2018-11-09 06:51

It's like last season, when some great upsets did happen, but the TOP teams just kept winning and winning.

Most shocking loss this week was for me the game between SMU and Houston.
SMU did basically destroy Houston in the first half and the Cougars were unable to get a comeback going to turn the game.
How can this can go wrong that bad, if a team like Houston (7-1 at that point, only loss against Texas Tech on the road) plays against SMU (3-5 at that point, with wins against Navy, an FCS team and Tulane).
Sure, SMU can have a good day, but the Houston team should be good enough to avoid a disaster, such as it happened in the first half, trailing 31-14.
And that includes especially the coaches.

Overall some of the upsets did shake up the conferences a bit, or did keep them open.

The only conference which has already their finalists set is the SEC with Alabama facing Georgia.
The rest is still open, even the ACC, where Clemson plays football at least 1 league better than the rest in the conference.
Now only Boston College is the only team which is still able to win the division, if they beat Clemson next week, which is unlikely, but possible.

The next 2 weeks will likely put most divisions into the right perspective and then we will see.

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

Sat. Nov. 3
#6 Georgia @ #9 Kentucky
Well, to make it short, Georgia was way better than Kentucky and did win the game and the division.
With all respect to Kentucky, they did not play on the same level, but that's true for almost every team in the SEC compared to Alabama and Georgia.
For Georgia the path is now clear as it can get.
Win the remaining games, and win against SEC Championship opponent Alabama.
Of cause they could drop a game or more until the SEC Championship game and could still take the SEC, but that would eliminate them from the playoffs, likely.
Next game is Auburn at home.
Kentucky on the other hand has to focus on the remaining games to get the best bowl spot possible.
But playing at Tennessee next week will put them under another losable game pressure, so they better stay on top.
#6 Georgia 34 - #9 Kentucky 17 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 20-15

Sat. Nov. 3
#13 West Virginia @ #17 Texas
I said yesterday to my colleague that in a usual college Dana Holgorsen would not be in the position he is right now, because he would have been fired after 2015 season, when the team did again had only a 7-5 season and later won a bowl to be 8-5.
For West Virginia standards he had some bad seasons until then and did not win enough seasons.
But he was kept and the team did respond with a 10-3 season, followed with a 7-6 season.
THIS season they are now 7-1, and they have the best chance to win the BIG12 since joining it.
The key for that kind of success is that Dana Holgorsen takes chances, like in that game against the Longhorns.
Down 34-41, 1st and 10 on Texas 33 and they have 38 ticks left on the clock.
Deep pass, perfect spot, perfect catch in the end zone. TOUCHDOWN. Longhorns fans are stunned and do not believe that this catch was OK, but it was, as the slow-mo does reveal.
With 40-41 and 16 ticks left the team goes for 2!
Snap, Pass, Catch, GOOD! But taken away by an icing timeout call!
So repeat it, Snap, scramble, run by the QB into the endzone, GOOD! OVER!
West Virginia wins 42-41 and is still on top.
They do not have an easy remaining schedule, but none of the leading teams have that.
Next up for the Mountaineers is TCU, Longhorns have to play Texas Tech on the road.
#13 West Virginia 42 - #17 Texas 41 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 20-16

Sat. Nov. 3
#14 Penn State @ #5 Michigan
That was a great game by Michigan and a bad one by Penn State.
Michigan did dominate in all aspects, and the GAME at the end of this month will be fun, for sure.
Next is a road game to bad Rutgers, while Penn State has to recover and play for a good bowl spot, next up is Wisconsin at home, which is the toughest game they have on the remaining schedule.
#14 Penn State7 - #5 Michigan 42 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 21-16

Sat. Nov. 3
#1 Alabama @ #3 LSU
This must have been one of the worst games the LSU fans have seen for a long time.
Not in terms of performance, but in terms of hope and fun.
There was NOTHING LSU could have done and they did NOTHING, so they lost with no points on the board.
Alabama did take the ticket to the SEC Championship game, again, and LSU has to wait another season to overcome the dominating neighbor.
The Tide plays Mississippi State next, while LSU plays on the road against a bad Arkansas team.
One side note on the game.
This was #1 vs. #3 and Alabama did look so good that I would guess they would make the playoffs again even if they would lose the Championship game.
#1 Alabama 29 - #3 LSU 0 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 22-16

Other interesting games:

Thur. Nov. 1
Temple @ #12 UCF
As expected did UCF win 52-40, which is higher than the line.
Jacks interesting games Score: 25-10

Fri. Nov. 2
Pittsburgh @ #25 Virginia
Pittsburgh right now looks like the best bet on the division title, but that bet is shaky.
At least for this week they did their best and won again Virginia 23-13.
Jacks interesting games Score: 25-11

Sat. Nov. 3
#16 Iowa @ Purdue
Purdue did play great as did Iowa and when Iowa took the lead early in the 4th it did look like a game changer, but the Boilermakers did fight through that and when they got the ball at 4:30 left, they went over the field and scored the game winning Field Goal to win 38-36.
Not sure they will win the division, but for sure they have a great season.
Jacks interesting games Score: 26-11

Sat. Nov. 3
#4 Notre Dame @ Northwestern
For a short period it did look like Northwestern could actually get back into the game and eventually win it.
They scored a TD with 7 minutes left to play to get 3 points near a tie.
But they were unable to keep Notre Dame in check and Notre Dame scored for the final score of 31-21.
Jacks interesting games Score: 26-12

Most stunning results of week 10:
Ohio won against Western Michigan 59-14. Ohio just 1 game behind leading Buffalo, which they play at home in 2 weeks.
Arizona won against Colorado 42-34. Right now every team in the PAC12 South could still win the division.
Missouri won against Florida, on the road, 38-17. Florida needs some more time to righten the ship, but next season could become interesting.
Utah lost to Arizona State 20-38 and lost also their QB. Not the best situation in the hard fought PAC12 South.
Auburn won against Texas A&M 28-24. Not sure the Iron Bowl against Alabama will be epic, but we can at least hope for a better game.
Virginia Tech did lose against Boston College 21-31. BC now the only team left which could challenge Clemson for the division title.
Army won against Air Force 17-14. Since Air force did win against Navy, Army can keep the Commander in Chief Trophy even with a loss in the Army-Navy-game. Of cause they will try to win also that game to keep the trophy by winning.
UTEP got their first win of the season by winning against Rice on the road 34-26. Now all teams do have at least 1 win.
Tulane won against South Florida 41-15, on the road. Not sure whether Tulane got a perfect day, or South Florida did collapse.
SMU won as mentioned against Houston 45-31. SMU still 1 game behind Houston inside the division.
Duke won against Miami 20-12, on the road.
Florida Atlantic did win against So far leading Florida International 49-14. FIU should still be the leading team, since they won against Middle Tennessee and should have the direct compare advantage, for now.
Boise State won against BYU 21-16. BYU now 4-5, not sure whether this is enough to keep the job for their HC.

The upcoming week does not have many high class ranked vs ranked games with a big impact on the conferences, but there are still a lot important games.

I selected this 4 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 11

Fri. Nov. 9
#23 Fresno State @ Boise State
Fresno State is the only ranked team in the Mountain West and is leading the West-division with a perfect conference record.
Now they have to travel to Idaho and have to play on the smurf turf. They are 2.5 point favorite which is a quite big achievement given the fact that Boise State is playing very good at home.
The Broncos have lost only 1 game this season at home, a close one against San Diego State.
Since then they did win with a lot of points against all teams coming.
I personally think that Boise is capable to win this one, even with a high margin.
My only concern is their offense, which seems to sputter against good defenses.
If they can force Fresno State into a shootout, I think they will win, but if Boise has to do their best to gain some yards and have to become creative, then I see them losing.
Overall I can only guess, who will win here and my feeling is that the smurf turf will help the home team a lot.
If Fresno loses, they will still have the advantage in the West, if Boise loses, they can burry the dream of a division title.
Broncos win.

Sat. Nov. 10
#10 Ohio State @ #18 Michigan State
Assuming Nebraska is getting into the form they should have had with season start did Ohio State take care of business in an OK-kind-of-way last week when they won at home 36-31.
But is that really the case, or is Nebraska (2-7) maybe not that strong and Ohio State does still lack the strength they would need to win the division and the conference?
I can’t answer that, all I see is that Ohio State is not on the same level they were a season ago.
Now they have to travel to Michigan State who did so far play a good season but lost so far 1 on the road (Arizona State) and 2 times at home (Northwestern and Michigan).
The Buckeyes are favored by 3.5 points which is not much.
It seems this will get down to a low scoring, grinding kind of football game, which will be won by the team with less errors are with more discipline.
I think both teams can claim that in some games, so we will have to wait and see, whether they can perform on that level on Saturday.
With the losses in mind the Spartans did suffer so far, I pick Ohio State to win here, but that’s 60:40 pick.
I can easily see the Spartans scoring another upset and knocking Ohio State almost for sure out of the division race.
The only problem with that is, that this would give rival Michigan almost for sure the division, maybe even the conference and a playoff spot.
Not sure that is more stratifying for the Spartans ….
Buckeyes win.

Sat. Nov. 10
Northwestern @ #21 Iowa
This can be the deciding game. If Iowa wins the division race is wide open again, at least for a week.
If Northwestern wins, the division is almost for sure their price.
The Wildcats are leading the division with only 1 loss inside the conference so far and the next teams are Wisconsin and Purdue with 2 losses each.
Iowa has 3 losses and would at least keep a close distance with that possible win.
The Hawkeyes are favored to win this by 11.0, which quite a lot, but they did really play well so far, even if they have lost some games, they could have won with a bit more luck.
Northwestern did play strong last week against the Irish, but were not able to win, still this is a very strong team this year.
I think they will lose this one, but in a much closer game than the betting line does suggest.
This might come down to a kick or a missed kick.
Hawkeyes win.

Sat. Nov. 10
Virginia Tech @ Pittsburgh
If Pitt would not have a tough remaining schedule, they would for sure win the division.
But playing VT, @Wake Forest and @Miami will test them for sure.
They can win those games, but more likely is, they will drop at least one of them.
Right behind them is Virginia Tech, who have to play in addition Miami and Virginia, both at home, so this game will give one of the teams here a big advantage.
If Pitt wins, they are in a good position and likely only Virginia could challenge them, against whom they won last week.
If VT wins, the division is open for grab for likely 3 teams.
Pitt is favored by 3.0 points, which is not much.
I was so far impressed by Pitts stamina and they were only a bit unlucky against Notre Dame, otherwise they would have been much higher regarded.
With this game at home, I pick Pitt to win this, knowing that we will have a close one here.
Panthers win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Nov. 10
Oklahoma State @ #6 Oklahoma
The Bedlam-Rivalry-Game is a big thing in Oklahoma, but honestly this became only interesting in the past few years when Gundy did bring OSU on the level of the Sooners in some seasons.
The stats are clear, Oklahoma is leading the series 87-18-7 and is driving a 3 game winning streak. The longest streak OSU ever had was 2 games in a row, last time 2001 and 2002, while Oklahoma did dominate the late 40s, the whole 50s and beginning of 60s with 19 games in a row.
So an OSU win is not that often and is for sure a party worth.
Unfortunate is that OSU does have a down year, and this is played in Norman this season.
Consequence is the Sooners are 21.0 favorite. Nothing more to say here.
Sooners win.

Sat. Nov. 10
Temple @ Houston
Both teams can not afford the loss here, Houston eventually in a bit better situation than Temple. The Cougars are favored by 4.5 points but this could get close.
I think Houston will use their home advantage and win this in a close shootout.
Cougars win.

Sat. Nov. 10
#19 Texas @ Texas Tech
Great game this season. The Red Raiders have something special going and could really drop Texas into the mid field of the conference, which would make the race for the 2 championship game spots a bit more boring.
Texas had some great games and some down games, latest against Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
Both are good teams, so not really a catastrophe, still I guess the Longhorns fans would get a bit grumpy if Texas loses against the Red Raiders and drop out of the conference race.
Vegas line is Texas -2.0, which means at the end that a close game is expected where Texas does prevail.
I think they can do that, the big question mark is, whether they can hold off the Red Raiders offense often enough to outscore them?
The only team which held them from scoring a lot of points was TCU so far and in the last few weeks did Texas allow a lot of points.
Who will win the likely Texas shootout?
My pick is Texas, but by an inch.
Longhorns win.

Sat. Nov. 10
#2 Clemson @ #17 Boston College
The last stepping stone of Clemson to prevail or to fall towards the ACC Championship game. Good for them that they did play better and better with every game.
It doesn't matter they play on the road, they are so convincing that they are 20.0 favorite in this game.
BC would get likely the division if they win here, so they should be motivated, but I don't think they can halt the Clemson offense long enough to win this.
Tigers win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time

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