2021-11-10 14:48

Oh, and the next unbeaten teams did fall.

Wake Forest and Michigan State lost their games, which will have an impact on the playoff races.
Both teams did drop some spots and most teams did rise one spot, which makes the top 4 teams now:
Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State.
Cincinnati is now at #5 and it looks like they have a chance, but my take on this is, Oregon or Ohio State would need to drop a game against a weaker opponent, and the Bearcats have to stay perfect.
The problem is, if the teams stay perfect for the remaining games, expect the games against high ranked rivals, I think Cincinnati would be left out.
If all goes as expected (which of course never happens 100%) Georgia will mean Alabama and the winner will be #1.
The loser? I think, the loser will be TOP4, especially if it's Georgia. With Alabama ... could be they slide a bit, since they would then be a 2-loss team, but I have doubts.
If Oregon loses against likely Utah they would be out and no PAC12 team would come in also, but if they win the PAC12 they are in for sure.
Ohio State, if they win the BIG10, they are in, if they lose against whoever lines up, they are out and likely no other team would come in from the BIG10 also.
Likely Oklahoma would then make a push, or Oklahoma State.

Regardless, the playoffs will be again a matter of discussion and will be decided on the last gameday.

Also, some strange things did happen, after the weekend.
Usually when a team does not satisfy the expectations, the HC is usually the guy who has to go.
Sometimes it's the coordinator, but that only happens occasionally.
After this weekend, Oregon State fired his DC, Washington did fire their OC and Florida did fire their DC and OL coach. All the HCs so far untouched of those teams.
Only UMass did fire their HC, Walt Bell, after 9 game this season and a total of 2-23 record.
UMass is a real mess, the team did play inside the MAC, but never fit really well, left the MAC and after 2 seasons and since then they are independent, but play really bad.
I guess they need a conference, for the money and for the recruiting perspective.
Bell never had a chance, and this position will not be easy to replace. In Bells 2+ seasons the team did play against strong and week teams, most of the time they lost.
Finding a coach to turn this around will be tough, keeping a good one, even tougher.

And while a coach had to go, a new coach was found for 2022 at Texas Tech. They did hire Joey McGuire, AHC of Baylor and their OLB coach to become their next HC. It's his 1st gig as College HC but did serve as Highschool HC for some time and shifted then to college ranks under Matt Rhule, then Baylors HC.
Could be a good hire, seems to be popular and maybe he can make Texas Tech a winner again, which was not the case since Mike Leach left the buildings.

Regarding the conference realignments, as mentioned did Marshall accept the move to the SUN BELT from CUSA.
It was also announced that FCS teams James Madison will move to FBS in the next 2 seasons and will then join the SUN BELT as well.
And it was posted that Conference USA did invite Independents Liberty and New Mexico State to join, and also FCS teams Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State.
But new problems might arise soon for the CUSA, since rumors are that Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State will move from CUSA to MAC. That would right now mean, if all that will happen, that CUSA will lose 11 of 14 teams and will add so far 4, means they are right now at 7 teams. Hmmm. They will need more of those.


Sat. Oct 30
#13 Auburn @ #14 Texas A&M
The Tigers did score only 3 points and did lose this game by a 17-point margin.
The Aggies are right now in good position to win the division, IF they get help, because Alabama has only 1 loss, and the Aggies have 2 losses already. IF Alabama loses another game, the tiebreaker might be in their favor, since they did beat Alabama during the season.
Ironically the team which can help A&M is Auburn, who, IF they will all remaining games, might win the tiebreaker, lose the tiebreaker, since both teams (Auburn and A&M) would have won against Alabama, but the Tigers lost to A&M.
Seems the Tigers can only play for pride now (and some bowl).
In total this all seems to be some sort of what-if-scenario never happening.
#13 Auburn 3 @ #14 Texas A&M 20 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Scores: 21-9

LSU @ #2 Alabama
A surprisingly close game, but at the end did Alabama win this as expected.
With 14-7 at the half for Alabama this could have gone any way, if only the Tigers would have found their offense somewhere.
LSU better win 2 out of the last 3 games to get bowl eligible and send the coach off in stile.
Alabama needs to win and win and win to win the division for sure and to stay inside the TOP 4 of the CFP-rankings.
LSU 14 @ #2 Alabama 20 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Scores: 22-9

#4 Oregon @ Washington
A crazy game, featuring 2 scores from safety plays.
Oregon led 10-9 at the half, and Washington was not that good prepared after the break and slowly lost the grip on the game.
Ducks led 17-9 after the 3rd and when it was 24-16 and it was roughly 2 minutes left to play Washington decided to punt (which was stupid, even before their own endzone) and a bad snap did send the ball over the endzone out of bounds for that second safety of the game (the first was for Washington in the 1st quarter).
The Ducks are right now 1 game ahead for the division lead but have to play 3 more conference games.
Washington can only play for a bowl spot but need to win 2 out of 3 then.
#4 Oregon 26 @ Washington 16 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Scores: 23-9

