2019-10-03 08:03

The September is finished and somehow we did see what we expected and what we did NOT expected.

Fine, Clemson and Alabama are still unbeaten, the it seems the world is still OK, right?
Well, at least Clemson got a blow and did almost lose to North Carolina this weekend, but that won't be a factor, if they keep on winning.

Rutgers did fire they coach Chris Ash after this weekend. He was there in his 4th season and had 8 wins. Once a so called 'next-hot-thing' from Ohio State he is now fried.

And the law to earn money from the students name and likeness is now signed in California and will become active in 2023 as far as I know. The NCAA and several college are angry. Good. They did sit out that stuff too long. Now they HAVE to act, otherwise will California schools have an instant advantage. Other states are also thinking about a similar law.

The best stuff so far for me:
SMU is unbeaten, including a win over TCU. I think they will play tough for the remaining season and they will very likely have a word in the divisional race. First time ranked since 1986, which was before the death penalty of the NCAA.
Tulane does also look very good so far, they lost only 1 game, against Auburn by 18 points, which is really not a shame (Mississippi State lost to Auburn by 30+ points).
Wake Forest is unbeaten and do at least look like they will not only get a bowl spot easily, they will also at least challenge the other division contenders.
Virginia does also look very good so far, they lost only this weekend to ranked Notre Dame. Right now my favorite to get the division.
Baylor is unbeaten inside the BIG12, but of cause they had quite easy games so far. The university did prolong their HC to 2027, so they seem to be happy.
Ohio State does look like they are a league of their own inside the BIG10. They did crush so far every opponent, my favorite to win the BIG10.
Wisconsin could have a word on that, but they do not look so good as the Buckeyes, even they did play impressive so far.
Toledo does look very good right now, they lost only to Kentucky, but did beat Colorado State and BYU, so they will likely have a word inside the MAC.
Utah State seems to be on the rise this season with losing only a close one to Wake Forst, but winning already a crucial game against SDSU.
THE surprise so far for me is Hawaii with winning everything except the road trip to Washington.
Cal do also look much better than expected and might have a say inside their division, but the loss to ASU last weekend did hurt them.
Next surprise from the PAC12 is Colorado with wins, wins wins. Only the loss to Air Force does not really fit.
LSU is the surprise for me inside the SEC, they do look like a different team with their new offense.
And Appalachian State did not lose a beat while losing their HC last season and do cruise on a 4-0 wave. My favorite for the SBC.

The worst stuff so far for me:
Houston is a disappointing team, 2-3 and it's not clear whether they will get it done or not this season. Likely the will turn it around a bit, but I guess the expectations were different when they got that BIG12 coach.
Florida State do look like a work in progress and they do look not like a good piece of work.
Also very disappointing is Virginia Tech. They lost to Boston College and Duke. Sounds like a log season for them.
inside the BIG12 for me is Iowa State not performing well. That loss to Iowa, even with the long delays, was a big no-no.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers did not play well so far. They do lack the confidence they did have late in the season last year. Looks like another rebuilding season.
Rice do look like a mess. This team will get a new coach, soon, I guess.
Akron Zips do look like they would like to have Terry Bowden back, they did fire last season after getting only 4 wins. Right now the new coach has zero win, sorry ZIP wins.
Inside the Mountain West the Colorado State Rams are my team which did not play well so far. They won only 1 game against a FCS team and beside that only disasters. They will likely rebound a bit, but I guess a bowl trip is unlikely.
Stanford is for me also a big disappointment. They did deliver always good coaching and even with some ups and downs, this do look right now like the Cardinals prior their rise to PAC12 power.
The SEC has some disappointing teams, but the one which did my favorite is Arkansas. They lost to the mentioned Colorado State!
And at last, the Georgia Southern Eagles were great last season with 10 wins, but right now they do not look like they will win so many games again.

