2013-11-14 07:52

I promised a conference round-up and here it comes.

Let's start as with the season preview.

Sun Belt Conference
Leading team are the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, unbeaten inside the SBC. With 3 games to play the look almost like the locked SBC champ.
Right behind them with 1 loss are the Arkansas State Red Wolves. They also have to play 3 games inside the SBC and did already lose against ULL.
Outsider chances are only left for ULM. They have 2 losses and do only have to play 2 games inside the conference.
Most crucial game is probably ULL vs ULM. If ULL loses, this conference will probably get a split championship.

Mid American Conference
The East Division is led by the Bowling Green Falcons and the Buffalo Bulls. Both with 1 loss inside the conference.
Outside chances for the division title do still have the Ohio Bobcats, but very strange things have to happen for that.
The West Division is led by Northern Illinois, undefeated inside the MAC. But Ball State is right behind them with now 1 loss and they have already played one more game.
Right behind them is Toledo with 1 conference loss but also 1 win behind Ball State.
Buffalo will play Bowling Green end of November, which will probably decide the East Division.
NIU will play Toledo next week, probably the only stone left, they might fall over. If Toledo gets this done, they might even win the Division.

Conference USA
East Division is led by East Carolina and Marshall, both teams with 1 loss already.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders are behind them with 2 losses.
West Division is led by North Texas and Rice, both with 1 loss, but North Texas has already 1 win up front.
UTSA, Tulane and Louisiana Tech do have 2 losses and the division is still very open.
East Carolina will play Marshall end of November, which will seal the deal for one of them.
North Texas plays UTSA next week and will win the division, if they keep on winning.
Rice has tough games left to play, LT and Tulane on the list. They have to hope for a NT-loss to have a chance and of cause they have to win.

Mountain West Conference
The West Division is up for grab for Fresno State, having not lost inside the conference.
Right behind with 1 loss is San Diego State and San Jose State has 2 losses.
The Mountain Division is a competition between Utah State and Boise State. Both have 1 loss. Utah State with 1 win ahead but they lost against Boise.
Colorado State is behind both teams with 2 losses.
Fresno State plays San Jose State end of November, San Diego State has to play Boise State next week.
There is no reason to think Fresno State will lose the division title.
Utah State has to play Colorado State next week.
If Boise keeps on winning, they will win the division.

American Athletic Conference
With 4 games still to play for some of the teams, this one looks still open.
Leading team is UCF, unbeaten inside the conference.
Right behind are Louisville, Cincinnati and Houston with 1 loss.
Rutgers, SMU and South Florida do have 2 losses, but I doubt they have a real chance.
Toughest game for UCF is probably Rutgers and the road game against SMU. Still they are the favourites and can bring the title home.
Louisville has to play Houston and Cincinnati, Cincinnati has the worst schedule with Houston, Rutgers and Louisville left.
If UCF loses a game, this division gets a split championship.

Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Division is for the Florida State Seminoles. Unbeaten in total and they have beaten all contenders and have only 1 game to play.
Clemson has 1 loss and has to hope for a FSU loss.
The Coastal Division is much more open.
At the moment Georgia Tech is leading, but Virginia Tech, Duke and Miami do also have 2 losses.
North Carolina and Pittsburgh might even have a chance with 3 losses.
Clemson will play GT this weekend.
Miami still has to play Duke.
The road is more or less set for a Florida State vs Virginia Tech championship game, if all games are played as expected.
Sometimes they are played that way ... sometimes not.

Big Ten Conference
The Legends Division is led by Michigan State, unbeaten inside the conference.
Right behind are Nebraska with one loss and Minnesota with 2 losses.
The Leaders Division is led by the unbeaten Ohio State, with Wisconsin waiting for a Buckeye loss right behind them with 1 loss.
Michigan State plays Nebraska this weekend and Minnesota a bit later. Those games will decide the conference.
Minnesota has to play Wisconsin, which makes their chances for the division title slim.
Ohio State has to play Michigan on season final, Wisconsin in addition to Minnesota also Penn State.
Tough to anticipate the championship opponent for Ohio State, probably the winner of the Spartans-Huskers matches.

Pacific 12 Conference
The North Division is Stanford to lose. The have 1 loss, but won against the next in line with also 1 loss, Oregon.
Oregon State waits behind them with 2 losses, but I doubt a chance for them.
The South Division looks more open.
Leading team is Arizona State with 1 loss, behind them UCLA and USC with 2 losses.
All have still chances to win the Division.
Stanford has to play USC this week on the road.
Oregon has to play the civil war against Oregon State end of November, ASU has to play the Beaver this week and UCLA the week after, UCLA has a tough schedule left with Washington, ASU and USC.
I think if Stanford wins this weekend, the North is done. If not, the result is an open North AND the South gets much more interesting.
At the moment it looks like Cardinals vs ASU, but I would not bet the farm on that matchup.

Big 12 Conference
Surprising team leading the Big 12 is Texas. Unbeaten!
Also unbeaten is Baylor, with 1 win less.
Right behind, with 1 loss, are the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The Oklahoma Sooners do only have outside chance with 2 losses.
Texas plays the Cowboys this week and Baylor on season final.
The Bears have to play the Cowboys next week.
In addition Oklahoma State has to play Oklahoma on season final.
The division is far from being fixed. A split championship is likely, but it might come down to Texas vs Baylor on Bears ground for the championship.

Southeastern Conference
The Eastern Division is led by Missouri, having lost once.
Right behind are South Carolina and Georgia with 2 losses.
The Western Division is Alabama territory, being unbeaten.
Next in line is Auburn, with 1 loss.
Outside chances with 2 losses do have Texas A&M, but it looks unlikely, Alabama will stumble THAT much.
Missouri has to play Texas A&M on season final, South Carolina has to win against Florida this week and hope for a Mizzou loss to win the division.
Georgia play Auburn this week, on the road and Auburn has to tackle that and the Iron Bowl vs Alabama in Tigers stadium.
The SEC is almost set for a final, but the participants are NOT.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 12

Thursday, November 14 7:30 PM ET
Georgia Tech @ #8 Clemson
Not much left to say here.
Georgia needs a win to more or less seal the Division.
But Clemson is not ranked #8 for nothing.
Expect a high scoring match by Clemson and maybe GT can keep the pace.
I pick the Tigers.

Saturday, November 16 3:30 PM ET
#25 Georgia @ #7 Auburn
The rise of Auburn is THE story this season. Georgia on the other hand had higher goals, but did not deliver on the crucial games, a bit bitten by the injury bug.
It's hard to pick against a better team on homefield.
Honestly I can't find a good argument for a Bulldogs win.
I pick Auburn and the Bulldogs will vanish from the division contenders.

Saturday, November 16 3:30 PM ET
#16 Michigan State @ Nebraska
Which Huskers team will show up?
The one losing against Minnesota and UCLA.
Or the one winning against Michigan.
Will Michigan State shut down the Huskers offense?
I curious to see that.
May guess?
The Spartans will march into Huskers territory, will hold their offense down and will score enough to win this and probably the division.

Saturday, November 16 3:30 PM ET
#12 Oklahoma State @ #24 Texas
Texas really turn things around after losing beginning of the season.
Now Mack Brown looks like a genius and has all chances to win the division.
They play at home, but without their star RB.
I'm not sure of the Cowboys will win here, but I doubt a decided game by halftime.
I give Texas my pick, with a slightly bad feeling to pick the wrong team ....
The loss of the RB might hurt the team much more than expected, but I'm counting on the home field advantage.

Saturday, November 16 7:00 PM ET
Florida @ #10 South Carolina
This looks done already.
The gamecocks are at home and have a better record.
But Florida is not done yet for the season.
Yes, they lost more games than they won, but the only surprise was the Vanderbilt loss (which was then the 4th in a row).
Be sure they will NOT come into this game with a losing attitude.
They will play for their pride and that might beat the gamecocks, which are only a few plays away from being also 4-5.
Many close games against good and not that good teams.
I think the home field will be deciding and I pick South Carolina.
But an upset is possible.

Saturday, November 16 8:00 PM ET
#4 Stanford @ USC
On the first blink this is also set.
Stanford is on a run and is ranked #4 in the nation.
USC is not even ranked.
But we do play in South California and USC is on a 3 game winning streak.
Stanford did lose against Washington on the road and USC did become also a very unpleasant opponent.
I'm leaning towards and upset here.
There is not a real good argument for that and I might be wrong (very likely) but this looks like the perfect trap.
Stanford managed to win the most crucial game against Oregon. What should happen now, against less strong teams?
A kick in the family jewels ....
So .. I pick USC.

‘Til next time

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