Other interesting games:
#9 Wake Forest @ North Carolina
I have to admit a mistake here, since it did not come up to me as something to happen.
This game, even we have two teams from the same conference, did not count as conference game.
The reason is the conference scheduling systems, which would prevent the inter-division game between the two teams quite often and since there is a rivalry brewing between the two teams (which likely only the 2 fan bases care about) the universities did decide to make a 2 non-conference-home-home-game series games.
This one is one of those.
And ... UNC won it!
But the score ....
It was 14-10 UNC after the 1st quarter.
31-24 Wake Forest at the half!
The 48-34 After the 3rd for Wake Forest.
And then UNC did find the hyperdrive and hit Wake Forest with everything they had and won 58-55.
Wake Forest did even try an onside kick to get the ball once more and do SOMETHING, but it failed.
Overall, this did hurt Wake Forest only in the playoff standings, likely eliminating them already for good.
But UNC can also not profit out of this inside the conference, but their chance to win the division was already slim anyway.
Jacks interesting games Score: 17-14

#3 Michigan State @ Purdue
Didn't I say this looks like a trap game?
Well, snap and the trap did hit Sparty and the team.
It did start with a fumble for the Spartans and did then slowly become worse.
Purdue led 21-14 at the half and Purdue was able to keep the Spartans in check and on the other hand kept on scoring to win this game 40-29.
Both teams can win their division but need to win the next games.
Jacks interesting games Score: 17-15

Boise State @ #23 Fresno State
This went totally opposite the way expected.
Boise State did play great offense and outscored the usually not shy of scoring Fresno State by a mile.
This keeps the MWC interesting but did destroy my pick.
Boise State won 40-14.
Jacks interesting games Score: 17-16

Other funny scores:
Ohio won against Miami (OH) 35-33. This is only 2nd win for Ohio this season.
Kent State did beat NIU 52-47. The 1st hit against NIU inside the conference this season. NIU can still win the division.
Boston College won against Virginia Tech 17-3. This is Bostons 1st conference win and VT looks like a a mess, from my point of view. I would not be surprised to see a coaching change (for whatever reason, HC leaving or getting fired) at the end of the season.
Cincinnati did win against Tulsa 28-20. Tulsa was close of scoring a TD within a mind left but failed. Then Cincinnati fumbled but Tulsa fumbled also afterward to lose the last chance and to keep Cincinnatis unbeaten streak intact.
TCU did beat ranked Baylor 30-28. TCU under interims coach made a strong statement here. My wish would be to keep Kill as HC, but his health does likely prevent such move. I liked him as Minnesota HC.
Ole Miss did win the Freeze-Bowl against Liberty 27-14. Hugh Freeze was once HC of Ole Miss and is now HC of Liberty and build it as a strong winner. Rumors are, Freeze will get a power 5 job soon.
Arkansas did beat ranked Mississippi State 31-28. The Razorbacks did find their strength back and did play against spoiler, now bowl eligible.
Tennessee did win against ranked Kentucky 45-42. Kentucky lost now 3 in a row.
Illinois won against Minnesota 14-6, which makes right now 4 teams inside the BIG10 West equal in conference standings, place 1 to 4.
Army did win in OT against Air Force 21-14, which does technically already give Army the Commander-In-Chief-Trophy as defending team back, still with the Army-Navy-game at the end of the season they can win it on the field.
Memphis did top SMU 28-25, which gives SMU the 2nd loss in 2 weeks and makes the title game race an almost decided thing between Cincinnati and Houston.
Miami won against Georgia Tech 33-30. It looks like Miami is turning things around a bit, which maybe saves the HC from getting the pick slip.
Arizona did win against Cal, 10-3, which end a 20-game losing streak for the Wildcats.
Here is the reason why the UMass HC was let go, the team lost to FCS team Rhode Island 22-35.
Wyoming, which did not play great this season, did win against Colorado State, 31-17. First conference win for the Cowboys and an end to a 4-game losing streak. They need 1 more win for a bowl bid. CSU still needs 3 wins for a bowl.
Colorado did beat Oregon State in OT, 37-34. PAC-12 runs wild this season.
South Carolina did beat Florida 40-17. Florida is under heavy pressure, since their results are bad and they need still 2 out of 3 to get a bowl spot.

With that done, let's face the next weeks games.


Sat. Nov. 13
#8 Oklahoma @ #13 Baylor
Oklahoma is only 5.5 points favorite here, but as it seems most people do see the Sooners as the winner here already.
Last weeks loss by Baylor against TCU did hurt their reputation a bit. They have now 2 losses and sit behind Oklahoma State (who have only 1 loss). A win in this game would boost the Bears, but they still would need help to get into the Championship game.
On the other hand, is Oklahoma right now again the team to beat inside the BIG12 and they do look strong enough to beat every team.
The only con for them in this game is they play in Waco, which will give them some hostile environment.
Whether this will be enough, I don't know.
Since Baylor has so far not beat any team higher listed then themselves, I do pick also Oklahoma to control the Bears offense good enough to win here.
Sooners win.

#16 NC State @ #12 Wake Forest
This game is likely the most important game for Wake Forest of all remaining games.
If they lose here, the door for NC State is wide open to win the division.
If Wake Forest wins, they have 2 games ahead against every other team inside the division.
This would give them the opportunity to even lose against Clemson on the road and then win the division against Boston. That's the theory.
The Demon Deacons are favored by 2.0 points, which is not much.
NC State is hot this year but lost surprisingly against Miami on the road a few weeks ago.
Now they play against the most surprising team inside the conference, on the road.
I pick Wake Forest to win this, the team does so far does not look like they are done and the motivation will be high.
Demon Deacons win.

#19 Purdue @ #4 Ohio State
It's do-or-die-time for Purdue.
The Boilermakers did surprise many the past few weeks but did lose 2 games already and do now face the leading team of the East division.
The West division does feature right now 4 2-loss-teams and the next loss is likely a knock-out for such a team.
Purdue does not look good regarding tie-breaker-rule, since they lost against Wisconsin and Minnesota, but winning will at least shrink the field of contenders until season end.
For Ohio State the division standing is NOT on the line, since this will be decided against the Michigans teams in the last 2 games. Sure, a win will be great, but not essential for the division.
For the playoffs, it is essential. And OSU has already a loss (against Oregon), so 2 losses would be right now too much.
You want to bet the betting line?
Purdue is ranked at #20, has 2 losses and did beat last week highly ranked Michigan State.
Ohio State is ranked at #4 as 1-loss team and did beat so far only beat then at #20 ranked Penn State.
Betting line?
Ohio State -20.0!
That's something.
Almost 3 scores!
I don't think Purdue will lose that high, but I think they will have hard time winning this.
Therefore ...
Buckeyes win.

Other interesting games:
#6 Michigan @ Penn State
Not long ago this game would be a killer, but since then did Penn State lose 3 in a row, including a surprising loss against Illinois.
Now this only gets some attention, since a) Penn State wants this win, b) Michigan cannot effort a loss.
The betting line is EVEN, so it's open. I personally do believe that Penn State will play their hearts out at home.
Nittany Lions win.

Minnesota @ #20 Iowa
Minnesota and Iowa are also 2 of the 4 2-loss-teams from the BIG10 West. And this game here will likely eliminate a contender.
Played at home in Iowa, this is clearly Iowas game to lose.
They are favored by 5.5 points and if their defense is playing fine, this will be met easily.
Hawkeyes win.

#11 Texas A&M @ #15 Ole Miss
A must win situation for A&M, since a loss will push them to far away compared to leading team Alabama.
Ole Miss can only play for the pride, but of course they would love to win this home game.
Texas A&M is favored by 2.5 points, which is nothing. Played at Oxford, this is likely a plus for the Rebels.
Ole Miss will win, if the Aggies cannot stuff their offense. But Liberty did show it's possible (even Liberty lost), and I expect A&M to win this.
Aggies win.

Washington State @ #3 Oregon
Oregon has now 3 mini finals coming. Washington State is the 1st, a loss here will give Wazzu the edge in direct compare, at least for a week.
The next 2 min-finals for Oregon would be Utah (leading team in the PAC12 South, a loss against them would ruin their conference standings) and against Oregon State (Rivalry Game, could be deciding to clinch the division title).
If Oregon wins this game against Wazzu a big step forward would be done for the Ducks.
The Ducks are favored by 14.0 points, so no wonder I do also pick them as home team winner.
Ducks win.

Nevada @ #22 San Diego State
A very deciding, if not THE deciding, match inside the Mountain West - West Division.
Both teams have 1 loss inside the conference and do face each other.
Sure, there will be some more games inside the conference, but the winner will not only stand for at least a week as lone team with just 1 loss, it will also have the direct compare advantage.
The Aztecs are favored by 2.5 points and the distraction about Nevadas coach eventually taking off to a better paid program might also pay dividends in this game for SDSU.
Aztecs win.

You got 2 extra interesting games this week. My fault, I was unable to decide, which to leave out.
Overall, this week is quite important as you see, but it will not spoil the fun for the last few weeks to settle the championship participant races inside the conferences. ;-)

'Til next time

Rating (2 users):

Tags: Block of GraniteNews

 Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter