RedZoneAction.org Blog, tagged with Block of Granite
2019-09-12 06:19

An interesting weekend, horrific regarding my picks in the pick'em game and here, but still we get exciting games, with surprising results.

And from my point of view that's the most important aspect of the games at all, to have them (at least often) open and you don't know what will happen.
On the other hand we still have games where the initial expectations were proven right or were even over-confirmed.
Regarding the fast pace of changes with players and coaches, some stuff seems to be eternal, like Alabamas and Clemsons dominance, and we might see this going on for another decade or more, or we will see changes happening at some point.

I like consistency on coaches, I dislike the 'not-a-playoff-season-you-are-fired-after-2-seasons'-mentality which seems to exists for some programs.
But if it becomes a constant natural law that some teams almost every time win whenever they play and whomever they play it gets boring.
I hope for competition and some challenges, for all teams, so let's keep fingers crossed that we will see more exciting games and also some surprised on teams like Clemson and Alabama.

The 3 games of the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 2

Sat. Sep 7
#12 Texas A&M @ #1 Clemson
The Tigers had a great 2nd quarter and some good quarters, while the Aggies had basically not a single good one.
The Clemson defense was very good on that day and Texas A&M had only 1 good drive for a TD, basically in garbage time in the 4th quarter.
I'm not sure whether A&M was not really ready or Clemson was just 1 level better, but right now I don't see a contender other than Clemson for the ACC and I don't see how A&M will challenge (or even win against) Alabama.
Overall I think it was not a very entertaining games, but that's just my personal feeling about this.
#12 Texas A&M 10 @ #1 Clemson 24 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 4-2

#6 LSU @ #9 Texas
A big game on that day and with a lot of show produced, this did turn into an uphill battle for Texas which ended not they way they (and me) wanted.
What happened?
LSU did score a Field Goal in the 1st quarter and got the lead.
Texas got an interception and made nothing out of it RIGHT BEFORE THE LSU ENDZONE!
A few drives later they got a TD and the lead, but LSU did answer on the next possession and got the lead back and scored 10 more points, unanswered.
So Texas behind 7:20 at the half. No problem you play at home, right?
Well ... kind of. The game become ridiculous in terms of scoring.
LSU started with a punt-drive, but then came with each team scoring on their drives, TD-FG-TD-TD-TD-TD-FG-TD-TD and the game was 45-38 with the Tigers scoring 1 before last and Texas scoring last with 22 seconds to play.
The onside-kick failed and everyone in Louisiana was happy while Texas did cry (like men of cause).
Basically was from my point of view the LSU offense much better than anticipated or the Texas defense much worse.
Bottom line is, LSU is suddenly the hot stuff in the SEC West and nationally, while the 'we-are-back'-Longhorns lost a crucial game.
#6 LSU 45 @ #9 Texas 38 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 4-3

#25 Nebraska @ Colorado
Oh my god, I think if I would have been a Huskers fan, I would have gone maniac.
Nebraska did lead 17-0 at the half.
Then came out of the locker room and their offense was gone, while at least their defense kept playing and kept Colorado scoreless until late in the 3rd quarter.
No problem, just 1 quarter left and a 10 point lead.
Then did Colorado score on a BIG play (Flea Flicker inside their own endzone basically), but Nebraska got their offense starting working again and had their own big play a few plays later.
But Colorado was on fire and score also again, forced a fumble and scored on the next drive a field goal.
Game now tied at 24.
Maybe time to wake up for Nebraskas defense?
Huskers offense did score and they then got even the ball back, since after a long return did Colorado fumble the ball and the Huskers recovered.
But who needs to take advantage of that? Not the Huskers, they play3-and-out and punt, and the Buffaloes march slowly over the field and score to tie again, 31:31.
Nebraska now understands the problem with 46 ticks left in the game and starts a drive, but throws an interception!
Colorado gets the ball and ends the half deep in their own half.
We go into OT.
Colorado is held to a field goal and Nebraska needs 3 plays to gain -6 yards and then missed the field goal with a stupid-bad-idiotic-shot.
Welcome in upset land.
As said, as a Huskers fan I would have been upset also.
Colorado does look good for a new coached team.
Huskers do have much more to do than that to become relevant again inside the BIG10.
#25 Nebraska 31 @ Colorado 34 (OT)-> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 4-4

