2022-10-19 05:59

A very interesting weekend!
Some huge win or losses by some teams, which will shake up the standings and the chances of some teams big time.

Let's start with the featured games and then progress.


Sat. Oct 15
#3 Alabama @ #6 Tennessee
This game was of cause THE talk of the weekend with all the coverage you want as conference and schools.
And it did really had something special.
Tennessee did start great in the 1st half did lead early by 14, later by 18 and got into halftime with a 28-20 lead.
Then in the 3rd did Alabama score more points and took the lead with 35-34.
But Tennessee stayed in the game, it went a bit back and forth, with Alabama leading mid-4th 49-42 after a fumble return TD.
The Vols got the ball on the next drive and tied the game.
The Tide got the ball on the next drive and were kept out of the endzone but were in field goal range and missed the 50 yarder.
Tennessee took the chance with 15 ticks left to play on the own 32-yard line and made 2 long plays with timeouts between.
And with 2 Ticks left, the kicker did sink a wobbling kick from 40 yards to win the game, snapping a 15-year streak of Alabama wins.
The fans did storm the field, pulled down the posts and later those were thrown into the river, for whatever reason.
Huge win for Tennessee, who are now the best contender in the East beside Georgia.
Huge loss for Alabama, now 1 game behind Ole Miss in the West.
#3 Alabama 49 @ #6 Tennessee 52 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 10-6

#8 Oklahoma State @ #13 TCU
It did look like the new reborn Frogs were not THAT strong, when they did start playing Oklahoma State.
In 3 quarters did the Cowboys score more points than TCU and Oklahoma did lead 30-16 when the 3rd quarter was over.
TCU got the ball and scored a TD a bit into the 4th.
And then did OSU start to crumble away, throwing an INT. It did something with TCU, who were back there on their own 8, were stopped, but punted, stopped OSU and when they got the ball back, even on their own 6, they did march down the field and scored again to tie the game.
It went a bit later in OT, since no team was able to score again, and TCU did start, TD, OSU answered, TD, and then OSU was held to a field goal and TCU punched it IN!
The Frogs won, at home, with a new HC, against the other unbeaten team.
TCU now leading the BIG12, followed by Kansas State!
Oklahoma State has to play now perfect to regain a spot on the TOP 2 inside the conference.
#8 Oklahoma State 40 @ #13 TCU 43 (2OT)-> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 11-6

#10 Penn State @ #5 Michigan
This went as expected, beside the fact that until halftime, Penn State did look quite on the same level.
Michigan did lead only 16-14 at halftime, but this does a bit camouflage that Penn State had only scored 1 TD on offense and the other one, was a tipped ball which was intercepted, and a bit luckily returned for a TD.
Of course, you can win in such way, the only thing I want to highlight here is, that Penn State offense was already a bit limited, and that scoring event did already look like a bit lucky.
Me as mathematician did already think at that point, that they won't have such luck all the time.
And they didn't.
Michigan did fix their problems at halftime and outscored Penn State 25-3 in the 2nd half.
Now Michigan is on the path to setup an epic showdown against Ohio State at the end of the regular season, and Penn State has to play much tougher and better, if they still want to have a say in the division race.
#10 Penn State 17 @ #5 Michigan 41 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 12-6

Other interesting games:

Sat. Oct 15
#15 NC State @ #18 Syracuse
Here I was totally wrong, without their QB the Wolfpack offense did look like middle-school and Syracuse offense was able to score often enough to win 24-9.
NC State can only hope for a good bowl spot now, Syracuse is at least for now the only team able to challenge Clemson.
Jacks interesting games Score: 12-6

#16 Mississippi State @ #22 Kentucky
Until halftime, this was a boring game, score 3-3.
Then did Kentucky fix their offense a bit and pulled away to win this 27-17.
It looks like Kentucky will get another good season, while the Bulldogs got a little setback.
But to have this clear, both teams (in different divisions) have right now the exact same record!
My only thinking is, that at the end of the season will Kentucky have a slightly better one.
Jacks interesting games Score: 13-6

#7 USC @ #20 Utah
Huge game and huge result.
USC did score plenty and it did look like they will outscore Utah, by a small margin.
But in the 4th did Utah stop USC enough to get into the driver seat.
When Utah got the ball back, trailing by a score, they had 6 minutes left to play.
They went down the field and the QB did run the ball in from the USC 1 with a bit under 50 ticks left.
Then did the Utes HC decide to go for 2!
The QB did snap for a pass play, all covered, scrambled under pressure and did run into the endzone AGAIN to get the conversion.
USC was stopped on the next drive and the Utes did take down the only unbeaten team left in the PAC12 by 43-42.
The PAC12 is by that more open again.
Jacks interesting games Score: 14-6

Other scores:
Louisiana won against Marshall 23-13. Marshall had taken down Notre Dame early in the season and had now trouble beating a Cajun team out of shape under a new HC?
West Virginia, since a few weeks in the chatter regarding a coach-change, did take down Baylor 43-40. That should have at least lowered the temperature a bit under the hot seat of the Mountaineers coach.
Clemson had some trouble, but did beat Florida State on the road, 34-28. I still don't see Clemson cruising into the playoffs, but maybe they will survive as many scary games as needed.
Oklahoma did end the world domination dreams of Kansas fans, beating the Jayhawks 52-42. Still so far, a great season for Kansas.
Georgia Southern did beat the unbeaten James Madison 45-38. Even on paper it does not look that way, since JMU is new in the FBS, but a big win for Georgia Southern.
Old Dominion did also beat an unbeaten team, Coastal Carolina, 49-21. By that basically all group of 5 teams are eliminated from the playoffs. It would need really some chaos now to put any team from group of 5 into the TOP 4 spots.
The Fans of Colorado did storm the field, when the team won their 1st game of the season, winning against Cal, 20-13 in OT.
Michigan State had their 4-game-losing-streak snapped winning against Wisconsin 34-28 in 2 OT.
Florida Atlantic was also in the chatter regarding a hot-seat-coach and the team did respond by beating Rice 17-14. Not sure that will lower the heat in a big way.
LSU is still looking for some consistency, but at least they were able to beat Florida on the road, 45-35. I don't know whether this will mean LSU is now on a good way, but for sure a big win under a new HC.
Stanford did beat the former team of the LSU HC, Notre Dame, 16-14. I don't want to be unpolite, but it seems the new shooting star as Notre Dame HC is still looking for some answers.
North Carolina did beat Duke in the rivalry game 38-35 on the road. Duke is very interesting this season, they are not THAT far apart from the contenders under their new HC.
Hawaii got their 2nd won of the season by beating Nevada 31-16. I hope for them to come together now.

That's that for week 7.

Let's have a look at the playoff contenders.

For the rules on the list, please look at the blog entry for week 5-7.

I did mark the week 4 TOP 10 teams with a ‘*’.
I did also order them based on AP-poll ranks, so you can see, who is right now favored the most.
But of course, the ranking for the playoffs will be done be the committee, not by AP- or Coaches-poll.
Still the AP-Poll is a quite good way to see a close, but not exact, value of the team right now.

#1 * Georgia Bulldogs - SEC (7-0, won against Vanderbilt, next week BYE)
#2 * Ohio State Buckeyes - BIG10 (6-0, had a BYE, next week against Iowa at home)
#3 Tennessee Volunteers - SEC (6-0, won against Alabama, next week against a FCS-team)
#4 * Michigan Wolverines - BIG10 (7-0, won against Penn State, next week BYE)
#5 * Clemson Tigers - ACC (7-0, won against Florida State, next week crucial game against Syracuse at home)
#7 Ole Miss Rebels - SEC (7-0, won against Auburn, next week against LSU on the road)
#8 TCU Horned Frogs - BIG 12 (6-0, won against Oklahoma State, next week against Kansas State at home)
#9 UCLA Bruins - PAC12 (6-0, had a BYE, next week against Oregon on the road)
#10 Oregon Ducks - PAC12 (5-1, had a BYE, shifted to CONTENDER, since they are at place 2 inside the PAC12 together with USC, next week against UCLA at home)
#12 * USC Trojans - PAC12 (6-1, lost against Utah, next week BYE)
#14 Syracuse Orange - ACC (6-0, won against NC State, next week crucial game against Clemson on the road)
#17 Kansas State Wildcats - BIG 12 (5-1, had a BYE, next week against TCU on the road)
#18 Illinois Fighting Illini - BIG10 (6-1, won against Minnesota, shifted to CONTENDER as only remaining 1-loss-team in the West division, next week BYE)
#22 North Carolina Tar Heels - ACC (6-1, won against Duke, next week BYE)

#6 * Alabama Crimson Tide - SEC (6-1, lost against Tennessee, shifted to HOPEFUL, since they are 1 loss behind leading team in the SEC division, next week against Mississippi State at home)
#11 * Oklahoma State Cowboys - BIG 12 (5-1, lost against TCU, shifted to HOPEFULL, since they are 1 loss behind 2 leading teams inside the BIG12, next week against Texas at home).
#13 Wake Forest Demon Deacons - ACC (5-1, had a BYE, next week against Boston College at home)
#16 Penn State Nittany Lions - BIG10 (5-1, lost against Michigan, shifted to HOPEFULL, since they are 1 loss behind 2 leading teams inside the BIG10 division, next week against Minnesota at home)

ELIMINATED this week
NC State Wolfpack - ACC (lost against Syracuse, now a 2-loss-team)
Kansas Jayhawks - BIG 12 (lost against Oklahoma, now a 2-loss-team)
Minnesota Golden Gophers - BIG10 (lost against Illinois, now a 2-loss-team)
Mississippi State Bulldogs - SEC (lost against Kentucky, now a 2-loss-team)
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers - SUN BELT (lost against Old Dominion, now a 1-loss-Group-Of-5-Team)

Wow, that's 5 teams eliminated from the list this week, makes it 18 teams left to worry about.
And as you can see, many of them will play against each other soon or will have quite crucial games.

No coaches change this week, I would have thought Auburn might pull the trigger after a very strange game against Ole Miss, but so far nothing.
The reason could be that they are also searching for an Athletic Director and in the order of strength you want that AD prior the coach.
Why that prevent the firing is beyond that logic, since a change is still very likely at some point, but fine, Auburn will have Harsin a bit longer.

The upcoming week will feature again some great matchups, which will likely shake up the picture heavily. It's not that packed with ranked vs ranked as last week, but still quite packed.
Biggest thing is from my point of view, that the TOP4 teams of the BIG12 will battle it out in 2 games this week.
One team will stay unbeaten, the rest will shift in the sorting in some way.
I did also put in an additional interesting game, since some top games in smaller conferences do happen, which will also have an impact on the standings there heavily.


Sat. Oct 22
#14 Syracuse @ #5 Clemson
I think this was marked on many lists as 'W' for Clemson in a 40+ margin way and that's it, prior the season.
But now did Syracuse win all games so far, including last weeks win against ranked NC State.
The problem here is, even they did win all those games, they did not play a really good team, except NC State and that way down their starting QB, which had a huge impact.
It's hard to judge, what to expect from the game.
Clemson is absolutely not invincible, they are beatable.
But at home against Syracuse?
I'm not convinced.
The betting line is Clemson -13.5, which shows that for many this is also quite clear.
I like the way Syracuse found ways to score against NC State, so I hope they can penetrate also Clemsons defense.
And I like the underdog status of Syracuse, because I think many Clemson fans and players will take them too lightly, which will open up chances.
But ... I think an upset is unlikely.
Tigers win.

#9 UCLA @ #10 Oregon
Shall we call this the Kelly-Bowl?
The UCLA HC Chip Kelly did coach in the past very successful at Oregon and now his no-longer-can't-be-call-that-way-new-team is playing in the top game between the 2 unbeaten teams inside the conference.
Oregon lost their opener against Georgia quite heavily, but since then they did win all games, but none was against ranked teams.
And UCLA did win ALL games, including 2 against ranked teams, but are right now only ranked 1 spot ahead of Oregon and are labeled the underdog in this game, by 6.0 points.
Fine, the game is in Eugene, so the home field will help.
I expect a very high scoring game, with an outcome depended on turnovers, big plays and possessions.
It's close a coin flip.
My gut feeling is, that UCLA is the better team, but might fall to the home field advantage.
So? Who cares ...
Bruins win.

#17 Kansas State @ #8 TCU
Part 1 of the Battle-for-The-Big12-Top.
And I guess nobody had this matchup for such an event on the list, prior the season.
Kansas State had some impressive results, including wins on the road against Oklahoma and Iowa State.
They did also lose against Tulane (right now on top of the American) at home.
So, impressive, but also questionable.
They do play TCU, who did win everything, including also a win against Oklahoma (home), Kansas (road) and last week Oklahoma State (home).
Now the teams do play against each other in the battle of the BIG12-Unbeaten.
The winner is a clear favorite to enter the Championship game, the loser will have to play perfect for the rest of the season to get a rematch.
TCU is as home team the favorite by just 3.5 points, which surprises me a bit after last weeks big win.
For me, TCU is clearly the favorite and Kansas State has to play 100% to have a chance.
Horned Frogs win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Oct 22
#20 Texas @ #11 Oklahoma State
And here is part-2 of the Battle-for-The-Big12-Top.
Texas is a surprisingly strong this season and did almost take down Alabama.
Oklahoma State did lose last week against TCU and did by that show, they are not really THE top team in the BIG 12.
The winner of this game will stay in the hunt for the Championship spot, the loser will have a big disadvantage.
Texas is favored by 6.0 points as road team. I think that's realistic.
Longhorns win.

#24 Mississippi State @ #6 Alabama
This looks interesting but could become a very one-dimensional-game.
Alabama is favored by 21.0 points, playing at home AFTER a crucial loss, this seems OK.
The only wildcard is, that the Bulldogs can explode if they find exploits.
I doubt it will be enough to win a full game, but it can become interesting.
Crimson Tide win.

North Texas @ UTSA
The right now 2 top teams of the Conference USA do clash here, and UTSA is favored by 10.0 points.
UTSA is 5-2 right now, North Texas 4-3.
Since UTSA did show some more potential even in the losses than UNT, I pick here the home team.
Roadrunners win.

Toledo @ Buffalo
The MAC-Showdown, which will have only slightly impact on the standings in each division but might decide the individual division race heavily.
The 5-2 Toledo Rockets do lead in the West, the Buffalo Bulls with 4-3, lead in the East.
Both are unbeaten inside the Conference and the loser will then have to battle it out (if they keep on winning in all other games) against some other contender, right now the 1-loss teams.
For Buffalo that would be Bowling Green (already won) and Ohio, Toledo would have to beat Ball State.
Or the loser will lose additional games and other teams do get a chance for the division title.
That's future.
Here, it's more a prestige duel, with Toledo being favored by 7.0 points as road team.
I think this is, because Buffalo did not really convince big time so far, except they did win now 4 in a row, the last 2 in good manner.
Toledo will likely win here, but it might turn out that the Bulls are harder to tackle than the majority thinks.
Rockets win.

'Til next time

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