Is Marshall Poised For Perfection?
The battle for supremacy in Conference USA appears to be a five team race between Marshall and Middle Tennessee in the East and Rice, Texas-San Antonio, and North Texas in the West. The Billingsley projection shows Marshall favored in every game, which will include key games (both at home) against Middle Tennessee and Rice. A loss to the Thundering Herd gives Rice very little wiggle room, but wins over Texas-San Antonio and North Texas (both at home), and barring any upsets along the way in conference play, would still put Rice in a rematch with Marshall for the championship. An undefeated regular season for Marshall (13-0) would most likely land the Thundering Herd in the Top 25. Billingsley projects Marshall to end the regular season at # 16.
Can La. Lafayette Bring Sun Belt to National Prominence?
The Ragin’ Cajuns are loaded and ready to explode onto the National scene. Billingsley’s 2014 Preseason projections find Louisiana Lafayette finishing the season 10-2 with a national ranking closing in on the Top 25 at #27. Losses are projected to be at the hands of Ole Miss on September 13 and Boise State on September 20. Both games are on the road. An upset win over either opponent, coupled with a projected undefeated run in the Sun Belt conference, would assure The Cajuns of that coveted Top 25 ranking, something never achieved by a Sun Belt team. Going undefeated in the conference however, will not be an easy feat. Arkansas State is only a step behind and Louisiana Monroe and Troy are both capable of taking the crown as well. Mark your calendars, the conference title could be decided when Arkansas State visits Louisiana Lafayette on a special Tuesday night edition of college football on October 21.
College Playoff Announces Ranking Dates
Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the new College Football Playoff announced the rankings dates to release the Top 25 college football teams as seeded by the new Selection Committee. The first release will be announced on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. The Tuesday date is somewhat a throwback to the Golden Age of college football in the 1950’s and 60’s when the Associated Press (AP) and the Coaches Poll (UPI) ran in the Tuesday Editions of newspapers across America. The Selection Committee, comprised of 13 well respected members, will meet weekly in person to analyze data and discuss teams before voting by secret ballot. After the initial release on October 28, subsequent weekly Top 25 Rankings will be released on November4, November 11, November 18, November 25, December 2, and a final vote released on Sunday, December 7. The final vote will announce the Top Four teams which will be selected to play in the inaugural semi-final games of the new playoff format along with the other Bowl Game pairings. The Billingsley Report will continue to release weekly rankings beginning with the first week of the season, on Tuesday, after the games of Labor Day weekend. The rankings for the remainder of the season will be released on Sundays, followed by a weekly review/preview to be posted each Wednesday of the coming season.