2019-10-31 07:09

Oh wow, what a weekend.

A lot of upsets and a lot of really surprising results.

Two games were really impressive.

The 1st was Oklahoma playing at Kansas State.
The Wildcats are under a new coach this season and Oklahoma is really a big and strong football teams with an athletic QB.
Both teams did play strong, and Kansas State did make their plays count when they had the chance.
They produced turnovers (on a terrible Oklahoma trick play) and thanks to that were leading by a point at halftime.
Oklahoma was a 24.0-point favorite and everyone was wondering what's going on.
But ... nobody expected the 2nd half.
I think everyone thought that KSU would gain ground step by step and get overpowered at the end of the game.
But ... Kansas State was able to stop Oklahoma regularly and scored on their drives.
Did produce another turnover (on a Kickoff Return) and went away by 24 unanswered points.
THEN did Oklahoma wake up, on both sides, and scored 18 unanswered points.
With 1:45 left the Sooners did try an onside-kick and got it for a few seconds, until the review revealed a Sooners player did tough it before the 10-yards were crossed.
Over. KSU won 48-41.
Great game and great effort by the Wildcats.

The 2nd game was San Jose State at Army.
Army does play very well in the past few seasons, but this season they had some bad games and we can add this one to it.
The Knights were favored by 9.5 points, playing at home, and San Jose State is not known for their strength in the past few seasons.
Before the game they have won against 3 teams, most surprisingly including Arkansas.
Thanks to a good offense and defense did SJSU lead 23-10 at the half.
Then did the game gow back and forth, but Army was unable to stop San Jose often enough, so they went on scoring, while Army also started to score regularly.
Not enough, Army scored with less than a minute to play, failed the 2-point conversion (which would have shorten the gap to 3 points) and failed the onside kick.
The Spartans took a knee and won 34-28.
Spartans now with 4 wins, while Army lost now 4 games in the row.

The weekend did feature a lot of nice games and the biggest change now after every game played is, that LSU did take the #1 spot in the AP-rankings by a difference of 2 points. And that while Alabama did not lose. More in the Auburn-LSU-review.

I selected these 3 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 9

Sat. Oct. 26
#13 Wisconsin @ #3 Ohio State
That went as expected.
Ohio State is the team to beat this season inside the BIG10 and it showed dramatically in this game.
Wisconsin is not a bad team, but they stood NO chance.
When OSU did lead 10:0 at the half, it looked still like an open game, and then did Wisconsin even score after the half for 10:7.
But then did OSU score further and Wisconsin did commit turnovers and suddenly the Badgers were way behind and beyond any point of a comeback chance.
OSU won and is still in the mix for a division and conference title, while the Badgers need alot of help to get into the conference championship game.
#13 Wisconsin 7 @ #3 Ohio State 38 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 16-11

#9 Auburn @ #2 LSU
So you have guessed it, with the LSU-now-#1-spoiler, that LSU did win at home.
It was a close one.
Auburn did score 1st with a field goal, LSU did score a TD a few drives later.
Then did Auburn get a present from LSU when they did fumble on a punt return and gave Auburn great field position, when they recovered it.
The Auburn Tigers did not wait for long and scored a TD out of this.
LSU was able to score on the next drive, a field goal and the game was tied at 10.
Auburn did try to score before the half but was intercepted in the LSU half with just a few ticks left to play, so they teams split with 10 for the locker rooms.
The guests did score again 1st in the 2nd half with another field goal and LSU needed some time to score also, a TD late in the 3rd with a missed PAT.
Then did LSU got the ball back and scored again and suddenly the home team led by 10 points.
Auburn did try their best to answer that but was stopped again and again.
But also LSU was stopped, regularly.
Late in the 4th was then LSU pinned down in their own red zone and had to punt, did punt quite short and Auburn started their comeback try.
And 5 plays later did Auburn score a TD and suddenly it was only a 3-point-lead with 2:30 left to play.
The onside-kick failed and LSU was able to run down the clock with good management and secured the win.
The fallout of that game was that LSU got 17 1st place votes in the AP poll and 7 in the coaches poll, thanks to a stronger schedule than Alabamas, I guess.
Overall did Alabama get more 1st place votes in both polls, but since Ohio State and Clemson did get also many 1st place votes in the AP-poll, I guess Alabama did lose many points as 3rd, 4th or even 5th place team.
That's not problem, since both teams will have a bye week now and will then play it out on the field in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
My guess right now is, that Alabama will get the favorite status with a few points, thanks to the home field, but it will be at least prior the game epic.
Honestly, I'm still not sure whether LSU is just good or really great, but if they would beat Alabama, it would prove they are worth the top spot.
For the Auburn Tigers this is a major setback.
They have now 2 losses and will need some help to still win the division.
Likely they can only play spoiler from this point on and will play for the Iron Bowl against Alabama.
#9 Auburn 20 @ #2 LSU 23 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 17-11

