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2018-12-10 07:09

Finished with the regular season games.

Before I cover the game, some news:

Georgia Tech did hire former Temple HC Geoff Collins.
Collins was in his past also DC of Florida and Missisippi State.
He also was in the past a GA at GT and did also coordinated the recruiting there over a decade ago.
It will be interesting to see, how GT will evolve under his guidance, they did play Triple-Option under Paul Johnson, which is not used very often in this days of college football.

Libertys HC Turner Gill did announce his retirement (at age of 56) and the university did hire Hugh Freeze, former Ole Miss HC, to lead the team into the future. Gill was quite successfull at Buffalo and Liberty winning several conference championships, but struggeled at Kansas, where he was HC for 2 seasons. If you look at his results at Kansas now, they seemed be OK, compared to the coaches which followed.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAME FOR WEEK 15

Sat. Dec. 8
Army vs Navy
A big show and a very defense driven football game, with Navy almost on the same page as Army, but with more errors and therefore they did lose this one in a close game.
Army did score in their opening drive, did keep Navy out of the endzone until the 4th quarter, but was on the other side not able to score also until the 2nd half started.
All they managed to do in the 1st half after that initial scoring drive was keeping Navy from scoring by shutiing them down or even forcing turnovers.
They did have the chance for a FG, but missed the shot.
They did make the shot in the 3rd quarter, made an Interception and recovered a Navy fumble, but were unable to make something out of it.
Navy did respond and scored mid-4th quarter and suddenly the game was 10-7 and everything was possible.
The hope for the Midshipmen did end after another lost fumble, after which Army was able to score, with less then 90 seconds left to play.
With down 17-7 Navy did drive down the field and scored a FG, with 29 second left to play.
The onside-kick did fail and Army did run out the clock to win the 3rd straight and the Commander-In-Chief-Trophy by a win.
Not really a great game, from my point of view, but eventually not a bad game also.
Army will play in the Armed Forces Bowl now, Navys season is over.
Army 17 - Navy 10 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 34-20

Bowls season will start soon, don't miss it.

I have opened a Pick'em for the Bowls, please see into the College Pick'em thread in the forum for the link.

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2018-12-05 06:59

The regular season is over, except the upcoming Army-Navy game.

Unfortunately did this weekend not provide a lot of surprises on the games which did really count regarding the big picture.

Sure there were upsets and surprises, but only for the other games.
The big ones did end as expected.

The final College Football Standing does almost look like the one of last week, except that Georgia did drop a few spots which gave Oklahoma the final CFP-spot.

Whether that means the system does work or not, I don't know.
My initial feeling is that there are right now 2 very good teams in Alabama and Clemson and then the rest.

No wonder they will be big time favorites when it comes to play.

But that is still in the future.
More recent is that the last games were played and some teams did decide to move on from their last HC and some HC did decide to move on from their last team.

Terry Bowden was fired from Akron after a 4-8 season and after 7 seasons. His record with Akron is 35-52, with a bowl win, a bowl loss and a division title.
Some might say, GOOD, but honestly I have doubts that Akron will find easily a better coach.
Akron is special, in terms of winning and more often losing.
The coach before Bowden lasted 2 season and got 2 wins.
The guy before him did last 6 season and had 30-42, including a conference championship and a bowl loss.
And the guy before him had 9 seasons and 40–61 record, with no bowl at all.
Akrons all-time record is 518–539–36.
Their bowl record is 1-2, so I just mentioned the 2 coaches with the bowl appearances since the program started in 1891.
Did the team play not as good as expected this season, sure.
But firing Bowden is a but quick, from my point of view.
But that's the business side, right.
Good luck for the next HC, he will need it.

And Bill Synder did announce his retirement. The HC of Kansas State does end his time with the team after this 2nd stint and overall 27 seasons with the program. His influence on the program can likely be only compared with Frank Beamers influence at Virginia Tech and even that comes short.
Prior Synders reign was KSU 299–509–41 overall in 93 years of play. They had won no conference championship since 1934 and did play only 1 bowl ever.
Snyder did change that when he was hired the 1st time on 1989.
2 Big 12 Championships, 3 additional division titles, 19 bowl games and a 215–117–1 record (including 9-10 bowls) did bring this program to heights it never had and we will see, whether it can keep that record up (or even become better).
He is already a College Football Hall Of Famer, the Stadium is named after him and with 79 he leave in an age many would have quit much earlier.
I feel sorry for KSU that they lose such a coach, but also happy they had such a great guy and he will still serve the university in some sort of role, so he is not gone.
I wish KSU the best to find a good replacement, it won't be easy.

Also a big announcement is that Urban Meyer will retire from coaching (he is in his mid 50) after the Rose Bowl and that Ohio States OC Ryan Day will be his successor at Columbus. Meyer will leave a program which went through one of their best period of existence, winning 82–9 so far, each year the division (even some of those did not count because of NCAA punishments), 1 time the National Championship and 2 times the conference.
He did also win the National Championship with Florida.
He is without doubt one of the best coaches in College Football in terms of wins and success.
Ryan Day is 39 and it's a big amount of trust for the Buckeyes to give such a program into the hands of a 1st time HC.
But it worked quite well for other institutions in the past so, why not.

Some new coaches were names, like Scott Satterfield, HC of Appalachian State, did take the gig with Louisville.
Satterfield was very successful at Appalachian State, so expectations are high on him.
But the jump from Sun Belt to ACC is quite high and he has no history with the College.
Time will tell.

Also North Caroline did announce their new HC, former Tar Heels and Longhorns coach Mack Brown will come out of retirement and will guide the Heels through that rough time. Brown won the National Championship with Texas, but was forced out of the job when he was unable to rebuild late in his career.
We will see, whether he can turn things around at North Carolina.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 14

Sat. Dec. 1
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#14 Texas vs #5 Oklahoma

A 4th quarter run did lift Oklahoma over Texas and did help them to get that 4th playoff spot.
They did play better defense than in the last few games and I'm curious how they will play against Alabama.
For Texas this was of cause a bid of a disappointment, but I think the Longhorns fans can still hope for the upcoming season.
Changes do happen all the time in College Football and Texas seems to change to the better right now.
They will play in the Sugar Bowl against Georgia, where they can prove doubters right or wrong.
#14 Texas 27 - #5 Oklahoma 39 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 30-20

Sat. Dec. 1
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#1 Alabama vs #4 Georgia

Georgia did play the best they could and of cause they demanded a playoff spot after they fell short and lost to Alabama, thanks a 4th quarter Tide-comeback with their backup QB.
I'm really not sure whether Georgia is better or worse than Oklahoma, but likely were the 2 losses of the Bulldogs against 2 good teams not enough to beat the 1 Championship and 1 loss against a good team, at least for the committee.
Georgia can proof they are better than Oklahoma when they play Texas in the Sugar bowl.
Alabama will play Oklahoma in the semis as #1 seat and we will see, how this will turn out.
Overall, for me is Alabama rightfully #1 this season so far.
#1 Alabama 35 - #4 Georgia 28 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 31-20

Sat. Dec. 1
DR PEPPER ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#2 Clemson vs Pittsburgh

VERY boring match, with Pitt way out of their league.
The 1st half did look at least OK, the 2nd half was a disaster.
Clemson did win convincing and got the #2 spot and will play Notre Dame, who did not play this weekend and kept the #3 spot.
Interesting matchup, but Clemson is highly favored.
Pitt on the other hand will play Stanford in the Sun Bowl.
#2 Clemson 42 - Pittsburgh 10 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 32-20

Sat. Dec. 1
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#21 Northwestern vs #6 Ohio State

Ohio State needed a very convincing win against Northwestern to leap frog Oklahoma and some say they did that, some say they did not.
Honestly I'm not sure, but I guess that 1 loss of Ohio State against Purdue did count too much on the minus side so they were not even able to leap frog Georgia.
Ohio State will now play Washington in the Rose Bowl, the 1st time in CFP-history that this historically BIG10-Champ-vs-PAC12-Champ-game does really have both Champs in it. Last time it happened was 2013.
Northwestern will play Utah in the Holiday Bowl.
#21 Northwestern 24 - #6 Ohio State 45 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 33-20

Other interesting games:

Fri. Nov. 30
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#17 Utah vs #11 Washington

Very defense driven game, and at the end very intense.
Utahs HC did almost snap and went for the officials when a crucial catch was incomplete thanks to a very early contact by Washingtons CB.
For me that looked a bit early but far from being TOO early.
Of cause if win or lose is on the line you get more into the details and inches, but if you need THAT kind of play and a flag to win a game (which was not on the line at that moment, just a 1st down) then you did something wrong the last 40+ minutes.
The Huskies won the game 10-3 and will play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
Utah will play Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl.
Jacks interesting games Score: 41-16

Fri. Nov. 30
MARATHON MAC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Northern Illinois vs Buffalo

A 4th quarter comeback did help NIU to win 30-29 for the MAC title and play in the Boca Raton Bowl against UAB.
Buffalo was unable to score in the 4th and will now have to play Troy in the Dollar General Bowl.
I'm sure the loss in the final will sting quite long, since Buffalo had a great season.
Jacks interesting games Score: 41-17

Sat. Dec. 1
SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Louisiana at Appalachian State

The Mountaineers were in control of the game throughout the whole match and won their 3rd straight Sun Belt Championship 30-19.
The result is that they can play in the New Orleans Bowl against Middle Tennessee and lost their HC.
Louisiana will play Tulane in the Cure Bowl.
Jacks interesting games Score: 42-17

Sat. Dec. 1
AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Memphis at #8 UCF

In the 1st half it did look like the fairy tale season and the magic would be over for the Knights.
Memphis did lead 38-21 but was unable to prevent a 2nd half meltdown and UCF did win at the end 56-41 and did clinch the best non-power5-spot in the playoff rankings, which means they will go for a big dollar bowl 2 times in a row now.
Last season they won against Auburn and claimed National Championship honor by themselves, this season they will play #11 LSU in the Fiesta Bowl.
I'm curious whether they will claim another title if they win against LSU also.
Memphis will play Wake Forest in the Birmingham Bowl.
Jacks interesting games Score: 43-17

Sat. Dec. 1
CONFERENCE USA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
UAB at Middle Tennessee

UAB did overcome the underdog role and won this game 27-25 to win the conference 2 season after recreating the program following their shut down.
Amazing season.
They will play NIU in the Boca Raton Bowl, while MTSU will play Appalachian State in the New Orleans Bowl.
Jacks interesting games Score: 43-18

Sat. Dec. 1
MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#25 Fresno State @ #22 Boise State

Fresno State did win this low scoring game in OT 19-16.
That must have been hard for both teams, but losing such a game at home will hunt Boise State for sure.
Fresno State will play Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl, while Boise State will play Boston College in the First Responder Bowl.
Jacks interesting games Score: 43-19

Other interesting games:
Virginia Tech did really win their extra schedule game against Marshall 41-20 and will go for a Bowl the 26th time in a row, this year against Cincinnati in the Military Bowl.
Standford win against Cal on the road 23-13. Stanford will play in the Sun Bowl, while Cal will play in the Cheez-It Bowl.

A small note regarding bowl teams, there are 78 bowl spots available this season and at the end there are 82 teams eligible.
So 4 teams did not get an invitation, naturally those teams are from C-USA, MAC or SUN BELT.
This season these teams are Southern Miss (6-5, CUSA), Miami (OH) (6-6, MAC), Louisiana-Monroe (6-6, SUN BELT) and surprisingly Wyoming (6-6, Mountain West).
Eastern Michigan, a team which is usual not that interesting in terms of national prominence and record did made an honest plea to get a bowl spot and got it.

So, let's close the regular season with this one here.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAME FOR WEEK 15

Sat. Dec. 8
Army vs Navy
The only game this weekend and a very important one for the US people.
The president did announce he will attend the game, which will push the attention even further.
In general this is a big marketing show for the troops and the patriot feeling in ever citizen.
Special uniforms for the players, special setting, special stadium, this season again in Philadelphia, special guests and special show.
The game itself couldn't be less important in recent years.
Army is driving a 2 game winning streak and is 7.0 point favorite to win it again this season.
A bit surprising it is only 7.0 points, since Army did play 9-2 so far and Navy managed 3-9.
The teams had played 119 times so far and started this in 1890.
Navy leads by 9 wins now and the Commander-In-Chief-Trophy is basically already in the hands of Army, it is only a matter of whether they get it by tie or by winning.
Navy lost to Air Force, Air Force lost to Army, so if Army loses to Navy we have a tie and the trophy stays with the winner of last season, Army.
Or if Army wins against Navy, they get the Trophy also, by winning.
Last season I did pick Army and I will pick Army again.
I think they will outplay Navy by more than a score.
Could be this is the last game of Monken, the Army coach, because he did create some attention on the coaches market, but you never know.
If Navy wins this, it will save a bad season (a bit), but I doubt such a turnaround, at least this season.
Navy lacks the leaders, from my point of view.
Black Knights win.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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