Tag Archives: Predictions

2017-18 Dark Horses

Ten Dark Horse teams that will be battling for statewide recognition and a playoff berth this season.

Etowah

R4-AAAAAAA
(20-10; 4-6)
Sweet 16

The Eagles finished 20-10 with a Sweet 16 appearance but struggled in Region 4, going just 4-6. Much of the continuity returns except at head coach where Jason Dasinger steps in to build on the quick momentum constructed by now Milton head coach Allen Whitehart. Dasinger racked up a 25-4 record at Alpharetta in his only year on the job and now turns to a new cast at Etowah to replicate his success. Tusculum-commit Adrian Cohen and junior Jaxon Etter power the Eagle offense. Cohen has size and versatility as a 6-foot-5 wing while Etter, a burgeoning college prospect, popped onto opposing teams’ radars last year as he surged his way into becoming a First Team All-Region 4 selection. The 6-foot-3 swingman is a crafty scorer and underrated athlete who can takeover games. Inside, Etowah is anchored by agile 6-foot-7 senior Julian Baldwin and 6-foot-5 dirty work rebounder Carter Ingersoll. Nick Nagy provides the outside shooting and rounds out the core of Etowah’s senior class. Playing to their potential and not down to competition will determine whether or not the Eagles can become a dangerous team come February.

Kennesaw Mountain

R3-AAAAAAA
(10-18; 4-6)
First Round State

All the ingredients for a winning recipe are in Coach Jesse Bonner’s kitchen this season. Following a 10-18 season out of Region 3 with a 64-51 road state playoff loss at Colquitt County, the Mustangs now have the experience and extra help ready to push them over the hump to fight for a top two seed. Senior guard Josh Strong really ignited his season after exploding at the Lake City Classic, averaging 22 points per game and dropping in 23 points in a win over state-ranked Riverwood. The Second Team All-Region pick has some homerun hitters to run with in 2017-18. Jalyn McCreary is now eligible after missing all of his sophomore season. The 6-foot-7 junior is a Preseason First Team All-State selection that can go toe-to-toe with any of Georgia’s premier stars. Junior Khalil Shaheed should bring a major boost to the backcourt come January, a transfer from Wheeler that likes to get out and run. Still in the mix are quality guards Jordan Barnes and Christian Ramsey along with forward Jalen Knight.

Douglas County

R5-AAAAAA
(10-15; 8-8)
No Playoffs

The Tigers sunk to 10-15 overall but finished a respectable 8-8 in the difficult Region 5. Douglas County has more than enough guard play to shake up the region and earn a state tournament berth but it won’t be easy. The tandem of junior Malik Battle and senior Rodney Lewis is a formidable one. Lewis at 5-foot-10 has a slight frame, but can drill threes when left open and also does a good job of getting his teammates involved, averaging a Tiger-best 3.8 helpers a game last year. 6-foot-3 senior Rickey Clark shot 44% from three while 6-foot-5 Ernest Randle brings a physical presence heading into his senior season.

Grovetown

R3-AAAAAA
(5-19; 3-7)
No Playoffs

Augusta-brand basketball hasn’t always translated well to the rest of the state in the bigger classifications lately, but in the weak Region 3, there’s no reason why Grovetown can’t grab a state playoff bid and improve from their 5-19 overall mark. The senior trio of Eric Graham II, Emmanuel Bryson III and Nick Tolbert bring experience to the backcourt. Graham is a steady producer that can shoot the ball and make the right decisions. Bryson relies on his defense to convert into offense. 2016 Class A-Private All-State Honorable Mention point guard Jelani Shakir moves in from Aquinas while 6-foot-8 project Jeremiah Smith is a load at 230 pounds that will help from Minnesota. The Warriors have more than enough talent to finish near the top of a region that saw only two teams finish above .500 and had all four teams swept in the first round of the state playoffs.

Paulding County

R7-AAAAA
(11-18; 8-8)
First Round State

The Patriots earned a state playoff bid with an 11-18 record in Region 7 and have a chance to improve on that mark in 2017-18. Second Team All-Region selection Tyron Summerour paces the backcourt along with fellow seniors Vance Anderson and McEachern transfer KJ Shade. Junior Michael Seymour has seen success as a part of a growing stable of guards. The Patriots have some size as well with 6-foot-6 junior Josh Broughton returning and 6-foot-7 Elijah Brown-Kane transferring in from Minnesota for his senior season.  6-foot-3 sophomore Kevin Brown has impressed at forward this fall. Region 7 is up for grabs with Carrollton the slight favorite, but don’t be surprised if Paulding County crashes the party and posts their best win total in years.

Woodland-Stockbridge

R4-AAAAA
(10-13; 7-9)
No Playoffs

It will be a climb to grab a top four seed in the competitively deep Region 4, but the Wolfpack have reason for optimism coming off their 10-13 (7-9) season with junior point guard Jalen Mason taking over the reins. The former Miller Grove Wolverine is an outstanding athlete that has already made an impact on the football field as a wide receiver, but his long-term potential is on the hardwood. The highlight maker will join forces with 6-foot-6, 266-pound offensive lineman Shakeel Shaw who takes up space in the lane.

Dougherty

R1-AAA
(15-7; 3-3)
Not Eligible For Postseason

Quietly, Dougherty was one of South Georgia’s better programs last season but due to multiple infractions under former head coach Ty Randolph’s watch, the Trojans had to forfeit their 2016-17 postseason eligibility. Legendary head coach Rufus McDuffie, a five-time state champion at Mitchell-Baker High School, stepped in and guided the Trojans to impressive wins over state playoff teams Westover, Lee County and Glynn Academy, along with beating all four state tournament teams from Region 1 at least once including region champ and Sweet 16 finalist Crisp County. Dougherty is anchored by Georgia’s biggest blow up prospect from the summer, 6-foot-11 senior Carlos Curry. The mobile center has received offers from Power 5 conferences and will get a chance to prove his worth his senior season. Curry is comfortable taking the outside shot and rebounds well. He will need to finish stronger around the basket. He will team up with 2019 6-foot-5 banger Justin Jackson, another tough player to keep off the glass. As seen at the high school level, you don’t win with big men, so Dougherty’s guards will have to play a major role for the Trojans to have more success. Sophomore Rod Jones and junior Jordan Green, a transfer from Albany, are expected to see major minutes.

Monroe Area

R8-AAA
(15-15; 6-4)
Sweet 16

Only two seniors graduate from a mildly disappointing 2016-17 team that never quite cemented itself as the second-best team in the region behind state runner-up Morgan County. The Hurricanes still earned a postseason victory over Sonoraville before meeting their demise against Westside-Macon. All-Region 8 performers 6-foot-7 Elijah Goodman, Devin Sheets and Isaiah Glasper are set to return with major experience now under their belt. Bolling DuBose will be roaming an unfamiliar sideline after coaching 41 years at Jefferson. A fast start will be imperative for Monroe Area after they stumbled out of the gates to an 0-5 start last year.

Rabun County

R8-AA
(11-15; 5-7)
No Playoffs

They aren’t in a friendly region, but Rabun County returns nearly everybody back from last season’s streaky three-point shooting team. All-Region pick Bailey Fisher is coming off of a 17.3-point-per-game campaign and will be joined by fellow senior Tevan Dixon, who tore his ACL after 11 games. Dixon averaged a team-high 21.7 points while adding 6.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game before going down. A healthy Dixon provides an aggressive scorer that isn’t afraid to shoot from all three levels. Junior guard Chase Buchanan is a three-point specialist that drained 40-of-95 threes (42%) while attempting just 13 shots inside the arc. Rising sophomore Braxton Hicks averaged 9.7 points per game while senior Grayson Lane was the Wildcats best post presence chipping in 8.4 points, 5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a night. With Fisher and Hicks on the football field to open the season, Rabun County might take a while to hit their stride.

Northeast-Macon

R3-AA
(6-21; 3-9)
No Playoffs

It’s time. It’s time for Northeast-Macon to come of age and battle for a playoff spot. Juniors Darius Dunn and Ty’ree Gilbert are both locks to pass the 1,000-point plateau this season. There’s no debating that the slight-of-build guards can fill it up offensively, but now it’s time to rack up the wins. Dunn, 6-foot-1, poured in 20.7 points per game and is coming off of a hot summer while Gilbert dropped in a cool 17.3 as a sophomore. The third-head of the attack is sophomore Cameron Cherry, a 6-foot-3 guard that has all the physical tools to be the best of the bunch when all is said and done, but he has to lock in and not rely on his potential to carry him. The big three will be relied upon to score early and often. With Dunn and Gilbert now upperclassmen, youth should no longer be an issue.

Bold Predictions

Parkview will make the state playoffs for the first time since 2007-08: Coming off a 10-16 season, the young Panthers will find a way to claw their way into the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade. With no seniors on the roster, Parkview’s young yet experienced backcourt along with versatile size in Ahmir Langlais and Tonerai Lane will do just enough to go dancing come February.

Update: Parkview finished 12-13 without a playoff berth

Lakeside-Evans and Heritage-Conyers will split during the regular season: Class AAAAAA preseason No. 6 Heritage-Conyers is a heavy favorite to win Region 3, but they will have to slip past some tough-nosed teams out of the Augusta area, especially Lakeside-Evans. A strong core with chemistry, Kalen Williams and blossoming forward Deon Berrien will push the Patriots and nip them once this year.

Update: Lakeside swept Heritage (3-0), including winning the Region 3 championship

Starr’s Mill will make the state playoffs for the first time since 2012-13: The pieces are in place for the Panthers to become one of Region 3-AAAAA’s best teams behind a young nucleus consisting of All-County guard Zach Pina, Region Freshman of the Year Nate Allison and junior forward Drew Hudson. The graduation of McIntosh’s best senior class in school history and the season-ending injuries to two of Morrow’s top three leading scorers makes the feat very doable.

Update: Starr’s Mill finished 18-11 with a Sweet 16 appearance

Stephens County will make the Sweet 16: The Indians last made the state playoffs in 2012-13 and finished 16-9 last year but missed out on the tournament. Now in a friendly region to rack up some wins, 6-foot-7 DeUndra Singleton, NuNu Walker and Ty Nails should be enough to clinch a top two seed in the region and defeat whoever comes out of Region 6-AAAA in the opening round of the state tournament.

Update: Stephens County finished 20-8 with a Sweet 16 appearance

Pace Academy will drop at least one Region 5-AAA game: Even though the No. 1 ranked Knights have arguably the No. 1 ranked player in the nation, someone out of Region 5 will knock the Knights off at least once. Preseason No. 8 Lovett did the honors last year with a 66-63 overtime victory and will get another crack to do it again this year. Add in No. 6 Cedar Grove and a scrappy Redan group and the Knights will certainly have their guard play tested.

Update: Pace Academy finished 16-1 in Region 5 with a 55-42 loss at Cedar Grove

Someone from the field will rise up to steal the Class A-Public crown from Wilkinson County: With No. 2 Crawford County and No. 7 Manchester added to the mix, Class A-Public gets a lot tougher. With that said, No. 1 Wilkinson County enters as the favorite, but this year the field might catch WilCo for just the second time in a six year span. Marcal Knolton (Crawford County) and Rashun Williams (No. 4 Calhoun County) have the talent and size to lead their respective teams to a deep run and match Wilkinson’s front line which is counting on Greg Couson to return healthy from an ACL tear.

Update: Wilkinson County won their 9th state title with a 66-53 victory over Calhoun County

Dwon Odom will have a handful of D-I offers by the end of the season: Already a star on the AAU circuit, No. 5 St. Francis’ freshman guard Dwon Odom will make a name for himself on the varsity level and in a loud fashion. Athleticism like his can’t be taught. The 6-foot-2 pogo stick will play the passing lanes and come away with some monstrous dunks this season. He might not be good enough to carry St. Francis to another state title yet, but he has the makings of becoming something special.

Update: Georgia Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Rutgers among others, have offered

Don’t sleep on Bowdon: Bowdon drops from Class AA to A-Public after making a state playoff appearance. Octavius Meadows, 6-foot-4, returns after being named Times-Georgian All-Area Newcomer of the Year averaging 17.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2 steals per game in his first season playing varsity. Bowdon gets a raw draw however, matching up in Region 6-A with practically everyone else being a Private School, which could hurt their chances on garnering a good enough record to make the state playoffs with the silly power ratings system in Class A. Whether they make the state tournament or not, Bowdon won’t be a pushover this season.

Update: Bowdon finished 10-15; 5-9 in Region 6

The Great Debate: Georgia vs. Alabama

Tyler Andrews (@TylerAndrews92)
Kyle Sandy (@KyleSandy355)


UGA Run vs. Bama D

A: I think we can both agree that the game will be won and lost in the trenches with the front sevens of each team trying to stop the opposing team’s running game. Nick Chubb is great and all, but has he faced a defense like Alabama’s? The answer is no. Sorry, but the Tide is a little better than Vanderbilt, who is the best team the Dawgs have played all season…seriously.

Alabama might not have the vaunted defense it once had, but it is still pretty darn good. Through four games this year the Crimson Tide has allowed just 56.8 yards per game on the ground – that’s a miniscule 2.0 yards per carry! Alabama hasn’t given up over 120 yards per game on the ground over a season since Nick Saban’s first year in 2007.

The best defense UGA faced last year was that of the lowly Florida Gators. As a team the Bulldogs rushed for 141 yards on 32 carries; that’s not going to cut it against Alabama. And do I need to remind Georgia fans of how that game turned out? Florida won 38-20 and gashed the pups’ defense for 418 yards with two slightly above average running backs. What is Derrick Henry and a healthy Kenyan Drake going to do?

G: When you think of SEC football you think of ground and pound offenses and hard-nosed defenses. This matchup displays power against power. Georgia has Nick Chubb who has managed to run for 100 yards in 12 straight games. He can beat you in physicality, speed, and even as a receiver. And don’t forget about the change of pace back in Sony Michel who may be Georgia’s most dangerous player on offense. Together they have combined for 822 rushing yards, 185 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in four games. The physicality of Georgia’s offensive line coupled with their two-headed monster in the backfield is something that cannot be stopped. A defense can only hope it can be maintained, especially when this isn’t one of Saban’s of old. And never forget about Keith Marshall.

 

Bama Run vs. UGA D

A: That “devastating” Bulldog defense people in Athens are trying to sell you on doesn’t even measure up to Bama. The Tide have played two ranked teams in current No. 19 Wisconsin and No. 3 Ole Miss. In those games the Badgers rushed for 40 yards on 21 carries while the Rebels gained 92 on 32 totes.

Georgia allowed 174 yards on 39 carries to South Carolina and even Vandy eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Henry rushed for 990 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. In his last healthy season in 2013, Drake gained 694 yards on 7.5 yards per carry. So far this season the duo has combined for 637 yards and nine scores. Last year UGA allowed 166.8 yards per game on the ground and heading into Saturday they have given up twice as much as Alabama has with 107.3. Good luck wrapping up the 6-foot-3, 242-pound Henry. By the way, last time these two teams met, in the 2012 SEC Championship, the Tide rolled for 350 yards rushing.

G: The days of Georgia having an underperforming defense are no longer thanks to the leadership of second-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Last year the team showed glimpses of greatness and this year has been all about sustaining that greatness. The Dawgs have given up only three rushing touchdowns all season and runners are averaging only 3.1 yards/attempt against a team that has had the opportunity to play a ton of second and third-string players in their blowout wins. On the opposing side, Alabama’s Derrick Henry is a great back. Henry is averaging 6.3 yards/carry and has eight rushing touchdowns. But, when Alabama faces a good defense like Georgia and they are in a third-and-long situation with a below-average quarterback, their running game cannot bail them out. I look for Georgia’s defense to set the tone early against the run and force Alabama to beat them through the air, which is something I don’t believe the Tide can do. I also expect a breakout game from middle linebacker Jake Ganus.

 

QB Comparison

A: With Alabama loading the box on defense, Greyson Lambert will be forced to beat the Tide. The bullets haven’t started flying against Lambert yet and he has never seen a defense quite like Alabama. He started 0-for-7 against Vanderbilt and was yanked for Brice Ramsey. The South Carolina game was an aberration, an outlier, a fluke. I have a sneaky suspicious the real Greyson Lambert who was a turnover machine at Virginia will rear his ugly head in this big game. Jake Coker has proven he can be competent against good competition, going 15-of-21 against Wisconsin for 213 yards and a touchdown. He threw for three touchdowns and ran in a score against Ole Miss, but was marred by two interceptions. The rumor on campus however was that Coker was running a 102 degree fever all day.

G: Both UGA and Alabama entered the season with quarterback questions. Since Week 2, the schools have gone in completely different directions. Alabama switched starting quarterbacks before their game against Ole Miss and it turned out to haunt them. Georgia questioned whether Greyson Lambert could lead them after two below-average performances. His 24-of-25, 330-yard performance against South Carolina erased that doubt. Not only would I give the edge to the quarterback that is hot right now in Lambert, but I also give the edge to the team that has their guy and not a circus with two cowboys.

 

History

A: They say history repeats itself. If that’s true, it’s not a good sign for Georgia. We all remember the SEC Championship and of course, how can we forget the “Blackout” gimmick UGA used in 2008? That one really worked well between the bushes. The Dawgs entered the half down 31-0 and limped to a 41-30 loss. Overall, Bama has taken the series 37-24-3. Since 1960, the Crimson Tide has gone 14-7 against UGA. Oh and by the way, Alabama has 15 National Championships to Georgia’s one.

G: Since 2008, the last time these two played in the regular season, their stories have been vastly different. Alabama has won three national titles and three SEC titles. Georgia has lost twice in the SEC title game and had a 6-7 season. The last time these two played in the 2012 SEC title game, Georgia came within four yards of winning and going to the National Championship. When they were blown out at home in 2008 in the blackout game it was much of the same misery felt by all Dawgs fans. But, that’s why I am confident in their task this weekend. Georgia is due for a big win. Georgia is due for a good performance against Alabama. A good team like Georgia who always recruits well and is always hovering in the top ten is due to finally breakthrough and play up to their potential against a big-time opponent.

 

Coaching Comparison

A: When it comes to the sidelines, I’ll take Nick Saban, his four national championships, Lane Kiffin and Kirby Smart over Mark Richt’s goose egg in the cabinet, Brian Schottenheimer and Jeremy Pruitt. Just look at Richt’s debacle against Georgia Tech. He inexplicably pooch kicked with 18 seconds left up three. Then he left fans aghast with his decision to call a timeout with 4 seconds left and the play clock at 3 seconds when Georgia Tech was lining up for the tying kick. Instead of a 58-yarder, Harrison Butker attempted a 53-yarder and the rest is history.

G: It’s hard to say a coach that has won four titles is not as good as one that has yet to win one or even play for one as a head coach, but I am going to say that anyway. In his 15th season, Richt has already compiled 140 wins, a .745 winning percentage and nine 10-win seasons. He won a national title as offensive coordinator at Florida State. But, most importantly he is the ultimate players coach. His good deeds, devotion to faith, and loyalty to his players has to pay off some day. I see him as a Bowden or an Osborne who just takes longer to win that first title. Richt has proven that he is great and nobody can take that away from him.

Home Field Advantage?

 A: In terms of hitting the road against UGA, there isn’t much to worry about. Since ’07, Bama has nine wins on the road against ranked teams. Included in that is wins at Death Valley (LSU) three times, Sanford Stadium (UGA), Ole Miss, Arkansas, Beaver Stadium (Penn State), The Swamp (Florida) and Kyle Field (Texas A&M).

G: The wounds of 2008 are still fresh in the minds and hearts of UGA. Nobody in recent memory has done what Alabama did to the Dawgs on their home field. Not only is redemption on the minds of the UGA faithful, but their 35-year title drought is too. UGA is 74-15 at home under Richt and I would bet on that even facing a team like Alabama.

Prediction

A: 31-21
G: 38-28

*UPDATE*

Alabama won 38-10.
UGA QB’s combined to go 11-of-31 for 106 yards and 3 INTs.
Jake Coker: 11-of-16, 190 yards and 1 TD.
Derrick Henry: 26 carries 148 yards 1 TD (Long of 30).
Nick Chubb: 20 carries 146 yards 1 TD (Long of 83).

Sandy’s Spiel’s Super Sleepers (Football)

Every year in every sport there is that one team that comes out of nowhere to surprise people. In the NBA it was our Atlanta Hawks. Last year in the MLB it was the Kansas City Royals. But who are some potential sleepers for this upcoming high school football season? It’s not as easy to predict with stats and info not being readily available for every school, but taking a stab in the dark can still be fun. I’ll try to run down some teams who I think have a chance to surprise people this year, picking a team from each classification. Also, I’ll try to avoid notoriously strong programs that just had a down year.

Class AAAAAA

North_Paulding_Logo_smallA team that took its lumps after moving up to 6A is North Paulding (4-7). The Wolfpack won a record 11 games in 2013 in their final season at the 5A level, but found out that playing with the “big boys” was a whole other animal. Scott Jones is a strong coach with experience coaching at the highest classification after a 10-year run at Kennesaw Mountain. The Wolfpack return an experienced group ready to take the next step. Senior quarterback Kyle Banks (MTSU) threw for 3,498 yards and 32 touchdowns in his first year starting last season. His two favorite targets also return with seniors D.J. Owens (67 receptions, 1,157 yards, 12 TD’s) and NC State-commit, tight end Dylan Autenrieth (468 yards), back to make big plays. Another reason I like North Paulding is the fact that linebacker Javier Williams returns after totaling 97 tackles. A big loss however is William Craig, who has transfered to Buford after notching over 100 tackles in 2014.

Class AAAAA

9856363Paulding County (5-5) took a momentous step forward last season and coach Scott Hamilton has the team believing a playoff berth is within their grasp.The Patriots recorded their first winning season since 2003 and have nearly everybody returning on offense. Senior Bailey Johnson and junior Marquis Tre’von Lewis split time at quarterback last year and combined for 2,069 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Lewis added 500 yards rushing and 10 scores as well. Caleb Sailor returns to the backfield after a broken collarbone ended his season after four games. He and Dondre Ledford will see the bulk of the carries. Ledford did most of his damage at receiver in 2014, catching 42 balls for 413 yards, but the top option will remain Antonio Gandy-Golden, who comes off a 54-catch, 891-yard season.

Class AAAA

Under head coach Sean Gray, Southeast Whitfield (6-5) captured its first winning season since 1986. Screen-Shot-2012-07-26-at-5.42.32-PM1That is 28 years! The Raiders return their top running back Tyler Brown along with dual-threat quarterback Will Swantic. Linebacker/running back Devin Fields brings back a two-way talent that could help spark the Raiders back into the playoffs. Pickens County should fall back to the pack with the graduation of Shannon Brooks (Minnesota) and Northwest Whitfield loses star quarterback Caleb Shiflett which gives reason to believe that Southeast Whitfield could find itself in the playoff picture again.


Class AAA

Coaching is critical in high school football and one of the best in the business to never win a state title brings his 20 years of head coaching experience to the Dawson County Tigers (2-8). DTigerSid Maxwell has compiled a 128-83 record and has only suffered five losing seasons as a head coach – three coming in his first three seasons at Sequoyah back in the mid-90’s. Maxwell runs a Wing-T offense and spent his first 15 years coaching at Sequoyah before moving to Lambert for five years to coach his son. He took off last season, but Dawson County should see success under the strong leader.

Class AA

Wesleyan 1247866013_wesleyan_wolves(6-5) was extremely young last year and started freshman Banks Ramsey at quarterback. The Wolves’ top two running backs return along with top receiver, junior Harrison Cook. Drew Aspinwall led the team in tackles as a junior at linebacker with 99 stops. Jordan Mack is a Virginia-commit and plays both offense and defense for the Wolves. Coach Franklin Pridgen’s group played teams tough last season. They lost to quarterfinal participants Pace Academy 23-17 in overtime, Lovett 30-24 and Heard County 28-21. These young pups look to become full-grown wolves this season with some bite.

Class A

Stratford Academy imgres(6-5) and its dominant rushing attack (293.6 yards per game) can steam roll opponents. Dual sport standout Quintez Cephus controls the offense from under center while senior O’Showen Williams is coming off a 1,060-yard, 21-touchdown season. The Eagles lost close games to strong programs Aquinas 28-27 and to Lincoln County 21-20.

Sandy’s Spiel’s NCAA Football Preseason Top 25

Preseason Top 25

  1. TCU (12-1)
  2. Ohio State (14-1)
  3. USC (9-4)
  4. Oregon (13-2)
  5. Baylor (11-2)
  6. Alabama (12-2)
  7. Florida State (13-1)
  8. LSU (8-5)
  9. Stanford (8-5)
  10. Michigan State (11-2)
  11. Auburn (8-5)
  12. Wisconsin (11-3)
  13. Georgia (10-3)
  14. Oklahoma (8-5)
  15. Ole Miss (9-4)
  16. UCLA (10-3)
  17. Clemson (10-3)
  18. Virginia Tech (7-6)
  19. Notre Dame (8-5)
  20. Utah (9-4)
  21. Oklahoma State (7-6)
  22. Georgia Tech (11-3)
  23. Miami (FL) (6-7)
  24. Boise State (12-2)
  25. Louisville (9-4)