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Thursday, December 3, 2020

Green’s five takeaways from No. 2 Baylor’s 82-69 win over No. 5 Illinois


Photo Credit: Baylor Athletics



By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen

 
In the biggest game of the young 2020-21 season, the No. 2 Baylor Bears (3-0) and the No. 5 Illinois Fighting Illini (3-1) took each other’s best punches in the men’s Jimmy V Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. The Bears’ defense proved to be more of a lethal dose in which the Fighting Illini could handle as the offense benefited on a 9-0 run on the other end to go up 65-51 with 7:24 left in regulation and would not look back in an 82-69 win. Here are my five virtual takeaways for CSO.
 

1) Giorgi to the rescue:
 
With Kofi Cockburn on the bench for a significant chunk in the first half with two fouls, Giorgi Bezhanishvili stepped up with 13 of his 15 points in the early stanza. With Bezhanishvili’s performance in relief, it gave coach Brad Underwood the luxury to sit Cockburn for a longer period than expected. 
 
Underwood saw Giorgi’s performance as a throwback to the 2018-19 freshman season before injuries put a damper on his sophomore campaign.
 
“The last walk I came back from the hotel and I saw Giorgi sitting there and was talking about how uptight and nervous he was and how he loved that [feeling]. I knew he was ready and I think any real good player gets excited for these games and has some butterflies,” Underwood said. “His focus was incredible and we kept trying to get him the ball in the first half and made baskets. I am excited for Giorgi.”
 

2) The Jonathan machine:
 
With the Bears loaded on the perimeter, the big man can easily be lost in the shuffle, but Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua made his presence felt in the paint with nine points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
 
The presence of the forward will be needed against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the next game as they also love to attack in multiple facets on the floor.
 

3) The contagious energy from the Illinois and Baylor benches:
 
With most college basketball arenas not letting fans in the facilities for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams have had to create their own energy and it was on full display with the Illinois and Baylor benches making the majority of the game feel like pre-COVID times in terms of the atmosphere in the arena which reflected in the multiple lead changes that occurred throughout the game.
 
“That is something we take pride in with our bench not only for this year, but every year I have been here. Bezhanishvili said. “The refs would always tell us [before COVID] to sit down and get off the court. That’s nothing to us, but especially now it is needed playing without any fans and we take pride in that.”

 
4) Baylor’s stifling defense:
 
Baylor’s unique lineup can present some mismatches across the board and its defense proved to be highlight as it became the catalyst to its offense against Illinois.
 
Underwood gave credit to Baylor’s frenetic defense, but looks to improve in defeat as junior Ayo Dosunmu was held to 1-of-6 from the floor in the first half.
 
“Ayo better get used to that. Ayo will see that all year long and [Baylor] does it in a different capacity as they switched everything and jumped him on the sideline,” Underwood said. “Most teams don’t have the firepower to that. [Davion] Mitchell is a ball hawk that plays so much bigger than he really is.”
 

5) Baylor’s guards strike once more:
 
The Baylor Bears have arguably the best set of guards in the country and it showed on the national stage on Tuesday night as four players finished in double figures led by Adam Flagler’s 18 points off the bench.
 
Jared Butler finished with 12 points and showed the ability to attack in multiple spots on the floor which gave the Illinois defense fits at various points of the game. Despite taking a couple of shots to the head and remaining in the game each time, Mitchell proved to be a force from the perimeter going 4-of-5 with 15 points on the night. Macio Teague rounded out the quartet with 11 points in 31 minutes.
 
Baylor will remain in Indianapolis as the showdown of the season looms on Dec. 5 against top-ranked Gonzaga at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.
 
 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Projecting the New Year's Six for Dec. 1




By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen



Welcome to another edition of CSO’s New Year’s Six projections. With all of the uncertainty looming with COVID-19, bowl tie-ins are subject to change this season. Here are the current tie-ins for the New Year’s Six:
 
Rose Bowl- CFP national semifinal
Sugar Bowl- CFP national semifinal
Cotton Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Peach Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Fiesta Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Orange Bowl- ACC vs Big Ten or SEC
 
Here are our fifth bowl projections of the season using the CSO mock CFP top 25 rankings:



Sugar Bowl:

4) Ohio State vs 1) Alabama

Rose Bowl:

3) Clemson vs 2) Notre Dame

Cotton Bowl:

7) Texas A&M vs 6) Cincinnati

Peach Bowl: 

15) Oklahoma vs 5) Florida

Fiesta Bowl:

16) USC vs 8) BYU

Orange Bowl: 

11) Indiana vs 9) Miami (FL)

Monday, November 30, 2020

CSO Mock College Football Playoff committee top 25 for Nov. 30






By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


Thanks to the mock selection committee for coming through and making the 12th edition of the rankings possible this season.


Biggest jump: Oklahoma State 19 (+6)

Biggest fall: Oregon 20 (-11)




           Team                  Points     Last Week

1) Alabama (8)                   224               1

2) Notre Dame (1)              216               2

3) Clemson                          201              4 (+1)

4) Ohio State                      199               3 (-1)

5) Florida                           187               5

6) Cincinnati                       179               6

7) Texas A&M                      174              7

8) BYU                                 168              8

9) Miami (FL)                      143              11 (+2)

10) Georgia                          135              12 (+2)

11) Indiana                            128             14 (+3)

12) Iowa State                       125             17 (+5)

13) Coastal Carolina             122             13

14) Marshall                           111             15 (+1)

15) Oklahoma                         102             16 (+1)

16) USC                                   90               19 (+3)

17) Northwestern                     80               10 (-7)

18) Wisconsin                           68               18

19) Oklahoma State                  57               25 (+6)

20) Oregon                                42                9 (-11)

21) Louisiana                             41               20 (-1)

22) Washington                          37                NR

23) Tulsa                                     24              24 (+1)

24) Buffalo                                  13               NR

24) Iowa                                      13               NR 


Others receiving votes:

Liberty 12, North Carolina 8, Colorado 4, NC State 4, Nevada 2

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Pick Six- Week 13 CFB slate







By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


Welcome to another edition of CSO's Pick Six. Little changed last week as everyone went 3-3 across the board. 


Standings:                 GB

Green        48-24        -

Baligian    43-29        5

Larimore   40-32        8



This week's picks:
                                                Green           Baligian      Larimore


Texas Tech at Oklahoma St.              Okla. St.             Okla. St.          Okla. St.

Pitt at Clemson                                 Clemson             Clemson          Clemson

San Diego St. at Colorado             San Diego St.     San Diego St.  San Diego St.

Auburn at Alabama                            Auburn              Alabama         Alabama

Utah at Washington                         Washington        Washington        Utah

Arizona at UCLA                                 UCLA              Arizona           Arizona

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Projecting the New Year's Six for Nov. 24







By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen



Welcome to another edition of CSO’s New Year’s Six projections. With all of the uncertainty looming with COVID-19, bowl tie-ins are subject to change this season. Here are the current tie-ins for the New Year’s Six:
 
Rose Bowl- CFP national semifinal
Sugar Bowl- CFP national semifinal
Cotton Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Peach Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Fiesta Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Orange Bowl- ACC vs Big Ten or SEC
 
Here are our fourth bowl projections of the season using the CSO mock CFP top 25 rankings:



Sugar Bowl:

4) Clemson vs 1) Alabama

Rose Bowl:

3) Ohio State vs 2) Notre Dame

Cotton Bowl:

7) Texas A&M vs 6) Cincinnati

Peach Bowl: 

16) Oklahoma vs 5) Florida

Fiesta Bowl:

9) Oregon vs 8) BYU

Orange Bowl: 

11) Miami (FL) vs 10) Northwestern

CSO Mock College Football Playoff committee top 25 for Nov. 24



By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


Thanks to the mock selection committee for coming through and making the 10th edition of the rankings possible this season.


Biggest jump: Northwestern 10 (+7)

Biggest fall: Oklahoma State 25 (-9)




           Team                  Points     Last Week

1) Alabama (8)                   225              1

2) Notre Dame (1)              215              2

3) Ohio State                      209               3

4) Clemson                        193                4

5) Florida                          183                5

6) Cincinnati                     176                 6

7) Texas A&M                   168                 7

8) BYU                              167                 7 (-1)

9) Oregon                         154                10 (+1)

10) Northwestern             138                17 (+7)

11) Miami (FL)                134                 12 (+1)

12) Georgia                     119                  13 (+1)

13) Coastal Carolina      114                  14 (+1)

14) Indiana                     106                    9 (-5)

15) Marshall                    104                  15

16) Oklahoma                    95                   19 (+3)

17) Iowa State                   87                    18 (+1)

18) Wisconsin                    70                    11

19) USC                             68                    21 (+2)

20) Louisiana                     38                    23 (+3)

21) North Carolina             32                    22 (+1)

22) Auburn                          28                    25 (+3) 

22) Texas                              28                   24 (+2)

24) Tulsa                              20                   NR

25) Oklahoma State              19                   16 (-9)


Others receiving votes:

Washington 10, Nevada 8, Liberty 5, Kent State 3, Buffalo 2

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Pick Six- Week 12 CFB slate





By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


Welcome to another edition of CSO's Pick Six. After a subpar 2-4 effort two weeks ago, Green went 6-0 last week and increased the gap with Baligian and Larimore. Baligian and Larimore finished 4-2 each last week.


Standings:                 GB

Green        45-21        -

Baligian    40-26        5

Larimore   37-29        8



This week's picks:
                                                Green           Baligian       Larimore


Illinois at Nebraska                           Nebraska           Nebraska         Nebraska

Indiana at Ohio State                         Ohio St.             Ohio St.            Ohio St.

San Diego State at Nevada                 Nevada           San Diego St.      Nevada

Wisconsin at Northwestern             Northwestern       Wisconsin        Wisconsin

Michigan at Rutgers                            Rutgers            Michigan          Rutgers

Oklahoma St. at Oklahoma              Oklahoma St.      Oklahoma        Oklahoma

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Projecting the New Year's Six for Nov. 17






By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen



Welcome to another edition of CSO’s New Year’s Six projections. With all of the uncertainty looming with COVID-19, bowl tie-ins are subject to change this season. Here are the current tie-ins for the New Year’s Six:
 
Rose Bowl- CFP national semifinal
Sugar Bowl- CFP national semifinal
Cotton Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Peach Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Fiesta Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Orange Bowl- ACC vs Big Ten or SEC
 
Here are our third bowl projections of the season using the CSO mock CFP top 25 rankings:



Sugar Bowl:

4) Clemson vs 1) Alabama

Rose Bowl:

3) Ohio State vs 2) Notre Dame

Cotton Bowl:

7) Texas A&M vs 6) Cincinnati

Peach Bowl: 

16) Oklahoma State vs 5) Florida

Fiesta Bowl:

10) Oregon vs 7) BYU

Orange Bowl: 

12) Miami (FL) vs 9) Indiana

CSO Mock College Football Playoff committee top 25 for Nov. 17

 




By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen



Thanks to the mock selection committee for coming through and making the ninth edition of the rankings possible this season.


Biggest jump: Wisconsin 11 (+5)

Biggest fall: Miami (FL) 12 (-3)




           Team                  Points     Last Week


1) Alabama (8) 6-0            224               1

2) Notre Dame (1) 8-0       213                2

3) Ohio State 3-0               211                3

4) Clemson 7-1                 194                 4

5) Florida 5-1                   184                 5

6) Cincinnati 7-0               179                6

7) BYU 8-0                         168                7

7) Texas A&M 5-1              168                8 (+1)

9) Indiana 4-0                     142               11 (+2)

10) Oregon 2-0                   136               10

11) Wisconsin 2-0                120              16 (+5)

12) Miami (FL) 7-1              119                9 (-3)

13) Georgia 4-2                    112               12 (-1)

14) Coastal Carolina 7-0      111               13 (-1)

15) Marshall 7-0                   107               15

16) Oklahoma State 5-1          93               14 (-2)

17) Northwestern 4-0              76               19 (+2)

18) Iowa State 5-2                    68              18

19) Oklahoma 5-2                     61              21 (+2)

20) Liberty 8-0                          55               22 (+2)

21) USC 2-0                               50               20 (-1)

22) North Carolina 6-2              25               NR

23) Louisiana 7-1                       23               NR

24) Texas 5-2                               20               24

25) Auburn 4-2                            16               25


Others receiving votes:

Tulsa 12, Army 9, Appalachian State 7, Buffalo 7, Boise State 6, Arizona State 2, Colorado 2, Kent State 1

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Colorado 35, Stanford 32: Buffaloes continue to set a new Standard v Stanford


Photo Credit: University of Colorado Athletics


 
By: Adam Chalifoux
Twitter: @FantasticMrFOUX

The Colorado Buffaloes (2-0) made program history Saturday night defeating the Stanford Cardinal (0-2), 35-32. The win represents CU’s third straight victory over Stanford, the longest win streak ever against its Pac-12 foe.
Stanford came into the game 9.5-point favorites, but in a year where all bets are off, former safety and redshirt senior Sam Noyer doesn’t seem as concerned about where the Vegas Line is as he is concerned about the location of the goal line.
Noyer scored four of Colorado’s five touchdowns— two rushing and two passing. In an era where most quarterbacks will slide and do whatever they can to preserve their body, Sam Noyer has balls. He still hits like a safety and knows defensive schemes well, helping CU pull out to a 28-9 lead early in the second half.
Lao Tzu said it best in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
Noyer has won in his two battles, but his knowledge of the enemy is clear; no matter the week or opponent, the enemy is the defense. Noyer's understanding of the defense allows him to make quick reads.

Physically, Noyer’s style of delivering, not just receiving hits, or attempting to leap over defenders is something defenses are not accustomed to from most quarterbacks.
Noyer was not perfect this afternoon, throwing an interception to Stanford free safety Malik Antoine early on. Bouncing back, however, he delivered a strike through the middle of the secondary to Dimitri Stanley, who outraced the secondary 44 yards into the end zone, giving the Buffaloes a lead they would hang on to for the rest of the game. 
 
Stanley, a sophomore out of Cherry Creek High School in Colorado lit up the secondary for six catches on six targets for 126 yards and the receiving touchdown. Jarek Brousard continued his early success as well, rushing for 121 yards to follow up his 187 three-touchdown performance against UCLA in Boulder on Nov. 7. 




Colorado’s defensive line was a major difference-maker containing the run, and putting pressure on the Stanford passing game. Nate Landman led all with 14 tackles. Carson Wells played well too with two of his six tackles coming for a loss, one of which was a sack. 
 
While Stanford still owns a slim lead in the history of the rivalry with a 6-5 edge over Colorado, the first two games of the season have shown that the Colorado Buffaloes are a different animal than they were last year. Even with NFL prospect Brady Russell sidelined most of the game with an injury, the Buffaloes found production from their depth offensively and through their first two weeks looked substantially better than last year’s team. 
The score however was much closer than the game itself as Colorado’s lead also shrank for the second straight week. Stanford outscored CU 16-7 in the 4th quarter. First-year head coach, Karl Dorrell talked about staying conservative but also needing to get better at playing with the lead, “You know we’re extremely excited about this team having the fortitude and the grit to try to finish games,” said Dorrell. “And you know we did it twice in a row, you know we’re trying to figure out how to do it and I think sometimes even really good teams struggle at the, you know, waning moments late in the fourth quarter.” Regardless, a win is a win even if it gets ugly late. After having their coach walk out on them following last season’s 5-7 mark, Dorrell has begun to build a foundation of success and efficiency through his
first two games as head coach. 
In the postgame press conference, Dorrell was asked about being considered for a spot in the top 25. Colorado is off to a nice start through its first two games of play but does not want to get ahead of things. “I’m really trying to get better as a team, you know, our focus is on my team, you know I am gonna let the voters do all that stuff,” Dorrell said. Perhaps the President could take note. For now, there is no disputing Colorado’s 2-0 record. There is no recount coming; just Arizona State in seven days.
 
