RedZoneAction.org Blog
2019-11-21 11:23

So here I am, sitting near the shore of the Indian Ocean on Mauritius and try to get my entry together.
Normally I do this step by step, a few minutes here, a few minutes there over 4 to 5 days.
Not sure I will do it here.

Could become a short one, or along one.
Depends on the flow I guess.

Bad thing is, I did catch a cold and not feeling that good, which is annoying during vacation.

So what happened in College Football?

The biggest news is likely that Tua Tagovailoa did suffer a hip injuring during Alabamas win against Mississippi State.
It looks like he will miss the rest of the season in an accident, which does look like a freak which can happen, but which you never can anticipate.

Next big things were of cause that Minnesota and Baylor did lose.
That will not help their reputation regarding playoffs, but honestly, I had doubts anyway they will do it, so not that bad, for me at least.

Last year at that time of the season many coaches in losing teams were already history, but so far not many coaches were fired and this week as far as I know none.

The new CFP-rankings are not published at the time I did start to write my entry here, and honestly the shift will be minor, since most teams did win and those who lost did lose basically against the favorites.

Only exceptions were Texas loss against Iowa State and West Virginias win against Kansas State. But both teams were quite far done the TOP25 anyway.

So no new list this week.

The conferences do shape up slowly, but most divisions are still open.

Cincinnati did at least cinch a shared division title in the American East division but has 2 games ahead of every team behind them.
Inside the MAC did Miami cinch a shared division title at least but has also 2 games ahead of the next contenders.

Oregon will play inside the PAC12 Championship game now for sure with cinching the sole division title.

Georgia did get the ticket for the SEC Championship game and if the win against Texas A&M, they do also win the division alone, otherwise Florida would he a share.

Here the 3 games selected as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 12

Sat. Nov. 16
#4 Georgia @ #12 Auburn
For 3 quarters were Georgia the best team, did held Auburn scoreless and lead 21-0.
Then in the 4th quarter did Auburn start playing and held Georgia scoreless and was on the other hand able to score.
But ... not enough.
At 21-14, which became the final score, did Georgia get the ball back, was stopped after 3 plays and Auburn got the last chance with 2 minutes left to play.
Then 4 plays later the 4th down was not converted and Auburn had to see Georgia running down the clock and winning the game.
It did boos Georgias spot inside the AP-polls to leapfrog Alabama.
Next test for Georgia is Texas A&M. Auburn will face Alabama after a FCS opponent.
I tought the Tigers would show more of the stuff they had in the 4th quarter in the whole game, but that's had to predict.
#4 Georgia 21 @ #12 Auburn 14 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 19-17

#8 Minnesota @ #20 Iowa
If you are a Gophers fan, it's hard to say, why the team did lose.
Bad execution, the missed field goal in the 1st quarter.
The bad 1st quarter itself?
Or was Iowa just better?
Overall did Minnesota show that they can play, but did also show they are not the team the fans think they are.
They won good games so far and many, but if you want to play for a national championship inside the FBS, you have to the team who wins those kind of games they just lost.
Iowa did show they have also a tough team and they played well.
The Gophers do now have 1 game ahead of Wisconsin, do play Northwestern and then the Badgers, so that damn last game will very likely decide the division.
This could have been different with a win against Iowa, but maybe it helps to sharpen the concentration.
Iowa can only play for a better bowl spot and to play spoiler. They play Illinois and Nebraska. The Huskers do need the win against Iowa, if they want to play in a bowl.
#8 Minnesota 19 @ #20 Iowa 23 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 19-18

#10 Oklahoma @ #13 Baylor
The 1st half did look like Baylor all the way.
Oklahoma did trail at some point by 25 points and went into the half with being down 21 points, 31-10.
Then it was basically all Oklahoma and they did play like everybody did expect them to play plus Baylor did play bad, commit turnovers and did not score anymore.
The results was, that Oklahoma did get the win against Baylor.
Now let's face it. Baylor and Oklahoma are both 2 games ahead of any competitor.
Oklahoma has to play TCU and Oklahoma State, while Baylor has to play Texas and Kansas.
If they lose all games, the tie-breaker will go nuts (if the competitors did win).
In all other cases they should meet again in the BIG12 Championship game.
So the season is far from over for both teams.
Oklahoma has the better chances to get still into the playoffs (which are still slim), Baylor has from my point of view no chance at all, after that loss.
#10 Oklahoma 34 @ #13 Baylor 31 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 20-18

Right at that point my wife wanted another round of snorkeling, so who am I to deny her that?
So next day from this point on ...

Just came in the info that BYU did prolong their HC Sitake until 2023. Not sure that was a good move, BYU had some issues in the past few seasons, but they are 6-4 right now and will play UMass (very bad this season) and San Diego State (quite good this season), so I guess at least the win total of last season will be matched (7-6 last season), and there is a bowl coming (some say it will be Hawaii).
The program is far from being the 'Notre Dame of the West' they did claim themselves, but fine for me, if they are OK with their coach, they should prolong him.

other interesting games:

Sat. Nov. 16
Michigan State @ #15 Michigan
That game was open until halftime, then it went totally towards the Wolverines and they won at the end 44-10.
Spartans are on the edge to not going to a bowl, they are 4-6 and will face Rutgers and Maryland, both teams with worse record than the Spartans, but never the less still able to play.
Michigan will face Indiana, which do play strong this season, and THE GAME against Ohio State.
Not sure they could still win ticket to the conference championship game, since for that Ohio State needs to lose all games, which would mean Penn State would win against OSU and they would then have wins against OSU and Michigan, so in case of a 3 team 2-loss tie, I guess Penn State would be the leading team.
But a share of the division might be possible (still unlikely with Penn State playing Rutgers at season final).
Jacks interesting games Score: 26-11

#23 Navy @ #16 Notre Dame
Navy got ship-wrecked by the Irish, fast and efficient.
The game was over at halftime and after that it was only score management.
Notre Dame won 52-20.
For both teams, this has more or less no meaning.
Notre Dame gets another cheap win, which might help them to get a better bowl spot, but it won't but them into the playoffs, while Navy does not lose anything inside their conference.
Jacks interesting games Score: 27-11

Wake Forest @ #3 Clemson
It did turn out, that 34.5 points as line were not enough.
Clemson won 52-3.
All Clemson now has to do is win the rivalry game against South Carolina and then beat whoever comes up for the ACC Championship game (That might be likely Virginia, Virginia Tech or Pittsburgh).
Same procedure as last year ...
Wake Forest is already bowl bound, so they can only improve their record against Duke and Syracuse, which is possible.
Jacks interesting games Score: 28-11

More astonishing results from the weekend:
Northern Illinois won against Toledo 31-28. Huskies still need 2 more wins to eventually get a bowl spot as MAC team.
Kent State won against Buffalo 30-27 to deny the Bulls their 6th win. Golden Flashes still only with 4 wins so far.
Marshall did destroy Louisiana Tech 31-10. Both teams are inside a leading group in their division each.
Iowa State won against Texas 23-21. Iowa State got that way their 6th win. They can still improve their record to get a better bowl.
West Virginia did win against Kansas State on the road 24-20. The Wildcats seemed to have gotten a bit soft after their win against Oklahoma and did now lost 2 in a row.
Florida State won against FCS team Alabama State 49-12 and got their 6th win by that. So bowling under an interims HCs for them.
Syracuse did get their 1st ACC win this season against Duke on the road, winning 49-6. Looks like Duke is going down a bit.
Utah State did keep their hopes for a Mountain West Championship alive by winning against Wyoming 26-21. Still Boise State left to play.
Washington State did get their 5th win this season with a 49-22 win over Stanford. They need another win at least against Oregon State and/or rival Washington to get a bowl spot.
Rice did win their 1st game of the season against Middle Tennessee 31-28. With that, only Akron Zips are winless this season so far.
Oregon State won against Arizona State 35-34 and are just 1 win shy to get a bowl spot. But that will be tough, since they face Washington State and rival Oregon.

So, that's it for last week.
Now comes the next week and that will have some tough games, very important.

I did switch the hotel on Wednesday, so no work on that day done.
Today I will start with the preview of week 13.
I'm feeling better, but my wife now has the cold.