#8 Notre Dame @ #19 Michigan
I'm not sure what did happen here, but it went bad for the Irish.
Was it a perfect night for the Wolverines, or a bad one for the Irish?
Or did Michigan finally find some rhythm and is now on the way to at least finish the season in style and eventually even challenge Ohio State in THE GAME?
Or did the true strength of the Irish got exposed and everyone can see they are not a TOP 10 team.
What every it was, the Irish were unable to score for the whole 1st half, while Michigan did lead already 17-0.
Then came a split 3rd quarter and it was 24-7.
Still hope for the Irish?
Michigan did bring it on against Notre Dame and scored more until the Irish were able to score again for the 45-14 final score in garbage time.
The Wolverines and especially their coach, got a much need win, while the Irish can cancel playoff hopes and eventually also a new years bowl.
They have now 2 losses, which is way too much with their schedule and the competition inside the TOP 10.
They did drop to #16 in the polls, while Michigan did rise to #14 now.
My take on this is, Michigan did expose the weaknesses very efficiently and Notre Dame will likely lose another one at least.
The Wolverines got a bit more interesting by this, but I'm still sure that Ohio State will be much better when the time comes.
#8 Notre Dame 14 @ #19 Michigan 45 -> Jacks TOP GAMES Score: 18-11

Other interesting games:
Sat. Oct. 26
UCF @ Temple
UCF did bring on a 60-burger on the overmatched Owls and did rightfully get the 2nd place inside the division, waiting for some Cincinnati meltdown.
The Owls will need another win to be a bowl team, which they should be able to accomplish at the least.
But this 63-21 score will haunt them for some time I guess.
Jacks interesting games Score: 21-6

Duke @ North Carolina
A very close game and Duke got the comeback almost done, but was intercepted inside the UNC endzone, which gave the Tar Heels the 20-17 win and the right to paint the VICTORY BELL in baby blue.
I have to say, Mack Brown did make UNC fun to watch again.
Jacks interesting games Score: 22-6

Utah State @ Air Force
Utah State did score only 7 points, which is not enough against such a team as Air Force.
The Falcons win at home 31-7 and are now in a 3-team-tie with 1-loss behind the leading Boise State Broncos.
But the Falcons need some major Broncos meltdown to get the division title.
Not impossible, but tough.
Jacks interesting games Score: 23-6

Most stunning results of week 9:
SMU did win against Houston 34-31 on the road, which keep their winning streak alive. They are 8-0 now. Houston still needs 3 wins for a bowl spot.
TCU did upset the Texas Longhorns at home 37-27, which makes the BIG12 a fun conference to watch. Leader inside the conference right now is BAYLOR!
Iowa State lost at home against Oklahoma State 27-34. Iowa State was ranked prior the game, and did drop out now.
Miami did beat Pittsburgh on the road 16-12. The Coastal division is a nightmare right now, all teams are separated by just 1 loss difference.
Illinois did win another game, this time against Purdue, on the road, 24-6. They need 2 wins for a bowl spot and are 4-4 right now.
Ohio did top Ball State 34-21. This could become the MAC Championship game, since both teams do lead their divisions right now.
Marshall won against Western Kentucky 26-23. Both teams and FAU are now tied on 1st place inside the East division.
UConn did win on the road against UMass in the battle for the red lantern of college football 56-35.
Charlotte won against North Texas 39-38. Charlotte won their 1st conference game this season.
Louisville did win against Virginia 28-21. Looks like Virginia is on a down spiral right now, while Louisville looks promising for next season.
Indiana won against Nebraska on the road 38-31. Not sure what's going on in Lincoln, but coach Frost is likely not on the level he was expected to be (or he expected to be).
Navy did beat Tulane 41-38. That does stop the high-flying Green Wave a bit, which are now 5-3.
Tennessee won against South Carolina 41-21. It looks like the Gamecocks did spend all their juice on the Georgia upset a few weeks ago.
Oregon survived against Washington State 37-35. A close game, but Oregon did kick a game winner with time running out.
UCLA did upset the ranked Arizona State at home 42-32. Arizona State scored 22 points in the 4th quarter to make things happening, but it was not enough (while UCLA scored zip in the 4th!).
Kansas did upset Texas Tech 37-34. A wild finish, when Kansas tried a game winning FG, it was blocked, tried to be returned, then fumbled, recovered by Kansas and then followed by the game winning field goal.
Kentucky did beat Missouri 29-7. Missouri was leading the division a few weeks ago, but lost 2 in a row now.

I think after the upcoming weekend the 1st CFP-Rankings will be given to the public and I think they will not change much the sorting inside the TOP 5 than we have right now in the AP-Poll or the Coaches-Poll.

There will be a major shakeup in the next 3 weeks with games between:
LSU @ Alabama in week 11
Georgia vs Florida this week
Oregon vs USC this week
Georgia @ Auburn in week 12
Utah @ Washington this week
Oklahoma @ Baylor in week 12
Penn State @ Minnesota in week 11
Minnesota @ Iowa in week 12
Michigan State @ Michigan in week 12
SMU @ Memphis this week

And those are just the big impact games of the TOP15 AP-Polls teams I selected.
And of cause until the end of the season there will be even more of those games, including the big rivalry games between Michigan/Ohio State and Auburn/Alabama.

Whether a team will be able to come out of this unbeaten is open for a debate, but chances are good I guess, it's just not clear which one.

I selected these 3 games as the BLOCK OF GRANITE GAMES FOR WEEK 10

Sat. Nov. 2
#8 Georgia vs #6 Florida
Formerly known as 'World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party' this game is played since some time on neutral site in Jacksonville.
It's played on the home field of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the annual Gator Bowl game.
The rivalry goes back to 1904 (as says Georgia) or 1915 (as says Florida). Consequently, is the overall record different from school to school, Georgia thinks the 1st meeting was and 1904 and was won by them, while Florida thinks it was 1915 and from that time on the record is undisputed 51-43-2 for Georgia.
That disputed game was held between Georgia and one of the four predecessor colleges of the modern Florida, which was established 1905.
So basically Georgia wants that win and Florida wants to avoid that one.
Regardless, the last meeting was won by Georgia and they also won the game before.
This season the game could become a bit more open, since finally Florida did catch a bit up with Georgias strength.
In fact it looks a bit like Georgia did play a bit worse than last season and Florida does play much better.
Georgia is still favored by 6.5 points and for sure the Gators will have their hands full against the Bulldogs.
But both teams can be beaten and have lost 1 game so far, Georgia did lose against South Carolina in an major upset and Florida did lose expected on the road against LSU.
It will be interesting whether their defenses can stop their offenses.
I think Florida made a lot of progress and will have the better defense against an offense which did not look so good lately.
So overall my gut-feeling is, Florida can snap the losing streak in the rivalry and win this.
Gators win.

