2022-10-13 05:57

I'm sorry I was unable to post something for the past weeks, but I had only an Ipad and editing texts on that is at least for me a nightmare.

So, I will give you a summary of the past few weeks, starting of course with the review of the picks I did make for week 4. I will get to the NEWS and so on after this.


Sat. Sep 14
#5 Clemson @ #21 Wake Forest
A strong 3rd quarter did bring Wake Forest into the position to upset Clemson, but unfortunately the Deacons were unable to keep the Tigers from scoring and on the other hand were absolutely uncreative on offense.
Especially on offense the play calling was very limited, which led to several desperate situations and only some Clemson errors did keep all hopes alive.
Wake Forest had a last drive with 4 mins left to play and were unable to get into field goal range to win the game.
With the game tied it went into OT and there the one-dimensional offense did cost Wake Forest in the 2nd OT the game.
For Clemson, this was likely the hardest test for the remaining season, even Syracuse did emerge so far as unbeaten team, Wake Forest has to hope for some stumbling of Clemson.
#5 Clemson 51 @ #21 Wake Forest 45 (2OT) -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 8-5

#20 Florida @ #11 Tennessee
Until halftime it was quite open, then Tennessee did pull away in the 3rd, thanks to a Gators fumble, and only a strong 4th quarter by Florida did keep them in the game.
They scored with 17 ticks left, trailed by 5, recovered the on-side kick and the Hail Mary 2 plays later was intercepted.
Tennessee keeps winning, while Florida does look stronger than last year, but misses some essential stuff to turn games around.
#20 Florida 33 @ #11 Tennessee 38 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 9-5

#10 Arkansas @ #23 Texas A&M
Arkansas led by 1 at halftime and allowed a quick TD on the 1st drive in 2nd half, while they were a bit rusty on offense themselves.
After a long drive beginning of the 4th quarter did Arkansas get close. trailing by 2.
Both teams MISSED field goal tries afterwards and A&M was then able to run down the clock to win this.
It's still not really clear how good both teams are, but at least both teams will spoil the fun for many SEC teams.
#10 Arkansas 21 @ #23 Texas A&M 23 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 10-5

Other interesting games:

Sat. Sep 24
#17 Baylor @ Iowa State
Baylor was able to outscore the Cyclones 31-24 and are quite good in the mix to return to the Championship game.
Iowa State looks more like a team you don't want to play, but which drops games.
Jacks interesting games Score: 10-5

Wisconsin @ #3 Ohio State
Wisconsin did look like a wanna-be and did lose 21-52.
Ohio State is clearly (with others) a favorite to win the BIG10, Wisconsin will likely be not a factor.
Jacks interesting games Score: 11-5

#7 USC @ Oregon State
A very defense driven game and USC had a strong 4th quarter to turn the game around and win this 17-14.
The Beavers had too many INTs (4) and did not get any turnover recovered from USC (they had 1 fumble).
USC does not look invincible, but Oregon State has to play MUCH better to get into the top.
Jacks interesting games Score: 12-5

Other scores:
UTEP won against Boise State 27-10. Boise State did not look good in non-conference games this season.
Kansas State did upset Oklahoma 41-34. That's a touch loss for Oklahoma and a great win for KSU.
Texas Tech won against Texas 37-34 in OT. Texas fumbled on their 1st play in OT and gave TTU the ball, who did sink a FG and won it. The fans did storm the field for joy!
Middle Tennessee did win against Miami 45-31. Still a lot of things to do in Miami, as it seems.
Minnesota won against Michigan State 34-7. MSU has a significant drop of production this season.
James Madison, new addition to the FBS circus and still in transition, won against Appalachian State 32-28. JMU has a tremendous debut this season.
UCF did win against Georgia Tech, 27-10. GT does look awful.
Sacramento State (FCS) won against Colorado State 41-10! CSU is in free fall.
Southern Miss did win against Tulane 27-24. Tulane is right now a contender in the American but sucked against Sun Belt ... Hmmm.
UNLV won against Utah State 34-24. Utah State does still search for their mojo this season.
Miami (Ohio) did beat Northwestern 17-14. I guess only the long relationship with the team does prevent so far a press on the fire-button for the Wildcats-HC.
Louisiana-Monroe won the rivalry game against Louisiana 21-17. The 'Battle on the Bayou' was won 4 times in a row by Louisiana before.

That's it for week 4.

Let's have a look at week 5, just the important or odd results.

Week 5 was dominated by #5 Clemson vs #10 NC State, which Clemson did win 30-20. NC State had too many crucial turnovers.
Also a highlight was #7 Kentucky at #14 Ole Miss, which Ole Miss won 22-19. Kentucky had all chances to eventually win the game but fumbled on their last 2 drives in the 4th.
#9 Oklahoma State did challenge #16 Baylor and won 36-25 on the road. Right now, OSU looks like the best bet inside the BIG 12.

UCLA won against ranked Washington 40-32. Washington was ranked prior the game at 15 and dropped 6 places afterwards. UCLA jumped into the TOP25 after this game.
Tulane did beat Houston in OT, 27-24. Hugh win for Tulane, big mess for Houston losing this at home.
Georgia did almost struggle against Missouri but won 26-22. Mizzou does not look that bad so far, still they lack the ability to win games.
Utah did top Oregon State 42-16, which does more or less eliminate the Beavers from the Championship game, given the remaining teams with less losses.
Mississippi State won against Texas A&M 42-24. Turnovers were a major problem for the Aggies. Likely it's not funny right now at College Station.
And likely it's also not funny at Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners lost on the road against TCU 55-24. BIG loss and BIG problems at Oklahoma.
Purdue did win against Minnesota 20-10. It seems Minnesota just don't get the consistency they need to become a real factor.
After GT did fire their HC, later more, the interims-HC had a good debut and won against ranked Pitt 26-21. That's a huge loss for Pitt.
Georgia State did top Army 31-14. Army does not look good this season, after so many good seasons in the past few seasons.
Illinois won against Wisconsin 34-10. It's also not funny in Madison. Wisconsin.
Kansas did win against Iowa State, afterwards did Kansas get ranked for the 1st time since 2009!
Nebraska won against Indiana 35-21, which ended a 9-game losing-streak, if you exclude FCS teams.

And let's look at week 6, also here just important or odd results.

Even the rankings did not show this, of course the #1 Alabama - Texas A&M showdown was highly anticipated and Alabama needed all they had (available) to beat A&M 24-20. Alabama without their starting QB did not look good.
The #8 Tennessee did visit #25 LSU and quashed them 40-13. It's not an easy start for Kelly at LSU. Tennessee looks like the best bet as contender against Georgia.
And the #11 Utah against #18 UCLA showdown in LA was also fun and was won by the Bruins 42-32. That makes the PAC12 interesting.
A very strange matchup was #17 TCU at #19 Kansas. I think both teams were not seen ranked at that point (or any) but College Gameday came into town and TCU won the game 38-31. But Kansas stayed in the rankings!

Nebraska liked the taste of winning and edged Rutgers on the road 14-13. That's a 2-game-winning streak. Wahooo!
Colorado State did win against Nevada 17-14. That's their 1st win of the season.
Highly anticipated Kentucky did stumble against South Carolina losing 14-24. Still the season will be very good for Kentucky, but no title race, I guess.
Arizona State on interims coach base against ranked Washington 45-38. Washington now is almost eliminated from the title race.
Texas did shut-out Oklahoma in the Red-River-Rivalry 49-0. Oklahoma had won 4 in a row, but this season it was a slaughterhouse. Last time a team won in a shut-out was Oklahoma 2004 (12-0), last time Oklahoma did not score was 1965 (0-19) and the last time such a margin was in, was in 2000 (Oklahoma won 63-14) and this margin (49) is the highest in all 118 games. NO FUN AT NORMAN.
Georgia Tech won against Duke 23-20, 2nd win in a row for the Yellow Jackets after firing their HC.
Utah State got their 1st conference win against Air Force 34-27. The Aggies stopped a 4-game-losing-streak.
Texas State did win against Appalachian State 36-24. The Mountaineers did scare a lot of teams in the beginning, but they seem to have lost the juice since then.
Illinois won against Iowa 9-6. Obviously did Iowa not find any offense so far.

And that's that.

Some developments on the coaches sides did happen during my vacation.

After Georgia Tech lost to UCF in a big way, the program did fire Geoff Collins in his 4th season. His record is 10-28 with the team.
He never won 2 games in a row, something the interims HC Brent Key, the former AHC and OL coach, did accomplish in the following 2 games already. Collins had a rough start with the program, shifting it from triple-option to a more modern pass-happy-offense, but after 3 losing seasons the patience was over.

After another loss against Arizona, making it a 0-5 start, did Colorado fire Karl Dorrell in his 3rd season. His record was 8-15. They did also fire the DC, so the OC Mike Sanford Jr. was selected to lead the team on interims basis. The program could be a winner, but had bad luck with their coaches in the past few seasons. Either they did suck or they bolted away.

More shocking was the firing of Paul Chryst, former HC now of Wisconsin. His team did start 2-3, but the loss against Illinois was too much, as it seems. Shocking, because Chryst did win at least 8 games (except the corona season 2020) and did win 3 times the division, went to bowls in ALL seasons and had a record of 67-26 in 7+ seasons. The only thing he never was able to do was winning the conference.
Interims HC is the DC Jim Leonhard, who won already a game afterwards.

Now let's have a look at the developments regarding playoffs.
I said with a very high chance, the National Champion will come from the TOP 25, more likely TOP 10 of the week 4 AP poll.
I did post the TOP 25 and did also name the TOP 10 teams.
Those were Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Arkansas from the SEC, Ohio State and Michigan from the BIG10, Clemson from the ACC, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State from the BIG 12 and at last, there is USC from the PAC12.

But there were still a lot of uncertainties regarding OTHER teams to win the conference (at that week 4 time) and to win the remaining games as unranked team.
An example would have been Kansas, which really nobody had on the radar, but won week after week and were only stopped when playing TCU last week.
IF they would have won the BIG 12, they would have been in.

So, to track the most likely candidates I started to setup a list of CONTENDERS and HOPEFUL.
The rules for the list are
(1) - you are in the list, if not eliminated by other rules.
(2) - you are eliminated when having 2 losses and you are from a POWER 5 Conference
(3) - you are eliminated when having 1 loss and you are from a GROUP OF 5 Conference or INDY
(4) - you are CONTENDER if unbeaten and from POWER 5 Conference or Notre Dame or BYU.
(5) - you are CONTENDER if 1-loss and from POWER 5 Conference and having a chance to win the conference.
(6) - you are HOPEFULL if not eliminated and not CONTENDER

Why that?

Since the playoff-time, no 2-loss team did make the playoffs and only a perfect group of 5 team did make the playoffs once.
Since ages no 2-loss team did win the National Championship, except in 2007 LSU on a season which was called the 'year of upsets' and which did have only 1 team from power 5 conference finishing with just 1 loss (Kansas, who did not get a spot in the Championship game, because of direct compare to Mizzou, and Mizzou lost to 2-loss Oklahoma).
So, 2 losses are quite save as barrier. IF we get another year of upsets, I will adjust.
The rest of rules are just to have some, likely quite realistic, structure.
Please note that rule 5 can lead to swappings between CONTENDER and HOPEFUL and back, since this can be based on direct compare and other tie-breaker.
And I will interpretate rule 5 as having a realistic chance to win, in terms of if there is a 5-0 team ahead and the other is 4-1 inside the conference, then of cause RIGHT NOW both could win the conference, but more realistic is, that the 5-0 team will win. Therefore, the 5-0 team is CONTENDER, the 4-1 team is HOPEFUL.

I did mark the week 4 TOP 10 teams with a ‘*’.

* Clemson Tigers - ACC
Syracuse Orange - ACC
North Carolina Tar Heels - ACC
Kansas State Wildcats - BIG 12
* Oklahoma State Cowboys - BIG 12
TCU Horned Frogs - BIG 12
* Michigan Wolverines - BIG10
* Ohio State Buckeyes - BIG10
Penn State Nittany Lions - BIG10
Minnesota Golden Gophers - BIG10
* USC Trojans - PAC12
UCLA Bruins - PAC12
* Georgia Bulldogs - SEC
Tennessee Volunteers - SEC
* Alabama Crimson Tide - SEC
Ole Miss Rebels - SEC

NC State Wolfpack - ACC
Wake Forest Demon Deacons - ACC
Kansas Jayhawks - BIG 12
Illinois Fighting Illini - BIG10
Oregon Ducks - PAC12
Mississippi State Bulldogs - SEC
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers - SUN BELT

Coastal Carolina would need very much luck to get into the playoffs as unbeaten SUN BELT team, but based on the rules they are HOPEFUL.
Some may ask why they need luck, so here a short explanation. The conferences are not valued as equal, as already the Power 5 and Group of 5 labels do hint. The Sun Belt is part of the Group of 5 and in that group the Sun Belt is max thought to be at 3rd position, behind the American and the Mountain West. This is meant as general, all teams together, statement. Single programs can be much better, but since that great team plays usually at least 8 games INSIDE that conference, the strength of schedule is valued weaker compared to other teams from higher valued conferences. Cincinnati, of the American, made it last year as 1st team ever from a group of 5 conference into the playoffs as #4, unbeaten and the Champ of the highest valued group of 5 conference. So Coastal Carolina, from the max 3rd place conference, will have a hard time to reach #4. Likely they need a ‘year of upsets’ AND a perfect season.

And if you miss James Madison from the SUN BELT, fitting also the rules, they are in transition from FCS to FBS and not allowed to participate in bowls, meaning they can't play in a potential semi-final-Bowl and are therefore eliminated. So even they are right now unbeaten, the are eliminated.

So that's a quite big list (23 teams), but it will shrink fast, since many of the teams will play against each other soon.

I will u p d a t e the lists, every week now, it will shrink every week.

The upcoming week will feature some great matchups, which will likely influence the lists above quite heavily.


Sat. Oct 15
#3 Alabama @ #6 Tennessee
The numbers say, Alabama is favored 7.5 points against Tennessee, on the road.
What's not in the numbers is, that Alabama did look beatable @ Texas and at home against A&M last week.
Last week they were without their starting QB, it looks like he will be back, but not 100%.
Tennessee had so far not such close games but played a quite close game against Florida at home and won.
It's hard to predict this upcoming game.
A perfect prepared and full-strength Alabama-team is a lock for a win, that I'm sure about.
But I'm not sure they will be perfect prepared and 100%.
Playing on the road is also something different, see Texas.
So, my pick is, Alabama, but a very close one.
Crimson Tide win.

#8 Oklahoma State @ #13 TCU
I think nobody did see this matchup to be between 2 ranked teams and TCU being favored by 4.0 points.
TCU has a new HC and he did somehow made the struggling Frogs unbeaten so far.
Granted, they did play not the cream of the cream of teams so far, most notable Oklahoma, but the Sooners do struggle big time, so ....
This is a real test, against a Cowboys team, which did also not play the best teams, which did struggle a bit early, and which did most notable beat Baylor at home.
Really a tough pick, since it comes down to whether I believe the resurrected Horned Frogs to stay, or to believe they will fall, once a contender comes into town.
I think the game will be quite high scoring and those get tricky.
Sometimes one missed drive can decide those.
With the defense struggles of the Cowboys in mind, I think I'm willing to bet on TCU here.
Horned Frogs win.

#10 Penn State @ #5 Michigan
This matchup is a crossroad for the teams.
And unfortune we have Penn State, who played more or less only struggling teams, and won, sometimes close, and we have Michigan who did play in summary a few better teams, but also with no signature win.
Both unbeaten teams, but untested.
The Wolverines are a 7.0-point favorite here and I'm willing to say, that's not enough.
So far did Penn State not really convince me to be a contender in the BIG10, they had problems with Northwestern last week, at home.
Northwestern did lose now 5 in a row, including against an FCS team, and Penn State won only by 10.
Struggling Wisconsin won by 35!
Michigan did also not convince me to be THE contender, but they did look better.
So, no wonder ....
Wolverines win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Oct 15
#15 NC State @ #18 Syracuse
Suddenly is Syracuse a contender inside the ACC.
A team which did not win more than 5 games in each of the past 3 seasons. Now they have already the 5 wins and are unbeaten.
Great story.
But so far, no real contest on the schedule.
Which changes now, with NC State coming to town.
Bad luck for the Wolfpack, they might play without their starting QB against the Orange, which shifts the level of strength of cause.
Syracuse is favored 3.5 points.
I'm not buying this. I could be wrong, but I think the NC State defense will keep the Orange in check and then, regardless of the QB, the Wolfpack offense will find ways to win.
Wolfpack win.

#16 Mississippi State @ #22 Kentucky
This is the matchup between 2 teams, which can be labeled as spoiler.
Both teams seemed to have enough strength this season to challenge their opponents, even the BIG ones.
They might even come up with upsets.
It's not enough to come out of a season’s schedule as division winners, but they will also not finish last place.
Both teams had several quality games, with wins and a loss (MSU) or losses (Kentucky).
Mississippi State is favored by 6.5 points, which is quite a lot considering they play on the road.
At least for me, that's a lot.
I'm not buying this margin, not sure whether I'm buying the Bulldogs as winner.
I think the game will be close and it will likely come down to how much the past few games did cost both teams in energy.
I'm a bit drawn to the Wildcats side, maybe hoping, maybe expecting, them to bounce back against the Bulldogs at home.
Wildcats win.

#7 USC @ #20 Utah
And here we have the defending PAC12-Champ vs the resurrected USC team.
But it's in Salt Lake City, so home momentum is in favor of Utah, which did not play as convincing as last season, but are still favored here by 3.5 points.
The reason for that is likely that it's a home game for the Utes and USC did win so far, but not against any ranked team.
They almost lost against Oregon State, on the road, and that was likely the strongest opponent they have faced so far.
And now Utah, who had their struggles with Florida and UCLA, which they lost in quite close games.
Can Utah win this? Absolutely.
Can USC do this? Maybe.
I think the USC offense did improve under the new HC and that will be the factor.
If Utah controls this, they will win.
If not ... bye bye.
The home field and spectators will help here, big time, so I say ...
Utes win.

'Til next time

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