I selected these 3 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 13

Sat. Nov. 23
#8 Penn State @ #2 Ohio State
The biggest game in the BIG10 this season as it seems, maybe beside the Michigan-Ohio State game next week.
Penn State needs that win to win the division, they did lose to Minnesota and are 1 win behind Ohio State.
A win against the Buckeyes would mean they have the same win total and the direct compare.
The problem with that is, the game is played in the Horseshoe and the Buckeyes are 18.0 points favorite to win this.
It's not impossible that Penn State does upset the Buckeyes, but the chance is slim.
Ohio State is playing very well and they don't seem to slow down.
I will not pick the Lions in this game, since Penn State had several close games with issues, while Ohio State did look like they are just on another level.
If the Buckeyes win, they are save to get into the Championship game, regardless the result against Michigan, and they might even rise in the CFP-rankings.
Buckeyes win.

Texas @ #14 Baylor
Baylor did lose last week against Oklahoma and will now face Texas.
Texas is no longer rankled after they lost last week, too, and they have 3 losses.
With just 2 games left to play, Baylor would need to lose both games and some of the 3 loss teams would need to win all to have a chance for a championship game spot.
Not sure that's realistic.
But for sure this game here is important, since Baylor did play Texas a lot of times and usually Texas was the better team.
This season, Baylor is favored 5.5 points and they might even be the better team.
The last time they won was 2014, so for sure there is motivation to win this.
Good thing is, they play at home.
I actually have doubts for both teams to play really good, but nevertheless will we see something here.
I'm actually leaning towards Texas, but can not ignore they lost against Iowa State last week, which shouldn't have been the case.
So ... which Texas team will we see?
Which Baylor team?
I stay with the favorite, but wouldn't be surprised to see Texas winning here.
Bears win.

Temple @ #19 Cincinnati
Cincinnati did so far win all conference games and has 2 big games ahead of them.
This here, against Temple, and against ranked Memphis, next week.
It's not unrealistic that Cincinnati does drop both games, which would put Temple right into the leading role to get a spot in the Conference Championship game.
So, this is still important.
Cincinnati is favored by 10.0 points, winning at home.
Not a bad thing, I think.
Temple did not lose against bad teams, but so far did Cincinnati win all games, also against the good ones, so if they lose now, it might be a booboo or a meltdown.
I think they will manage this and win, but that's not sure.
Bearcats win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Nov. 23
Pittsburgh @ Virginia Tech
A very important game this season to determine the opponent of the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship game.
Both teams do have the same record overall and inside the conference, and do lack 1 win, which Virginia already have ahead.
All 3 teams (Pitt, Virginia and VT) do have 2 losses.
The loser of this game will lose an edge against Virginia and of cause against the opponent today.
The winner has at least the chance to get something.
Of cause the Virginia-Virginia Tech game will determine the also the division title heavily, but this here ...
Important.
If Pitt loses, they are basically out of contention I think, since they lost then to Virginia and VT.
If VT loses and would win next week, the deeper tiebreaker rules would count.
VT is favored by 4.0 points, not much, but still and indication.
I go with that.
Hokies win.

THE BATTLE OF L.A. (but doesn't want to be named like that, but doesn't have a cool name neither)
UCLA @ #23 USC
Beside the prestige there is not much on the line here.
USC needs to win here and needs help by Arizona an/or Colorado against Utah to win the division.
Utah lost to USC, but has 1 loss less then USC, so they need to drop a game for USC.
UCLA on the other hand still needs 2 wins to get a bowl spot.
They did start bad, but won some games (3 of 4 in the last 4 weeks) to turn the season around.
They play Cal next week.
So a win here is needed to have hope for more, for both teams.
Can UCLA win here. Maybe, if Chip Kellys guys do come up with great offense.
Will they win?
Likely not. USC is favored by 14.0 points and they team, even if they might have their coach leaving or not after the season, is playing good.
I go with USC winning on both sides of the ball.
Trojans win.

#20 Boise State @ Utah State
If someone can stop Boise from winning the division and going to the Mountain West Conference game, it's Utah State.
They did play good this season and are only 1 game behind Boise.
Boise plays on the road and will face a hostile environment.
They did not play as dominant as their record does look like, with 9-1 and 6-0 in MW-games.
But Boise is still favored by 8.0 points.
I'm leaning towards Utah State, since I like underdogs and they did play well, as said.
This might be an error of mine, but Utah has all the tools to stop Boise often enough and win this.
Aggies win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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