2017-11-24 07:22

It's rivalry week!

Some great games are played this weekend, not many of them do have conference or playoff impact, but they still are relevant, at least for the playing universities.

I did s e l e c t 6 of them for the previews.
But before that a fast overview on the current conferences.

American Athletic Conference
American Athletic - East
UCF 7-0
South Florida 6-1
UCF vs USF will battle it out this weekend.

American Athletic - West
Memphis 6-1
Memphis won the division.

Atlantic Coast Conference
Clemson 7-1
Clemson won the division.

Miami 6-0
Miami won the division.

Big 12 Conference
Oklahoma 7-1
TCU 6-2
Oklahoma State 5-3
Texas 5-3
West Virginia 5-3
Iowa State 5-3
The BIG12 is quite complex, since we seek #1 and #2.
If Oklahoma wins against West Virginia, they are #1. If they lose and TCU wins against Baylor, Oklahoma is still #1 because of direct compare and TCU is #2.
So Oklahoma is set.
If TCU loses, the door for a 3-loss team does get open.
For direct compare does TCU only has to fear Iowa State winning against Kansas State on the road.
I did not check it, but it seems for all other teams there is no chance to get at #2.

Big Ten Conference
Big Ten - East
Ohio State 7-1
Ohio State won the division.

Big Ten - West
Wisconsin 8-0
Wisconsin won the division.

Conference USA
Florida Atlantic 7-0
FAU won the division.

North Texas 6-1
North Texas won the division.

Mid-American Conference
Mid-American - East
Akron 6-2
Akron won the division.

Mid-American - West
Toledo 6-1
Northern Illinois 6-1
Toledo holds the advantage over NIU, but has to win their last game against Western Michigan.
NIU has to hope for a Toledo loss and has to win the last game against Central Michigan on the road.

Mountain West Conference
Mountain West - Mountain
Boise State 7-0
Boise State won the division.

Mountain West - West
Fresno State 6-1
Fresno State won the division.

Pac-12 Conference
Pac 12 - North
Stanford 7-2
Washington 6-2
Washington State 6-2
Stanford has to wait for the results of the Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State, played on Huskies ground.
If the Huskies win, Stanford wins the division, if the Cougars win, the Cougars win the division.

Pac 12 - South
USC 7-1
USC won the division.

Southeastern Conference
SEC - East
Georgia 7-1
Georgia won the division.

SEC - West
Alabama 7-0
Auburn 6-1
The winner of the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn at Auburn will win the West.

Sun Belt Conference
Troy 5-1
Appalachian State 5-1
Georgia State 5-1
Arkansas State 5-1
Louisiana 4-2
Up to 2 games left for most of them. Since no Championship game exist, a shared title is likely.

As you can see, most divisions are won, so next week we will see the last stand of every playoff contenders.
The winners MIGHT get a spot, the losers will LIKELY not get one.

Here are the selected games for BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP 3 GAMES FOR WEEK 13

Fri, Nov. 24
South Florida @ #15 Central Florida
It's do or die for both teams.
The winner takes it all, the loser will still have a good Bowl spot, but not the chance to win the AAC Championship.
UCF is clearly the favorite here.
Scott Frost has sharpen the team into a winning machine from winless when he took over to lossless in less then 2 seasons.
It is likely he will get a new gig after that season, Nebraska is the rumor, but also SEC teams are interested, so this can become his masterpiece with UCF.
The road is clear, win this, win the championship, get to the big bowl and if possible win that against a power 5 team.
THAT would be a season, right?
Not sure it will happen, since when a coach gets a new gig, he often leave right away, so maybe the Championship is the last game.
If he win this here.
Charlie Strong has taken over South Florida, a winning team, and did so far, well ... win.
Except the loss against Houston they are perfect, so if they can win this on the road, they are also in the mix for the Championship.
UCF is the favorite by -9.5 points and it would be from my point of view a major upset, if we see a Bulls win here.
UCF has everything a team need, while USF is a tough team, did have some close calls, against not so tough teams.
Knights win.

Sat, Nov. 25
#9 Ohio State @ Michigan
Meant to be the big one this season, a worthy game to be "THE GAME", but Michigan did drop some games and are in reloading or rebuilding mode and Ohio State did already win the division.
So what is left is a great rivalry game in the biggest house of College Football.
What a pity. ;-)
Serious, I hope this will be a close one.
Both teams did show some flaws during the season and I hope both do come prepared to battle it out.
OSUs line -12.0, Vegas don't believe in a close one, I guess.
I pick the Buckeyes by a score here, but if Michigan is not in the game, they will be wiped a way.
Buckeyes win.

Sat, Nov. 18
#1 Alabama @ #6 Auburn
Some say this is the best and hottest rivalry in the game.
At least this season they are right.
The winner takes the division and likely will also win the SEC, so if that is not a motivation, I guess you have to add a more than a century spanning fight for the state of Alabama on top of this.
The Iron Bowl is big in Alabama and in the US and the Crimson Tide is riding a 3 game winning streak.
But we are at Auburn this year and Alabama is banged up.
Vegas Line? Alabama -4.5.
My line? Auburn by an inch.
Yes, I think Auburn can win this here.
Alabama is likely a team as perfect as a team can get, but injuries did grind down that team and I'm not sure if Saban can compensate that in that hostile environment.
I guess not, but we will see.
Tigers win.

Other interesting games:

Fri, Nov. 24
#25 Virginia Tech @ Virginia
This could become interesting.
The rivalry honored with the Commonwealth Cup Trophy is played since 1895 and the Hokies do ride the longest winning streak ever, having the Trophy since 2004 (13 seasons).
The reason for that is the very bad Cavaliers team since that time.
But former BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall has the Cavaliers back on track.
From 2-10 in his first season the team is now at 6-5.
Justin Fuente, HC of the Hokies, did in the same time score 10-4 and 8-3 wins so far, but he did not get a shipwreck program, he only had to polish it a bit and that's that.
So don't underestimate the work Mendenhall has done.
VT is favored by 7.5 points, which is not that much, if you have the last 13 seasons in mind.
The Cavaliers seem to get some respect and given the fact that both teams did drop some games so far, some of them surprisingly, this could become good.
At least I guess we will see a game here.
I think it's not the time for the Cavaliers to end the series, but maybe it will happen.
I pick VT in a close one.
Hokies win.

Sat, Nov. 25
#7 Georgia @ Georgia Tech
UGAs line is -11.0, which means that GT still gets some respect here.
In fact both teams are good in this game called "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate", honored with the Governor's Cup.
Georgia leads the series by 24 games, but with 111 meetings, this is not much.
And ... GT has won the last meeting in Athens. Ouch!
So now comes that old dog to the Wasp and will try to avenge that loss and stay in the playoff hunt.
GT can only win honor and satisfaction here, but that would be enough I guess.
I think GT will not stand a big chance, but if they get their triple option offense running, they can win.
But I doubt it.
Bulldogs win.

Sat, Nov. 25
#3 Clemson @ #24 South Carolina
The Palmetto Bowl is on and this season it become a bit more serious again.
Clemson is not THAT dominate as in the past and South Carolina is getting better.
Played in Columbia the Gamecocks have a chance to stop the 3-game winning steak of Clemson and put a dent into the playoff hopes of theirs.
Well ... Vegas don't thinks so, seeing them lose by 13.5 points of more.
I guess they are right.
The Tigers did not show much errors since they dropped that one game, so South Carolina has to bring everything they have.
Not I enough I guess.
Gamecocks win.

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