The Clemson University football team was picked first in the NCAA Coaches Poll posted Thursday, August 6. (PHOTO COURTESY: BART BOATWRIGHT/FOR THE STATE)
By Matt Noonan
By no surprise, the Clemson Tigers remained the top team in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, which was released yesterday (Sunday, September 20, 2020).
Currently, the Tigers, who were the top team in the land last week, boast a 2-0 record and will look to continue their early-season momentum in a few weeks when they host Virginia, which is currently receiving votes.
Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Florida rounded out the top five spots, while LSU remained in the sixth position for the second-straight week.
Notre Dame, which checked-in seventh one week, improved to 2-0 last weekend when they beat Southern Florida by a score of 52-0.
Texas and Auburn secured a two-way tie for the eighth position while Texas A&M occupied the tenth position for the second consecutive week.
Miami was the biggest mover on this week’s poll as they slid up five spots to the 12th position after checking-in 17th one week ago.
Further down the poll, Marshall secured the final spot – that would be the 25th position – after picking-up their second-straight win this past weekend.
This week, we’ll see more teams in action, including a slew of the top teams with Alabama visiting Missouri and Arkansas hosting Georgia.
For a complete schedule of the fourth week, HOP HERE!
Memphis was idle this past weekend – the Blue and White scored an opening day over Arkansas State earlier this month – and will return to action at the end of the month when the UTSA Roadrunners on Friday, September 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. eastern.
Other teams joining this week’s poll included the University of Miami, which checked-in 17th overall, Brigham Young University (21st), and Army (22nd). The Black Knights are the lone 2-0 team on this week’s poll following back-to-back wins against Middle Tennessee (42-0) and UL Monroe (37-7).
This week, Army will host BYU in what should be a good test for the Black Knights before they cap their September schedule with a visit to No. 13 Cincinnati.
Clemson remains the top team in this week’s poll – the Tigers topped Wake Forest this past weekend by a score of 37-7 – while Alabama and Oklahoma secured the second and third spots, respectively. Georgia secured the fourth position while Florida checked-in fifth overall.
The first official Saturday of the 2020 college football season is less than 24 hours away – crazy, right?
For the past few days, weeks, and months, both I and others, have debated if and how a season could be played, especially during the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. But somehow, some teams have found a way to keep everyone safe, including coaches, too.
And we already have a few games in the books, including a Week 0 affair between the Austin Peay State University and the University of Central Arkansas, which saw the Bears win by a score of 24-17.
UAB jumped out to a 28-21 advantage by the break while holding the Bears to just two touchdowns in the second half.
According to UCA coach Nathan Brown, UAB may be the “the best team we play all year.”
Next week the Bears will be idle before returning to the gridiron on Saturday, September 19 for a 6 p.m. kickoff against Arkansas State.
South Alabama was also victorious last night as the Jaguars topped the Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi by a score of 32-21.
Southern Alabama’s Desmond Trotter and Chance Lovertich combined for three touchdown passes and 363 yards of total offense while Carlos Davis rushed for a game-high 85 yards on 15 carries.
Clemson secures top spot in ACC Preseason Poll: By no surprise, the Tigers of Clemson secured the top spot in this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) media poll while Notre Dame and North Carolina checked-in second and third, respectively.
Syracuse and Georgia Tech rounded out the final two spots in the 15 team poll, checking-in 14th, and 15th, respectively.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was picked to win the ACC Player of the Year award.
Noontime’s Game of the Week: Army over Middle Tennessee State University: The Black Knights have enjoyed a great deal of success over the past few years in their home stadium – in fact, they’re 17-2 in West Point, New York, according to Saturday’s preview, dating back to the 2016 season.
Army ended its 2019 campaign with back-to-back losses, including a 31-7 setback to Navy, along with just five wins, but for the Black Knights to be successful, both tomorrow and this fall, they will need their quarterbacks – Jabari Laws and Christian Anderson – to play their best football.
While I know Middle Tennessee may be the favorite in this game, I’m going with an early-season upset alert with the Army edging the Blue Raiders on the final drive.
Noontime’s Game of the Week Prediction: Army 24, Middle Tennessee 22
Noontime’s Week One Predictions
Marshall over Eastern Kentucky
Army over Middle Tennessee
Southern Methodist University (SMU) over Texas State
North Texas over Houston Baptist
Memphis over Arkansas State
Stephen F. Austin over the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
Navy over Brigham Young University (BYU) (the game will be played on Monday, September 7 at 8 p.m.)
The question remains: will there actually be college football games this fall?
As of now, it appears so, but don’t be surprised if things change as we inch closer to kickoff later this month. Additionally, it is likely schedules could also change or tweaked, pending how things play out with the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
But if you are looking for some hope or excitement for college football, then look no further than the recently released NCAA Coaches Poll, which came out earlier today. And by no surprise, Clemson was picked first in the 2020 preseason poll followed by Ohio State second, Alabama third, Georgia fourth, and LSU fifth.
Oklahoma secured the sixth position followed by Penn State (seventh), Florida (eighth), Oregon (ninth), and Notre Dame (tenth).
No local teams – Boston College or UMass – appeared on the poll or received votes.
As of now, the 2020 season is set to begin on Saturday, August 29 – that is week zero, for those keeping track at home – and some of the matchups to watch will include Oklahoma hosting Missouri State and Southern Illinois visiting Kansas.
Clemson will play its initial game of the 2020 season on Saturday, September 12 against Wake Forest.
Steve Addazio has some key pieces in place to make an exciting run this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
By Dan Flaherty (@TheSportsNotebo)
Boston College has been as predictable a college football program as any in the country, at least since Steve Addazio became head coach back in 2013.
In Addazio’s five seasons, he’s finished 7-6 four different times, including the last two years. That’s what made the Over/Under win totals released in Las Vegas earlier this month so interesting—BC was listed at 5.5.
Furthermore, this doubt comes in a year when Addazio returns 14 starters. He brings back his entire offensive line. He brings back A.J. Dillon, a sophomore running back who rushed for nearly 1,600 yards last year. He brings a quarterback in Anthony Brown who got valuable experience last year as a freshman.
Defensively, the Eagles can build around defensive end Zach Allen, a disruptor that has the NFL in his future.
The doubt on Boston College also comes at a time when the opportunity to move up the ladder in the ACC’s Atlantic Division is there for the taking. While Clemson is firmly entrenched at the top, the Florida State program is in flux after the departure of coach Jimbo Fisher and Louisville’s rise under Bobby Petrino seems to have crested. Boston College beat both FSU and Louisville last season.
But the Eagles lost decisively to Wake Forest and N.C. State – both teams are divisional rivals. They are each more highly regarded on the Vegas Strip at the moment.
Addazio’s program is a throwback, built on physical football and tough defense that works to overcome mediocre play (at best) from the quarterback position. Brown’s numbers last year—52% completion percentage, 5.3 yards-per-attempt and 11 touchdowns versus nine interceptions—look straight out of the 1970s.
In an era where everything is seen to be about the quarterback, BC is not going to have believers as long as this current trend continues. Nor is there any reason to expect a change of course this season.
While it’s reasonable to expect improvement from Brown, I don’t think there will be too many comparisons to Matt Ryan floating around the Heights. And on the positive side, there is every reason to think Boston College can take what it usually does well under Addazio and simply do it better.
Dillon is one of the best halfbacks in college football. His most impressive number isn’t the yardage totals—you can attribute at least some of that to the workload he gets in this offense. The most impressive number is his 5.3 yards-per-rush. That’s good under any circumstances, and especially when opposing defenses know you’re getting the ball.
Dillon, with that veteran offensive line in front of him, molded by the hard-nosed Addazio, can make a run at ACC Player of the Year. If he breaks 2,000 yards, an invite to the Heisman banquet in early December could be in the offing.
How far Dillon can carry the Eagles will be apparent by mid-October. After tuneup games with Massachusetts and Holy Cross, Boston College faces two road games that will provide a good early gauge on where they’re at. They go to Wake Forest on a Thursday night and then visit Purdue, a Big Ten Conference team on the rise, the following Saturday.
After a game with Temple to close September, BC has a road game at N.C. State and a home date with Louisville. By this point in the schedule, the Eagles need to be 5-2. They’ll go into a bye week and on the far side of that bye are four games in four weeks—against Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Florida State. The Eagles have to hope they can steal one win during this stretch and then close the season at home by beating Syracuse. That gets them to seven wins again.
I’m one who likes old-fashioned football and I really hope Addazio can do it. The schedule is difficult and in a different environment, the head coach might be in real trouble. But in a market where media hype and fan intensity hones in on pro sports, the BC boss can keep people happy if he just keeps winning seven games each season, while providing a little Saturday afternoon diversion.
As long as the benchmark stays that reasonable, I think he’ll continue to do it in 2018.