2021-10-12 19:00

This seems to become a quite unique season.

Last week I did write Alabama and Georgia are elite and then maybe Iowa, Penn State, Cincinnati and Ohio State.
And right after that did Alabama lose against an unranked Texas A&M Aggies team.
A team which did lose against Mississippi State and the then-ranked-at-#16 Arkansas.
They did end a 100-game-winning-streak of Alabama vs unranked teams.

Well it must have happened at some point, still, but when it happens, I'm most of the time astonished, and this time, very astonished, since Alabama did look very good so far.
Not unbeatable, but very capable of winning and much better than Arkansas and Mississippi State.
Still, Texas A&M did beat them with the same Backup-QB, who struggled against Arkansas and MSU.

So, we do have a new #1 ranked team, since Georgia did win their game (@Auburn).
If you are interested in such stuff, the AP poll does feature Georgia now as #1 with 100% 1st place votes.
That means, of all sheets send in (62) all did feature Georgia at #1.
In the coaches’ poll, we have 1 sheet (out of 65) featuring Iowa. Whether that is of Iowa itself, I don't know. ;-)

What does that mean? Iowa, even with a great win against highly ranked Penn State did so far not convince a single press person of being national title worthy.
Astonishing, since both teams did so far have not a single compare team in their schedule.
But the season is long and both teams will have their share of competition coming and as we learned, the worst hit might come as blind side hit, unexpected. Ask Alabama.

And it's clear being ranked this season does not mean automatically that the opponents will give up. In fact, since the start of the poll time (1936) this season features the most losses of ranked teams so far in the season ever.
I give two circumstance the credit. One is that the covid season last year did shuffle up the processes and basically everything the teams took for granted was suddenly harder and unsure.
The second thing I think makes a difference is that the polls itself are after the covid season no longer reliable.
Many teams were ranked wrongly and to correct this takes time, so instead of accepting THIS TEAM to drop out, you might just rank it lower the next week and when they lose again, you rank them lower again, until they drop out.
I think in the past the starting lineup was more stable and then the adjustments become smaller, this season the error margin was much higher and that way the adjustments took time and also hard was to pick the team to REPLACE the dropping or leaving team of the TOP 25.


Sat. Oct 9
#6 Oklahoma vs #21 Texas
THAT was a record rivalry game!
This game has never featured more points and a bigger comeback.
I was lucky to see it in German TV 'till the end and it was great, as long as you were not a Longhorns fan.
But let's start at the beginning.
The 1st half was almost all TEXAS.
Oklahoma 3 and out.
Then Oklahoma started to get things going, scored an answer, held Texas for a punt, but made then an INT in the next drive.
Texas did say 'Thanx' and scored again in 3 plays.
Then again after an Oklahoma 3-and-out.
28-7 after the 1st quarter for Texas.
Man, I thought Oklahoma will get decked heavily.
The 2nd quarter was almost even but gave Texas more chances by leaving points on the field and having another turnover.
It was 38-20 at the half.
Then in the 3rd quarter the Sooners got some control but did only shrink the lead to 41-30.
Oklahoma got the ball back and had a long drive for 3 more points. 41-33.
And then came the complete Texas meltdown.
Longhorns 3-and-out. Oklahoma scored with wild play a TD and tied the game. 41-41.
The Texas Kickoff-Return was nixed by a scooped ball during the return. Oklahoma got the ball back and scored AGAIN! 48-41 now for the Sooners.
Texas went all in, did play even 4th down (which was not needed from my point of view) on the Sooners 24-yard line and turned the ball over, but stopped the Sooners anyhow the next drive.
Some wild plays later came the tying score for Texas. 48-48.
Roughly 1:20 left to play the Sooners started to move the ball.
With 10 ticks left to play the Sooners tried another run to move from the Texas 33 into better kicking position and the runner TOOK OFF for a TD!
Oklahoma got the 4th consecutive win in the rivalry and Texas can only play for the rematch in the BIG 12 Championship game.
#6 Oklahoma 55 vs #21 Texas 48 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Scores: 11-7

#2 Georgia @ #18 Auburn
This was not half exciting as the red river showdown.
Georgia did build up a lead early and did then control that one until the end.
Auburn was not able to get a comeback really going.
This puts them not out of competition inside the SEC West, thanks to the Tides loss, but a win would have helped more. Haha.
Georgia on the other side has right now a surprising opponent next to them for the SEC East, Kentucky.
Kentucky has won now against Florida and LSU and will face Georgia next week.
#2 Georgia 34 @ #18 Auburn 10 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Scores: 12-7

#4 Penn State @ #3 Iowa
Iowa won the game with turnovers by 4-1.
THAT way you can't win a championship, I'm sure Franklin, the Lions HC, did tell his players already that lesson, before the game and now of cause again after the game.
Surprisingly did Penn State STILL lead at the half and did only lose, because in the 2nd half did Penn State commit 1 of those 4 turnovers, but more important, the Hawkeyes defense did really play good, very good.
I still think Penn State has all the tools to win their division and go for more, but only if they can win such a game.
Iowa is now at #2 and they have played the toughest games already. Still they can lose of cause, but if they prevail, the conference championship will determine, whether they have championship potential or not.
Right now, they do look sharp and as one of the best Hawkeyes teams I've ever seen.
#4 Penn State 20 @ #3 Iowa 23 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Scores: 12-8

Other interesting games:
Fri. Oct 8
Stanford @ #22 Arizona State
Arizona State did win this 28-10 with a good defense and a good enough offense.
ASU and Utah are the main contenders in the PAC 12 South, while the North seems to be wide open.
Jacks interesting games Score: 10-9

Sat. Oct 9
#13 Arkansas @ #17 Ole Miss
Another wild game, with Arkansas scoring a TD with time expiring in the 4th trailing then 51-52. INSTANTLY did the Arkansas HC call for a 2-point-conversion and that one did FAIL.
Old Miss win in that wild game 52-51.
Jacks interesting games Score: 11-9

#9 Michigan @ Nebraska
And this game ... crazy.
1st quarter NOTHING, 2nd quarter a good lead by Michigan 13-0, 3rd quarter a wild scoring affair by Nebraska leading then 22-19.
Michigan answered, Huskers took the lead back, Wolverines tied, and Nebraska did fumble and Michigan took the lead and never gave it back, winning 29-26.
I really think the Huskers are making progress, but man ... I would be mad.
Jacks interesting games Score: 12-9

And some other astonishing scores:
As said did Texas A&M beat #1 Alabama 41-38. A big win for the Aggies.
Boise State did win on the road against ranked BYU 26-17. That did hurt for the Cougars, who did aim for something big this season.
Kentucky did beat LSU 42-21. Already everyone is thinking 'New HC at LSU'?
NIU won against Toledo 22-20. NIU is climbing in the win stats and is now leading the MAC West.
Akron won against Bowling Green 35-20. First FBS win for them in the season.
Florida State did beat North Carolina 35-25, which is likely a good sign of improvement.
UMass got their 1st win, here against UConn, 27-13. UConn is still winless in this season.
Ball State did beat Western Michigan, 45-20, making the MAC West wide open, led by NIU.
Colorado State won against San Jose State 32-14. A bit disappointing for me, but ... what can you do?
Washington State did best Oregon State 31-24. PAC 12 North is also wide open.
Utah won against USC, 42-26, and is together with ASU in the mix for the PAC 12 South.

There are still several unbeaten teams left, which would be naturally the best bet to rank them high (until they lose), but several ones are again left out of the TOP 25, since the conference are (as always) rated differently.
Still, here a small overview of the so far perfect teams.

The American Athletic Conference has 2 teams left, unbeaten.
Cincinnati is ranked now at #3, which is a BIG thing. With playoffs today they would be the 1st team to likely getting a spot (remember the spots are independent from the polls as filled by a committee, still they are usually close to the polls). Beside the game against the 2nd team from the AAC unbeaten, the Bearcats will have now a quite easy schedule. That will likely let them drop in the rankings, slowly, even if they stay perfect. It might still be enough for the playoff, but my gut feeling is, still then they will not make it. A loss will let them drop by at least 5 to 15 spots and they will likely never recover.
The 2nd team unbeaten are the Southern Methodist (#23), SMU in short. They have a slightly tough remaining schedule and might drop a game before the Bearcats clash. If they win everything, I think they will still never make the playoffs.

The Atlantic Coast Conference does only have 1 unbeaten team left.
Surprisingly that team is not Clemson or North Carolina, it's Wake Forest, ranked at #16! They will play some tougher conference games in the next few weeks, and I expect them to lose at some point, still a great accomplishment so far. IF they win all games, they might still get burned and miss the playoffs. A single loss will end the campaign for the playoffs anyway.

The BIG 12 has 2 teams still without a loss.
It's Oklahoma, now ranked at #4, securing they top spot by last week’s incredible comeback-win. The really tough games will come in November against Iowa State and Oklahoma State. If they win out they will get a playoff spot, a loss at some point will likely end the playoff bid.
And surprisingly (at least for me) Oklahoma State (#12) is also unbeaten. But my pick is they will lose before at the end of the season the showdown against the Sooners comes up. If the Cowboys would win all games, they do have a chance to get a playoff spot. A loss will hurt them badly and will end the playoff hopes, even they win the BIG 12.