Other interesting games:

Sat. Sep 8
Miami @ North Carolina
Oh man, it seems Mack Brown did at least for now injected some winning spirit into the Tar Heels.
They did dominate the 1st quarter and were good enough to overcome the comeback of the Hurricanes in the 4th quarter and win this game 28-25.
Miami had a good drive for a last field goal try, but missed the 49 yarder.
Jacks interesting games Score: 4-3

#23 Stanford @ USC
This went a bit as expected.
The loaded USC bench did just take over and Stanford was unable to score as much as USC did, so USC won 45-20.
USC might not be the national powerhouse they were 15 years ago, but they seemed to be at least in the mix for the PAC12.
Jacks interesting games Score: 5-3

#21 Syracuse @ Maryland
Surprising result, if not THE most surprising one, of the whole week.
Maryland did not win this, they did crush the Orange, destroyed them completely and annihilated the remaining. 63-20!
Jacks interesting games Score: 5-4

Other interesting results:
Boise State won only 14-7 against Marshall, at home, on the smurf turf. Boise was 14.0 point favorite and everyone did expect something like 35-21 or so, but this ... it seems Boise has an offense blockage, which would be something new.
Michigan did barely survive the game against Army 24-21 after 2 OTs. Army fumbled on their last drive and Michigans defense saved the day by recovering it. Not the kind of strength everyone did expect from the Wolverines. How should they survive against Ohio State?
Missouri won against West Virginia 38-7. Looks like the Tigers wanted to eliminate last weeks loss against Wyoming. Mountaineers do not look ready for the BIG12 games.
Purdue won against Vanderbilt 42-24. Purdue lost last week against Nevada, but did now win here. I don't think they will have a run like last year, but hopefully play some good games against the odds.
Southern Illinois (FCS) won against UMass 45-20. UMass is still looking for some kind of identity inside the FBS and do still play like they are out of their league. Maybe they should have stayed in the FCS?
Louisiana Tech won barely against Grambling (FCS) 20-14. LT needs more juice to play inside their conference.
San Diego State won against UCLA on the road 23-14. Yes, that team winning against an FCS opponent 6-0 last week did win on a bigger margin against the so-to-be-contenders of UCLA. It's no fun to be a Bruin fan right now I guess.
And while we are here, it's likely also no fun to be a Seminoles fan right now. The team lost last week against Boise and won this week by 45-44 against Louisiana Monroe, a Sun Belt team, which did basically play in the cellar of their conference in the past decade (but had a 6-6 season last year, YEAH!). I guess this marriage between HC and team will eventually not last too long in Florida.
Cal won 20-19 over PAC12-Champ Washington. Not a good start for the Huskies. This loss will hurt them.
BYU won against Tennessee 29-26. I did not see BYU in good shape after last weeks game against Utah, so very surprising effort here. UPSET OF THE WEEK!
Coastal Carolina won against Kansas 12-7, on the road. I guess nobody did expect wonders from Les Miles at Kansas in their 1st season, but ... Coastal Carolina, really? Kansas was 7.0 points favorite, maybe the last time of the season this will happen.
Minnesota won on the road against Fresno State 38-35 in 2OT game. Not the best effort by the Gophers, I guess, but at the end they got their win.
And Hawaii won against Oregon State 31-28. Not sure when Hawaii did the last time win against 2 PAC12 teams in 1 season, but they won last time against 2 Power5 teams in 2006 (Purdue and Arizona State). Next week they play the Huskies on the road. A win their would be epic.

Unfortunately is week 3 the low tide regarding interesting games.
No doubt we will see some upsets, but to anticipate those is beyond my power.
Most games do look like 50-something-to-7 games and the favorites are more or less clear.
I decided to take the closest ones, or rivalry games which might become interesting.

