2016-10-31 10:11

This weekend saw 4 unbeaten teams fall and the consequences are big.

Two of the teams are BIG12 teams, with West Virginia losing to Oklahoma State and Baylor losing to Texas, which leaves the BIG12 with basically no real playoff contender.
The two Oklahoma teams are the main contender for the BIG12 right now, but both have 2 losses already and there are still several 1-loss teams in front of them.
Sure, there are still many things possible for the next few weeks, but the future of the BIG12 regarding playoffs does not look very sunny right now.
Whether this will fuel the canceled expansion talks again? Probably not.
The conference has just decided to implement NO divisions of 5 teams each and that they will simply play #1 vs #2 as conference championship game beginning next season.
This could lead to very stupid constellations.
If they would do that this reason already and the season does progress as it looks right now, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will battle the 1st place out on the last regular season gameday.
If Oklahoma State wins, they would be 1st because of the direct compare and Oklahoma would be 2nd, because they have just 1 loss and all other teams have 2 losses or more.
The conference championship game would then be a REMATCH exactly 1 week after the last gameday and the winner would take the conference win home.
How interesting! -_-

The next unbeaten team to fall was Nebraska, which did battle it out against Wisconsin, but lost in a close game.
Now the Big10 West is quite open again.
Nebraska could still win the division on their own, with 1 loss less than all the other contenders right now, but they have to play Ohio State and Iowa on the road, which does make the win-all-remaining-games-strategy quite unrealistic.
And that means, the division is open and 5 of 7 teams are in the mix.
The November will sort this out brutally, so stay tuned.

The last unbeaten teams did lose in a way it's almost too brutal to believe it.
But in fact I can top that story with a game I lost as youth player coach in Germany, but Boise States loss against Wyoming is still brutal.
I tell you Boise States loss first.
For the context: Boise was leading almost the whole game and Wyoming did score the game tying TD with a mit less than 7 minutes to go. 28-28.
For an explosive offense as the Broncos this should be no big issue, but Wyoming forced them to punt.
Wyoming on the other side was unable to move the ball and was also force to punt.
Boise got the ball back with 1:38 left on the clock on their own 10 yard line.
Now that's a challenge.
The first play was an incomplete pass.
The second play was a QB pressure, the QB lost the ball when he tried to throw from inside his own endzone, the ball jumped around in the endzone and went out of bounce at the goalpost.
The big question was, forward pass and incomplete or fumble and safety?
After the review it was ruled a safety. 30-28 for Wyoming and the Ball for Wyoming.
Wyoming did get 1 more first down and ran out the clock after that.
Consequence, Boise State might not win the division, they are now 1 loss and the direct compare behind Wyoming.
Isn't that brutal?
At one moment you had your destiny in your own hands, the next you can only hope for a miracle.
Which brings me back to the game I lost.
I can't remember the opponent, but we lost 2-0, at home, due two crucial plays.
The whole game was the offense quite ineffective and at one point we had to punt from our own endzone, the ball was somewhere on a single digit yard line.
The snap went OVER the punter out of bounce behind the endzone. 2-0 at that point. Crucial situation #1.
Later in the game we had a good field position on the opponents 5 yard line or better and 4th down.
Our kicking game was awful at that time so no real option.
The chances to kick the ball in were at 10% at best (sound crazy, but it was that way, it was not the kicking power, just a lack of accuracy), so I decided to go for it.
I selected a TE delay play, which we had not played the whole game and which was perfect, since we tried to power the runner forward the whole game long.
Now it was planned to show but fake that run and to pass the ball to the TE after a short block and fade out route of him.
It went perfectly! TD! But a flag on the play. Illegal receiver downfield. An offensive linemen had somehow stormed over the field and was too far away from the line of scrimmage.
He did regret that play ever since on his own and of cause when the foul happened he knew he sucked up big time, but he was just a 17 year old kid and as green as player as a player can be, so no big deal.
The down was replayed and if I remember right I went for a FG try and we missed it and lost 2-0.
Boise State was the best bet on getting a spot in the new years bowl after Houston went self-destruct, but now Western Michigan got that honor handed to them.
With a whole month left to play, there is still room for changes.

Overall I have the feeling the season is not moving forward fast enough.
Many divisions and and conference are still wide open and in a matter of 1 or 2 games the outcome can become totally different that it looks right now.
Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing, but something inside me just wishes to get this field of contender down to a more manageable size faster.

The good thing is, the season is 2/3 over, the bad news is, there are only 5 to 6 games left for every team, including bowls.
Sounds crazy?
It is in some way.
I'm always that type of man who would love to see the next gameday tomorrow or faster, because those waiting periods are just boring.
And after a while I want a season to come to a finish.

Well, at least my pick did get better this week, scoring a perfect 5 of 5 on the TOP GAMES. LOL.

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
Played already on Thursday this was a very important game for the ACC Coastal and it became a close one.
VT did score a lot of points, as did Pitt.
At the end did Pitt try a comeback, but decided to not go for an onside kick after their last TD and the Hokies were able to run down the clock to secure the win on the road.
VT is now in a great position to win the division, playing Duke on the road next week and GT and Virginia as remaining conference games. Winnable.
Pitt needs a lot of help to win the division, but with Miami and Clemson on the road in the next 2 weeks they have limit chances to even solve their first priority for such a miracle, win all games.
Virginia Tech 39 - Pittsburgh 36 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 25-16

Sat. Oct 29 - 3:30 PM ET
#4 Washington @ #17 Utah
This was a close game and the Utes had their chances to win it, but at the end did the Huskies just find ways to win.
The game was tied at 24 late in the 4th quarter when Washington did return a punt for a score for the final score of 31-24.
Utah was the next drive almost in the Huskies redzone, but were stopped by the defense and they secured the win.
Washington is right now the best bet for the conference title and a playoff ticket, but they are not that far apart from the better teams than some might wish, so there is still room for upsets and surprises.
Washington will play Cal on the road next, Utah will take on Arizona State.
Washington 31 - Utah 24 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 26-16

Sat. Oct 29 - 7:00 PM ET
#7 Nebraska @ #11 Wisconsin
As mentioned above, Nebraska did lose, at Wisconsin and it was not a double-digit win by the Badgers.
The game went into OT and Wisconsin did score first, but missed the XP.
Nebraska was unable to capitalize on that and had a 4-and-out, which did seal their first loss.
Their division is now WIDE open and it will likely take additional weeks to sort out the real contenders.
Next on the schedule is for Nebraska a road trip to Ohio State and Wisconsin will play against Northwestern, also on the road.
Nebraska 17 - Wisconsin 23 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 27-16

Sat. Oct 29 - 8:00 PM ET
#3 Clemson @ #12 Florida State
Dabo Swinney had not won in Tallahassee prior to that game.
So he was way happy when the game was over and the Tigers had survived the late comeback try of FSU, the short period when Clemson was behind FSU and the period when FSU did try their second comeback of the game, which failed.
Clemson is now the favorite to win the division, the favorite for the conference title and right now a lock for the playoffs.
That was all on the line prior the game.
I'm not sure which did weight more for Swinney, the division/conference/national implications or the personal never-won-in-Tallahassee issue.
At the end, the team did win and Jimbo Fisher, the HC of FSU, took his time later to blame it to the refs (which did cost him 10.000$ in fines).
The Tigers will play Syracuse next, the Seminoles will face NC State on the road.
Clemson 37 - Florida State 34 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 28-16

Sat. Oct 29 - 12:00 PM ET
#10 West Virginia @ Oklahoma State
The Mountaineers came to Stillwater, Oklahoma and had no real chance to win this.
The Cowboys were basically always in front and never looked back.
Gone are the "West Virginia is a dark horse for the playoffs" talks.
The season is not over for both teams, right now it just looks a bit brighter for the Cowboys than for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia has a recreation game against Kansas, while Oklahoma State will travel to Kansas State.
West Virginia 20 - Oklahoma State 37 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 29-16

Other interesting games:

Sat. Oct 29 - 12:00 PM ET
#2 Michigan @ Michigan State
At halftime this looked like a done deal, but the Spartans came back a bit but not big enough.
Michigan won 32-23 and will play Maryland next, while MSU will face Illinois on the road to eventually getting the first BIG10 of the season.
Jacks interesting games Score: 30-16

Sat. Oct 29 - 3:30 PM ET
#14 Florida @ Georgia
My gut was right. I picked Georgia and at the end did Florida win 24-10 and held Georgia scoreless in the second half.
I think many thought Georgia would just become better under Kirby Smart, but as it looks right now, the team needs to find a new identity.
Florida is right now the leading candidate for the SEC East, but with some tough games still to play, the division is not won.
Next Gator game is a road trip to Arkansas, next Bulldogs game is against Kentucky on the road.
Jacks interesting games Score: 30-17

Sat. Oct 29 - 3:30 PM ET
#8 Baylor @ Texas
Is a 54 yard FG manageable or not in College Football?
I would say, it is.
But Baylor decided their kicker is not able to kick one and decided to punt.
A few plays later did Texas kick a field goal for the 1-point lead and stopped Baylor on the next drive to secure the win. 35-34.
Baylor lost their first game, Texas won a close game, at home, which might help them a bit, but not much.
Baylor will play TCU next, Texas will play against Texas Tech on the road.
Jacks interesting games Score: 30-18

Sat. Oct 29 - 7:00 PM ET
#13 Boise State @ Wyoming
As written above, this was a brutal loss for Boise State, losing 30-28.
Boise State can now only try to win all remaining games including the road trip to Air Force and has to hope for 2 Wyoming losses, which might be a long shot, only the San Diego State game looks like tough one.
But there are many scenarios possible, so we have to wait.
Boise States next game is San Jose State at home, while Wyoming will play Utah State, also at home.
Jacks interesting games Score: 30-19

Sat. Oct 29 - 7:15 PM ET
#15 Auburn @ Ole Miss Rebels
Auburn is now officially in the mix for the division title and the Iron Bowl against Alabama might even decide the title.
With their win over Ole Miss 40-29 they did prove that they did enhance their team good enough to compete.
Ole Miss is now in trouble for a bowl spot, they need to win 3 of the last 4 games at least to be save.
Next Auburn game is Vanderbilt, next Ole Miss game is a cup cake game against Georgia Southern.
Jacks interesting games Score: 31-19

And some other results which might be interesting:
Buffalo won their first MAC game, against Akron 41-20. Akron now in a bad position for a division title because of the next game a line blow.
Ohio did upset Toledo 31-26 and is now leading team in their division. Likely will it be decided on the last gameday against Akron.
South Florida did win against Navy 52-45, which makes the American quite interesting again. All divisions are still open.
Ohio State did barely win against Northwestern, at home, 24-20.
Kentucky did win against Missouri 35-21, which makes them one of the teams in the mix for the SEC East title.
East Carolina did win their first conference game, against UConn 41-3.
Georgia Tech won against Duke 38-35. Duke still winless in the ACC.
Kent State upset Central Michigan 27-24.
Boston College won their first ACC game since ages 21-14 against NC State.
Army did win against Wake Forest 21-13. Army now 1 win away from being Bowl eligible.
Notre Dame won a close game against Miami 30-27.
Indiana did beat Maryland 42-36.
Texas Tech won against TCU, on the road, 27-24.
Miami (OH) won against Eastern Michigan 28-15. Eastern Michigan still 1 win short a bowl spot.
Oregon did win their first PAC12 game against Arizona State 54-35.
South Carolina did upset Tennessee 24-21, which did almost for sure end all hopes for the Vols fans for a division title.
Tulsa did beat Memphis 59-30, which makes them one of the contenders for a division title in the American.

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