2021-10-06 19:16

It seems there is a group of elite teams and the rest.
Right now, it seems this elite group of teams does feature Alabama, Georgia and then ... hmmm ....
I don't want to disrespect Iowa, Penn State, Cincinnati and Ohio State, since they are also unbeaten and ranked right behind the 2 SEC juggernauts, but those teams do look much more beatable then Georgia and Alabama.
I can only hope that all teams will face at some point some obstacles, because otherwise the Bulldogs and the Tide will play out the SEC Championship game and the winner will likely be the favorite to win the National Championship with some additional boring games until then or even worse, even a rematch in the final.

It's of cause hard to predict and injuries and some other stuff might shuffle the team’s strength, so there is from the competition point of view hope for seeing some upsets on teams which do look unbeatable.

The past weekend some upsets did happen, more that after the reviews.


Sat. Oct 2
#8 Arkansas @ #2 Georgia
Not the nail biter I hoped for, just plain and simple a dominant win by a great start and then a good further progress over the remaining 3 quarters.
Great running stats, special teams had a punt blocked for a TD.
The Georgia fans must have had a great day at home.
For Arkansas the high flying, extra adding expectations from outside, which did grow and grow over the weeks did get a big hit, which will likely help the team to work and to get better.
Obviously, they were not in the league of Georgia.
#8 Arkansas @ 0 #2 Georgia 37 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Scores: 9-6

#7 Cincinnati @ #9 Notre Dame
Notre Dame did play ... bad.
First drive and INT, later another INT, later a fumble on the kickoff return.
Bad and finally the Irish lost a game which does send them down to the ground.
No contender, and I think they will lose again until the regular season ends, despite the opponents are not the biggest guns in the league.
For Cincinnati this win was big, in South Bend. Hui!
Now they have a problem, which is called conference games.
They are ranked now at #5, but will play mostly teams which are between 25 and 75 in terms of strength, while the other teams inside the TOP 10 will play several ranked teams or at least teams in the TOP 50.
The Bearcats will need some help AND a perfect season if they want to get a playoff semi ticket (which honestly, I expect them then to lose).
#7 Cincinnati 24 @ #9 Notre Dame 13 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Scores: 9-7

#12 Ole Miss @ #1 Alabama
I hoped here for a back and forth scoring game, instead I got 28-0 for Alabama at the half.
The rest is history, since Ole Miss did then play more or less on the same level as Alabama, but they had that big juice lead, so nothing did happen and the Tide did win, again.
Both teams will have plenty of opportunity to drop a game, but right now it looks again like Alabama will win the SEC West.
#7 Cincinnati 42 @ #9 Notre Dame 21 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Scores: 10-7

Other interesting games:
#21 Baylor @ #19 Oklahoma State
Oh man, I did expect too much of Baylor. OSU did win 24-14, but they do still not look like a team which should be ranked, still they are at #12 now.
I do expect the Cowboys to lose soon, the Bears .... not sure how they will play next time ...
Jacks interesting games Score: 8-8

#22 Auburn @ LSU
I did pick Auburn, even the statement 'Tigers win' could mean in this Tigers-Bowl everything.
But a line before I did name Auburn as the winner and they WON! 24-19.
LSU sucks again and would love to hear what's going on there now.
Jacks interesting games Score: 9-8

#6 Oklahoma @ Kansas State
My bad, Oklahoma did best KSU 37-31, with KSU playing catch-up almost the whole game.
Looks like Oklahoma will again play for the BIG 12 Championship. I hoped for some shuffling ...
Jacks interesting games Score: 9-9

And then there was the rest:
Big upset by Virginia, beating Miami 30-28. For Virginia the season was so far up and down, for Miami more down and down.
Next surprising upset, Stanford did beat at #3 ranked Oregon 31-24 in OT. For the PAC 12 this was eventually already the final blow for the playoffs.
And another surprising upset, Kentucky winning against #10 Florida 20-13. THAT did push Georgia almost instantly into the SEC Championship game and Florida is more or less out. Means ... the team needs to win now AND help.
Michigan did beat Wisconsin 38-17 and for me that's it for Wisconsin’s chances for the BIG 10 Championship game.
Next upset, Mississippi State did win against Texas A&M 26-22. Tough days inside College Station.
Surprising win by Hawai'i, winning against ranked Fresno State 27-24. Big win for them I think.
Then a big win inside the PAC 12 by Arizona State winning against ranked UCLA 42-23. ASU right now favorite to win the PAC 12 South.
Northern Illinois won against Eastern Michigan 27-20. Huskies seems to get their things together this season.
Navy did beat UCF 34-30. That's likely a big disappointment for the Knights.
Miami (Ohio) did beat Central Michigan 28-17. I expected CMU ti do better, but fine ... not their season as it seems.
Nevada won against Boise State 41-31 on the smurf turf. Looks like Boise needs to do better, if they still want to win the Mountain West.
Liberty won against UAB, 36-12. I'm really surprised, how Liberty often (not always) wins games as underdogs.
Vanderbilt had their problems with UConn but won 30-28. UConn still winless.
Oregon State did get another big win inside the PAC 12, beating Washington 27-24. Right now they lead the PAC 12 North. Imagine a PAC 12 final Oregon State vs Arizona State. Not sure that ever happened.

The upcoming week has some really big matchups, which for sure will have a huge impact on the conferences and the playoff evaluation.
Of cause, some can happen after that week and at the end the games on this weekend might become not so important, but right now, my feeling is, for some teams the road to the championship games does end this week.


Sat. Oct 9
#6 Oklahoma vs #21 Texas
Here it comes, the 117th RED RIVER SHOWDOWN.
Texas lead the rivalry overall score, but Oklahoma is riding a 3-game winning streak.
This season we have Oklahoma being favored by 3.5 points and Texas with a new HC is making some progress to (eventually) become the team it wants to be, a force nationally.
Right now, Oklahoma is in the BIG 12 the force to beat to get something going and this season it seems the Championship game will feature Oklahoma and then some team.
Whether this will be Texas or maybe Iowa State or some other team is open.
With a win here, Texas would for sure start making a case, even that would likely mean, the BIG 12 would have less chance to represent itself inside the national playoffs.
Oklahoma on the other side can make a huge step forward and with the other games being played this week, they could gain access to the TOP 4 spots, which is quite crucial.
Even the game was last season decided in a shootout in OT, I think the rivalry was a long time not as open as this season.
I'm not willing to trust Texas to really really make them a sure pick, but this game has upset alert written on it.
Oklahoma looks not that dominant as in recent years and as said, Texas makes progress.
I pick Oklahoma in a close one, since I think Texas still needs a year to have full speed, at least, but any errors can turn the momentum.
Sooners win.

#2 Georgia @ #18 Auburn
Case 1 in this game can be, that Auburn upsets Georgia, which would open up the SEC East a bit and gives Florida the help it needs to get back into the competition.
For Auburn the result would be that they are instantly, at least for a week, the major competitor against Alabama inside the SEC West. The Iron Bowl at the end of the season could become a mini-championship game.
Case 2 in this game can be, Georgia will beat Auburn as expected (they are favored by 15.5 points) and Auburn can try to focus on rebuilding while Georgia did make a huge step towards SEC Championship game.
I like Auburn so far, but I doubt they can really beat Georgia, even at home.
The Bulldogs have a sharp running game and did looks almost perfect so far and they seem to get better.
So, I take Case 2 here, but watch out for Auburn at the end of the season and next year.
Bulldogs win.

#4 Penn State @ #3 Iowa
And we have another hot game here, which was likely not supposed to be a such high ranked vs ranked game.
Penn State does look like they can actually take home the division again since 2016 (tied with Ohio State and they won the conference in that season) this season and Iowa looks like they can win their division finally again since 2015.
Iowa is favored as home team with 1.5 points, which is not much.
I do lean towards Penn State here, but I have to admit I did judge Iowa wrong this season already.
So, the Hawkeyes might win, still I just can't let Penn State take the losing role here.
They look sharp, they look ready, and in 10 games, they would win 6 or 7, I guess.
Nittany Lions win.

Other interesting games:
Fri. Oct 8
Stanford @ #22 Arizona State
To make this short, Arizona State is 13 points favorite, but Stanford did already beat a ranked opponent, so everything is possible.
I believe in the Sun Devils to stop the Cardinals offense often enough to win, but I think it will be close than the 13 points.
Sun Devils win.

Sat. Oct 9
#13 Arkansas @ #17 Ole Miss
One of the teams will have to settle with the mid-level character, while the other can still hope to see the contenders stumble and take an advanced spot inside the SEC West.
I believe the Rebels have the power, while Arkansas might need some more weeks to get their team into the top ranks.
But, granted, this is guess. Ole Miss is favored by 5.5 points.
Rebels win.

#9 Michigan @ Nebraska
This looks like a rivalry game, but it's not. Still important. Both teams do look like they make progress, but Michigan might challenge Penn State and Ohio State, while Nebraska might get a Bowl bid with a good positive record.
Wolverines are only favored by 3.5, I think they will beat that.
Wolverines win.

Vacation is over and I have to work again. What a pity.

'Til next time

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