2019-10-17 05:57

That was a nice weekend, regarding College Football.
At least if you are not fan of the Georgia Bulldogs.

The #3 ranked Bulldogs did host the not ranked 2-loss South Carolina Gamecocks and had a black Saturday.
Before the half they at the score of just 10-10 the Bulldogs did throw an interception, which was returned to the house.
After the break, both teams were good on defense, but non-existing on offense until Georgia did fumble the ball and did lower the offense level even more.
Lucky for them the Gamecocks were unable to do something with it, so Georgia did think 'let's do it' and made another interception throw.
But the Gamecocks messed that up again.
Still hope to comeback for the Bulldogs, trailing only by 7, right?
RIGHT! They did score a TD and tied the game at 17.
But 1:48 left to play, so South Carolina get the ball and were stopped on the Georgia 40-yard line.
The 57-yard Field Goal try did miss and Georgia tried to win the game!
But an illegal shift penalty did put them out of field goal range and the game went to overtime.
Stunning so far.
Georgia started but thought 'let's do it' and threw ANOTHER interception.
South Carolina got the ball and was held out of the endzone and missed a 33-yard field goal try!
Then came 2nd OT and the Gamecocks were again stopped but made the field goal.
Georgia now forced to do something and ... missed the 42-yard field goal to end the game.

Consequences: Georgia did fall from grace and fell to #10 in the rankings.
South Carolina did not get into the rankings and thanks to Floridas loss to LSU is now Missouri the leading team inside the SEC West.

What really stuns me is, that on a roster with 100+ players you have only that bad kickers? Both sides?
Well, anyway, the season will go on and we will see further upsets, which is good.
I wish we could see a season where no team goes unbeaten to the playoffs ....

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

Sat. Oct. 12
#6 Oklahoma vs #11 Texas
It went not as expected, honestly.
Oklahoma did play a bit sloppy in the 1st half and had some turnovers, otherwise they would have led by more than the 10:3 at the half.
Texas came a bit close until the end of the 3rd, trailing 20-17, but Oklahoma did prevail, and Texas was only able to close the gap to 34:27, tried an onside-kick, failed and lost the game.
Tough game, rough game, but Oklahoma stays the team to beat inside the BIG12.
They are now ranked #5 and do have a good chance for a playoff spot, if they keep on winning.
Texas on the other hand can recover and get into the BIG12 Championship game, if they win from the next weekend on.
Will we see another rematch of the RED RIVER SHOWDOWN as last season?
I see right now 2 competitors for that.
Baylor is perfect so far and do have a good team this season.
Whether this is enough to win against the others is an open debate. They play the Sooners and Longhorns at home this season.
Next up is Iowa State, who lost so far only to Baylor on the road and who play the Sooners on the road and Texas at home.
My pick is, we will see several 1-loss or even 2-loss teams and a tie-breaker will determine the opponent of the Sooners.
#6 Oklahoma 34 vs #11 Texas 27 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 11-10

#7 Florida @ #5 LSU
Both teams were almost on the same level until halftime, then did Florida just ... don't know ... stop playing offense?
While LSU was able to move the ball and score as often as they did in the 1st half, Florida was kept in check quite often and did only score 7 more points in the whole 2nd half (and none in the 4t quarter by the way).
That's not enough to stop THAT offense.
I'm actually curious to see, what will happen with Steve Ensminger, the LSU OC. Does he get a shot as a HC somewhere?
Because with those results and being one of the top assistants inside the SEC, you usually get that short, right?
But that would be a big loss for the Tigers and the momentum of this season could be lost easily.
We will see.
LSU won this and did move to #2 in the ranks.
So the showdown against Alabama will be THE big event (based on current status) and it will be in 4 weeks on the road.
Florida lost their 1st game of the season and sunk to #9 and will face South Carolina and Georgia in the next 3 weeks (and Missouri as SEC regular season final).
A lot of stuff will go down in the next few weeks.
#7 Florida 28 @ #5 LSU 42 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 12-10

#1 Alabama @ #24 Texas A&M
Seriously, this was no fun at all.
Alabama did outscore A&M on every single quarter.
I'm sure this was not the kind of performance the A&M people had in mind when they hired Fisher to lead the Aggies.
They wanted a Saban-Competitor, a national championship winning coach, but instead they have a 3-3 team (1-2 inside the SEC) and the season is basically over, except they still need 3 wins to get at least a bowl spot.
But against whom?
Ole Miss next week on the road? Could be.
Mississippi State at home, Could be.
UTSA after that? They better win that.
Then South Carolina, Georgia and LSU. Good luck with that.
So the margin for an error is not very big.
What's up for Alabama?
Beside they of cause have to play and win every game, the 2 most crucial games are against LSU at home in 4 weeks and against Auburn at season end in the Iron Bowl, on the road.
Those 2 games will determine the SEC West winner, for sure.
The next big thing to ask is, whether LSU or Alabama will drop out of the top 4 for long, if they lose just against the other team and do win the rest?
And who will then not get a spot, if LSU AND Alabama do get a one?
#1 Alabama 47 @ #24 Texas A&M 28 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 13-10

