2013-11-21 06:58

Here a short u p d a t e on the conferences.

Same sorting as last week.

Sun Belt Conference
Leading team are the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, unbeaten inside the SBC. With 2 games to play they look more and more like the locked SBC champ.
Right behind them with 1 loss are the Arkansas State Red Wolves. They also have to play 2 games inside the SBC.
If ULL stumbles, the might jump them. But they lost against ULL.
Still outsider chances are left for ULM. They have 2 losses but will play ULL as season final.
Most crucial game is probably ULL vs. ULM at season final.
If ULL loses, this conference will probably get a split championship.

Mid American Conference
The East Division is led by the Bowling Green Falcons and the Buffalo Bulls.
Both with 1 loss inside the conference.
The Ohio Bobcats are out of the race, since Bowling Green or Buffalo will have 2 losses as the most.
The West Division is led by Northern Illinois, undefeated inside the MAC.
But Ball State is right behind them with now 1 loss and they have already played one more game.
Right behind them is Toledo with 2 conference loss and out of competition.
Buffalo will play Bowling Green end of November, which will probably decide the East Division.
NIU will play Western Michigan to seal the division next week.

Conference USA
East Division is led by East Carolina and Marshall, both teams with 1 loss.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders are behind them with 2 losses.
West Division is led by North Texas and Rice, both with 1 loss.
UTSA, Tulane do have 2 losses and the division is still very open.
Louisiana Tech dropped out with another loss. In theory they might have a chance but it looks very unlikely.
East Carolina will play Marshall end of November, which will seal the deal for one of them.
North Texas plays UTSA this week and will win the division, if they keep on winning.
Rice has to play Tulane as season final. They have to hope for a NT-loss to have a chance and of cause they have to win.

Mountain West Conference
The West Division is up for grab for Fresno State, having not lost inside the conference.
Right behind with 1 loss is San Diego State.
San Jose State has now 3 losses and is out of the mix, since Fresno State could only get 2 losses in total.
The Mountain Division is a competition between Utah State and Boise State. Both have 1 loss.
Now Boise State moved at 1 place.
Colorado State is behind both teams with 2 losses.
Fresno State plays San Jose State end of November, San Diego State has to play Boise State this week.
There is no reason to think Fresno State will lose the division title.
Utah State has to play Colorado State this week.
If Boise keeps on winning, they will win the division.

American Athletic Conference
3 games still to play for some of the teams.
Leading team is UCF, still unbeaten inside the conference.
Right behind are Louisville and Cincinnati with 1 loss.
Houston now in the mix with SMU with 2 losses.
Rutgers and South Florida do have 3 losses and should be a very long stretch for conference title.
Toughest game for UCF is probably Rutgers and the road game against SMU.
Still they are the favourites and can bring the title home.
Louisville has to play Cincinnati, Cincinnati has the worst schedule left with Houston and Louisville left.
If UCF loses a game, this division gets a split championship.

Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Division is won by the Florida State Seminoles.
The Coastal Division is much more open.
Duke is surprisingly leading the division with 2 losses.
Right behind with 3 losses are Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Miami.
Yes, 5 of 7 division member do still have a chance.
In theory even Pittsburgh has a chance with 4 losses!
This weekend did turn the whole division upside down and this can happen the next few weeks again.
Duke has two crucial away games, of which they might lose none, one or both.
Virginia Tech has a road game left; North Carolina plays Duke at home which might give them an edge.
Miami has a road and a home game, but lost 3 straight.
Georgia Tech can only hope, since they are done with conference games.

Big Ten Conference
The Legends Division is led by Michigan State, unbeaten inside the conference.
Right behind are Minnesota and Nebraska with 2 losses.
The Leaders Division is led by the unbeaten Ohio State, with Wisconsin waiting for a Buckeye loss right behind them with 1 loss.
Michigan State plays Minnesota at home on season final.
Minnesota has to play also Wisconsin, which makes their chances for the division title slim.
Ohio State has to play Michigan on season final, Wisconsin in addition to Minnesota also Penn State.
Tough to anticipate the championship opponent for Ohio State, but it looks like the Spartans are almost locked.

Pacific 12 Conference
The North Division is now Oregon’s to lose. The have 1 loss.
Stanford is behind them now with 2 losses.
Oregon State waits behind them with now 3 losses.
The South Division looks more open.
Leading team is Arizona State with 1 loss, behind them UCLA and USC with 2 losses.
All have still chances to win the Division.
Stanford will play Cal. Oregon has to play the civil war against Oregon State end of November.
ASU has to play UCLA this week; UCLA has a tough schedule left with ASU and USC on the road.
Oregon can now laugh since they can win the division by winning.
The South is open as it can be. It might come down to the UCLA @ USC match.

Big 12 Conference
Baylor can now win the conference on its own.
Oklahoma State and Texas do wait in line with 1 loss.
The Oklahoma Sooners do only have outside chance with 2 losses.
I forgot Kansas State last week; they do have 3 losses and could in theory win a share.
Baylor plays Texas on season final.
The Bears have to play also the Cowboys this week.
In addition Oklahoma State has to play Oklahoma on season final.
The division is far from being fixed.
A split championship is likely, but it might come down to Texas vs Baylor on Bears ground for the championship.

