Georgia Bulldogs 2016 NCAA Football Preview

Georgia Bulldogs 2016 NCAA Football Preview

GEORGIA BULLDOGS

Southeastern Conference – East Division

 

2015 Record – 10-3

ATS – 5-7

 

2016 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

East Division #3

Conference #6

 

2015 Recap

Well the Bulldogs had another boring 10-win season. It seems all they do is win – one season with less than 8 wins in the last ten years – and a lot of fans are never satisfied. In 2015, they were inexperienced at QB, lost a Heisman Trophy candidate RB less than halfway through the season, had one reliable option in the passing game – yet still had a fine year culminating in a bowl win over Penn St. HC Mark Richt was finally let go after the regular season and was replaced with Alabama DC Kirby Smart. Maybe it was time for a change.

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

The Bulldogs want more from the QB position this season. Greyson Lambert was 5th in the SEC in passing efficiency last season, and even had a game where he was 24-25 (96%) setting an NCAA record for completion percentage, but they need to be more dangerous in the passing game to make a serious run in the SEC. Enter highly-touted true freshman Jacob Eason who by all accounts looked great in the spring game going 19-24 for 244 yards and a TD. Fans are excited. He could be the real deal.

A huge question mark entering the season is the health of star RB Nick Chubb who ran for over 1,500 yards in 2014, had 747 yards in just five games last season, and then suffered a serious knee injury. It appears that his recovery is going well but it is unclear how explosive he will be when and if he returns. They have 1,000 yard RB Sony Michel back and are probably fine when it comes to depth at the position. The Bulldogs have some young talent to work with at WR and new OC Jim Chaney likes to get the TEs involved.

A big win for the Bulldogs was grabbing ace OL coach Sam Pittman from Arkansas. If the OL can gel quickly – and Eason provides the dangerous passing game they have been lacking – there is big-time upside for the Georgia offense.

DEFENSE

The defensive roster is chalk full of young talent – but the inexperience in the front 7 is a concern. Among the losses is leading tackler and team MVP Jake Ganus. HC Kirby Smart did a great job with Alabama’s defense and will likely get this unit performing well in short-order.

The secondary returns all four starters and all they did last year was lead the NCAA in fewest passing yards allowed per game while finishing 7th in pass efficiency defense. Now while it is true that they did not face a murderer’s row of QBs in 2015 – the reality is that the slate of opposing QBs looks pretty average again in 2016 – not to mention the fact that Georgia managed to play great pass defense while only recording 21 sacks. Who knows how good they can be this year if they find a way to put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks?

SPECIAL TEAMS

The return game should be very good. PR Isaiah MacKenzie is an absolute WEAPON returning punts. The big worry here is at PK where MEGALOCKS SEC INSIDERS advised us that we could have a fiasco in the making. They knew going into the season that this could be a trouble spot and the spring game did nothing to alleviate that concern.

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          5.0

MEGALOCKS says:

Excitement is in the air. An SEC record 93,000 fans at the spring game proves that point. Georgia has the raw talent to win 10 or more games this season. The schedule is also very manageable. In particular, November looks relatively soft – at Kentucky, Auburn, ULL and Georgia Tech. Georgia could really be sitting pretty heading into that stretch if they can find a way to win some tough games in September and October.

Overall, we give the BULLDOGS a 5.0 ATS Value Rating (Average) this season. It is hard to think of many teams with more questions – AND more potential – heading into the 2016 season. The sweeping changes and inexperience make it tough to predict how Georgia may fare this season ATS. When you add to the mix the questionable health of star RB Nick Chubb, we think the best idea is to watch the Bulldogs for a few weeks before backing or fading them against the number.

 

Want more Georgia Bulldogs football?

 

Website    

http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-footbl/geo-m-footbl-body.html

Forum      

http://georgia.247sports.com/Board/Georgia-Bulldogs-Message-Board-Forum-19

http://www.scout.com/college/georgia/forums/1073-dawgpost

http://www.secrant.com/rant/uga-sports/

News   

http://thedawgbone.com/

http://www.dawgsports.com/

http://bleacherreport.com/georgia-bulldogs-football

Twitter     

https://twitter.com/FootballUGA             (@FootballUGA)                 #CommitToTheG

https://twitter.com/RadiNabulsi               (@RadiNabulsi)                  Radi Nabulsi

https://twitter.com/SethEmersonAJC       (@SethEmersonAJC)         Seth Emerson

https://twitter.com/marcweiszer              (@marcweiszer)                Marc Weiszer

 

 

 

LSU Tigers 2016 NCAA Football Preview

LSU Tigers 2016 NCAA Football Preview

LSU TIGERS                                                                                  

Southeastern Conference – West Division

 

2015 Record – 9-3

ATS – 5-6-1

 

MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

West Division #1

Conference #1

 

2015 Recap

LSU took a 7-0 record into their game with Alabama last season and just had no answer for the Tide running game. That kick-started a three-game losing streak but losing to Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss is no disgrace. LSU pulverized Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl and finish up 9-3. LSU has won at least eight games every year for the last 10 seasons but expectations are always high in Baton Rouge. They look loaded heading into 2016.

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

Brandon Harris returns at QB this season and has a ton of talent to work with on offense. You can start with perhaps the best RB in all of college football in RB Leonard Fournette who is an absolute beast and certainly headed to the NFL after this season. There is even depth in the RB unit and they will be an absolute handful for opposing defenses. The offensive line loses a couple of starters but should be rock solid. If teams load up to stop the running game they have a pair of scary WR in Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre who both averaged over 16 yards per catch last season. These guys should be fun to watch and are probably a National Championship caliber offense if Harris takes a small step forward this season.

JUGGERNAUT ALERT – This one is too easy. We prefer to find under-the-radar players for these alerts but it would be an insult to not call out Leonard Fournette in this spot. We will note the stats for the record – 1,953 yards and 22 TDs on the ground while averaging 6.5 yards a pop. He also caught another 19 balls for 253 and a score. The real WOW factor though is tuning in and watching the man run. Fournette is must-see TV every week and while he may not put up 1,900 yards again due to the depth behind him it sure will be fun to watch.

DEFENSE

LSU allowed a very un-LSU-like 24 points per game last season and well over 200 yards per game through the air. The Tigers hired heralded Wisconsin DC Dave Aranda to help turn things around and he will have the pleasure of deploying defensive stars all over the field. Nine starters return to a unit that features a solid front 7 and perhaps the most talented secondary in the NCAA. We think the defense will have the best season since the almost impossibly-good 2011 unit.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Tigers need to be better in this area in 2016. For starters, LSU was ranked 12th in the SEC in net punting and dead last in punt return defense. The FG kicking and return game was average overall. LSU typically gets better performance from their special teams and time will tell if they get it done this season. Always need to see it to believe it.

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          7.0

MEGALOCKS says…

It is all set up for LSU to make a run at the National Championship. They look fantastic on paper and the schedule works out in their favor as well. Typically, we do not put as much stock as others in whether key games are at home or on the road, but this team will welcome getting both Ole Miss and Alabama at home this season. Any way you slice it though you still have to beat Alabama.

Overall, we give the TIGERS a 7.0 ATS Value Rating (Good) this season. LSU has had only two winning seasons ATS in the last 10 years. They were 7-6 in 2014 and had 10 wins against the number in the near-magical 2011 season in which they lost the rematch vs Alabama in the BCS Championship game. This looks like a special LSU team. If they start the season red-hot the point spreads may get a little too high for our liking but we think that this team is good enough to really put the hammer down and be a money-maker this season.

 

Want more LSU Tigers football?

Home Page

http://www.lsusports.net/SportSelect.dbml?&&DB_OEM_ID=5200&SPID=2164&SPSID=27815

Forum

http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/lsu-sports/

http://lsu.247sports.com/Board/LSU-Football-Message-Board-Forums-59425

https://lsu.forums.rivals.com/forums/the-tiger-den.18/?prefix_id=12

http://www.tigerfan.com/forums/the-tigers-den.5/

News

http://www.andthevalleyshook.com/

http://bleacherreport.com/lsu-football

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http://www.nola.com/lsu/

http://theadvocate.com/sports/lsu/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/LSUfootball           (@LSUfootball)     

https://twitter.com/RossDellenger     (@RossDellenger)          Ross Dellenger

https://twitter.com/LSUBeatTweet     (@LSUBeatTweet)         Glenn Guilbeau

 

 

Mississippi St Bulldogs 2016 NCAA Football Preview

Mississippi St Bulldogs 2016 NCAA Football Preview

MISSISSIPPI ST BULLDOGS

Southeastern Conference – West Division

 

2015 Record – 9-4

ATS – 8-5

 

2016 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

West Division #7

Conference #10

 

2015 Recap

The Bulldogs finished up strong in QB Dak Prescott’s final season in Starkville with a 9-win season and a blowout win over NC State in the Belk Bowl. In one sense you can call it a disappointment since they lost to LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss – but they had a very inexperienced team last season – and HC Dan Mullen did another fine job. That’s six straight winning seasons and four bowl victories since 2010.

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

We might as well start at QB. The Bulldogs have a number of options to choose from and it does not appear that anything was decided in the spring. Nick Fitzgerald got some limited playing time last season and is probably the front-runner for the job. Regardless, this is a huge question mark heading into 2016. Brandon Holloway is the leading returning rusher but he is only 5-8 165 and doubt he can sustain a full season of punishment. The offensive line did not perform well last season (12th in SEC in rushing, 10th in sacks allowed) and they only return three starters this season. We do not have much optimism for the running game and that is going to be a problem. WR Fred Ross had a 1,000-yard season and returns for 2016. We do not think it is reasonable to expect anywhere close to the 34 and 37 point per game output from the last two seasons.

DEFENSE

The Bulldogs have fielded a fine defense the past six seasons regardless of the number of returning starters. This year they have six starters back but lose their excellent DC Manny Diaz. The defense looks to be in good shape once again in 2016 but they need to find a way to generate more turnovers. Mississippi St was last in the SEC last season forcing only 14 takeaways. We should be able to count on the Bulldogs getting to the opposing QB (30 sacks in 2015) as they return their top two sack leaders and are experienced on the defensive line.

SPECIAL TEAMS

This unit appears to be in great shape. All the key players return in 2016 including PK Westin Graves (15/18 FG) and dangerous return specialists.

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          4.5

MEGALOCKS says:

Mississippi St’s schedule sets up well for them to lay a foundation before taking on the toughest part of their schedule in November. They travel to LSU in week three but all things considered do not have another killer game until a road test at Alabama late in the season.

Overall, we give the BULLDOGS a 4.5 ATS Value Rating (Below Average) this season. Since Dan Mullen arrived as HC in 2009 the WORST ATS season for Mississippi St is 6-7. As many changes as the Bulldogs have on offense it would be easy to call for a poor season against the number but we just can’t do it. Mississippi St appears to be strong enough on defense and special teams to be right around the .500 mark again ATS despite the pressing questions on offense.

 

Want more Mississippi St football?

 

Website       

http://www.hailstate.com/index.aspx?path=football

Forum

http://www.secrant.com/rant/mississippi-st-sports/

http://forums.sixpackspeak.com/

http://www.elitedawgs.com/forum.php

http://www.scout.com/college/mississippi-state/forums/1570-sports

http://mississippistate.247sports.com/Board/

News    

http://www.clarionledger.com/sports/mississippi-state/

http://bleacherreport.com/mississippi-state-football

https://maroonandwhitenation.com/category/football/

http://www.forwhomthecowbelltolls.com/

Twitter     

https://twitter.com/HailStateFB            (@HailStateFB)

https://twitter.com/MikeBBonner        (@MikeBBonner)           Michael Bonner

 

 

Missouri Tigers 2016 NCAA Football Preview

Missouri Tigers 2016 NCAA Football Preview

MISSOURI TIGERS

Southeastern Conference – East Division

 

2015 Record – 5-7

ATS – 3-9

 

2016 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

East Division #4 (Tie)

Conference #11 (Tie)

 

2015 Recap

Well that escalated quickly. After consecutive seasons in the SEC Title Game the Tigers fell almost completely off the map with a 5-7 season and an offense that was pretty offensive. They went three straight games in the middle of the season without scoring a TD and followed that up by scoring 11 points in the last two games combined. Now to be fair, the defense played incredibly well, especially considering they were on the field for an eternity every game. Barry Odom takes over as HC for 2016.

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

Last season was Exhibit A in terms of what an offense looks like when you cannot block anybody. This year the Tigers have one of the most inexperienced offensive lines in all of college football. When you combine that with a young QB and no returning receiver who recorded over 350 yards in 2015, it is not hard to imagine tough sledding ahead.

If indeed the Tigers struggle to run the ball once again this season there is going to be a lot of pressure on QB Drew Lock to move the chains. Hopefully, new OC Josh Heupel can get the most out of Lock’s natural ability.

DEFENSE

The Tigers lose star LB Kentrell Brothers but return a lot of really good players to the defense in 2016. They appear loaded from the defensive line all the way to the secondary. Missouri was ranked 6th in the FBS in total defense and 2nd in tackles for loss. They only managed 28 sacks (44 and 41 previous two seasons) but that was due in large part to opponents not needing to throw the ball as often. The defense looks to be really good again this season and should be able to keep them in most games.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Missouri boasts an excellent punter in Corey Fatony but unfortunately loses their reliable PK Andrew Baggett who finished up his career at Missouri just eight points shy of the Tigers’ all-time scoring record (Jeff Wolfert). The return game was nothing special last season and hopefully they can find more explosive plays in this area in 2016.

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          4.0

MEGALOCKS says:

The Tigers are going to have to be considered as a play ATS most weeks just based on the quality of the defense they can put on the field. Of course anyone that remembers the weekly DEBACLE on offense last season is going to be hard pressed to back Missouri in 2016. That introduces the possibility of value.

Overall, we give the TIGERS a 4.0 ATS Value Rating (Below Average) this season. If the offense surprises significantly to the upside our prediction is going to look foolish. However, the rebuild on the offensive line and the new coaching faces across the board make us think it will be a tall order to finish with an ATS record over .500. The best play is probably to look for scenarios where they are catching a lot of points as an underdog.

 

Want more Missouri Tigers football?

 

Website    

http://www.mutigers.com/index.aspx?path=football

Forum  

http://www.secrant.com/rant/mizzou-sports/

http://tigerboard.com/boards/list.php?board=2

https://missouri.forums.rivals.com/

http://interact.stltoday.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=13

News           

http://www.rockmnation.com/

http://bleacherreport.com/missouri-tigers-football

http://www.columbiatribune.com/sports/mu_football/

http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/sec/university-of-missouri/

Twitter     

https://twitter.com/MizzouFootball          (@MizzouFootball)       #Mizzou

https://twitter.com/Dave_Matter              (@Dave_Matter)           Dave Matter

https://twitter.com/RockMNation             (@RockMNation)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mississippi Rebels 2016 NCAA Football Preview

Mississippi Rebels 2016 NCAA Football Preview

MISSISSIPPI REBELS

Southeastern Conference – West Division

 

2015 Record – 10-3

ATS – 9-4

 

2016 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

West Division #3

Conference #4

 

2015 Recap

The Rebels started out with a bang last season beating Alabama for the second year in a row which put them in the driver’s seat in the SEC West. They were upset on the road at Florida and at Memphis but were still in position to make the SEC Title game until a fourth down and forever miracle by the Razorbacks helped propel the Hogs to a 53-52 OT win. That was easily one of the most entertaining games of the year, but sadly for Ole Miss, it was their second conference loss which opened the door for Alabama. After the TCU beat down in the 2014 Peach Bowl we were very impressed by the way the Rebels handled business in the Sugar Bowl beating Oklahoma St 48-20.

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

Ole Miss is in transition this season on offense. The leading rusher and receiver from 2015 have departed and the offensive line needs to be rebuilt. They have one of the most inexperienced lines in the SEC and that is our number one concern with this squad. We also wonder whether or not there is an SEC-caliber RB that can carry the load.

QB Chad Kelly was outstanding last season for the Rebels (over 4,000 yards passing, 31 TD) but it will be interesting to see what he can do with new weapons and an offensive line that will likely struggle a bit early in the season. We can see this offense dropping to 30 points a game from the 40.8 they averaged in 2015.

DEFENSE

Only five starters return to a unit that gave up 386 yards per game in 2015 (9th in SEC total defense) and the “Land Shark” defense certainly had their ugly moments last year getting shredded by decent passing teams. Part of the problem has been getting to the QB – they have not registered 30 sacks in a season since 2012 (38) and have ranked only 8th, 8th and 12th the past three season in sacks per game in the SEC. The good news is that DE Marquis Haynes is back and he led the Rebels last season with 10 sacks and was 4th in the SEC in total TFL per game. The run defense was very good in 2015 and should be just as impressive in 2016. The secondary is still a worry for us but overall we think this defense is going to show some improvement.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Rebels look to be in good shape in the kicking game with their starting PK and P returning this year. They were atrocious in the return game last season – LAST in the SEC in punt return average and next to LAST in kickoff return average. That has to get a whole lot better in 2016 and we will be interested to see if they can find some weapons during the summer camp.

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          4.0

MEGALOCKS says:

There are a lot of question marks with this Rebels squad. The front 7 on defense should be very good but we think it is going to take some time for the offense to get rolling with all the personnel changes. Yes, Chad Kelly proved that he is a really good QB last season but he is not going to have the supporting cast he had in 2015. Playing Florida St, Alabama and Georgia before the end of September is not going to help a team trying to work in a lot of new faces.

Overall, we give the REBELS 4.0 ATS Value Rating (Below Average) this season. Hugh Freeze has been a point spread covering machine since he arrived at Ole Miss with a phenomenal 33-18-1 ATS record (65%) over four seasons in all games regardless of location. In light of this fact, it seems foolish to even think that the Rebels will not find a way to surprise ATS in 2016, but we feel this may be a year to expect a point spread regression from the Rebels.

 

Want more Ole Miss Rebels football?

 

Website           

http://www.olemisssports.com/sports/m-footbl/ole-m-footbl-body.html

Forum      

http://olemiss.247sports.com/Board/Ole-Miss-Rebels-Message-Board-Forum-59412

http://www.secrant.com/rant/ole-miss-sports/

http://www.scout.com/college/ole-miss/forums/1103-ole-miss-insiders

https://olemiss.forums.rivals.com/forums/the-grove.16/

News   

http://www.clarionledger.com/sports/ole-miss/

http://www.redcuprebellion.com/

http://bleacherreport.com/ole-miss-football

http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/teams/mississippi-rebels

Twitter                

https://twitter.com/OleMissFB              (@OleMissFB)

https://twitter.com/DanielPaulling       (@DanielPaulling)                  Daniel Paulling

https://twitter.com/HKellenbergerCL   (@HKellenbergerCL)             Hugh Kellenberger

 

 

 

South Carolina Gamecocks 2016 NCAA Football Preview

South Carolina Gamecocks 2016 NCAA Football Preview

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS

Southeastern Conference – East Division

 

2015 Record – 3-9

ATS – 6-6

 

2016 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

East Division #7

Conference #14

 

2015 Recap

The season started with a home win over North Carolina. Yes, they were outgained in that contest and needed a late interception to seal the win, but in hindsight that was a quality victory. Things unraveled very quickly after that and coaching legend Steve Spurrier resigned in October. The Gamecocks played some decent football down the stretch losing close games to Texas A&M, Tennessee and Clemson. However, they did find a way to lose to The Citadel in November. Bottom line, speaking as a die-hard college football fan, it is sad to see Spurrier out of the game. Enter HC Will Muschamp. A new chapter begins.

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

The competition at QB is between freshman Brandon McIlwain and senior Perry Orth who had a significant amount of playing time last season. Nothing was officially decided during the spring but it appears a near certainty that McIlwain will take the controls at some point this season. Maybe even in week one. Overall, the offense has a lot of question marks. How soon can the offensive line gel? Who are the best options at RB? Are the WRs going to be effective after losing star Pharoh Cooper? Last season South Carolina was ranked 11th in the SEC in total offense and we think they will struggle to beat that ranking this season.

DEFENSE

New HC Will Muschamp has a track record of doing fine work with defenses. Muschamp and DC Travaris Robinson have a lot of work to do, particularly since leading tackler from last season Skai Moore will be unable to play this season due to a neck injury. South Carolina was ranked dead last in the SEC in total defense and they could only register 20 sacks. It is going to take some time to get this unit to perform at a competitive level.

SPECIAL TEAMS

This should be an area of strength for South Carolina. Excellent punter Sean Kelly returns this season as does PK Elliott Fry. The kick return game was very good in 2015 and Rashad Fenton (26.1, 1 TD) is back while a new punter returner will need to be found. 

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          1.5

MEGALOCKS says

It was not too long ago that South Carolina put together THREE 11-win seasons in a row (2011-2013). New HC Will Muschamp, as well as Gamecock football fans, are going to have to be patient as the program reloads. No doubt we will see some classic Muschamp scowls on the sidelines in 2016.

Overall, we give the GAMECOCKS a 1.5 ATS Value Rating (Avoid) this season. There are so many unknowns with this squad heading into the season, both on offense and defense, that is makes the most sense to us to avoid backing South Carolina until we see them emerge with a reliable identity. Give it some time.

 

Want more South Carolina football?

 

Website  

http://www.gamecocksonline.com/sports/m-footbl/scar-m-footbl-body.html

Forum                  

http://www.cockytalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=27

http://gamecocknation.net/forum/2-gamecock-nation/

http://southcarolina.247sports.com/Board

https://southcarolina.forums.rivals.com/forums/fighting-gamecocks-forum.10/

http://www.secrant.com/rant/gamecock-sports/

News

http://www.garnetandblackattack.com/

http://bleacherreport.com/south-carolina-football

http://www.thestate.com/sports/college/university-of-south-carolina/

http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/teams/south-carolina-gamecocks

Twitter       

https://twitter.com/GamecockFB               (@GamecockFB)

https://twitter.com/DCTheState                 (@DCTheState)             David Cloninger

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee Volunteers 2016 NCAA Football Preview

Tennessee Volunteers 2016 NCAA Football Preview

TENNESSSEE VOLUNTEERS

Southeastern Conference – East Division

 

2015 Record – 9-4

ATS – 8-5

 

2016 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

East Division #1

Conference #3

 

2015 Recap

Tennessee had one the most impressive seasons that a 9-4 team could put together. They lost three games to very good teams that easily could have been wins (Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas) and gave the eventual National Champion Alabama squad all they could handle in a 19-14 loss on the road. They finished up with six straight victories and a demolition of Northwestern in the Outback Bowl and enter 2016 with confidence and momentum.

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

QB Joshua Dobbs returns to the controls of an offense that could be scary this season. Dobbs accounted for 26 TDs last season (15 passing, 11 rushing) and has plenty of young receivers around to put up some big numbers in the passing game. That is going to be the wild card this season on offense. The Volunteers were 9th in the SEC in passing offense in 2015 and they need to get some production this season out of the young and talented receiving corps. The running game should be crazy-good. RB Jalen Hurd is a load to bring down and he had 1,288 yards rushing last season including 400 in their last three games. There is depth behind Hurd and a fantastic offensive line that paved the way for 224 yards rushing per game in 2015.

DEFENSE

The Volunteers were ranked mid-pack in total defense in the SEC last season but did a lot of good things. They were excellent in 3rd down conversion defense (ranked #1 in the SEC, #2 in FBS) and were efficient defending the pass. They had a couple of late-game meltdowns but did a fine job overall allowing only 20 points per game. This season 8 starters return to a unit loaded with talent and this just might be the season that it all comes together.

JUGGERNAUT ALERT – DE Derek Barnett led the team with 10 sacks last season and MEGALOCKS INSIDERS will tell you that he got better as the season went on recording at least one sack in seven of the last eight games. The defense has a lot of really good players that need to be accounted for and we see Barnett having a huge season.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The return specialists are FANTASTIC. KR Evan Berry had an EYE-POPPING 38.3 yards per return last season with 3 TDs. Berry’s return average was close to setting an all-time FBS record.  Cameron Sutton was just as dangerous returning punts leading the county in punt return average (18.7) while picking up a couple of TDs. Both return men are back along with their PK and P combination so this unit should be absolute gold in 2016.

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          8.5

MEGALOCKS says:

The Volunteers’ schedule is front-loaded with most of their difficult games on the docket by the middle of October. If they can get to the home game vs Alabama on Oct 15th at 6-0 there is potential for a really special season. Now you might be worried about their ability to close out games after watching them last season BUT they also had a 24-3 deficit vs Georgia and pulled that one out of the fire.

Overall, we give the VOLUNTEERS an 8.5 ATS Value Rating (Very Good) this season. We just love the look of this squad. We did not rate them closer to the max because they are going to be asked to cover some large point spreads which is never easy. Butch Jones improved the win-loss record AND the ATS record in 2014 and 2015. We predict a money-making season for Tennessee ATS this year.

 

Want more Tennessee football?

 

Website        

http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-footbl/tenn-m-footbl-body.html

Forum   

http://www.volnation.com/forum/tennessee-vols-football/

http://www.scout.com/college/tennessee/forums/1372-rocky-top-board

http://tennessee.247sports.com/Board/

http://www.secrant.com/rant/tennessee-sports/

News   

http://www.knoxnews.com/sports/vols/football/

http://www.volnation.com/

http://www.rockytoptalk.com/

http://bleacherreport.com/tennessee-volunteers-football

Twitter          

https://twitter.com/Vol_Football           (@Vol_Football)

https://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32       (@MikeGriffith32)      Mike Griffith ‏

 

 

 

Texas A&M Aggies 2016 NCAA Football Preview

Texas A&M Aggies 2016 NCAA Football Preview

TEXAS A&M AGGIES

Southeastern Conference – West Division

 

2015 Record – 8-5

ATS – 4-8-1

 

2016 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

West Division #4

Conference #7

 

2015 Recap

The Aggies’ QB mess finally caught up with them down the stretch. Whether it was discontent with the coaching, frustration over playing time, injuries or poor performance, it doesn’t matter right now. They still managed to win 8 games on the season and only lost to Louisville 27-21 in the Music City Bowl despite being down to their 3rd string QB. The defense was sneaky good last year and in our opinion prevented a total meltdown.

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

Oklahoma transfer Trevor Knight won the starting QB job during the spring and the potential is definitely there for a really big year. There are a bunch of explosive options at WR and if the offensive line can do a decent job in pass protection Knight is going to do some damage to opposing pass defenses. The offensive line is our prime concern on this team as they are coming off a season in which they allowed 37 sacks and they only return two starters from last season’s unit. Leading rusher from 2015 Tra Carson (1,100-yard season) departs and it is not clear who the main option will be in the backfield. Overall, there is a lot of talent but some question marks to begin the season.

JUGGERNAUT ALERT – WR/PR/KR Christian Kirk had a phenomenal freshman season. Kirk had a 1,000-yard season receiving with 7 TDs and added a couple of TDs on punt returns. In fact, he averaged over TWENTY yards per punt return (14-341 24.4 2 TD) and was only a couple of returns away from officially qualifying on top of the FBS leaderboard. We look for Kirk to have another big season with Trevor Knight at the controls and have to believe he will be just as dangerous on punt returns in 2016.

DEFENSE

New DC John Chavis did a fine job with the Aggies last season. They improved by 6 points and over 70 yards per game in 2015, and while they still had trouble stopping the run, the pass defense was really good allowing only 10 TD passes and ranking 18th in the NCAA in passing efficiency defense. They also registered 34 sacks and the top two sack leaders from last season are back including 1st Team AA DE Myles Garrett (12.5). Texas A&M has the talent and size up front to be a very good defense and they return three starters in the secondary. They could take another step forward this season.

SPECIAL TEAMS

A good news and bad news scenario for the Aggies this season. It is never easy to replace your P and PK especially when the guy who made 10 FGs from 40+ yards is gone. Christian Kirk is a game changer returning punts and we have confidence they find a good option to return kickoffs.

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          6.0

MEGALOCKS says:

The schedule is not easy to start the season. However, if the Aggies can beat UCLA at home in the opener and get on a roll they just might be able to make things interesting in the SEC West. The defense is at least a notch below the elite of the SEC but it is good enough to help win a lot of games if the offensive line plays well and they can find some kind of running game.

Overall, we give the AGGIES a 6.0 ATS Value Rating (Above Average) this season. We really like the look of their defense and think it gives them a good chance to outperform ATS expectations in 2016. The problem with being too optimistic is that the Aggies are 13-25-1 ATS (34%) the past three seasons and we are not crazy about consistently backing a team that catches a lot of attention. With Trevor Knight at QB, a high-scoring offense and a high-profile HC, it may be hard to find value with Texas A&M on a regular basis. However, we do think the trend of losing seasons against the number will end this year.

 

Want more Texas A&M football?

 

Website              

http://www.12thman.com/index.aspx?path=football

Forum           

http://texags.com/forums/5

http://www.secrant.com/rant/texas-a-m-sports/

http://tamu.247sports.com/Board/Texas-AM-Aggies-Forum-20

http://www.scout.com/college/texas-am/forums/2639-aggie-sports-forum

http://www.agtimes.com/boards/viewforum.php?f=1

News

http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/texas-aggies

http://bleacherreport.com/texas-am-football

http://thedawgbone.com/

http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/teams/texas-a-m-aggies

http://www.goodbullhunting.com/?_ga=1.26019001.54892133.1466463567

Twitter              

https://twitter.com/AggieFootball             (@AggieFootball)

https://twitter.com/aggiefblife                   (@aggiefblife)

https://twitter.com/GBHunting                  (@GBHunting)

https://twitter.com/BrentZwerneman       (@BrentZwerneman)      Brent Zwerneman

 

 

Air Force Falcons 2016 NCAA Football Preview

Air Force Falcons 2016 NCAA Football Preview

AIR FORCE FALCONS

Mountain West – Mountain Division

 

2015 Record – 8-6

ATS – 8-5-1

 

2016 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

Mountain Division #2

Conference #3

 

2015 Recap

The Falcons had a fine season last year – although it did end on a downward note. They came within a FG of winning their first conference title since 1998 (WAC) losing 27-24 to a very good San Diego St team. They were outmatched by the passing game of California in the Armed Forces Bowl – but still managed to win 8 games on the season. Their losses? In addition to the two games previously noted – every loss was to a bowl team – including losses at Michigan St and Navy. They provided nice value ATS despite coming off a 10-win season running their 2-year total to 16-10-1 (61.5%).

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

The Falcons look pretty loaded. Romine returns at QB after missing most of last season with an injury. The RB corps is deep and talented. WR Jalen Robinette needs 665 yards to become the school’s all-time leader. Last year he had 641 yards averaging almost 25 yards a pop – and with that outstanding running game drawing plenty of attention – he should hit plenty of big plays in 2016. Their OL is a bit less experienced but should have another fine unit. They do not pass very often – but when they do – they do not get sacked (2015 #1 NCAA sacks allowed – 3).

JUGGERNAUT ALERT – RB Tim McVey had 13 TDs last year (9 rushing, 4 receiving) and was a big play waiting to happen – 8.3 yards per carry and over 30 yards per catch on 10 receptions.  Keep in mind he only had 16 rushing attempts and no receptions at the end of October last year so we expect an exciting and productive season out of McVey in 2016 providing he can remain healthy.

DEFENSE

The Falcons’ D was sneaky good once again in 2015. They were ranked 32nd overall in total defense and the last two years have been solid. Points allowed (25.5, 24.2) Rushing yards allowed (145, 136) Defensive completion % (53% 55%) – and most impressive of all – 73 SACKS the last 2 years (37,36). Now that is a statistic that jumps off the page. They lose sack leader Alex Hansen but return a lot of players who have proven they can get to the QB. They appear strong again at all three levels of the defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Air Force returns Luke Strebel at PK and he hit 10-11 including 5-5 from 40+ yards last year. P remains a question mark (2015 – 12th in net punting MWC) and the return game and return defense was pretty mediocre outside of a 75-yard PR by Garrett Brown last year.

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          8.0

MEGALOCKS says:

The 2016 season should prove to be a successful one for the Falcons. They run a very efficient and productive offense. They are disciplined – ranked 4th and 3rd the last two seasons in # of penalties / game.  Suddenly red-hot at home – a school record 12 straight wins. There is also plenty of experience coming back this season. However, we believe that the driving force in 2016 will be motivation.

Now certainly, Air Force does not need to be told about motivation – but they must have a somewhat bitter taste in their mouths after the 2015 season. They were beaten soundly by Navy. Lost a close one in the Conference Title Game to San Diego St. Then were torn apart by a premium passing offense in their bowl game – all without their leading tackler Weston Steelhammer – who was ejected on a borderline targeting call early in the first quarter. In any event – the last thing Air Force remembers is getting torched for by future-NFL starter Jared Goff for a California school bowl record 467 yards – a record formerly held by some dude named Aaron Rodgers.

When you add discipline – to motivation – and sprinkle in an easy schedule – We see a lot of upside for Air Force this season. What could go wrong? Well we are not sure about the depth at QB and goodness knows they take some punishment. They are also a combined -21 in turnover margin the last 5 seasons (were +27 the two prior seasons) and it would help them a great deal if they could play just a little bit cleaner in that regard in 2016.

Overall, we give the FALCONS an 8.0 ATS Value Rating (Very Good) this season. The rating could have been made higher but we have some concerns. It is hard to put three impressive ATS seasons together in a row. As noted earlier, they are on a 16-10-1 run (8-5-1, 8-5) and bettors should be locked in to the quality of this team. Once they get rolling past the Utah St and Navy games and start drilling people the value may evaporate. Get ‘em early, folks.

 

Want more Air Force Football?

 

Website      

http://www.goairforcefalcons.com/sports/m-footbl/afa-m-footbl-body.html

Forum      

http://www.scout.com/college/air-force/forums/1553-air-force-academy-falcons-football

News           

http://gazette.com/sports/air-force-academy

http://ricksfalconreview.blogspot.ca/

Twitter     

https://twitter.com/AFFootball                 (@AFFootball)               #WeFlyTogether

https://twitter.com/BrentBriggeman      (@BrentBriggeman)     Brent Briggeman

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utah St Aggies 2016 NCAA Football Preview

Utah St Aggies 2016 NCAA Football Preview

UTAH ST AGGIES       

Mountain West Conference – Mountain Division

 

2015 Record – 6-7

ATS – 5-8

 

2016 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating Rank

Mountain Division #3

Conference #6

 

2015 Recap

Utah St was upset by Akron in the Idaho Potato Bowl which gave the Aggies their first losing season (6-7) since 2010. They have been on quite a roll and HC Matt Wells has a 25-16 record in three seasons with Utah St. Fans have to be happy with five straight bowl appearances (3 wins) after going 14-46 (!!) the five seasons previous to their bowl run. The highlight of season was a 52-26 throttling of Boise St which was facilitated by a +7 turnover margin.

 

2016 Preview

OFFENSE

Utah St was 9th in the Mountain West last season in total offense and hopefully a full season from QB Kent Myers will get this offense moving in the right direction. Myers will be a definite upgrade from the injured Chuckie Keeton that tried to make a go of it last season. The Aggies have a fine RB in Devante Mays who nearly hit the 1,000-yard plateau and the offensive line looks to be solid once again. We will have to keep an eye on the WR corps as nobody returns that had over 300 yards receiving (TE Wyatt Houston had 307). We are still unsure how explosive this offense can be in 2016.

DEFENSE

Utah St returns only 3 starters from a defense that was ranked 17th in the NCAA allowing just 332 yards per game. The Aggies’ defense struggled in the red zone (ranked 10th in the conference) which is one reason why they gave up over 26 points a game (NCAA rank 61st) after allowing less than TWENTY each of the previous three seasons. The front seven is a big question mark this season as the LB core loses all FOUR starters including star and 3rd round NFL draft pick Nick Vigil and his 144 tackles. Utah St has surprised recently with their ability to reload on defense but it is going to be very difficult to match last year’s ranking given the players lost and the difficult schedule that lies ahead. The good news is that the secondary appears to be solid with two starters back including CB Jalen Davis.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Aggies’ unit looks like it should be fine across the board. The return game returns both guys from last year and they also bring back their punter. The only concern may be PK Jake Thompson who takes over full time duties after hitting 3/6 FGs last season in part-time duty (long 52).

 

MEGALOCKS ATS Value Rating (10)          3.5

MEGALOCKS says:

The Aggies have their work cut out for them this season in the attempt to return to a bowl game. They lose a ton of talent on defense and have a pretty difficult schedule. Road games at USC, Boise and BYU are going to be brutal. They also have games against a loaded Aztecs team and an Air Force squad that looks like a MW Title contender.

 

Overall, we give the AGGIES a 3.5 ATS Value Rating (Below Average) this season. A 25-16 record over the last three seasons is pretty impressive. However, handicappers have started to catch on to Utah St as in the same span they are only 21-20 ATS. There is too much uncertainty surrounding the defense, the big-play ability at WR as well as the lack of depth at QB for us to give them a higher rating. Utah St has won 10 games when down to their 4th QB before but there are going to be problems this season if Myers cannot stay healthy.

 

Want more Utah St Aggies Football?

 

Website   

http://www.utahstateaggies.com/sports/m-footbl/ust-m-footbl-body.html

Forum      

http://www.usufans.com/Forums/viewforum.php?f=4

http://www.scout.com/college/utah-state/forums/2746-sports-forum

News    

http://www.usufans.com/

http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/teams/utah-state-aggies

http://bleacherreport.com/utah-state-football

http://www.deseretnews.com/sports/usu

http://www.sltrib.com/sports/usu/

Twitter     

https://twitter.com/USUFootball             (@USUFootball)

https://twitter.com/sluhm                        (@sluhm)                  Steve Luhm