RedZoneAction.org Blog
2016-11-29 13:20

That's almost it.
All results are in, next week will be the conference finals week plus a few games left to play for the BIG12 and Sun Belt, which do not field conference finals.

The results of the weekend do not help to determine the best 4 teams in the country.
There will be discussions, there will be rants, but at the moment it looks like not only 1 Power 5 conference champ will be left out of the playoffs, no, there might be 2 (or even more).

Let's get through the 5 conference:
The ACC did their expected thing and no drama did happen. Clemson won their rival game against South Carolina and Virginia Tech won theirs agains division rival Virginia.
So Clemson and Virginia Tech will meet for the title and if Clemson wins, I think the ACC will get a playoff spot. If VT wins ... it will become blurry.

The BIG10 did their thing the almost worst possible way and did create a monster. Wisconsin won their division which was the best outcome for a good playoff result, but Ohio State won THE GAME and Penn State won their game, which did send the Lions against Wisconsin for the title.
No there are the 1-loss Buckeyes (lost to Penn State) and the 2-loss Lions (lost to Michigan and Pitt) plus the 2-loss Michigan and Wisconsin teams.
Right now is Ohio State ranked higher than Penn State and that might not chance, regardless who win in the BIG10 title game.
Ohio State might get a playoff spot while the BIG10 champ has to play another bowl. Sounds fair?

The BIG12 will have their best teams eventually determined next week, when the 2 Oklahoma teams play their rival game.
If the Sooners win, they might push also for a playoff spot, might even get ranked higher than the BIG10 champ, but might still be left out.
If the Cowboys win, they will be ranked even a bit lower than a Sooners-Champ and won't get into the playoffs, I'm sure.

The PAC12 got their best result by having wins of Washington and Colorado. Both teams will play for the title next week.
If Washington wins, they will get a playoff spot, if Colorado wins ... that might get also blurry again.

The SEC has the chance to create massive chaos. Right now is Alabama the team to beat, the lone unbeaten power 5 team left, beating rival Auburn last week and stays for sure at #1.
Florida on the other hand lost to rival Florida State and is now a 3-loss team playing for the SEC Championship.
So if Alabama wins against Florida as expected, all is fine on that front, but if Florida does win against Alabama, the SEC is likely out of the playoffs.

So still a lot of things can happen until the 4 teams for the playoffs are fix and I have the feeling that this season is one to remember as a first example to expand the system.

Some coaches were let go after the last game played and some coaches are likely to be fired.

Texas Coach Charlie Strong got the pink slip after their loss against TCU and Tom Herman, now the former Houstons HC, will become his successor.

LSU was close to fire Orgeron and hire Herman, but when Texas become a competitor for Herman, LSU decided to keep Orgeron as permanent LSU coach.
Whether this is good choice to play it that way is anybody’s guess, I think it's quite normal to battle it out that way, so likely no hard feelings at LSU.

On top of that did Florida Atlantic fire Charlie Partridge after 3 seasons and a 9–27 record, Nevada fired Brian Polian after 4 seasons and a 23-27 record, San Jose State fired Ron Caragher after 4 seasons and a 19-30 record and of cause did Houston name a interims coach, since their HC did leave for Texas.

Those are the clear cuts.

Not so clear is Mark Helfrich status at Oregon after a 4-8 season, including a loss against rival Oregon State last weekend.
He might get fired after a 37–16 career record, but his last 2 season were just 13-12.
Oregon is used to win championships in the last decade, so the expectations are high.
In the 90s this result would be great. Chance of perspective I guess.
Given the expectations of main booster Nike, I think Helfrich needs a great explanation to save his job.
His best hope for a keeper is his hefty contract buyout of about 11 mio. dollars. But that's just pocket money for Nike so ...

Also in a job limbo is Notre Dames Brian Kelly. The AD did call his job save, but I think under the surface does things start to boil.
There are talks about Brian Kellys guys are looking for opportunities for him, means they are in contact with other universities for a coaching job.
I can't imagine this to be better paid than the Irish job, but it might save him from being fired and might hand him team to work with, like ... Oregon?
Just speculations.

But of cause is the wheel of coaches already turning and with Herman and Orgeron off the market I'm wondering who those big money and expectation universities would like to hire, if they cut their links with the current coaches?

Wait and see.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 13

Fri. Nov 25 3:30 PM ET
#5 Washington @ #23 Washington State
As mentioned above, Washington won this, and not in a close game.
Wazzus offense was stopped regularly and Washington did score often.
The game did send the PAC12s best team to the conference title game and they will face Colorado.
It will be interesting, whether some high profile schools will try to get the Huskies coach away from that school to coach their program, my bet is, if that happens, he will decline it.
WSU had a great season so far and they will play also a high profile bowl game in the near future.
Washington 45 - Washington State 17 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 38-23

Sat. Nov 26 12:00 PM ET
#3 Michigan @ #2 Ohio State
This game became a good one, and after 2 OT did Ohio State win at home "The Game".
It does produce a bit of a chaos in the CFP ranks and we might see Ohio State in the playoffs even if they did not win a title, except a share of the division with no right to advance further.
For Michigan it means they have to wait until the bowl spots are filled, but a high profile bowl is pretty sure.
Ohio State can only wait and hope for next week, when PSU and Wisconsin will meet and whether that game might lift the winner over Ohio State in the ranks.
Michigan 27 - Ohio State 30 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 39-23

Sat. Nov 26 3:30 PM ET
#13 Auburn @ #1 Alabama
It turned out as expected.
Auburn was no match for the Crimson Tide and will have to wait for next season to beat Alabama, maybe.
Alabama is still the only unbeaten team left from a power 5 conference (Western Michigan is also unbeaten, but as MAC team they are ... not respected and we will see likely in a New Years bowl, whether that was right or wrong).
If they win next week against Florida, they will earn the #1 seat in the playoffs, for sure.
If they lose, they might drop to ... I don't know. #3? #4? #5?
The problem is, Florida has 3 loses and is therefore not that high ranked. If Alabama loses, they will drop, but how far is an open debate.
Auburn can wait for a bowl spot.
Auburn 12 - Alabama 30 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 40-23

Sat. Nov 26 7:30 PM ET
#22 Utah @ #9 Colorado
A close game, but at the end did Colorados defense count most.
It did help the PAC12 probably that Colorado did win this and does advance to the PAC12 Championship game (against the Huskies).
Otherwise USC would have made it and they are not that high ranked as the Buffalos.
It's safe to say Washington will gat a playoff spot if they win, it's likely Colorado will get also a spot, of they win, but not for sure.
But USCs chances would have been even less.
Overall it's a fun combination of title game participants, with Colorado being the big surprise.
I think it will be a fun game.
For Utah there is only a bowl game coming next month.
Utah 22 - Colorado 27 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 41-23

Sat. Nov 26 8:00 PM ET
#15 Florida @ #14 Florida State
A blowout win by FSU, even bigger than I expected.
I fear the coming SEC Championship game for Florida will be a disaster on an epic dimension.
That Florida team will get mowed down by the Crimson Tide, for sure.
They better start preparing, now.
FSU will play in a high profile bowl, for sure.
Florida 13 - Florida State 31 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 42-23

Other interesting games:

Thur. Nov 24 7:30 PM ET
LSU @ Texas A&M
LSU did win 54-39 and it was likely the final piece for Orgeron to get this job.
I'm sure he would have not get it, if he had lost as I expected it to happen.
Both teams will get a bowl spot.
There are rumors that Sumlin, the Aggies HC might lose his job, but I doubt it happens.
Jacks interesting games Score: 49-27

Fri. Nov 25 12:00 PM ET
NC State @ North Carolina
NC State won this one, for me surprisingly, 28-21.
That's a huge win for NC State and a bit of a setback for UNC.
Overall it does not matter much, except that NC State did secure a bowl spot by that win, which means extra money for the program and the conference.
Both teams now have to wait for their bowl invitations.
Jacks interesting games Score: 49-28

Fri. Nov 25 3:30 PM ET
#16 Nebraska @ Iowa
Iowa did explode and did beat Nebraska very clearly 40-10.
Thanks to Wisconsins win, the result of this game was more or less irrelevant for the division standings.
Both teams can only wait for their better bowl spots.
Jacks interesting games Score: 50-28

Fri. Nov 25 9:30 PM ET
Arizona State @ Arizona
Wow. Arizona was a mess the whole season had not won any PAC12 game so far, but they came out did play like they were a great team all season long.
An offense explosion did lead to a 56-35 win for the Wildcats.
For Arizona State this was a bitter ending, since they are now 5-7 and even if some 5-7 teams will be needed to fill up bowl spots (it's not finale yet how many, but it's sure there will be some needed), it's a bit unlikely that ASU will get a spot.
For Arizona it was just a bitter sweet ending on a disappointing season.
It's likely both teams will have played their final game of the season.
Jacks interesting games Score: 50-29

Sat. Nov 26 12:00 PM ET
Kentucky @ #11 Louisville
Another surprising upset in this game.
Kentucky had a bit of luck, but overall it was Louisvilles errors and Kentucky last effort, which secured the upset.
A field goal did seal the 40-37 win of the Wildcats and gave than the icing on a great season.
For Louisville it's a down day and a bad finish on a season which did start so promising.
Both teams will attend a bowl in December.
Jacks interesting games Score: 50-30

Sat. Nov 26 12:00 PM ET
Georgia Tech @ Georgia
Hard to imagine, but this weekend was really an upset weekend and GT had one of the closest one.
They did beat UGA 28-27.
Both teams can only wait for the bowl spots they will get.
Jacks interesting games Score: 50-31

Sat. Nov 26 12:00 PM ET
Virginia @ Virginia Tech
OK, this went as expected.
VT did dominate against the Cavaliers and won 52-10.
For VT it was the secure division title and they will play against Clemson for the ACC title.
Virginia did end their season with that loss, with 2 wins they are not bowl eligible.
Jacks interesting games Score: 51-31

Sat. Nov 26 12:00 PM ET
Kansas @ Kansas State
KSU did win 34-19, which was closer than expected.
It will be interesting to see, whether Kansas will get better next season.
Kansas State will play in a bowl soon, Kansas can concentrate on next season.
Jacks interesting games Score: 52-31

Sat. Nov 26 3:30 PM ET
Notre Dame @ #12 USC
Well, Notre Dame did lose, again and it's no wonder the Kelly era seems to come to an end.
This is a bit unfair, since he had some great seasons in the past, eventually a bit better rated than they really were in terms of quality, not in terms of wins.
But on top of that bad season this year, the NCAA had ask to give up wins of 2 seasons because of violations.
Notre Dame is challenging this decision, but normally that does not result in an opposite decision.
They might lose a few less wins, but overall, it will hurt.
USC won this game easily 45-27 and will play in a bowl soon.
Notre Dame can only plan for next year.
Jacks interesting games Score: 53-31

Sat. Nov 26 3:30 PM ET
Michigan State @ #7 Penn State
Penn State did it and won the game 45-12.
That is not so good for the BIG10, since now Penn State with 2 losses will play against Wisconsin for the BIG10 title, instead of Ohio State with just 1 loss.
It will be interesting to see, where the BIG10 champ will land in the CFP ranks.
I'm not sold on Ohio State getting that spot as Non-champ, but it could happen.
Jacks interesting games Score: 54-31

Sat. Nov 26 3:30 PM ET
Minnesota @ #6 Wisconsin
Wisconsin won and did secure the spot in the Big10 title game.
The Badgers won 31-17 against their rival.
Still both teams had great seasons so far.
Both teams will go bowling, Wisconsin will eventually play for the national title.
Jacks interesting games Score: 55-31

Sat. Nov 26 3:30 PM ET
Mississippi State @ Ole Miss
The Bulldogs won that game clearly 55-20 and did that way destroy the Ole Miss chances for a bowl spot.
Both teams are now 5-7, so 1 of them (or both) might get a bowl spot as 5-7 teams, but it's not likely.
Jacks interesting games Score: 55-32

Sat. Nov 26 4:00 PM ET
Oregon @ Oregon State
Another big upset in this game.
The Beavers did beat the Ducks the first time since 9 seasons, 34-24.
It might cost the Ducks coach his job.
Both teams have just 4 wins, so their season is over.
Jacks interesting games Score: 55-33

Sat. Nov 26 7:30 PM ET
South Carolina @ #4 Clemson
The line was -24.0.
The result was a Clemson win of 56-7.
Clemson will play for the ACC title next week, while South Carolina will get a bowl spot.
Jacks interesting games Score: 56-33

Sat. Nov 26 10:15 PM ET
Utah State @ BYU
BYO won this game 28-10 and did secure their 8th win of the season.
They will play in a bowl soon, while Utah State had one of their worst seasons since a long time and can now concentrate on 2017.
Jacks interesting games Score: 57-33

And some other results which might be interesting:
Ohio won against Akron 9-3 and will play in the MAC Championship game.
Air Force did beat Boise State 27-20.
Memphis did upset Houston 48-44.
Missouri won against Arkansas 28-24.
TCU won against Texas 31-9.
Vanderbilt did upset Tennessee 45-44.
Louisiana-Lafayette did win against Arkansas State, so ASU can't win the conference SBC alone anymore.
Colorado State did beat San Diego State 63-31. SDSU has now lost 2 in a row and will play a rematch against Wyoming next week for the MWC title.

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