2018-11-01 10:30

Great weekend!

So many teams did lose against the predictions that the top 25 got a good shakeup, except the top 5 spots.
Those 5 teams did either not play or did play as expected, so there was no movement.

Biggest losers of this weekend are Florida, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin and NC State.
Not all hopes are lost for those teams, but they need to be perfect and need some help to get a grip on the division title race again.

Interesting is that there are almost no coaches fired so far. Only Bowling Green did fire their HC a few weeks ago, while last season after that weekend 4 coaches were already done, including 1 SEC coach.
I'm sure some more will come the upcoming weeks, but that single coaching change is a bit odd.

I selected this 4 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 9

Sat. Oct. 27
#9 Florida vs #7 Georgia
This was an interesting game, but at the end did the favorite prevail, or maybe even flourish.
Floridas defense did keep things going until the first half was over, but after that did Georgia pull away and won by a good margin.
For Georgia it looks now a bit brighter than in the last few weeks, for Florida it means they need help, if they want to win the division.
Good thing is, Georgia will play Kentucky next, which will likely either open up the division race again, if Georgia loses, or it will seal the team almost for sure for Georgia if they win.
I guess there will be a lot of Kentucky fans in Florida next week.
Florida has 2 home games next, so good chance they will win this and hope for a tie-breaker.
#9 Florida 17 - #7 Georgia 36 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 18-13

Sat. Oct. 27
#18 Iowa @ #17 Penn State
I did write down the wrong team name in my pick, as it seems.
I did write "The Lions are 6.5 points favorites in Vegas. I say, they will win with more." and then named the Hawkeyes as winner.
I did change that, of cause the Nittany Lions were meant.
The game itself was close and worth a good BIG10 game.
Overall did both teams play good football, but Penn State did win by 6, which was less than the spread.
I expected more of them, which means either is Iowa better than I expected or Penn State not that good.
Not sure what to make out of this.
Penn State plays Michigan on the road next week and then Wisconsin. Tough.
Iowa plays at Purdue and against Northwestern, which will also be tough.
For both teams this will mean either to stay in the hunt or even get into the driver seat in the division race, or to drop that goal and concentrate on the Bowls.
#18 Iowa 24 - #17 Penn State 30 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 19-13

Sat. Oct. 27
#14 Washington State @ #24 Stanford
That was a surprising game for me.
Thanks to a 4th quarter effort did Wazzu win in California and is now the best team in the PAC12.
I guess there are a lot of fans of Mike Leach in Pullman, Washington now.
If you remember what the team was like a decade ago ....
Still the PAC12 North (and South also) is wide open and basically can almost every team still win the division.
I would only rule out Oregon State right now.
Stanford has the next big test against the Huskies on the road the upcoming weekend, while Wazzu plays a bit easier game against Cal at home.
#14 Washington State 41 - #24 Stanford 38 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 19-14

Sat. Oct. 27
#20 Wisconsin @ Northwestern
Big win for Northwestern, big season for them, likely one of their best in the past decade, if not in school history.
Now Northwestern is leading their division and has their destiny in their own hands.
And they did not just sneak by Wisconsin with luck, no they did win with a great margin, convincing.
Badgers play Rutgers next to eventually get back on track, while Northwestern needs to win in Iowa in 2 weeks, after playing Notre Dame next week.
That does not sound like an easy schedule, so either they win here and will start rising in the ranks, or they will fall and drop fast.
#20 Wisconsin 17 - Northwestern 31 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 19-15

Other interesting games:
Sat. Oct. 27
#21 South Florida @ Houston
An open game until the 4th quarter did Houston then keeping the Bulls out of scoring range and sealed the 57-36 win for good.
Houston now leading the West, while USF is 1 game behind UCF and Temple.
Jacks interesting games Score: 23-7

Sat. Oct. 27
#12 Kentucky @ Missouri
I have to say I'm still not convinced that Kentucky will challenge Georgia in any way, but I'm happy they did win against Mizzou and have a great season.
They won this close game with the last play with 0:00 left on the clock after a penalty 15:14.
That's something you need to prevail inside the SEC and that's something they did not have in the past few season.
Next up for Kentucky is the home game against Georgia and Missouri will travel to Florida.
Jacks interesting games Score: 23-8

Sat. Oct. 27
#16 Texas A&M @ Mississippi State
Looks like the SEC is quite close in terms of strength and MSU did win against a not so well playing A&M team, 28-13.
Aggies will travel to Auburn next, while MSU will take on Louisiana Tech.
Jacks interesting games Score: 23-9

Sat. Oct. 27
#22 NC State @ Syracuse
Very nice game with a lot of points and Syracuse won 51-41 with a late game run.
NC State will play FSU next, at home, while Syracuse will take on Wake Forest on the road.
Jacks interesting games Score: 24-9

Sat. Oct. 27
#6 Texas @ Oklahoma State
Great game and at the end did Oklahoma State win!
Emotions went wild at the end of the game, but overall did Oklahoma State play good and strong and won 38-35.
Texas now plays West Virginia at home next, while OSU goes to Baylor.
Jacks interesting games Score: 24-10

Most stunning results of week 9:
Toledo wins against Western Michigan 51-24. The Broncos did not look like the MAC favorite that way.
Georgia Tech did stun Virginia Tech at VTs home site 49-28. Since most other teams also lost in the division VT still has a shot for the division title.
Boston College did win against Miami 27-14 and is now right behind Clemson, while Miami needs help for their division.
Iowa State wins against Texas Tech 40-31, which make the BIG12 interesting.
Michigan State did win against Purdue 23-13. Purdue now down to earth I guess.
Kansas won at home against TCU 27-26. TCU now worst team in the BIG12!
Oregon State won against Colorado 41-34, on the road! Beavers first PAC12 win of the season.
Arizona State wins against USC 38-35, on the road. The whole PAC12 South is open to be won by every single team in the division!
Northern Illinois wins against BYU 7-6, also on the road.
Cincinnati won against SMU, to stay in tough in their division.
Cal won against Washington 12-10. Washingtons offense is a mess.
Arizona did win against Oregon 44-15. The whole PAC12 seems to play upside down.
San Jose Spartans won their first game of the season against UNLV 50-37. UNLV now worst team in the MWC.
Nevada did upset San Diego State 28-24.

So that's it.
First CFP-Rankings are out and it includes no real surprises, I guess.
Since this will shake up big in the next 2 weeks, it makes no sense to post the current one.
Clear is, that if Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson do win it all they will be in. Michigan is likely also in that position.
Still, they first need to win those games.

Today the info came in that Marylands HC DJ Durkin was fired, one day after he was reinstated after a long period of payed leave.
During the preseason a player died after training and it became clear early that the coach and the culture of the program had to do with that death.
An investigation did prove that but could not find a so called toxic culture.
After the reinstatement the protest were loud and wide, so likely the university had to act quickly.
Why they did reinstate him at first is not clear.
He still gets a lot of money out of his contract and Matt Canada, the interim coach who guide the program so far to a 5-3 record will guide the team further.
I guess he will be a strong candidate to get the job permanently.

I selected this 4 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 10

Sat. Nov. 3
#6 Georgia @ #9 Kentucky
This is the battle for the SEC East crown.
If Kentucky wins, there is as far as I know no way any team can claim the division lead by any tie-breaker rule, in case Kentucky loses their last SEC-game.
If Georgia wins, the same is true.
Kentucky did go though this season most of the time as underdog and it did them good so far.
So eventually they will be again motivated to beat the spread, which is Georgia -9.0, and win this at home.
It would be a great win for the team, the coach and the program itself.
But ... I think Georgia is a bit better than Kentucky.
I only see a slim chance for the Wildcats to beat the Bulldogs, only if the Bulldogs do play bad and sloppy.
Can happen, but I don't believe it.
Georgia wins.

