2022-11-09 07:25

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we have a controversy brewing (which will likely solve itself out).

This weekend 2 crucial losses did happen, which will eventually lead to strange playoff setting.

Loss number 1 happened to Alabama, losing to LSU.
LSU is now in the driver seat to win the SEC West and IF they would win the SEC, would they still make the playoffs as 2-loss-team?

Loss number 2 happened to Clemson, losing to Notre Dame.
No effect on the ACC, but the 1-loss-Clemson might be done for the playoffs, regardless they win the conference.

They might be out, while LSU might be in, while maybe a 2nd SEC team might get in, of a 2nd BIG10-team, or a 1-loss PAC12.

Yes, discussions will come.

But this is something for week 14 or 15, before or better after the Championship games, because this is all not done.

It makes not much sense to worry about scenarios, which might not happen.

Another HC lost his job this weekend, Jeff Scott, now former HC of South Florida, was fired after a loss against Temple in his 3rd season with the Bulls.
He is one of the former longtime Clemson-assistants, who was unable to change the direction of the South Bulls program.
Under his watch the Bulls were 1-8 this season and 4-26 overall.

Let's have a look at the featured games.


Sat. Nov 5
#1 Tennessee @ #3 Georgia
The battle of the giants, which ended with a quite big margin.
For me a disappointing results, I would have loved a closer one.
Tennessee was unable to move the ball and the game was over at halftime, when Georgia led 24-6.
The 2nd half was dominated by defense plays and Tennessee was able to score a TD in garbage time to correct a bit the final score.
Georgia is the clear winner, now the clear #1 and is favored to win the SEC.
The rest will be clear, when the next 3 to 4 weeks have been played.
#1 Tennessee 13 @ #3 Georgia 27 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 18-7

#6 Alabama @ #10 LSU
That was a game I loved, and the final plays were also epic.
The 1st quarter was scoreless, LSU then scored a TD and Alabama was able to score two field goal to go into the half, trailing by 1 point.
In the 3rd quarter, Alabama started with a field goal and took the lead, but LSU scored a TD to take it back and that led to the 4th quarter, after some defense battles.
Alabama scored a TD on the 1st drive in the 4th, wanted a 2-point-conversion and failed, still leading 15-14.
And then it went BAM BAM BAM.
LSU scored a field goal to take the lead back, Alabama scored a TD to regain the lead (with another 2-point-fail), LSU scored a TD and led by 3 then and with 21 ticks left on the clock, Alabama tied the game for OT with a field goal.
That's how you want such a game (if you are not LSU- or Alabama-fan).
Alabama got the ball 1st and slammed it into the endzone.
LSU get the ball and on the 1st play, a slight small scramble, a BIG block on a CB and LSU had the TD also.
And then?
A call to make you a legend or a donkey, and in this case it made the coach a legend, winning against Alabama in his 1st season at home in OT.
LSU is now in the driver seat to win the SEC West, since they have a loss less than Alabama inside the conference and have the direct compare against Ole Miss.
Win and they are IN.
Still 2 tough road games ahead, so don't drink all the sparkling wine already.
Alabama needs a lot more than an LSU loss in the next week, they are likely done in the division race.
But you never know.
#6 Alabama 31 @ #10 LSU 32 (OT) -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 18-8

#4 Clemson @ Notre Dame
This was the game it all came together of all flaws of Clemson.
They started bad and expanded it.
A punt returned to a Notre Dame-TD? Check.
Allowing a long drive and another Irish TD? Check.
Clemson trailed 0-14 at the half and Notre Dame did not look perfect, but good and Clemson did look sloppy.
In the 3rd quarter no team was able to score, so time did start to run down.
Since the starting QB did not make any good plays to score, why not put in the hero Backup and win the game?
Interception on your own 14? Check!
Notre Dame said thank you and score another TD afterwards.
Oh man, maybe the hero backup is not the answer ... Where is the starter?
Now Clemson trailed 0-28 and still about 13 mins to play.
Finally, Clemson scored, but was unable to prevent ANOTHER TD, so this was done.
In garage time Clemson did score for the final result, but who did care?
I think it was clear for ALL Tigers players, that the program is now in deep shit.
They have the weakest schedule and they lost against an unranked team, and they will face a quite weak team in the conference championship.
That's not the elevator you need to get into the TOP 4.
Of cause, the season is not over, and things can happen, but my tip is, Clemson cannot reach the playoffs by their own effort, they need something more to happen.
Notre Dame is now bowl eligible, which is good for the new HC, and they can expand the win total still.
#4 Clemson 14 @ Notre Dame 35 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 19-8

Other interesting games:

Sat. Nov 5
#24 Texas @ #13 Kansas State
Oh damn it, Kansas State did fail me here.
Texas played very well and led 31-10 at the half.
Wow, so likely game over.
But KSU did held the Longhorns a long time scoreless in the 2nd and did score on some of their drives, cutting the lead to 14, to 7 and finally Texas scored and got a field goal, but the Wildcats scored a field goal also and trailed still by 7.
On their last drive they made it to mid-field, still 24 seconds to play, and ... fumbled ... Texas won 34-27.
They lost and now we have a 3-team-tie for the 2nd spot in the Championship game, with Kansas State having a quite weak position in the tiebreaker.
But still 3 weeks to play and many things can happen. Even TCU could fall out of the 1st two spots.
Jacks interesting games Score: 19-10

#21 Wake Forest @ #22 NC State
A quite close game, but a good 3rd quarter did help NC State to extend their lead and basically win the game.
NC State did win at the end 30-21.
Not a big consequence on this game, beside the pride thing.
Both teams are Bowl eligible.
Jacks interesting games Score: 20-10

Michigan State @ #16 Illinois
Oh damn it, again, Illinois did lose here 15-23.
Why? They were too sloppy.
MSU did throw an INT on their 1st play, Illinois did go over the field and on 4th and goal on the 2-yard line they went for it and were stopped.
Later they fumbled deep in MSU territory.
They left points on the field and MSU led 9-7 at the half.
In the 3rd again a fumble, which did give MSU another good chance and that 3rd quarter was ALL MSU, now leading 23-7.
Finally in the 4th did Illinois come to the conclusion that they maybe want to win this game anyhow, but that was too late.
Another 4th and 2 was also stopped, and if you sum those sloppy plays up, you get a loss.
Illinois still has 1-loss less than the other (almost complete rest) teams from the BIG10 West, but will play Purdue and Michigan and they might come up short at the end, regarding the division title.
At least if they play THAT way.
MSU still needs 2 wins for a bowl spot.
Jacks interesting games Score: 20-11

Other scores:
UConn did beat UMass 27-10. UConn is now 5-5 and MIGHT get a bowl spot after a gazillion years of losing seasons. (Well, last time in a bowl, 2015, but 6-7 overall, last time winning season was 2010 8-5)
Duke won against Boston College 38-31, on the road, to become bowl eligible under their 1st year HC. Big accomplishment on that program.
North Carolina did almost lose to Virginia but won at the end 31-28. They are still the best bet to win the division.
Kansas did beat Oklahoma State 37-16. Kansas now bowl eligible the 1st time since 2 gazillion years (Well, since 2008, also the best win total so far since 2008) OSU lost 3 out of the last 4, which made them fall like a hot potato.
Pitt won against ranked Syracuse, 19-9. The star of Syracuse got a bit tarnished after 3 losses in a row.
Air Force did beat Army 13-7 and by that did already secure the Commander-In-Chief-Trophy, since they won against Navy earlier in the season.
Florida won on the road against Texas A&M 41-24. Now that will be a big discussion inside College Station. Big win for Floridas new HC.
Iowa did find some offense and beat Purdue 24-3. This BIG10 West drives me nuts.
Wisconsin did win against Maryland 23-10. Inside the BIG10 West all teams not named Northwestern are still in the hunt for the division title.
Baylor won against Oklahoma 38-35, on the road. In Norman there will be also a lot of discussions.
Liberty did beat Arkansas 21-19, also on the road here. Liberty has extended their HC to a lot of seasons in the future. A good move, given the results here. Liberty is one of the most surprising teams in the past few seasons.
BYU did finally break their losing streak and won against Boise State, on the blue smurf turf, 31-28. No consequences for Boise inside the conference. Still a sting, I guess.
And Houston and SMU did break the most point scored in regulation record. The old was 137 points, here SMU did win 77-63, 140 points in total. That must have been a video game like match.
Florida State won against rival Miami 45-3. That's a big win for FSU.

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 ‘*’.

The 2nd College Football Rankings did shake up a bit the list, thanks to some crucial losses, but not too much overall in the overall sorting.

#1 * Georgia Bulldogs - SEC (9-0, won against Tennessee, next week against Mississippi State on the road)
#2 * Ohio State Buckeyes - BIG10 (9-0, won against Northwestern, next week against Indiana at home)
#3 * Michigan Wolverines - BIG10 (9-0, won against Rutgers, next week against Nebraska at home)
#4 TCU Horned Frogs - BIG 12 (9-0, won against Texas Tech, next week against Texas on the road)
#6 Oregon Ducks - PAC12 (8-1, won against Colorado, next week against Washington at home)
#8 * USC Trojans - PAC12 (8-1, won against Cal, next week against Colorado at home)
#10 * Clemson Tigers - ACC (8-1, lost against Notre Dame, next week against Louisville at home)
#11 Ole Miss Rebels - SEC (8-1, had a BYE A&M, next week against Alabama at home)
#12 UCLA Bruins - PAC12 (8-1, won against Arizona State, next week against Arizona at home)
#15 North Carolina Tar Heels - ACC (8-1, won against Virginia, next week against Wake Forest on the road)

#5 Tennessee Volunteers - SEC (8-1, lost against Georgia, shifted to hopeful, since they are 1 loss behind division leader Georgia, next week against Missouri at home)

ELIMINATED this week
Alabama Crimson Tide - SEC (7-2, lost against LSU, now a 2-loss-team)
Illinois Fighting Illini - BIG10 (7-2, lost against Michigan State, now a 2-loss-team)

Now that is interesting. LSU is not on my list but is right now ranked at #7.
IF they win the SEC, they will likely be in the playoffs as 2-loss team and some 1-loss conference champion will be left out, maybe more.

I did eliminate 2 teams from the list and I think that makes sense. Alabama needs a wonder to get into the playoff consideration again and Illinois even beyond that.

Remember that the final rankings will be done after the Conference Championship games, where usually several high ranked teams do clash against each other, and the winners do always get a boost and the loser get a small or big loss in the rankings.
That means, all other teams, NOT in such games do just sit on that day and have to hope.

It's too early to really think about 'ifs' and 'thens', so let's skip that and focus on the near future.

Next week will likely not happen too much, since most have games against weaker teams and will be favored to win (which of cause does not mean they have won already).
Interesting will be TCU - Texas and Ole Miss - Alabama, a bit UNC - Wake Forest.

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

Tulane 5–0
UCF 4–1
Cincinnati 4-1

Houston dropped out after their record setting loss. Both 1-loss teams will play Tulane in the next 3 weeks, so this might change fast.

Clemson 6-0

With Syracuse loss Clemson is now division champ. If they lose the last 2 conference games, they would need to share it to Syracuse and/NC State, but they won against both, so I think Clemson will play inside the Championship game anyhow.

North Carolina 5-0

UNC stayed unbeaten and is 2 losses ahead of the next team, Duke, which they won against already. So, 1 more conference win is enough to get the Championship game spot.

Michigan 6-0
Ohio State 6-0

THE GAME will decide the division title. Period.

Illinois 4-2
Wisconsin 3-3
Purdue 3-3
Iowa 3-3
Minnesota 3-3

So many teams are now back on the mix, thanks to a sloppy game by Illinois. Even Nebraska with 4 losses could in theory win the division. And likely it doesn't matter, since Ohio State or Michigan will likely win anyway.

BIG 12
TCU 6-0
Texas 4-2
Kansas State 4-2
Baylor 4-2

Oklahoma State has left the building and 3 teams are now battling for the 2nd spot. BUT ... 3 games left inside the conference means, even TCU is NOT safe.

UTSA 5-0
North Texas 5-1
Western Kentucky 4-2
Florida Atlantic 3-2
Rice 3-2

FIU dropped out, still a lot of teams in the mix for the 2 conference final spots.

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

No change to last week, since I was able to do the list on Monday already.

Toledo 4-1
Ball State 3-2

Same here, no change.

Boise State 5-0
Wyoming 4-1

No change, since Boise played out of conference and Wyoming had a BYE.

Fresno State 4-1
San Jose State 4-1
San Diego State 3-2

UNLV lost and dropped out of the list.

PAC 12
Oregon 6-0
USC 6-1
UCLA 5-1
Utah 5-1

Still 4 teams for the 2 spots. Beside that every week something can happen, in 2 weeks the TOP 4 will play against each other and we will have a much clearer picture (or not haha).

Georgia 6-0
Tennessee 4-1

Georgia would need to lose 2 games to lose the division title. Unlikely.

LSU 5-1
Ole Miss 4-1
Alabama 4-2

LSU needs to win and they are in. If they lose, the they have the edge against Ole Miss and Alabama, in a tie-breaker. But if Ole Miss wins it all from now onwards and LSU loses 1 game more, Ole Miss would win the division.

Coastal Carolina 5-1
James Madison 3-2
Georgia State 3-2

Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Old Dominion dropped out.

Troy 5-1
South Alabama 4-1
Southern Miss 3-2

This is almost done, with Troy having the easiest remaining schedule and the direct compare to South Alabama.

That's that. So far I did not get any comments of feedbacks on the extensive list of conferences and standings, even I tried to boil it down to the limit.
Is it still too much, or ok, or confusing? Let me know please.

The next week has only a few crucial games, as said on the playoff tracker. I did add an extra game on the interesting ones, since I was unable to decide which to skip.


Sat. Nov 12
#4 TCU @ #18 Texas
TCU has to fall at some point, right?
I mean, new coach, last season was a mess, they can't go undefeated and even win the BIG12, right?
It seems at least the people watching do think that way.
Vegas has Texas favored by 7.0 points.
I'm not sure that's a fair betting line, but OK, I don't have to spend or earn money on that.
TCU has done everything right so far, the closest game they had was against Oklahoma State, winning by 3 points.
On the road they did win by 7 points or better so far.
Fine, likely none of the teams was as strong as Texas.
But Texas has also issues. They lost already 3 times, all close ones, against Alabama by just 1 point, against TTU and Oklahoma State.
They almost lost to Iowa State at home a few weeks ago.
Bottom line is, I expect a close game and TCU not to fall easy and maybe not even falling.
A TCU loss will not hurt much for TCU, they are 2 losses apart so far from all others, but it will help of course Texas to stay in the hunt, likely for a rematch.
A Texas loss will push the rising team again deeper into the mid field and likely out of competition.
So the stakes for Texas are high, for TCU it's more pride and the wish to show who the best team in Texas is.
I'm torn between a Horned Frogs team, which did show they have fun to play and a Texas home team, which stayed hungry.
But my gut says 'Underdogs', so ...
Horned Frogs win.

#9 Alabama @ #11 Ole Miss
This is always fun and it will be interesting to see, what the outcome is.
We have in one corner Alabama, the old juggernaut, got beaten twice (Tennessee and LSU) this season already and which is almost for sure out of the division race.
Alabama, which has issues on offense, especially in the passing game, and who does face an explosive offense.
Which brings me to the other corner, with Ole Miss under Lane Kiffin we have a team which found some pride again in winning and which is since a few seasons a fun team to watch.
I still don't like their HC attitude, but likely that would be the case for many HCs in the NCAA.
Alabama is favored by 12.0 points. (Last week they were favored by 13.5 points by the way and lost by 1)
A lot of stuff can happen, since we do have Nick Saban AFTER a defeat here.
But I think Ole Miss will give them some work to do.
Can the Rebels win this?
Will they win this?
Only of the Ole Miss defense can stop the Alabama offense.
LSU did show some patterns, Ole Miss has to adapt.
And they need to score, somehow.
I do again go for the underdog here and s e l e c t the rested (they had a BYE) Ole Miss squat.
Rebels win.

#15 North Carolina @ Wake Forest
North Carolinas Conferences Championship ticket can be punched here.
The Tar Heels do lead by having 2 losses less than the next team after them, Duke, plus the direct compare.
They need 1 more win inside the conference and the ticket is done.
But wait, it's Wake Forest, at home, damn it.
A few seasons ago, this would be a no-brainer, since Wake Forest was bad, but they did improve and do play good this season.
They won the Atlantic Division last year.
No wonder Vegas favors them a bit by 3.5 points.
UNC has a tendency to play close games on the road, but did not face so far such a strong team as Wake Forest.
I think this will be a loss for the Tar Heels, simply because Wake Forest plays at home, comes from a loss against NC State and wants to avenge that one.
Demon Deacons win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Nov 12
#22 UCF @ #17 Tulane
Not sure how many people in Europe now, what Tulane actually is, beside College Football fans, who know them more as 'too-lame' since the team did lose A LOT of football game.
First, Tulane is a private research university in New Orleans, and from College Football side, you might not know, they were founding member of the SEC, but left in the 60s.
The overall record of that program is .450, and since roughly 2000 they have 4 HCs, including the current one, which is not a bad average, with .394, .273, .306 and the current one with .470 so far.
But this season the program won already as many games as in 2020 and 2021 combined and has an 8-1 record, perfect inside the conference.
Willie Fritz had the team already in 3 bowls, but this season is so far his masterpiece.
Now they face a crucial game here, against a strong competitor inside the conference.
Lucky for them they play at home and the odds are 2.0 points in their favor, which is not much.
UCF did lose twice so far this season and do face at least on paper a strong team.
The Knights have more offense power but did play such a team as Tulane on the road so far.
I expect a close game, not sure regarding the outcome.
But in doubts I usually go with the home team.
Green Wave win.

#19 Kansas State @ Baylor
For one of the teams, this is likely the end of the competition for the Conference Championship game spot.
Both teams have now 2 losses inside the conference, the winner has the direct compare and a loss less, stays in the hunt, the loser drops down.
Sure, things can happen, but the season end is closing in fast and those teams here did not get to the spot by losing regularly.
So, this is crucial.
Baylor is favored by 3.0 points, which is not much.
Playing at home will help the Bears a lot, and I have doubts, KSU can overcome the home loss of last week so easily against such a strong team on the road.
So ...
Bears win.

#7 LSU @ Arkansas
This could be a trap game for LSU.
They won against Alabama at home last week and do now face a weaker team, on the road.
That Alabama game did cost them likely a lot, regarding emotions and dedication, so they might fall flat against an angry Arkansas team, who lost last week against Liberty at home.
LSU is only favored by 3.0 points, so also the betters are not sure what to make out of this.
Arkansas has all the potential to upset LSU.
I think the Tigers have a high right now and Kelly will have them focused, but you never know.
Tigers win.

Purdue @ #21 Illinois
That can be the downfall of Illinois, or become the defining game, which did send then to the Conference Championship game.
Illinois is 1 loss ahead of 4 other teams, including Purdue.
So, a loss here will mean, the door for the division title is wide open again and the tiebreaker can become quite complicated.
Winning means, at least 1 team gets separated by 2 losses from Illinois and they would have won against every team inside their division, except Northwestern, which they have to play later.
That would be a good position.
The Illini are favored by 6.5 points and do face a Purdue team, at home, which has good days (win against Minnesota for example) and bad days (loss against Iowa at home last week).
I do trust Illinois to stay focused, with the help of their fans.
Illini win.

That's it for the upcoming weekend.

'Til next time

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