2018-09-20 14:31

Week 3 did deliver some nice upsets and that make me hope for more.

With Week 4 coming the season starts getting into regular conference games mode (which starts full in week 5 for most teams) and we will see some great matchups already.

But before we tackle week 4, let's have a look back to week 3.

Here are the 3 games I had selected as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 3

Sat. Sep. 15
#12 LSU @ #7 Auburn
The Tiger Bowl was simply great, it had all the fun you want from a game, especially on that level.
It was close and became a nail biter.
Auburn did lead by 4 at halftime, and extended it to 11 in the third.
From that point on, LSU did fight back and scored 12 points to get the win.
Between that Auburn had a missed FG starting of the 4th quarter and we also saw a missed 2-point-conversion.
But of cause the best was the winning FG with time expiring. EAT THIS!
LSU did jump in the ranks and is now ranked 6th, while Auburn did drop a bit and is ranked 9th (AP) and 11th (coaches).
Whether one of them can really stop Alabama is a question which we only can answer in the future.
#12 LSU 22 - #7 Auburn 21 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 7-5

#17 Boise State @ #24 Oklahoma State
Oh man that was hard for me.
Boise played good, but they were unable to stop Oklahoma State from scoring.
That means first that Boise will now have to care only for their conference and if they are lucky they get the ticket for the highest ranked non-power5-team, but right now they are not even ranked (well, they are at 24 in the coaches ..)
Second, the Cowboys got a good boost in the ranks and will have to justify that one against the other BIG12 contenders soon.
#17 Boise State 21 - #24 Oklahoma State 42 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 7-6

#4 Ohio State vs #15 TCU
That went as expected, only it was not that close.
Ohio State did basically pull away in the 2nd half and did win a big one here.
Now Urban Meyer can take over again and will likely build on top of that.
For TCU that was a downer, putting the team not completely out of playoff contention, but almost.
No margin for errors left.
#4 Ohio State 40 - #15 TCU 28 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 8-6

Other interesting games:

#22 USC @ Texas
After the first Quarter did USC get nothing done and Texas won this game 37-14.
Big loss for USC, big win for Texas.
Jacks interesting games Score: 8-2

#10 Washington @ Utah
Not really a great game, but the Huskies did win it 21-7, which is the result needed for them.
But Utah did not look that bad, except that they were unable to score after the 1st quarter.
Jacks interesting games Score: 9-2

#1 Alabama @ Ole Miss
Oh man, Alabama looks unstoppable right now. They won 62-7 against Ole Miss .... 62-7!
Jacks interesting games Score: 10-2

Other interesting stuff from last week:
BYU won against Wisconsin 24-21. Big win for the Cougars and needed, while Wisconsin now needs to win all games to have a chance for the playoffs.
Army won against Hawaii 28-21. First loss for Hawaii this season.
Troy did beat Nebraska 24-19. Nebraska to a 0-2 start first since 1957. But to be fair, they did not have their game against Akron, which could have been a win.
Still a disappointing start for Huskers fans.
Syracuse did win against FSU 30-7. This doesn't look good for Seminoles fans this season.
Kansas won against Rutgers 55-14 and are now 2-1. Wohooooo!
Temple did best Maryland 35-14. Is that the same Maryland which did beat Texas?
South Florida did beat Illinois 25-19 and are off to a 3-0 start.
Duke won against Baylor 40-27. This don't look like Baylor gets much better this season.
North Texas won against Arkansas 44-17, which is a mayor upset. Arkansas off to a 1-2 start, while North Texas has 3-0.
San Diego State won against Arizona State 28-21. Seems like the flying Sun Devils did crash.
Akron won against Northwestern 39-34. Great win for Akron.
Fresno State did upset UCLA 38-14. The Kelly magic did not spark so far in LA.

And we continue with the preview for week 4.

I selected this 4 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 4

Fri. Sep. 21
Washington State @ USC
When Mike Leach did take over Washington State the Cougars were in a bad shape. Really bad. Last-place-in-the-division-and-almost-no-wins-in-total-bad-shape.
Now, 6 season coached, recruited and guided later he enters the 7th season with a good team behind him.
His record with the team is finally positive and will likely expand further to the plus side.
Coming of a 9-4 season, including a bowl loss, the team did start so far 3-0 and is at least again in the mix for the division title.
They are not favored to win it, for sure not, but they are capable to spoil the fun for each of the contenders, especially rival Washington and Stanford.
If you look into the PAC12 North team landscape you find in addition to the Washington teams and Stanford the Oregon teams and Cal.
Some of those teams will make a jump forward, like likely Cal and Oregon, some will have to adjust and prepare, like Oregon State, which might become better under the new coach, but that takes time.
WSU will finish TOP4 inside the division I would guess, eventually pushing for TOP2, but it will all come down how they play against the better teams.
This week they face one of the better teams, from PAC12 South, and they will play on the road.
This is important, because if they lose this, they lose one of the inter-division-games, which some of the other PAC12-North teams might have only against much easier teams.
USC has struggled so far a bit and did not play as expected.
They won against UNLV, Lost to Stanford in a defense battle and played Texas on the road and lost there again.
Now at home they face a fast playing, pass happy, Cougars team.
I would say, USC will have trouble to stop that Air Raid offense of WSU, so expect some scoring drives, the main focus should be on USCs offense which will need to step up and make plays.
If they play like they did against Stanford and Texas, the Trojans will lose this.
For whatever reason is USC still favored to win this, Vegas line is -4.0.
I say Washington State will win here.
Could be close but they win.
Cougars win.