The BIG 10 is loaded with ranked teams, but only 3 are unbeaten and do have the best chance to get into the playoffs.
Highest ranked so far is Iowa at #2, which is the highest rank I can remember they have had the past 36 years! It's clear, if they win, they are in, but what will happen with a loss. They won some crucial big games, so it will depend on the opponent they lose to. But likely ONE loss will not hurt too much, as long as they win the conference. The remaining games are easier than the past few, so it will be big loss, if they lose.
The next in line of the unbeaten teams is Michigan, at #8. I think for the Wolverines a loss will break their campaign, very likely, but also here the opponent is important. Their schedule is tough, so wins will give them some speed to rise, a loss might drop them too far. Still, a loss will likely also elevate some other team into the conference championship game, so better not lose.
And as 3rd team the Michigan State Spartans are here (#10) and right now they do even look more solid as the Wolverines. The rivalry game against the Wolverines will let the winner rise and the lose fall. If the Spartans win ALL, they will play in the playoffs, the perfect Cinderella, a loss will likely leave them out of the championship game, also.

The Conference USA does only feature a single unbeaten team.
UTSA, Texas-San-Antonio, is not ranked, they did not receive enough points (got points to be #29 if that would exist). Their schedule will likely prevent a much higher ranking, still a few tougher inner-conference games are coming. No chance for the playoffs.

The Independents don't have a single team still perfect.

Also, the Mid-American-Conference doesn't have a single team with zero losses.

The Mountain West has 1 team left unbeaten.
The San Diego State Aztecs are ranked at #24 and will likely never have a chance to play in the playoffs. In fact, I think they will lose on their way to the championship game, if they reach it. But even as unbeaten MWC Champ they will likely not make TOP4.

Surprisingly the PAC 12 has zero teams unbeaten.

And the SEC does feature only 2 teams left unbeaten.
Georgia is right now at #1 and everyone’s favorite to win it ALL. A loss will not hurt them much, as long as it does not keep them out of the championship game. But that could happen.
Because the 2nd team unbeaten is Cinderella Kentucky (#11), playing Georgia soon. A win there would give them a huge advantage. I doubt they will win all games, the division or the conference, but if they win the SEC, they are of cause in the playoffs.

At last the Sun Belt Conference has also only 1 team with only wins.
Coastal Carolina is all the talk since almost 2 seasons and right now ranked at #15. They will suffer the same fate as Cincinnati, only to play in a much weaker conference, therefore they never had a chance to get into the playoffs.

That's it.
I think most of those unbeaten teams will vanish and my pick is, at least 2, if not 3, 1-loss-teams will get into the playoffs and only 2-3 other unbeaten teams will remain, with none of them getting a playoff spot.


Sat. Oct 16
#12 Oklahoma State @ #25 Texas
The second week in the row does come an Oklahoma team to Texas and want to get some fight.
Last week the Longhorns did collapse.
This week, I see potential for the Longhorns.
The Cowboys are not the big defense team and the explosive offense of Texas might never get stopped as the Sooners were able to do it.
And the Cowboys offense has to play catchup, which I doubt will have success every time.
Vegas has Texas favored by 5.5 points, which I think they will beat.
Longhorns win.

#11 Kentucky @ #1 Georgia
This we can keep very short.
Georgia -> Juggernaut, almost perfect so far, huge running game.
Kentucky -> very blessed with a good passing game this season, but not as good as the Bulldogs.
-> Big dang on the Wildcats fangs -> BANG (Georgias line is -23.5)
Bulldogs win. ;-)

Auburn @ #17 Arkansas
An SEC West duel, with the winner having still some chance to get to the SEC Championship game, the loser ... let's say, needs some help AND SOME.
Auburn has the best chances to win this, but Arkansas did show some guts last week and almost won against Ole Miss. The Razorbacks are favored by 3.5 points.
I give Auburn some credit and think they CAN win, even on the road, against this popular pick.
I like it how the team is transformed, and the talent level is deeper.
Still a close one.
Tigers win.

Other interesting games:
#18 Arizona State @ Utah
The winner will have the upper hand inside the PAC 12 South, which is from my point of view ASUs part to lose in this game.
Surprisingly they are only favored by 1.0 point.
Why I don't know, since ASU did play great the past few games.
Sun Devils win.

Pittsburgh @ Virginia Tech
This game does feature the right now highest listed teams inside the Coastal Division of the ACC. The winner will have a small boost, the loser needs help to regain the upper hand inside the division.
Pittsburgh is favored by 5-0 points, but I like the game to be played at the Hokies.
They did lose at home only to Notre Dame so far. Pittsburgh did play a bit inconsistent from my point of view, so what to do out of this?
I give the Hokies home crowd credit ad pick VT.
Hokies win.

UCF @ #3 Cincinnati
Let's face it, the Bearcats need to win here, better big. But UCF has some quality and they do also need to win, to stay in the competition inside the conference (where they already need help).
UCF lost last week in a bad way in an inter-conference game, which should hopefully motivate them.
Not long ago the school did declare themselves (and some meaningless polls) to National Champ, which seems like ages ago.
Cincinnati is 20.5 points favorite, a win here by UCF would be huge.
I can see the potential but stay with the favorite.
Bearcats win.

'Til next time

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