Let's have a look at the 3 games I selected as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 5

Sat. Sep. 28

#18 Virginia @ #10 Notre Dame
Virginia had their problems with the stingy Notre Dame defense, which did record 8 Sacks and 13 TFLs in total.
The game did play out very much as expected, since Notre Dame did basically pull away once they overcame the problems of the 2nd quarter.
Virginia did then not really having a chance to get back into the diver seat and force a comeback or upset.
The Notre Dame offense had a short nap in the 2nd quarter and the defense did also take a step back, so that Virginia actually did lead 17-14, when the teams went into the halftime break.
But once they came back onto the field, Notre Dame did play better and did outscore the Cavaliers 21-3 in the 2nd half.
For Notre Dame this was crucial, since they stay in the hunt for a playoff spot, even if that's only an outsider chance.
They are now ranked #9, but to climb higher they need to win and some of the teams have to lose, some of them more than once.
Sure the SEC teams will put pressure on each other, but in worse case, if Alabama and Georgia would meet in the SEC Championship game, you really think the loser will be jumped by Notre Dame then? No.
Same for a scenario where Wisconsin and Ohio State would meet.
But the good thing is, the season is still long and we will have for sure some fun results shaking up that ranking a bit.
But I'm still sure Notre Dame will not make the playoffs this season. ;-)
The Cavaliers (now rankled at #23) did play good and are still my favorite to challenge Clemson in the ACC Championship game, but I have doubts they will win the ACC.
#18 Virginia 20 @ #10 Notre Dame 35 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 7-8

#21 USC @ #17 Washington
OK, that was not very close, but the Huskies won.
The Washington defense did their best to stop the loaded USC offense and they did it very good.
The score is a bit disappointing, since I expected both teams to score a bit more, but that's cosmetics.
Washington seems to be back on track to fight for the PAC12 North, while USC looks like a mid level team inside their mid-level division.
The PAC12 South is wide open and any team could get the top spot.
Sure, it's only at the start of the conference play, but so far only Arizona and UCLA do look not well enough to content throughout the season.
And even those did get their 1st wins last week or the week before.
None of them will make the playoffs, I'm sure, so I hope they will fight inside their division and we will see a lot of close and fun games.
#21 USC 14 @ #17 Washington 28 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 8-8

#5 Ohio State @ Nebraska
Oh man, Nebraska did look awful, or Ohio State did look unstoppable, whatever you prefer.
That was a mess of a game and right now the Buckeyes are the lighthouse inside the BIG10.
The Buckeyes do look like the real deal, playoff caliber, while Nebraska did look still like a work in progress.
When Frost came to Nebraska they thought for sure he will have them on championship form within 2 years, but right now they do not look like that.
So maybe next season.
#5 Ohio State 48 @ Nebraska 7 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 9-8

Other interesting games:

Sat. Sep. 28
Texas Tech @ #6 Oklahoma
Plain an simple did the Sooners outplay the Red Raiders on so many levels that right now Oklahoma has to be considered as TOP 5 team in the country, while TTU will have a long season ahead of them. Sooners won 55-16.
Jacks interesting games Score: 12-4

#1 Clemson @ North Carolina
And we did see something special. Clemson won, but only by an inch. With about 1 minute left to play did UNC score a TD and tried a 2-point-conversion to take the lead.
The 2-point-try was stopped, and Clemson did recover the onside-kick. Clemson won 21-20.
That did cost them the #1 ranking and dozens of #1 votes and some do even consider them to be not even TOP 5 anymore.
A bit unlucky for UNC to lose the game that way, but looks like we will see some great games from the Tar Heels in the future.
Jacks interesting games Score: 13-4

#24 Kansas State @ Oklahoma State
Oh damn it, Kansas State did implode right at that game.
They did score only 3 points in 3 quarters, which is not enough to win against the Cowboys.
And they then managed to outscore OSU 10-3 in the 4th quarter, which is not enough if you trail by 20 points.
OSU won 26-13.
Jacks interesting games Score: 13-5

Some other interesting results of week 5:
Arizona State won against Cal 24-17 on the road. PAC12 is crazy.
Duke did destroy Virginia Tech 45-10. Some say Fuente is on a hot seat.
Toledo did win against BYU 28-21. Looks like BYU is somehow bad and good, depended on ... what? The Weather?
Pittsburgh won a close game against Delaware (FCS). Also a strange performance here.
Temple won against Georgia Tech 24-2. How can that happen?
UMass won against Akron 37-29 and did that way pass the red lantern to the Zips regarding worst in football?
Liberty won against New Mexico 17-10. Some do see Liberty (3-2) on a bowl run!
Western Kentucky did beat UAB 20-13. We might see some changes in the power index inside the CUSA.
Stanford did barely win against Oregon State 31-28.
Arizona did beat UCLA 20-17. Now Arizona looks like a contender? No, PAC12 is just crazy.
And at last, Hawaii did go to Nevada and crushed the Wolf Pack 54-3.

Now we enter October which is usually the midterm month.
Many conference games and usually the contenders do separate a bit from the pretenders.

I selected this 3 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 6

Sat, Oct. 5
#14 Iowa @ #19 Michigan
For Michigan it is 'save-the-season'-gameday.
So far they did look not that good against good teams and they will face an Iowa team, which might be a bit ranked too high, but still tough and willing to play.
Michigan did not look good against good defenses and guess what, Iowa has a good one.
This will not be a Rutgers-like-defense they play.
Believe it or not, Michigan is favored by 3.5 points to win this.
I have doubts.
Not only did they play bad on both sides of the ball, they do also not click in terms of communication and coordination.
Of cause this could be fixed, but will this happen, now, against Iowa?
I guess the Wolverines players do know the stakes, so likely they are willing to play, but they did know this also against other teams, right?
Iowa has a tradition on being underestimated so I think they could win here, on the road.
For the Hawkeyes this is of cause also important, they need that win to stay in the hunt against Wisconsin inside their own division.
So I guess I pick the Hawkeyes to win in the big house, oh my god ...
Hawkeyes win.

#7 Auburn @ #10 Florida
Huh, Florida or Auburn?
I have to say, Auburn did play much better that I expected them to play and they did win so far everything with some sort of strength which I don't see with Florida.
The Gators did win also all their games, but against not so strong teams with closer results.
Auburn is favored by 3.0 points and I think that's not enough.
I think Dan Mullen will need at least another season to bring Florida on the level they could be, but this season they will lose the crucial games, including this one.
If Auburn loses, the SEC West does suddenly look less competitive, if Florida loses, the SEC East looks like Georgia and then the rest.
Tigers win.

#25 Michigan State @ #4 Ohio State
Why that game?
OSU is favored by 20.0 points. No wonder, they did outplay aver team and then some.
So why this game.
Because there is a small chance that the Spartans come up with their defense and Ohio State has to become creative and have to play for their scoring.
Because there is a small chance the Buckeyes do underestimate the Spartans motivation and will lose.
Likely? No.
But I hope for a good game and if this does play out as expected, at least we know that Ohio State will have a walk-through this season until the BIG10-Championship-game.
Buckeyes win.

Other interesting games:

Fri, Oct. 4
#18 UCF @ Cincinnati
Central Florida’s 27 games winning streak has ended 2 weeks ago when they lost on the road against Pitt.
Now they face the Bearcats on the road as 4.0 favorite.
Not sure what to make out of this, Cincinnati did win against UCLA on the 1st day, lost big against Ohio State and played not so good teams after that.
They could be able to win against the Knights, or not.
I'm willing to go against the majority here and pick the upset.
Bearcats win.

Sat, Oct. 5
California @ #13 Oregon
If Oregon gets his offense going, this will be very boring.
But their offense is struggling, and their defense is most of the time the part which keeps them in the game.
The Cal starting QB is out, which is not a good thing for the Bears, so the line of Oregon -18.0 makes much more sense.
That still means, they have to score at least 18 points ... Likely they will manage to do that, even with defense help.
Ducks win.

Tulane @ Army
If you are wondering, yes I selected this game, since both teams become interesting over the past few seasons.
Tulane was a wreck over the last decade or so, but Willie Fritz has build up the team to a bowl winner over the past 3+ seasons.
They are now 3-1 and have won against Houston last week and lost only by 18 points against Auburn.
Army on the other hand did grow from the pit to top over the past 5+ season and had the last 3 season 8, 10 and 11 wins including 3 bowl wins.
It would have been interesting to see, what the Playoff Committee would have done, if they would have gone undefeated.
But they lost a close one against Michigan on the road and did so far only win against not so good teams and are 3-1 also.
Tulane is favored by 3.0 points.
I give Tulane the nod here, since I just see them being able to get on the road and win against a team in a tough environment and that's what they will find at West Point. I expect a close one, but Tulane looks more like a rising team, while Army might have a setback from last year’s 11-win season.
Green Wave win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time

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