Daily Blog - Wednesday, August 5th
Last year we found a company that does polls and I put up the Fan Poll at the start of the year. During August I had the Conference Forecast tab which listed each team in the conferences and also listed the Fan Vote and who was projected to win those games based on the vote. At the end of August and during the year my computer takes over projecting the results for the rest of the year and the conference races and this is updated EVERY Monday during the year. Yesterday I took a look at the 5 Western Conferences and how the fans voted. Today I will take a look at the 6 Eastern conferences.
There will be prizes given out to the person who correctly picks the most wins during the course of the season so if you have not done so already get to the poll and vote for EVERY game. I will keep tabs on this on a weekly basis so you can see who is leading the contest weekly. CLICK HERE TO VOTE.
The media and most other magazines have pegged Ohio State the favorite to win the Big Ten. The voters have picked both teams to be 7-0 by pretty wide margins. The Big Ten title game appears to be when Penn St hosts Ohio St and right now 58% of the voters side with Penn St (that could change in August). Illinois is tabbed for 3rd by the voters at 6-2 which ties them with Iowa (also 6-2). Illinois’ closest vote is 61% while Iowa has 53% vs Mich St and 57% at Wisconsin so that could change during the month. Michigan St is pegged at 5-3 but Spartan voters this month could move them ahead of Iowa. Wisconsin is tabbed for 6th by the voters at 4-4 but have 48% of the vote vs Minnesota so that could change. Minnesota is pegged for 3-5 by the voters and despite being in a bowl last year have ZERO % of the votes vs Ohio St and Penn St. The Michigan Wolverines have a brutal schedule and the voters have them going 2-6 in the Big Ten! UM is tied with Northwestern at the two win total. The voters feel the battle for the basement in the Big 10 will be Purdue at Indiana in the season finale and only a 55-45% margin has Purdue out of the basement .
The voters have spoken (so far) and their pick to win the Big East is.........West Virginia at 6-1. They also predict Pitt will be 6-1 but 60% have WV winning the head to head battle. South Florida could enter into the mix if the voters help them out in August. While they are forecast to be 5-2 they do have 47% of the vote vs Rutgers and a few more votes could make is a three way tie at 6-1. .The defending Big East champ Cincinnati is picked for a tie for 4th at 4-3 with my preseason favorite Rutgers. Connecticut is picked to go 2-5 with only 53% of the vote to beat Louisville so the Cards could emerge in August. Based on the vote right now Louisville is pegged for 1-6 in the Big East but 100% of the fans feel they will beat Syracuse a team that has upset them the last two years. Syracuse is picked for 0-7 with their highest percentage of votes being just 13% vs USF.
No surprise here as Troy is picked to go 8-0 and the closest voting margin was 75-25% vs Ark St. While only 6% of the voters thought Florida Atlantic could beat Troy, the voters also have the Owls going 7-1 in league play for 2nd place. Middle Tennessee is 3rd in the voting with fans forecasting a 6-2 league record. When I say the voters have a tie for 4th place I really mean it. ULMonroe and Ark St are each pegged to win 4 games, lose 3 and it is right now a 50-50% split in the voting in their game! Whoever winds up August being picked to win that game (I cant imagine a tie at end of month) will get the call for 4th. Florida International is picked for 6th at 3-5. Louisiana in next in line at 2-6 followed by North Texas at 1-7. Western Kentucky is picked for the basement at 0-8 with 29% of the vote vs North Texas being their best shot of winning.
I just went to the MAC media days this past week and got to meet with 11 of the 13 coaches. The preseason favorite by the Media is Central Michigan and you the voter has them going 8-0 with the closest game being 69% for their road game vs rival Western. Western does hold a tenuous 54% of the vote vs Toledo but is picked to go 7-1. Voters could put Toledo in 2nd place with a little help as they are picked to be 6-2 with that close voting loss to WM the key. Northern is picked 4th with 3 wins but does have 50% of the vote vs Eastern Michigan so could be picked at 4-4 depending how the voting goes. Ball St which was the best team in the league last year is only picked to win 2 games. Eastern is not favored by the voters in any game but have that 50% tie (as of now) vs Northern Illinois.
Unlike the Big East where voters were not favorable to my surprise pick, the MAC voters embraced my surprise pick of Ohio to win the East. MAC Media day voters had Ohio 5th in the East but the voters on the philsteele.com poll have them going 8-0 with the closest game being a 54-46% vote vs Buffalo. Showing that voters feel the strength of the league is in the West, Buffalo is picked for 2nd in the East despite a 5-3 projected record. Bowling Green get the call for 4-4 and 3rd place. Akron is picked to go 3-5 and that would be 4th place. Temple is a surprising pick for 5th at just 2-6 but have the toughest schedule of the MAC East teams. Who will finish in the basement. The voters right now are undecided as Miami and Kent are each picked to win 1 MAC game and their matchup is a 50-50 split so voters will determine who they think will finish in the basement this month.
Virginia Tech is the preseason favorite to win the ACC and the voters are calling for an 8-0 season but they do only have a 52-48% edge in their road trip to Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech is picked for 2nd in the Coastal right now but could actually emerge as the favorite by the end of August. They are picked 6-2 but have 48% of the votes in each of the losses so they are very closer to being picked 8-0! North Carolina is picked 3rd at 5-3 with a tenuous 52% in their win over Florida St. Miami is picked 4th at 4-4. Virginia is picked by 63% of the voters to beat Duke and gain their only ACC win and that game would keep Duke in the basement (AGAIN).
Florida St is the prohibitive favorite of the fans to win the Atlantic. They are picked to go 7-1 and with 48% of the vote vs North Carolina, could be picked for 8-0 by the end of the month. The gap is big as the #2 teams in the voting is Clemson at 5-3. NCSt is next at 3-4 with a 50-50 tie right now vs Boston College. Wake Forest is forecast to go 3-5 . BC is picked 2-5 with a a 50-50 tie. Maryland is at the bottom at 2-6 and no real shot of more than 2 in the voting.
As you would expect the voters have Florida going 8-0 this year with the closest voting in any of their games being a 69-31% vs LSU. Georgia is a clear #2 in the East with a 7-1 vote although they only have a 55-45% edge vs LSU. Tennessee is a clear #3 in the East with a projected 4-4 record. South Carolina and Vanderbilt were each picked for 2 SEC wins. Kentucky could move up to 2-6 if the voting goes their way in August as Vandy only has a 51-49% lead in their matchup and if the Cats end up the voting favorite in that game, Vandy would be relegated to the basement.
Three SEC West teams will be in the AP Top Ten at the start of the year. The SEC Media has picked Alabama followed closely by LSU and then Ole Miss. I went with Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU due to the schedules for each. The voters here have chosen Ole Miss to win the SEC East. It has Ole Miss going 7-1 but Ole Miss winning their head to head by a wide margin of 66-34%. Ole Miss’s only loss is projected to be LSU but that one could change in August as it is 53%-47%. LSU is the only one of the three that has to play either Florida and Georgia and despite the voters calling for LSU to go 5-0 vs the West they are pegged for tied for 2nd due to losses to those two Eastern teams. Alabama is picked to lose to both LSU and Ole Miss on the road but only by a 51-49% margin to LSU. If that turns around they would be picked for 2nd. Arkansas is only picked to go 3-5 with just 14% of the voters calling for them to beat Georgia. The lowest % of any Auburn game is 72% so they will be picked for 2-6 at the end of August. Miss St is a dog in all 8 with their best shots of winning via the voters at 25 and 29% vs Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
28 DAYS UNTIL FOOTBALL SEASON!