PAC-12: Wide-Open West Makes Things Intriguing

PAC-12 Logo     This time, Elldee Sports is looking out west to preview the PAC-12 Conference.  2019 appears to be a year that multiple teams can make the claim of being the top dog.  so who will emerge victorious and represent this power conference at the highest levels?  Let’s find out.

Starting in the uber-competitive North, the Oregon Ducks, Washington Huskies, and Washington State Cougars will duke it out for supremacy and a ticket to the conference championship game.  The Ducks are coming off of a 9-win season, bring in the top recruiting class in the conference, and return virtually every starter from a top 25 nationally-ranked scoring offense!  The cupboard is not bare on the other side of the ball, either, as the defense returns 7.  Honestly, most years, I think they would be a shoe in to win the conference but according to the Elldee Sports Formula, Oregon will drop back-to-back games to the teams from the state of Washington and finish third in the North with 10 wins.

Washington and Washington State are the cream of the crop in the PAC-12 North and these two cannot stand each other.  Chris Petersen is a proven great all-around coach but Mike Leach is possibly the best offensive mind in college football today.  Leach has the Cougars primed with 13 returning starters from a group that surprised last season and won 11 games.  Petersen, on the other hand, has to re-mold a defense that only returns two players in their 22-man rotation.  Washington has had the recruiting cache over the previous years that the talent level is there, they just need to see how fast the youngsters pick up the game plan.  Washington state has more returning starters but lost arguably their top player after QB Gardner Minshew graduated.  Luckily, Leach’s name carries a lot of weight and they picked up the top FCS QB in the country, ensuring the offense will be in good hands.  The North will come down to the Apple Cup in Seattle but the Cougars will exact revenge from their 13-point loss in Pullman last season and become the North Champion.

The PAC-12 South is a different story altogether, as Utah looks to have a stranglehold on the division.  In fact, Utah and USC are the only two schools that have a head coach who has been at the school more than a year.  That continuity and blue collar work ethic is what will set the Utes apart from their South Division brethren.  Expect Utah to only lose two games this season, a home game to Washington State and a trip to Seattle to play Washington.  The gap between Utah and the next best team in the division means that even those two losses will not keep them out of the PAC-12 Championship game.

The PAC-12 Championship game will create a rematch between Washington State and Utah.  This is an opportunity for Utah to save face and show the first match-up was a fluke.  The problem, though, is that the first game was not a fluke and if the Utes couldn’t win in Salt Lake City, why would they win in Santa Clara?  Give the nod to Washington State 9-7 which will propel the Cougars into the College Football Playoffs for the first time ever as a #4 seed!  Until next time, good luck!

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Big Twelve: Is a Storm Brewing on the Prairies?

Big 12 Logo     When you think of the Big XII, you think about Oklahoma and rightly so.  The Sooners have won 12 conference championships since 2000, including the last 4 straight.  Will Oklahoma pull off the five-peat?  They are facing steep competition as Texas has had a resurgence, to the delight of the Lone Star State.

Oklahoma is not the only team in the Big XII, though.  The fighting Gary Patterson’s in Ft. Worth are known for a stingy defense and can usually slow down any of the high-powered offenses that the conference will throw at them.  This year may be different as TCU only brings back 4 of their starting 11 on the defensive side of the ball.  That means the Horned Frogs will be forced to rely on their offense to keep them in games more than they would like, particularly in the early part of the season.  This does not bode well as they struggled mightily to score points for much of the season last year.  A good measuring stick for this squad will be in Week 3 when they travel to face a re-tooled Purdue squad, led by Jeff Brohm, in Indiana.  Expect TCU to only win 7 this year and fall well short of competing for the title.

Texas, on the other hand, is the hottest team coming into the season following the 28-21  Sugar Bowl victory over the Georgia Bulldogs!  Sit back and think to yourself how much Georgia really wanted to be in that game.  Now,  Georgia is a solid team and is difficult to beat at any time but they just came off of a 7-point loss to Alabama.  Are you trying to tell me that Texas is as good as Alabama?  I don’t think so.  Tom Herman has the boys from Texas playing well and are getting better all of the time but don’t expect a miracle this season.  Texas will win 9 and look good but will falter against LSU in week 2 and then drop games against the two teams that will play for the conference championship.

Those two teams consist of a familiar face and an up and coming team that plays with spark and grit!  Oklahoma will finish with 11 wins, only dropping one, carried by the feet of their third new quarterback in 3 years, Jalen Hurts.  Hurts knows how to win and has played with the heart of a lion.  Expect Oklahoma to roll and barely miss a beat.

The second team is coming in on the storm clouds.  The Iowa State Cyclones bring back 14 starters, 7 on offense and 7 on defense, from a young team that went 8-4 last season.  Matt Campbell is coming into his fourth season with the Cyclones and has no excuses this year as all of the players are now his recruits.  Additionally, the schedule sets up well for this experienced bunch as 3 of the 4 teams they lost to in the regular season last year will be traveling to Ames this time around.  Count on Iowa State to finish with 10 wins with only one conference loss, to Oklahoma in Norman.

The conference championship game will pair Oklahoma vs Iowa State in a rematch, as all Big XII Championship games are after a round-robin schedule.  No matter where you play the game, though, Oklahoma just has too much firepower for the Cyclones to upset.  I’m predicting a 40-21 Sooner victory but due to a loss during the regular season, the Sooners will fail to make the CFB Playoffs, their first whiff in 3 years, likely going to the Sugar Bowl.  Until next time, good luck!

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Big Ten: Who Will Be the Monster of the Mid-West?

Big Ten Logo v1     As the Elldee Sports staff continues to look at the upcoming season, the Big Ten is now in the crosshairs!  Will the Ohio State Buckeyes reign supreme for a third straight season or can a newcomer steal the crown?  Will Harbaugh finally be able to lead Michigan to a conference championship?  Is this the year that a team from the West Division finally breaks through and ends the 6-year championship drought?  Only time (and the Elldee Sports Formula) will tell.

Let’s begin in the West Division, where no team has won the conference since the Wisconsin Badgers pulled it off in 2012!  Nebraska could be a dark horse to win the West but that really comes down to how well the Cornhuskers have picked up Coach Scott Frost’s system.  When he coached at UCF, the Golden Knights were winless in year one and undefeated in year two.  I don’t think that Nebraska will go undefeated but they may be a contender or play spoiler at a minimum. Iowa has been close a few times but have not been able to close the deal.  It does not appear they are going to be able to pull it off this year either, although they have a better chance than most.  The schedule looks tough, including a road game in Madison which will decide the division.  Wisconsin will win the division on virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker as they will defeat Iowa at home.  The Badgers are always tough and prove to be so again this year, in a bounce back spot after a disappointing 2018 (according to Wisconsin standards).   Who will they play, though?

The East is a much different animal than the West.  While the traditional powers in the West lean on a strong defense and methodical offense, the East plays a more up-tempo game with solid defense and high-powered offenses.  Penn State and James Franklin are a solid group but Elldee Sports only predicts a 9-win season for the Nittany Lions.   A good year but not where Penn State wants to be year in and year out.  The reason they are predicted to lose three matchups plays mainly from the fact that they have to play Ohio State and Michigan.  Ohio State, the two-time defending conference champion, is on a roll and hopes to continue it’s strong play (and they will).  They have continued to recruit at an amazing pace, ensuring they will be formidable for years to come!  It just won’t be strong enough as this is the year that Michigan will finally give Jim Harbaugh his much anticipated win over their hated nemesis from the state to the East.  The Big House will be rocking and all the pieces will fall into place.

The Big Ten Championship Game will feature the Wisconsin Badgers vs. the Michigan Wolverines for the second time this season.  The Wolverines will win in Madison early in the season, on Sept. 21st and then win again in Indianapolis to finish the season.  This will cap off an undefeated season and sneak the Wolverines into the College Football Playoffs as the #3 seed for a date with the Clemson Tigers.  Until next time, Good Luck!

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ACC: Can Anyone Challenge Clemson for the Conference Throne?

ACC Logo v1     Is Clemson unbeatable or will they finally be knocked off their throne in the Atlantic Coast Conference?  Elldee Sports has run the formula for schedules in each conference and come up with projected champions.  Today, we will discuss the ACC.

Let’s go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room.  Clemson is the 800-pound gorilla in College Football, right now.  Although, anyone who has watched NCAA Football for more than 10 years understands that nobody can stay on top forever, just ask USC and Florida of the 2000’s!  So, is this the year that they are challenged and ultimately knocked down a peg?  Don’t count on it.  The ACC is not particularly strong this season and outside of Texas A&M at home, the non-conference schedule is not particularly daunting.  Clemson faces Charlotte, Wofford, and travels to a mediocre South Carolina club to close out the season.  Additionally, their two cross-over games in the conference are Georgia Tech and UNC, both of which are struggling and will be breaking in first-year coaches.  Count on Clemson to reign supreme in the ACC Atlantic once again.

So, who will be there to face the defending national champs in the ACC Championship?  Could it be the Virginia Cavaliers and Coach Bronco Mendenhall, who has done a good job of steadily increasing the play of his team?  How about Justin Fuente and the Hokies of Virginia Tech, an always stingy defense with an offense trying to turn the corner?  While both of these teams can compete in the Coastal Division, after running simulations, it will be the Miami Hurricanes and new coach Manny Diaz who will emerge as the victors.  Manny Diaz may be another first-year coach but after coaching the defense for the last 3 years, he is more than familiar with this team.  The schedule also sets up nicely as they get a bye week prior to Virginia Tech and follow that up with Virginia in back to back home games.  The cross-over games include arch-nemesis Florida State but also a Louisville team that is floundering.  Not to mention, the Hurricanes only have to leave the state of Florida three times this season.  The prediction has them dropping a close one to the Florida Gators in Orlando to open the season and following that loss up by reeling off 11 straight wins, earning them the right to face Clemson as the Coastal Division champs!

The formula is calling for a Clemson victory over the Miami Hurricanes in a low scoring, hard fought, defensive game in the ACC Championship.  This will allow for the Clemson Tigers to once again make the CFB Playoffs.  What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with this prediction or is this just a bunch of hot air?  Until next time, Good Luck!

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NCAA Football: Who Can Match Their Vegas Win Total?

Vegas has released their numbers for win total over/unders.  By running the numbers through the Elldee Sports Formula, I was able to determine some of the largest discrepancies.  This is always a fun exercise in the doldrums of summer between football and basketball seasons.  Below are a list of top looks:

Syracuse:  O/U 5 — Total wins 10

Virginia Tech:  O/U 8.5 — Total wins 6

Miami:  O/U 8.5 — Total wins 11

Texas:  O/U 9.5 — Total wins 9

Washington State:  O/U 8.5 — Total wins 12

South Carolina:  O/U 6 — Total wins 3

Of course, these are just a few teams of interest.  I am very shocked at the number of 5 for Syracuse when I predict 10.  Additionally, the numbers show a very impressive year for Washington State with a potential run to the playoffs!  Are there any thoughts on these numbers?  How about other teams?  If there are any particular teams you would like me to run the numbers for, please let me know in the comments and I will run their schedules.  Thanks for the read.

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Long Break Almost Over

Elldee Sports has been on an extended hiatus as we have focused on fine-tuning the Elldee Sports Prediction Formula.  I finally feel comfortable and confidant enough to press ahead with plans.  Prior to next football season I will have a fully functioning membership site which will cover all American Football and Basketball matchups, collegiate and professional.  Instead of exact scores, I will be posting percentages of the chance of a team to cover, as well as the chances of an over or under.  This is all for entertainment and validation purposes, of course.  I am hoping to provide a forum for discussion and opinions, as well as a mathematical formula to help validate your personal thoughts on winners of each game.  Additionally, I will be covering all games now, not only games between Power 5 teams.  I am excited to move forward and I hope you will join me.

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Back To the Prediction Game

After two days of NBA games that didn’t carry much value against the spread or total, we have three slated for Tuesday night.  With only four games on the schedule, that is pretty good.  Additionally, all three picks have a Elldee Sports Formula win percentage near 80%.  Game on!

New York @ Indiana Over 212

Milwaukee @ New Orleans Under 237.5

LA Lakers (-1) @ Chicago

We, here at Elldee Sports are putting our trust in the formula.  I, personally, do not like the Milwaukee-NO Under call and the Lakers have been a train wreck as of late.  We will see how the numbers play out, though.  Good luck!

NBA Yearly Total 29-25

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