RedZoneAction.org Blog, tagged with Block of Granite
2022-09-18 10:30

Season 49


Yep, Season 49 arrived, and with it RedZoneAction faces some changes.

In a try to make elder players (aged 30 years or older) more usable, we lowered their weekly salary. For those managers running the HR department, it might be a good idea to renegotiate your contracts immediately. All other managers take advantage of this change without the need of doing anything.

At the same time, the transfer asking price for such players was lowered as well.

Please find more information about the changes in the manual.

Another plan for this season rollover was to close D2 leagues, finally. However, after some checks it is still not possible to do this without causing some issues. Region Dragons has too many managers, and over all there would be a very small number of free slots available for new managers. Therefore, we delay this part to the next season rollover.

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2022-09-14 08:20

Hurray, this week did prove that the College Football world is not pre-calculated and not predictable.

This week was really a week where upsets did overshadow the headlines, for some programs the season already turned into a pile of shit.
Some will have the chance to recover, a bit a least, some can only keep playing and hope for the best.

The 1st victim is also already found, Nebraska did fire their HC Scott Frost after a 1-2 start. Many say, it took too long, some will say, the program itself is the problem.
The next HC will have the chance to prove, which side might be right. Mickey Joseph, the assistant HC, will serve as interim HC.

Some more will follow, but likely not this week.

All I can take from this week is, that the season is not done, and some teams will prevail, and some will fall, again or for the 1st time.
The TOP 25 are shaken quite a bit after this week, Baylor, Florida, Texas A&M, Pitt, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Houston took a dive, some even dropped out of the TOP 25.
Kentucky, BYU and Tennessee did rise big time, Penn State, Texas and Oregon made it into the TOP 25.
Remember from last week, AFTER week 4, I will have a look and then, maybe we will identify the most likely candidates and we will track them.

This week two news came in everyone was expecting in some way since UCLA and USC decided to switch the conference in the future.

The first one was, that the playoff system will be changed latest for the 2026 season.
The current 4-team system will be expanded to a 12-team system.

If I understood it right a committee will still do rankings, as today. But instead of selecting the TOP 4, they will s e l e c t the TOP whatever having the TOP 6 conference champs and 6 at-large-teams. This will likely be the TOP 12, but that 6 conference champs could come from everywhere, I think.

Today the seating is then that #1 plays #4 and #2 plays #3.
In the future the 4 highest ranked conferences champs will be seated #1 to #4 and will have a bye week. The rest will then be aligned based on rankings and will play the 1st round. The winners will then play the bye-week-teams and so on.

This system will for sure help to give more teams a chance to win the National Championship but will also add several games to the schedule. Tough cookie, but at the end I guess the money piled up against such a system was just too interesting.

The second news was more a side note, likely only placed to push or pull something. I'm talking about the Big 12 looking for expansion 'far West' if any. Well, that can only be a hit against the right now in deep depression being PAC-12. No saying about which teams might be interested or interesting, no saying which state might be interesting regarding market and recruiting, just 'far West' in one statement and the next day 'we don't NEED to expand', which can only be interpretated as they will not take every team knocking on the door.

Not sure they did give by that a code for teams like Utah, Colorado, Washington or Oregon to bold the PAC-12, or whether they hope to get any kind of reaction.
They did say they look for teams with a strong football and basketball program, but that can mean anything, since the success of a team goes usually up and down. If you take last season’s results as measure only Oregon would really fit the description, which for sure not the end of the story.
If both conferences are smart, they should work something out together, but then some commissioner or president would lose his job (or more) so likely MÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖP no fusion here. Just cannibalism.

The BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 2

Sat. Sep 10
South Carolina @ #16 Arkansas
This went almost as anticipated.
I have to say, South Carolina has some issues, which might bite them in the long run, their QB is not sharp, their OL is not strong.
Their defense did keep them over the most time of the game in the game, but after a promising 3rd quarter did even that unit collapse and let Arkansas take over in total.
At the end did Arkansas win by 2 scores and does look good enough to have a say inside the SEC West, South Carolina might have worse results than last season with Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee showing some strength so far (even Florida lost this weekend).
South Carolina 30 @ #16 Arkansas 44 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 4-3

#24 Tennessee @ #17 Pittsburgh
Pitt did throw the game away, literally.
By one angle the did commit just too many turnovers and did give Tennessee by that too many chances to get back into the game.
Pitt led 10-0, then an INT and suddenly it was only 10-7.
The did lead by 3, then decided to go for it on 4th and 3 on the 27-yard line. They failed and Tennessee led 21-17 after their drive.
Short before the half Pitt got the ball on the Pitt 37-yard line, they wanted to move the ball a bit further and then likely kick a field goal, but the QB was sacked, he fumbled, and Tennessee got 2 plays going before kicking THEIR FG. 24-17 at the half.
Pitt then had on top 2 missed FGs and another fumble in the 2nd half, so everyone was wondering, how on earth they managed to tie the game at 27.
Well, they did not disappoint in OT, Tennessee scored, and Pitt did throw on the last play too short and the receiver did drop the ball.
Thrown away, literally.
No consequences on the ACC standings, some consequences on the rankings.
And of cause a false pick by me.
#24 Tennessee 34 @ #17 Pittsburgh 27 (OT) -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 4-4

#9 Baylor @ #21 BYU
A quite defense driven game, with halftime score 10-6 in BYUs favor.
Then a bit more scoring came in and beginning of the 4th quarter did Baylor tie the game at 20, which did hold until the quarter was over, thanks to a missed FG by BYU.
In the 1st OT did Baylor miss also the FG and BYU did also!
Then did BYU get it going and scored in 2nd OT (and missed the 2-point-conversion) and Baylor ... had all the chances, had 14 plays to get over the 25 yards needed and were unable to punch it in.
BYU won, Baylor dropped in the rankings and has some stuff to solve.
BYU looks good so far, not sure, if they keep on winning, whether this will get them into the playoffs, thanks to a quite weak schedule, but we will see.
#9 Baylor 20 @ #21 BYU 26 (2OT) -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 4-5

Other interesting games:

Sat. Sep 10
#20 Kentucky @ #12 Florida
Well, I guess the Florida wins the SEC hype did die after or better during the game.
Until the end of the 1st it looked OK, but then it was all Kentucky and Florida just did not get the offense going.
Kentucky won 26-16.
Both teams will have a hard time to get past Georgia.
Jacks interesting games Score: 7-2

Iowa State @ Iowa
OK, the streak did end, Iowa State won in an ugly game 10-7.
That's as much as there is to say.
Iowa has some serious problems on offense, we will have to see, how this will affect the BIG10.
Right now, I say, they will lose more games than anticipated, since they will just not score enough points.
Iowa State .... they seem to adapt to the opponents, it will be fun to see, how or if they can stop the high-power offenses in the Big 12.
Jacks interesting games Score: 8-2

#25 Houston @ Texas Tech
I have to admit the Red Raiders do look much better than anticipated and they will be likely a fun team to watch.
Houston had another OT game this week, but this time were on the short end of the stick and lost 33-30 (2OT).
Houston had all the chances to win this, did lead even shortly before the end of the 4th, but allowed a game tying FG.
In OT Houston was on top and had TTU at 4th and 20 but failed to stop them.
Well, better luck next time.
Jacks interesting games Score: 8-3

Other scores:
Louisville starts with the upset week with a win against UCF, winning 20-14. A strong 2nd half did give the Cardinals first the lead and then the win.
Talk of the week is the win by #1 Alabama against Texas with 20-19. The Tide was favored by 21.5 points and was 2 points behind with 1:30 left to play. A strong last drive led to a 33-yard game winning field goal try. Alabama looked beatable on that day. Now everyone asks themselves, was Alabama just off, are they bad or Texas so good. Only time will tell.
Another talk of the week is #6 Texas A&M losing against Appalachian State 14-17. The game went 2 times Appalachian State leading by a score and A&M tying a bit later. Then did the Mountaineer kick a FG with 8 minutes left to play and Texas A&M went for a drive to tie that, but missed the 47 yard FG-try. The Mountaineers were able to run down the clock and that's that. Nothing lost for Texas A&M than reputation, but that did cost a lot.
And #8 Notre Dame got a kick into the family jewels at home by Marshall, losing 21-26. The former #5 ranked Irish are now off the TOP25 grid with a 0-2 start of the season.
Washington State did shock all Wisconsin fans by winning against the #19 Badgers 17-14. Wisconsin was favored by 17.5 points, now they are also off the TOP25.
Duke won against Northwestern, 31-23. Everyone expected a bad season for Duke, they might get better off than expected.
UTSA did beat Army 41-38 in OT. UTSA could have won during regular time, but missed a FG, Army did kick one in OT first and the Roadrunners punched in a score to win this. Combined the offenses had 995 yards and Army had 304 passing yards, the most for the Black Knights since they had 305 against Houston in 2001.
South Alabama won against Central Michigan 38-24. Right now, the Jaguars look legit and CMU not.
Eastern Kentucky (FCS) won against Bowling Green 59-57 in 7! OT. End of regular time was 38-38 (After EKU trailed, came back, took the lead and then were unable to prevent the tying score) and then both teams did score in the long periods and then the 2-point-version started at 51-51. At the end did Eastern Kentucky prevent a score by the Falcons and scored on their drive to end the game.
Incarnate Word (FCS) won against Nevada 55-41. Looks like the new HC of Nevada needs some additional words on his players here.
Kansas won against West Virginia 55-42. Kansas led 42-31 and were unable to prevent 2 scoring drives by West Virginia, who desperately needed a 2-point-conversion on the last drive to tie the game. Kansas started OT with a Touchdown and then pick-6 West Virginia for the final score. Kansas now 2-0 and West Virginia 0-2.
Holy Cross (FCS) did beat Buffalo 37-31. A lot of upsets on those FCS-games this week.
Weber State (FCS) did beat Utah State 35-7. Utah State does not look good right now.
Georgia Southern won against Nebraska 45-42, which led to the pink slip delivery for the HC. Goodbye self-claimed national title winner.

That's that for the past week.
The next week is traditionally quite weak, many cupcake games (at least supposed to be) and not many games which do decide something.
So, I picked the likely most interesting.

The BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 3

Sat. Sep 17
#12 BYU @ #25 Oregon
What to make out of this?
We have Oregon under a new HC, losing big against Georgia and winning big against a FCS team.
Now they face BYU, who did win against South Florida and in OT against Baylor.
They play in Eugene, so home advantage Ducks for sure, but beside that…?
Vegas has the Ducks ahead by 3.5 points.
So, a close game is expected and a game with several scores.
Hmmm. The Ducks defense did look awful against Georgia, but likely would BYUs defense also not look that good against the defending national Champ.
On the other side did BYU score only a few points against Baylor ...
Tough cookie with a lot of questions.
In doubt I usually pick the home team and with Oregon I will follow that path. But they will only win, if their defense shows up.
Ducks win.

#13 Miami @ #24 Texas A&M
Oh man, in my mind this is not the most anticipated game, but a) there are not many great games this week and b) both are ranked, so this will decide a bit the fate of both programs.
Miami is under a new HC and won so far to cupcake games, one against a FCS team and one against a Sun Belt team (even some teams right now would wish they wouldn't have schedule cupcakes from Appalachian State ...) so all green so far.
This game is the first real test and Texas A&M is likely a bit angry.
They have scheduled a similar opener routine, a FCS cupcake and a Sun Belt Cupcake, only that the Sun Belt team turned out to be too much to swallow and did bite back.
Appalachian State won this game with heart, Texas A&M lost by stupidity.
And I guess the A&M HC gave his players a juicy speech and some punishment, so now they are angry.
Texas A&M was supposed to challenge Alabama for the SEC West this season (which might still happen) and now they look like idiots.
I guess they will play hard, aggressive and will try to avenge the loss against a ranked team.
Playing this at College Station will help a lot, so Vegas has the Aggies ahead by 5.5 points.
I think nobody knows for sure what Miami will bring to Texas for real.
A new HC and the weak starting program do tell nothing beside they did not lose so far.
If Fisher has control over that A&M program, the Aggies will win.
He lost control as FSU at the end of his time there, right now many do ask themselves, whether that happens again ...
I pick the Aggies and hope for the best.
Aggies win.

Texas Tech @ #16 NC State
There are 2 fun facts here.
NC State win a shaky 1st game against East Carolina by 1 and did drop only a bit in the ranks and they won big against a FCS team and did rise again (also because of the funny other results that week) and are now at #16, despite the fact that they did show so far nothing. It's right now only hope and believe. This might not be wrong, but still ....
Fun fact 2 is, Texas Tech did win big against a FCS team and did win against a ranked team in OT last week and is now unranked.
Now NC State is favored by 10.0 points here, as home team and I'm really curious to see, whether the Red Raiders might be able to challenge the Wolfpack big time.
Because that win over Houston was impressive and I think they are not ranked right now, because everyone did not have them on the radar (as me) and even they had on paper better results than NC State, they are still unranked, because they might got a small lift in faith and believe, but since the starting point was so low, they are still not in the list (based on points they are at #38 right now).
Likely a win will shift them high enough, but likely the mass will more discount NC State than praising Texas Tech.
But you never know, all I know is that the Red Raiders did win more than expected and that East Carolina almost did beat NC State and that NC State might get a great game coming.
I pick NC State, since I do also not trust that magical transformation of TTU, but I hope for an exciting game.
Wolfpack win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Sep 17
Liberty @ #19 Wake Forest
Both teams are unbeaten, Liberty does look not that strong as in the past few seasons.
Wake Forest does look like they can challenge all teams inside their division, so playing at home against Liberty does make them a 16.5-point favorite.
Not sure that's realistic, but it shows the confidence.
I expect either a blowout with Wake Forest winning HIGH or a very close one.
Demon Deacons win.

UTSA @ #21 Texas
This became very interesting now.
UTSA did play Houston and lost in OT and played Army and won in OT.
Texas did play a Sun Belt team and won big time and won big time and Alabama and lost by 1.
UTSA did not give up, that's remarkable, and they face a might-be-back-Texas-team.
It's in Austin, which makes this likely one-sided, but also here I HOPE for a close one.
Vegas has Texas by 12.5 ahead, which shows a little respect on UTSA.
Longhorns win.

#11 Michigan State @ Washington
Oh man, this is likely just a filler in a weak week.
I think MSU will destroy Washington, but Vegas has Washington ahead by 3.5 points.
That's the home factor and both teams are unbeaten.
Washington won to cupcake games, one against FCS team, one against a MAC team.
Michigan State won Western Michigan and Akron, 2 MAC teams.
With the results of last season, it's hard to imagine, which Washington does get as unranked team under a new HC the nod against a quite high ranked MSU team.
Well, I pick the Spartans and that's that.
Spartans win.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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