2020-11-04 13:06

This week the PAC12 will join the circus and we have College Football on FBS level at almost full strength while corona gets deeper and deeper into the population.
Of course the health system is now better prepared to deal with it, having now 7+ month experience with the virus, but this season do look like a complete nightmare already.

For week 8 we had just one game postponed/canceled, the Colorado State - New Mexico game and the BIG10 return was fine on the 1st weekend.

But for week 9 we then had Marshall - Florida International, UTEP - North Texas and Wisconsin - Nebraska canceled/postponed.

The BIG10 did 2 things prior the weekend.
They did say that those games canceled will not be rescheduled, since there is no slot left to put those games. So which ever game is not happening, this game is gone for the season, the teams lost an opportunity to show their skills and gain a win, but the game is not recorded as win or loss for any of the teams.
The BIG10 did also denied Nebraska, which could have played a game on that weekend, a substitution game against an FCS opponent.
So that means, they do this very strictly and want to have this work out, inside the self set rule mix regarding corona.

There were also some players missing games, because of corona and tests did not shut down the complete team, since the positive cases were isolated.
The most famous was likely Trevor Lawrence, missing the game against Boston College last week and likely will miss also the game against Notre Dame the upcoming week.
Such stuff will likely have a huge impact on the season and I'm curious to see, what will happen, once the pressure will increase and the season final will come closer and closer.
Clemson did survive the game against the Eagles by a few points, whether they will survive against Notre Dame without their star QB is open and imagine it's not 'just' a conference game, by which you might recover later, no, imagine it's a playoff game against one of the top 4 teams.
Sure those scenarios could have happen every season with other injuries, but corona protocols are much harder.
If you have a mild flu, the player will play. If you have mild corona, like Lawrence has, you are out and not even in the stadium.


Now comes the PAC12 into the mix and honestly they have one of the best chances to make the playoffs since some time, because the BIG12 did already demolish it selves with some strange results.
Of course, the PAC12 teams still have to play and we have to see, whether a dominant team will emerge, but right now, a perfect team would get instead playoff access.

Also starting to play will the MAC teams. Not sure you did miss them, but they will play from Wednesday onward.

Week 8 recaps:
Jacksonville State (FCS) won against Florida International 19-10. That’s a big win for the Gamecocks. FIU does not look ready and they missed a game a week later.
Tulsa won against South Florida 42-13. The Bulls do have a new HC, the last one was send packing after a 4-8 season. Now the Bulls are at 1-5. I'm sure he will not get the pink slip in this season, but the Bulls fans are also not happy I guess.
Notre Dame did crush Pitt 45-3. That was a very strong showing by Notre Dame, so I'm curious to see them playing a ranked team, which they did not so far.
Ohio State made a statement winning against Nebraska 52-17. That's a big margin and right now the Buckeyes do look like a playoff team. The Huskers on the other side do still look like a team which has to find strength and character.
Oklahoma State was for one week absolutely in discussion for a BIG12 playoff participation after they did beat Iowa State 24-21. Both teams were ranked for that game.
Indiana, more famous for playing basketball, won against Penn State in OT 36-35. Incredible effort by the Hoosiers, tying the game up with a 2-point conversion with 3 ticks to go and then, trailing in 1st OT by 7 they did score a TD and another 2-point-conversion by a long stretching arm leap by the QB for the pilone. After review the call was confirmed and Indiana went wild.
Cincinnati did blast SMU into pieces winning 42-13. Last season did SMU look really strong, but maybe the Bearcats are just that much better THIS season.
North Carolina won the rivalry game against NC State 48-21. Both teams were ranked prior the game.
Michigan won against Minnesota 49-24. Also here both were ranked and after the game, Michigan was called by some ready to push Ohio State. Well see week 9 for more news on that.
Wake Forest did upset ranked Virginia Tech 23-16. VT did look ready to play with the big boys, but man ... this game did put them back to start.
For the fans this might look strange, but at 25 ranked Coastal Carolina won against Georgia Southern 28-14. The odd part is that CCU was ranked, which did never happen before as far as I know. And the week after this ... well see below.
Liberty, an independent team, won against Southern Mississippi 56-35. Beside the fact that Liberty did win against any really big team, those 6 wins so far with no losses and of course their win against Syracuse as likely biggest win did earn them a TOP rank now.
Texas did beat Baylor 27-16 to get their season back into the right direction.
Purdue did win against Iowa 24-20. Not sure whether Purdue is strong or Iowa has another off-season, but for sure the Boilermakers made a nice start with that.
Boise State crushed their rival Utah State 42-13. The powers are clear in the Mountain West I guess.

Week 9 recaps:
Maryland won against Minnesota in OT 45-44, by a failed PAT try on the last play. If they would have made the kick, the 2nd OT would have started. Minnesotas high hopes for a repeat or better version of last season are crushed already.
Clemson escaped with a 34-28 win against Boston College. The Tigers were without their star QB, who did miss the game with a covid-illness and who will miss also next game.
Texas won against high ranked Oklahoma State in OT 41-34. That way, no BIG12 team is now in the TOP10, highest ranked team is still OSU at #14. Playoff-hopes are basically demolished, pending a chaotic season finish by other teams.
Cincinnati won against Memphis 49-10 and is now ranked at #6. If they keep playing this strong, they could build up a playoff case.
Michigan State won the rivalry game against Michigan, in the big house on the road, 27-24. Michigan was ranked at #13 at that point, now .... barely TOP25 at 23. Playoff hopes almost gone ... Conference title still in the mix, but that was a heavy hit.
High ranked North Carolina came from a win against rival NC State and did put everything into the ground with a loss against Virginia, 41-44. With 2 losses the Conference title game is now a bit far away.
And Kansas State, which did have an impressive winning streak inside the BIG12 since they start playing inside the conference, did lose against unranked West Virginia 10-37.
Coastal Carolina won against Georgia State 51-0 and is now ranked at 15! Unbelievable.
UCF won against Houston 44-21. The Knights try to get back into the mix, but with 2 losses so far, it will be a long shot to win the conference again.
Troy did win against Arkansas State 38-10. ASU struggles since some weeks now.
TCU won against Baylor 33-23. Only the 2nd win so far this season for the Frogs. And Baylor is fighting against the last place in the BIG12 (which has Kansas right now).
Auburn did beat reigning Champ LSU 48-11. LSU needs some answers fast, otherwise the will become a prey every weekend.
Northwestern did beat Iowa on the road 21-20. Iowa with a bad start this season.

In week 10, as said, we will see the return of 2 more conferences.

Already canceled are games between Purdue - Wisconsin and FIU - UTEP.
Wisconsin now has 2 games not played, which likely will hurt them bad at the end of the season.

Highlight of the MAC returning is likely Ohio playing at Central Michigan. CMU is for me a favorite to win the conference and Ohio does usually field good teams almost every year. So this game can be already very important. But season openers are always hard to predict.
BYU ranked at #9 will play #21 Boise State on the smurf turf. That will be a great test for both teams. If BYU wins here and has some luck for the remaining games, they might get into playoff conversation.
The Air Force @ Army game is likely the most important game for the 3-team-Commander-In-Chief-Trophy-race. Navy looks not very impressive so far and Air Force won against them. A win here and the Trophy is theirs, a loss and the Trophy goes to the winner of Army - Navy at the end of the season.
Michigan plays at Indiana, with Indiana ranked at 13! The Wolverines have to win here to get back into contention, but Indiana looks like a different teams this season.
#25 Liberty plays Virginia Tech on the road. If they win here, they are one of the best stories of the season.
North Carolina travels to Duke for the rivalry game. In Basketball this is one of the most anticipated games in the US, in football it's just inside North Carolina.
#8 Florida against #5 Georgia in Jacksonville. The so called largest outdoor cocktail party on neutral site is a big game this year. The winner is 2 steps closer the division title, the loser is almost done.
#14 Oklahoma State travels to Manhatten, Kansas to play Kansas State. Everything is possible this season. Both teams do look sometimes very strong and sometimes beatable. The Pokes will likely have a hard time on the road, but they can win here.
Clemson at Notre Dame is #1 vs #4, with Clemson 1 Star QB short. It's almost irrelevant who wins, they do likely meet again for the ACC title game.
Highlight of the PAC12 returning is likely Stanford playing #12 ranked Oregon in Eugene. Tough start for the Cardinals to play that team on the road as opener, but if they win ... Huiiiiii.

At least the playoff committee procedures and the bowls are now communicated. Too boring right now to deal with this.

'Til next time

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