2017-11-17 07:07

This weekend it is like the silence before the last storm.
Most of the scheduled games are more the category must-win-and-should-win, where so far much better teams do meet mid level or low level teams.
There are some exceptions, but not many.

Most of those games are relevant for the conference standing, which do look right now like this:

American Athletic Conference
American Athletic - East
UCF 6-0
South Florida 6-1
If UCF does not drop a game this weekend, they will meet next weekend on season final to determine the division winner.

American Athletic - West
Memphis 5-1
Houston 4-2
Memphis has the lead by wins and the direct compare. So Houston needs to win and has to hope for 2 Memphis losses in 2 weeks, which is unlikely to happen.

Atlantic Coast Conference
Clemson 7-1
Clemson is already the division winner.

Miami 6-0
Miami is also fixed as division title winner.

Big 12 Conference
Oklahoma 6-1
TCU 5-2
Oklahoma State 5-2
West Virginia 5-2
Texas 4-3
Iowa State 4-3
Thanks to the new established BIG12 Championship game between #1 and #2 there is still a lot possible in the BIG12.
Many of those teams do play against each other in the next 2 weeks.
Realistically is Oklahoma the favorite for #1 and then is will likely be TCU or Oklahoma State for #2.
But if some of the teams do lose such a should-win-game, the sorting will change quickly.
Texas and Iowa State will have to win their remaining games and have to hope for a lot of upsets by the opponents of the teams higher then them.

Big Ten Conference
Big Ten - East
Ohio State 6-1
Michigan State 5-2
Penn State 5-2
Michigan 5-2
Surprisingly wide open, thanks to the latest results.
Ohio State is right now the leading team, having a lot of direct compare advantages, but that can change quickly, since "THE GAME" is still not played and if Michigan wins all remaining games, they win the division.
The rest has to hope for some upsets, which might happen or not.

Big Ten - West
Wisconsin 7-0
Wisconsin has 2 wins more than the next Northwestern and have won against them, so they are the winner of the division now.

Conference USA
Florida Atlantic 6-0
Florida Intl 4-2
FAU can win the division this weekend by beating FIU. A loss would still not be that crucial, if they win the last game.
FIU has to win all games and has to hope for a FAU loss in the last week.

North Texas 6-1
North Texas won the division already.

Mid-American Conference
Mid-American - East
Akron 5-2
Ohio 5-2
Akron just needs to win their last game next week and they win the division.
Ohio has to win and has to hope for an Akron loss.

Mid-American - West
Toledo 6-1
Northern Illinois 6-1
Toledo holds the advantage over NIU, but has to win their last game.
NIU has to hope for a Toledo loss and has to win the last game.

Mountain West Conference
Mountain West - Mountain
Boise State 6-0
Wyoming 5-1
Wyoming has lost against Boise State and has therefore to hope for 2 Broncos losses and has to win all remaining games.
So Boise can secure the division by winning 1 of 2 remaining games.

Mountain West - West
Fresno State 5-1
San Diego State 4-2
Fresno State has to win also only 1 of the last 2 games, their problem is they will meet Boise State and Wyoming in those games, Wyoming on the road.
This could lead to 2 losses, which would open the door for SDSU, if they win both remaining games.

Pac-12 Conference
Pac 12 - North
Washington State 6-2
Stanford 6-2
Washington 5-2
Thanks to some upsets in the past is the North now wide open.
WSU needs only to win and they get the championship spot, if they lose and Stanford wins against Cal this week, Stanford gets the spot.
The Huskies have to win and hope for a Cardinals loss.

Pac 12 - South
USC 7-1
USC won the division by direct compare to Arizona, regardless the last game result.

Southeastern Conference
SEC - East
Georgia 6-1
Georgia has won the SEC East.

SEC - West
Alabama 7-0
Auburn 6-1
The winner of the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn will win the West.

Sun Belt Conference
Troy 5-1
Georgia State 5-1
Appalachian State 5-1
Arkansas State 4-1
Louisiana 3-2
I left out the 3-loss teams, but with up to 3 games left to play in the only division having no championship game they might even have also a chance.
But it is highly unlikely.
Most of the leading teams do play at least one game against one of the other leading teams, so they will battle this out against each other.
It's very likely there will be a co-champion-group of 2 or more teams here.

The playoff teams will be only decided on the last gameday and the following championship weekend, so it makes no sense to post the current list.
Most of the TOP10 teams of a single conference will meet again in the championship round and the winner will most of the time take it all.
Of cause there are exceptions, like last year with Penn State and Ohio State, but that's something the people have to deal with at that time.

Here are the selected games for BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP 3 GAMES FOR WEEK 12

Sat, Nov. 18
#24 Michigan @ #5 Wisconsin
Might be the hottest match this weekend.
Wisconsin is 7.5 points favorite and there is no real reason why Michigan should win here.
The team did struggle against strong opponents and lost crucial games against MSU and Penn State.
Now comes a really good Badgers team.
Consequences are clear, a Michigan loss is very likely the end of their chances to win the division (if Ohio State wins against Illinois) and a Wisconsin loss will push the BIG10 a bit further from the playoffs, but other than that the situation inside the BIG10 did not change and "THE GAME" will be crucial for the division race.
I don't see how the Wolverines will overcome that defense and how they will stop that Wisconsin offense.
Badgers win.

Sat, Nov. 18
California @ #22 Stanford
"Big Game" is the rivalry name of this one.
This year it has some conference implication.
Stanford is riding a 7 game winning streak in this rivalry and does lead the matchup also overall.
The Cardinals are meant to win here, with a line of -16.0.
But ... Cal did surprise at times and maybe we will see something here.
I honestly doubt it, but since a Stanford loss would mean that the PAC12 Champ would be out of Washington, this might become interesting.
With what we have seen to far, I guess the Bears will have to wait another season.
Cardinals win.

Sat, Nov. 18
Texas @ West Virginia
This looks like a irrelevant game, but West Virginia has still the chance to get into the BIG12 title game.
The problem is, they need to win against Texas.
The Mountaineers are 3.0 points favorite, but I did pick Texas to win here.
Because they have a great defense and West Virginia does not fare well against good defenses.
If West Virginia wins, they stay in the hunt for #2.
If Texas wins, they secured a bowl spot and did kick WV out of contention.
Longhorns win.

Other interesting games:

Sat, Nov. 18
Fresno State @ Wyoming
For both teams a crucial game.
Fresno State has the toughest remaining games and needs to win at least one of those.
In Wyoming it will be tough, very tough.
Wyoming on the other side needs that win, otherwise Boise State wins the division.
The Cowboys did only lose once at home, against Oregon.
So, Bulldogs, better play 150%. I don't think they can win here.
Cowboys win.

Sat, Nov. 18
Florida Intl @ Florida Atlantic
When FUA did name Lane Kiffin HC of their program I thought this would backfire, but so far he did turn the program around in no time and there are no real Kiffin-News like we had at USC or Tennessee.
He might get a job offer from a Power 5 school after this season.
Regardless, the Owls are on their way to win the division and if they win against the Panthers this weekend, they can book the flights for the championship game.
Played at home, this should be easier.
They are 14.5 points favorite, so an upset would be huge for FIU.
I think the Owls will win here, easily.
Owls win.

Sat, Nov. 18
UCLA @ #11 USC
The Battle for LA is on and I think this will be quite one-dimensional.
It's a USC home game and USC is clearly better this season.
I hope the rivalry will spice this up and makes it a bit closer, but there is a reason for a line of -16.0 for USC.
I'm curious whether Jim Mora will survive this off-season, but likely he will.
Trojans win.

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