2013-10-31

Trick or treat?

Yes, again it's All Hallows' Eve - Halloween. Pumpkins are ready?

Kids are driving house owners nervous with their "Trick or treat"...and usually the kids win - it is kind of a "Shotgun 2 WR outer left" of the real life :)

We hope you enjoy the evening, maybe join some good friends for a costume party...

For those not knowing what to do, here are 10 Credits for free, you could use them for having some Scrimmages as example.

Cheers!

FBS Week 10 - Preview

Just a short one this week.

First news: Carl Pelini, the Headcoach of Florida Atlantic did resign.
It looks like he and one of his assistants was seen using illegal drugs and confronted with such accusations he resigned.
The drugs are named as pot.
Hmmm.
I'm not sure this is the complete story, since IF this is the complete story, it's a lame one.
Resigning because of someone saw you smoking pot (on a concert by the way)?
No police involved and no further evidence?
I can understand that a University don't want to defend illegal drug use, sure.
But one joint? Isn’t this a bit of a kneejerk reaction?

And on the other hand ... Why did Pelini DO this?
As public figure of the University you just don't do such things.
(Of cause people still DO it, because they are still human beings, which are .... emotional and irrational)

Second News: It's gameday 10, which means for most teams they have only 5 or less games left to turn the season around or to put the icing on the cake.
For many teams the BIG games are coming up and I'm sure we will see a few teams fall from graces in the next few weeks.
Most divisions and conferences are wide open and in college football sometimes it only needs one great day by an opponent or one bad week by your own team to turn the season into a mess.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 10

Saturday, November 2 8:00 PM ET
#7 Miami @ #3 Florida State
Probably the preview of the ACC championship game.
I'm not 100% sold on that, because of one reason.
Miami did not play as dominant as expected in the past few weeks.
They almost fell to North Carolina and Wake Forest.
They have not played the next in line waiting Virginia Tech so far.
That will be next week. Virginia Tech can win this and then will probably VT meet the Seminoles.
FSU is the favourite in this game, they are not only higher ranked, they also play at home.
Officially both teams will do the "just a regular game" routine, but this will be heated up by players, coaches and the press.
Expect a hot game, but expect also a one dimensional one.
Only chance for Miami is to come out 150% or having FSU out of synch.
I doubt that, I pick the Seminoles.

Saturday, November 2 7:00 PM ET
Tennessee @ #9 Missouri
Now, what should I here?
Pick Mizzou and have them lose, or pick against them to let them win? LOL.
Let's get the facts: The Vols are 4-4 in total and 1-3 in SEC games.
That one win was against South Carolina, at home.
Mizzou is 7-1 with 3-1 in SEC games.
That one loss was at home against South Carolina.
I think that loss did help them to GET it.
Lose and the dream starts to vanish quicker than saying "Championship game".
I think they will not lose a second time at home.
The Vols?
They got last week their Crimson Tide packages on the road and do have to travel AGAIN.
I don't think they will be ready as they could be.
Mizzou will win (oh dear, I did it)

Saturday, November 2 7:00 PM ET
#18 Oklahoma State @ #15 Texas Tech
The Red Raiders lost to the Sooners in Norman last week.
Oklahoma State did win all games, excepts that loss against West Virginia.
Both teams are in position to take stay in the Big 12 race.
The loser will probably be out of competition.
This is a tough one.
On paper the Red Raiders are the favourites.
But I doubt it.
They played some good games, but I think their Cinderella season started to crumble last week and it will continue this week.
They won't get blasted by the Cowboys like the last few seasons, but I doubt they will score enough points to stay in the game until the final whistle blows.
I pick the Cowboys, for two reasons:
First: They are a quite mature team under Gundy. Texas Tech is not such a team.
Second: Texas Tech is turnover prone and you can't be such a team against the top teams in your league.
Oklahoma State wins.

Saturday, November 2 3:30 PM ET
#21 Michigan @ #22 Michigan State
The day of truth for both teams.
The Wolverines did enter the season as one of the biggest favourites for the Big 10 Championship game. They division games were meant to be only warm-ups expect the Ohio State game.
On the first look, with 6-1 and 2-1 in Big 10 games they look at least OK. But they did play poorly in a lot of games this season and did only survive by luck or by being still a strong team, stronger than a MAC team or an AAC team.
Now they face the leading team in their division.
The Spartans are also a bit surprising to be still on top, but since they won all games except the Notre Dame game, they deserve it.
They have a very good defense, which will give the Wolverine some problems and they do also have some offense.
Enough?
Not sure.
I'm leaning towards Michigan, but the home field advantage and the poor games this season do not let me finalize on such a pick.
So I pick Michigan State.
I think it will be an open game and chances are good for both teams to win this.
But at the end I'm counting on the Spartans home crowd and a bit more defense then Michigan can bring up.

Saturday, November 2 12:00 PM ET
#24 Wisconsin @ Iowa
I'm 100% I will regret picking on that game.
I hate picking Hawkeyes games.
If you think they will suck, they win, If you expect wins, they lose.
This game is (as always) a hard one.
Wisconsin is a good team.
Let them play the Hawkeyes 100 times, they will win most of them. I'm sure.
Iowa on the other hand will win SOME.
So, what will happen?
Wisconsin has a joker in this game. They had a bye week, last gameday.
So here comes a RESTED Badgers team.
I pick the Badgers, hoping and expecting a close game.

Friday, November 1 2013 9:00 PM ET
USC @ Oregon State
Hey, a Friday game.
Oregon State hosts the interims coached Trojans and this might get funny.
USC did hit the fun button, after they let their former coach go and they won 2-1 games so far since then.
They face an Oregon State team which I capable of winning, even if they lost last week against Stanford.
Many expected an upset in that game, but the Beavers fell short.
But USC is no Stanford, and I think this will be some kind of fight back game for Oregon State.
I'm looking for a high scoring game with some happy Beavers players at the end.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-10-29

FBS Week 9 - Review

What a nice weekend. Not for picking games, but to keep the season at least a bit open.

There are only 8 teams left standing as UNDEFEATED.
All of them are ranked, but Northern Illinois (#17) and Fresno State (#16) would need a perfect season AND in addition a 3+ loss season of all now ranked teams above them. And even then I wouldn't be surprised they would be left out of the BCS Championship game.

The remaining 6 teams are ranked from #7 Miami, #6 Baylor, #4 Ohio State to now #3 Florida State, #2 Oregon and #1 Alabama.
All of them do have tough games left to play and at least Miami and Florida State will play one (or maybe two, including an ACC Championship game) game (next week).

The BCS super-gau is always having more than 2 teams "worth" the #1 and #2 spot, means this time of the year normally "undefeated".
We have the ACC, Big 12, Big 10 and SEC fielding unbeaten teams at the moment and I might happen they will stay unbeaten until the end.

The good news is it can happen any given Saturday that another unbeaten team falls.
This week 2 teams fell, Texas Tech and Missouri.

The season is not over for them, for sure not.
Texas Tech can still win the Big 12, lots of games left including games against the Big 12 leaders Baylor and Texas.
Missouri is even in a better spot. They are 1 game ahead of all other teams in the SEC East. Win the remaining games and they play for the SEC Championship. Not easy to do this, but it CAN happen.

But in the national title race those losses won't help them, unless the mentioned undefeated teams fall, too.
ALL of them have to play ranked opponents and ALL of them can also suffer a loss from an unranked opponent, upsets do happen.

I personally hope for such events, since this does spice up the competition and because I would like to see a different Final than Alabama vs. someone and Alabama wins. LOL.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 9:

Saturday, October 26 7:00 PM ET
#12 UCLA @ #3 Oregon
This was an open game until the 3 quarter.
It looked like someone on the Oregon sideline said: "Oh! We forgot to release the handbrake. I wondered why we were so slow ... Wait a sec ... That should do it ..."
BOOM, 28 unanswered points and UCLA looked like a bunch of kids playing with the big boys.
If those two teams will meet in the PAC 12 final, UCLA should be better prepared; otherwise this game will be one-sided as this one of last weekend.
UCLA 14 - Oregon 42 -> Jacks Score: 33-15

Saturday, October 26 7:00 PM ET
#21 South Carolina @ #5 Missouri
Man, I better pick against Missouri, if I want them to win.
Who is to blame for such a game?
The team?
The Coach?
The Kicker?
The damn goalpost?
What happened?
End of 3rd Quarter Mizzou lead 17-0.
It looked like South Carolina didn't get anything done.
Then 17 unanswered Gamecocks points later, with a missed FG from the Tigers Kicker and a TD with 42 ticks left on the clock, the game headed into OT.
Both teams scored in the first OT, the Gamecocks kicked a FG in the 2nd.
The Tigers lined up for a 24 yard chip shot FG.
The ball did hit the left goalpost and the game was over.
Missouri dropped from the undefeated ranks and a few spots in the rankings.
This might be the right thing at the right time.
They are 1 game ahead in the SEC East and still can win it all.
South Carolina kept the last chance for a division championship; they still have to keep a lot more. One more loss will mean goodbye for such dreams.
South Carolina 27 - Missouri 24 (2 OT) -> Jacks Score: 33-16

Saturday, October 26 10:30 PM ET
#6 Stanford @ #25 Oregon State
Oregon State was there and did almost defeat the Cardinals.
With basically nothing left on the clock, 4th and goal at Stanfords 7 yard line and 8 points down, the game was still open at that point.
We all have seen such games.
TD, 2 Point-Conversion, OT, win.
It happened in the past.
Unfortunately not for the Beavers this week.
That last pass was incomplete, the game was over and Stanford won a close game.
I think the Beavers did play quite good, but not good enough to top the Cardinals.
But don't think they will fall to other PAC teams easily.
The Civil War against Oregon on the last gameday might get interesting.
(I doubt a Beavers win for that game, but upsets happen. ;-) )
Stanford 20 - Oregon State 12 -> Jacks Score: 34-16

Saturday, October 26 3:30 PM ET
#10 Texas Tech @ #15 Oklahoma
Hmm .... What did I say?
Close game and a Sooners win.
7 minutes left and the Red Raiders closed the gap to 30-35.
Oklahoma marched down the field and scored a FG. 30-38.
1:17 on the clock.
Close enough?
The Red Raiders did then a 4 and out, so the game was over.
I picked right.
Texas Tech did fall from the unbeaten ranks and has now to fight for a Big 12 championship twice as hard.
It looks like Baylor (who has thought about that a few season back ...) is the team to beat.
As long as the Red Raiders NOW do keep winning they would end up on top.
Unless Oklahoma beats Baylor, too.
Interesting season at the Big 12 ...
Texas Tech 30 - Oklahoma 38 -> Jacks Score: 35-16

Saturday, October 26 3:30 PM ET
Michigan State @ Illinois
That pick sucked ...
This Spartans defense was able to stop the Illini offense almost completely.
128 yards in total for the Illini .... That's not much.
I still believe the Spartans will NOT play in the Big 10 championship game, but I have to admit they might make it anyway.
But for that they have to beat Michigan next week, Nebraska, Northwestern and Minnesota.
No easy games, so I still might get right on the Spartans.
Michigan State 42 - Illinois 3 -> Jacks Score: 35-17

Saturday, October 26 10:30 PM ET
#17 Fresno State @ San Diego State
It was not that high scoring as expected, but a close game anyway.
The Bulldogs needed 1 OT to win this game and to stay unbeaten.
San Diego State not much wrong, just not enough to win this at home.
Don't count them out, still some games to play and Fresno State is beatable.
But for now, the Bulldogs look like the leading team for a BCS buster, but close behind them are Northern Illinois.
Fresno State 35 - San Diego State 28 -> Jacks Score: 36-17

Games of Interest

Boise State lost against BYU on the road - This is a bid unusual for Boise State with now 3 losses already. Last season with 3 losses? 2007. Between 2008 and 2012 they lost only 5 times. 2013 is not over yet ...
Nebraska fell to Minnesota - Minnesota with a huge upset this week. I don't think any team likes to play the Gophers this season. They are good and sometimes bad. Which team you have to play is a lottery. But chances are high you get the good team.
Houston wins against Rutgers - The Cougars are in the front seat with UCF for the American. But in 2 weeks they will face Louisville and UCF back to back. Then probably the American will be decided.
Iowa bests Northwestern - What looked like a nice season for the Wildcats is now a 0-4 Big 10 season so far, and what looked like another bad season for the Hawkeyes looks now quite OK.
Miami almost fell to Wake Forest - This doesn't look good for the upcoming showdown with FSU.
Navy did beat Pitt - The Panthers are also a bit on and off this season. Lucky for them this was not a conference game.
Toledo tops Bowling Green - That keeps the MAC a bit open. Except Northern Illinois all teams in the MAC lost at least once overall, but Buffalo and Ball State are still perfect in conference games.
Western Michigan won against UMass - First win for the Broncos so far. Bad season for them.
Duke won against Virginia Tech - This is a real stunner. First win for Duke against a ranked opponent since 1994! And on the road? 1971! Duke is Bowl eligible. Period.
Tulane wins against Tulsa - Tulane still perfect in the CUSA. Unbelievable ...
USC wins against Utah - Looks like the interims coach can do it.
Troy tops Western Kentucky - I think Bobby Petrino will not get a call at the end of the THIS season. Western Kentucky was named by some as favourite for the SBC and are now 4-4 with 1-3 inside the conference.
UTSA bests UAB - Now UTSA is 3-5, 2-2 in the CUSA. Not bad for the 1st year in the CUSA and 2nd in the FBS.
Louisiana Tech overcomes FIU - I'm still not convinced that Holtz will keep his job, but I think the seat is getting colder.
San Jose State wins against Wyoming - Bad few weeks for the Cowboys. They lost 2 in a row and they will face Fresno State next week. .....
Texas State wins against South Alabama - Texas State now 5-3, really good for a 2nd year FBS team.
Texas won against TCU on the road - Texas still perfect in the Big 12. It looks like Mack Brown did the right adjustments after the bad losses in the first few weeks.
New Mexico State won - First win for them since the first gameday in 2012! This win this week was against a FCS team ...