 

Pick Six- Week 11 CFB slate





By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


Welcome to another edition of CSO's Pick Six. Another horrible week for everyone as Green and Larimore finished 2-4, while Baligian went 1-5. 

Standings:                 GB

Green        39-21        -

Baligian    36-24        3

Larimore   33-27        6


This week's picks:
                                                Green           Baligian       Larimore


Penn State at Nebraska                    Nebraska             Penn St.            Penn St.

Wake Forest at North Carolina       N. Carolina        N. Carolina      N. Carolina

Colorado at Stanford                       Colorado            Stanford            Stanford

Northwestern at Purdue                Northwestern     Northwestern     Northwestern

Wisconsin at Michigan                    Wisconsin          Wisconsin           Wisconsin

Oregon State at Washington           Washington         Oregon St.         Oregon St.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Projecting the New Year's Six for Nov. 10

 




By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen



Welcome to another edition of CSO’s New Year’s Six projections. With all of the uncertainty looming with COVID-19, bowl tie-ins are subject to change this season. Here are the current tie-ins for the New Year’s Six:
 
Rose Bowl- CFP national semifinal
Sugar Bowl- CFP national semifinal
Cotton Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Peach Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Fiesta Bowl- At-Large vs At-Large
Orange Bowl- ACC vs Big Ten or SEC
 
Here are our second bowl projections of the season using the CSO mock CFP top 25 rankings:



Sugar Bowl:

4) Clemson vs 1) Alabama

Rose Bowl:

3) Ohio State vs 2) Notre Dame

Cotton Bowl:

8) Texas A&M vs 6) Cincinnati

Peach Bowl: 

14) Oklahoma State vs 5) Florida

Fiesta Bowl:

10) Oregon vs 7) BYU

Orange Bowl: 

11) Indiana vs 9) Miami (FL)

CSO Mock College Football Playoff committee top 25 for Nov. 10



By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen



Thanks to the mock selection committee for coming through and making the eighth edition of the rankings possible this season.


Biggest jump: Oregon 10 (+7)

Biggest fall: Wisconsin 16 (-6)




           Team                  Points     Last Week

1) Alabama (8) 6-0             224            2 (+1)

2) Notre Dame (1) 7-0        213            4 (+2)

3) Ohio State 3-0                211             3

4) Clemson 7-1                   194             1 (-3)

5) Florida 4-1                     185             9 (+4)

6) Cincinnati 6-0                 175            6

7) BYU 8-0                           171            7

8) Texas A&M 5-1               169             8

9) Miami (FL) 6-1               139            11 (+2)

10) Oregon 1-0                    137            17 (+7)

11) Indiana 3-0                    128            12 (+1)

12) Georgia 4-2                   123              5 (-7)

13) Coastal Carolina 7-0     110            14 (+1)

14) Oklahoma State 5-1         99             13 (-1)

15) Marshall 6-0                    95             15

16) Wisconsin 1-0                   93            10 (-6)

17) SMU 7-1                           81            16 (-1)

18) Iowa State 5-2                  61            18

19) Northwestern 3-0             60             20 (+1)

20) USC 1-0                           54             24 (+4)

21) Oklahoma 5-2                  50             22 (+1)

22) Liberty 7-0                        48             21 (-1)

23) Army 6-1                           22             25 (+3)

24) Texas 5-2                          17              NR

24) Auburn 4-2                       17              NR


Others receiving votes:

North Carolina 7, Boise State 6, Nevada 4, San Jose State 3, Louisiana 3, Purdue 3, Appalachian State 2, Kent State 1

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Colorado 48, UCLA 42: Dorrell begins new era with win over familiar foe


Photo Credit: University of Colorado Athletics




By: Adam Chalifoux
Twitter: @FantasticMrFOUX

 
There was a shootout at Folsom Field on Saturday night. Chip Kelly and his fast and furious offense versus the new-look Colorado Buffaloes led by first-year head coach and former UCLA Bruin, Karl Dorrell. If there were fans in the stands, they would have certainly gotten their money's worth as the Colorado Buffaloes (1-0) beat the Bruins (0-1), 48-42 in a relatively quiet stadium. 

With coach Mel Tucker now in East Lansing at Michigan State and quarterback Steven Montez on the Washington Football Team Practice Squad, the Colorado Buffaloes were virtually unrecognizable in their season opener. 

Not only was this a win to start the Dorrell era but also a promising outing for former safety turned quarterback Sam Noyer who passed for 257 yards and a touchdown; Noyer added 64 more yards and a touchdown on the ground. Noyer is a redshirt senior and almost left Boulder before being convinced to stay by the new coaching staff. After looking efficient, making quick decisions, and providing a dual-threat to help lead the Buffs to victory, both sides appear to be happy with his decision. 
 
Dorrell lauded Noyer’s play in the postgame press conference. “Sam is a very competitive player. I am not surprised he was able to make plays, he’s a really good athlete,” Dorrell said. Noyer had not started a game at quarterback in five years.
 
Jarek Broussard starred for CU as he rushed for three touchdowns, 187 yards, on 31 carries in an effort that made Noyer’s first start at quarterback easy by tearing up the Bruins defense. Broussard showed that the Buffs’ run game is deep as well as dangerous with Alex Fontenot who is on the Doak Walker watch-list sidelined with an undisclosed injury. 
 
“Shoutout to my hogs,” said Broussard after the game. “They really get it, they did a good job tonight and opened up the doors and, you know if the holes are that if it's not that hard.”
 
Early in the night, it looked as if the game could turn into a blowout as CU took a 35-7 lead late in the second quarter. The Buffaloes defense forced four turnovers to help make this happen but with the game-ending within a touchdown, they also had a few ugly moments. 
 
The first turnover came after the opening drive of the game when Bruins wide receiver Kyle Phillips was stripped by Derrion Rackestraw as Alec Pell dove on the ball for the Buffaloes. 
 
Four plays later Broussard had scored touchdown number one. The second turnover also gave Colorado a short field. Carson Wells intercepted Dorian Thompson-Robinson coming just a yard short of a pick six. Broussard scored number two on the following play. Looking to chip away at a 21-7 lead, the Bruins fumbled again. This time it was recovered by Rackestraw. Felton fumbled a second time about six minutes into the second quarter as Jamar Montgomery stripped and recovered the ball. Capitalizing on short fields and dominating the ground, the Buffaloes were able to play ahead the entire game. 
 
Thompson-Robinson snuck in a 52-yard bomb to Greg Dulcich late in the first half. Making it 35-14 at the half. UCLA continued to gain momentum, however, scoring the first two touchdowns of the second half. The Bruins special teams also helped tighten things up blocking two field goals, the first of which set up a six-play 77-yard drive that took only 1:26 off the clock to make the score 35-28 with over 11 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. 
 
The Colorado Buffaloes held off the Bruins, however, scoring the most points since last season’s season opener against Colorado State when they scored 52 points at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Dorrell moves to 1-0 as the head coach at Colorado, while Chip Kelly’s seat could be getting hotter as he is now 7-18 with UCLA.