Sat. Nov. 3
#13 West Virginia @ #17 Texas
For both teams this is now a very serious match.
The loser will drop to the 'Need help'-teams in the second tier of the BIG12, while the winner is in the driver seat to the BIG12 Championship game.
There are still a lot of games to play inside the conference, so nothing is set, even not after the game, but the loser gets a 100%-heavier path than the winner.
Playing at home is likely the key for Texas here.
It makes them a small figure favorite (-2.0) in Vegas and will help them big when it comes down to a close match.
I think Texas will play tough and hard and will exploit the holes in the Mountaineers defense to score often enough.
Longhorns win.

Sat. Nov. 3
#14 Penn State @ #5 Michigan
This is pure pride and honor for Penn State, since their way to a division title is pretty much over, if not some very odd things would happen.
So a win here, in the big house, is only for the history and to get a better bowl spot.
That should be enough, right?
For Michigan, this is different, because they are right now unbeaten inside the conference and a loss would bring them in a worse position than a win, of cause, and would also reduce their chance for a playoff spot, if they would win the conference anyway.
They are right now ranked at #5 and there is LSU and Alabama ahead of them, who will meet this weekend, so 1 team will fall.
If Michigan wins straight ahead, they will get into the playoff.
A loss will let them take a dive, how deep is unknown.
They are 10.5 points favorite, which is quite a lot.
But since they did play well in the past few weeks, this seems OK.
Penn State had issues, and will have their hands full with that Michigan offense which seems to come alive.
If Penn States defense is sharp and 100%, this will be an interesting game, but I still think their chance for an upset is slim.
Wolverines win.

Sat. Nov. 3
#1 Alabama @ #3 LSU
This is the main game of the weekend and according to the betting line, already a done deal.
Alabama is -15.0 points at Vegas, against LSU on the road!
That's something.
I'm not sure Alabama will win with that margin, but I'm sure they will win, because they do field one of the best teams they ever had.
So far no flaws, no sign of weakness, it just wins and wins big.
LSU will fight, for sure, since this game is THE biggest game for the Tigers, not because of the rankings and the division implications, just because it is Alabama, so expect a tough game, a hard fought game, eventually with high emotions and more.
Never the less, I don't think they stand a chance this season against the Tide.
Crimson Tide wins.

Other interesting games:
Thur. Nov. 1
Temple @ #12 UCF
Temple is looking for the division lead and UCF looks for more wins to extend their winning streak, keeping the division lead and eventually getting a shot at the playoffs (which will likely not happen).
UCF is a good team, better than Temple and Vegas has them at 10.5 favorite to win this.
I think they will win with a higher margin.
Knights win.

Fri. Nov. 2
Pittsburgh @ #25 Virginia
Virginia is relevant again, thanks to long time BYU coach Mendenhall, and they can win the division this season, if they win against Pitt and the 2 other remaining games.
Vegas have them 7.5 points ahead, which might be OK.
But don't underestimate the Panthers, they did fight great against ranked teams this season. Still I think the home advantage will help here.
Cavaliers win.

Sat. Nov. 3
#16 Iowa @ Purdue
Northwestern is leading the West, but Iowa and Purdue are right behind them and do need a win here.
Purdue did beat Ohio State at home and now host tough Iowa.
No wonder Purdue is favored to win here (-3.0 points), but the people are not sure they can really duplicate the Buckeyes win.
For me this is coin toss. Iowa has played good and Purdue has shown great potential.
Who ever will bring out the best team will win. I think Purdue is doing this this season.
Boilermakers win.

Sat. Nov. 3
#4 Notre Dame @ Northwestern
Not relevant for the BIG10 standings, but very important for the playoff rankings.
If Northwestern wins this, Notre Dame will sink fast and likely to deep to come back, while nobody does have Northwestern on their list, but if they beat the Irish and would win the BIG10, would there be a way into the playoffs?
With the current settings, no, since they have 3 losses already, but winning will help them anyway for pride and honor and the bowl spots.
Beside that did I see a lot of games between both teams and nothing would be more fun for the Wildcats as to win against Notre Dame.
Of 48 meetings they did win only 9, still the last 2 are won by them so they have a streak to defend.
Vegas line is ND -9.5, so nobody is expecting a Wildcats win this year I guess, except some big fans.
I think Notre Dame will have a hard time, whether they will fall ... not sure. But I'm willing to gamble on that.
Wildcats win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time

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