2016-10-27 13:28

There is a growing movement inside the press to do an upside-down-ranking of College Football Teams.

ESPN has established their BOTTOM 10 column (which is a quite funny read, but still is bottom line an insult for all the work put into each program, done by an outsider) and CBSSPORTS has their own version with the BOTTOM 25 (which is almost as insulting as the BUTTOM 10).

Sure, when there is a TOP 25 list by coaches and press, there has to be also some sort of group of worst teams.
The problem I have with those lists is, there are by definition always negative and does not even in a minimal way add something positive for the teams.
They are pure negative entertainment, like it became popular all over the place.

Yes, there are bad teams, compared to the good, shiny teams they did play and lose against, but they still work hard to become better and they do not deserve such an exposed position to make fun over their misfortune.
The mathematics of the games, the system, does automatically produce losing teams and in such an environment it's clear that there has to be teams losing a lot, when other teams do win a lot.
It does not reflect the character of the team and also not the characters of the players.
So why make fun about them?

I for my part won't make fun about a team.
If you think I do, let me know.
I always try to give an opinion regarding the team’s strength or how I feel about them, but I hope it's never an insult.

Last week did reduce the pool of "Ahead" teams a bit, Ohio State and Texas A&M did lose and went down a bit by definition.
Chances are high some conferences will not have a single team in this group at season final and if this means that a 1-loss teams have to be taken, the discussion will start.
I would like to see more upsets and great discussion over the system itself, but I think this will take some time.

Here are the 'remaining' teams for the playoffs.

Clemson Atlantic Coast Conference
Is the leading favorite to win the ACC

Baylor Big 12 Conference
At the moment with West Virginia the only hope for the Big12

West Virginia Big 12 Conference
At the moment with Baylor the only hope for the Big12

Michigan Big Ten Conference
Now leading favorite to win the Big10

Nebraska Big Ten Conference
Leading candidate to win their Big10 division and maybe more

Washington Pac-12 Conference
Favorite to win the PAC12

Alabama Southeastern Conference
Favorite to win the SEC

"In needs of a great goalline stand"
Louisville Atlantic Coast Conference
Needs now some help to win the division or conference, but has a quite easy remaining schedule

Ohio State Big Ten Conference
Lost to Penn State and needs a win against Michigan

Western Michigan Mid-American Conference
Might become the MAC Champ and one of the leading candidates for a new years bowl spot

Boise State Mountain West Conference
Favorite to win the MWC, second candidate for that one new years bowl spot

Utah Pac-12 Conference
Can win their division and maybe more in the PAC12

Florida Southeastern Conference
Contender for the SEC East division, needs to play an additional game against LSU

Texas A&M
Southeastern Conference Did lose to Alabama, needs help to win the division

"In need of a Hail Mary"
Navy American Athletic
Might win their division in the AAC or more, still outsider

Florida State Atlantic Coast Conference
Now almost for sure eliminated, only outsider chances left, but can play major spoiler for other teams

North Carolina Atlantic Coast Conference
Still contender for the Coastal division of the ACC, but outsider

Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast Conference
Still contender for the Coastal division of the ACC, but outsider

Virginia Tech Atlantic Coast Conference
Has the Coastal division up for grab, but needs to win, still outsider

Wake Forest Atlantic Coast Conference
Still in the mix, but outsider

Oklahoma Big 12 Conference
Is now considered as main contender for the BIG12 Champ, but outsider due 2 losses

Oklahoma State Big 12 Conference
Also contender for the BIG12, but due 2 losses outsider

Maryland Big Ten Conference
Also still in the mix, but outsider

Minnesota Big Ten Conference
Also still in the mix, but outsider

Penn State Big Ten Conference
Won against Ohio State, which brought them on the map, but still outsider with 2 losses

Wisconsin Big Ten Conference
Lost now two tough games, outsider

Toledo Mid-American Conference Might win their division in the MAC or more, still outsider

San Diego State Mountain West Conference
Might win their division in the MWC or more, still outsider

Colorado Pac-12 Conference
Is still in the mix for the PAC12 South, but outsider

Washington State Pac-12 Conference
Is not done yet, but outsider

Auburn Southeastern Conference
Is not done yet, but outsider

LSU Southeastern Conference
Is not done yet, but outsider

Tennessee Southeastern Conference
Is not done yet, but outsider

Troy Sun Belt Conference
A Sun Belt team as playoff candidate is VERY unlikely, outsider

That's 34 teams, 10 less than last week, which is a big loss over a week.
And it's not over yet.
There are several games coming in the near future which will likely reduce the teams with 2-losses or less to manageable group of 15 to 20 fast.

I hope you do enjoy the season as much as I do so far, because we do witness something extraordinary right now.
Nick Saban did create a National Title Machine the Football world has not seen since Bear Bryant and we also might see the start of a great BIG10 rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan we have not seen since the 70s under Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes (this might be too early to pick, but Meyer vs Harbaugh is a great matchup and might decide the BIG10 for some time).

To be honest, all other matchups do look a bit pale against this one.
At least right now.
This season I do not by into Clemson that much and even when Washington does win good against mid-level teams, there are still some compares between them and the TOP teams missing and we might only then get a feeling how good that team is then.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 9

Thur. Oct 27 - 7:00 PM ET
#25 Virginia Tech @ Pittsburgh
Many people do say that Virginia Tech is ahead of schedule regarding rebuilding.
Sure, it was expected the team would take a step back to adjust to the new HC and might win then again as known in the past beginning of next season or even 2018.
Well, they are right now in control to win the ACC Coastal and what they need to do so is to win all remaining conference games, beginning with this road game against Pitt.
Pitt is in need of a win to stay in the hunt for the conference title.
Vegas sees VT as 3.5 favorite, which is not much.
Pitts weakness was so far their defense, which did allow at least 31 points against power 5 teams and the Hokies are a quite good scoring team.
I don't think Pitt will win this, VT is just coming together better and better and the rebuilding team is in truth a well-trained team which just needed a spark to come to live.
Fuente did spark the Hokies and will guide them to a win here to tighten the grip on the conference title.
Hokies win.

Sat. Oct 29 - 3:30 PM ET
#4 Washington @ #17 Utah
This is a matchup of believes and I don't mean religion.
Can Washington win against a GOOD, maybe VERY GOOD team on the road?
Can Utah win against a VERY GOOD team at home?
Washington did show only once some sort of vulnerability, when they won on the road against Arizona (and so far every opponent of Arizona inside the PAC12 has won against them), so on the road against a weak team.
Now they play a good team, on the road, and they have to defend against a great Utah running game.
On the other hand did Utah not play against the real good teams inside the PAC12 so far and had always some sort of trouble, winning just in close games and even lost against Cal (on the road).
So what happens when a good teams comes to town?
Close game?
A loss?
Vegas sees Washington as 10 points favorite.
That's a lot.
I see two scenarios, Utah does fight and can somehow confuse the Huskies defense, then it's an open game, or they won't do that and the Huskies will eat the Utes alive.
I believe in the second scenario and see Washington beating the spread.
Huskies win.

Sat. Oct 29 - 7:00 PM ET
#7 Nebraska @ #11 Wisconsin
This one I make quick.
Nebraska has not really shown top 10 qualities so far.
We can argue which team was the best they have won against so far, I say it was the road win against Northwestern.
On the other hand we have Wisconsin, which did face Michigan and Ohio State, back-to-back, lost both, close games, and did never really look like an overmatched team.
Now add that together with the fact that it's a Badgers home game.
Wisconsin is a 9-point favorite, I think they will blast the Huskers, kill them, bury them.
I might be wrong, but I think Nebraska is NOT the best team in the division, not by far.
Badgers win.

Sat. Oct 29 - 8:00 PM ET
#3 Clemson @ #12 Florida State
Throw a dice and you might get the right result.
Clemson is for sure the favorite (Vegas sees them up 4 points), but FSU did come together lately and it's not clear whether Clemson will really be strong enough to win against the Seminoles on the road.
If everything goes as expected, Clemson should win this, but not every games does go as expected (ask Ohio State).
I expect a close game and a stingy FSU defense against a stingy Clemson offense.
Over/Under is 60.5, I think we might see a low scoring game, in which Clemson will somehow survive.
Tigers win.

Sat. Oct 29 - 12:00 PM ET
#10 West Virginia @ Oklahoma State
This might be the first real test for West Virginia.
The unbeaten team will face the 2-loss-but-should-be-only-1-loss-Cowboys and that's on the road.
Many do see the Mountaineers as playoff contender, I see them right now only as BIG12 contender, but not as favorite (I have non, I think the BIG12 will be a mess).
West Virginia is a 3.5-point favorite at the moment and THAT is not my pick.
Close game?
But I think Oklahoma State will get some stuff done, at home and will find a way to win.
Cowboys win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Oct 29 - 12:00 PM ET
#2 Michigan @ Michigan State
The rival games is not THAT interesting this year. Remember last season had one of the craziest finishes of all time with the bad punt snap return for a TD and win by the Spartans.
I do predict that this season such a play will not happen and if so, it wouldn't matter. Michigan is 24.5 points favorite.
Wolverines win.

Sat. Oct 29 - 3:30 PM ET
#14 Florida @ Georgia
The Gators are 8.0 points favorite and I'm split here.
Georgia did not deliver much to work with, but the same is almost true for Florida.
So I'm leaning towards the Bulldogs winning the world largest outdoor cocktail party.
Bulldogs win. (my gut says I will regret that ...)

Sat. Oct 29 - 3:30 PM ET
#8 Baylor @ Texas
in the old days this was a gazillion points favorite game for Texas, but in 2016 it's a 3.5 points game for Baylor.
It's really impressive, how the team did play so far under such bad conditions with their coach gone before the season and a complete foreign coach coming in as interims coach.
Texas needs the win, Strong, the Texas HC, needs that win.
Can he win, sure.
Will he win?
Not sure.
If Baylor comes to play, I think Texas will lose.
Bears win.

Sat. Oct 29 - 7:00 PM ET
#13 Boise State @ Wyoming
This might decide the division.
It looks right now, that both teams will win all their conferences games and this game does decide first place.
It makes it much more interesting that it's a road game for the higher ranked Broncos.
Vegas sees them ahead 13.5 points.
I’m not sure, but I think the Broncos will win.
Broncos win.

Sat. Oct 29 - 7:15 PM ET
#15 Auburn @ Ole Miss Rebels
At the last is a prove of strength.
Auburn did resurrect after a bad start and is right know on pace to actually competing for the division title.
Ole Miss was believed to compete, but did lose some important games and needs all wins to get a bowl spot.
Auburn is favored by 4.5 points.
I have 2 point of views here.
the first is, Auburn did score, a lot, in the last few games, which does not suite Ole Miss well.
Ole Miss did play well on offense in many games, but did suck on defense in many games.
Now what?
I think there is a possibility that Ole Miss will fix their defense and win this game.
I just don't think it's the possibility we will see this weekend.
Tigers win.

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