the underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between these two teams.
THE PICK: WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS +10

Florida @ LSU, 3:30PM ET
It’s going to be a long day for freshman quarterback Jeff Driskel, who is subbing for the injured Jeff Brantley in Baton Rouge today. LSU is allowing just 12.8 points per game and is coming off a game in which it allowed just 155 total yards in a win over Kentucky. The Gators are just 2-6-1 against the spread versus a team with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in their last five October games. I doubt LSU will roll but I don’t envision Florida scoring more than 10 points.
THE PICK: LSU TIGERS –13

Vanderbilt @ Alabama, 7:00PM ET
I’m choking on chalk this weekend but I don’t care. Vanderbilt is heading in the right direction under first-year coach James Franklin but very little is going to slow down this ‘Bama team from making a run at the national championship. The Tide are 15-1 all-time against Vanderbilt at Bryant-Denny Stadium and is outscoring opponents 45-8 in the fourth quarter this season. Nick Saban’s team doesn’t let up and even though this is a huge point spread, I like ‘Bama to produce a blowout for homecoming week in Tuscaloosa.
THE PICK: ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE -29

Colorado @ Stanford, 7:30PM ET
Oddsmakers keep jacking up the point spread on Stanford and the Cardinal keeps covering. Thus, there’s no reason to hop off the Andrew Luck bandwagon now. Stanford is 6-0-1 against the number in their last seven conference games and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Meanwhile, the Buffs are just 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games and 0-5 ATS in their last five games as a road underdog of 10.5 points or greater.
THE PICK: STANFORD CARDINAL -29

Last Week: 1-2-1
Season: 10-8-2

Check out College Football Point Spreads at Bullz-Eye.com.

Fade Material: College Football Week 5 Predictions

Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban runs onto the field before their NCAA football game with the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, North Carolina September 18, 2010. REUTERS/Jim R. Bounds (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

After a strong start I’m heading right downhill, which is good considering I’ve named this column “Fade Material.” After all, I don’t want to be made out to be a liar.

Arizona, Vanderbilt and Arkansas were all losers last week while Clemson was my only winner. That put me at 1-3 for the week and 9-6-1 on the season, which isn’t bad although I’m only 3-5 in the past two weeks. Let’s see if I can’t put together my first 4-0 or 0-4 Saturday…

Georgia Tech @ NC State, 3:30PM ET
The Wolfpack have looked horrible at times this season, but if they could just cut down on the turnovers they could stop sabotaging themselves. The underdog is 6-1 against the spread in the last seven meetings between these two teams and I’m a sucker for home dogs. Georgia Tech is 4-0 on the year and has covered in every game thus far, but the Jackets are due to suffer a scare.
THE PICK: NC STATE +10

Texas @ Iowa State, 7:00PM ET
The Cyclones don’t blow you away statistically but this is a decent Iowa State team this year. Not only are they 3-0 thus far, but they also covered the spread outright as underdogs to Iowa and Connecticut the last two weeks. Can they make it three wins in a row as a dog? I’m doubtful, but I like them to cover the spread against a Texas team that’s 0-5 in its last five conference games.
THE PICK: IOWA STATE +9

Alabama @ Florida, 8:00PM ET
The game of the week is in the SEC as the Gators host the Crimson Tide in the “Swamp.” In 58 games as head coach at Alabama, Nick Saban has allowed less than 300 yards of total offense 33 times and the Tide have held opponents to 10 points or less 26 times during that span. Florida has been explosive offensively at times this year but I think Alabama’s defense puts the clamps down in the second half. The Crimson Tide are 7-1-1 against the number in their last nine games against the Gators and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
THE PICK: ALABAMA –4

Notre Dame @ Purdue, 8:00PM
The underdog is 5-1 against the spread in the last six meetings between these two teams while the Irish are 1-5 against the number in their last six games as a road favorite. Meanwhile, Purdue is 3-1-1 against the spread in its last five games as a home dog and 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 games as an underdog of 10.5 points or greater. The games between these two teams tend to be tight, so I like the Boilermakers to keep the score within 10 points.
THE PICK: PURDUE +11.5

Last Week: 1-3
Season: 9-6-1

Check out College Football Point Spreads at Bullz-Eye.com.

2011 College Football Program Power Rankings

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor hands off the ball to tailback Dane Sanzenbacher in the third quarter at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans during the 77th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl January 4, 2011. The Buckeyes won 31-26 UPI/Dave Fornell

Almost a year ago we decided to try to quantify the stature of college football programs so that we could rank them against one another. (Click here for the 2010 Rankings.) Then our football guru, Anthony Stalter, wrote a little bit about each program and the direction that it’s headed.

Here’s how the total points are determined — 20 points for a national championship, 10 for a BCS title game loss, seven for a BCS bowl win, five for a BCS bowl loss, five for a BCS conference championship, three for a mid-major conference championship, two for a BCS conference runner-up and one for a major bowl appearance (i.e. a bowl that has a recent payout of more than $2 million, so for 2011 that would be Capital One, Outback, Chick-fil-A, Cotton, Gator, Insight, Holiday, Champs Sports and Alamo.) You’ll see the total points in parenthesis after the team’s name.

We put some thought into the point values for each accomplishment, paying special attention to how the point values are relative to one another. For example, we figured that one national championship would equate to four BCS conference championships, or three BCS bowl wins. We only looked at the last five years, as college football has increasingly become a fluid and fickle sport, and that’s about how far back a recruit will go when deciding amongst a list of schools.

Lastly, since a program is so dependent on the guy in charge, we added or subtracted points if the program saw an upgrade or downgrade at the head coach position in the last five years. A max of 10 points would be granted (or docked) based on the level of upgrade or downgrade. Again, we tried to quantify the hire relative to the program’s other accomplishments. For example, hiring Nick Saban is probably worth two BCS bowl appearances, or 10 points. (Sure, he might lead Alabama to more, but he also might bolt for another job in a year or two.)

So, without further ado, here are the rankings. Every year we’ll go through and update the numbers based on what the program did that year (while throwing out the oldest year of data), so don’t fret if your team isn’t quite where you want them right now. Everyone has a chance to move up.

1. Ohio State (58)

Previous Rank: #2 (+1)
Some college football fans will take issue with the Buckeyes being No. 1 because of their “soft schedule.” But this is a team that has dominated its conference five of the past six years and has finished no worse than second in each of the past six seasons. They’ve also appeared in two title games (though they lost both) and nine straight BCS bowl games, winning the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl in the past two years. They’ve got an interesting season coming up though. Five of their players including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron and receiver DeVier Posey will miss the first five games next year after being suspended. Can the Buckeyes stay unscathed until those players return?

2. Florida (51)

Previous Rank: #1 (-1)
If it weren’t for Urban Meyer leaving the program (and their lousy 2010 season), the Gators would probably still be ranked No. 1. They have three conference championships and two national championships in two years, but the lose of Meyer hurts big-time in these rankings. But don’t fret Florida fans, if Will Muschamp gets the program back on the right track then the Gators won’t be at No. 2 for long.

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Florida officially cuts ties with Urban Meyer to avoid violations

The SEC and NCAA was suspicious when Urban Meyer signed a deal to become a college football analyst less than two months after he resigned from Florida. So to avoid being USC’d, the Gators officially cut ties with Meyer on Wednesday.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Meyer had remained on UF’s payroll in an undefined role since resigning as coach in December. But earlier this week when he signed a deal to become a college football analyst for ESPN, it raised red flags with the SEC and NCAA. After UF contacted those organizations about the potentially problematic situation, the wheels were set in motion for Meyer to being taken off the university’s payroll.

It would have been a dicey situation for UF and possibly against NCAA rules had Meyer, who is appearing today on ESPN’s coverage of National Signing Day, publicly discussed potential recruits as a paid employee and representative of UF.

Former coaches join TV networks all the time, so it’s not surprising that Meyer would do the same after resigning as head coach at Florida. But one would think that UF was paying him more than ESPN, right? Not that he needs the money, but this wouldn’t be Meyer’s way of forcing Florida to cut ties with him so he would be free to sign with another school, would it?

Nah, you’re right. He’s not that devious. No way he doesn’t resurface at Ohio State in a couple of years…

On a semi-related note, did a bitter Gator fan write the intro for Meyer’s Wikipedia page? Check this out:

Urban Oscar Meyer, III (born July 10, 1964) is a college football analyst for ESPN, a retired American college football coach and former bench warmer…He is best known for his exclusive, romantic relationship with quarterback Tim Tebow, as well as coaching the Florida Gators to two BCS National Championship Game victories during the 2006 and 2008 seasons…

Former bench warmer? His exclusive, romantic relationship with quarterback Tim Tebow? Ouch.

Hey, I’m not saying those two references aren’t statements of fact. I mean, look at that photo up above and tell me you know exactly where Meyer’s hands are (and aren’t). But one would think that someone with Meyer’s best interest at heart wouldn’t have painted him in that light.

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