2018-09-27 14:52

This weekend was dominated by one of the biggest upsets in recent history.

The #13 ranked Virginia Tech went to Norfork, Virginia to play winless CUSA-team (and only since 2013 FBS level playing) Old Dominion Monarchs.
The Hokies were 28.5 point favorite and managed only a tie at halftime.
They led by a score after the 3rd and then did things fall apart.
Old Dominion tied the game and stopped the Hokies, scored again and let the Hokies score to tie the game.
After that ... all Monarchs.
VT was unable to stop them from scoring and at the end lost by 2 scores.
This game has no influence on the conference standing, but VT can burry all hopes for a playoff spot and better start thinking about the conference.
Big win for Old Dominion, Congratulation.

There were some other upset, but first the big games.

I selected this 4 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 4

Fri. Sep. 21
Washington State @ USC
That was close, but at the end USC did win, especially because Washington State was unable to stop the so far not really great USC offense and in particular on the last try to tie the game when USC did block the tying-field goal.
Back to the drawing board for Washington State and after this performance I doubt a TOP2 finish inside their division, more TOP4.
USC did get their foots back into the divisional leader footrace, but of cause there are a lot of games left to play.
Washington State 36 - USC 39 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 8-7

Sat. Sep. 22
#22 Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama
And another week of a dominant Alabama win.
This looks too easy for them this season and I wonder whether any team will be able to stop them?
A&M was able to score some points against the Tide, so that means likely they will spoil some other contenders fun during the season.
The Tide is very likely to win the division, with (on current status based) the biggest game now coming against LSU at start of November in Louisiana.
#22 Texas A&M 23 - #1 Alabama 45 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 9-7

Sat. Sep. 22
#2 Georgia @ Missouri
When Mizzou did punch the ball in for a score of 29-40 and Georgia did miss a FG afterwards, this did look like a good opportunity to get an upset going with some late comeback in the 4th quarter.
But they were stopped from that point onward and Georgia was able to secure the win, easily.
So Georgia is the big contender in the east, while Mizzou did get their first loss, but did show they can play and it's likely they will not finish last inside the division.
But Georgia has some big tests still ahead of them and it could happen they will not win the division, because a a hefty inter-division-schedule.
At LSU and against Auburn is much more than other teams will face.
I think the east will be not won without some games lost.
#2 Georgia 43 - Missouri 29 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 10-7

Sat. Sep. 22
#17 TCU @ Texas
I'm impressed how good Texas did handle the Horned Frogs.
Especially in the 2nd half did Texas dominate the opponent and won with a quite big margin compared to the betting line, which favored TCU by 3.0.
Overall I guess Texas fans will see some light at the end of the tunnel and I guess even if they will not see Texas winning the BIG12 this year, they will hope for a return to glory next season.
TCU will have to analyze the loss and will have to play better on both sides of the ball.
#17 TCU 16 - Texas 31 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 11-7

Other interesting games:
Sat. Sep. 22
#14 Mississippi State @ Kentucky
Kentucky is officially now a contender with 4 wins in 4 games. Mississippi State did lose this one, despite being a 10.0 point favorite and will have to play MUCH better on offense if they want to avoid a last place finish in the western division.
The Wildcats did win 28-7, which is a good sign for the upcoming games.
Jacks interesting games Score: 10-3

Sat. Sep. 22
#7 Stanford @ #20 Oregon
Oregon was leading by 10 when Stanford made a comeback thanks to good offense and a Ducks fumble.
The Cardinals did force OT and won that one by scoring a TD and stopping Oregon to tie the score.
Stanford won 38-31.
Jacks interesting games Score: 11-3

Sat. Sep. 22
#18 Wisconsin @ Iowa
Wisconsin won 28-17 thanks to a late Iowa breakdown in the 4th.
I think they will need to play better, if they want to win the division or the conference.
Right now the BIG10 looks a bid stronger in the other division, so whoever wins the West is likely a big underdog in the championship game.
Jacks interesting games Score: 12-3

Arizona State @ #10 Washington
Arizona State did lose here 20-27, but I guess they did gain more respect and they are right now to be considered a contender for the PAC12 South.
The Huskies were eventually a bit lucky with the win, but I'm sure they will take it any way.
Jacks interesting games Score: 13-3

Some other interesting results of week 4:
UCF won against FAU 56-36 and is right now highest ranked non-power5-team at #13 (AP) and #14 (coaches). The only other ranked non-power5-team is Boise State in coaches poll at #25.
Purdue won against Boston College 30-13. First win for Purdue, first loss for Boston.
Buffalo did crush Rutgers 42-13, which is a major win for them. Buffalo is unbeaten so far, Rutgers did start with a win against Texas State and lost since then all games.
Maryland did rebound and won against Minnesota 42-13. Both teams are 3-1 now.
Toledo Rockets win against Nevada 63-44.
SMU won against Navy 31-30 by scoring a 2-point-conversion in OT as last play to win it or lose it all. Well, they won.
North Carolina won against Pitt 38-35.
Virginia did beat Louisville 27-3. Louisville still looking for some offense.
Colorado State lost against Illinois State (FCS) 35-19. For me it is still a mystery how this team was able to win against Arkansas.
Texas Tech did upset Oklahoma State on the road 41-17. The Cowboys did not look good this time.
New Mexico State got their first win this season against UTEP winning 27-20.

So let's move on to the upcoming weekend when some really important games do come up.

I selected this 3 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 5

Sat. Sep. 29
#4 Ohio State @ #9 Penn State
You can be different opinion, but for both teams the season is in jeopardy this weekend.
A win does more give the winner a huge advantage inside the division and with a look on the other division, eventually also a big bonus towards the conference championship.
The loser doesn't get all that AND has to hope for 2 booboos of the winner to have a realistic chance to get back on track.
Ohio State is favored by 3.0 traveling to College Station and it will be interesting to see, whether Penn State can stop this Buckeyes team.
So far, even under interim-coach for the first 3 games, this team was dominant.
But same can be said about Penn State except the first game against Appalachian State.
That one was close and even if the Mountaineers are not really a bad team, a team with playoff aspirations should have won that one with a higher margin.
The rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions is old, over 100 years but only when Penn State did enter the BIG10 in 1993 it became an annual event.
Overall does Ohio State lead the series by 4 games in 32 meetings and did also win last year after Penn State won 2016.
So who will win this year?
I guess you could throw a dice for that.
Both teams can score, both teams can play defense.
What we have seen so far does indicate a slightly softer defense at Penn State, but who know if not the home advantage does eliminate that?
The last meeting was decided by 1 point, the game before by 3.
I pick Ohio State in a very close game.
I think at the end will the depth in defense decide the game and there is Penn State not that good as Ohio State.
Buckeyes win.

Sat. Sep. 29
#7 Stanford @ #8 Notre Dame
This is a playoff game, at least for Notre Dame.
If they win, the remaining games are a bit softer and they could get to the playoffs with wins in all.
If they lose, they will drop and if not something strange happens, a 11-1 Notre Dame team will likely not get a spot behind those other big names winning their conference.
But that's future.
Now is important that this rivalry game should be marked as must win for both teams.
Because also Stanford needs that win.
If they lose, the PAC12, already marked as quite weak, can likely not bring in a 1-loss Champion into the playoffs, if they have the other conferences also bringing in a 1-loss of perfect champions AND Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is favored to win by 5.5 points in South Bend.
Stanford did win on the road last week against a good Oregon team in OT, Notre Dame won big on the road against a maybe-good Wake Forest team.
All do think that Notre Dame has a good chance to get into the playoffs, they think they can beat Stanford.
But so far they did not play an offensive team like Stanford.
I'm willing to see the Cardinals here as a likely winner, if not the home field advantage would be there and the defense.
What kind of defense will we see against Notre Dame.
Well, who cares.
Come out and play, Fighting Irish, I think the Stanford offense will find their ways to overcome some defense errors and win this.
Cardinals win.

Sat. Sep. 29
#12 West Virginia @ #25 Texas Tech
The Red Raiders lost their opener against Ole Miss and since then they won, including an upset win against Oklahoma State last week, on the road.
By that they became ranked and likely a bit feared to play major spoiler for a lot of contenders.
Like West Virginia, which seems to be fully adjusted to the BIG12 and rides on a high note so far, unbeaten.
They are favored to win this by 3.5, which is almost nothing.
They problem I have is, whether Texas Tech offense can be explosive as last week against Oklahoma State, or not.
Because I think they will need some scores to keep track with the Mountaineers.
West Virginia will face a real test here, on the road.
I think they can do it, but you never know.
With a good playing defense, West Virginia should be able to stop the offense often enough to win this in a high scoring game.
Mountaineers win.

Other interesting games:
Sat. Sep. 29
#20 BYU @ #11 Washington
BYU is 3-1 and their upset win over Wisconsin did brought them on the map. Now they face off against the 3-1 Huskies, but are 17.5 points underdogs.
If they win this, it would be a huge win and would gain them a huge reputation, but I guess that's asked too much.
Huskies win.

Sat. Sep. 29
#19 Oregon @ #24 California
Big game inside the PAC12 North. First PAC12 game for CAl, who won so far all games, but not against really big opponents, except maybe BYU.
Oregon won also all games, except the OT game against Stanford.
Oregons line is -2.5, I think they will win with a higher margin.
Ducks win.

Sat. Sep. 29
Florida @ #23 Mississippi State
Both teams did lose only once so far, against Kentucky. Now they play against each other and MSU is favored by 7.5 points. New Gators coach is last seasons Bulldogs coach, so this game has some meaning for the teams beside the conference standings.
I'm not 100% convince Florida will lose this, especially because MSU did not show much offense against SEC defenses so far.
Gators win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time

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