Sat. Sep. 22
#22 Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama
There is not much to say here.
Fisher vs Saban is a nice matchup and now we will get it every season at least once.
With Fisher new at A&M and Alabama playing at home, this might not be the fun it could be, but since the Aggies almost topped Clemson, everything seems to be possible.
I will not pick against Alabama here, they are too good at home over the last seasons, but I think this will also not be a blowout win by the Tide.
A&M will become better over time and they have already a lot of talent, so Fisher might just need to put all pieces at the right place and he might produce a winner, but in week 4 already against the highest ranked team?
I doubt that.
I expect a closer match, but at the end will the Tide win.
Crimson Tide win.

Sat. Sep. 22
#2 Georgia @ Missouri
It looks like the Georgia administration was right to let Mark Richt after 15 seasons go, right? Could be, but better wait with the final judgement.
Kirby Smart did adjust in his first year and did deliver in the seconds season a conference title and a loss in the National Title game.
Now in his 3rd season the expectations are as high as last season so everything less than the SEC title will be a downer.
Georgia is clearly the favorite to win the SEC East and will challenge every team coming to the SEC title game from the West.
Before dreaming of the playoffs and the SEC title, they need to win the games during the season and this upcoming game has potential.
Missouri is coming of a good start so far, but had only some mid level to low level teams as opponents.
THIS game here will be their first test.
Barry Odom is also in his 3rd season with the team and guided the Tigers from a bottom dweller in the division to a bowl participant in season 2 (which they lost).
All hopes for a better season do lean on their senior QB Drew Lock, who might get some NFL attention, and the fact that Mizzou got better and better.
Playing at home will help, whether this will be enough is open.
Georgia is a tough team and they won already against a SEC team (Gamecocks) big time, so this will be a very hard test for Missouri.
I expect an open game until halftime.
Then it will be a matter of sustainability. I think Georgia has just more in the tank, but I might underestimate the Tigers.
I can see a small window for an upset here, but not enough for me to pick against the SEC champ, who is favored by 14 points.
Bulldogs win.

Sat. Sep. 22
#17 TCU @ Texas
Tom Herman is in his 2nd season with the Longhorns and it is clear he will not deliver a national title right away.
The team might become a national powerhouse again, but that seems to take some time.
They already lost to Maryland surprisingly in the opener and they did win against Tulsa only by a score, which is basically not enough, comparing the programs status and power.
Against USC they did win good, but how much that's worth will only time tell.
Now they face the very potent TCU Horned Frogs, but lucky them, on Longhorns ground.
For Texas, this a fight for live. A win would spark them eventually to take on the remaining games with more confidence, a loss would send them to the pit, at least for a short period, and would destroy already a lot of hopes regarding BIG12 contention.
This will be a tough game and I'm willing to give the Longhorns some bonus here, because of home field advantage.
But that only sets them on the same level as TCU and makes this for me an open game.
So, at the end, this might come down to the last drive and who can score.
TCU is favored by only 3.0 points.
I'm willing to pick the Longhorns here, but this is the most shaky pick this week.
Longhorns win.

Other interesting games:
Sat. Sep. 22
#14 Mississippi State @ Kentucky
MSU is favored by 10 points, which seems a bit much, given the way Kentucky did play so far. I'm tended to pick the Wildcats, because I like underdogs to win and I like their spirit so far, but realistically it should be a close Bulldogs win.
Bulldogs win.

Sat. Sep. 22
#7 Stanford @ #20 Oregon
Stanford is coming of a good start so far, as does Oregon. Great start actually for the Ducks under new HC Mario Cristobal, former OC of Oregon.
The question will be, whether the defense will be enough against Stanford.
Stanford is only favored, by 1.5 points!
I pick the Cardinals by a few points more.
Cardinals win.

Sat. Sep. 22
#18 Wisconsin @ Iowa
Wisconsin is favored by 3.0 points against the Hawkeyes. As always playing against the Hawkeyes is tough to pick. If Wisconsin plays like last week, Iowa will win. But if they play as the usual Badgers, they will win.
I pick the Badgers.

Arizona State @ #10 Washington
Whatever it was they saw in Herm Edwards to bring him in as Sun Devils HC after he was out of coaching for 10 years, so far it did pay off.
The team is 2-1 and gets some respect for their results so far.
Now they face another contender for the PAC title, so they will have a hard time again.
Vegas has the team as 17.0 points underdog, which means, they expect a big loss. I'm not sure whether the Huskies will really destroy the Sun Devils, but I doubt an upset.
Huskies win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time

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