2016-12-26

Another representation of some numbers

The most important numbers a player can have during his career are now available in a breakdown by seasons. Just visit the players detail page and hit that brand new button...

Two new options for your playbooks

From the changelog: Engine 4.18 (Official) / 4.19 (Friendly): added "not behind" and "not leading" option to both Offense and Defense playbooks

2016-12-21

HR Department - some changes

The HR Department closes at Thursday midnight before Season rollover. You have to finish all the contract work until that point. Once the Department closed, you cannot negotiate any further contracts for promoted youngsters, for Free Agent from the market and your own players. You will receive a warning via PM a few days before the Department is going to close.

If you like to switch back to skill based (aka non-contract-based) salaries, you can do so in the Settings area of the HR Department. You can switch on and off such closing request until the Season rollover happens. Once you request to switch off your Department it will become "demolished" at the next Season rollover. All your players will then receive salaries based on their skill progress. Keep the possibly negative influence on your teams exonomy in mind.

Flexbone...Wishbone...too much bones...

From Season 24 on Flexbone will be executed like Wishbone, and is kept here for compatibility of playbooks only!

Lost players due failed season rollover

On Sunday and Monday we failed with the first attempt to run the season rollover to Season 24. Therefore some players went to Free Agent, while they should have sticked with their teams. We enabled to turn these players into "Free Agents on Market". You can find these players in your roster history, under Chronicles. After your sent them to the market, you should be able to bid on them, and get them back to your team.

We refuse any further claims, since we think it was the Managers mistake not to set the contracts in time. And no, only because it was valid to set contracts on that Sunday in the past, it doesn't make it right. To manage a team means to come up with decisions in time. "On rollover Sunday" is not "in time".

And yes, it was Yodas fault to not run a clean rollover. However, even Yoda fails sometimes: “If into the security recordings aeh BACKUPS you go, only pain will you find.”

May the riots begin...

2016-10-29

The server made a boo boo.

Yes, one harddisc failed last night. The hardware guys replaced it, and we were able to recover without any loss of data. It seems to be up and running again. During the next few hours you might see slower page speed, until the recovery of the raid volumes completes.

Sorry for any trouble this might have caused.

Right now we are offline. The support team is on it.

...

2016-10-01

Just another addict?

Today, I want to draw your attention to our fellow manager kharton99, manager of the Berinsfield Hornets. Being here from Season 7, the team is entering Elite League for the first time. And so it was just reasonable to come up with a video, showing the pre-season preparations of his team.

Enjoy!



P.S.: When I started creating RZA, I hade really no idea what would happen. More than 7 years later I know: it was the right thing to do. Cannot imagine to miss such things...

2016-09-01

Happy Birthday, RedZoneAction

Hi all,

This is Pete. Yes, September 2nd is a remarkable day for us...see the video for more details.

2016-08-04

Do you wanna join us?

Hey,

The years before we ran our annual pick'em game at ESPN, and we will do so this year as well.

We created a group already, for more information please join us in the Forums.

The winner if this pick'em - which usually was a close thing at the end - will receive a 3 months supporter account for free, and the runner-up will receive 50 credits.

So don't wait and join us!

Have fun

2016-07-26

Preseason 2016 - Sun Belt Conference Preview

Remark by Pete: Yes, he is doing it again! Jack6 is writing about College Football, and will guide us through the upcoming season. You can find his posts in the "Block of Granite" section. Enjoy reading, and many many thanks to Jack6 for doing this again!

Hello out there.

I had written a longer chapter about the last few months and some issues around college football, most prominent the issue about sexual assaults, about money in college football and the hypocrisy of the NCAA, the universities and the coaches.

But I came to the conclusion that I'm far from able to present you all the facts and figures to give you a complete picture.
I have an opinion on those topics and I could state that one of cause, but that would only result in a quite depressing article so I skip that all.

I much rather start simply with this preview of the first conference and leave those explosive topic to the US-press.

I hope the ongoing discussions will change things, but my personal view on this is, it will take years, if not decades, to change the system.

Let's start with the first, probably weakest, conference.

Sun Belt Conference
The Sun Belt is still one of the weakest Conferences in the country and they are still not really stable.
The conference itself does have quite a lot members, but not all do support football, which leave the conference with 11 teams for this season.
For the future there will be drop outs and new members, like Idaho leaving probably 2018 to downgrade to FCS-level on their own decision, Coastal Carolina will join 2017 to make the jump from FCS-level to FBS-level and Texas-Arlington might support Football in the near future.

So the conference is 1 team short for a 2 division setup and a regular championship game (conference are allowed to play a championship game regardless of their size since this season, so it might happen that the conference will field a championship game in the near future regardless the amount of teams and eventually existing divisions) and this might stay that way or not, depended on the future developments.
Since the Big 12 has announced to add at least 2 more members in the future, those conferences losing teams to the Big12 will very likely have a look into the SBC and as well to other conferences to fill the gaps.
No information is available so far, but as we learned in the past, this might happen fast, especially during off season.

The teams are:
Appalachian State University Mountaineers
Arkansas State University Red Wolves
Georgia Southern University Eagles
Georgia State University Panthers
University of Idaho Vandals
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks
New Mexico State University Aggies
University of South Alabama Jaguars
Texas State University Bobcats
Troy University Trojans

Now let's get a bit into the details:

In the past I did a roundup per team and I already started with those again, but found them after 3 prewritten conference previews ready to post a bit boring.
It was almost the same for all teams, with some differences based on situations.

I decided to try it this season a bit different, but the changes are not that much.

My way-too-early-TIP for this season is:
Appalachian State Mountaineers
Arkansas State Red Wolves
Georgia Southern Eagles
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
South Alabama Jaguars
Troy Trojans
Georgia State Panthers
Idaho Vandals
Texas State Bobcats
New Mexico State Aggies
Louisiana Monroe Warhawks

Why that?

The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks did axe their coach Todd Berry after a 2-11 season and hired Matt Viator.
He is coming from McNeese State, where he served as HC since 2006 and won several conference titles and games.
In his first season he will face an uphill battle.
The non-conference games are beside a FCS game against Southern against quite good teams and they will play against every strong team inside the conference and almost every mid-level team.
Unlucky them they miss New Mexico State this season.
Look out for the late games in November and December, we might see some surprises, especially against rival Louisiana-Lafayette.
At the end they will likely lose too many game, hence my bottom of the conference pick.

As second worst team I see the New Mexico State Aggies.
I have the feeling we will see a coaching change here fast, if that team does not get it right quickly.
Doug Martin is in his 4th season and has so far 7 wins in 3 seasons.
Not the kind of success you are looking for when you hire a new coach.
Last seasons 3 wins were the highest win rate he had since becoming the Aggies new coach, but I'm sure the AD wants at least 6 or 7 for this season.
The non-conference schedule will likely add zero wins to their record this season, playing too many good teams.
Weakest team could be UTEP (CUSA).
So those expected wins have to come from inside the conference, right?
Bad luck they miss the Warhawks and the Panthers, two games they might have won.
I see them winning against Texas State at home and ULL, but that's probably that for this season.
We might see an explosion of strength, which happens sometimes, but I doubt it.
At the end they will have a slightly better record than the Warhawks.

With the Texas State Bobcats I was maybe a chicken.
Dennis Franchione left after a bad 2015 season (3-9 record) for retirement and Everett Withers was hired from James Madison (FCS) where he was HC for 2014 and 2015.
He was also interims HC for North Carolina in 2011 and had a quite OK season there, despite the NCAA investigations but was let go when current UNC coach Larry Fedora was hired.
So he has something to prove here.
Texas State has all the potential to be an at least quite successful program, if coached in a good way.
That means, they could become an SBC powerhouse, so Withers needs to get that potential going.
I'm sure he will have some time to adjust, but expectations will rise fast.
It won't help playing only 1 FCS team and only very good teams for the rest.
That 1 win does help a bit, but not much.
Lucky them they miss Georgia Southern inside the conference, along with South Alabama, but with the current program status, every team is a potential dooms bringer.
On top of that they have also basically no real home game against potential bottom teams.
Eventually Idaho and Troy are bad enough to fall under that category, but beside that ...
Best games would have been against ULM and NMS, both on the road.
So, either this team come out stronger than expected and will win not only a few games, but several ones, or they will win almost none and fans and players have to look for 2017.
My pick is they will finish almost last or last, but since I expect them to come up better than the Warhawks and the Aggies, I chickened and picked them 9th.

The Idaho Vandals are one of those teams I don't really like, with no particular reason why.
But I do like their decision to downgrade to FCS on their own in nearer future, becoming the first and so far only team in NCAA history to make that step voluntarily.
All other teams who done this were forced to do so by the NCAA.
It's unlikely the Vandals will become a powerhouse in the FBS in the near future, maybe they can restore some pride in the FCS.
The question is now, whether the Vandals will more or less skip the remaining seasons in the FBS by just playing a little bit, or will they play hard and tough like a long time ago and will try to go out in a blaze of glory?
My guess is, they will weasel themselves through the season and we all will be happen when they will be FCS soon.
I'm not questioning their willingness to play, I question the execution of that will on the field.
At least is Paul Petrino (Brother of Bobby Petrino) still at the helm and did even win some games last season.
The non-conference games do look again dooming, playing only 1 FCS teams and lots of better teams from the PAC and MWC.
They could win 2 games, might end up with just 1.
Inside the conference will they not face Arkansas State and Georgia Southern, which means they have one of the easiest schedule of all.
I'm not sure if this will help them, but for sure it's better than playing against those top teams, so ....
I expect them to finish at mid-level and picked them 8th, because I just think that the Panthers will have a slightly better season than the Vandals.

Not that the Georgia State Panthers will have good time this season.
The Panthers had a nice season last year, compared to the season before.
They added 5 wins on the really bad 2014 season (1-11) and finished (6-7) after a Bowl loss against San Jose State in the Cure Bowl, their first Bowl game ever.
Now the team has to deliver an even better season.
Their HC, Trent Miles, is in his 3rd season and I'm not sure he will be able to push the Panthers for another win or two further. That's where the fun ends.
He was also at that point with his former team Indiana State and was not able to deliver.
Their non-conference schedule is wide spread and because of Ball State (MAC) and Tennesseeâ€"Martin (FCS) they will maybe win 2 games here.
Of all SBC teams they will not face Louisianaâ€"Lafayette and New Mexico State, 2 mid-level to low level teams, which means the remaining games will be tough.
Crucial games will be against Southern Alabama and Troy, both on the road, which means the will have a hard time topping those 6 wins total from last season.
Still I think they will win more than the Vandals inside the conference.

Which brings us to the Troy Trojans.
Neal Brown is in his 2nd year and won 4 games last season, which is not as good as it could have been.
Regardless last seasons success was good enough to dream of further improvements.
The almost usual FCS-team on their non-conference schedule will have to deliver a sure win, UMass (Indy) might add another one.
Inside the conference they miss both Louisiana-something-teams, which will give them not the boost they might have hoped for.
Add a bad home/away constellation, playing the tough teams most of the time at home and the easier on the road. That's good if you are a major contender, but bad if you look for an upper mid field spot, where I see Troy.
Put that together I can see them winning 5 to 7 games, but not more.
A total valid scenario is a complete bust this season, or a complete success.
I think they will level the bust games out with some surprising upsets, finishing 6th overall.

Why are the South Alabama Jaguars not listed higher?
Because the other teams will play likely better.
South Alabama lost the last 3 games at season end and therefore missed a bowl game invitation and a positive season.
Joey Jones is now in his 8th season and had the worst season with the teams since 2012, their first inside the FBS.
This season they will try to get better, again.
Their non-conference schedule is nice, but won't help them to get more wins. They play a FCS team and beside that only good teams.
They don't play Appalachian State and Texas State, which means they don't play one of the top teams and one of the potential bad teams inside the conference.
They have the potential, but this has to be translated to the field, which did not happen last season, so why should it happen this season?
Only the players can do this.
If they play better as a unit, they might be able to get some upsets, I for this preview don't see a progress big enough to bring them on contender level.
I expect them to play a bit better than Troy, but better than the Cajuns? No.

Here come the nice Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. I love that name, even when they sucked last season.
The team did crash from the level of bowl playing in New Oleans Bowl in 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons and a winning streak of 9 wins in those all those years to a level of 4 wins in 2015 and of cause no bowl.
It's not hard to imagine that Mark Hudspeth in his 6th season will have to get that team back on track, if he does not like to get fired.
The university will for sure accept a losing season once in a while, but several other team had shown that it's possible to win in this conference for several seasons and the pressure is even higher, if you are the highest paid coach in the SBC with over 1 million $ per season.
Last time they won the conference? 2013 (tied), since then only second places or worse.
I think the hot seat is on and he will have to deliver a great season.
I see them winning in non-conference games against McNeese State (FCS) and Tulane (AAC), the rest will be losses.
The conference games do not see games against Georgia State and Troy, which means they will not play two mid-level teams and will have to play the low level teams and the favorites.
If the Cajuns can come back in 2014 form, they will at least give every favorite something worth a game and they will win the easy games.
I think 6 to 8 wins are possible, but whether that's enough to keep the job, I don't know.
For sure Hudspeth has some friends in the administration, otherwise would that wage not be explainable.
With a tough schedule I don't see them higher than mid-level, but inside that group of teams on top, means 4th.

The reason for the Georgia Southern Eagles to be at 3rd is, they will be a good team under hard times.
This team is a good one, but got hit by some NCAA violations and will lose some of the wins of the past.
The fallout of this is not clear so far, but will for sure effect the first season under new HC Tyson Summers.
Willie Fritz, last seasons coach, went to Tulane to make a miracle happen there and Tulane relevant again on a Football field.
New coach Summers was Colorado States DC last season and will have to deal with the small mess left behind.
Don't expect too many wins from the non-conference games, I expect them only to win the FCS game.
They will face inside the conference both contending teams from Arkansas State and Appalachian State, so if they get through this unbeaten, they deserve the SBC crown.
They also won't face Idaho and Texas State, which means they won't face 2 of the easier teams.
Overall it looks not good for the Eagles.
New coach, NCAA violations, a tough schedule.
I think they will drop a game or 2 against the other 2 contenders. So I picked them 3rd.

The Arkansas State Red Wolves won the conference last season and Blake Anderson is still the HC, which did not happen since a long time (keeping a HC after a conference win).
Now in his 3rd season, he will face a tough season and has still a Bowl game to win.
The team will play 1 FCS for the default win, but they might also win all other non-conference games, which would be unusual.
Inside the conference they do not play Appalachian State and Idaho, which is on one hand good, since they avoid a contender, but on the other hand they miss a game against a lower mid-level or low level team, making the overall schedule a bit tougher than the Mountaineers one (see below).
As compensation they will face Georgia Southern as another contending team at home beginning of October, making it possible to win the conference with a share at least.
A bowl game should be a must. A win there could mean another good bye to the HC.
I picked them second, because they might drop a game during the season.

On the other hand I expect the Appalachian State Mountaineers win big.
Last season were the Mountaineers almost on top of the conference, finishing 2nd behind Arkansas State and getting a Bowl invitation (first ever) to win against Ohio in the Camellia Bowl.
Scott Satterfield, a longtime Assistant on the Mountaineers staff, is now in his 4th year as Headcoach.
He will have to deal with high expectations on his teams, less than the conference title will be hard to swallow after last seasons finish.
They might add 2 wins from the non-conference games, even when they do not play a FCS team, which is unusual for the SBC.
Inside the conference they avoid Arkansas State and South Alabama, which means they will not play against one of the top teams and also not against a mid-level team, giving them very likely a boost on wins.
Most crucial game will be the Georgia Southern game, which is a road game end of October.
If they avoid stupid losses against mid-level teams, they should be able to go undefeated inside the conference and win at least a share of the title.
Some do see them even challenging the Vols or the Hurricans on the non-conference games, but I doubt it.

Overall does the conference promise, as it was also that way in the last few seasons, an open competition and my picks will likely be a bit shuffled at season end.
There are some great games coming from that conference, which is usually a more offense oriented one, which I like.

2016-07-23

IECC2 - RedZoneAction presents the trophy

An unique trophy for an unique achievement!

About 8 months ago we started a competition. 64 teams from all over the world entered this great tournament, playing virtual American Football games versus each other. The winner would receive a real trophy, shipped for free to him/her.

Now we found the winner. JohnnyAce won the final battle for the so called "International Elite Challenge Cup 2" - or like we call it: IECC2. Congrats!

The trophy is on its long way to the USA. We hope it travels safe, and Johnny will receive it soon.

2016-07-14

Intercontinental Elite Challenge Cup 2 - we have a champion!

The final game was played, a winner was found, the cup is over!

After almost 6 months and 135 games played by 64 teams, we know who is the winner of this competition. When traveling to Scotland, owner JohnnyAce of NOtown ~MYST1CS~ didn't expect such a blowout win of his team, and he returns to the USA calling himself "Champion IECC2". Congrats!

The trophy will be on its way soon! Yes, a real trophy will make its way to North America, and we can't wait to receive this single message from Johnny: "The trophy has landed"!

Thanks to all participating teams, congrats to all winning teams of the group stages, and of course a special Congrats to Bovakian, owner of the runner-up Inbhir Narann.

2016-07-07

Intercontinental Elite Challenge Cup 2

Do you remember? When 2016 was very young, we offered you to take part in a challenge, playing 63 other teams for winning a trophy, a real trophy - no virtual one.

Half a year later, we face the final game, the final decision of this cup. Coming wednesday, July 13th, Scotlands Inbhir Narann, ran by manager Bovakian, will host their opponent from USA, NOtown ~MYST1CS~ ran by manager JohnnyAce.

Both teams made quite a journey until they entered the final, the ONE game for the trophy. JohnnyAce was able to upset Solana_Steve and his San Diego Blitzkrieg by 36:10 at San Diego, while Bovakians team delivered a clear win over Utrecht, ran by Erecura. This 44:10 win at home wasn't expected to be that high as well.

So, this unique trophy will travel to Scotland or the USA. Who will put the hands on it? We will see next wednesday.

2016-06-30

Intercontinental Elite Challenge Cup 2 Finals - week 3

The divisional round of our small challenge is over, and the question is: who of these last 4 is able to pull 2 more wins out of the KO games? We see 4 strong teams, and the real unique trophy will have to travel either to Scotland, The Nederlands or to the USA.

At the same time we wave Goodbye to another 4 strong teams. Thanks for your participation, you guys put a fight in here that was amazing to watch.



We wish all participating teams good luck.

2016-06-24

Intercontinental Elite Challenge Cup 2 Finals - week 2

The first round was exciting, so was was week 2 of this tournament!



michigan state spartans @ San Diego Blitzkrieg 45:28

We do not know what was going on in San Diego during the last week, but something strange it was. Steve lost quite surprisingly with a margin of 3 scores, at home. This causes the division being open until the next gameday is over. Congrats to spartans, good game!

Inbhir Narann @ Panthers 26:3

Despite all the political fuss at home, the Scottish sportsman was able to pull another win - maybe because he was playing abroad again. The Panthers had no chance in this game. Congrats, Bovakian.

The Notorious Pub Gang 30:13 @ NOtown ~MYST1CS~ 24:27

Close game, tough loss for the "Gang". Now Toni needs kind of a mircacle next week. Congrats, Johnny, good fight.

Utrecht Guerillas @ Cool-Runnings 26:28

Another close game, won by Cool-Runnings. Congrats for this one. Bad luck, Guerillas!


Coming week we will see who will survive the division round, and advances to the half finals of this cup. One of these 4 teams will win at the end, and receive a nice trophy to brag with in real life.

We wish all participating teams good luck.

2016-06-17

Intercontinental Elite Challenge Cup 2 Finals - week 1

Yes, the first round of this final tournament for real hardware was played last wednesday.



Inbhir Narann @ michigan state spartans 41:17

Bovakian was able to beat spartans11 at their venue. Some weeks ago spartans11 announced a rebuild of their team, so this result is no big surprise after all - and the ELO prediction of a clear win by the spartans had to fail. On top the cup is running on power mode, where the players on the field are quite equal, and tactics matter. So, congrats go to Scotland for the win, well done!

Panthers @ San Diego Blitzkrieg 17:30

Solana_Steve and his team from San Diego (USA) is one of the veterans in RedZoneAction, and of course he carries a team which is hard to beat. A safe win by nearly 2 scores over Dxh2222 and his Panthers is the result of this game. Congrats, Steve!

Cool-Runnings @ NOtown ~MYST1CS~ 3:59

Oh, the result of this much is much clearer than we expected it. JohnnyAce and his NOtown ~MYST1CS~ made a statement at home. Congrats for the win, and the obviously good preparation.

Utrecht Guerillas @ The Notorious Pub Gang 30:13

Erecura was able to pull a quite clear win over Toni Gorilla. Just another example for the outcome of Power Cup plays. Congrats to Utrecht and their Guerillas, well done.


Upcoming Wednesday we will see round 2 of the very last round of this competition. 64 teams from all over the world were starting last Winter. Now the mentioned 8 teams fight for the real crown.

The Spartans travel to San Diego and face Steve and his Blitzkrieg. Under normal circumstances this would be a nailbitter on the paper. Can the rebuilding team put a surprise on the board?

The Scotsman is fighting abroad as well. Dxh2222 put a nice fight on the grid versus San Diego last week. Only a win of the US boys keeps them in the competition.

The win puts Erecura into the favorits role for the game versus Cool-Runnings. However, the Germans play at home, maybe the spectators give them the push needed?

Toni, with his back at the wall, faces JohnnyAce at his venue. Is Toni able to comeback, or will Johnny secure his lead in the division already?

We wish all participating teams good luck.

2016-05-22

Coaches Karma

Huh...what's that?

Since RedZoneAction went online back in 2011, one topic is the probably most stressed: how to write an Offensive Playbook that works in most situations, and keeps the Defense of my opponent busy all game long?

Some managers spend hours over hours in writing Playbook several 100 lines deep. Others try to find so called holes in the game engines logic. Sometimes managers create so called lopsided tactics. A simple translation of this would be "use the same formation all game long".

Since a few seasons the simulation checks for such lopsided tactics, and gives the Defense some advantage. This is to reflect real life, where you would hardly win a single game when playing "shotgun trips right" all game long.

As in every other simulation some of our managers play a game, while others enter "science mode", and try to find exploits, odds in the engines balance. This is where “Coaches karma” comes in.

On top of the already existing try to find lopsided tactic settings in advance and to weaken this kind of tactics, the Karma calculation works “after the game”, by checking how the game was played, finally. If it detects “strange settings”, the Coaches karma will lower. The game will tell you about this in the Matchstatistics. Right now this Karma has no effect, so consider this to be a temporary stage for the moment. But the future lays clear in front of us: earlier or later this Karma will influence certain levels of your team if it is ongoing low. Possible results can vary from much less spectators and therefore income from games, up to much more effective Coaching of the opponents’ defense.

So what to do? Check your karma level, and try to have a more sophisticated offensive play calling.

2016-05-15

Only a few games left...

Right now we started the very last round of our very unique competition, so called Intercontinental Elite Challenge Cup 2.

64 managers were fighting 8 qualification rounds, and the winner of each round is eligible to join those "last eight". These 8 teams will start fighting for the crown of this cup on June 15th, 2016. Each team belongs to one out of two divisions, and will play the 3 other teams in its division. The winner and the runner-up of this group stage will advance to the KO games, and on the 13th of July, the Grand Final will happen. The two best teams will fight for determining the winner of this big competition, and the team winning this fiight will receive real hardware to brag with.

Don't miss this game!

We added "events" to our social network accounts, and would love if you could join them, even this only a virtual event.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/512600972257089/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/events/c4tdutj57p8sjvlu2v7jjfpsmno

See you there :)

PS: Did you know, our partner OnlineSportManagers fixed a terrible bug in the voting function. This means, now every manager should be able to vote at least once a month, and you will get Credits in return. Thanks for driving our reputation through the roof overthere. And remember: more managers joining RedZoneAction.org means more fun for all of us! So go to this page, click the "VOTE NOW" button, click "BEST" on that other page, and jump back to RedZoneAction.org by using the PLAY NOW button, again.

2016-05-01

Shakespeare, competition part 2

Little more than one week ago, this great guy passed away, 400 years ago. We started a competition, to find out who would translate quotes from this famous man into RZA-terms.



Captain Jack and me sat down, and spent hours of arguing who's the best Shakespeare translator, who would earn the title "winner" most. And I can tell you, it was a tough take.

All of you made a tremendous job in finding quotes, and finding situations in our game that could have been the reason for this great man to come up with his words, once he would have had a chance to play RedZoneAction.org at his time.

Due this, we added to the rules, and [b]we award 10 Credits to each of you guys[/b] who sent in their ideas, who participated. Without you, it wouldn't have been any fun. Thank you.

But, we need a winner, and a runner-up.

bobcor came up with

Though this be madness, yet there be method in it. and translated it in a very simple way: My playbook.

Congrats, this is our runner-up. 50 Credits go to you.


And...tata, here we go: Schwabe, congrats. We do not know if your teacher at school was proud of your literary knowledge, but we can tell you, we were impressed!

The winning translation:

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.

Found out YA-Player or draftee capped low.

Again, thank you very much for taking part in this one.

A big thank you goes to Captain Jack, who came up with the idea, wrote down some text, and had a tough time in finding the winners. Cheers, appreciated!

Jerseys for all...

Since today, you have the ability to provide each of your players with a unique jersey number. On top of that, you can s e l e c t both a home and away jersey. There are several styles und millions of color variations available, just check "Front Office / Settings".

Thos jerseys show up on different pages within RedZoneAction.org. We will add more during the next few days...

Meanwhile, start setting the number for each player. You can do that in "Team / Players". Just click on the small icon in front of each player name, and chose a number...

 
  
     

2016-04-23

To be or not to be – that is the question

I am sure that these words are extremely familiar to most of the world that speak English. I would also expect that they might be known by many who do not speak English â€" and if the English words are not known by them then it is pretty certain that they know the translation in their own language. As almost everyone will know these words were written by William Shakespeare and appear in his play ‘Hamlet’.

Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire in England. The exact date is unknown, however as he was baptised on 26th April his birthday is generally celebrated as 23rd (which also coincides with St George’s Day). He died on 23rd April 1616.

So this year commemorates 400 years since his death and there are special celebrations this year, not only in England but throughout the world.

His works include about 38 plays (exact number unknown), 154 sonnets and 2 long narrative poems. They have been translated into every major language in the world and are performed more than those of any other playwright.

However, one might be prompted to ask how and why his plays have survived over 400 years. The language used is archaic by our modern standards and it is impossible for a native English speaker to understand his plays without reference to notes. An explanation is needed as to what some of the words mean as they have either disappeared entirely from the English language or their meaning has changed. Also many of the in play references that would have been common knowledge to Shakespeare’s audience are lost on us today, without some kind of explanation. So one can only imagine how difficult it is to translate these into other languages.

Perhaps the reason for the survival and success of Shakespeare’s plays are that he wrote about topical issues. Of course, he had to be very careful about being openly critical of the important people of the time â€" especially the nobility and monarchy â€" but by working within the confines of, say, a historical play he was able to make his point.

There have, of course, been various interpretations of his plays â€" what was he actually saying? It may be that this fluidity of interpretations and the fact that the issues raised within the plays seem to still be with us today that makes them endure so much. At any rate their popularity seems to show no sign of declining. Will they be with us for another 400 years?

We will start a small competition, where you have to translate Shakespeare quotes into RedZoneAction.org-terms...you can find it in the Forum. There is something to win for the winner and the runner-up of this competition.

If you feel prompted to learn more about Shakespeare you can start here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare

The British Council are putting on a number of events this year which are detailed here

http://www.shakespearelives.org/

And details of the Stratford-upon-Avon festivities can be found at Shakespeare’s England

http://shakespeares-england.co.uk/shakespeare-2016.

Written by user Captain Jack

2016-04-10

Season rollover, changes Salary structure, Premium Youth Academy

Yep, it took about 3 hours, but went well after all. Welcome to Season 21.

So what do we have now?

Due to the changes of the salary structure for players, we have clarify a few things. For more detailed information please refer to the manual.

A.) Managers not using the HR Department

For you guys there is nothing to do. You might notice, some players are a bit cheaper now. That's it, the new salary structure is active. However, you should consider activating the HR Department, since it can help you to save money, especially if you carry more developed rosters already.

B.) Managers owning the HR Department

We reset all negotioations. If you do nothing, it stays at it was back in Season 20, when you negotiated the salaries the last time. But, you should really consider doing your negotiations again. To do that, just enter the HR Department, and redo the contracts if you like. It could save you a good portion of the salaries. Please notice, you can redo the contracts of your franchise players as well, but if you dislike doing so, nothing changes.

Premium Youth Academy

If you own the highest possible level of the Youth Academy, you can enable "Premium Academy". This causes some serious damage in your bankroll, but rewards your Youngsters with a much more intense training. This will result in faster progress. Check the manual for more details, please.

Have fun, enjoy the game.

2016-03-23

Coaches Corner - by punch drunk

It was last Sunday when I received a message: "I was thinking it would fun if I were to interrogate (Interview) a team owner every week (or month)."

Yep, the idea is not really new, we know such interviews from other games. And it was fun, always. You get some more private comments from rivals, you get an idea what they focus on. This was they reason I didn't need to think about it for long, and gave punch drunk a go. He started asking the community who would like to take seat and answer some questions. And the community responded - as expected by me - with a "me, and me, and me too". Because this is what RedZoneAction.org is about: community.

The first 3 volumes are up for reading, you can find them here in our forum.

One of the managers is a veteran, you all know wiesengrund. Then there is an interview with a manager called luko1717, he joined the game a few weeks ago. The third guy is open for getting bribed with Guinness, and his Yoda avatar is well known at the forums for telling mostly things like "QBs need no punting"...yes, it is about Pete (me).

A cheers to punch drunk for doing this. May it last long, may we read many interesting interviews in the future. Thanks!

Enjoy reading!

2016-03-20

Intercontinental Elite Challenge Cup 2 (IECC2) - last two qualification rounds looking for participants

The last two round of our tournament are looking for participants.

Everyone can join, for more information and some few rules have a look here.

Qualification round 5 and 6 are facing the Bowl game today and coming wednesday. You can follow these matches here and here. Both games will become nailbitters, it seems!

After we found the winners of those last 4 qualification rounds, we will schedule the final round of this years IECC, and the winners of each qualification round will battle for real hardware. Remember, the winner of this final round is receiving a trophy.

Good luck!

2016-03-01

Game of the Year 2015 - once more, still great!

You guys know probably about our campaign on that webpage called Online Sport Managers.

This site is doing advertisement for Sports games as RedZoneAction.org is one. I know from a couple of talks that some of you joined us by seeing our advertisements over there. This page is awarding the best games for each category, and RedZoneAtion.org once more became the "American Football Game of the Year". So a nice badge is joining the others on our gallery.



By the way: if you like, just visit the page, drop a nice comment about RedZoneAction.org, or just rate the game "Best"! There is no better way to attract new managers...

We use this chance to say Thank you to all those playing the game, to those supporting us - no matter if by money, by voting for us, by just keep playing. Those who spread the word about our little game. We hope, we are able to provide ongoing fun to you, and we will work hard to achieve our goals.

Yours,
Pete

2016-02-11

Intercontinental Elite Challenge Cup, wave 1 done, wave 2 looking for participants

Last years Christmas we introduced our plan to run another IECC cup, a cup where the final champion gets real hardware, a nice trophy, into his/her hands.

The first wave of 4 qualification rounds was done, and here are the winners:

dxh2222 and his Panthers

JohnnyAce and his NOtown ~MYST1CS~

Erecura and his Utrecht Guerillas

Solana_Steve and his San Diego Blitzkrieg

These managers are the first 4 managers out of 8 to play the final round of our challenge. Congrats, guys.

Now we started qualification rounds 5 and 6, don't miss!

2016-02-06

Match of the Day

Yes, there is a brand new feature available on RedZoneAction.org, the multiple awarded Free to play American Football Simulation on the web. It is called "Match of the Day".

Today, Buddy Ryans Styrian Bears will host the T'Pau Vulcans, managed by kevin. We expect a close nailbitter game, since both managers fight for the crown in RedZoneActions most presticous league - so called RZA Elite. Also both managers are ranked quite equally in terms of their managing power, measured by the brand new ELO ranking system introduced a few weeks ago.

Kickoff will be at 6 pm UTC. We invite you and your friends to follow the game for free, even without having a RedZoneAction.org account. The presentation level is "Premium" for all, so you can get a true grip to the game with formations moving live on the grid.

Don't miss!

https://redzoneaction.org/football/index.php?page=yourteam&subpage=gamecenter&matchid=100358913

2016-01-17

Season rollover done - some changes

Hi all,

The season rollover to season 20 was done. The new season is different from the past ones.

1.) Sim-Engine: The possibility of a PAT to fail was raised slightly

2.) Supercup division round: There is a virtual cap in place. This means, no matter how many points each team scores, for the "points difference" tie breaker the calculation is always: if the winning team has more than 60 points difference, the winning teams score will be limited to "losing score + 60". Please notice the added columns in the division tables. You will find PFR, PAR and PDR, which translates to Points forced real, Points allowed real, Points difference real. In these columns you will find the summaries based on the real score, while PF, PA and PD show the capped scores - and are used for the sort order / tiebreakers.

3.) League regular season: Is exactly the same as mentioned under point "2.) Super cup division round".

4.) The columns of Friendly Cup tables show these new columns as well, but right now there is no cap in place

5.) ELO ranking in place: We added a new ranking mechanism based on ELO ranking, well known from Chess and many other games. The ELO is replacing the older ranking system, and co-exists with the external Beckos-Rating, done by our fellow user Ausonny. Our ELO makes predictions as well, you can see in the gamecenter right before the games kickoff, and in the general gamestats, once the game finished. On the Clubs page you can see the rank based on ELO in the league of the user, and global. Some charts add to this for graphical presentation.

For now, don't forget to set your Draft order, the draft will happen within the next few days. And have a check, some of your veterans might be willing to play another year, if their pocket gets filled with some money...don't be shy with your offers!

2016-01-14

Bowls 2015 the end

Sorry for the delay, I had a lot of stuff to do in the past few days and that final entry for this season was the last thing to do and got shifted and shifted.

The new National Champions of the FBS are the ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE. Again.

The Tide did win their 4th title in 7 years and depended on counting all historic record and claimed National Titles, Alabama is now in the ballpark of 16 titles, which is the most of all current FBS teams.

Nick Saban, the HC of the Tide since 2007 has won all of those last 4 titles and had already won a title with LSU, making it 5 titles through his career, which puts him in a quite rare group of coaches.

The coach with most FBS National Titles is still
BEAR BRYANT with 6 (won all with Alabama in 60s and 70s)
and then there are 3 coaches with 5 titles,
BERNIE BIERMAN (with Minnesota 30s and 40s),
HOWARD JONES (with Yale 1909 and USC in the late 20s and 30s) and
NICK SABAN (with LSU 2003 and with Alabama 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015).

Saban is the only coach still able to win even more titles, the next still active coach behind Saban in terms of titles is Urban Meyer of Ohio State (won with Florida 2006 and 2008 and with Ohio State in 2014).

The good thing this season was, the title game was a good one, and not like many of the title games in the past (especially the ones the Tide did play in), which ended in a blowout.
No, this time it was fun to watch.

Here is the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAME FOR WAVE 6

Mon. Jan. 11 - 8:30 pm
CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PRES. BY AT&T
#2 Alabama vs. #1 Clemson
@University of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale, AZ
I had not expected to have Clemson really on the same level as Alabama, but they did come into this game were not intimidated by the Saban led Alabama team.
In fact they did win the 1st quarter 14-7, scoring on 2 of their 3 drives and had Alabama miss a field goal in that quarter.
An interception of Clemson did give Alabama a good field position and they did score to tie the game early in the 2nd quarter.
Then did both defense units got their plays and the game did go on and on until Clemson did try a field goal before the halftime break and got blocked.
A tied game at the half was a great result, for both teams.
After the break did Alabama stop Clemson and was able to score afterwards, getting in the lead, but Clemson did answer with a field goal and a TD later in the quarter leading 24-21 after the 3rd quarter.
That’s when the game did shift in the next gear.
Clemson got the ball and was stopped; Alabama got the ball and did kick a tying field goal. 24-24.
A great executed onside-kick from Alabama was recovered by them and did give them not only great field position, but did denial a chance for scoring on their own and in that momentum shift was Alabama able to get a TD for the 31-24 lead.
Clemson was stopped in the next drive and had to settle for a field goal, 31-27.
Alabama did return the following kickoff 95 yards for a TD. A major shock for Clemson. 38-27.
But Clemson was not done and did drive over the field and scored a TD on their own, 38-33, Clemson did fail the 2-point-conversion.
The most crucial drive now was Alabamas next, since it started with under 5 minutes left in the game and did eat away 3 and a half and give them a TD to pull away 45-33.
Clemsons offense was not done and went over the field again in less than a minute and score a TD. 45-40.
But their onside-kick was recovered by Alabama and they only needed to run the time down to win the National Championship.
Clemsons defense did not look good in the last quarter and also the special teams were not in the game in that last quarter.
The good news for Clemson fans is, that the team will be almost intact next season, so the pressure will be on early and they might get their title next season.
For Alabama it’s another season with some crucial losses on players and coaches, it will be interesting to see, how they will perform next season. But as long as Saban is at the sideline, it’s save to say the Tide will roll rough and hard. They might not be title contenders next season, but maybe the season after that.
Alabama 45 - Clemson 40 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 26-15

That’s it for the season. If my time allows it, I will be back next summer.
Thank you for reading this, I hope you did enjoy it over the season.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2016-01-06

Bowls 2015 wave 6

Just 1 game left and then the season is done.

I hope for a great National Championship game, but I fear it will be a bit less exciting than it could have been.

Here is the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 5

Fri. Jan. 1 - 12:00 pm ET
Outback Bowl
#13 Northwestern vs. #23 Tennessee
@Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Fla.
It must have been fun to see the Vols dominating the Wildcats, if you are a Vols fan and had all those bad seasons to swallow the last few years.
Tennessee did leave not chance to Northwestern and did finish the Wildcats off in a big way.
The 1st half was still a bit open, having Northwestern missing opportunities and staying close enough to see a chance for winning.
But the 2nd half was awful, having turnovers by Northwestern regularly and Tennessee did convert those two points, regularly.
I think the Vols fans can hope for next season, while the Wildcats fans can be glad over a 10-3 season, which did at the end became a bit fruitless and it will be interesting to see, whether they will go up or down starting next September.
Northwestern 6 - Tennessee 45 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 21-11

Fri. Jan. 1 - 1:00 pm ET
BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl
#8 Notre Dame vs. #7 Ohio State
@University of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale, AZ
I might come over as Notre Dame basher, but I'm afraid I have to say, this game went as I expected it to go.
Notre Dame did play fine, but Ohio State was not only better, they were really better.
The Buckeyes did outscore Notre Dame in the 1st quarter and from that moment, Notre Dame did play catch up.
The Irish did come closest when they scored the TD trailing only by 10, but were unable to stop Ohio State marching over the field, scoring a FG and eating away over 5 minutes of time.
Add turnovers and bad execution on offense and it's no wonder Ohio State did win big.
I'm still wondering why Notre Dame does not get onto that TOP5 level, having the money and the program they have, but I'm sure we won't see a much better team next season and I'm also sure Brian Kelly will not win the National Championship at Notre Dame.
Can’t explain why it's that way, but something is missing and I can't see Kelly finding the fix.
Ohio State will have to reload next season, and with Michigan becoming relevant again, the Division should be fun to watch next season.
Notre Dame 28 - Ohio State 44 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 22-11

Fri. Jan. 1 - 1:00 pm ET
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
#14 Michigan vs. #19 Florida
@Citrus Bowl - Orlando, FL
Oh what a bad game.
At least for Florida.
I you think about the Gators winning the division and winning 10 games over the season, I would like to know, what they players were thinking in this Bowl game.
It's the nature of game that 1 team has to lose, but you can lose by a few points and can be proud of the effort or you can lose in a landslide and should be ashamed given your status.
Michigan did almost everything right and Florida not.
The 1st quarter was OK, but then it became very clear, that the Wolverine did come to Florida to play, while the Gators players were already on holiday.
Michigan was better in every aspect of the game.
I hope Florida does fix this for next season and I hope Michigan gets a few more ticks towards perfection going and makes their division a fun spot to watch.
Michigan 41 - Florida 7 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 23-11

Fri. Jan. 1 - 5:00 pm ET
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual
#6 Stanford vs. #5 Iowa
@Rose Bowl - Pasadena, CA
Autsch, that did hurt.
To make this short, I don't understand how Iowa got burned by 1 player so badly.
Stanford is quite 1 dimensional and all they had to do was stop the run, but that kid was able to run, run and run all over the day.
He did break the Rose Bowl record on all-purpose yards with 368, including runs, receiving yards and return.
Christian McCaffrey did beat Iowa by himself and I don't get it.
Stanford was not free of errors, but Iowa did have many many more and lost this one rightfully.
One reporter stated the game was over after the 1st play from scrimmage (which was a pass to McCaffrey over the middle and was taken to the house). That’s not really true, but overall this play was a bad start for Iowa from which they never recovered.
Bad ending for the Hawkeyes fans, great ending for Stanford, which will see McCaffrey back next season.
Stanford 45 - Iowa 16 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 23-12

Fri. Jan. 1 - 8:30 pm ET
Allstate Sugar Bowl
#16 Oklahoma State vs. #12 Ole Miss
@Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, LA
The good news for Ole Miss is, they will have plenty of room to improve next season inside the division and they might have the team to do so.
That Bowl was great for them and fun to watch, if you like the Rebels.
If you like the Cowboys, this was torture.
The game was over at halftime and Ole Miss won this in a big way.
The Cowboys got outplayed, even by an OL-receiving-TD (it was officially a backward pass, counts as a run, still that big guy did catch it and ran it in).
I'm always wondering if Gundy, the OSU HC, is over performing, or underperforming in Stillwater.
Over so many seasons did Oklahoma State have all the chances to get at least into the title game and they did fall in many big games and often in the not so big games after winning the big ones.
He is the coach since 11 seasons and did win the conference once and the division (when the BIG12 still had divisions) also once in a 3 team tie, not going to the championship game.
Since 4 seasons, nothing. The team is for sure in better shape than before his run, but I wonder how long it will take to get greedy in Stillwater.
Ole Miss can look forward to next season, they might have a chance to beat Alabama again and even more.
Oklahoma State 20 - Ole Miss 48 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 23-13

Sat. Jan. 2 - 12:00 pm ET
TaxSlayer Bowl
Penn State vs. Georgia
@EverBank Field - Jacksonville, FL
The result of that game does look more as an open game as it was.
Until the 4th quarter had Penn State scored 3 points and Georgia was miles away (well, only 21 points ahead, but could have been miles).
Nothing really worked for Penn State until they found a bit of a fighting spirit in the 4th and then, it was too late.
They managed to get 1 good drive in the last 2 minutes to maybe tie the game, but at the 39 yard line in Georgia territory it was over.
They played until the whistle was blown, but overall it was just too much to ask for.
Georgia will see some changes in the near future with a new HC.
Penn State will lose their QB to the draft leaving early, but his replacement did look good in the bowl, so maybe they will add some spice to the division, which already features Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State.
Penn State 17 - Georgia 24 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 24-13

Sat. Jan. 2 - 3:20 pm ET
Liberty Bowl
Kansas State vs. Arkansas
@Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium - Memphis, TN
This I make short.
Arkansas did look quite good against Kansas State and did win with a good margin in a quite high scoring game.
For the Wildcats it will be interesting to see whether they will rebound from this season and for Arkansas it will be interesting to see, whether they will keep that form up they had at the end of the season.
Arkansas could become a major spoiler in that SEC West.
Kansas State 23 - Arkansas 45 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 25-13

Sat. Jan. 2 - 6:45 pm ET
Alamo Bowl
#15 Oregon vs. #11 TCU
@Alamodome - San Antonio, TX
Oh dear, some do see this game as the best bowl of the season and for sure it was a very good one, only it was not clear from the start.
That game did cost me heavily on my ESPN picking game (with confidence points) and here is why.
I did pick the Ducks and they did look like the sure winner early.
At halftime they did lead 31-0!
Then, out of nowhere, TCU started scoring and the Ducks were unable to do so, totally!
The 2nd half went 0-31 and the game went into overtime!
The 1st position was TCUs and they did score a TD and Oregon did score also a TD.
In 2nd overtime did Oregon settle for a field goal and was able to stop TCU and force them also into a field goal try, which was good. Game tied at 41.
The 3rd OT is dominated by a rule change (compared to 1st and 2nd OT), because then a team has to play the 2-point-conversion by rule after a TD.
TCU did score a TD and failed the 2-point-conversion.
Oregon took the ball and went 1-2-3-4 and did accomplish NOTHING!
Game over and TCU had 1 of the best comebacks in College Football history.
Oregon 41 - TCU 47 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 25-14

Sat. Jan. 2 - 10:15 pm ET (ESPN) Line
Cactus Bowl
West Virginia vs. Arizona State
@Chase Field - Phoenix, Ariz.
And the last regular bowl.
This I blame to the Arizona State defense, which had capital errors, when it did count.
The defensive back field was really bad and did allow scores ... unbelievable.
Sun Devils were only able to stay in the game, because West Virginias defense had bad moments, too.
But at the end, West Virginia was leading by 1 and was able to defend that last crucial play to avoid a field goal attempt and to win this game.
West Virginia 43 - Arizona State 42 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 25-15

Here is the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAME FOR WAVE 6

Mon. Jan. 11 - 8:30 pm
CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PRES. BY AT&T
#2 Alabama vs. #1 Clemson
@University of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale, AZ
There we are with the second College Playoff National Championship Game and we have a good one going.
Alabama had a great game against Michigan State and won in a shutout and Clemson had a very controlled game against Oklahoma and did win by a lot of points, thanks to a one-sided second half.
Vegas do see Alabama as 7 point favourite and it is a high scoring game expected.
I'm not that convinced on the 1st part, because even while Clemson did look very good, Alabama did look like a class on their own.
I will pick Alabama in this one. And I think they will win with more than 7 points.
Their defense was brutally effective and their offense was unstoppable by one of the best defense units of the season.
I'm not expecting a shut out like we saw with Michigan State, but I'm also not expecting Clemson to score as they like over the full length of the game.
As much as I'm bored of having Alabama on top every 2 years and I would like to see Clemson win this, my 1st thought after Alabamas win was 'They will win'.
It's the Tigers who have to find ways to stop those defensive linemen to pressure the QB and to disrupt the running game, it's Clemsons homework to find holes in the Alabama backfield to move the chains.
Alabama will have to play a bit different than they did against Michigan State, because that Clemson QB can pass and run and therefore the Tigers will have a bit more breathing room.
Overall, I think the best Clemson can hope for is a perfect game by their defense and then having Alabama often enough on the wrong foot to get things going.
Still, I think Alabama will win this with a higher Margin than the Vegas-7 and will win their next National Championship to finish the season.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2016-01-01

Bowls 2015 wave 5

And that leaves 10 Bowls for the rest of the season.

Happy new year to all of you.

Today is a quite football heavy day, but enjoy it, as long as it lasts.

Here are the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 4

Wed. Dec. 30 - 12:00 pm ET
Birmingham Bowl
Auburn vs. Memphis
@Legion Field - Birmingham, AL
After a tied game with a score of 10-10 at halftime, this got very one sided.
Auburn did stop Memphis regularly and did on the other hand score a few times.
There was nothing going on Memphis offense in the 2nd half, maybe the end zone interception on the 1st drive after the halftime break did crushed their motivation.
Of cause such a play is bad, driving over the field and then not only having the ball taken away, but also not having any points out of this.
But with a tied game, everything was still possible.
But all remaining drives of Memphis were bad.
They had only 3-and-out-drives until their last drive had 15 plays and with trailing at that point by 21 points they had to go for it on 4th down and the game was over.
Nice finish for Auburn.
Auburn 31 - Memphis 10 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 15-10

Wed. Dec. 30 - 3:30 pm ET
Belk Bowl
North Carolina State vs. Mississippi State
@Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte, NC
This was over at halftime.
NC State did trail by 17 points and there was no sign of a shifted momentum.
After the break did the Bulldogs team play as before, scored many points and did NC State had some scoring drives on their own, but never enough to get near a win.
And Mississippi State did not really play 100% good.
They left many chance unused.
North Carolina State 28 - Mississippi State 51 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 16-10

Wed. Dec. 30 - 7:00 pm ET
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Texas A&M vs. Louisville
@Nissan Stadium - Nashville, TN
It's not that A&M had no chance to win this.
They did start bad and never recovered totally.
After the 1st quarter Louisville was leading 20-7 and even when A&M shortened the distance over the quarters, in the final drives it was obvious the A&M defense was not in the game, while the Cardinals defense did come up big when they were needed most.
It was the fitting finish on that disappointing A&M season and a good one for Louisville, which needed a win in a bowl after a bad start into the season and an early elimination of contention.
Texas A&M 21 - Louisville 27 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 16-11

Wed. Dec. 30 - 10:30 pm ET
Holiday Bowl
#25 USC vs. Wisconsin
@Qualcomm Stadium - San Diego, CA
This was entertaining and ended as I wished it to be. Close.
They did start slow and at halftime we had Wisconsin leading 13-7.
After the break did both teams score a TD and later did USC add another score, now leading 21-20.
With a bit over 3 minutes to go did the Badgers kicker score a field goal for the 23-21 lead and USC tried to answer that.
An their 1st drive after that FG we saw the 1st and only interception of the game, which was crucial.
Wisconsin was unable to do anything with the ball except to run down the clock and gave it back to USC with 35 ticks left to go.
From their own 10 yard line USC did start their last drive, made it to mid field and did pass incomplete on 4th and 10.
Badgers win.
That was the 1st win of the Badgers over USC ever (on 7 games) and the last game was 1966!
USC 21 - Wisconsin 23 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 17-11

Thurs. Dec. 31 - 12:00 pm ET
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
#18 Houston vs. #9 Florida State
@Georgia Dome - Atlanta, GA
I make this one short.
Turnover score: Houston 1, FSU 5.
Any questions?
And the worst part of this is, Houston was bad in converting those turnovers in points.
They did score after the single fumble, they had to punt after the 1st, 2nd and 3rd INT. The 4th INT was the last comeback attempt and Houston only had to run down the clock.
Still Houston won by 14 points.
That was an embarrassing match for FSU, sorry to say that.
Cougars future looks bright, it will be interesting to see, how FSU will play next season.
Houston 38 - Florida State 24 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 18-11

Thurs. Dec. 31 - 4:00 pm ET
Capital One Orange Bowl - NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL
#4 Oklahoma vs. #1 Clemson
@Sun Life Stadium - Miami, FL
Great game and one of the best so far.
Oklahoma did score 1st, Clemson had a field goal a few drives later and did score a TD on their next drive after a gutsy fake punt play on 4th and 4 on Oklahomas 44 yard line.
That did set the tone for the rest of the game.
Clemson did play a bit tougher, a bit more with their hearts in this and at the end it was more than enough.
The Sooners did lead 17-16 at the half, but in the 3rd quarter Clemson did not only adjust their offense, which did too often had to settle for a field goal, they did also adjust their defense and held Oklahoma scoreless until the game was over.
Overall was Oklahoma never able to stop the runs, which did hurt them especially in the 4th quarter where they simply ran out of time.
They allowed 312 yards, which is way too much.
I think Clemson did all the right things in this game and deserves to play for a national championship.
Oklahoma 17 - Clemson 37 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 19-11

Thurs. Dec. 31 - 8:00 pm ET
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL
#3 Michigan State vs. #2 Alabama
@AT&T Stadium - Arlington, TX
I never expected a so one sided game.
It was OK until short the halftime, Alabama was leading 10-0 when MSU went all over the field and delivered a bad through right at the 1 yard line for an interception.
No points and halftime over.
Still time to recover?
Yes, but not by allowing an Alabama score with the opening drive, with a fumble on Spartans 1st drive, allowing a punt return TD after Spartans 2nd drive and being behind already 31-0 shortly after another Alabama TD.
MSU did play more risky after that and that backfired even more.
At the end a very one sided game with a great Alabama defense and a bad Michigan State defense on the other side.
Alabama will play for another national championship.
Michigan State 0 - Alabama 38 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 20-11

Here is the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 5

Fri. Jan. 1 - 12:00 pm ET
Outback Bowl
#13 Northwestern vs. #23 Tennessee
@Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Fla.
This is played since 1986 and is fielded at the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the South Florida Bulls.
Another SEC vs Big Ten Bowl and each team gets around 3.500.000$.
Tough to pick. Northwestern had some nice wins and some strange losses, losing high against Michigan and Iowa.
They finished 10-2, which is great for Northwestern.
Tennessee on the other hand did record 8-4, with all 4 losses very close and having 5 wins in a row at season end.
It's hard to pick against the team with the better record, but Tennessee could have been easily 10-2 also or even better.
They had some bad luck during the season and became better and better.
Under such circumstances I see the Vols having the edge over a good Northwestern team.
This might come down to a last minute play, but my guess is, even that won't happen.
Volunteers win.

Fri. Jan. 1 - 1:00 pm ET
BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl
#8 Notre Dame vs. #7 Ohio State
@University of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale, AZ
The Bowl is played since 1971 and belongs also to the CFP-Bowls.
Two at-large-teams will face off.
The payout is part if the CFP-system.
This is a classic matchup in a college football leftovers bowl.
Notre Dame did lose to Stanford on season final (and also against Clemson during the season) and dropped out of contention with 10-2, while Ohio State did lose 1 crucial game, against Michigan State, finishing 11-1.
It's really funny, I don't see Notre Dame as TOP10 team, not with their schedule and results.
On the other hand did they lose each game by 2 points.
Ohio State did lose that crucial game against Michigan State by 3 in a low scoring game.
Pick?
As said, I don't think Notre Dame is really a TOP10 team, while Ohio State very likely is.
I will not pick an upset under that impression.
My expectations are, that Ohio State will score regularly, while Notre Dame will have trouble to do so.
Hence, Ohio State will control the clock, will score more often and will win.
Buckeyes win.

Fri. Jan. 1 - 1:00 pm ET
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
#14 Michigan vs. #19 Florida
@Citrus Bowl - Orlando, FL
Since 1946 played, under different names. Thanks to whomever, we have the Citrus Bowl back since last season.
It is still played in the stadium named after the bowl in Orlando, Florida.
SEC against Big Ten, again.
Each team gets around 4.250.000$.
The matchup is challenging.
Maybe they should have called this the resurrection bowl.
Michigan was 2nd class last season and the new coach did bring them back to the better half of the BIG10.
The last game against Ohio State did prove, there is still work to do.
But 9-3 and a big bowl spot are very good for the 1st season.
Florida was also 2nd class last season and the new coach did bring them right back to the SEC Championship game, which they lost.
They also lost some other big games and almost some games against less strong teams.
Finishing 10-3 was great for them.
Both teams do have nice perspectives for the future.
This bowl?
I see Michigan in the lead here.
Tough defense and a good enough offense, against a not so good offense and a sometime sloppy defense.
Florida can play, no doubt and playing in Florida might lift them a bit.
Still I think Michigan will win here, by force of will.
Wolverine win.

Fri. Jan. 1 - 5:00 pm ET
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual
#6 Stanford vs. #5 Iowa
@Rose Bowl - Pasadena, CA
The mother of all Bowls is played since 1902!
It was permanently installed in 1916 and is played since then.
It was the Big Ten Champion vs. the PAC12 Champion, but with the CFP-System it's either a semi-finale or as this season, just a bowl game fielding a BIG10 team vs. a PAC12 team.
The payout is part of the CFP-system.
Stanford is the PAC12 Champ this season, but losing 2 games (against Oregon and Northwestern) did led them sink deep enough to become that conference champ without a playoff ticket.
Still, they finished 11-2.
Iowa was the unbeaten (and only one) team from the BIG10, until they played Michigan State for the championship.
They lost by 3 and did finish with 12-1.
This one is anybodies guess.
I think Stanford is a good team, but Iowa did grow with their challenges and had a terrific season, the best under Ferentz ever.
Good offense will meet good defense.
I'm divided between a nice season finish of Stanford and a great season by Iowa, coming up short in the championship game.
Stanford is the favorite in this, but I think Iowa will give them something to play.
I love to see this and I pick Iowa over Stanford on a silly Iowa-will-manage-to-win-somehow-feeling.
Hawkeyes win.

Fri. Jan. 1 - 8:30 pm ET
Allstate Sugar Bowl
#16 Oklahoma State vs. #12 Ole Miss
@Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, LA
This bowl was established 1935 and is played since then.
The payout is part of the CFP-system and last season, this was a semi-finale, but this season, it's only 1 of the Big6 bowls.
Oklahoma State did finish 10-2 and lost their last 2 games against Baylor and Oklahoma, which did let them sink faster in the rankings than you can say 'hype'.
The question will be, whether that team can play tough enough against the other team.
Ole Miss had an up and down season. They started great, 4-0, including a win against big contender Alabama, then lost to Florida, lost to Memphis as a big surprise and later lost to Arkansas, giving all possible chances for a division title out of their hand.
They finished 9-3 with a strong team, based on a shaky QB and they now were forced to suspend 1 of their key defense lineman because of drugs.
If Oklahoma State finds room, they will pick Ole Miss apart.
Given the suspension, the line might not be able to pressure the QB enough, like Oklahoma did on their last game.
Ole Miss is the favorite and I was leaning towards this until they reacted on that stupid lineman.
Will that distraction be enough to play poor?
I don't know.
But I'm willing to test this and I pick the Cowboys in an entertaining game.
Cowboys win.

Sat. Jan. 2 - 12:00 pm ET
TaxSlayer Bowl
Penn State vs. Georgia
@EverBank Field - Jacksonville, FL
Since 1946 is this Bowl played, also once known as GATOR BOWL, renamed after a damn corporation sponsoring was found, and it is of cause played in Florida, on the home field of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
At the moment it is a SEC vs Big Ten Bowl.
Each team gets around 2.750.000$.
Not expecting much here.
Penn State did move themselves through an unimpressive BIG10 season, finishing 7-5 (granted, they had tough division rivals this season, but hey, as did the rivals), while Georgia did play OK until they faced Alabama and did sink from that moment on.
The Bulldogs were so unhappy over their 9-3 season, they fired their long lasting HC Mark Richt (which was immediately hired by Miami) and did hire Alabamas DC as new HC for next season.
Georgia should win this easily.
Penn State is far away from being a national contender, while Georgia did not play well enough to content in the SEC, but should be on 1 or 2 level higher, after healing up and preparation.
The Lions are not without a chance, but they will need a perfect game from their QB (which might turn pro) and a good, if not great, defense to stop Georgia.
Georgia on the other hand has all the tools to control the game and the clock.
Expect a nice mix of run and pass and expect them to pressure the QB.
Bulldogs win.

Sat. Jan. 2 - 3:20 pm ET
Liberty Bowl
Kansas State vs. Arkansas
@Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium - Memphis, TN
This one exists since 1959.
It's meant to play the Big 12 #4 vs a SEC pool pick.
Each team gets around 1.437.500$.
Kansas State did earn a Bowl spot by winning their last game and getting that 6th win.
I like that, because prior to the game, it was clear they would play a bowl, regardless of win or lose, since KSU has one of the best APR ranking of the country would have been considered as 5-7 team.
No, they went on the field and won that one, finishing 6-6.
Arkansas did start 2-4 and became a laughing stock fast with losses to Toledo and Texas Tech. But they did fight through this and came out of this season not only 7-5, but also as one of the least liked teams to play in the SEC, beating Ole Miss in OT and LSU.
They almost won against Mississippi State also.
Kansas State is a good team, well coached, but they had some problems over the season and that's not the Wildcats team of the past, it's the team winning their 6th game on season finale.
So no wonder they are the underdogs in this game against the Razorbacks and I doubt they will have a big impact on the field.
Arkansas better come in prepared, but if so, they will win this, easily.
That's not nice of me, but Kansas State will lose big here.
The Razorbacks did clash with the good teams of the SEC and some of those they won, how can an average BIG12 team win here?
It would be a major upset and would hurt Arkansas HC big time if the Wildcats would do that.
That's the motivation of coming in prepared, and winning this game, because that was the motivation after the 2-4 start.
Razorbacks win.

Sat. Jan. 2 - 6:45 pm ET
Alamo Bowl
#15 Oregon vs. #11 TCU
@Alamodome - San Antonio, TX
This Bowl exists since 1993 and has tie ins to the Big 12 and the PAC12.
Each team gets around 3.820.000$.
Can be a nice game, can be boring.
TCU had some ups and downs during the season, losing 2 of their last 4 (finished 10-2), while Oregon did start slow, but finished strong winning their last 6 (finished 9-3).
The only plus TCU has is their dynamic QB.
If they can make him do, what he can do best (run, scramble and juke), they can win this.
Of Oregon can contain that QB, TCU is in trouble, big time.
The Ducks did learn to score often again and they became better and better.
And that's something TCU was not really good in, during the season, keeping the other team from scoring.
I think they did only win their last game against Baylor, because the Bears went out of QBs during the season.
So, my pick is clearly on Oregon here.
TCU can win this, if they can score more than Oregon and I would like to see that.
Ducks win.


Sat. Jan. 2 - 10:15 pm ET (ESPN) Line
Cactus Bowl
West Virginia vs. Arizona State
@Chase Field - Phoenix, Ariz.
This does operate since 1989.
It's played at the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a baseball team in MLB.
Normally this is played on the home field of the Sun Devils, but the stadium is under reconstruction during the off-season and this bowl will be played on Chase Field until 2018.
It does field a PAC12 Team facing a Big 12 team.
Each team gets around 3.325.000$.
Bad luck for the Sun Devils, they would have played at home.
But it's almost a home game anyway and they will face as 6-6 team a 7-5 West Virginia team, which does need a win.
Or let's say, their coach does need a win.
Since 5 seasons is Holgorsen coaching the Mountaineers and did so far win big (10-3, including an Orange bowl win) in his 1st season (the last in the Big East), but since then did win max 7 games each season and did go in 3 of 4 seasons to a bowl, losing 2 of them, playing the 3rd this season.
He is not a bad coach, but while other BIG12 teams did prosper, did the Mountaineers stay in mid field and did not content.
That's not the kind of performance West Virginia is used to.
Is he on a hot seat?
A bit.
Arizona State on the other hand did had the worst season under Graham since he came into town.
I don't think he is on a hot seat, but for sure, everyone would like to see the season ending on a high note, and not with 2 losses (last regular season game was a loss against Cal).
The Sun Devils are a favorite as home team and I think this will come down to team play on both sides.
Arizona State had great games and bad games, as had West Virginia.
That team with a better day form will win this.
I pick ASU, because I think that home field environment will help them to have that good day.
Sun Devils win.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE