2013-11-07 08:56

This week start early with some big games.

When I checked the schedule I recognized that already on Thursday two big games will be played.
Damn, no rest for me.

Most team have 4 weeks left to get things done.
There are many crucial games left, and if had a bit more time I would name some in advance.
Most interesting of cause are the big ones, with big impact on the national championship picture.
But there are also some deciding games left in the CUSA, the MAC, the SBC and MWC.
Maybe next week ....

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 11

Thursday, November 7 7:30 PM ET
#10 Oklahoma @ #6 Baylor
This is almost as big as it can get in the Big 12. At least this season.
Baylor is only a few steps away from winning the Big 12.
The steps have names: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas.
So this is the first and maybe the last this week.
Oklahoma is beatable and far from being the juggernaut of the past, Baylor is quick and far from being the laughing stock of their past.
No, this game will be a nice clash and I'm expecting the Bears to top the Sooners.
First it's a home game.
Second is Baylor sooooooooooo quick, that Oklahoma will have its problems on defense.
Third is Oklahoma not quite strong on offense to counter the quick Baylor-points which will keep on coming in.
Of cause Oklahoma will not roll on its back and will lose by default.
In a football game, everything is possible.
But I'm counting on a Baylors win. Period.

Thursday, November 7 9:00 PM ET
#3 Oregon @ #5 Stanford
Here comes the deciding matchup for the PAC 12 North ... Maybe even for the PAC 12.
Let's face it, Oregon did dominate ALL teams they played so far, including UCLA from the South division.
IF the win against Stanford, they will play against the South champion and if not something very strange happens, they will win the PAC 12 Championship game.
IF they lose here, the PAC 12 North will be won by Stanford and they might not be that much of a favourite for the final as Oregon, but they still would be the leading team and probably would win the final.
So, here we are.
Why will Oregon win, again?
It looks like Oregon is a well-oiled machine this season, which can score anytime, while holding the opponent to much less points.
The defense is well overshadowed by the offense, but they did not allow many points against any team. Washington State did score 38 points, which is a rare exception.
On that game did the offense score 60+ points, so even 38 points were far from being enough.
Why should Stanford win?
A home game should help, right?
It will, but enough?
If Stanford can slow down the Oregon offense a bit, the very good Stanford offense might score often enough to stay in the game.
I only see one real chance for Stanford to win this.
Force turnovers as much as you can. Better, return them for scores.
The problem with that some kind of Hail Mary plan is, Oregon is somehow able to avoid tackles, even contacts.
So containment will be the key.
I doubt Stanford can do this.
Ducks will win.

Saturday, November 9 3:30 PM ET
Nebraska @ Michigan
This is the battle of two teams who did not fulfil their season goals, yet.
Michigan was the favourite in the pre-season to win their division, only to find themself now on 4th place.
A loss here would mean the season over, in terms of the high expectations all Wolverines fans had.
Say hello to a minor bowl bid and that's it.
A win would mean to still dream about struggling teams above them and keeping the hope alive for a better bowl.
With two games behind the leading Spartans they would need a wonder to still win the division, and of cause they know that.
Nebraska on the other hand was named the runner-up right behind Michigan, with the potential to sneak to the top.
Fine, they are at the 2nd spot at the moment, but they lost to Minnesota and the revenge game against UCLA.
The crucial game against the Spartans is coming next week and it doesn't look that good. The Huskers are struggling and don't be surprised if they lose already this week against Michigan. That loss would end the dream already. The dream of the Big 10 final.
So, struggling Huskers vs. struggling Wolverines, in the BIG HOUSE.
I give Michigan here the pick, because of that BIG HOUSE.
I'm not convinced it will be a Michigan win, no. But I'm also not convinced the Huskers win.
I'm thinking about a Huskers team in that crowded stadium and it's hard to NOT think about a few mistakes happening in that atmosphere.
That's why I'm leaning towards Michigan.

Saturday, November 9 7:00 PM ET
Virginia Tech @ #11 Miami
I will make that a short one.
Miami is leading the Coastal division of the ACC with one loss and VT is 3rd with 2 losses, right behind Georgia Tech.
GT is playing Clemson this week, so they will drop with 3 losses.
Which gives VT a battle plan. Win the remaining games and play for the ACC Championship. Easy right?
Not so fast.
Miami will not lose that one.
At home, against a Hokie steam which lost two in a row against ... Duke ... and Boston College .... Hard to imagine a team which can stop the Hurricanes that way.
So ... Miami win.

Saturday, November 9 7:00 PM ET
Houston @ #21 UCF
The probably deciding match for the AAC.
Both teams are the only unbeaten teams inside the conference.
Both teams did lose against non-conference foes, each once.
I give UCF the nod here.
They look much better and the play at home.
Houston will not fall with only a few points on the board, no.
And of cause the Cougars CAN win this.
But in a perfect world the better team should win and that's in my book for now the Golden Knights.
They won against Louisville already, the big favourite, which Houston still has to manage.
It won't matter after that game, since UCF did secure the #1 spot.

Saturday, November 9 8:00 PM ET
#13 LSU @ #1 Alabama
Hmm .... I don't think it helps, if the Agent of Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide HC, gives interviews before that crucial game and gives statements like "Only Texas would interest Nick Saban".
As a player I would at least think "WHEN will he leave?"
Distractions like that don't help, if you have to play one of the most crucial games of the season.
Win this and you are still #1, fine.
Lose this and the rest of the season might fall short the national title goal. Even short the SEC championship.
LSU is not right behind Alabama, no, that's Auburn.
But losing at home against LSU is never good and THEN playing an Iron Bowl IN Auburn under such pressure ... That will be much tougher then.
So better win here.
Chances are good.
LSU can win this game, but only if Alabama will let them.
They struggled in some parts of the games a bit and Alabama looks like the perfect team.
So winning against a perfect team needs that perfect team to have a bad day.
Might happen, that those tiny distractions will give Alabama that bad day.
We will see.
I won't pick against the Tide, since they ARE really good and LSU is not THAT good.

‘Til next time

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