Southeastern Conference
The Eastern Division is led by Missouri, having lost once.
Right behind are South Carolina with 2 losses.
The Western Division is Alabama territory, being unbeaten.
Next in line is Auburn, with 1 loss.
All other teams are out of the picture.
Missouri has to play Texas A&M on season final, South Carolina has to hope for a Mizzou loss to win the division.
Auburn hosts the Iron Bowl vs. Alabama in Tigers stadium.
The SEC is almost set for a final, but the participants are still NOT.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 13

Saturday, November 23 12:00 PM ET
Duke @ Wake Forest
Now you have it.
I feature a Duke game.
For Duke the goal has to be WIN and you are most likely IN.
They do have two games left, both on the road and they are 1 loss ahead against all other contenders.
If they lose it gets down to the point differences and that doesn't look so good for Duke.
So they need to win. Which they did 6 times since losing the last time.
They won even against Virginia Tech on the road.
So, this is winnable, too.
But don't underestimate the Demon Deacons.
Yes, they lost a few once, but there were close games.
And they play at home.
I don't think so.
The Blue Devils are on a high note and they WILL win here (and will probably lose next week ... lol)
I pick Duke.

Saturday, November 23 3:30 PM ET
#12 Texas A&M @ #22 LSU
Johnny Football did a bit vanish from the spotlight, once the Aggies lost against Alabama and Auburn.
He probably won't win the Heisman a second time this season, and then he probably will be gone for the pros, but he is still a QB capable to win games.
LSU on the other did lose 3 times so far, but all as road games.
They are perfect at home.
That's what makes this interesting.
For both teams there is nothing to win in this game, except another W on the schedule and a better spot in the division and in the rankings.
I'm expecting some clash here with the Tigers getting a good bite from the Aggies.
I have full respect of the Tigers playing at home; you don't get there and win easily.
If Texas A&M win here, they might get back into the BCS Bowl picture, but I doubt a win here.
LSU is not a bad team, they lost only 1 more time than the Aggies and only against Alabama they had no chance to win.
But that's Alabama. They won against Auburn at home.
I pick the Tigers in a close one.
The Aggies can only win here, if LSU plays sloppy or Manziel gets a 120% day.

Saturday, November 23 3:30 PM ET
#19 Wisconsin @ #25 Minnesota
For both teams it's win it or be out of competition.
Minnesota is the only team, with a real chance to catch up with Michigan State for the division title (they still need the Spartans to lose this week), and Wisconsin is right behind Ohio State and waits for a chance; if the Badgers lose this here, they don't need to wait any longer.
On paper I would say, Wisconsin is better, but they play on the road and Minnesota is having a good time right know.
It looks like their HC gets better and better from his medical problems and I think the team is responding on that.
Never underestimate the factor of having a bunch of players and coaches bonded together by an incident.
Their coach had a seizure during a game a few weeks back and did basically spend since then his time in the box above the field.
So .... where to go from this?
Do you believe in one of the strongest Big 10 teams or in a turnaround program with a bonded together bunch of people?
Tough choice.
I think it will be a close game and for anyone to win.
For me, it's a gut decision.
And my guts are saying, that with any extra mojo Minnesota might bring to that game, Wisconsin will be too strong to get that win of the table.
I pick the Badgers over the Gophers.

Saturday, November 23 7:00 PM ET
#17 Arizona State @ #14 UCLA
Very important game for the PAC 12 South here.
Both teams need to win this to get closer to the south division title.
The Sun Devils could even clinch it by a win.
I'm hoping for a shoot-out, which is a bit unlikely.
Both teams are no juggernaut on offense of defense.
They can play and they win most games, but they do not score 50+ points in every game and they do also not keep their opponents out of the endzone that often.
Just often enough.
So I'm expecting either a very boring game (from my point of view) with both teams getting nothing done, or an open game with nice offense and defense plays.
I hope for the second option.
Now, you will win here?
I think it will be UCLA for one simple reason. Homefield.
If the Sun Devils still win this, the PAC 12 championship might get interesting.

Saturday, November 23 7:45 PM ET
#8 Missouri @ #24 Ole Miss
This won't be the most feared game for the Tigers players, but they better be prepared.
Ole Miss is good.
Not championship-good, but good enough to give Mizzou a scare or two and eventually getting away with a win.
What would be the consequences?
Mizzou would NOT win the division, Ole Miss climb a bit in the rankings (OK, that's not much for them ...)
I give Missouri the nod here, but it's a close call.
I do respect Ole Miss home field, but Missouri is not 7-1 in SEC play without a reason.
They won on the road against Georgia.
Ole Miss lost at home against Texas A&M.
You can read out of those games anything you want, bottom line is, Missouri has to fight like a Tiger to win the division and the Rebels might bring them down, but not without a fight.
I believe in Missouri and pick them. There you have it.

Saturday, November 23 8:00 PM ET
#4 Baylor @ #10 Oklahoma State
Even if there is still the Baylor vs. Texas game coming, this could be the deciding game for Baylor.
They play against one of the top teams of the Big 12, on the road.
If they want to be champions on their own, they have to win here.
Otherwise not only would they have to share the title, they probably would also have to let Oklahoma State take the automatic BCS Bowl bid.
If there is a second seat available is not sure, yet.
So a very important game, for both teams.
I'm not sure what to make out of this.
Both teams did play very good this season, the Cowboys had that one loss against West Virginia, but since then they were terrific.
Baylor has to be the favourite here, but are they really the team that will win?
For me it looks like a close game with a coin flip win scenario.
1 or 2 crucial situations in the game will probably decide the winner.
I pick the Cowboys!
Why? Old story: Home field advantage and the small underdog bonus.
But granted, both teams can win here.

‘Til next time

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