#9 Utah @ Washington
On this weekend, this is for Utah a do-or-die-matchup.
The PAC12 South is quite open, but USC and Utah are on the same page, with Utah losing the direct compare to USC.
USC has a heavy game against leading Oregon, so they might win or lose, but if Utah loses this game here, they did pass the chance to eventually leapfrog USC for good.
A loss will mean they will need help, a lot of help, including an Oregon win this weekend.
A win will either mean they did get the 1st spot or they still have a big chance to get this.
Now let's face it here.
Washington did let me down 2 times this season.
They lost against Cal at home (Cal now 4-4 overall) and against Oregon at home (Oregon now 7-1). They lost also against Stanford on the road (Cardinals now 4-4 overall). Not the best reputation for the reigning PAC12-Champ.
Utah on the other hand did lose so far against USC on the road (USC 5-3) and that's it.
So now wonder the 7-1 Utes are favored by 3.5 points against the 5-3 Huskies.
Utah is playing very well this season and likely wants to avenge the loss against the Huskies last season in the PAC12 Championship game.
The Problem is, the Huskies can play, if they play 100%.
Will they play 100%?
I have no clue at all.
They did let me down twice.
I think they are capable to beat Utah, I think Utah is capable to beat Washington.
But I will not dismiss the home field advantage and I just don't think Washington will just die without a fight.
So ...
Huskies win (somehow).

#15 SMU @ #24 Memphis
SMU is all the rages right now.
Historical run, perfect record, prime candidate for a new years bowl, a wet dream playoff candidate.
The reality is, that they did play very well, against many less strong teams and some games against strong or very strong teams.
The TCU win is likely the best they have so far, which was on the road by 3 points.
They are a well playing team, but many say they did overperform so far and will crash at some point.
I'm not so sure about that, but that's for sure a possible scenario.
One of the biggest tests they face is this game against the Memphis Tigers, who lost so far only once, against Temple on the road by 2 points.
Memphis is a 6.0-point favorite and I'm willing to back that up, if there wouldn't be that bad game last week against Tulsa where Memphis won by just 1 point.
I'm torn between the hype train and the home field advantage.
SMU can score a lot, as does Memphis.
Likely the key will be the defense units and there I see SMU ahead.
So I go will the hype.
Mustangs win.

Other interesting games:
Sat. Nov. 2
#7 Oregon @ USC
This could be the preview of the PAC12-Championship game, or not.
Oregon has the ticket almost for sure, USC needs this win and some more to secure the spot.
Oregon is favored by 4.5 points but will play in L.A. where USC is perfect so far.
The Ducks are not as unbeatable as they seem and I'm willing to give USC the pick here, thanks to the home crowd and the Trojans magic.
Tojans win.

Florida Atlantic @ Western Kentucky
Here 2 of the 3 leading teams in a tie do meet to battle out the division spots.
WKU is favored by 1.0 point which is nothing and honestly, I can imagine both teams to win, even in a dominant style.
Both teams can score a lot, but their defense units seem to have on and off days.
Which teams we will see is beyond me, but my guess is the home field will motivate WKU to play better than last week (where they lost against Marshall by a field goal) and FAU will lose by a score or so.
Hilltoppers win.

Virginia @ North Carolina
It's hard to say this is THE most important game for both teams to gain control in the Coastal division when basically every team inside the division has still a chance to win the division, but for sure this one if very important.
Virginia was anticipated as one of the front runners for the title, while UNC did establish as fighting team which can turn a game late in the 2nd half.
I would put now both teams into the 'stronger' category of that division, so winning this game will gain not only a win, but also the direct compare against a team which might have at the end of the season equal amount of wins and losses.
The Tar Heels are 2.0 points favorite and I think they can win here, given their efforts and the slightly worse playing Cavaliers than expected.
All Cavaliers losses were on the road, so that might fit.
UNC did lose at home, but I think time is a factor here, with each game the units will play more according Mack Browns plan and will make them better.
Tar Heels win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time

Rating (2 users):

Tags: Block of GraniteNews

 Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter