2022-11-03 08:01

And that was week 9, which did cost another HC the job.

Bryan Harsin fairytale at Auburn came to an end, under 2 seasons running. After the loss against Arkansas at home this weekend, making it 4 losses in a row, the program did hit the eject button and made the RB coach Cadillac Williams to interims HC for the rest of the season. Harsin was 3-5 this season and 9-12 overall at Auburn.
Already many voices come up, saying that he never was a good fit. Well ....

Let's have a look at the featured games.


Sat. Oct 29
#2 Ohio State @ #13 Penn State
Until the start of the 4th quarter, this did look like Penn State could actually upset the Buckeyes.
The Lions did score a TD for a 21-16 lead and did look so far good on defense.
But then the things did fall apart.
Penn State was unable to stop Ohio State from scoring and lost the lead.
Then they fumbled and gave Ohio State the ball in good field position, a play later the Lions were behind by more than a TD.
Penn State tried hard, but Ohio State got the momentum and did then crush the remaining resistance and won by a quite big margin.
The division will now be likely decided by THE GAME end of the regular season between Michigan and Ohio State, the rest is at least 2 losses away.
Penn State can concentrate on a good bowl spot.
#2 Ohio State 44 @ #13 Penn State 31 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 15-7

#9 Oklahoma State @ #22 Kansas State
The most surprising game for me this weekend.
I was unsure, whether Kansas State would control the OSU offense the whole game but did lean on the home crowd and motivation.
Well, the Wildcats did not let Oklahoma score ANY points and win very high.
BIG win for them and a BIG loss for the Cowboys.
KSU is now leading team behind TCU for the Championship spots.
#9 Oklahoma State 0 @ #22 Kansas State 48 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 16-7

#19 Kentucky @ #3 Tennessee
Almost similar picture here, only that everyone did expect Tennessee to win, the only question was how high.
Kentucky had made themselves some sort of annoying team, who does make games harder than expected.
Well, this time Tennessee did dominate and won by a mile.
By that Georgia and Tennessee basically the only teams in the mix for the SEC East crown and they have to battle it out.
#19 Kentucky 6 @ #3 Tennessee 44 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 17-7

Other interesting games:

Sat. Oct 29
Florida vs #1 Georgia
The Tennessee game gave away a spoiler, Georgia did win this here to stay in the hunt.
A strong 3rd quarter by Florida made this closer than it was, at the end did Georgia win big, 42-20.
Florida has some stuff to sort out, and Georgia will have to beat Tennessee, if they want to win the SEC.
Jacks interesting games Score: 17-8

#15 Ole Miss @ Texas A&M
This was an open game, throughout the whole game.
A&M did lead at the half 14-10.
Ole Miss had a good 3rd quarter and held A&M scoreless, while scoring 14 by themselves, so Ole Miss did lead 24-14, until A&M scored in the 4th to close the gap a bit.
The Rebels scored again, and Texas was able to score a bit later, so still a 3-point game.
And then the defense crews come up and just stopped the drives early.
For A&M it did look good, since they held Ole Miss from scoring after the last A&M TD, but then did also Ole Miss held Texas and that led to the Rebels win, 31-28.
The Rebels stay in the hunt for the division title, A&M has a losing record right now and needs several wins for a bowl spot.
Jacks interesting games Score: 17-9

Michigan State @ #4 Michigan
I don't know how the Spartans fans see this, but for me, this game was rubbish.
It started OK, MSU did lead at some point 7-3, but then it was ALL Michigan and at the end the Wolverines won 29-7.
That's not how a rivalry game should look like.
Michigan had to earn every point, sure, but MSU was just non-existing on offense, which made the game almost senseless.
The Wolverines will have to beat Ohio State for the division crown, MSU needs to win several games for a bowl spot.
Jacks interesting games Score: 18-9

Pittsburgh @ #22 North Carolina
Until the 3rd quarter the game was open, Pitt was leading 24-21.
And then it went all down the drain for Pitt in the 4th.
UNC scored for the lead early in the 4th, Pitt fumbled and the Heals did cash in another TD.
The momentum shifted big time and Pitt just did not make anything happen.
UNC won 42-24 at the end and is right now the best deal for the division title.
Jacks interesting games Score: 19-9

Other scores:
Utah stayed alive against Washington State 21-17. Utah needed the win to stay in the hunt for a title game spot.
And Virginia Tech did almost take down NC State, but at the end the Wolfpack won 22-21. NC State has a good chance for a big bowl spot.
East Carolina did beat BYU 27-24. Until week 5 or 6 did BYU look like a serious contender for a big bowl spot, now they lost 4 in a row, and they might even miss a bowl at all.
Wake Forest lost to Louisville 21-48. That's a huge blow for Wake Forest inside the conference and nationally.
Notre Dame won against Syracuse 41-24. That is also a big loss for the Orange, but at least has no big effect on the conference standings.
UCF did beat Cincinnati 25-21. By this is the American now much more complicated.
Mizzou did win against South Carolina 23-10. Much needed win for the Tigers.
Oklahoma did beat Iowa State, 27-13. Not a good season for Iowa State.
UConn won against Boston College 13-3. UConn has now 4 wins this season. Big progress, believe it or not.
Miami did beat Virginia 14-12 in 4 OT. Virginia has really a bad season.
Charlotte, under interims coaching, did beat Rice 56-23. Rice almost for sure now out of contention.

That's that for week 9.

Let's have a look at the playoff contenders.

For the rules on the list, please look at the blog entry for week 5-7.

I did mark the week 4 TOP 10 teams with a ‘*’.
This week the 1st college football playoff rankings were released and from now onwards, I will use this rankings as sorting.

#1 Tennessee Volunteers - SEC (8-0, won against Kentucky, next week against Georgia on the road)
#2 * Ohio State Buckeyes - BIG10 (8-0, won against Penn State, next week against Northwestern on the road)
#3 * Georgia Bulldogs - SEC (8-0, won against Florida, next week against Tennessee at home)
#4 * Clemson Tigers - ACC (8-0, had a BYE, next week against Notre Dame on the road)
#5 * Michigan Wolverines - BIG10 (8-0, won against Michigan State, next week against Rutgers on the road)
#6 * Alabama Crimson Tide - SEC (7-1, had a BYE, next week against LSU on the road)
#7 TCU Horned Frogs - BIG 12 (8-0, won against West Virginia, next week against Texas Tech at home)
#8 Oregon Ducks - PAC12 (7-1, won against Cal, next week against Colorado on the road)
#9 * USC Trojans - PAC12 (7-1, won against Arizona, next week against Cal at home)
#11 Ole Miss Rebels - SEC (8-1, won against Texas A&M, next week BYE)
#12 UCLA Bruins - PAC12 (7-1, won against Stanford, next week against Arizona State on the road)
#16 Illinois Fighting Illini - BIG10 (7-1, won against Nebraska, next week against Michigan State at home)
#17 North Carolina Tar Heels - ACC (7-1, won against Pitt, next week against Virginia on the road)


ELIMINATED this week
Oklahoma State Cowboys - BIG 12 (lost against Kansas State, now a 2-loss-team)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons - ACC (lost against Louisville, now a 2-loss-team)
Syracuse Orange - ACC (lost against Notre Dame, now a 2-loss-team)
Penn State Nittany Lions - BIG10 (lost against Ohio State, now a 2-loss-team)

4 teams, all HOPEFULL, did lose and were by that eliminated from my list.
They are not really, really out of contention, but they are far down the list, and it needs some chaos to give one of them the 4th place spot of better.
As you can see on the CONTENDERS list, there are a lot of teams left and they will play often against each other in the coming weeks, means, the losers will drop out, likely, but the winners will stand even stronger much higher on the list.
We would need some sort of round robin loss meltdown to get the chaos, which is unlikely.

Interesting that Tennessee is ranked at #1. I would like to get the explanation for that, but you never get that, only interpretations by ‘experts’ which are as good as anyone’s guessing.

Now to the conferences, for the rules of tracking see blog entry of week 9.

Tulane 4–0
UCF 3–1
Cincinnati 3-1
Houston 3-1

No big changes, but Tulane is now the only unbeaten team. IF they lose, the list will expand again a bit.

Clemson 6-0
Syracuse 3-1

In this division Clemson only has to win the last 2 games and that's that. Wake Forest did drop out, so only Syracuse has to wish for 2 Clemson losses. This is almost a lock for Clemson.

North Carolina 4-0

UNC stayed unbeaten and is right now the lone star. But they need still 4 conference games and in that division, the gaps are quite narrow.

Michigan 5-0
Ohio State 5-0

Penn State is now out, OSU and Michigan will likely settle this at season finale in THE GAME.

Illinois 4-1
Purdue 3-2

Illinois keeps winning and the rest close to them do lose. Purdue had a BYE.

BIG 12
TCU 5-0
Kansas State 4-1
Oklahoma State 3-2
Baylor 3-2
Texas 3-2
I have to stretch my rules here a bit, since only covering Kansas State and TCU on a 2 Spot race is useless, if 3 other teams are just 1 loss behind the 2nd place KSU. So Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas became interesting and were put in here (and I will do the same with other conferences).

UTSA 4-0
North Texas 4-1
Western Kentucky 3-2
Florida Atlantic 3-2
Florida International 3-2
Rice 2-2
Same situation here. Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Rice are behind with 2 losses and wait for a UNT loss.

Ohio 4-1
Buffalo 4-1
Bowling Green 4-1

Ohio did beat Buffalo already in an early week game and by that is right now in the lead. Thanks god the other division members are 2 losses further down the list.

Toledo 4-1
Ball State 3-2

Toledo keeps winning (against EMU this time) and eliminates by that contenders. But be aware that the MAC has some early games going on, so this is basically already half of standings AFTER week 10.

Boise State 5-0
Wyoming 4-1

When Boise is visiting Wyoming mid-November, this might get settled for good.

Fresno State 3-1
San Jose State 3-1
UNLV 2-2
San Diego State 2-2

Hawaii did lose, so only 4 teams left right now.

PAC 12
Oregon 5-0
USC 5-1
UCLA 4-1
Utah 4-1

Still 4 teams for the 2 spots. But they will play some games against each other soon, so this will get interesting.

Georgia 5-0
Tennessee 4-0

They will battle it out this week.

LSU 4-1
Ole Miss 4-1
Alabama 4-1

In 2 weeks the teams will have played against each other and there maybe we will have a lone survivor or a nice tie-breaker.

Coastal Carolina 4-1
James Madison 3-2
Georgia State 2-2
Appalachian State 2-2
Georgia Southern 2-2
Old Dominion 2-2

Marshall did drop out, still a lot of teams in contention.

Troy 4-1
South Alabama 3-1
Southern Miss 3-1

In the West Louisiana did drop out.

The upcoming week is dominated by the Tennessee - Georgia game, but there are several other games with big impact on the rankings and the standings.


Sat. Nov 5
#1 Tennessee @ #3 Georgia
So, this is it. At least this week, it's THE GAME.
Both teams would be in the playoffs prior the game, so this is a clash of titans, and the winner will be #1 for sure, the loser will drop likely just an inch or two, depended on the outcome.
Georgia is the home team, so expect the Dawg-Fans to be aggressive and loud, trying to disrupt the Tennessee play calling and cheering up the Georgia players.
Of course, this is on national television and College Gameday is on the spot.
The 2 teams did meet over the seasons 51 times and Georgia leads by 3 wins and has a winning streak of 5 games.
Last year, Tennessee was destroyed 41-17, but this season this will likely not happen.
Georgia is given by Vegas a line of -8.0, which is a quite heavy one, if you think about the circumstances and the playoff committee has given Tennessee the #1 spot.
And 3 of 4 fans are giving Georgia the edge.
So much for public opinion.
The key matchup will be the Tennessee offense versus the Georgia Defense.
The Vols did torture Alabama with 52 points, which was basically double the points the NEXT team did manage to put on Alabama.
So, a very good offense is likely to come to Athens and will face a defense, which got max 22 points from opponents and 3 times 20+ points at all, in average a bit over 10.
I'm really torn between that offense and the home field and the defense.
I expect a close game, but I do also expect that Georgia does handle this somehow and, well, survive that scare.
Bulldogs win.

#6 Alabama @ #10 LSU
And another very important SEC duel.
Alabama got handled by Tennessee a few weeks ago and are now in a 3-team tie with LSU and Ole Miss.
This game in Death Valley will be a tough one and I'm not sure what to make out of this.
LSU did start not very good into the Brian Kelly era, but won 4 in a row until they lost also to Tennessee and then they won 2 more, one against Ole Miss.
If LSU wins this, they have their fate in their own hands and if they win enough of the remaining games, they will play for the SEC Championship.
The direct compare against Ole Miss AND Alabama would be theirs anyway.
But ... Vegas sees Alabama ahead by ... drum roll .... 13.5 points.
That's almost 2 scores, and that as road team in one of the most hostile environments of the SEC.
Granted, Alabama is the prime standard, they have won under Saban a lot of football games and Championships.
It is a valid scenario, that they come in and just ... win.
But I have doubts it will be THAT easy.
I think at home LSU will at least be in the game until the end.
I don't think Kelly will guide his team in the 1st season around Alabama and Ole Miss and will win the division, and this will likely be the game when it happens, when the dream gets a little setback.
Crimson Tide win.

#4 Clemson @ Notre Dame
This is likely the last cobblestone Clemson can trip over, beside a Championship game loss.
Notre Dame did start likely not the way anticipated under their new HC, but are with 5-3 on the road to get a bowl spot and did won against some better teams, like UNC and Syracuse.
This is in South Bend, so a big crowd, a bit over 10° C expected and there comes this team from South Carolina, still having 20+° C on the day.
Could be a factor.
Clemson is favored by 3.5 points, which is not much, having them as #4 ranked in the playoff rankings.
They had a bye-week, so rested, but do still have that sting from last game against Syracuse when their Starting QB sucked and the backup did get the comeback done and won it.
Who will start?
Clemsons HC say, no question, our starter is still the starter.
We will see.
Notre Dame will need a good defense, and a great offense line.
I'm willing to give them some credit and pick them as a winner in a close one.
Fighting Irish win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Nov 5
#24 Texas @ #13 Kansas State
And the next big test for KSU, at home.
I don't get Vegas, since we have here Texas, who LOST against Oklahoma State 2 weeks ago 34-41 and we have the Wildcats, who WON last week against Oklahoma State 48-0.
Now the teams do meet, at Manhattan, Kansas, and the Wildcats are the UNDERDOG by 2.5 points.
Fine, it's not much, but I don't get it.
Kansas State is higher ranked, did beat more teams, there are comparable opponents, and they play at home and STILL more people think KSU will lose.
Is that Texas name vs Kansas States not-having-a-big-enough-name?
Well, anyhow, I do expect a closer game here, Texas is rested and can prepare a bit better, which should show somehow.
But I also expect KSU to play, wanting to get to the Championship game, showing the big-name-opponent how they can play.
Wildcats win.

#21 Wake Forest @ #22 NC State
This is a ranked vs ranked, but also somehow a pity game.
Both teams are basically eliminated from the division race, unless Clemson has a complete meltdown.
The winner here can hope, the loser is for sure out and will also drop out of the rankings.
Also, the winner will likely get a better bowl spot, the loser will get less.
So, a game for pride.
My feeling is, the home team will win, even they are not the favorite.
Wake Forest gets a line of -4.0.
But NC State plays hard, especially at home, so ..
Wolfpack win.

Michigan State @ #16 Illinois
And this is a game which will open up the West division of the BIG10, or not.
Michigan State lost big time against their rival Michigan last week and now have to travel to Illinois, which leads the West and who needs this win to keep the distance to all the other teams inside the division.
A loss would put them into the reach of Purdue and a bit to all other teams, not named Northwestern.
Illinois is favored by 17.0 points, so this seems to be clear, but never underestimate the Spartans.
I also believe Illinois will win, but maybe this will get closer than wanted.
Illini win.

That's it for the upcoming weekend.

'Til next time

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