2018-10-18 05:42

This week did mess up my Pick'em-sheet for good.

Georgia did look like a lamb out there.
As did Penn State and West Virginia.


That means we do get finally a better picture of the contenders and the pretenders.

I selected this 3 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 7

Sat. Oct. 13
#2 Georgia @ #13 LSU
Georgia was kept scoreless in the first half.
I have the feeling that whoever wins the East will get decked in the SEC final.
And whether this will be Georgia or some other team ... not sure anymore.
LSU did play good and was able to score in every quarter and the most in the 4th.
Those kind of wins are expected in the Tigers community. If there wouldn't be a loss last week against a not so good Florida team, LSU would have jumped to #2.
Now they did jump to #5, which might be a bid overreacting.
They will have some more games to justify that rank, or improve it, but my guess is latest against Alabama we will see a bump.
Georgia now has to pick up the pieces and their remaining schedule is manageable and they should win all games, but you never know.
Likely next week the division winner is fix, pending some wierd upsets.
Overall this game between LSU and Georgia did shake up the ranks a bit, but it could be that the long term consequences are slim.
LSU will likely not win the division and Georgia will likely not lose the division, so it's more pride and honor.
Biggest impact of this game could be, that now Notre Dame has a case for a playoff spot.
#2 Georgia 16 - #13 LSU 36 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 14-11

Sat. Oct. 13
#7 Washington @ #17 Oregon
This game was huge and honestly the consequences of this will be hard for the PAC12.
I think with this game the PAC12 did most likely eliminate themselves from the playoff discussion for good.
More short term is the consequence that the division is now wide open.
Washington did lose this game not because of their kicker missing the final kick in regular time, or because they had to kick in first OT.
No, they lost because their defense was unable to keep Oregon in check over the whole game.
There are now 4 teams inside the North division with 1-loss, so the next few weeks will be a nice tie-breaker competition.
Good for the excitement inside the PAC12, bad for the rankings and national implications.
Highest ranked team is now Oregon and #12.
Maybe next year?
#7 Washington 27 - #17 Oregon 30 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 14-12

#15 Wisconsin @ #12 Michigan
Not really close, the Wolverines did win in stile and do open up a showdown against Ohio State at season finale.
If they survive Michigan State and Penn State.
Wisconsin was not really playing well in this game here and has now 3 other teams with 1-loss, so a wide open division with all of them playing well enough so far.
And the Badgers do have the tough games all on the road.
This will be hard and right now I have doubts they will survive this unscratched.
It could be that the winner of the division will at the end have 2 losses at least and some funny tie-breaker rule will send some cattle to the slaughterhouse against Ohio State or Michigan.
#15 Wisconsin 13 - #12 Michigan 38 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 15-12

Other interesting games:

Pittsburgh @ #5 Notre Dame
Great game by Pitt with the lucky ending for Notre Dame.
The Irish had a line of -21.0 and won by 5 points 19-14. The Irish are now at #4 in the rankings, thanks to some upsets in other conferences.
Jacks interesting games Score: 18-5

#6 West Virginia @ Iowa State
Like this game here where the Cyclones did outplay the Mountaineers and won 30-14. For West Virginia this means to take a seat with all the other contenders (Oklahoma and Texas Tech) in the BIG12 for a ticket in the BIG12 Championship game.
Leading team in the BIG12 is now Texas, who would have thought about that after their loss against Maryland in gameday 1?
Jacks interesting games Score: 18-6

#16 Miami @ Virginia
I said they might stumble but was too afraid of picking the underdog and see what it did to me ....
Virginia did boldly win against the Hurricanes 16-13 and now is every team in the conference still in the mix for the division title, except North Carolina and Georgia Tech, because the Hokies, who lead right now with a perfect conference score, do also not look too good.
And with 3 tough games in November, I think they will stumble.
Jacks interesting games Score: 18-7

#19 Colorado @ USC
The Buffalos did try to come back and win the game, but too late and not strong enough.
USC won 31-20 and is now leading the PAC12-South, with Colorado right behind them.
Also that division is wide open, because no team look really dominant and tough games are ahead.
Jacks interesting games Score: 19-7

Some other interesting results of week 7:
Texas Tech won against TCU 17-14 on the road and is now one of the 3 teams behind Texas inside the conference.
Utah did beat Arizona 42-10. Utah is gaining some steam lately.
Michigan State won against Penn State, on the road, 21-17. Now Penn State is almost for sure out of contention inside the division and the Spartans can start dreaming again.
Tennessee won against Auburn, on the road, 30-24. Auburn with a 1-3 record inside the conference. I guess the seat is heating up for the HC.
Northwestern won in OT against Nebraska 34-31, sending the Huskers home with their worst start ever. I guess Frost now need all the cooling his name does grant to avoid the heat he gets from the fans.
Kansas State did take down Oklahoma State 31-12. The Cowboys are now only 1 spot ahead of Kansas! Is there also some heat Gundy does feel?
Eastern Michigan did beat Toledo 28-26 for their first conference win.
FBS-transition team Liberty did win against Troy 22-16.
Colorado State did beat New Mexico 20-18 and are now only 1 win away to become .500. Nice turnaround so far.
UCLA got their first win against Cal, 37-7. Now there are only 3 teams left with zero wins, UTEP, San Jose and Nebraska.

Depended on your view we are now halfway through (for most conferences) or almost 2/3 trough with all games.
Fact is the competition is heating up and beside Alabama did every team have a scary moment and did lose almost at some point.
Still a lot of games left to play and every gameday is now an important gameday for some teams.

I selected this 3 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 8

Sat. Oct. 20
#6 Michigan @ #24 Michigan State
It's the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy again. Last season did the Spartans claim a victory in the big house, the season before that did the Wolverines win in East Lansing.
Now we are back in East Landing and For both teams it's again do-or-die-mode.
Michigan is in great position to compete for the division and conference title, of the win this game.
MSU is almost in the same position, except they did already lose one conference game.
Another loss will set them back, eventually for good.
But beside that is of course the game itself a motivation.
Honestly I will never get behind that rivalry hatred which often is part of such in-state games or sometimes between neighbor-states.
Sure, you can pick a little bit on the opponent, but hatred?
Well, seems to work and since there are no killing reported we can focus on the sport.
Michigan is favored by 7.0 points to win the game and based on the last few games this might be OK or not.
MSU did really well against Penn State on the road, so maybe they can stop the Wolverines offense, at home.
I divided between giving the home team the credit it deserves and giving the offense of the Wolverines the bonus it seems to have.
I expect a close game and do pick this season MSU as the winner in this, because I think the defense will step up.
Spartans win.

Sat. Oct. 20
#16 NC State @ #3 Clemson
NC State did fly a little bit under the radar so far, being undefeated and right behind Clemson right now to get a grab on the division.
But does NC State really have the mojo to win in Clemson?
Honestly I really doubt that.
Sure, they seem to be beatable, but at home, this is something else.
Vegas favors them by 17.0 points, so there is not much confidence, too.
For both teams this game is really important, because 1 loss can decide the trip to the ACC Championship game here could burn reputation.
To make it short, I would love to see the underdog win and make ACC a bit more exciting, but I doubt that will happen.
Tigers win.

Sat. Oct. 20
Colorado @ #15 Washington
The PAC12 has this weekend some great games, all important, but this one is very much leading in my opinion.
Both teams did lose last weekend, both teams do need a win to stay in the hunt.
A loss will put the loser behind the leading teams in the division and would need a lot of luck to get back into the driver seat.
The Huskies are favored by 16.5 points, so this could end up as blowout win.
It will all depend on the attitude Colorado will bring on.
I think they can challenge Washington, but only if they play with all their heart.
The Huskies on the other side will need to focus on their strong offense and will have to play better defense.
I guess the home field will help do that.
Huskies win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Oct. 20
#22 Mississippi State @ #5 LSU
So now is LSU a contender after knocking out Georgia.
Sorry, but I'm not convinced.
They lost against a rebuilding/reloading Florida team who lost against Kentucky already.
But granted LSU has some game and playing MSU at home does make them of cause the favorite to win this.
MSU is a 6.5 point underdog here and did so far play OK under their new HC, will likely get their 6 wins, maybe more.
Against LSU I don't think they will stand a chance, not in Baton Rouge.
If they pull that one out, LSU will drop like a hot potato in bar hands.
I think LSU will win, big actually.
Tigers win.

#12 Oregon @ #25 Washington State
The battle for the PAC12 North is wide open and this game is a tie breaker.
The winner gets the direct compare and a 1-game lead, loser has to hope for some other teams to win against WSU.
The Cougars are favored 3.5 points at home, but I'm not sure they are really the better team.
Oregon did play good against Washington and might steal a win here.
If their defense can stop WSU, they will win.
I flip a coin and do s e l e c t ....
Cougars win.

#20 Cincinnati @ Temple
Quite under the radar did Cincinnati stay unbeaten and is 1 of 3 teams in the American Athletic Conference in the TOP25, which are all unbeaten (South Florida and Central Florida are the others).
Temple is 4-3 overall right now, but 3-0 inside the conference, so this game will push one of the two teams a bit down the ranks, which features right now the 3 TOP25 teams mentioned and Temple.
Temple is favored by 3.5 points.
Cincinnati did so far only play mid level teams (including UCLA) or less, while Temple did play a wider field of teams, but lost to Villanova (FCS) and won against Maryland (who won against Texas).
Now make something out of that.
Given the fact that they play at home I'm willing to give Temple the nod here. They seemed to have come together a bit more.
So Cincinnati has to prove they belong into the TOP25, which I doubt.
Owls win.

'Til next time

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Tags: Block of Granite

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