2013-12-25

FBS Bowls - Wave 2

The Bowl-Season started and some games were really nice.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 1

Saturday, December 21, 2:00 PM ET GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL
Washington State vs. Colorado State @ University Stadium, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
I picked Wazzou, but nobody can expect to pick a winner if one team decides to do suicide.
The games was basically over, Wazzou was leading 45-30 with 9:35 to go.
The teams went back and forth, and with 2:50 remaining, CSU did score for 45-37.
Uh .... Maybe not over?
WSU got the ball and marched down the field ... puh. FUMBLE!
The Rams recovered and scored in the ensuing drive.
Add a two-point conversion and we have a tied game.
On the next kickoff, Wazzou did return and FUMBLED AGAIN!
Colorado State was able to bring out the filed goal team and did hit the winner with time running out.
Washington State 45 - Colorado State 48 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 0-1

Saturday, December 21, 3:30 PM ET ROYAL PURPLE LAS VEGAS BOWL
#20 Fresno State vs. #25 USC @ Sam Boyd Stadium, LAS VEGAS, NV
I picked the Bulldogs, but USC did show they are a good PAC 12 team at least and Fresno State is a Mountain West team, still.
The game was never really close and at the end it was a disaster for Fresno State.
USC can now welcome their new head coach and hope for a restart.
Fresno State 20 - USC 45 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 0-2

Saturday, December 21, 5:30 PM ET FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
Buffalo vs. San Diego State @ Bronco Stadium, BOISE, ID
Uih, the first right pick.
And San Diego was way dominant.
Really no chance for Buffalo, even when they had some scoring in the 4th quarter.
Buffalo 24 - San Diego State 49 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 1-2

Saturday, December 21, 9:00 PM ET R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL
Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette @ MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME, NEW ORLEANS, LA
Hmmm . Nobody mentioned the error I hand in the text for this game.
At the end of the text I had the preview of last years games ....
This yeat I picked Tulane and they started bad. ULL did score 21 points before Tulanes HC did pull Joe Montanas son (who had a pick 6) and brought in another QB.
That one did help to tie up the game, but a crucial play in their own endzone did result in a bad throw of him, ULL did intercept the pass and did score a FG out of this.
Over 1:30 to go, Tulane did their final drive and came into FG range.
The Kicker did kick the ball for 48 yards, but was too wide left and missed the tying FG.
Louisiana-Lafayette won now 3 New Orleans Bowls in a row.
Tulane 21 - Louisiana-Lafayette 24 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 1-3

Monday, December 23, 2:00 PM ET BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL ST. PETERSBURG
East Carolina vs. Ohio @ Tropicana Field, SAINT PETERSBURG, FL
This game was open until the beginning of the 4th quarter.
Ohio did kick the game leading FG for 17 - 20.
And then did someone knock on the door of ECU team zone and said "hey you? You let yourself get beaten by a MAC team? Really?"
ECU did score 20 unanswered points and did let Ohio not get into that game again.
East Carolina 37 - Ohio 20 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 2-3

Tuesday, December 24, 8:00 PM ET SHERATON HAWAII BOWL
Boise State vs. Oregon State @ Aloha Stadium, HONOLULU, HI
Aloha.
The latest Bowl did went as expected.
The Beavers were very good and the former HC of the Broncos was missed everywhere.
Boise State was not able to get their high octane offense on the field.
On the other hand did Oregon State play like there is no tomorrow.
Easy win for the team.
East Carolina 37 - Ohio 20 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 2-3

That's the first wave.
Now come the second wave of Bowl games.
I will put here 5 Bowl games, until Friday.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 2

Thursday, December 26, 6:00 PM ET LITTLE CAESARS BOWL
Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green @ Ford Field, DETROIT, MI
The once Motor City Bowl at the home of the Detroit Lions.
The Bowl itself is played since 1997.
This is played between a MAC team (very often the MAC Champion) and a Big Ten team, if enough teams are eligible.
If not, a Sun Belt Team can be chose.
A very strange thing happened this year, since the 8. Big Ten team was not available and a SBC team should have been taken.
There were plenty available, but the Bowl people took Pitt, from the ACC.
Don't ask me why they could do that.
Each team gets around 600.000$.
But no we have the MAC Champ vs a good ACC team.
Who will win?
I think Bowling Green as a real chance to win this.
They stunned NIU on the MAC final and they will give Pitt something to think about.
But Pitt could also get this one, since they have had their chances all over the season against bigger team, but were not able to win the close ones.
I give the Falcons my pick, I like their game.
Now I hope I'm right.

Thursday, December 26, 9:30 PM ET SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL
Utah State vs. #23 Northern Illinois @ Qualcomm Stadium, SAN DIEGO, CA
This is played on the homefield of the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego State Aztecs.
It is played since 2005 and each team gets around 500.000$.
It's a Bowl organized between the MWC (2. place until 2014) and different teams from different conferences each year, if they are eligible.
For this year Northern Illinois of the MAC was selected, since Army, who would have had a guaranteed place if eligible, failed to get the 6 wins.
The Bowl itself was played already 1952-1955 between western and Eastern Military Academies as a championship game.
It was then resurrected in 2005.
This year again the game will be fun to watch, since Utah State had a very nice season and Northern Illinois did almost win the MAC.
So it's 2. team from the MWC against 2. from the MAC.
Interesting is, that Vegas has Utah State as a small favorite in the game, but many people do believe Northern Illinois will win.
I for my part think that Utah State should win.
They were very good and the loss of Northern Illinois did show that the Huskies are not as the BCS Buster of last season.
Of cause the do have a chance, especially with their Heisman Finalist QB, but I think the Aggies will bring in enough defense to control that nice Huskies offense.
I pick the Aggies.

