2013-09-29

Part 1 of the Updates for Season 10

In the change-log you will find:

Engine V3.40 for all games
-enable STBL and STT for gameplay on Kickoffs
-enable returns on both Kickoffs and Punts, including OOB/downed Punts and Touchbacks for Punts and Kickoffs
-set the Kockoff to the own 35 yard line, according to the NFLs rulechange
-enable first-string players in the Depth chart
-adjust success-rate for Fieldgoals

Yes, we enabled the last engine-version for all games now. Based on your last friendlies you might notice some slight changes of the return-success on kicking and punting, and on the Fieldgoal-Success-rate overall.

You should add player for Special-Team-Tacklers (STT) and Special-Team-Blockers (STBL) in your Depth Charts, since the Kickoff-play benefits from these positions now. As well you can use the "First-Stringer" check-box for all games from now, so First-Stringers are preferred over other players when the benching-decisions are made during the game.

We adjusted the kickoff-point to the teams 35-Yard-line, so it adapts the rulechange made by the NFL earlier.

More to come, just follow the news...

2013-09-27

Week 5 - Preview

Welcome to the wide spread start of the conference games. And there are a lot of games already this week with potential.

Last week I explained very short how this season the National Champion will be selected.
It's more or less not very transparent, WHY a team gets the chance to play in the BCS Championship game, once you start to question the BCS rankings.
But 2013/2014 is the last season to have it THAT way.
Next season we will have the start of a new system.

At least until the 2025 season we will see 4 teams to reach the new College Football Playoffs. The semi-finals will be played in 2 of 6 big already existing Bowl games, with the other 4 big ones will host their regular games as usual that season, and each year the semi-final-Bowl-games will rotate through the 6 Bowls. First year (2014) is slated to be the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, in 2015 it will be the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl and in 2016 then the Fiesta Bowl and the Peach Bowl will host the Semis.

Sounds complicated?

Well, those Bowls had to be brought in because they are those with the most money impact and you can't do this whole playoff thing without their permission. Their lobby is very strong.
So this strange rotation was brought in.

The FINAL will then be hosted in Cities willing to host it. You have bid for that right to host the final.
In 2014 season it will be Jerry Jones Cowboys temple.
After that nothing is fixed yet.

OK, so we now play the first time in FBS history semis and a final. Nice.

But who of those 125+ teams will be selected for 4 spots available?

Now comes the tricky part.

They will be selected by a Selection Committee, consisting of 12-20 people.
It's NOT clear WHO will be part of the committee.

It looks like it will be filled with no longer active athletic directors, coaches, media members and maybe other members somehow connected to college football. Also there should be 1 selected active AD of each of the 5 biggest of the 6 current BCS conferences (SEC, PAC 12, Big 12, Big 10 and the ACC (called the big 5 conferences ...)).
So we have 5 active ADs plus up to 15 other people formerly involved in College Football.

They will do a ranking (not known how many times and how many teams will be on that list) which they will present a few times during the season and of cause the final list after the regular season.
They will s e l e c t then (probably the top 4) 4 teams on that list for the semis and will seat them, and they will also s e l e c t 8 other teams for the 4 remaining Bowls.
How they do create their rankings and do s e l e c t the teams will be not public.

Anyone satisfied with that?

I'm disappointed.

Instead of a more public and transparent system it got more fishy and cloak and dagger.

Some old farts will s e l e c t the 12 teams to play in the bowls ... great.
At least there will be only a semi-final selected and the final participants do have to earn it by winning.
I'm curious to see the first round of this system, but I see controversials coming.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 5

Saturday, September 28 3:30 PM ET
#6 LSU @ #9 Georgia
This game will not decide the SEC, for sure, but it will knock the loser deeper into the "No Chance for the National Title" pit.
For Georgia it would be the second loss, for LSU the first one.
Nothing is sure if it comes down to the BCS standings in a few weeks, but one thing IS certain, if you lose, it doesn't help you.
You always need the help of other teams (means they have to lose) to get back into the picture.

Funny thing here is that a loss might not even destroy the teams hope for the SEC title game, since this is an inter-division matchup and at first you have to win inside the division to win it. Of cause will a loss not help you, but it might also not hinder you much.

Now, what will we see?
The Tigers have to face a quite strong Bulldogs team, in Athens, so advantage for Georgia here.
But the Tigers looked good last week. In fact they looked like a very good team.

I pick LSU for two reasons.
I'm still impressed by their performance against Auburn.
That's may sound not like a strong argument, but guys, they really looked VERY GOOD.
Georgia lost against Clemson and those Tigers got almost 200 yards on the ground.
Now I have the picture of that LSU Tiger Runningback in my mind....
I pick the Tigers, but I expect a close game.

Saturday, September 28 3:30 PM ET
#14 Oklahoma @ #22 Notre Dame
This is one of those games I hate.
On one hand I have the SOONERS.
Big time football.
On the other hand I have NOTRE DAME.
Former BIG BIG time football, but that golden dome is a bit tarnished over the years.

So who will prevail in South Bend in Irish territory?
Last season did Notre Dame win in Norman. 30-13.
So this year at home is a winner not being played, right?
Not so fast.

Last season did Oklahoma suck (a bit) and Notre Dame was on a high note.
I think Oklahoma got better, Notre Dame got worse.
Sounds like a fair and square matchup.

I pick the Sooners, since I don't see that Irish team ready to tackle such a team.
They lost against Michigan (which later almost stumbled over UConn and Akron. Wuuuuhuuu!)
They then almost lost against Purdue and needed everything they had to beat Michigan State in South Bend.

Now comes one of the favourite to win the Big 12 and you expect them to win?
IF they win, I'm impressed first and then confused.
But I expect the Sooners to win. And that would fit.

Saturday, September 28 6:30 PM ET
#21 Ole Miss @ #1 Alabama
This game is slated to be the test for Alabama.
Are they worth the #1 tag, are they really that good?

I'm not sure if this game will answer these questions, but if they win the SEC got a bit more boring and Alabama is still on track to win the division.

If Ole Miss wins, the SEC got much more open and everything is possible.
But if you ask me, I pick Alabama at home against any team so far.

I hope Ole Miss will give them more than they ask for and I really hope for an upset to make everything more interesting, but I believe the big red elephant will at the end win the game.

Saturday, September 28 8:00 PM ET
#23 Wisconsin @ #4 Ohio State
This game will probably decide the Leaders division. It doesn't look like any other team inside the division will really compete for this title.
Maybe Penn State will get back to strength faster than expected, but I doubt it.
So this is the deal.

Badgers or Buckeyes, played in Columbus.

Last season did Ohio State win but were not eligible to compete for the Big 10 title, which later was won by Wisconsin.
Odd combination.

I tell you what will happen this season:
Wisconsin will play like hell, but the Buckeyes will play better and will win, at home.
They will win the division and probably also the Big 10 in total.
Wisconsin got a new coach and they are not ready to take on the Buckeyes.
They almost lost against Arizona State and I thing Ohio State is way better.
Buckeyes win.

Saturday, September 28 10:00 PM ET
#5 Stanford @ Washington State
This will hopefully be funny.
It's a road trip for Stanford and I hope for a open game at least for a half and some.

I have no doubt the Cardinals will win this, Wazzu is not ready to compete for the division, but I hope for a high scoring game, where Stanford does just score a few more times than the Cougars.

Why is it on the list?

Not just to annoy you, for sure.

I think Wazzu will upset another team or two in the PAC 12 and maybe it will be this.
And who would not like to see this?

Not because I would like to see the Cardinals lose, no, only because I like upsets and just because it just would be great to say "Oh yeah, Stanford was well on track for the title game, until that Wazzu game I saw. Somehow they lost that one...." LOL.
I still pick the Cardinals of cause.

Saturday, September 28 7:00 PM
Arizona @ #16 Washington
And the second Washington team in the same week!

Rich Rods Wildcats team went unbeaten so far under the radar, because they played only cupcakes, and will now face the ranked Washington Huskies.

The Huskies did play well so far and were better tested. Boise State and Illinois got their losses from them and now comes the explosive Arizona team to test that more conservative defense and offense.

Good thing for the Huskies, this is not played in the desert, but in rainy Washington.
I'm really curious to see this matchup.

I love Rodriguez offenses and I also like that bold team in Washington.
I'm expecting a Huskies win, but a close one and it might get high scoring.

Why does Arizona fall?

Because it looks like that Washington offense is good enough to match any scoring drive of Arizona and I think that Washington defense is suited to stop the Wildcats often enough to win this.
Huskies win.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-09-25

FBS Week 4 - Review

At least the 4th week delivered some nice results including some upsets.

Obviously were most of the scheduled matches just for filling the gaps.
Some games might had some school internal value (I could only identify the Battle of the Palouse between Washington State and Idaho, but who am I to judge other matchups between local schools ...) but most of them were just "another game to get over with".

This was not the week for big movements in the rankings, only Arizona State did move out of the TOP 25 after their loss.
Next week will be much better, and from that point on it will happen on regular basis, since the conference games do start big time and then we will see movements. Hurrah!

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 4:

Saturday, September 21, 3:30 PM ET
Michigan State @ #22 Notre Dame
With 7-10 at the half and Notre Dame leading this looked as expected. Close and very defense driven.
OK, it did not change much in the second half, but Irish fans had to wait for relieve.

The Spartans did tie the score beginning of the 3rd quarter and Notre Dame did score beginning of the 4th quarter to 10-17.
Spartens did answer with a field goal.
Then did follow 10 min. of nail biting defense battle which ended without any additional points on the board.
Whoever likes such games, have fun.
Michigan State 13 - Notre Dame 17 -> Jacks Score: 13-5

Saturday, September 21 7:00 PM ET
#23 Arizona State @ #5 Stanford
And here are the most prominent losers of this week.
Arizona State did lose this one and dropped out of the rankings.
Unfortunately, the game was totally one sided.
The Cardinals led 0-29 before the Sun Devils did score.
That was in the second half.
End of the 3rd it was 7-39.

Still in the ranks to watch the game?
Then you were able to see the big comeback of the Sun Devils!
No bullshit!
Arizona State did cut the lead down to 28-39.
Somehow did they stop Stanford with 3-and-outs and did score quite fast.
6 min. to go and we had almost a ball game.
If only they would have stopped them another time.
Stanford marched down the field and ate 5:30 min. of the clock, kicked a field goal and that's that.
The season is not over for the Sun Devils, but if they want to win the division, they have to play better.
Arizona State 28 - Stanford 42 -> Jacks Score: 14-5

Saturday, September 21 7:45 PM ET
Auburn @ #6 LSU
Two things were interesting in this game.
First thing was LSU has a hell of a runningback.
Jeremy Hill did everything you wish a back to do.
He was the one to move the sticks and who did help LSU to win this one.
Second thing I learned is, Auburn is not ready yet, but with every game they get better and they won't just roll over and let the other SEC teams win against them.
I like it.

Against LSU it looked like it was over at the half. 0-21 for LSU.
Auburn did hold LSU for another TD in the 3rd, but managed to score twice in the same time. 14-28.
With 6:30 in the 4th it was 21-35. And THAT was the end of nice SEC football. It got very defense driven and it ended without any additional points.
LSU will meet Georgia and Auburn will meet Ole Miss next week. Jippie!
Auburn 21 - LSU 35 -> Jacks Score: 15-5

Saturday, September 21 8:00 PM ET
Kansas State @ Texas
I can't say Texas looks very good, but I have to admit the running game got good.
Johnathan Gray did keep them alive at any point and ran every down like it was 3rd and 1 against a goalline defense.
Kansas State did start awful.

First Quarter ended 0-10 and they did not get anything going on offense.
They were down 0-17, when they were able to score the first time. With those 10 points behind they went into the locker room.
They did have a critical turnover at the beginning of the third quarter and soon they were again 17 points behind.
In the 4th quarter did the Wildcats offense got more yards and they started to score regularly, but Kansas State was not able to stop Gray, so Texas almost answered every time.
Another two turnovers did seal the deal. Texas won and looks much better than last week, Kansas State did look bad.

We will see how they will do against the rest of the Big 12.
Kansas State 21 - Texas 31 -> Jacks Score: 15-6


Saturday, September 21 10:15 PM ET
Utah @ BYU
The Holy War did end a bit unspectacular.
In the 1st half did Utah score, BYU not.
Then, until the middle of the 4th quarter, did BYU still trail 6-20.
They got one good drive going and scored. 13-20.
5 min. to go, so the order was to stop Utah fast and then win the game.

The first part went well, but the intended scoring drive ended with an interception.
But still 1:37 on the clock. They stopped Utah again and then did ... suck with four incomplete passes in row. Game over.
I'm a bit disappointed of BYU. That team is NOT ready to compete for big Bowls.
Utah 20 - BYU 13 -> Jacks Score: 15-7


Friday, September 20 9:00 PM ET
Boise State @ #2 Fresno State
Hui, WHAT a close game. And the winner is ... Fresno State.
I was expecting a nice Broncos performance on defense, but that defense never showed up.

10-10 after the first quarter.
19-24 at the half.
26-34 after the 3rd quarter.
7 mins. To go and Boise State did suddenly lead 40-34.
The Bulldogs marched over the field and scored 40-41 with 2:14 left.
Easy with such an offense right?
But the drive ended at mid field and Fresno State was able to kneel down to run down the clock.
How could that happen?

To be honest, the defense wasn't that bad, the offense of Boise State did just deliver the ball to Fresno State on very bad field positions (bad from the Broncos point of view).
Boise State fans can only hope for a better concentrated team in the rest of the season.
Fresno State fans can hope for a big season.
Boise State 40 - Fresno State 41 -> Jacks Score: 15-8

Games of Interest

Clemson did beat NC State - Some expected the regular Tigers slump/upset for this game. They have to wait a bit longer.
Georgia Tech bested North Carolina - The Tar Heels did not look like contenders.
Virginia Tech did win against Marshall - 8 points are not much. I'm very concerned about the Hokies.
Middle Tennessee did top Florida Atlantic - Not much here you might think, but the Blue Raiders are now 3-1. Not bad for new team in the CUSA and former SBC club.
Kansas beats Louisiana Tech by 3 points - OK, Kansas did beat an FBS team now, after more than 2 seasons. Might be the last win of the season. LT has a problem.
Duke lost against Pitt - 58-55? Was any defense on the field? Bad signal for the Blue Devils, this doesn't look like a Bowl season.
Jacksonville State (FCS) beats Georgia State - OK; Georgia State is not a FBS powerhouse. In fact they are a former losing FCS team, so this result is no wonder. But still ... As a FBS team they should win this. Period.
USC won against Utah State - By 3 points .... This is awful. Let's see, how USC will do against the other PAC 12 big shots.
Tennessee falls against Florida - Vols not ready for the big SEC teams, but Florida did lose their starting QB. We will see if this throws the team out of bounds.
Maryland wins big against West Virginia - The Terrapins now 4-0, the Mountaineers are 2-2. Is that coach still save? West Virginia is not used to get beaten 37-0.
Rutgers beats Arkansas - Razorbacks not ready? Can't really judge that game. Rutgers might be quite good (but lost already to Fresno State) or Arkansas is not that good in rebounding?
Northern Illinois almost fell against Eastern Illinois (FCS) - 4 points are not much. At the end not many will remember such close win, since they won, but 4 points? Maybe EIU is so good?
UConn almost beat Michigan - That was close. The Wolverine did almost lost against a so far bad UConn team. I'm concerned over that Michigan Team.
UTSA beats UTEP - Not relevant? UTSA is a quite new team, 2nd season in the FBS and they are 2-2 at the moment. UTEP should be better, but wasn’t.
Washington State wins against Idaho - The Battle of the Palouse is easily won by Wazzu with 42-0. Both schools are only 8 miles apart from each other, including the state border between them.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-09-20

FBS Week 4 - Preview

Since it looks like week 4 is the most boring gameday this season can offer, we should talk about Championship. More precisely, National Championship.

Last season on week 4 I explained the ranking in pre-season and during the season and how fixed already the group of potential later National Championship winners was and still is.
8,5 teams out of 10 were ranked not deeper than the #8 spot in last seasons analysis of the last 10 years, and the 2012 winner Alabama was preseason #2 and at week 4 they were #1.
So 9,5 of 11 champs where within week 4
a) ranked in pre-season
b) ranked at least #8 in week 4.
No change in the system, so far.

If Notre Dame would have won the Final last season, they would have been the first team to win it all after not been ranked in pre-season and not being ranked top 10 in week 4 since more than 10 years. Well, they did not.

And that's the flaw of the ranking system, since it was (at least for me) very clear they were not #1 after the final regular season gameday and they should NOT play for National Championship, but because of tradition and a flawed ranking system, they got the chance for the Finals.

Well, it's the last season for such a system.

I'm not sure the NEXT one, which I will explain next week, will help much more, but at least we get a pre selection by semi-finals.

This season will be the last for the BCS-Championship game and here is the rule for the participation:
Several ranking systems (Coaches-Poll, The Harris-Poll (both human made polls) and six computer rankings) do their single rankings each week and then are mixed together for a meta-ranking.
All teams are just lined up from rank #1 to #25 (the rest is not interesting).
This starts after a few week down the season, since you need for the computer rankings a few gamedays to get valid results.
After the final gameday this calculation is done the last time.
Whoever is at #1 and #2 will play the BCS-Championship-Game.
The winner will at least be named National Champion by the Coaches-Poll.
In very rare cases it happened that the AP-Poll (the other crucial ranking system, which is NOT part of the BCS system since some years now) did name a different team National Champion. That happened the last time 2003.
Understood?

If you are friendly to the system, it means after a long season a system decides based on several criteria which two teams are the best and let them battle it out.

If you are not so friendly it means after a long season you get eventually left out of the game because some hidden rule gave the team above of you a few more points than you. No explanations given. The polls systems are secret, the human polls votes are in some parts secret, so lots of room to cheat, eh, sorry, room for interpretations.

I think that's what happened last season with Notre Dame. Somehow ALL polls did name Notre Dame #1. Even the human ones. OK, they were unbeaten, but how did they win, and against which teams? Some good ones, no doubt, but also very close against some unranked teams. The coffin nail for the high ranking was from my point of view the win against the later PAC 12 champion Stanford. They won against Stanford, which won against Oregon which won against … and so on. If you rank by this system (and most systems do it that way) then Notre Dame earned the #1 spot, even if they were not the strongest team.

Hopefully we won't see such boring Championship game again next season.

Let’s get back to the topic of the rankings. The Top 15 teams are at the moment:
Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, Ohio State, Stanford, LSU, Louisville, Florida State, Georgia, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, UCLA, Oklahoma and Michigan
All of them were ranked in the pre-season.
So chances are very high, the National Champion will come out of this group. More likely out of the group of the first 8.

Most of these teams will have to battle it out at least against one other team on that list, so they will very soon shorten that list by themself.
Unfortunately not this week.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 4

Saturday, September 21, 3:30 PM ET
Michigan State @ #22 Notre Dame
Last season, this game did almost close the National Championship campaign of Notre Dame.
It was not that close at the end (20-3) but it did show where Notre Dame had issues and if you put it into perspective a season later, it was a win against a mid-field team.
(The Spartans had 6 losses at the end of the season and barely made it to a bowl, which they won)
At that time it was a ranked team vs. a ranked team battle.
This season is Michigan State not ranked, even if they are unbeaten at the moment, and Notre Dame is ranked, even if they lost against Michigan already.
That's how NCAA football works.

Here do two teams meet, which are not at 100% yet.
Biggest concern for me is the Notre Dame defense, which does simply allow too many points and yards per game.
Against weaker teams like Purdue and Temple it's enough, against stronger teams it gets tough.
Lucky for Notre Dame, Michigan State is no offensive powerhouse.
So it might come down to this: Not so many points and some game changing plays.
I give the nod to the home team, Notre Dame, knowing that this can go either way.

Saturday, September 21 7:00 PM ET
#23 Arizona State @ #5 Stanford
Ah, a real football match this week!
Sorry, I couldn't resist.
It's the only ranked vs. ranked game this week.

It could be the preview of the PAC 12 championship game, it depends on some games later the season.
Stanford has Oregon on its schedule and Arizona State has UCLA as his biggest division game.
And then there is this one, this week.

Stanford is quite good so far, but did give up too many points from my point of view against too weak teams.
Arizona State is only unbeaten, because PAC 12 officials can't handle the clock ...
Don't get me wrong, this is a match on a very high level, but I'm not sure what to make of it.
My guts are saying Stanford all the way.
The Sun Devils are not supposed to be that good. Period.

Stanford is the reigning PAC 12 champ and they are supposed to challenge any team for the National Championship, while Arizona State is only expected to challenge UCLA for the Division title.
But football doesn't work that way.
If you ask me, if an upset can happen? Yes.
Will it happen? I don't think so.
Stanford at home? Against a tired Sun Devils team beating Wisconsin last week?
Very unlikely.
Stanford all the way, with a hope for a classy close game.

Saturday, September 21 7:45 PM ET
Auburn @ #6 LSU
To make it short here for the Tigers matchup:
LSU Tigers at home against a team which was BAD last season?
LSU will win.
Why is it on the list then?

Because the Auburn Tigers are 3-0 so far and they MIGHT give LSU a bit of a trouble.
I doubt it will be enough to knock them of their feet, but I think there will be more than a 40-something to 3 win by LSU.
IF Auburn wins, the SEC gets VERY interesting. (I hope for that ... hehe.)
But my guts and brains do say: Tigers will win and they dress in purple and yellow. (LSU colors, for the Bahnhof-Fraction)

Saturday, September 21 8:00 PM ET
Kansas State @ Texas
Somewhere is sitting a former defensive coordinator and is laughing.
That's the DC of Texas who was fired after week 2, because Texas took 40 points from BYU.
The new DC got in and he managed to allow 44 points by Ole Miss.
Nice improvement.
To be fair, Texas did play quite good for one half, but that does not help much.
Nobody is giving out trophies for half time dominance. And it wasn’t dominance, it was a close match at that point.

This week, Mack Brown has to face Bill Snyder. Must be like a family reunion, where those two uncles who do not like each other meet again. As they do every year since a few seasons and as they do since a long time.

Problem for Brown is Snyder did win the last 3 meetings in a row.

So we have a weak Longhorns team, which lost against BYU and Ole Miss after they did beat the shit out of New Mexico State on week 1, against a Wildcats team, which lost against a FCS team on week 1 (granted the reigning FCS champ) and then won two against very weak FBS teams.
Oh my god.

As clueless as I am, as clueless are the rest of the world.

I give the nod to Kansas State for two reasons: They are not a team under fire as Texas is, and they don't have to deal with a new coach during the season.

Texas plays at home, at that might give them the win, but I don’t believe Kansas State will be easily beaten.
In fact I think at some point will Texas just suck and the Wildcats will snub that win away and Mack Brown will eat shit from the fans.
Wildcats!

Saturday, September 21 10:15 PM ET
Utah @ BYU
This is called THE HOLY WAR.
It's a rivalry between Brigham Young University (named after that famous Mormon leader and operated by the LDS Church) and the University of Utah.
Utah is cruising on a 3 game winning streak in this and do lead the rivalry 56-34-4.

This season it might get interesting, since Utah already has won against Utah State and lost in OT against Oregon State and BYU did win against Texas and Virginia.
Doesn't sound that interesting?
Might be.

Still I expect a close game and this season I expect a BYU win.
Utah is quite good, even if I think they will suffer in the PAC 12 a bit, but BYU is just on a high note this season.
They are in competing mode and might even be ranked after that game. Slim chance for that, but possible.
Utah has a lot of issues to fix and they just give up to many points to win this.
But never underestimate the rivalry emotions. That’s why I expect a close one.
At the end the Cougars will prevail and win this one. Period.

Friday, September 20 9:00 PM ET
Boise State @ #2 Fresno State
This could be the preview of the MWC final. Boise State and Fresno State do have the power to win their divisions and would then meet in the final.
As far as the season can be judged, this won't come easy for both teams.
None of them did show the dominant character I expected from them.

The Broncos did lose against Washington big time. So big, that it gave the Huskies enough Brownie-Points to get ranked. And they still are.
Since that loss did the Broncos win against a FCS team and Air Force.
Not bad, but they have to be better to win the MWC.
Fresno State on the other hand did win against Rutgers in a shootout in OT and against a FCS team.
That Rutgers win is big, granted, but they did got 20 points by the FCS team a week later which give me concerns regarding their defense.
Might be the slump after the Rutgers game, might be something bigger.
Unfortunately the Colorado game was canceled.
What to do with this?

Fact is, it's an away game for the Broncos, which does help the Bulldogs big. You don't win easy on the Smurf Turf in Idaho. So, it's in California, good.
Two scoring teams do meet, so expect a total score of 40-something to 30-something.
Maybe.

For me is the biggest key is the defense of the Broncos.
They held Air Force to 20 points, and Air Force is also a quite good scoring team.
So if this defense shows up, the Bulldogs will lose, simple by not scoring enough to keep the pace.
That's my take.
I pick the Broncos as the obvious pick and hope for a close game.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-09-17

FBS Week 3 - Review

Another interesting weekend with some great games, boring games and strange ones. Upsets and well won games by the favourites.

Just another week and we have the non-conference games in the majority behind us. I'm never quite sure if I love or hate that part of the season.

I love it, because it gives the chance to compare teams from different conferences.
You only have the chance to see such thing in the Bowls and in the non-conference games and with week 5 the non-conference games are more or less done.
So until December that's it.

I hate this part, because most of the games are meaningless. They count against the BCS and the Bowl eligibility but at the end, the conference games do decide the season for most teams. A loss against a team outside the conference does not mean you can't win the conference or even the national championship.
It hurts, most of the time, but not as much as a conference games does.
So I'm glad when they are over and the real games start.

Especially the FCS games are not interesting. Sure an upset is always nice and I love to see the emotion coming with that, but that happens not very often. Most of the time the FCS teams get a 40-something defeat or even worse and then they can go home and the FBS team gets another win and was able to test some players and plays.

I think most of my hate does come from those cupcake games. Because I love to see games like Florida State vs. Florida or Notre Dame vs. Michigan, Oklahoma vs. Oregon anyone? Or how about Louisville vs. Kentucky?

Well, at least the later was on this week, didn't make my list because it was to one dimensional.
But let that new coach at Kentucky teach a few seasons ...

Not every matchup is a hit but there are always some, every season.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 3of the new Season

Saturday, September 14
#16 UCLA @ #23 Nebraska
I picked Nebraska because of the home game and the Huskers QB.
Until the start of the 3rd Quarter it was alright.

Then did UCLA basically stop Nebraskas offense down and did on the other hand cruise over the field 4 times and did score every time, fuelled by good field positions and at least one bad decision by Nebraskas HC playing a fake punt and turning over the ball.

OK, you have to have the guts to make such calls and if they work you are the hero, if not you are dumb.

But the error was not this down; the error was deep in the offense, which couldn't get a few yards.
Well-deserved win by UCLA, makes the PAC 12 interesting.
UCLA 41 - Nebraska 21 -> Jacks Score: 8-5

Saturday, September 14
#1 Alabama @ #6 Texas A&M
I would give this game a very good score.
It was open for the whole time and A&M did really play hard, at the end it was not enough.
I did not expect such high scoring game, but OK, fun for the people.

At first it looked like a regular Tide-game, score high and let the opponent not score much.
In the fourth quarter did A&M come back big, but one last scoring drive by the elephant was enough to let Texas hope for an onside kick recovery and some additional magic.

We all know how games normally end, if you try an onside kick with 15 ticks left on the clock, right?

Alabama recovered the ball, took a knee the next play and the game was over.
This game might have decided the SEC and might have sorted out A&M from the national championship picture, but the season is still long and even Alabama has to play some more games.
Alabama 49 - Texas A&M 42 -> Jacks Score: 9-5

Saturday, September 14
#25 Ole Miss @ Texas
For one half did Texas look quite good, good enough to win the game.

But in the second half did Ole Miss still play strong and Texas looked like old man football.
17-23 was the score at halftime and then did only Ole Miss score from this point on.

Texas running game was non existing in the second half and the defense did collapse. Fine, it needs time to adjust to a new defense so expecting a 180 degree turnaround from one gameday to another one was too much to hope for, but I think the problems are deeper.

How can a team such as Texas be exhausted after half time? With such depth on the roster?
Longhorns fans might have to suffer a lot this season.
Ole Miss 44 - Texas 23 -> Jacks Score: 10-5

Saturday, September 14
#20 Wisconsin @ Arizona State
Hmm ... What should I say? The Sun Devils did win, by a strange ending.
Let's jump into the fourth quarter.

Game was open the whole time and Arizona State just scored for a 24-32 lead. 8 min. to go.
Wisconsin responded and scored for 30-32. Two-point-conversion failed. Still almost 4 min. to go.
The Sun Devils did only manage get to mid field and punted. 1 and half min. to go.

Wisconsin took the ball on their 17 yard line and marched over the field to the Sun Devil 13 yard line with 18 ticks left on the clock.
Enough to get the ball from the right hash mark to the middle by a small kneel down play. That was the plan.
Then did the confusion start.

The QB stumbled a bit by bumping into his own OL and did put the ball on the ground, by purpose. Maybe the knee before that, maybe not. It looks like he did not.

He called for a TO. At least it looks like he makes the signal.

Refs did NOT signal for a dead ball, The Sun Devils jumped the ball, the clock ticked down and Wisconsin was not able to stop the clock and was not able to kick the eventually winning field goal.
Big mistake by the refs.

It doesn't make sense to try to get the ruling right, there were so many wrongs on the play ...
Fact is, all sides did screw up.

Wisconsin should have kneeled down and then take the Timeout (or spike) after the whistle, Arizona State shouldn't have jumped the ball, if it was declared dead, and the refs should have spotted the ball faster or should have stopped the clock for delay of game.

The PAC 12 did already gave out a statement that they are not satisfied with such referee behaviour, but that does not give Wisconsin the opportunity to kick a fieldgoal.
Wisconsin 30 - Arizona State 32 -> Jacks Score: 11-5

Saturday, September 14
Fresno State @ Colorado
This game was postponed because of flooding in Colorado. We will see if this is replayed. My pick stands and I will review it, if it is played.
Fresno State 0 - Colorado 0 -> Jacks Score: 11-5

Saturday, September 14
Tennessee @ #2 Oregon
7-38 was the score at half time.
Over.
As expected did Oregon blast Tennessee to the ground.
And that by running and passing.
The Tennessee defense was helpless and unable to get anything done.
Game ended with a few more scores by Oregon and the Voles were also allowed to score one more time.
If you like such games, it was fun, but it looked very boring for me.
Tennessee 14 - Oregon 59 -> Jacks Score: 12-5

Games of Interest

Tulane won against Louisiana Tech - THAT's not the way the Tech fans are used to. Skip Holtz is already on a hot seat, since you don't expect such a turnaround by taking over a good football team.
Texas Tech did win against TCU - I have to say I'm surprised by the Red Raiders and disappointed by the Horned Frogs. Looks like the new Tech coach was a good choice so far.
The Governor's Cup trophy stays at Louisville, after beating Kentucky - Rivalries are nice and this one is at least in Kentucky quite important. Louisville on a 3 game winning streak in this rivalry.
Michigan survived against Akron - I hope for the Wolverines fans that this was either a sloppy Michigan team or Akron becomes a powerhouse, because everything else would mean a lot of trouble for Michigan fans in the Big 10 this season.
Virginia Tech won by 5 points against East Carolina - I don't want to disrespect anyone, but VT should beat ECU by more than 5 points. I hope Beamer has more on his playbook and on his roster
ULM did beat Wake Forest - Big win for ULM, as SBC team they do not very often beat a team from a BCS-conference and they won now 2 games in 2 seasons.
Fordham (FCS) won on the last play against Temple - If you want to see a Hail Mary succeeding, watch the last play of this game. And listen to the reporter. Great emotions in this game. I love that.
Georgia Tech did beat Duke - Doesn't look that good for Duke. I hope they can bring some for fight to the next ACC games.
North Texas overcame Ball State - I think that was not on the list for Ball State. North Texas is not a powerhouse so far, but Ball State should have been better. Well ... Should ...
The Cy-Hawk Trophy goes to Iowa, after beating Iowa State - This rivalry is also played a long time and Iowa did rebound after Iowa State did win two in a row.
UCF upsets Penn State - Losing at home against UCF is not a thing you want. You not always get what you want. Nice game by UCF, Penn State was unable to stop them.
Washington wins against Illinois - Not only is Washington ranked (was already ranked before that win), they are also 2-0. Maybe the PAC 12 gets very interesting this season.
Florida International lost against Bethune-Cookman (FCS) - Another FCS upset. Nice and very clear. It will be interesting to see, if FBS teams will book more or less FCS teams in the future after all those losses.
Auburn wins against Mississippi State - The Tigers are now 3-0. Maybe the Iron Bowls become VERY interesting.
Florida Atlantic got the right finish to beat South Florida - Those Bulls fans are used to lose after the last coach. A turnaround is not visible.
South Alabama overcame Western Kentucky - That one is probably the first coffin nail in the SBC title dreams of Petrinos Hilltoppers.
Maryland did beat UConn - UConn now 0-2, Maryland 3-0. It's getting interesting for Terrapins fans.
Kansas lost against Rice - That was somehow expected. From this point downwards for the Jayhawks? Well LT next week, might be they win there.
Notre Dame beats barley Purdue - Purdue did good, but not good enough to upset the Irish.
Oregon State wins the shootout with Utah - 99 points in a game? Won by 3 points. Do the math.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-09-13

FBS Week 3 - Preview

The first four gamedays is normally not very important, most teams do play against non-conference teams and those are most of the time meaningless.
Of cause there are exceptions, like this weeks’ matchup between Alabama and A&M, but the majority of all games are non-conference games, many against FCS teams.

But why do teams play a supposed to be weaker team or why do FCS teams play such strong teams from the FBS.
As most things in life the main reason behind this tradition is at least in modern days money.
Where is the money for the FBS team? Under NCAA rules you are allowed to play up to two FCS teams which results (normally wins) would count against the Bowl eligibility. So playing FCS teams will give a much easier way for a Bowl. And a Bowl means national television, money, better recruiting, more training, better future results, which means again ... well .... at the end money and fame.
The schools are willing to pay guarantee money to those FCS schools to cash in later.
Such a game is often agreed for about 400.000+ $ per game for the smaller school.
The smallest Bowl gives you 750.000$ minimum. It's easy to see, this is a win situation for the FBS school.

If you win.

Chances are good, since normally FBS schools do win and this with 20+ points margins in average (that includes all games, including the losses, so IF you win, in average you WIN by 30+ points easily). That's why around 80% of all FBS schools do at least schedule one FCS school.
The bigger the school, the HIGHER the odds for a FCS team on the schedule.
Those schools do need wins for the BIG Bowls, worth 7 figure money.

So why do those FCS teams get into the game?
Well, ONE game on the road against those FBS teams does bring in more money than several home games on FCS level.
The amount of money is sometimes worth 4-5% of the whole football budget of the team.
But there is also another catch.
Fame.
Of cause does nobody remember the 70-3 loss against a big FBS school, but recruiting gets easier and better if you are willing to play FCS schools and MUCH easier and better if you were able to get that ONE crucial upset against a big dollar school.

Not many of you will remember the upset Appalachian State did handle Michigan in 2007.
But in the US that upset is still there, 6 seasons after it happened.
And it helped Appalachian State big time.
They were all over the news and since then Appalachian State earns more money than ever.
They will play FBS teams until they become an FBS team in 2014 by themself.
This season they will play Georgia.
Of cause not all FCS teams will go that path, but still they want to get a bit out of that big money chunks the FBS gets.
That's why more than 60% of all FCS schools do play at least one game a season, some even more.
This season there seem to be a lot of teams getting this crucial upset, and I like that.
Unfortunately you can't predict such upsets, that's why the never make my list.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 3

Saturday, September 14
#16 UCLA @ #23 Nebraska
You better believe there is hate in the mix here.
Last season the Huskers did travel to LA, playing a supposed to be rebuilding UCLA team and got send home with a 30-34 loss.
Lucky for them UCLA later showed that this was not a onetime thing, they won against many good teams, so Nebraska ranking did not suffer much from this loss at the end of the season.
At the end, the big loss against Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship game did hurt more than this game against UCLA.
But still .... they will try to win this rematch. Big.
The question is will UCLA let them?

Unfortunately for Nebraska did UCLA only play against Nevada two weeks ago and had a bye week.
And they did win big against Nevada.

Nebraska on the other hand did win against Wyoming and Southern Miss. Not much so far, but OK.
So what are the odds?

The odds are two strong teams, one had a bye week to prepare, and the other had two games to adjust to new players and it plays at home.

In doubt I pick the home team, since it is always hard to win on the road.
I do believe UCLA is strong, but as do I believe of Nebraska.
It will be close and everything can happen.

The key will be the Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez. I think if he has a good day form, nobody from LA will stop the Huskers from winning.
I pick Nebraska.

