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Bill Connelly

NCAA Football, Basketball and Tennis Contributor

Bill Connelly grew up a fan of the Miami Dolphins (post-1970s glory), Pittsburgh Pirates (ditto), Portland Trailblazers (ditto again) and Missouri Tigers. That he still enjoys sports at all shows both severe loyalty and a potential personality disorder. He spends his evening playing with excel sheets and watching DVR'd football games from ESPN Classic. See more of his work at Rock M Nation, Football Outsiders and Football Study Hall.

MOST RECENT POSTS

Arkansas will improve ... on paper

In Bret Bielema's second year, the Razorbacks should be excellent at running the ball and solid at defending the pass. But that probably isn't good enough to make headway against a brutal schedule.

Mississippi State and sudden expectations

Through 10 games in 2013, Mississippi State was 4-6 and Dan Mullen was on the hot seat. Three games later, the Bulldogs had hype and expectations. Are they ready to back it up?

Ole Miss needs a 3rd step forward

With a superb defense alone, Ole Miss should be able to match last year's eight wins in Hugh Freeze's third season. The offense will dictate whether the ceiling is higher.

Tennessee and the Ole Miss model

Extreme turnover in the trenches should prevent Tennessee from doing much better than about 6-6, but great recruiting and increasing experience could make for high 2015 expectations.

Vandy starts over again

Derek Mason has the perfect résumé for continuing Vandy's winning ways in James Franklin's absence. But while the defense has some exciting play-makers, the offense will be a question mark.

Kentucky's real momentum

Mark Stoops improved Kentucky on the field (awful to bad) and in recruiting (top-20 class) in his first year. His Wildcats won't be bowling yet, but there's opportunity for another step forward.

Even Oregon has questions to answer

Oregon has one proven play-maker in its front seven and less experience at safety. And its go-to receiver is out. The Ducks also have Marcus Mariota and a navigable schedule. They'll be alright.

New names, same Stanford

We can talk about Oregon and UCLA and the Pac-12's depth, but Stanford is the conference king until proven otherwise. And despite a tough schedule, the Cardinal have a shot at a third straight title.

USC's a sleeper? Welcome to 2014

Last year, stats pointed to Michigan State and Oklahoma State as the country's biggest sleepers. This year, the answer's a lot more boring. USC is still thin and breaking in a new coach, but the...

Arizona State's reloading year

With almost all of last year's defensive difference-makers gone, Arizona State probably won't be a Pac-12 South contender in 2014. But if the Sun Devils hold steady on offense and play well at...

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