Other interesting games:

#25 Cincinnati @ Houston
Cincinnati did establish themselves as one of the frontrunners inside the American by that win this weekend.
I thought Houston could pull something out of the hat here, but the Bearcats just came in and scored, often.
Too often for Houston, with Cincinnati winning 38-23.
Houston needs to win a lot of games in the rest of the season (which I think they can do) to get a bowl spot, while Cincinnati has a rough November coming with South Florida, Temple and Memphis.
This will determine the team to play SMU for the championship.
Jacks interesting games Score: 16-6

#10 Penn State @ #17 Iowa
Penn State won 17-12, which was exactly the defense battle I expected.
Not my cup pf tea, but that's how they play.
Jacks interesting games Score: 17-6

Washington State @ #18 Arizona State
Tied at the half did the Sun Devils need a good 4th quarter comeback to win 38-34.
I think this week the PAC12 favorites did actually win all games (except this ASU game was EVEN), so no big shifts inside the conference.
Jacks interesting games Score: 18-6

Some other interesting results of week 7:
Miami did upset ranked Virginia 17-9. The division is now wide open again with 4 teams having just 1 loss.
Temple won at home against ranked Memphis 30-28. With that win they are now contenders, at least for a week or 2.
Tennessee won against Mississippi State at home 20-10 to get their 1st SEC win.
Bowling Green did upset the sky-high Toledo Rockets 20-7. Back to reality for the Rockets?
South Florida won against BYU 27-23. The self-named Notre Dame of the West are in serious trouble at 2-4. I think a coaching change will happen.
UNLV won against Vanderbilt, on the road, 34-10. That's bad .... UNLV has so far only won against a FCS team and lost games against several non-power-5-teams but now won against a SEC team ... yep, that's bad for Vanderbilt ....
Notre Dame won the rival game against USC 30-27. Not that many people did care I guess, since USC is not USC this season and Notre Dame is still ranked very high, but plays like they are NOT top 10.
Boise State won against Hawaii 59-37, which is a small setback for the good season the Warriors do have. But it was on the smurf turf.
Louisville did upset the ranked Wake Forest 62-59, and handle that way the Demon Deacons their 1st loss.
Western Kentucky won against Army 17-8. Yes, that Army which almost won against Michigan.
Minnesota did win against Nebraska 34-7. Minnesota still unbeaten, while the Huskers do now have 3 losses.
San Diego State won against Wyoming 26-22, so Wyoming now 1 game behind the leading teams in their division, while SDSU is inside the leading pack of their own division.
And Washington won against Arizona on the road 51-22 to keep the distance to leading Oregon in their division. Arizona now with their 1st loss inside the PAC12 which pushes the South division as expected wide open.

We are more or less half through the season regarding games, the conference games are more or less the remaining games and that means the outcome of the season is open as it can get.
Some teams had so far only a couple of challenges if any to master and they have a tough remaining schedule.
Surprisingly this upcoming weekend doesn't have so many of the real BIG games, but I will do my best to find worthy ones.

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

Sat. Oct. 19

#12 Oregon @ #25 Washington
Let's have the setting analyzed.
Oregon is higher ranked, thanks to a 5-1 record, including a loss against high ranked Auburn, and a 3-0 conference record.
The Ducks are also favored in their game, by 3.0 points.
Washington on the other side is still ranked (there are only 3 2-loss teams in the ranking, Texas, Iowa and last the Huskies), but has only a 5-2 record, including a 2-2 record inside the PAC12. The losses were against Stanford and Cal.
Right now, the PAC12 North is Oregon and then basically everyone else with 2-losses and the Cougars with already 3 losses.
If Washington still has ambitions to win the division, they better start winning, especially at home.
A win here would close the gap a bit and would in case of another Oregon loss give them the direct compare.
Oregon on the other side needs this win and they are more or less through with the division.
Sure they still have a lot of games to play, also against good teams, but that's also the case for all other teams and with 2 to 3 games ahead to the strongest competitor they are quite save.
So, Washington or Oregon?
Both teams did win lately and did play very good on both sides.
Oregon did play a very good defense this season (another assistant likely high on the 'next HC candidate) and the way Washington can handle this defense will determine the outcome of this game.
The homefield advantage will be big and needed.
I did trust Washington in the past and failed, so I'm a bit burned on them.
Still I'm willing to give them a shot again, since I believe that Petersen has still some tricks to play.
Huskies win.

#17 Arizona State @ #13 Utah
And another PAC12 battle, this time inside the PAC12 South.
The South is compared to the North division a wide open field.
There are only 1-loss teams (4) and 2-loss teams (2).
With 6 games left to play, that's nothing.
Arizona State comes to town and is on a 2-game winning streak.
They play Utah, who won also the last 2 games.
The Utes are favored by 14.0 points and if you ask yourself why, the answer is, they won a bit more convincing and they play at home.
I think ASU is better than that betting line, but honestly, I don't believe they can win against the Utes, except Utah would have an off-day.
I think the Sun Devils coach Edwards did do a great job so far, but Whittingham did build something special at Utah and at home the Sun Devils need to be more than 100% to get something here.
I expect a close game, but a Utah win.
Utes win.

#16 Michigan @ #7 Penn State
The winner is more or less the leading candidate to challenge Ohio State.
Well, that's not 100% true, but it feels like this.
Michigan did wiggle themselves through their schedule so far and lost the crucial game against Wisconsin and won by a few lucky shots against Army and Iowa.
They are now 5-1 and 3-1 inside the conference.
Penn State is perfect so far against conference opponents and won all other games also.
Also here some lucky shots against Pitt and Iowa.
So if Michigan win, they did not fall behind too much and have the direct compare to the Lions for the Buckeyes matchup. A win there would likely give them the division, if they stay unbeaten in the remaining games.
If Penn State wins, they are clearly the team to beat for Ohio State and except some meltdown of 1 or both teams, the winner will have the division.
My take on this game here is, they are almost on the same level, play in Beaver Stadium and the winner will have the most disappointing game against OSU when they lose 40-10 and that small glimps of divisional glory will vanish in an blink of a eye.
The loser already knows they are not on the same level as OSU, so expectations should be lower by then.
Seriously, OSU is the team to beat and both teams did so far not show a level of strength to challenge them.
But that's not the way we should treat that game here.
We have 2 teams, closely ranked, and both teams will play strong, since this is a traditional matchup and both will be fired up to the roof.
Penn State is favored by 9.0 points, which is fair I guess, my take is still they will play a closer game, something like 10-7.
I don't believe Michigan will win here, and I don't believe we will see a shootout.
Nittany Lions win.

Other interesting games:

Sat. Oct. 20
#3 Clemson @ Louisville
Who would have thought that Louisville would be the team right behind Clemson inside the ACC?
At least I did not think they could do it, but thanks to an easy schedule and some Florida State losses are the Cardinals right now the team with just 1 loss inside the division and Clemson has zero losses.
Ok, Ok, there is also Wake Forest and NC State with only 1 loss, but I have to make this a bit more yummy, right?
Now to the not so yummy part, the Tigers are favored by 24.5 points. Boom.
The good thing is, the Tigers did look beatable if taken seriously and with the right game plan.
They almost lost against UNC on the road and now they play on the road against Louisville.
I don't believe they will make a booboo here, but we can at least hope for a close game.
Tigers win.

#9 Florida @ South Carolina
Since South Carolina did take down Georgia on the road, they should be able to do something against Florida, right?
Well, Vegas does have Florida favored by 6.0 points. Fair I guess.
Can the Gamecocks do this again, beat the odds and upset a ranked opponent?
Will it happen?
Not sure, likely not.
Florida did look much better lately, even if they lost to LSU last week.
Expect a close game and I'm willing to bet on ... nah ... Florida.
Gators win.

Temple @ #19 SMU
SMUs winning season so far is really special and they are not finished yet.
Their HC Sonny Dykes, former Louisiana Tech HC (22-15 there) and Cal HC (19-30 there) is likely on some list for a HC job inside the power 5 conferences again. He is 11-8 at SMU and 6-0 this season.
I hope he stays with the Mustangs, since this is something the Mustangs have looked for since the 80s, when the team was heavily penalized from the NCAA because of very serious violations. Before that the team was a national power, after that, the 1st and only so-called death penalty, when a team was not allowed to play AT ALL for a season, the team was only mid-level at best.
They face Temple, a serious contender from the other division and are favored to win at home by 7.5 points.
Temple did play good so far, except with that 1 loss against Buffalo, and should be on the list for the division title inside their division.
Played in Texas this should be a no-brainer, so I pick of cause SMU here.
But watch out, if Temple can play like in the last few games, we might see a close one here.
Mustangs win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time

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