Friday, December 27, 2:30 PM ET MILITARY BOWL - PRES. BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN
Marshall vs. Maryland @ Navy Memorial Stadium, ANNAPOLIS, MD
Since 2008 this Bowl is played and has yet to find some kind of tradition.
It is meant to team up teams from the ACC versus CUSA or Navy, Army or Air Force.
If not enough teams of those conferences and service academies are eligible, they can chose other teams.
This year Marshall and Maryland were chosen, so the plan worked, not as it was last year.
For Maryland, it's almost a home game, since it is played in Maryland.
Each team gets around 1.000.000$.
Marshall did disappointed my in their last game against Rice.
So I'm not buying into that favorite role they got from Vegas here.
The only thing that's in for Marshall is, that they did win a few more games as a CUSA team.
But Maryland had to play some tougher teams, so ....
I'm leaning for Maryland here, but I think it will be close.
Anyway. My guts are saying Terrapins.

Friday, December 27, 6:00 PM ET TEXAS BOWL
Syracuse vs. Minnesota @ Reliant Stadium, HOUSTON, TX
Last season it was the MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL OF TEXAS.
Sounds like we got an upgrade this season, the sponsorship of Meineke Car Care did run out last season.
This is played at the home of the Houston Texans.
It's played since 2006.
The Big 12 should face up against a Big Ten Team here.
Well, this season, there were not enough Big Ten teams for all the Bowls, so an ACC team got the spot.
Each team gets around 1.700.000$.
I give Minnesota my pick.
This is a team on the rise and they played very good this season.
Syracuse did barely made it to the eligibility in the ACC.
No, the Gophers will win. Period.

Friday, December 27, 9:30 PM ET FIGHT HUNGER BOWL
BYU vs. Washington @ AT&T Park, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Another Bowl losing it's sponsor.
Since 2002 does this Bowl operate, even under different names.
It is played at the home of the San Francisco Giants (Baseball team)
This is a PAC 12 Bowl facing Navy, BYU or some teams from the ACC or MAC.
The PAC 12 team gets 1.000.000$ the other team only 850.000$.
If Washington wouldn't have lost it's coach, I would dhave picked the Huskies.
But now?
BYU did play some tough games and they CAN win this.
The biggest question will be, if the no leaderless Huskies will show up 100% or not.
Here is my theory: Sarkasian did not build a quitter team.
They have a familiar interims coach and will play against a not quite elite BYU team.
I think it will be close, but Washington will win.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

Merry Chhristmas, Dear RZA Community

First of all we wish you and you loved ones a Merry Christmas. may you find some relaxing from our daily stress, from the noise, the rush, the restless days...

We started a small campaign to raise our Social Network presence...

We counted all the stuff together...and what to say, 110 Credits for each of you. Again, Merry Christmas. Well done!

2013-12-23

Only a few hours left...

Ho Ho Ho...

you might remember our Social Campaign. Only a few hours left, then we will count the numbers, and send you our small X-Mas gift...time for the final push, please HELP!

Cheers

2013-12-16

XMas...tweaking the game-engine...

Hey folks, how are you doing? XMas-Gifts purchased already?

We thought the time is right for part 1 of our X-Mas-Gift to you...No worries, we did not hire Toni "Wanna be a QB" Romo to tell us how the Passing part shouldn't work...

From now on, engine V 3.50 is active, for Friendlies and Scrimmages only.

This new version adds some more action on the Punting gameplay. There are now 2 11-me squads on the field.

The Punting unit consists of a Punter, a Fullback to protect the Punter, 2 Gunners (left/right), 2 TE (left/right) and a complete O-Line.

The Punt Returning unit is kind of an 4-3-3-1 formation. It consists of 4 Linemen (DT and DE, left/right each), 1 MLB, 2 OLB (left/right), 2 CB (left/right), 1 Strong Safety and 1 Punt-Returner (KR).

The players are chosen via the Depth Chart.

Now much more players have a chance to be really involved into the gameplay. At the same time the Yardage of Returns was adjusted slightly.

Some may ask why we are utilizing standard personal for these things...and there are 2 reasons for it.

1.) This way the gameplay stays easy

2.) The added code to the engine is transparent

3.) In real life, the Returning team members have to deal with the risk of being tricked by the Punting team, and therefore the guys need standard skills like on every standard play. Yes, NFL teams carry special players for such action, and maybe we will add dedicated Depth Chart positions later to meet this - but for the moment it works as described.

On a sidenote we would like to remember you of our small Help Needed"-Post a few weeks ago. Our Social Network Campaign is still running, which means you could push the count of your X-Mas-Credits through the sky, if you like...

FBS Week 16 - Review

So the Navy-Army game is over and so is the regular season.
No starts the most hire and fire movements for coaches and of cause the awards are handed out.

The most hyped award is of cause the Heisman and as expected did Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston take home the hardware.
It was not even close.
Second was AJ McCarron, QB of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Winston is a freshman, means he is in his first year of college football playing time.
Last season did Johnny Manziel win the Heisman also as a freshman, as the first time ever to take home the trophy as such.
Many did wonder if Manziel would win the Heisman again, but his team did not play as well as last season.
No Winston will get all the hype for next season.

Biggest coaching chance happened in Texas. Mack Bown did step down as Headcoach of the Longhorns.
Be sure that this will have a major impact on coaching changes, since Texas will sing a nice dollar song to get (almost) any coach they want.
So it might happen that some team, thinking they had their coaching position well set for years will have to look for a new coach soon.
Another interesting thing regarding coaches:
Boise State did hire Bryan Harsin, the first year HC of Arkansas State and former Boise State OC, as new HC.
That's not the big news; the big news is, from my point of view, that Arkansas State did lose their 3rd HC in 3 years, because some bigger school did wave the dollar bundles.
Hugh Freeze did leave after 1 season left after 2011 for Ole Miss, Gus Malzahn left after 1 season in 2012 for Auburn and now Harsin leaves after 1 season for the Broncos.
In that time did Arkansas State win ... 3 conference titles and went to 3 Bowls.
Looks like the AD of Arkansas State has a hand for good coaches. I'm curious to see, who will succeed Harsin.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 16:

Saturday, December 14 2013 3:00 PM ET
Army vs. Navy @ Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
There is not much to talk about.
Navy did basically destroy Army on the ground.
343 yards and 4 TDs, against 10 yards passing.
Well, no surprise, since thy play a triple option offense.
Army did not score until the 3rd quarter and that's that for them.
The consequence was clear; Army did fire their HC after 5 bad seasons.
Navy did win the Commander in Chief trophy by beating Air Force and Army.
Army 7 - Navy 34 -> Jacks Score: 64-28

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-12-12

FBS Week 16 - Preview

The last regular season game is here.
Traditionally the Army-Navy game is played one week after the other last games.
More about that game in the preview.

The Bowl-matchups are set and there are some very nice ones coming.
I will cover them step by step in the upcoming weeks when the games will be played from mid-December on until beginning of January.

The next big think coming is the Heisman trophy.
Awarded to the best college football player of the year it became the most hyped trophy of all awards you can get.
Even the NFL MVP is not hyped that way.
In the past many Heisman-Winners did become stars in the NFL, but that time is long over.
Here are the names of the last 20 players. Now tell me, who made a difference in the NFL?
1992 Gino Torretta Miami Quarterback
1993 Charlie Ward Florida State Quarterback
1994 Rashaan Salaam Colorado Running back
1995 Eddie George Ohio State Running back
1996 Danny Wuerffel Florida Quarterback
1997 Charles Woodson Michigan Cornerback/Punt returner
1998 Ricky Williams Texas Running back
1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin Running back
2000 Chris Weinke Florida State Quarterback
2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska Quarterback
2002 Carson Palmer* USC Quarterback
2003 Jason White Oklahoma Quarterback
2004 Matt Leinart USC Quarterback
2005 Reggie Bush USC Running Back
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State Quarterback
2007 Tim Tebow Florida Quarterback
2008 Sam Bradford Oklahoma Quarterback
2009 Mark Ingram, Jr. Alabama Running back
2010 Cam Newton* Auburn Quarterback
2011 Robert Griffin III Baylor Quarterback
2012 Johnny Manziel Texas A&M Quarterback
I give the last 5 years a pass, since they would still have time to get it done (or did not have the chance yet), but except Charles Woodson none of those players were more than solid. Some even worse.
So, what does this say about this year’s finalist?
Luckily, nothing, since everybody has his career in his own hands.
But don't expect the winner to be a future NFL Hall of Famer. He might become one, but the odds are bad.
This season did 6 players have an invitation for the ceremony in New York, which is a bit odd, since normally there are only 3-4 invited.
The players are:
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois Quarterback
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Quarterback
AJ McCarron, Alabama Quarterback
Jameis Winston, Florida State Quarterback
Tre Mason, Auburn Running back
Andre Williams, Boston College Running back
Everybody does expect that FSUs Winston will win the trophy.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 16

Saturday, December 14 2013 3:00 PM ET
Army vs. Navy @ Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Played since 1890, yearly played since 1930.
Navy is leading the series 57-49-7 and is driving on a winning streak of 11 games so far, the longest they had ever.
The reason for that is the very bad state of Army Football.
Rich Ellerson is their HC since 5 season and his record is 20-40 so far, including one 7-6 season with a bowl win.
He survived so far the axe, but with a 3-8 season this year it doesn't look that good.
But you never now with those service academies.
Navy is coached by Ken Niumatalolo since 6 years and HIS record is 47-30 so far and 7-4 this season, which is very good for a service academy.
The service academies do have some problems with the BIG talents, since those want to play pro, not serving a few more seasons AFTER their final year as player for Uncle Sam.
So those schools are left out of the best players.
But in the Army-Navy game, both teams have the same background and somehow Navy does play good football and Army ... not.
The game is part of the Commander in Chief trophy, which is played for by all three service academies by playing each team once each season.
Army did lose to Air Force and Navy won against Air Force so far this season.
In case of a tie in the game result (means every team lost once and won once), which would happen in an Army win, the trophy is kept by the winner of last season, which was Navy.
So Navy will keep the trophy this season any way, but the main reason to play this game is not to win the trophy, it's to show those mud crawlers called Black Knights who is the better football team and for sure those Midshipmen will try to win, in best case, big.
Of cause the Army players will try to show those sea whips that there is strong and there is army strong .... Or something like that.
Honestly, I doubt an Army win, even if this game is different than a normal college football game.
Army football is far from being on top and at the end quality will win.
I pick Navy for the win.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-12-09

FBS Week 15 - Review

That’s it, the games are played and the Conferences Champions are finally fixed.
The Bowl games will be filled in the next few days and the BCS Championship participants are also known.

But the first big news came before the weekend, when the University of Washington was able to hire Chris Petersen away from Boise State.
Petersen was more or less an every list for every job opening for the last 5 years.
He always denied and stayed with the Broncos.
Now does the PAC 12 get another high profile coach and if this goes as expected, the PAC 12 will get another very well coached team.

Another interesting hiring was Wyoming’s new HC. The Cowboys did fire their HC Dave Christensen after 5 season a few days ago and did not wait for long. They hired Craig Bohl, who still is the HC of North Dakota State, the reigning FCS Champion for the last 2 seasons. He will remain the HC of the FCS program, as long as their playoff run will last.

There will be a few more coaching changes, but this will unfold with time, since there will be a lot of domino effects by each hiring and firing.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 15:

Friday, December 6 2013 8:00 PM ET MARATHON MAC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Bowling Green vs. #14 Northern Illinois @ Ford Field, DETROIT, MI
This was a very entertaining game. And I have to admit that I never thought Bowling Green would have such a game against Northern Illinois.
The Huskies never had a chance.
The Falcons did control them with every play, with every down a little bit more.
Northern Illinois did score only 27 points, while Bowling Green did score a lot more.
For the Huskies QB, the hope for a Heisman Dark Horse is more or less over.
He might get an invitation, but I doubt it.
Bowling Green wins the MAC.
Bowling Green 47 - Northern Illinois 27 -> Jacks Score: 59-25

Saturday, December 7 2013 12:00 PM ET CONFERENCE USA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Marshall @ Rice
I tip my hat to Rice.
You did well and you earned that title (first since 56 years).
I was sure they would lose against Marshall in a close game, but as I did also write Rice at home ain't that easy.
At the end it was way too much for Marshall.
I wouldn't say the game was over at halftime, but Rice had a nice lead and they came out of halftime with force and did put in the coffin nails for a Marshall Conference Championship.
I'm curious to see, how the conference will do in the Bowl games.
Rice wins the C-USA.
Marshall 24 - Rice 41 -> Jacks Score: 59-26

Saturday, December 7 2013 3:30 PM ET
#25 Texas @ #9 Baylor
I have to admit I thought Oklahoma State would beat Oklahoma at home which would have made this game between Baylor and Texas less interesting.
But the Sooners did again beat their hated neighbours (10 out of 11) and left Baylor and Texas with basically a championship game.
The first half was all defense driven and a 3-3 halftime score did show this.
But after halftime did Baylor score and score and Texas was beaten.
At the end there was no close game, no question regarding who was lucky.
Baylor won the game. Period.
if you would have told someone a few seasons back that Baylor will win the Big 12 in 2013, they would have laughed at you, like would be the most craziest person on the planet.
But it's true ....
Baylor is the BIG 12 Champion.
Texas 10 - Baylor 30 -> Jacks Score: 60-26

Saturday, December 7 2013 4:00 PM ET SEC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#5 Missouri vs. #3 Auburn @ Georgia Dome, ATLANTA, GA
If a game sees 101 points, I think everybody would say it was either very one dimensional or very entertaining.
I think if the two best SEC teams meet, a one dimensional game is quite unlikely with such a score.
So yes, it was very entertaining.
Mizzou did play their brand of football, and Auburn did basically rush for the sunlight.
It was an open game until the 4th quarter.
Auburn scored and was able to hold off Mizzou from scoring.
With 6 minutes to go Mizzou was deep in their own half and decided to play the 4th and 1.
Auburn did stop them and scored the next play a TD.
THAT was the moment when the game was more or less over.
The Tigers tried to come back but needed way to much time and did not even score.
The Auburn Tigers won the SEC and will play for the National Championship. (Why? because of Ohio State)
Missouri 42 - Auburn 59 -> Jacks Score: 60-27

Saturday, December 7 2013 7:45 PM ET PAC-12 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#7 Stanford @ #11 Arizona State
The PAC 12 was very wild this year.
This game was not.
Stanford came into the desert and basically left ASU wondering what's going on.
The Cardinals were always in front, ASU only able to tie the game at 7-7.
From that point on did Stanford the Sun Devils not get back into the driver seat.
It will be a very nice Rose Bowl matchup coming, when Stanford will play Michigan State.
The Stanford Cardinals won the PAC 12.
Stanford 38 - Arizona State 14 -> Jacks Score: 60-28

Saturday, December 7 2013 8:00 PM ET ACC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#20 Duke vs. #1 Florida State @ Bank of America, CHARLOTTE, NC
I really love what Duke did this season, but they were just no match for Florida State.
The Seminoles let them score the pity score in the 4th, but it was a clear message by FSU: We are the best. Period.
We will see, if this is true, when they will play Auburn in the BCS Championship game.
Florida State wins the ACC Championship.
Duke 7 - Florida State 45 -> Jacks Score: 61-28

Saturday, December 7 2013 8:17 PM ET BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#2 Ohio State vs. #10 Michigan State @ Lucas Oil Stadium, INDIANAPOLIS, IN
This was very nice.
I said "we might see an upset" in the preview and it was a very strange game to deliver such.
Michigan State did came out strong, did score 17 unanswered points, there defense was strong as it could be.
Then did Ohio State respond and was able to cut the point difference to 1 score before the half.
Then came out of the box, did score to tie the game and score again for a lead.
Yes, 24 unanswered points.
Michigan State did look like they were doomed.
But not so fast. MSU did score FG in the 3rd and did score a TD beginning of the 4th for the lead.
Then the defenses did take a bit over until about 6 min. to go.
On 4th and 2 did the Buckeyes decide to go for it.
And the Spartans did stop that 1 always successful play of OSU.
They got the ball and did score the next few plays.
BOOM. The unbeaten Ohio State did lose the most important game.
Michigan State wins the BIG 10 and will play Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
Ohio State will play Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
Ohio State 24 - Michigan State 34 -> Jacks Score: 62-28

Saturday, December 7 2013 10:00 PM ET MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Utah State @ #23 Fresno State
Bad luck for Fresno State, they lost last week. Or maybe not.
Here is my theory: If they would have won last week, they might have fallen this week.
The loss did give them the needed punch for the final and they delivered.
It was a close match were Fresno State did lead early, the Aggies did came almost back in the second half, but the Bulldogs did play just enough tough football to win the game.
Bad luck for them, the loss last week did spoil their chances for a BCS Bowl, but according to my theory, they would have last the championship game and would then have nothing.
So ... Fresno State is the Mountain West Champions, not too bad.
Utah State 17 - Fresno State 24 -> Jacks Score: 63-28

Games of Interest

Louisville won against Cincinnati in OT - A very close game but Louisville was able to win it by stopping Cincinnati in the final drive in OT on 4th down.
Oklahoma did beat Oklahoma State - The Sooners looked done when the Cowboys did score for the lead, with 1:46 in the game and testing their 3rd QB.
But that QB did deliver a very nice scoring drive with 19 ticks left in the game.
OSU could not score in the last seconds and the Sooners won the Bedlam Series.
UCF wins against SMU - They had more work to do than expected, but finally they won and did become the unbeaten American Conference Champion
Rutgers beats South Florida - Rutgers becomes Bowl eligible by that.
Louisiana-Lafayette lost against South Alabama - All ULL had to do was winning to claim the SBC Championship all by their own, but the lost and now have to share with Arkansas State. South Alabama had an impressive late season run.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-12-05

FBS Week 15 - Preview

So here come the final gameday (except that Navy-Army game next weekend).
ALL conferences are still up for grab. Some teams did already secure at least a share, but who likes sharing if you can get the title all for yourself?

Sun Belt Conference
The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns did lose against Louisiana-Monroe, but thanks to Arkansas States loss against Western Kentucky the Cajuns are still in the lead to NOT share the title. All they have to do is, beat South Alabama on the road.
Right behind them with 2 losses are the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
Their season is over; they have to hope for a Cajuns-loss to grab a share of the Conference title.

Mid American Conference
The East Division is won by the Bowling Green Falcons.
The West Division is won by Northern Illinois.
They will meet each other this weekend for the title.
NIU has two issues to think about. 1st is the title game; second is their unbeaten record and the potential 2nd BCS Buster spot in 2 years.

Conference USA
East Division is won by the Marshall Thundering Herd.
West Division is won by the Rice Owls.
They will fight for the title this weekend.

Mountain West Conference
The West Division is won by Fresno State, even after their loss the last weekend.
The Mountain Division is won by Utah State.
The Aggies will play Fresno State this week in the Championship game.

American Athletic Conference
Last gameday for the conference and 3 teams are in the mix for at least a share of the title.
Leading team is still UCF, unbeaten inside the conference. They have a share of the title already.
If they win against SMU, they are the lone champions. I think they already secured the BCS Bowl spot due head-to-head tiebreaker, but I have to admit I'm not 100% sure.
Right behind are Louisville and Cincinnati with 1 loss.
They have to play against each other this week.
Whoever wins that game has to hope for a UCF loss to get a share of the title.

Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Division is won by the Florida State Seminoles.
The Coastal Division is won by the Duke Blue Devils.
They will battle it out this weekend.
The Seminoles have to win this to play in the BCS final.

Big Ten Conference
The Legends Division is won by Michigan State.
The Leaders Division is won by Ohio State.
They will play against each other this week for the conference championship game.
For Ohio State this is crucial, if they want to play in the BCS final.

Pacific 12 Conference
The North Division is won by Stanford.
The South Division is won by Arizona State.
They will face each other this week, in a rematch of a regular season game which was won by Stanford.

Big 12 Conference
Oklahoma State is leading, but they have to win against Oklahoma to secure a share of the title.
Texas and Baylor are right behind Oklahoma State and have to play each other this week.
Texas and Baylor can win the conference on its own, if they win and OSU loses to the Sooners.
The BCS Bowl spot is up for grab.

Southeastern Conference
The Eastern Division is won by the Missouri Tigers.
The Western Division is won by the Auburn Tigers.
The teams will face off against each other on the weekend.
The SEC has spot #3 to #5 in the BCS.
It's still an open debate, if the SEC champ might jump Ohio State (at the moment at #2) even if Ohio State wins.

BCS-Standings
Florida State and Ohio State are leading.
Next in line then are Auburn, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Stanford, South Carolina, Baylor, Michigan State and Arizona State.
The rest is not needed at the moment.
Assuming both leading teams will win their Championships games, it's almost sure they will play in the BCS final.
There is a small issue regarding Ohio State. It might happen that the SEC Champ, Auburn or Mizzou, gets more juicy points out of the matchup than Ohio State gets from beating Michigan State and the SEC champ jumps OSU.
I think if possible, it's only possible for Auburn at #3.
But OSU plays Michigan State (ranked #10), so they will get also a lot of brownie points by winning.
It will be close, but I think the SEC could be left out in that case.

It will get more complex, if FSU loses to Duke (THAT would be fun ... lol.) and OSU loses to the Spartans.
THEN the SEC jumps for sure back into the game and the next in line would be ...?? Maybe Alabama. Maybe Oklahoma State, if they win. Maybe Stanford, but even if they win the PAC 12 I doubt it.

Two small notes:
USC did grab Steven Sarkisian, the HC of the Washington Huskies, as new HC of their program.
He is a former Pete Carroll Assistant at USC and did bring back Washington from the 0-12 abyss to a 8-4 record this season, did coach there for 5 seasons.

On the other hand, long time HC of Wake Forest, Jim Grobe, did step down after 13 seasons with the Demon Deacons.
He won a conference championship in 2006 (with the smallest BCS program).
He is tied for most wins with the school and many do believe him to be the best coach the school ever had.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 15

Friday, December 6 2013 8:00 PM ET MARATHON MAC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Bowling Green vs. #14 Northern Illinois @ Ford Field, DETROIT, MI
The MAC final has at least for NIU at lot to offer.
If they win, they will not only have won their third MAC title in 3 year, no they could also get a BCS Bowl spot the second year in a row.
That means a lot of money.
A bad person could argue, the conference will do anything to let NIU win, since a share of the money and the fame will also go to the other MAC teams.
If Bowling Green wins, they will play NOT in the BCS and will earn a lot less.
Well, I have to assume that every team will play 100% for the win.
Bowling Green is 9-3 with 7-1 in MAC games; Northern Illinois is only the 3rd team in the FBS to be perfect (Ohio State and Florida State being the other 2).
Of cause it will be hard for Bowling Green to win this.
NIU has played very good this season, they were not really in danger to lose any game this year and don't have to fear the Falcons.
Bowling Green on the other hand did lose against Toledo (7-5 MAC), Mississippi State (6-6 SEC) and Indiana (5-7 Big 10).
So they did not lose against dominating teams.
If Bowling Green can control that dynamic NIU offense, they do have a chance.
But i doubt it.
NIU will win and will play in another BCS Bowl.

Saturday, December 7 2013 12:00 PM ET CONFERENCE USA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Marshall @ Rice
Bad luck for Marshall, this is played at Rice.
If this would be in Huntington I would pick the Thundering Herd and that's that.
But an away game is an away game.
The CUSA Championship game was won in 8 games 3 times by the visiting team.
The odds are not that bad.
Both teams have the same record inside the conference which will give us the chance for a nice match.
I give my Pick to Marshall anyway.
I can't understand why Rice did get the better BCS standing result (to get the home field advantage). Probably the win over Kansas did give them a boost.
We will see, if that's enough to stop the Thundering Herd.

Saturday, December 7 2013 3:30 PM ET
#25 Texas @ #9 Baylor
Texas has the chance to win it all.
As has Baylor.
This is the Big 12 Championship game part 2.
When this game is kicked off, the result out of Stillwater between the Sooners and the Cowboys will be known.
So both teams will know what's at stake.
The records of both teams do not reflect the strength of the teams.
Texas did suck the first few games, but did correct that and did win since then, except the loss against OSU.
They even did beat Oklahoma.
Baylor did also lose only once, against OSU.
So both teams will cheer for the Sooners to beat OSU (even no Texas fan or player will say that) and the winner of this matchup here will take the price.
Who will win here is open for debate.
I think Baylor has a very solid chance to win, even win big.
It all depends on Texas offense.
If they can keep up the pace to match the scoring of Baylor, this will get funny.
I do believe Baylor will score a lot, but who knows, maybe Texas can copy the Cowboys defense and shut them down?
I doubt it, so I pick Baylor.

Saturday, December 7 2013 4:00 PM ET SEC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#5 Missouri vs. #3 Auburn @ Georgia Dome, ATLANTA, GA
This will be fun!
It's open from my point of view, it will have a lot of scoring and whoever wins might be left out of the BCS championship game.
The only chance to get into the big game? Win BIG.
So, they better start scoring early and often.
Problem with that?
Both teams can score.
I love it.
Since it's a neutral site game, it depends on the teams, how they adjust and play inside the dome.
Auburn is the favourite by an inch, since they won against Alabama abd are ranked higher.
But I think the Iron Bowl did cost them too much to rebound a week later against the second best team of the SEC.
I pick Missouri for the win!

Saturday, December 7 2013 7:45 PM ET PAC-12 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#7 Stanford @ #11 Arizona State
Arizona State did only lose once inside the Conference, against Stanford in California.
Now we have the rematch, in Arizona.
Since Stanford did lose some games, not meant to lose, the Sun Devils get the home field advantage.
The Rose Bowl spot is the price i addition to the conference title and Stanford won't get this price without a fight.
And Arizona State won't get it also with some effort.
Even ranked lower than Stanford, ASU is the favourite by a few points, thanks to their latest played games and the home field.
I think Stanford can win this if they are able to get their A-game on DEFENSE.
They will need a really good one to stop that Sun Devils attack and I'm not sure they will deliver.
ASU on the other side has to control the Stanford offense good enough to give their offense the chance to win the game.
I'm expecting a close game with not that many points.
I pick ASU, out of my gut feeling.

Saturday, December 7 2013 8:00 PM ET ACC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#20 Duke vs. #1 Florida State @ Bank of America, CHARLOTTE, NC
OK, I will make that one a quickie.
Anyone thinks this will be won by DUKE?
No?
As do I. FSU is a mile high favourite.
As much as I like underdogs and Cinderella football season, Dukes dream does end here.
Even the game in North Carolina (Dukes State) will not help.
IF Duke wins, I will be stunned and happy for them. Call Hollywood and make a movie deal!
Seriously, I FSU does not get a team wide epidemic, or half of the team gets injured during warm-up, Duke has no chance.

Saturday, December 7 2013 8:17 PM ET BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#2 Ohio State vs. #10 Michigan State @ Lucas Oil Stadium, INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Looks like Ohio State did everything right with hiring Urban Meyer almost 2 seasons ago. He delivered so far 2 undefeated seasons and he might deliver this year not only a Big 10 championship (last time won by Ohio State in 2009) but also a national championship.
All he has to do is, win with his team two more games.
And to get the second game (the BCS final), win THIS game big.
Because if he wins only a bit, by a few points, the voters might give their love a bit more to the SEC Champ and he might jump OSU in the rankings.
Sounds easy, right? Win big, play for the big game.
Not so fast.
Michigan State did basically shut down every damn football team.
They lost only once, to Notre Dame.
I can't believe they will be overrun by OSU. They might lose to them, yes, but not big.
I think we will have a nice matchup here and we might see an upset.
OSU gets my pick, but it was a close call, since MSU is tough and then will not play like pansies.

Saturday, December 7 2013 10:00 PM ET MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Utah State @ #23 Fresno State
Welcome to the first Mountain West Championship game.
The Bulldogs got the home field advantage because of their better BCS ranking.
Their loss last week might be the best they could have at that time.
NOW they now they can lose and they will not underestimate the Aggies.
Utah State did have luck this season, since Boise State had a tougher schedule.
What speaks for a Utah State win?
In my book?
Nothing. They won all the big games, except Boise State, granted, but Fresno State did WIN against Boise State and all the other big shots.
Yes, the Bulldogs did lose last week against San Diego State, but I think that was the season final underestimation bug.
NOW they will play 100%+ and that will be too much for the Aggies.
I pick the Bulldogs.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2013-12-02

FBS Week 14 - Review

Only one week left to decide the remaining open spots regarding Bowl eligibility and conference championships. And of cause the #1 and #2 spot in the BCS.

This weekend saw one of the wildest games I ever have seen. The Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn did finish in a very unique last play, historic.
The consequences did not only affect the SEC but also the whole BCS.

A different story this weekend was the coaching search of USC.
They seem to eyes Boise States Chris Petersen, who did turn down several request from other schools in the past, and Vanderbilt James Franklin.
USC is optimistic to finish the HC search this week.
One HC is out of work right after the weekend. Wyoming did fire Dave Christensen after another 5-7 season. He was 27-34 with the Cowboys.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 14:

Saturday, November 23 12:00 PM ET
#3 Ohio State @ Michigan
That game was intense. Several ejections and a very close game in the big house.
The game was tied going into halftime and in the 3rd did Ohio State score twice for a 35-21 lead.
Over?
Not yet. Michigan scored as response and did recover a fumble during the second play of the next Ohio State drive.
The Wolverines did score again and the game was tied again.
Still 5 min. on the clock, did the Buckeyes drive down the field and score.
2:20 left for Michigan to respond.
And they did, gaining yards after yards and scored for the 42-41 TD.
Kick the XP and going into overtime?
Not in Hokes book.
The Wolverines tried a 2 point conversion and .... failed.
That gutsy call will be talked about for years.
From my point of view I can understand the decision. Maybe I would have done the same in that situation.
Image it. Your behind, did cruise over the field, 113511 fans behind you. You score. Hard to beat THAT momentum.
At the end you can't even blame the Michigan QB for throwing into the best covered area on the field. 2-point-plays are designed for quickness.
I'm sure he did regret the throw, when the ball left his hand.
Anyway. The Buckeyes won and are well in the mix for the BCS title.
I'm not sure regarding Hokes future at Michigan, but I think he will stay.
Ohio State 42 - Michigan 41 -> Jacks Score: 56-22

Saturday, November 23 12:00 PM ET
#24 Duke @ North Carolina
I think any Dukes fan will have a hard on for the next few days.
Not only did Duke win against those Tar Heels, they did not only have the most wins EVER in school history, they did also win the division and will face the Florida State Seminoles in the final.
Duke scored the game winning FG with about 2:20 left.
North Carolina tried to answer but was picked off at Dukes 37 yard line.
Fedora really has to get his team better to keep his job.
I think this season was a real disappointment for every Tar Heel fan.
Duke fans can enjoy their hard on for the week.
I fear against the Seminoles it will get MUCH tougher.
Duke 27 - North Carolina 25 -> Jacks Score: 57-22

Saturday, November 23 3:30 PM ET
#1 Alabama @ #5 Auburn
And here is the Iron Bowl.
If you find a Highlight film, WATCH IT!
Auburn started nice, they stopped Alabama and their Kicker did miss the Field Goal.
They needed then 2 drives (so they stooped Alabama again) to score and went ahead 0-7.
They managed to stop Alabama again, but could not score.
After that it was all Alabama in the second quarter.
The Crimson Tide did score 3 times, one sore after an Auburn fumble.
The Tigers did score only once, so it was 21-14 to the half.
Auburn got the ball after the kick-off and scored for the tie.
With that score it went into the 4th quarter.
The poor Alabama kicker (who got killing threats after the game) missed another field goal, but Auburn was also not able to score.
But they did down the punt at Alabamas 1 yard line.
No problem for the Tide, the QB dropped back in his endzone (quite risky with that this day REALLY stingy Auburn defense) and passed to the right sideline down the field.
The Alabama WR did catch it and ran TO THE HOUSE!
99 yards!
Oh dear ...
After that both teams were unable to get anything done, in addition did Alabama got another missed FG try, this time it was blocked by Auburn.
Motivated by that did Auburn cruise over the field and scored. Game tied!
32 ticks left on the clock.
But those are the Crimson Tide, right?
They went over the field, and with 1 tick left on the clock, on Auburn 38 yard line, the FG crew came on the field.
This time a different kicker.
Nobody kicks 57 yard field goal by default.
Alabama tried it anyway and kicked short.
The ball came down, right in front of the goal post.
An Auburn player did wait there for a return.
He ran ... and ran ... and ran THE WHOLE FUCKING FIELD TO WIN THE IRON BOWL! 109 yards!
Alabama went down. Almost no chance for a BCS championship spot, the chances for a three-peat are over. By a field goal return TD.
Still they will play in a BCS bowl and I fear for the opponent.
Alabama 34 - Auburn 28 -> Jacks Score: 57-23

Saturday, November 23 7:00 PM ET
#6 Clemson @ #10 South Carolina
This was a close game until the 4th quarter.
Then did South Carolina just score 14 unanswered point and won this game the 5th time in 5 years.
Clemson had a great season but they still need some more juice to play for the big one. They lost twice this season.
Against FSU and against South Carolina.
Nothing to be ashamed of.
South Carolina did win and keeps their chances for a BCS Bowl.
Their SEC dreams were shattered by Mizzou, but there is always the next season. ;-)
Clemson 17 - South Carolina 31 -> Jacks Score: 58-23

Saturday, November 23 7:45 PM ET
#21 Texas A&M @ #5 Missouri
This game was open until the end.
Mizzou was often in the lead, but A&M was able to tie the game.
Unfortunately they were not able to get into the leading position.
Mizzou scored again for the lead with 3:34 left on the clock.
You might think with a QB like Manziel it should be possible to get that one tying score?
No.
They had to punt and the Tigers were able to run down the clock, to win the division and to play for the SEC Championship in their 2nd year in the SEC.
Everybody thought it would be or could be A&M to accomplish that but now the Tigers might win the conference.
Next stop? Manziels announcement regarding his future. Sumlins contract was prolonged until 2019 already.
Texas A&M 21 - Missouri 28 -> Jacks Score: 59-23

Saturday, November 23 8:00 PM ET
#22 UCLA @ #23 USC
Wow, I think we will see a new USC HC very soon.
I think if that interims coach would have won the battle of LA, he might have gotten the deal, but with such a result as of last weekend?
I think, he will get HC offers, because of the good work he did with USC during the season, but USC wants someone to win with.
I'm stunned by the two leading candidates, I would have guessed they try to get someone like Del Rio or any other NFL coach waiting, but it looks like they want the next hot coach.
UCLA did let USC never get into that game and was always a bit better. Or even a bit more.
Jim Mora has to get his team to the next level; expectations will only grow in LA.
UCLA 35 - USC 14 -> Jacks Score: 59-24

Games of Interest

NIU wins against Western Michigan - NIU stays perfect and stays the only team worth a BCS Buster spot.
Mississippi State won against Ole Miss - The Egg Bowl is decided in OT.
Iowa wins against Nebraska - The Heroes Trophy is won by Iowa for the first time. (is awarded since 2011) but much juicier must be ... Iowa won in Nebraska the first time since ... 1943!
Marshall won against East Carolina - The Thundering Herd is playing for the CUSA Championship next week against Rice.
Akron beats Toledo - Akron with 5 wins this season.
Bowling Green wins against Buffalo - The Falcons will play for the MAC Championship against NIU next week.
LSU did almost lose to Arkansas - The Golden Boot is LSUs for the third time in 3 years.
San Jose State did beat Fresno State - Fresno State got their first loss of the season. They will play Utah State for the MWC championship next week.
Oregon State did almost win against Oregon - The civil war was VERY close. 30 ticks left and the Ducks did get the 1 point lead. 6th straight win for the Ducks.
UCF won against South Florida - UCF now has a share of the American conference title in the pocket.
Florida State beats Florida - After losing to the Gators last season, FSU did win this time to stay in the hunt for the BCS championship game
Kansas State wins against Kansas - The Governor's Cup is won by Kansas State for the 5th time in a row.
Utah State wins against Wyoming - For Utah State is means playing for the MWC championship game, for Wyoming it means looking for a new HC.
Rice wins against Tulane - Rice now the division winner and will play Marshall for the CUSA championship next week.
Georgia beats Georgia Tech in 2 OT - Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate! The Bulldogs have won that game for the 5th straight.
Purdue loses against Indiana - This year the Old Oaken Bucket is for the Hoosiers.
Virginia Tech wins against Virginia - The Commonwealth Cup is awarded to VT the 10th straight time.
Penn State upsets Wisconsin - The Badgers lose AT HOME!
Baylor wins against TCU - Baylor stays in the hunt for a BIG 12 Championship.
UTSA wins against Louisiana Tech - UTSA with a terrific season for a FBS sophomore
Western Kentucky beats Arkansas State - A bit expected did the Red Wolves lose, still they have all chances for a SBC championship, since ULL lost also.
Notre Dame lost against Stanford - This season the Legends Trophy is won by Stanford.
ULL lost against ULM - After 5 straight wins did Lafayette lose AT HOME against Monroe. Battle on the Bayou is this rivalry called.
Arizona State beats Arizona - The Territorial Cup is won by ASU 2nd straight.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE