Friday 5 – Our Football Teams

For those of you that haven’t been counting down for nearly six months, football season officially starts in less than five weeks with the first games of the college season being on Thursday, September 2. This means I thought it would be a good time for us to evaluate our personal desires for how we would (realistically) like our respective teams to fare this season. Bryan and I are both Tennessee Vols fans, he’s a Missouri Tigers fan, I’m an Indianapolis Colts fan and he’s a St. Louis Rams fan. So for our Friday 5 I’ll put up the schedule for each game, how many wins we expect/hope that team to get and at then end for the final part, to complete the ‘5’ in Friday 5 I will put up a total. I will also plan on putting up some sort of weekly chart or graph or both or something to provide something to look at for the progressions our teams our making towards the goals that we are setting for them. Let’s get started:

Tennessee Volunteers:

This is the depressing one. I would love -and I mean absolutely LOVE- to say that I think we can realistically get six wins this year and be bowl eligible. However, it just doesn’t appear to be in the cards. On top of trying to go through a second coaching change in as many years, as well as weeding out the players that would rather be drinking, beating up cops and getting arrested rather than playing football we also have one of the most brutal schedules I’ve ever seen. Based on the preseason polls I’ve seen so far, we’re going to be playing three of the top five or six teams in the country plus three other teams that are at getting ranked in the top 25, one of which has gotten some top 10 consideration. So here’s the schedule:

vs. Tennessee-Martin: W

vs Oregon: L

vs florida: L

vs UAB: W

@ LSU: L

@ Georgia: L

vs Alabama: L

@ S. Carolina: L

@ Memphis: W

vs Ole Miss: L

@ Vanderbilt: W

vs Kentucky: W

That’s a 5-7 season for our boys in orange. We may beat Ole Miss and lose to Vandy, but I really don’t see us winning both and I’m just praying we don’t lose both. The only way I can see us ending up bowl eligible is if we bounce back from a 2-6 start and end on a four game winning streak. I’m certainly not predicting that however, so for the Tennessee Volunteers it’s 5 wins.

Missouri Tiger:

Sticking with the NCAA we have Bryan’s Alma Mater, Mizzou. I don’t know near as much about the Tigers as I do about the Vols, and by that I mean I know next to nothing about the Tigers and I know more about the Vols than I do about any other team. Because of this I won’t be providing quite as much of an analysis here. I do however know that they’re season looks to be a little brighter than the one on Rocky Top. I even saw one preseason poll with Mizzou in the top 20. Taking a look at their schedule shows a though stretch in the middle of the season, but they don’t face the Texas Longhorns this year, which can only help their cause. In fact, the only two teams on their schedule that are getting consistently ranked in preseason are the Oklahoma Sooners (getting ranked at about 13) and the Nebraska Cornhuskers (at about 10), though I did notice one poll with Texas Tech ranked. Either way I sent a text message to Bryan asking him which games he thought they’d win this year and this is what the results would be:

vs Illinois: W

vs McNeese State: W

vs San Diego State: W

vs Miami (OH): W

vs Colorado: W

@ Texas A&M: L

vs Oklahoma: L

@ Nebraska: L

@ Texas Tech: L

vs Kansas State: W

@ Iowa State: W

vs Kansas: W

That’s an 8-4 season for Mizzou and one of Bryan’s texts read exactly “8-4 plus a bowl win” though I’ll add that I don’t think getting a win against A&M is out of the question by any means and that the Tech game should be a good one. Either way, the 8 regular season wins plus a bowl win gives the Tigers 9 wins.

St. Louis Rams:

Staying in the same state but switching from college to pro, we’ll next take a look at the Rams. Unfortunately for the Rams the 49ers and Seahawks appeared to have made big improvements in the offseason and while the Cardinals no longer have Kurt Warner, they’re still certainly favorites over the Rams. On top of that the last two games of the season are against the Niners and Seahawks, and it’s likely that at least one (if not both) of those teams will be fighting for a playoff spot. I don’t think there is any way they even kind of have a chance at getting more than five wins, and I would be absolutely shocked if they got that many. Bryan says he’s hoping for three, which I think is right around where the realistic expectations should be. The Rams haven’t had a winning season since 2003 and 2006 was the last time they even won more than three games in a season so hoping for much more than three with a rookie quarterback is a little unreasonable. The odd thing is that Bryan and I disagree on which three games we think they’ll win. We agree that wins over Oakland and Tampa Bay are definitely possible. Bryan thinks that the third win would be against the Chiefs, but I’m expecting the Chiefs to have a pivotal year and start to turn things around. So I think the third win would come against the Broncos (especially if they’re starting tim tebow at that point) because I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they finished last in the AFC West this year (which I might add is probably the worst division in the league) but Bryan doesn’t think they have a chance against the Broncos in Denver in late November. We both think though, that there is an outside chance at beating the Lions. However, when it comes down to it, this is Bryan’s team so I’m going with the Chiefs. Here’s how it looks:

vs Arizona: L

@ Oakland: W

vs Washington: L

vs Seattle: L

@ Detroit: L

vs San Diego: L

@ Tampa Bay: W

vs Carolina: L

@ San Francisco: L

vs Atlanta: L

@ Denver: L

@ Arizona: L

@ New Orleans: L

vs Kansas City: W

vs San Francisco: L

@ Seattle: L

A game I’d like to point out on the Rams schedule though is the the Halloween game against Carolina. It’ll be Sam Bradford vs Jimmy Clausen and the media are going to have a field day with it, oddly enough Clausen’s Panthers also face the Browns this season who will be showcasing Colt McCoy. If everything goes right the Rams could top out at five wins if they also manage to beat the Lions and Broncos, but if everything goes wrong they’re certainly susceptible to a winless season. I don’t think that’s very likely so we’re giving the Rams 3 wins.

Indianapolis Colts:

I’ve already written a lengthy post about why I think the Colts have the strong potential to simply bulldoze any team between here and the Lombardi Trophy. So let’s look at the Colts schedule to see which teams are on that path. The Colts have a tough month from Novermber 7 – December 5 when they play the Eagles, Bengals, patriots, Chargers and Cowboys but three of those games are home games and the Colts simply don’t lose in Indy. Seriously. The Colts have won 41 of their last 48 home games and two of those seven losses came at the end of seasons when the Colts had already locked up their postseason seed. So really that’s a 41-5 record at home over the past six seasons. That’s incredible. Truly, the Dallas game would be the one that would worry me the most if it weren’t for the fact that it’s a home game.  The Ravens are a team that I would be concerned about but they aren’t on our schedule this season. I’ve already written a post about the Jets and why they’re my early favorites to win the Super Bowl, but they aren’t on the schedule either. The Bengals and Chargers would at least make me worry a bit if they weren’t home games. The Eagles have a ton of talent, but there is no way they beat the Colts this year. The Jags are a joke. Peyton owns Denver. The Titans always play us tough, but we always win. The Texans are certainly improving but we’re 15-1 all time against them and the one loss was only by 3 points. The Giants game will be fun because of the Peyton vs Eli storyline but it’s already happened once and it in Indy and I see the Giants struggling to bounce back after a tough year last year. The Chiefs, Redskins and Raiders just aren’t even on the same level as the Colts. And after all that it leaves one game on the schedule as a question mark.

@ Houston: W

vs NY Giants: W

@ Denver: W

@ Jacksonville: W

vs Chiefs: W

@ Washington: W

vs Houston: W

@ Philadelphia: W

vs Cincinnati: W

@ new england: W

vs San Diego: W

vs Dallas: L

@ Tennessee: W

vs Jacksonville: W

@ Oakland: L

vs Tennessee: L

In case you’re confused, it was the patriots game that I was referring to as the question mark, but have no fear. We will win that game. On average we lose about one home game per year, so I think it’s fair to assume that it will be at the hands of the Cowboys this year. I think it’s likely that we’ll go 13-1 and already have a first round bye in the AFC locked up. The Chargers third loss will be against the Colts, giving the Colts the tie-breaker over them, the Ravens and Bengals will be a game or two back and the Jets will probably have to top seed already. So by week 15 the Colts will start coasting to the playoffs and in essence conceding the final two games of the season leaving them with 13 wins.

Total Victories:

In the end we hope that our teams will combine for a total of at least 30 wins by my birthday (January 8) and that the Colts will then go on to win the Super Bowl a month later. We will keep track of this progress as the seasons unfold. And it all starts on September 4 when the Vols take on UT-Martin and Mizzou faces off with Illinois. Here’s our hit list:

  1. Sept 4: Illinois
  2. Sept 4: UT-Martin
  3. Sept 11: McNeese State
  4. Sept 12: Texans
  5. Sept 18: San Diego State
  6. Sept 19: Raiders
  7. Sept 19: Giants
  8. Sept 25: UAB
  9. Sept 25: Miami (OH)
  10. Sept 26: Broncos
  11. Oct 3: Jaguars
  12. Oct 9: Colorado
  13. Oct 10: Lions
  14. Oct 10: Chiefs
  15. Oct 16: Texas A&M
  16. Oct 17: Redskins
  17. Oct 24: Buccaneers
  18. Nov 1: Texans
  19. Nov 6: Memphis
  20. Nov 6: Texas Tech
  21. Nov 7: Eagles
  22. Nov 13: Ole Miss
  23. Nov 13: Kansas State
  24. Nov 14: Bengals
  25. Nov 20: Vanderbilt
  26. Nov 20: Iowa State
  27. Nov 21: patriots
  28. Nov 27: Kentucky
  29. Nov 27: Kansas
  30. Nov 28: Broncos
  31. Nov 28: Chargers
  32. Dec 5: Cowboys
  33. Dec 9: Titans
  34. Dec 19: Chiefs
  35. Dec 19: Jaguars
  36. Dec 26: Raiders
  37. Jan 2: Titans
  38. Unknown: Mizzou Bowl Game
  39. Unknown: Vols Bowl Game
  40. Feb 6: Super Bowl XLV

I decided to list all of the games that were good possibilities to win as well and then to make it a nice rounded-out list of 40 I added the Super Bowl and a Vols Bowl Game in case by some magical stroke of luck we actually make it to one. At the earliest (barring major upsets) we could reach our goal of 30 total wins before November ends, but our deadline is my birthday.

3 Responses

  1. It’s a Friday 5 but I only see 4 teams…might I suggest the Chargers? ;)

  2. Unfortunately I do not know much about football, although I do know more thanks to you guys. But it looks like you have done your research which is always nice to know when I read a post.

  3. […] chances of winning any of the other three are slim to none. Against the AFC West as predicted in this post, I have them going 2-2, beating the Chiefs at home, beating the Raiders in Oakland and falling to […]

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