Saturday, September 14
#1 Alabama @ #6 Texas A&M
This game is advertised as THE game of the season.
The Aggies did win against the later National Champion Alabama as the only team last season.
They have their Heisman QB Johnny Football still on the team and they play at home.
Alabama has Nick Saban. Period.

This game is hyped as much as it can be and some might even think the winner will win the National Championship.
Not in my book, there is a lot of season left to play.
I think it will be close game, maybe a good one (I hate defense battles) and maybe a game worth to remember.

But it can also be a game like that LSU - Alabama game two seasons ago ending 9-6 and nobody is much talking about that LSU win, since they sucked big at the end of the season.

Here is my take: It's hard to to Nick Saban twice. Period.
Not impossible, but give Saban time to adjust and material to study, his team will be ready. I think Kevin Sumlin is a very good coach, but I'm not sure he can overcome Sabans Crimson Tide again.
That's why I pick the Tide to win. (to be honest I would love to see A&M win, but .... it is as I described it ...)

Saturday, September 14
#25 Ole Miss @ Texas
Oh boy, Mack Brown must have got a lot of shit in his face after that loss against BYU.
Texas got 40 points against them and Mack Brown did fire his DC after that second gameday. Boom.

Hugh Freeze did his homework for sure for Texas, but know the Longhorns might look totally different on defense than expected.
That's very fascinating.
It makes this game very interesting.

Ole Miss is on the rise, for sure. Texas is at best sinking slowly, as far as we can see now.
It's not they don't have the talent to turn things around, no; they usually have some of the best talents of Texas, which is one of the states, filling the majority of any roster in college and pro football.
Texas only sucks at the moment for unknown reasons. Maybe it's Mack Brown, maybe it's the characters of the players, maybe bad luck ...
Fact is, Ole Miss has a real chance to win in Austin.
And I do believe they will.

With this situation going on in Texas, they have anything far from having a stable situation.
Ole Miss IS stable and they are getting better every gameday.
So in my head there is a circus team vs. a united team.
I go for the united team, Ole Miss.

Saturday, September 14
#20 Wisconsin @ Arizona State
This one is at least for me not easy.
Wisconsin is a strong team, but Arizona State is also one.

Both teams did so far only punish cupcake teams, so nothing is known seriously.
For what every reason is Wisconsin the favourite and the Sun Devils are not even close of getting the love of anyone for an upset.
I think it will be a much closer game than some might expect.

And I'm not convinced the coaching change at Wisconsin is 100% without some adjusting time.
Arizona State is much better suited in this area.
And they play at home.
Cold weather team coming into the desert?
With a new coach?
For me this is far from being decided.

The Badgers might win this, for sure. But as could the Sun Devils.
I pick Arizona State for an upset.

Saturday, September 14
Fresno State @ Colorado
Why did I pick this one?
To be honest, I never thought of having Colorado in my top games this season.
But they are 2-0 and did win against two teams (not that nice, but OK) and they face a dangerous Fresno State team.
The Bulldogs did win against Rutgers in OT and another team, so they will give Colorado a serious challenge.

If the Buffaloes win this one, the PAC 12 games will get more exciting.
If they lose, well, at least then I don't have to worry about them in my top games any more.
But it looks like Colorado did adjust quite well to the new Headcoach and will at least fight.
So who will win?

I give the edge to the Bulldogs.
I think they are better equipped for this battle.

But I do believe, if this game would have happen at the end of the season, I would have picked Colorado, as far as I can see the progress for the Buffaloes so far and as far as I trust Mike MacIntrye as a coach.
But ironing out errors and getting teams in synch needs time and you can't expect this on the third gameday on every team.
That's why I pick the Bulldogs.

Saturday, September 14
Tennessee @ #2 Oregon
The game might be over at halftime.
I only picked this, because Tennessee is 2-0 and did surprise so far.
Oregon is still in high speed mode and will give the Vols very much to think about (if they find the time for that), but I at least expect the Vols to try.
Nobody is expecting an upset here.
I included.

Oregon is an offensive powerhouse, which beats you by scoring more points than you might get.
They have a defense which does slow down opponents long enough to get them behind and then they let them make errors by trying to catch up.
What we saw last week against Western Kentucky was, that the Tennessee defense was able to make plays.

If they can at least do some of those against the ducks, they might get a close game.
Anyway ... Ducks will win.

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‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-09-10

FBS Week 2 - Review

That's how I like it. Not only did some team show they can beat teams supposed to be superior, no, also did teams got already in competitive mode and did put pressure on their opponents.

I talked about coaching changes in my preview on Friday and here are some coaching changes which did so far pay off.

Arkansas is 2-0, Auburn also 2-0, as are Boston College, Colorado, NC State, Oregon, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Of cause this is not a good indication, since the whole season is not played.
And some teams are not that much of a surprise.
Arkansas was a good team, when it was coach in a bad way for ONE season.
Oregon and Wisconsin were in TOP shape, so any coach with a bit of knowledge should be able to win with them ...
Well ... remember when Southern Miss got a new coach as reigning champion in 2012 and did crash so bad, the coach was let go after ONE season? That’s always possible, too.That’s always possible, too.
We will see how those coaching changes will turn out.
Best guess is, some will do fine, some will surprise in a good or bad way and some will just suck as expected.
Yeah I know ... that's not very much and new, but that's how this sport world works.

Let's have a lock at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 2of the new Season

Saturday, September 7
#12 Florida @ Miami (FL)
Muschamp, the Florida HC, will probably have a long time to thing about this game. He might never get the chance for a rematch.
Those Florida - Miami - games do happen not often and you better win it if they happen.
This week, Al Golden, the Miami HC, took the chance and won it and Will Muschamp has to pick up the pieces of his supposed to be contending football team and fix it.
It's not like Miami did dominate, they just did capitalize of Florida mistakes.
5 turnovers were just too much for Florida, would have been for most football teams.
Miami did even turnover the ball once for a Florida counterattack, but the Gators did just turn the ball over in the redzone ....
Let's hope the Gators get better and let's hope Miami finds some offense and we all will have an exciting football season.
Florida 16 - Miami (FL) 21 -> Jacks Score: 4-3

Saturday, September 7
Western Kentucky @ Tennessee
This was a bit special, until WKU did just fuck up big time.
It started good with a WKU field goal trip and a Tennessee punt.
Then did Brandon Doughty of WKU throw his first interception (yes, his first ...). The Vols return it to the house.
Then did Brandon Doughty of WKU throw his second interception. The Vols return it to the house.
Then did Keshawn Simpson rush and fumbled. 5 plays later did the Vols kick a field goal.
Then did Antonio Andrews rush and fumbled. 2 plays later the Vols scored a TD.
Then did Brandon Doughty of WKU throw his third interception. 3 plays after (now in the second quarter) the Vols did score a TD.
It's not like WKU did anything on offense then stepping on the field and turn the ball over. 5 times in a row. (OK, there was ONE successful rush between the first INT and the 3rd one ...)
WTF? You are leading 3-0 and suddenly it's 3-31?
I can't even imagine what went through those kids ....
Offense and defense.
This is so wild ...
At least they got some stability back and finished the half with 17-31.
Well, Petrino did let his QB stay in the game (maybe for punishment) and he throws another 2 INTs and at the end did WKU fall by a 50-something game. They did only score another field goal, so it looked like the motivation after halftime was gone.
No sense in talking would-have-been and could-have-been, Tennessee did win fair and square and the Hillltoppers have to get better and probably will not crash the BCS Bowls.
Western Kentucky 20 - Tennessee 52 -> Jacks Score: 5-3

Saturday, September 7
#6 South Carolina @ #11 Georgia
I expected a close match but at the end it wasn't that close.
OK ... It was, until halftime.
And end of the third quarter they had a 24-34 score with Georgia just scored the last extra point.
The Gamecocks did counter but missed the extra point.
But the Bulldogs did cruise all over the field right after that and scored another time for the final score.
After that only two long drives happened without any scoring.
What was left is that UGA did rebound from the Clemson loss and South Carolina has to be better prepared for the upcoming SEC matches.
By the way ... in the first quarter did Georgia after a score go for an onside kick and got it!
It's those little things you have to appreciate ...
South Carolina 30 - Georgia 41 -> Jacks Score: 6-3

Saturday, September 7
#14 Notre Dame @ #17 Michigan
Autsch .... That was my first thought after I got the result of that big Notre Dame - Michigan game.
They think about giving the rivalry a rest, I'm not happy about that, but since I don't have a say about those plans, it's not worth to be grumpy about it.
At least they got a nice end of the last series of games.
End of the first quarter it was 7-10 and the 115109 Michigan fans went wild.
Notre Dame had a crucial interception which gave the Wolverine the chance for a 13-27 half time lead.
End of the third quarter it was 20-34.
Then did Notre Dame NOT kick a field goal and went for 4th down and did not make it.
Game over?
Not so fast.
Michigan did throw an interception and the Irish did return it to the house. (well, they CAUGHT it in the house ...)
7 points game.
9 minutes to go, Notre Dame did kick a field goal.
4 points game.
But Michigan had one nice drive left in the tank and scored for the final score with 4 min. left.
Notre Dame was not able to counter this and lost the game.
What to make out of this?
Notre Dame has issues on both sides of the LOS and Michigan has to get his QB a bit better on focus.
His interception almost destroyed the whole effort of the team and that interception was stupid at best.
He was under pressure in his endzone and to avoid a safety he just throw the ball away right into the arms of a Notre Dame player.
If you want to compete on the highest level, you can't do that. Better take the 2 points and let the defense make their stand. Or even better, throw the ball away, BEFORE half of the Notre Dame defense has a grab on your shirt.
Notre Dame 30 - Michigan 41 -> Jacks Score: 7-3

Saturday, September 7
Washington State @ #25 USC
I'm sorry for the USC fans. Sorry they have such a bad coach.
Wazzu did basically nothing for deserving the win here, except making USC pay for their own errors.
First quarter was not very exciting, ending scoreless, second quarter did bring a USC lead after a Cougars turnover.
Washington State did then give USC the chance for another cash-in after another turnover, but the USC was again unable to move the ball.
Well ... if you don't like the offer, we might consider yours....
Wazzu return an USC interception for a TD. Game tied.
USC blocked a field goal in the 3rd quarter, missed their own field goal attempt also in the 3rd, missed a 4th and 8! play beginning of the 4th, gave up a big play which did set up the game deciding field goal for the Cougars and did then throw another interception in their miserable comeback attempt.
Lessons from the game?
Wazzu had a sucky offense and USC an even suckier one.
Kiffin is on fire, for sure. So many bad decisions and on top of that it looks like he is not coaching the kids.
Washington State 10 - USC 7 -> Jacks Score: 8-3

Saturday, September 7
Navy @ Indiana
That one was a bit of a surprise for me.
Indiana was a bit error prone and did give a very good Navy team a 17-0 lead before they were able to respond.
They went into halftime with 24-14.
Then it was scoring for scoring for scoring until the score was 38-28.
Indiana then did stop Navy to a field goal, which looked like a good thing, considering they were not able to stop them all day.
And with almost 4 min. to go, Indiana did close the gap to 41-35. 6 Points left?
Easy ... stop them and score ... haha.
Indiana tried an onside kick and lost it, Navy did play a 4th and 2 for a first down and that was the end of the story.
What surprised me was the very bad first quarter of the Hoosiers.
THAT and only THAT did give Navy the chance for the win.
Don't get me wrong, Navy deserves the win, they should be proud about that one.
Indiana did just not play as they should play if they want to get respect in the Big 10.
At least the Navy soldiers got a good workout. LOL.
Navy 41 - Indiana 35 -> Jacks Score: 8-4

Games of Interest

Boston College did win against Wake Forest for a 2-0 start. - At the moment the coaching change looks like a good move.
Houston did beat Temple. - Also a 2-0 start for Houston.
Illinois won against Cincinnati big time. - Are the Bearcats that bad, or the Illini better than expected?
Purdue almost lost against Indiana State (FCS) - Purdue has to get much better if they want to survive in the Big 10.
Maine (FCS) won against UMass - Man, that UMass team looks NOT like a FBS team. I'm still not convinced that move to the FBS was a smart move.
Chattanooga (FCS) did beat Georgia State - Another FCS upset. Georgia State is new on the FBS level and did play bad last season, but hey, you are now with the big boys, so act like some.
Central Michigan was almost upset by New Hampshire (FCS) - Are those FCS schools this season so tough?
Air Force lost against Utah State big time. - Looks like that loss against Utah last week did fuel some anger in the Aggies team.
South Alabama won against Tulane. - Not bad for a 2nd year FBS team.
Cal did beat Portland State (FCS) by a score - Cal did score a lot, but where is the defense? I hope they get better against those PAC 12 teams ....
Richmond (FCS) was 2 points shy of an upset against North Carolina State - Richmond does such things regularly, but still .... 2 points?
Oklahoma did win against West Virginia by 9 points in a low scoring game - Oklahoma has to find a better offense production. The Mountaineers are not known for defense and there are way bigger teams on the schedule.
Tulsa did rebound and beat Colorado State - The Rams did start 0-2, Tulsa now 1-1 ...
BYU did top Texas - Well, say good bye to the defense coordinator of Texas. He was fired after this 40-burger by the Cougars.
Kansas won - That's it. They won ... Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Nicholls State (FCS) did beat Western Michigan - The Broncos did start 0-2 .... Well, what should I say? New coach needs time.
SMU almost lost against Montana State (FCS) - June Jones better get his team on track.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-09-04

Transfer market changes

While other leaders think about "playing" war or how to cheat their people during the next election, we used the time and created something really useful!

You might remember last week, when we had a poll running about the future of our Transfer market...there was a majority of users voting for a change of the system.

The first announcement was about weeks until it is ready, but thanks to some Guinness we finished the whole thing within days instead weeks.

Here it is, our brand new bid agent...

How does it work? Easy, just put in your maximum bid for a player. The engine will then raise the current active bid until 1 out of 2 things happens...Might be, another manager entered a higher maximum bid? In this case the engine will raise his bid to the maximum of your bid, but he still has the highest bid! Could be, your maximum bid is higher than the current maximum bid? In this case the engine is overbidding the current maximum bid, and you are the new highest bidder...I guess you got it already. What happens if a manager ads a maximum bid exactly equal to the current maximum bid? The older bid wins in this case! The whole thing is written in a way you do not need to reload the player page again and again, the page reloads itself in the background automatically...so keep the server happy and don't reload :)

We will change the manual soon, patience please! You might find bugs...yes, this could be very well. In this case, just tell us about in the Bugs forum.

Another small change is about the situation where you put a player on the market, and having contract negotiate with him already. Now it happens that no one is placing a bid, and the player returns to your team...In the past you had a new chance to renegotiate the contractual conditions - not anymore. This bug was solved. At the same time it was our intention to give these returning players a Team Chemistry hit, but somehow this Hit was not applied correctly...from now one it works as it should.

2013-09-03

FBS Week 1 - Review

As expected the games did not went for all teams the way they wanted them to be. Sometimes the cupcakes did bite back ...
Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 1 of the new Season

Thursday, August 29
North Carolina @ #6 South Carolina
What a nice start. Big game, huge crowd and at the end not many questions were answered. All eyes were on that outstanding defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Will he dominate the game, will he let UNC even play or just crash into the backfield and tackle any attempt to get yardage?
To be fair, it was the first game and a very quick offense run by the Tar Heels, but still ... Clowney did not only take some time off the field during the game, he did also not play 100%, did quit on plays and was not a big factor.
North Carolina did not play much on his side, so he had some kind of factor, making the field smaller, but except some flashes of shown effort and talent, Clowney did not deliver the hype. He was supposed to be in the best shape of his live, that's what the coaches say. Well, he has to get much better, if he wants to become a factor in the NFL.
South Carolina looked like they have to get a bit better to win the next crucial games, and North Carolina has to get things together to win in the ACC.
For sure are the Tar Heels not in national contention mode.
North Carolina 10 - South Carolina 27 -> Jacks Score: 1-0

Saturday, August 31
Mississippi State vs. #13 Oklahoma State @ Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
First lesson from this game is, that Oklahoma States offense did not score that much. Further games will show, if Mississippi State defense was THAT good, or the Cowboys offense is not in synch. Second lesson of the game is that the Bulldogs will probably have a long season in front of them.
The Cowboys defense can't be THAT good and the Bulldogs were not able to score more than a field goal.
Mississippi State 3 - Oklahoma State 21 -> Jacks Score: 2-0

Saturday, August 31
#1 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech @ Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
As expected did the red elephant just stampede over the Hokies. The game was over at half time.
28-10 was the score at that time.
For Alabama a nice season opener, for Virginia Tech maybe the needed motivation for upcoming conference games.
Frank Beamer will for sure get his boys ready for the next opponent.
Alabama 35 - Virginia Tech 10 -> Jacks Score: 3-0

Saturday, August 31
#5 Georgia @ #8 Clemson
It was the expected close game.
Until the last seconds remaining, everything was possible.
Beginning of the 4th quarter did Georgia score to close the gap to 28-31.
Then did Clemson did had a nice drive for 28-38. Still almost 8 min. on the clock.
Bulldogs and Tigers had to punt and then did Georgia got over the field and scored a TD to 35-38, a bit more than 1 min. remaining.
Onside kick was not successful and Clemson did kneel down for the win.
What we have learned? Both teams are strong. Clemson is based on QB Tajh Boyd. Let's hope he will stay healthy.
UGAs power is spread more though out the team, but at the end it was not enough.
They have to get better, if they want to win the SEC.
Georgia 35 - Clemson 38 -> Jacks Score: 3-1

Saturday, August 31
#12 LSU vs. #20 TCU @ Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
First surprise for me was the score. 37 points against TCU is huge. Will they do this on regular basis?
Second surprise was that TCU did shorten it to 30-27 in the fourth quarter. At the end did LSU offense just respond at the right time and won the game.
I'm curious to see both teams against their conference opponents.
Looks like the Tigers might challenge some teams in the SEC more than expected.
TCU might be also better than expected.
LSU 37 - TCU 27 -> Jacks Score: 4-1

Saturday, August 31
#19 Boise State @ Washington
Wow. Washington did basically destroy Boise State.
There seems to be so much wrong with that score.
Boise offense none existed.
Washington scores BIG.
Boise loses by more than 30 points.
Washington wins against a ranked opponent outside the conference.
I'm not sure what this games means for both conferences but for sure I will have an eye on both teams.
Boise State 6 - Washington 38 -> Jacks Score: 4-2

Games of Interest

Indiana won against Indiana State with 73 - 35 - Interesting is not the win, but the score. 73 points by Indiana is big. Maybe Indiana is hungry.

Bowling Green did win big against Tulsa - We will have to wait a bit, if this just a bad start for Tulsa, a big season for Bowling Green or maybe a sucky season for Tulsa.

Southern Utah (FCS) did win against Southern Alabama - I expected a win by Southern Alabama here, since every FBS team should win against an FCS team, but an upset happened. Not the only one this gameday.

Townson (FCS) basically did crush UConn in Huskies Stadium - Now here is the next FCS upset. And a big one. It does not happen very often, that a team from a BCS conference loses against such an opponent. Well, this week there were more.

Utah did top Utah State (Battle of the Brothers) - So no back-to-back wins for the Aggies. Utes did win a close match.

Ole Miss survived against Vanderbilt 38-35 - A 75 yard rushing TD right after a Vandy TD did seal the win for the Rebels. Big win for Ole Miss.

Rutgers did lose against Fresno State 51-52 in OT - Fresno State did tie the game 38 seconds left and Rutgers did try a 43 yard field goal for the win with 3 seconds remaining. Missed it.

Bulldogs did score first in the OT and the Scarlet Knights did get the TD after that, but a gutsy call for a two point conversion did fail.

Samford (FCS) won against Georgia State - Another FCS win here, even if Georgia State is almost a FCS team, since they are new on FBS level this season it's always nice to see an underclass team win.

North Dakota State (FCS) upset Kansas State - it's one thing to have a new FBS team or an almost new FBS team lose against an FCS team, it's a whole different story if a Big 12 team and former conference champ loses against an FCS team. Granted, NDSU is the reigning FCS champ, but still ... Upset of the day for me.

William & Mary (FCS) did almost top West Virginia - The Mountaineers have to get better fast, if they want to survive in the Big 12. At least Kansas State seems to be on their level at the moment ... Lol.

North Carolina State got its first win against Louisiana Tech - Big win under new management for the Wolfpack. A bit of a downer for LT (also under new management), but for me expected.

BYU did stumble over Virginia and lost - It will be interesting to see of the Cavaliers are better than expected, or BYU is just worse.

Northern Illinois won against Iowa - That Iowa HC is under fire, for sure. Coaching change for the Huskies was OK, as far as we know now.

Eastern Washington (FCS) won against Oregon State - Oregon State was ranked #25, so on paper the biggest upset this week. I wouldn't have ranked them, so for me just another BIG upset. PAC 12 teams should win against FCS teams, period. Even against former FCS champs. Was last season a one hit wonder for the Beavers?

Auburn tops Washington State - Not a big issue, but Auburn was so bad last season that this is interesting. Looks like Malzahn gets his Tigers back on track.

Mc Neese State (FCS) upsets South Florida - Not a nice game for a new coach at the Bulls helm. 53-21? Wow. That must hurt.

Texas State beat Southern Miss - Texas State is in his second FBS season. They will rise to power very fast. Southern Miss has issues ...

Western Kentucky beats Kentucky - There is the next SBC upset of an SEC team. Last season did ULM beat Arkansas, now it's WKU beating the Wildcats. Bobby Petrino will probably only stay for a year at SBC level.

San Diego State did lose against Eastern Illinois (FCS) - Also a tough upset. SDSU was supposed to be a bit better this season. Losing 40-19 is not a good message.

Northern Iowa (FCS) did put too much points on the board against Iowa State - And the next Upset, this time again against a Big 12 team. OK, Iowa State has issues, but 28-20 against a FCS-Opponent?

UTSA does win its season opener against New Mexico - Wow, that's a stunner. UTSA is only in its second FBS year and the Lobos are not a powerhouse but still not the worst team in football.

Northwestern wins against Cal - Cal did basically throw that game away, since 2 crucial interceptions did cost them the win. I'm curious to see Cals' further progress.

Colorado did win against Colorado State - The Rocky Mountain Showdown is a nice win for the Buffalos under new management. Now we have to wait for the next steps.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE