Wisconsin Badgers 2021 College Football Preview

Wisconsin Badgers 2021 College Football Preview

2020 Recap

Record – 4-3

ATS – 3-4

That wasn’t exactly what we expected from the Badgers, but let’s be honest, they generally put the “E” in EXCELLENT, so we’ll give them a pass for the mediocre 4-3 record. They looked like a legit WRECKING BALL after crushing Michigan (W 49-11) but proceeded to lose their next three (!) games. They took down hated Minnesota in the regular season finale and crushed Wake Forest in the MAYO BOWL to book another winning season.


Wisconsin Badgers 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The Badgers had a tough time getting things going on the ground LY and averaged less than 200 YPG for the first time since 2015 (!). #1 RB Jalen Berger is back for duty and we have to believe he’s ready to become the next great Badgers RB based on what we’ve seen in limited game action. Maybe it’ll be a committee? Time will tell. QB Graham Mertz looks like a keeper but he hit the skids after a hot start LY (61%, 9-5 TD to INT). TE Jake Ferguson is a fantastic target in the THROW GAME but it’s unclear what they have at WR. Danny Davis will be back (hopefully) to lead the way for some unproven youngsters. The OL is almost always elite but they’ll have to deal with the loss of an NFL DC at LT. We expect improved numbers but it’s certainly not an 8000 STAR COVID GULAG MASSACRE LOCK.

DEFENSE

Wisconsin has only allowed 17.5+ PPG once since 2014 (!). That’s a FACT CHECK TRUE. They were rock solid again in 2020 whilst allowing 96 YPG on the ground (#1 Big Ten) and being very stingy vs the pass (#3 Big Ten pass efficiency D). There’s no reason to expect anything less than excellent this year given the return of eight starters and their top-four tacklers. They’ve got good size up front but no proven pass rush ability and recall that the Badgers booked a meager 11 sacks LY (#10 Big Ten sacks per game). Everyone is back at LB and they’re led by Jack Sanborn (#1 tackles) who’s one of the best at his position in the Big Ten. The pass defense has a long history of excellence and three starters return to the back end of the stop unit.

SPECIAL TEAMS

MEH.

We’re not sold on the FGK depth chart (5-8 FG LY) or the punting situation. They were #116 in PR in 2020.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – Their non-conference docket features an interesting match-up with Notre Dame and it’s never easy to take on Army. They miss Ohio St and Michigan from the East and get two of their final three games at home. Things get HOT AND HEAVY early as they face Penn St in the season opener.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Illinois (October 9th)

This comes after a pair of high-intensity games (Irish, Michigan) and note that Illinois managed to SHOCK the WORLD with an upset home win over Wisconsin a few years ago.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes August 17

Over 9.5 -110

Under 9.5 -110

MEGALOCKS says:

No leanage.

Gun to the head (just kidding soy boys, check your bottom surgery bandages and get extra hormone blockers stat) selection would be under. 10 wins feels like the max.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

Per the anti-American scum at Wikipedia, the team nickname originates from the early history of Wisconsin. Prospectors didn’t have shelter in the winter and had to live like “badgers” burrowed into the hillsides.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

Strap it on. It looks like another tough Badgers squad that’s the main contender for the Big Ten West division title. They’re not bullet-proof on paper but the schedule is helpful and, frankly, they just win BABY. Clear favorite in their half of the Big Ten on an annual basis until proven otherwise.


Want more Wisconsin football ?

WEBSITE

https://uwbadgers.com/sports/football

FORUM

https://247sports.com/college/wisconsin/Board/Football-Board-103797/

http://wisconsin.247sports.com/Board/Badgers-Message-Board-23

http://buckyville.yuku.com/forums/1/Badger-Football-Board/Badger-Football-Board#.WYHu4rpFyiM

https://wisconsin.forums.rivals.com/forums/the-badgers-den.6/

NEWS

http://www.buckys5thquarter.com/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/275/wisconsin-badgers

TWITTER

Hashtag – #OnWisconsin

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/BadgerFootball

https://twitter.com/jaypo1961

Minnesota Golden Gophers 2021 College Football Preview

Minnesota Golden Gophers 2021 College Football Preview

Created August 17, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 3-4

ATS – 4-3

Things didn’t start very well as they lost three of their first four contests and even managed to lose to something called Maryland (L 45-44 OT) as three-TD favorites. We give them credit for hanging in there by winning two of their final three games, and they even took the Badgers to OT in the season finale (L 20-17 OT). Not a complete disaster all things considered, yo.


Minnesota Golden Gophers 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The Gophers averaged a TD less per game in 2020 than they did in 2019 but it wasn’t the fault of ALL-MEGALOCKS TEAM member RB Mohamed Ibrahim who was in perpetual BEEEEST MODE (200-1,076, 15 TD). This dood is a treat to watch and one of the best RBs in college football. The THROW GAME took a step back LY and Tanner Morgan was MEH after booking an impressive 2019 campaign (7-5 TD to INT; 30-7 in 2019). They lose #1 NFL DC Rashod Bateman to the NFL but Chris Autman-Bell might be the next big thing (430, 19.5 TD LY). Depth at WR is a question mark as we approach press time. The OL looks to be in great shape with five returning starters and they are yuuuuge. Check out RT Daniel Faaele (6’9 400). There are 182 career starts returning if the great Phil Steele mag is to be believed. We’ll call for improved production in 2021.

DEFENSE

The numbers took a big dive in many respects last year during the truncated scamdemic season. They allowed 109 (!) more YPG and allowed 207 YPG on the ground (#12 Big Ten) after giving up just 122 YPG during their excellent 2019 campaign. Ten starters are back as well as every player that recorded 10 tackles or more in 2020. Also recall that they were much better at the end of last season than they were are the start. The DL should be much better with the addition of Nyles Pinckney (Clemson) to a group that features excellent pass rusher Boye Mafe (4.5 sacks LY, 8 career). The LB is experienced and returns essentially everyone and they’ve gotta be JACKED to get Braelen Oliver back in the mix (3 sacks in 2019, DNP LY). We’re uncertain about the overall quality in the secondary and it’s a kick in the JACOBS to lose CB Benjamin St Juste to the NFL. This looks like an average group overall on paper, but the upside is much higher than the downside.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Gophers made a yuuuge addition in bagging ace PK Matthew Trickett from Kent St (47-57 career FG made) (!) and have a small handful of good-looking options at punter to improve that aspect of their special teams. They could use some additional spice at PR and KR.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – WHOA NELLIE. Things start with a bang as they host Ohio St in the season opener. They have a tricky trip to Colorado in non-conference play. The last three games are tough (at Iowa, at Indiana, Wisconsin).

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Miami Ohio (September 11th)

Tricky sandwich spot as this bad boy follows the Ohio St and Colorado games noted above.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes August 17

Over 7 -110

Under 7 -110

MEGALOCKS says:

No leanage.

That looks about right. We’d lean ‘under 7.5’ and ‘over 6.5’ if those numbers pop up anywhere.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

The battle for PAUL BUNYAN’S AXE (Minnesota / Wisconsin) is the most-played rivalry in the FBS. The axe replaced the first trophy, the SLAB OF BACON, after it disappeared. That’s a FACT CHECK TRUE.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

This has the potential to be a fun season for Gophers fans. Unlike Purdue and CORN, these guys seem to actually have a successful rebuilding process in place. We like the offensive line and the triplets (QB1/WR1/RB1) but worry about the depth. If the defense can surprise there’s no reason to think they can’t be RIGHT THERE heading into the final three games. Let’s go!


Want more Golden Gophers football ?

WEBSITE

https://gophersports.com/sports/football

FORUM

http://www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/forumdisplay.php?2-7-National-Titles-Football-Forum

https://minnesota.forums.rivals.com/forums/inside-gopher-nation.8/

NEWS

http://www.thedailygopher.com/

http://www.gopherhole.com/

http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/135/minnesota-golden-gophers

TWITTER   

Hashtags – #Gophers, #GopherGameDay

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/GopherFootball

Iowa Hawkeyes 2021 College Football Preview

Iowa Hawkeyes 2021 College Football Preview

Created August 16, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 6-2

ATS – 5-3

So close, yet so far.

Iowa was just five (!) points away from an undefeated season and finished the truncated scamdemic year with a fine mark of 6-2. After TRADING PAINT with Purdue and PATS CATS to start things off they rattled off six consecutive wins. The only game that was even a competition was the home game with CORN (W 26-20). Their bowl game was cancelled due to the sniffles and they head into 2021 on a six-game winning streak. Let’s go!


Iowa Hawkeyes 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

It wasn’t too sexy but the Hawkeyes managed to put up 32 PPG whilst maintaining balance between the run (171 YPG) and the THROW GAME (198 YPG). They lose half of their great 1-2 combo at RB but #1 Tyler Goodson is back to lead the unit (762, 5.3, 7 TD) and there’s no doubt Iowa will find a complementary piece. QB Spencer Petras had his ups and downs but was decent overall LY (57%, 9-5 TD to INT). The WR unit is a bit of a BLACK HOLE and they could really use a playmaker or three (#10 Big Ten YPA LY). Losing three starters on the offensive line stings quite a bit but they still have one of the best centers in the country back for duty in Tyler Linderbaum. We forecast a step back in production and worry about the lack of proven playmakers at WR and TE.

DEFENSE

Iowa has allowed fewer than 20.0 PPG for five consecutive seasons (!) and they were fantastic during the shortened 2020 casedemic campaign (#2 Big Ten scoring D, #2 total D). There’s some serious production to be replaced as they lose their #1 tackler and a pair of doods that combined for 11 sacks and 22 TFL in 2020 (Chauncey Golston, Daviyon Nixon). They’re young up front and don’t have a ton of size but DE Zach VanValkenburg is good piece to build around (3.5 sacks LY). Seth Benson (#2 tackler) and Jack Campbell headline a good-looking LB corps and you know they’ll play solid pass defense with the return of four starters including excellent FS Jack Koerner.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The group was awesome LY (#4 Phil Steele special teams ranking) but they’ll need to replace their fine PK Keith Duncan (14/18 FG). Punter Tory Taylor is a weapon (1st Team Big Ten) and they have solid return doods.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The Hawkeyes should be able to take care of Kent St and Colorado St without a problem but the non-conference road game at Iowa St will be a tough one. They miss Ohio St and Michigan from the East but have to face Wisconsin and PATS CATS on the road in back-to-back weeks.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Kent St (September 18th)

Looks like a prime letdown spot as this tilt comes after the Big Ten opener (Indiana) and the aforementioned slugfest with the Cyclones.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes August 16

Over 8.5 +120

Under 8.5 -140

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Under.

They’ll be in a lot of close games. Nine wins would be one impressive regular season.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

Per the fine Lindy’s college football preview…..Iowa is on a 51-6 run when rushing for 100+…..Just 2-15 when they fail to hit that marker.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

This looks like another MEAT GRINDER squad that’ll contend in the competitive Big Ten West division. The offense doesn’t appear to have much PIZZAZZ and they’ll need to rely on the defense (again) to keep things in range, and then pull RABBITS out of the hat. Major contender to make a trip to the Big Ten Conference Championship Game but best guess is that they fall just short.


Want more Iowa football ?

WEBSITE

http://www.hawkeyesports.com/schedule.aspx?path=football

FORUM

https://iowa.forums.rivals.com/forums/iowa-football.26/

http://hawkeyenation.com/forum/index.php?forums/football.6/

http://iowa.247sports.com/Board/Iowa-Hawkeyes-Message-Board-Forum-143

NEWS

http://www.hawkcentral.com/football/

http://www.blackheartgoldpants.com/

http://www.thegazette.com/sports

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/2294/iowa-hawkeyes

TWITTER

Hashtag – #Hawkeyes

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/HawkeyeFootball

https://twitter.com/marcmorehouse

https://twitter.com/MarkEmmert

Nebraska Cornhuskers 2021 College Football Preview

Nebraska Cornhuskers 2021 College Football Preview

2020 Recap

Record – 3-5

ATS – 4-4

The record wasn’t that great but CORN showed quite a bit of STAYING POWER over the course of the year. They pulled a pair of small upsets (Penn St, Purdue) and only lost to the West division champs (PATS CATS) by eight points, and they hung tough vs Iowa on the road (L 26-20). Let’s check in with the program and see what’s up heading into 2021.


Nebraska Cornhuskers 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The Huskers managed a meager 23 PPG LY (#12 Big Ten) whilst possessing a very mediocre THROW GAME (190 YPG, #12 Big Ten). It’s seems impossible but QB Adrian Martinez is back yet again. Backup Luke “Walking Interception” McCaffrey is gone so it’ll be up to AM to stay healthy and put together a good season. Martinez has excellent mobility but a poor 31-20 TD to INT in his career with CORN. #1 WR Wandale Robinson hit the transfer portal and it’s unclear what kind of talent they have in the room. TE Austin Allen leads the team in returning production (yards, receptions). Not a single RB returns that had more than 100Y on the ground LY. Hopefully, USC transfer Markese Stepp can emerge as a legit #1. Don’t sleep on RB Gabe Ervin. The OL did a surprisingly good job LY but they lose a pair of starters to the NFL. They still have plenty of size and should be fine. They’ll be better overall on offense but it’s hard to have too much optimism about a breakout season. They’ll need some young doods to emerge at RB and WR. <grabs popcorn>

DEFENSE

Nebraska wasn’t anything special on defense LY (#9 Big Ten run D, #8 pass efficiency D) and only managed to bag 13 sacks (#9 sacks/game). There’s reason to think the D can be pretty good this year with the return of 10 starters and their top-eight tacklers from a season ago. The DL doesn’t have a proven pass rushing threat but they have a lot of size and should be stronger vs the run. The LB group can RUN TO THE FOOTBALL and note that JoJo Domann led the team in tackles, TFL (T1), and PBU (T1) in 2020. They return three starters on the back end including an excellent CB in Cam Taylor-Britt. This should be a much improved stop unit and our only major concern is finding a way to get after the QB.

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK Connor Culp was a solid 13/15 on FGA LY (1st Team Big Ten) but the punting situation was horrid (#111 FBS net punting). It looks like some AUSSIE MAGIC might be happening at punter (Daniel Cerni) but we’ll wait and see, yo. Cam Taylor-Britt did a good job returning punts in 2020.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The trip to Oklahoma could be BLOODBATH CITY but games vs Buffalo and SE Louisiana are FREE SQUARES. They draw Ohio St and Michigan from the East and must travel to face Wisconsin.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes August 15

Over 6.5 +105

Under 6.5 -125

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Under.

They absolutely have to get off to a fast start given what awaits them in November. Don’t love the under at this price but would really like to go under a rogue ‘7’ if we could find one.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

How good was QB Tommie Frazier? He had a career record of 33-3, won back-to-back national championships (1994, 1995), and led CORN to three consecutive undefeated regular seasons.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

It’s time to CRAP or GET OFF THE POT. HC Scott Frost has a 12-20 record over three seasons with the Huskers and we hope this is the year they turn the corner. It’s not like they play in the SEC West so being in the mix for at least a division title every year (read: Northwestern) doesn’t seem like an unreachable goal. We like the look of the defense and think they’ll be able to run on anyone. The QB situation? A bit dicey. We’ll call for a 6-7 win season and FINALLY a bowl appearance.


Want more Nebraska football ?

WEBSITE

http://www.huskers.com/SportSelect.dbml?SPID=22

FORUM

http://www.huskerboard.com/index.php?/forum/1-husker-football/

https://nebraska.forums.rivals.com/forums/husker-board.12/

https://247sports.com/college/nebraska/Board/Bugeaters-Place-105415/

http://www.scout.com/college/nebraska/forums/4511-bugeaters-place

https://nebraska.forums.rivals.com/forums/red-sea-scrolls.24/

NEWS

http://www.cornnation.com/

http://journalstar.com/sports/huskers/football/

http://www.omaha.com/huskers/football/

http://www.huskermax.com/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/158/nebraska-cornhuskers

https://hailvarsity.com/nebraska-football

TWITTER

Hashtag – #Huskers, #thegoodlife

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/HuskerFBNation

Northwestern Wildcats 2021 College Football Preview

Northwestern Wildcats 2021 College Football Preview

Created August 15, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 7-2

ATS – 8-1

Yes, guy.

PATS CATS rode a 5-0 start that included a pair of SPICY upsets (Iowa, Wisconsin) all the way to another Big Ten West title. They battled Ohio St for as long as they could but ultimately lost a 22-10 SNOT BUBBLER for all the Big Ten marbles. The season ended in fine fashion with a beating of Auburn in the Citrus Bowl (W 35-19).


Northwestern Wildcats 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The Cats averaged fewer than 25 PPG for the third consecutive season LY but did enough to bag a good amount of wins. QB Peyton Ramsey was hit and miss but managed the games and they’ll miss his leadership. South Carolina transfer Ryan Hilinski gets the nod as the starting QB and he had some decent moments with the COCKS of South Carolina. The WR group is a complete mystery as we approach press time and note that no player that booked more than 10 receptions LY returns to the team in 2021. The rushing attack was surprisingly effective LY and saved their bacon. #1 RB Cam Porter is back and they’d love to see him develop into a legit #1 Big Ten back. The depth behind him is sketchy. Three starters return up front but recall that they were #10 in the Big Ten LY in YPC (3.7) (not good) and #4 in the conference in sacks allowed per game (good). Overall, we’re skeptical that they’ll be much better than last season.

DEFENSE

Northwestern put the “S” in STINGY last year and allowed a mere 15.9 PPG (#5 FBS). There’s uncertainty on the horizon given the return of just four starters and the retirement of their excellent DC. The DL should be really good as they have nice size and bring back DE Samdup Miller who DNP LY (7.5 career sacks). There is a major concern at LB where they lose the outstanding duo of Paddy Fisher and Blake Gallagher (top two tacklers, overall BEEEESTS). There are a number of key losses in the secondary including a #1 NFL DC at CB but at least they still have 1st Team Big Ten DB Brandon Joseph in the mix. These guys are always good but they have to take a step backwards in terms of overall production.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Cats return a solid senior kicking combo in punter Derek Adams and PK Charlie Kuhbander (9-12 FG LY) but could use more spice at KR and PR.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The September schedule is promising as they start with a winnable Big Ten game (Michigan St) and have a very soft non-conference docket (Indiana St, Duke, Ohio). They avoid THE Ohio St University in crossover play.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing heinous noted.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes August 15

Over 6.5 +105

Under 6.5 -125

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Over.

We’re not a fan of this team on paper but look at those first six games.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

If you exclude the DEBACLE of 2019 (3-9), PATS CATS have booked a fine mark of 43-19 (!) since 2015.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

You just gotta respect these guys. They never have overwhelming talent but just GIT ER DONE. What about this year? Well, the offense still concerns us, and the defense can’t possibly be as good as what we saw last season. AMIRITE? The schedule is favorable and we’ll call for a 6-7 win season and another bowl appearance. Somehow, some way. 


Want more Northwestern Football ?

WEBSITE

http://www.nusports.com/?path=football

FORUM

https://northwestern.forums.rivals.com/forums/wildcat-football-board.14/

http://northwestern.247sports.com/Board/Northwestern-Wildcats-Message-Board-Forum-59466

NEWS

http://www.insidenu.com/

http://www.hailtopurple.com/index.html

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/77/northwestern-wildcats

TWITTER

Hashtag – #GoCats

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/NUFBFamily

https://twitter.com/insidenu

Purdue Boilermakers 2021 College Football Preview

Purdue Boilermakers 2021 College Football Preview

2020 Recap

Record – 2-4

ATS –1-5

Live by the sword, die by the sword, yo.

The Boilermakers won their first two contests (Iowa, Illinois) in CLOSE SHAVE fashion and then dropped their final four games the exact same way. Every game on the schedule was decided by one score, other than the season finale loss to CORN (L 37-27). It’s tough to learn much from the 2020 scamdemic season but at least they were competitive. On to 2021.


Purdue Boilermakers 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

If HC Jeff Brohm is truly the greatest offensive mind of all time then he’ll figure out a way to get the ground game going. Right? For two straight seasons the Boilers have gained less than 100 YPG (!) with the rushing attack (#124 FBS, #126 in 2019). #1 RB Zander Horvath returns (442, 5.0; 30 receptions) but it’s unclear what kind of depth they have in the room. The good news is that Jack Plummer and Aidan O’Connell both provide legit arms at QB (combined 15-4 TD to INT LY) and they get back their top-two WRs in David Bell and Milton Wright. Losing star WR Rondale Moore is a bummer. Four starters are back up front and they’ll have to step up their game. Bagging guard Tyler Witt from the Hilltoppers should help. There’s potential on offense but they’re likely to be overrated (again).

DEFENSE

Purdue was pretty good vs the run LY (#6 Big Ten) but had trouble defending the pass (#12 Big Ten pass efficiency D, 66%). It didn’t help that they had no ability to get PENETRATION (5 sacks in 6G, last Big Ten sacks per game). Three starters are back up front including DE George Karlaftis who showed promise in 2019 (7.5 sacks), and note that he missed time LY. Hopefully they can get a bit more pressure on the QB as a group. Losing LB Derrick Barnes (#1 tackler) to the NFL stings and it’s unclear how good they’ll be in the middle of the defense. The secondary should be improved with the return of three starters and the addition of DB Jamari Brown from Kentucky. They’ll need assistance from an improved pass rush.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The group was horrible on the whole LY (#120 Phil Steele rankings) and will try a new P and PK in 2021. Yikes.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – They have a sneaky-tough opener with Oregon St (H) and have to travel to South Bend in non-conference action. They draw a road test with Ohio St.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Northwestern (November 20th)

This will be their 3rd road game in four weeks and the Cats can RUN TO THE BALL on defense. Rivalry game with Indiana is on deck.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes August 15

Over 5.5 +105

Under 5.5 -125

MEGALOCKS says:

No leanage.

That looks about right. It feels like a 50/50 shot to gain bowl eligibility.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

Only one of the last NINE Purdue head coaches have booked a winning record. That was the great Joe Tiller (1997-2008, 87-62, .587).


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

It feels like a mixed bag. The THROW GAME should work just fine but we’re still not sure they can be balanced on offense. The defense could be better than we think, particularly up front. The schedule is a bit rough and we’ll call for 5-6 wins.


Want more Purdue football ?

WEBSITE

https://purduesports.com/sports/football

FORUM

https://purdue.forums.rivals.com/forums/free-board-boilermaker-football.24/

http://purdue.247sports.com/Board/Purdue-Boilermakers-Message-Board-Forum-59450

https://purdue.forums.rivals.com/forums/knucklehead-central.22/

NEWS

http://www.hammerandrails.com/

http://www.indystar.com/sports/boilers/

http://www.jconline.com/sports/boilermakers/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/2509/purdue-boilermakers

TWITTER

Hashtag – #BoilerUp

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/BoilerFootball

Illinois Fighting Illini 2021 College Football Preview

Illinois Fighting Illini 2021 College Football Preview

Created August 15, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 2-6

ATS – 3-5

The expectations were low, and they were met. The Illini managed to take down a pair of TOMATO CANS mid-season (Rutgers, Corn) but didn’t do much of anything else in their other games. They finished with a mediocre mark of 2-6 and mercifully move on from the Lovie Smith era. Let’s check in with the team and see what they’ve got cooking heading into 2021.


Illinois Fighting Illini 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The throw game was pretty disgusting LY (153 YPG, dead last Big Ten) and fans were treated to three equally inept guys who attempted between 40 and 80 passes each. They completed just 47% (!) of their passes as a team. Brandon Peters is the best choice to start and they added (of course) another mediocre option by grabbing Art Sitkowski from Rutgers. Former QB Isaiah Williams moves to WR and it’s unclear what else they have to work with at that position. TE Daniel Barker is a good one and he’s the team leader in terms of returning production (receptions and yards). The RB room could be sneaky-good with the return of many capable doods including #1 Chase Brown (540, 3 TD LY) and transfer portal scoop Chase Hayden. Almost 90 starts return up front and they should be decent.

DEFENSE

They weren’t totally awful on defense but still managed to allow every opponent to score 20+ whilst finishing last in the conference in both run D and pass efficiency D. Ok, fine. They were totally awful. Nine starters are back on this side of the football and there’s potential for impovement. DE Owen Carney (5 sacks LY) leads a seasoned DL with good size LB Jake Hansen (10 TFL, #1 tackles) leads a decent-looking group in the middle of the defense. All the starters are back in the secondary and there’s plenty of experience on hand. They were decent in 2019 so maybe there’s hope?

SPECIAL TEAMS

There’s continuity O’PLENTY but they’ve gotta be better. PK James McCourt was just 6-10 on FGA LY (1-4 40+) and they didn’t get much production at KR.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – We’re not in possession of one of Hunter’s CRACK PIPES, but it’s worth noting that there isn’t a single unwinnable game in the first six. They open with CORN at home and get a good draw out of the East (miss Ohio St and Michigan).

Potential ATS Trouble Spot   UTSA (September 4th)

The Roadrunners are a BURGEONING JUGGERNAUT in Conference USA and the Illini could be in letdown mode after the Big Ten season opener should they dispose of CORN.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes August 15

Over 3.5 -150

Under 3.5 +130

MEGALOCKS says:

No leanage.

We can see them winning two or three games in the first half of the year but the 2nd half schedule doesn’t look like too much fun.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

The last time Illinois finished with a winning record was back in 2011 when they finished 7-6 thanks to a win over UCLA in the Fight Hunger Bowl.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

“Here we go again. Again.” <Tugg Speedman> <Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown>

It’s another rebuild, but there’s hope given that HC Bret Bielema has a decent track record (career 97-58). The offense still looks gross, but we expect a much better showing on D, and at least these guys will play tougher. Probably. We’ll give them a year to get settled and can’t expect much until the talent gets better on offense.


Want more Illinois football ?

WEBSITE

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

FORUM

http://www.illinoisloyalty.com/Forums/forumdisplay.php?f=4

https://247sports.com/college/illinois/Board/Football-Fan-Forum-103854/

http://www2.illiniboard.com/forum

NEWS

http://www.thechampaignroom.com/

http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/illini-sports/football

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/356/illinois-fighting-illini

TWITTER   

Hashtag – #Illini

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/IlliniFootball

https://twitter.com/BobAsmussen

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2021 College Football Preview

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2021 College Football Preview

Created August 15, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 3-6

ATS – 5-4

The Scarlet Knights were a MUCH improved bunch and bagged three (!) Big Ten road wins (Michigan St, Purdue, Maryland) whilst giving Michigan all they could handle in a 3-OT defeat (L 48-42). After a GHASTLY (-23.4) point differential in 2019 Rutgers was only outscored to the average tune of 32-27 in 2020. Things are looking up in New Brunswick, yo.


Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

Former CORN-semi-prodigy Noah Vedral was a major upgrade at QB LY and is the clear-cut starter heading into 2021 (61.5%, 9-8 TD to INT, 193 rush, TD). Vedral gets his top-three WRs returning for battle and they were an underrated bunch in 2020. #1 Bo Melton was particularly effective (47-638, 13.6, 6 TD). Leading rusher Isaih Pacheco returns and recall that he caught 19 balls out of the backfield LY. The depth behind him is sketchy. An experienced and fairly large OL has every license to improve this season. We’ll call for the best yardage per game output since they rolled up 377 in 2015 (339 LY, 2nd worst Big Ten).

DEFENSE

The D was still pretty shaky LY as they allowed 200+ YPG on the ground for the 3rd straight season and allowed opponents to complete 67.3% of their pass attempts (2nd worst Big Ten). Ten starters are back on this side of the football and 10/11 top tacklers so there’s no reason to expect anything other than a moderate step forward. Here’s a fun FACT CHECK TRUE…..Rutgers was #1 in the Big Ten LY in TFL/game so we expect to see more SPICY PENETRATION in 2021. They’re undersized up front but havoc-minded. DE Mike Tverdov and NG Julius Turner combined for 18.5 TFL in 2020. LBs Olakunle Fatukasi and Tyshon Fogg were the team’s top-two tacklers LY (combined 15.5 TFL) and lead a solid unit. They’ve gotta get better on the back end. The experience is there and they added a potential starting CB from UNC (Patrick Rene), so it’s not a complete lost cause.

SPECIAL TEAMS

WHOA NELLIE.

Rutgers had the #5 special teams unit LY according to the great Phil Steele mag and there’s no reason to think they won’t be excellent in 2021. PK Valentino Ambrosio hit 11/13 FG LY (3-4 40+), P Adam Korsak had an excellent 42.3 net, and KR Aron Cruickshank returned a pair for TDs. Oh, and they add the impossibly-talented return man Joshua Youngblood from Kansas St (3 KR TD 2019). Expect some SWEET ACTION from their special teams in 2021.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – Good news. They begin the year with three winnable non-conference affairs. They bad news? They start Big Ten play with Michigan and Ohio St and draw Northwestern and Wisconsin from the West.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Penn St (November 20th)

This will be their 4th road game in just over a month.

Season Win Total

TBD

MEGALOCKS says:

TBD

MEGAmazing Tidbits


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

Chop that wood, buh buh.

Rutgers showed a surprising level of competitiveness last season and there’s no reason to expect anything less in 2021. They could use a bit more spice on offense but the D should be fine and they boast excellent special teams. And the swagger is back. Big Ten SURPRISE PACKAGE.


Want more Rutgers football ?

WEBSITE

https://scarletknights.com/sports/football

FORUM

https://rutgers.forums.rivals.com/forums/rutgers-football.20/

https://247sports.com/college/rutgers/Board/Rutgers-Football-102431/

NEWS

http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/

http://www.onthebanks.com/

http://blogs.mycentraljersey.com/rutgers/

https://www.thescarletspotlight.com/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/164/rutgers-scarlet-knights

TWITTER

Hashtag – #CHOP

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/RFootball

https://twitter.com/KSargeantNJ

Maryland Terrapins 2021 College Football Preview

Maryland Terrapins 2021 College Football Preview

Created August 15, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 2-3

ATS – 2-3

Twas only a five-game plandemic season but the Terps showed a little bit of life. They scored 80 (!) points in a pair of wins over Penn St and Minnesota but couldn’t get much going in their other three games, all losses. The Terps were hit harder than most teams by the 2020 CIRCUS so there’s reason to be optimistic heading into 2021.


Maryland Terrapins 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

Maryland boasted the #2 passing attack in the Big Ten LY (264 YPG) and QB BABY TUA definitely showed promise despite being a bit inconsistent (62%, 7-7 TD to INT). He’s back this year along with his top-4 WRs and note that all four of those doods avearged 14+ YPC LY. Continuity in the THROW GAME from year to year is a big positive. The RB situation is a bit dicey as they lose #1 RB Jake FUNK and nobody else had more than 100Y rushing in 2020. It’ll be a committee approach and there’s some nice variety in the group. The OL is young but has some good size across the board. They’ve got to do a better job with pass pro as they were dead last in the Big Ten in sacks allowed per game LY.

DEFENSE

The Terps were MEH on defense LY and were particularly horrible vs the run as they allowed 230 YPG on the ground (2nd worst Big Ten). New DC Brian Stewart has nine returning starters to work with and will try and cobble together a better stop unit. Every starter returns up front so they should be improved, and recall that DT Mosiah Nasili-Kite led the team in sacks LY (4 in 5G). The LB group is a bit of a mystery but the secondary was really good LY (#4 Big Ten pass eff D, 56%, 6-2 TD to INT) and the entire starting crew is back in 2021.

SPECIAL TEAMS

All the key components are back in the mix but the Terps were pretty rotten in this area LY. PK Joseph Petrino made just 4/7 FGA and their return game was an ABOMINATION (#121 FBS KR, #120 PR).

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The non-conference docket isn’t bad (WV, Howard, Kent St) and they could conceivably go 3-0 (or 1-2). They miss the Badgers from the West which is nice. There’s a nasty 5-game stretch starting mid-season with Iowa and ending with Penn St.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Kent St (September 25th)

It’s a Big Ten SANDWICH spot and the Golden Flashes can SCORE the FOOTBALL.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes August 15

Over 5.5 -130

Under 5.5 +110

MEGALOCKS says:

No leanage.

890 of our 978 sets of power ratings have them booking 5-6 wins.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

The always-in-demand Mike Locksley has an impeccable 8-43 record as a head coach.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

It’s an interesting team playing in a nasty division. The THROW GAME should work just fine and the defense has some nice pieces. There are still a few big uncertainties lurking around and you know they won’t win a game with special teams or coaching. Hoping to see them make a bowl game but they’ll likely fall just short.


Want more Maryland football ?

WEBSITE

https://umterps.com/sports/football

FORUM

http://maryland.247sports.com/Board/University-of-Maryland-Sports-53

https://maryland.forums.rivals.com/forums/terps-football-forum.18/

NEWS

http://www.testudotimes.com/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/maryland/

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/terps/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/120/maryland-terrapins

TWITTER

Hashtag – #TBIA

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/TerpsFootball

Indiana Hoosiers 2021 College Football Preview

Indiana Hoosiers 2021 College Football Preview

Created, August 14, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 6-2

ATS – 8-0

Yes, guy.

The Hoosiers played really well during the truncated scamdemic campaign and came THIS CLOSE to winning the Big Ten East. They were 6-1 in Big Ten action and defeated Penn St, Michigan, and Wisconsin, amongst others. They didn’t (theoretically) stand a chance vs Ohio St but held their own and never gave an inch (L 42-35). Ole Miss took them down in the Outback Bowl but it was still a successful season for the Hoosiers.


Indiana Hoosiers 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

Indiana wasn’t prolific on offense LY (#12 rush Big Ten, #5 passing) but did enough to win a bunch of games. QB Michael Penix is one of the best at his position in the Big Ten (14-4 TD to INT LY) and should be 100% and ready to go for this year’s opener according to our DEEP INDIANA INSIDERS. He suffered an injury late LY. 1st Team Big Ten WR Ty Fryfogle is fantastic and he became the first ever Big Ten WR to record back-to-back 200Y receiving games. They add a pair of decent receivers via the transfer portal, and TE Peyton Hendershot (4 TD LY) is a reliable target. The yuuuuge question is what should we expect from the rushing attack? #1 RB Stevie Scott is gone and there isn’t a single RB left on the roster that booked a rushing TD for the Hoosiers in 2020. Maybe highly-recruited youngster RB Sampson James will be the answer? Time will tell. <update> Sampson hit transfer portal. Thanks to alert 900 DIME CLUB SUBSCRIBER for the intel. Committee approach feels like a fair assumption. They bring back four starters up front and should be fine.

DEFENSE

The Hoosiers lost their excellent DC to South Alabama but have nine starters back and a good amount of talent on board. The LB unit is fantastic and the core of the stop unit. Micah McFadden is a star (#1 tackles, 10.5 TFL LY) and he’s surrounded by other really talented doods like Cam Jones (7 TFL, 4 QBH LY). Three starters return up front and they add DE Ryder Anderson from Ole Miss to the mix. The secondary also returns three starters and don’t forget that Indiana was 2nd in the country in INTs LY whilst only playing 8G. Oh ya, it’s worth noting that CB Tiawan Mullen received 1st Team AA honors in 2020. This is easily one of the best defenses in the conference.

SPECIAL TEAMS

It’s nice to have PK Charles Campbell back (10-11 FG LY) but they could use more spice at KR and PR. They need to work in a new punter and hopefully AUSSIE MAGIC will strike for another FBS team.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – Week one is yuuuuge as the Hoosiers travel to take on the Hawkeyes in Iowa City. They face the Bearcats in non-conference play and Western Kentucky will be able to SCORE THE FOOTBALL on anyone. They miss Wisconsin from the West and get Ohio St at home.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing heinous is noted.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes August 14

Over 7.5 -115

Under 7.5 -105

MEGALOCKS says:

No leanage.

That looks about right. They’ll be in a lot of close games and they need Penix to stay healthy. We would probably take a small taste of the ‘over’ if we came across a rogue ‘7’.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

No head coach in Indiana history has won more games in his first four seasons (24) than Tom Allen. And that was with a shortened plandemic 2020 docket.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

The Hoosiers have built themselves into a pretty solid Big Ten outfit. It’s not easy to play in the Big Ten East but they’ve proven themselves to be competitive and have a fine overall mark of 14-7 over the L2Y. There are no signs of complacency. We’ll call for a 7-8 win season and another good bowl bid.


Want more Indiana football ?

WEBSITE

https://iuhoosiers.com/sports/football

FORUM

https://indiana.forums.rivals.com/forums/iu-football-board.28/

http://btownbanners.com/forum/5-indiana-hoosiers-football/

https://indiana.forums.rivals.com/forums/premium-iu-football-forum.26/

NEWS

https://www.crimsonquarry.com/

http://www.indystar.com/sports/hoosiers/

http://hoosierhuddle.com/

http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/84/indiana-hoosiers

TWITTER

Hashtag – #IUFB

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/IndianaFootball