LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Before haters became the flavor of the day in college football, bulletin board material was the description of choice.
Coaching staffs directed graduate assistants and student managers to find something written about their team, make as many copies as possible, highlight the most inflammatory material and post it on every opening wall space in the Locker room.
Stand back and watch the bile and adrenaline flow.
I'm here to eliminate the middle man -- and to tout the wonderful work done by Brett Ciancia from @PickSixPreviews.
His preview for the 2019 college football season is different from most. He limits the preview to the 65 teams that compete at the Power Five level. And his preview is an internet download, not a newsstand magazine.
I paid my $15 Wednesday -- and I'd recommend that you also invest the money. You won't have time to digest all the content by the opening weekend of the season.
Although he is not bullish on the local programs, he delivers his projections based on data, trends and analysis, not emotion. It's tough to argue with his scenarios.
Ciancia said that he invested more than 1,000 hours in the project watching game film, calling coaches and writers, reading stories, listening to podcasts and other forms of research.
He provides an exhaustive look at teams from the Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences as well as Notre Dame and the service academies.
Ciancia wrote that stassen.com has determined that PickSixPreviews have been the most accurate pre-season forecast over the last seven seasons.
Then he puts himself in the hot seat on the opening page. Here are Ciancia's four national playoff teams:
Ohio State. Semi-check.
Utah. Question mark.
No Alabama? No Oklahoma? No Texas (another trendy pick)? No Notre Dame, Louisville's opening opponent?
I admire a guy who isn't afraid to doubt Nick Saban.
Now, the local angle -- and the bulletin-board material. Like most other national previews I've read, Ciancia is not expecting great things from the local programs.
I'm not going to share the majority of Ciancia's takes on Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana. Wouldn't be fair to his business and the work that he invested.
But I will share a few tidbits, that you could consider bulletin-board material.
*He ranked Kentucky No. 38 among all Power Five teams, one spot behind Jeff Brohm and Purdue. He projected the Wildcats to finish tied with South Carolina for fifth in the SEC East, ahead of Vanderbilt.
*He ranked Indiana No. 48, one spot behind Boston College and one ahead of my wonderful friends from West Virginia.
Ciancia picked the Hoosiers fifth in the Big Ten East ahead of Ohio State and Michigan. (Just kidding and making certain you are paying attention. The Hoosiers are ahead of Maryland and Rutgers.)
*Louisville is ranked No. 62 among the 65 Power Five teams, leading Oregon State, Kansas and Rutgers. Yes, that is last in the ACC Atlantic.
*Sorry, Mekhi Becton. The Louisville offensive tackle did not make his first- or second-team on the PickSixPreviews all-American squad. No local players were recognized. Becton was selected first-team all-ACC.
*Ciancia also ranked the Top 15 units nationally on both sides of the ball. One local group was noticed -- Kentucky’s offensive line (led by Logan Stenberg) at No. 13.
*If Louisville fans need another reason to howl at Bobby Petrino, Ciancia provided one. He ranked Louisville's running backs, offensive line, defensive line and defensive backs the worst in the ACC.
*Ciancia wrote that Louisville was "the worst" Power Five team in the nation last season "by far." He endorsed the hire of Scott Satterfield but said Louisville lacks the personnel to play the brand of power football that Satterfield prefers.
He said that a Louisville football turnaround will not be a "quick fix."
*Ciancia ranked two Indiana units -- quarterback No. 6 and running back No. 7 -- in the top half of the Big Ten but has the Hoosiers' defensive line at No. 14. Stopping the run has forever been an issue in Bloomington.
*He wrote favorably about Indiana's quarterbacks and running backs and says the Hoosiers' offensive line will be a major part of any improvement. He also said that Tom Allen has played younger guys on defense in consecutive seasons and 2019 appears to be a year when that inexperience should translate into a strength.
*Ciancia ranked Kentucky's offensive line No. 4 in the SEC but has the Wildcats running backs and wide receivers ranked the worst in the league.
He credited Kentucky for sticking with Mark Stoops in an era when many schools would have changed coaches after years three or four. He also recognized the solid and consistent work that Stoops has done improving Kentucky's recruiting.
*He wrote that two factors made 2018 an unforgettable season for the Wildcats -- a superb defense and Benny Snell. Like most of the pre-season voices, he wrote that he expects Kentucky to take a step backwards this season.
If you love college football, you’ll love PickSixPreviews
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