So here are 3 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 3

Sat. Sep. 14
#21 Maryland @ Temple
What an odd matchup here. Both teams are not really sexy in my football world, are more synonyms for so-so-football.
Now they play against each other, which should make this a so-so-matchup, but somehow this got an important tough, even more because Maryland is ranked, thanks to their big wins against Howard (FCS) and more important the then-ranked Syracuse Orange.
They did not win, they did crush them.
Temple on the other hand had just 1 game and a bye week. They won the game, against FCS-Bucknell in style and will face now the supposed to be juggernaut-Terrapins.
I have more than 1 2nd thought on calling Maryland a juggernaut.
They won the games, no doubt, but they need more to convince me, they are contenders inside their division, their conference or even nationally.
The Terrapins had some rough times last season with their players death, the coaches change and the looming change after that season.
They finished 5-7, but lost 4 in a row at season end.
Mike Locksley, last season the OC of Alabama, came in as new HC and is supposed to make Maryland a winning team.
Some said in the past the plan was at that time already to make Maryland the Oregon of the east, comparing the Terrapins relation with UnderArmor with Oregons relationship with Nike.
So far this was not so successful, but maybe the Terrapins found someone to lift the team up.
My mind says, if that happens the coach will likely get an offer by a better paying school and Maryland has to look for a coach that caliber again, but you never know.
Regardless, the success in the last game did lift at least the expectations and the spirit of the Maryland fan base.
Temple on the other side has also a new HC, the former HC of Northern Illinois in the past 6 full seasons, who was quite successful, winning 2 conference championships and several division titles. Rod Carey got the job in a quite strange way. Geoff Collins, the Temple HC of the past 2 seasons, went to Georgia Tech and Temple selected Manny Diaz, former DC of Miami, to become the new HC. After a few days Diaz got the offer to coach Miami as HC and Temple had to look for a new HC again, losing more or less 2 week in time, hence also losing eventually better qualified coaching candidates to other schools.
The school then selected Carey and we will see, whether he can make Temple as good as Collins or even better like Matt Rhule in 2016 (now HC of Baylor).
A win against the hot Terrapins would be great for the team, while a win against Temple on the road would give Maryland a perfect start.
Vegas sees Maryland ahead by 7.0 points.
What I have seen so far, I go with Vegas, and I think the Terrapins will exceed the line.
I'm sure Temple will be OK under their new coach, but I doubt it will strong enough on defense to keep Maryland in check.
Terrapins win.

#24 USC @ BYU
USC has lost their athletic director a few days ago, when Lynn Swann stepped down from that position.
That's for me not a big deal, but I guess for Trojans it is, since Swann is one of their great ones (as player) and somehow it seems he does not fit into the plans of the new administration.
Now this can be a good sign, in terms of new ideas vs old ideas, or it can be a bad sign, in terms of respect to the tradition.
I guess the feelings about this are more in the 2nd area, but I'm too far away to verify that.
Regardless the team has to travel to Provo, Utah and play against the Cougars, who won surprisingly against Tennessee last week.
Vegas doesn't have a clue what to do with this team, which means the line is close, in this case USC is 4.0 points favorite right now, they were higher a few days ago.
Is this OK?
No, from my point of view.
Sure this is played in Provo, but USC did play good against Stanford last week and is loaded, while BYU did squeeze out a lucky OT win against an eventually imploding Volunteers team.
At least that's how I feel about this game.
So no wonder the Trojans do get my vote of confidence and will even beat the line.
Trojans win.

#19 Iowa @ Iowa State
It's rivalry time.
The winner in this will get the Cy-Hawk-Trophy (of cause some ugly piece of trophy-art) and Iowa does lead the series 44-22.
The Hawkeyes also won the last 4 games.
Kirk Ferentz was very long criticized for getting THAT much money for that less success, but the past few years were quite good for them, finishing last season with 9-4 and winning the division 4 years ago.
He has a winning season since 2013.
Some do put that on the back of the declining Badgers and Huskers, but maybe it's vice versa and the Badgers and Huskers do also look bad, because Iowa got some juice back.
The Hawkeyes won their 1st 2 games (Rutgers and Miami (OH)) and will now face their state rival in Ames, on the road.
This game will be ESPNs gameday game, which actually shows how bad the matchups are in total this week.
Because this matchup is never sexy.
It can be load, it can be a bit intense, but from my point of view, if you ask for the 10 best rivalries in College Football, I guess this is not on the list.
Iowa State was very long one of the worst teams in FBS, did battle Kansas very long time for the last place in the BIG12 and got some power back since Matt Campbell become their HC in 2016. They had a 3-9 season in his 1st year, but since then 8-5 seasons.
The best is, they did play spoiler some times, did win against contenders, but lost also against supposed to be weaker teams.
Since Iowa won the last 4 games, Campbell is still looking for his 1st win against the rivals.
This season the line is in favor of the Hawkeyes, but just 2.5 points, which is not much.
The 2017 game was a shootout, the 2018 game was a defense battle.
Tough to say, who will win here.
The Cyclones did win their opener in OT against Northern Iowa (FCS) so, that is not a vote of confidence, but they had a bye week and play at home.
I'm willing to call for an upset, just because the Cyclones are bound to beat Iowa at some point and Campbell had some time to prepare.
I wouldn't be surprised with any outcome, this is totally open. But I wish for an Iowa State win.
Cyclones win.

Other interesting games:

Fri. Sep. 13
North Carolina @ Wake Forest
Mack Browns Tar Heels do face Dave Clawsons Demon Deacons on the road.
Both teams are unbeaten, Wake Forest is favored by 3.0 points in an anticipated high scoring game.
Clawson did guide the teams very well the past seasons, so I doubt they will play bad, but the Tar Heels are on a run.
Honestly I see the run end at some point, I'm just not sure it will end on that game.
Anyway, I trust the home team to win this, so the Tar Heels will lose.
Demon Deacons win.

Sat. Sep. 14
NC State @ West Virginia
West Virginia did play good in their 1st 2 games, lost 1 in stupid way, but they are under a new HC, so maybe this needs some time.
NC State did start 2-0 and should be able to win, if this would not be on the road.
Vegas line is NC State -6.5, so the Wolfpack is favored by some points, but do I believe in this?
I can not figure out whether the Mountaineers will play consistent, I guess they will not, which leads me to the pick.
Wolfpack win.

Florida State @ #25 Virginia
Virginia is ranked and 7.5 point favorite.
FSU did hire a defense consultant, but whether this will fix the teams problems is beyond my guess.
For me this looks like a deeper problem, which makes me confident in picking the Cavaliers to win this.
Cavaliers win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

Rating (3 users):

Tags: Block of GraniteNews

 Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter
2019-09-05 06:12

The 1st week is over and we already have the first fallouts.

USC and Northwestern did lose their starting QBs to injuries and they likely won't return this season.
Several other players did suffer injuries and will take time to heal.

Doesn't have to be related, but it might be interesting for you in that context.

I did read some time ago an article which did feature a phenomenon which does happen often and more often with each year going by.
It was within basketball, but I don't see a reason why it should not also at least partial hit football.

The topic was that many players do suffer severe injuries in their 1st few seasons playing college or pro basketball, and the numbers are going up.
After some research the author did find as one reason the more and more happening specialization of young and very young sports talents to a single sport.
In the past it was the case that a talented player did play several different sports until he did decide to focus, mostly during his college career.
Now it happens that players do focus already in high school or even middle school on a single sport.

This does according to the article result in very 1-dimensional growth and strengthen of bones and muscles.
Once the structure becomes under enormous pressure, like extensive training and game-schedules, the structures are more prone to break or give up.
The generalist approach of the past did help the bones and muscles to build a better structure and therefore less injuries did happen.

This could be a good reason, but I'm wondering what to do, if this is true.
Will we see, eventually, some sort of must-have-compliment-sport to keep on one hand the focus on the designated direction and to avoid with the least effort the potential risk?
Or will we see some sort of survival-of-the-fittest-approach, where the teams just sort out the 'weak'?

We will see.

The BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 1

Thur. Aug. 29
UCLA @ Cincinnati
I'm asking myself, how many people now exist, thinking 'That Chip Kelly hire was a mistake'?
So far did UCLA not show anything of the trademarks Chip Kelly did sell during his time at Oregon or in the NFL.
Cincinnati did play good football, but far from perfect, especially in the 1st half.
But UCLA was basically not able to cash in on turnovers and opportunities.
In the 2nd half then did UCLA start making errors on top of it.
And if someone hears that a Chip Kelly offense did score only 14 points ... tststststs.
I guess life in LA did not become easier for the 2nd year coach, while Luke Fickell can add a non-conference-power5-win on his win column and move on.
The Bearcats will at least play a good game this year in the American.
UCLA 14 @ Cincinnati 24 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 2-1

Sat. Aug. 31
#11 Oregon vs #16 Auburn
I'm pretty sure this will hunt the Ducks for some time.
They had all the tools and the score to win this game and did allow in the 4th Auburn to come back and take this win away.
They did not score enough against Auburn, for sure and they did not score anything in the 4th quarter, so no wonder they lost.
But most frightening was, they did suddenly allow 2 scores in a short period of time with no turnovers, so they just bended to much, become weak.
For a team on a contender mission, this was a weak showing and a bad game for the PAC12 in total.
Auburn did secure a win which will help them for a bowl spot, I still don't believe they will play a big role inside the SEC.
#11 Oregon 21 vs #16 Auburn 27 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 2-2

Virginia @ Pittsburg
The 1st half was even with both teams. Pitt was leading by 1 points when they entered the locker room, 14-13.
Both teams had their drives stuffed at some point and both did score, obviously.
Then did the 3rd quarter start and Pitts luck ran out and never returned.
Or did Virginia find all the right tools to stop Pitt for good?
Whatever changed, it did result in Pitt turnovers and mistakes, which did lead to Virginia advantages and points, while the Panthers got nothing.
At the end did Virginia win this conference game 30-14 and got a great start into the season with a road win against a conference opponent which is not easy to beat.
For Pittsburgh this means they have to adjust quickly and play better than that to become anything than a potential spoiler this season.
Virginia 30 @ Pittsburg 14 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 3-2


Other interesting games:

Thur. Aug. 29
#14 Utah @ BYU
Utah did win it again. BYU was unable to contain Utah at any time in the game and lost 12-30.
For Utah that is now a 9 game winning streak against their rival.
Jacks interesting games Score: 1-0

Sat. Aug. 31
Ole Miss @ Memphis
I would like to say, 'told you so', but in this case the game was so low scoring and bad, any team could have won this and at the end it was Memphis running game and defense securing the 15-10 win over Ole Miss.
Jacks interesting games Score: 2-0

South Carolina vs North Carolina
North Carolina was beaten after the 3rd quarter. They did trail 9-20.
The did the Gamecocks stop to play good football and switched to bad football and gave the game away, UNC scored 17 points in the 4th quarter, while SC did score zip.
Bad idea and bad game.
UNC has at least for 1 game the savior story rolling with Mack Brown winning his 1st game of the season and returning HC of UNC.
Jacks interesting games Score: 2-1

Virginia Tech @ Boston College
Virginia Tech did allow themselves 1 bad quarter and Boston College did use that perfectly to shift the momentum on their side and were then clever enough to secure the win over the 2nd half.
Not the best start for the Hokies which had some ambitions inside their division.
No they are already 0-1 in conference game, which they will likely curse later in the season.
For BC this was a perfect start and I'm curious to see, how they will do this season. Maybe they can at least play spoiler sometimes.
But I still doubt they will content.
Jacks interesting games Score: 2-2

Northwestern @ #25 Stanford
This game was basically over at the half and then did Stanford fumble the ball and Northwestern came back into the game with a TD, trailing 7-10.
Lucky Stanford did get a recovered fumble on their own and won this 17-7 in a boring match.
Jacks interesting games Score: 3-2

Boise State @ Florida State
This was meant to happen in Jacksonville but was moved to Tallahassee thanks to the hurricane.
Boise State got bad into the game and trailed 19-31 at the half.
I thought they will drop it, but thanks to a unconcentrated FSU team they did score 17 unanswered points in the 2nd half and won 36-31.
The heat is on at Tallahassee.
Jacks interesting games Score: 4-2

Other interesting results:
UConn did barely beat FCS opponent Wagner 24-21. UConn last year in the American did almost start with a downer.
Western Kentucky lost against FCS opponent Central Arkansas 35-28. Planned to be a cupcake-win-bringer this is a bad start for Tyson Heltons 1st game as a HC.
Tulane did destroy Florida International 42-14. Why is that interesting? Tulanes record since 1999 is 82-163 (with big improvements in the last 2 years with 7-6 incl. a Bowl win last season) while FIU had a some winning seasons lately (8-5 and 9-4 incl. Bowl win) and under Butch Davis are meant to contend in the Conference USA this season. This is not over, but it looks like Tulane did improve further.
Nevada did upset Purdue 34-31 with game winning field goal. The kicker did instantly got a scholarship after the game.
Colorado did win now the 5th time in a row the Rocky Mountain Showdown against rival Colorado State, this time 52-31. Good start for the Buffaloes under the new HC.
Kansas barely won against FCS team Indiana State, 24-17. Not really a good start for Les Miles, but at least a win.
Georgia State won against Tennessee 38-30. This is hugh, since Tennessee is a very respected SEC program, while Georgia State is a Sun Belt program which had a 2-10 season last year. UPSET OF THE WEEK!
Arkansas had a hard time winning against FCS team Portland State with 20-13. Chad Morris is in his 2nd season and HC and won so far 3 games.
Wyoming did upset Missouri 37-31. Great start for the Cowboys, a major setback for the Tigers.
And at last the game which gets the title MOST BORING GAME OF THE WEEK, Weber State (FCS) @ San Diego State with SDSU winning 6-0. Unbelievable. The Azteks were known for great offense and scoring and they get a cupcake game and score 2 field goals? YEAH!

So that's that for week 1.

Now let's get to week 2. Unfortunately the games scheduled are not the best of the best.
I had a hard time to find anything worth a 2nd thought. Of cause many of the scheduled games will result in good or even great games, because the favorites do handle the opponents the same way as I did the matchups, with disrespect, but it's not clear which of those will this be.

I selected this 3 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 2

Sat. Sep 7
#12 Texas A&M @ #1 Clemson
The Tigers are the reigning National Champion and have all the tools to repeat. Most prominent they have Trevor Lawrence, who won the starting QB spot in his true freshman year and now in his 2nd season is expected to even add something more than being one of the best QBs in the nation.
His 1st game last week was not the best, but Georgia Tech did not stand a chance against a well loaded Tigers team, so this did not matter much.
Dabo Swinney, in his 11th full season at the program is respected and will look for the return to the playoffs, for sure.
And this game here can become a major factor when it comes down to playoff spots and seatings.
Texas A&M is in the 2nd year of the Jeff Fisher era. Fisher had won the national championship with Florida State a few seasons ago, but was unable to keep the Seminoles on top in the following years and bolted to A&M when the opportunity came up.
Now the Aggies do have all the tools they ever wanted to become national powerhouse again. At least that's what they hope.
A&M won 9-4 last season, including a bowl win, and are expected to gain a bit more strength in Fishers 2nd year.
The Aggies players are confident to win this early showdown between this 2 teams and for both teams this is crucial regarding the playoffs.
A win will add a major boost to the campaign, while a loss will likely not let them fall not too deep, but will hurt, for sure.
Unfortune for the Aggies players, Vegas does treat their team like a non-power5-team, not like a contender in the SEC.
Clemsons line is -17.5!
I hope we will see an open match at a great show, but I'm not so confident as the Aggies players regarding an upset.
On top of all the strength the Tigers have, they also play at home, where they are a force.
Last season this game did happen also on gameday 2 at College Station (so A&M homefield) and Clemson won by 2.
Now they play at home and have a Heisman-Candidate QB with a National Championship experience behind center.
Nope, I think the Aggies will have to gain their reputation inside the SEC by beating their opponents there and have to hope for a rematch in the playoffs.
Tigers win.

#6 LSU @ #9 Texas
This is for me the most interesting game of the gameday.
LSU is under control of Coach Orgeron since mid season 2016 and he had last year his best season with 10-3, including a bowl win.
He is still not overall loved, since he was so far not able to beat rival Alabama and that other thing, called championship.
But he is improving the team and overall I think LSU is in good hands.
On the other end of the field we have the Texas Longhorns under management of Tom Herman, now in his 3rd season.
You can hear the Longhorns fans calling for the crucial results, ignoring the 10-4 season of last year, including a Championship game participation (lost to Oklahoma) and a bowl win, because the team did not win the BIG12 and of cause not something more, which is the expectation in Austin.
So both coaches are under pressure, which they knew when they did decide to take the job.
And they do face off against each other.
You might think that Texas should get the nod here, because they play at home and LSU coming to town, but the people are so happy with LSUs development and coaching staff, that Vegas has LSU as 6.0 point favorite here.
Which is of cause not acceptable for the Longhorns.
Both teams had cupcake games as season opener, which they won with a big margin, so nothing from that side.
Overall this comes down to Texas ego vs LSU pride I guess.
I find this hard to predict, but I'm leaning towards Texas, because of the home field advantage.
Both teams can win here and maybe Texas will get a beating here, but Herman did beat the odds often enough to be at least skeptical.
Texas win.

#25 Nebraska @ Colorado
The rematch of last years game at Nebraska, which did started the record 6-game-season-start-losing-streak which did put at that time new HC Scott Frost in a very bad situation.
The team did later win 4 game, including a game against Michigan State which did show that the team got some juice during the season.
Now we are in Frost 2nd year and it's rivalry game again.
Huskers-Buffaloes did meet so far 70 times and Nebraska leads 49-19-2, but lost of cause last season, which ended a 3-game-winning-streak.
The Buffaloes are under new management with Mel Tucker, former DC of Georgia, and the team won last week the rivalry game against Colorado State.
With this game played in Boulder, Colorado, this could become interesting.
The Huskers are favored by just 4.0 points, so everyone is either expecting a close game, or they are not sure who will actually win.
I'm also not sure.
I think Frost will have the Huskers advancing further to become a good team again, but for one did Tucker not get a cupcake team under his watch to work with, for two he will set up a good defense and for three this is played on the road.
In total I'm not sure this does outweigh the progress the Huskers should have made.
Overall I'm leaning towards the Huskers and ignoring the homefield-doubts itching in the back of my head.
The Buffaloes did finish 5-7 last year, which did cost the HC his job after several good, if not great seasons, so Colorado might bounce back this season or we will see a total makeover like Frost did with Nebraska last year and the Huskers will dominate this season.
Looks like I'm taking myself in taking the Huskers regardless, so let's stop it here.
Huskers win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Sep 8
Miami @ North Carolina
With the win against South Carolina did UNC become a bit more interesting and this game here got more weight.
Miami is 4.0 point favorite and lost against Florida in week zero and had a bye week last week.
Time to heal, time to adjust and time to focus on the new look Tar Heels.
I think UNC is not ready to take the ACC by storm, so the Hurricanes should be able to win this.
Hurricanes win.

#23 Stanford @ USC
This seems to become some kind of poor mans version of what could have been. USC lost their QB in week 1 and now Stanfords QB is also questionable.
Played in L.A. this should be a bit favor the Trojans, but my feeling says Stanford.
USC leads the rivalry 61-33-3, with Stanford winning the last meeting at home.
USC is also 2.5 point favorite and Stanford has not won in L.A. against USC since 2015.
The Cardinals QBs status make this tough, but likely we will see a conservative game and USC has a lot of tools to compensate their loss at the QB position (including mores QBs ...).
So ...
Trojans win.

#21 Syracuse @ Maryland
Maryland is favored by 2.0 points, so more or less an open game.
Likely based on Marylands big win against a FCS team last week, while Syracuse did only win by 24 points against Liberty.
Mike Locksley is the new HC at Maryland and we will see, whether this will work fast or not.
On the other hand is Dino Babers in his 4th season and had last year a great season with 10 wins, including a bowl win.
It's expected to have them a bit in a down year this season, but how much less they win, is open.
I think Barbers will have his team playing hard and we will see a close game.
I pick the Orange, since I expect Barbers to exploit some weak spots inside the Terrapins formations which are usually there with a new HC on the team.
Orange win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

Rating (3 users):

Tags: Block of GraniteNews

 Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter