Fast Eddie’s Fabulous Forecast

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Week 14: Results, Analysis, and News

Top 4 Conference Championships and Playoff Analysis

No. 1 Clemson / No. 7 Miami  38-3   From the opening drive Clemson dominated the game on offense and defense to win the ACC championship. Nothing spectacular, just steady play, beating Miami in nearly every situation that developed. The vaunted turn-over chain, invented by defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and instituted by Mark Richt, only came out once. Clemson forced the Hurricanes to cough-up the ball numerous times though, and they only celebrated with a simple high-five. QB Malik Rosier was thwarted repeatedly by Clemson’s talented and tireless army of behemoths on the front line. His receivers were relentlessly covered.  There was simply no strategy that could provide them with an avenue to score.  Clemson’s offense showed an efficiency that was devastatingly simple. QB Kelly Bryant picked apart the Miami defense with short outside routes all night. The running game provided yardage when needed, but the stat sheet showed only 80 yds. The lack of mistakes stood-out. Other than the foibles of Mr. Butter-fingers, Ray-Ray McCloud, who drops kicks and fumbles far too often, this was a precision effort. By contrast, Mr.Sticky Hands, Hunter Renfrow, catches and handles the ball like it was the Hope Diamond.

This game was a validation for ranking the Tigers on top of the college football world. They are the reigning champs, and they have the best record of any team this year. They have beaten more ranked teams than anyone else all season, and have suffered but one minor hiccup with a loss at Syracuse when Kelly Bryant was crippled from the previous week, and then suffered a concussion when pile-driven into the turf in the first half. That loss was simply a coaching collapse. He should not have suited-up for the game. Even the kicking game has improved as of late, as Drew Spence actually made all his extra points and converted his longest field goal ever, a 46 yarder that missed the right upright by an inch, and cleared the crossbar by half that much. Two of his kickoffs even carried into the end zone.  Dabo Swinney gave nearly all of his players time on the field, which develops their skills, and keeps morale high, as everyone becomes a contributor to the success of the team. This is a well-oiled and peaking team.

No. 2 Auburn /  No.  6 Georgia  7-28  Three weeks ago Auburn humiliated the then undefeated Bulldogs at home, winning by 23 points. The rushing dominance that Georgia flaunted over everyone else all year was stymied, holding the dynamic duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to a combined 48 yds.  Not yesterday!  Auburn jumped-out to a one TD lead after the first quarter, but they never scored again. The aforementioned running tandem for the Bulldogs, and five others, cut through the Auburn defense like a hot knife through butter, racking-up 238 yds.  The Auburn offense was hampered by their crack rusher Kerryon Johnson visibly favoring a damaged right shoulder, fumbling-away the ball, and only gaining 44 yds, as opposed to the 167 yds he gained 3 weeks ago.  The revenge-seeking Bulldogs beat the Tigers down, once they tasted blood.

This game virtually flipped the two teams in the standings. Georgia has had a roller coaster ride since their No.1 ranking, falling out of the Top 4 after the Auburn beating, and now rebounding after the Auburn win.  It matters not whether Georgia is ranked second or third, because the 2 and 3 teams play each other in the next match-up. Avenging for Georgia’s only loss of the year makes for a very good resume, especially since their loss was against a No. 2 team.  Other than their one point win at Notre Dame, none of their other wins were even close. There is no argument that they should be No. 1 because their strength of schedule was much weaker than Clemson’s, having only played 3 ranked opponents all year, as opposed to the 6 that Clemson beat.

No. 3 Oklahoma / No. 11 TCU  41-17  As had happened only three weeks ago, the Sooners overwhelmed the Horned Lizards and won the Big 12 Championship.  The box score showed some interesting numbers. Oklahoma jumped to an early lead by scoring 17 unanswered points in the first quarter. The Lizards countered with 17 in the second quarter against only 7 by the Sooners. The Sooners then closed-out the scoring with 17 unanswered points in the third quarter.  Kenny Hill played like he was possessed, completing 27 of 37 passes for 237 yds and 2 TD’s, and also running for 51 more. Unfortunately for him, no one else for TCU contributed much on offense.  Oklahoma’s Brash Baker Mayfield had his usual spectacular game throwing bombs that appeared to be lazer-guided, completing 4 TD’s,  and also scrambling for another 65 yds. Fortunately for him and the Sooners, he had a supporting cast, with Rodney Anderson and Trey Sermon contributing another 156 yds on the ground with 34 carries.

Oklahoma easily holds-on to their No. 3 ranking, or even moves up one. Throughout the year they have consistently  scored no less than 29 points, and have vanquished all their opponents except for that inexplicable loss at home to Iowa State. They had a few narrow escapes though, such as the 8-point win over hapless Baylor,  a 4-point win over Texas, and a one-score win over Kansas State. That happens to all teams, slight lapses from time-to-time. But, their defining win came when they overwhelmed Ohio State by 15 in Columbus.  The offense is a juggernaut with obvious Heisman winner Mayfield as the field general.  It will take a smart, fast, and powerful defense to slow-down their attack, and an offense that can put many points on the board. Georgia and Clemson both could be formidable opponents.

No. 4 Wisconsin / No. 8 Ohio State  21-27  The Badgers struggled throughout the game and trailed from the first score until the final whistle of this Big Ten Championship.  The outcome of the game never seemed to be in doubt, but the Badgers did put together a run in the last quarter to get within a field goal. They were driving for the go-ahead score when a costly 15 yd holding penalty took them out of their rhythm and forced desperation passes, which is not in the wheelhouse of QB Alex Hornibrook. The game ended when he was picked-off on 4th and long with a minute left.  JT Barrett was not stellar, completing less than half of his throws, including 2 interceptions. But, JK Dobbins was fearsome, running for 177 yds on only 17 carries. Wisconsin’s banged-up star runner Jonathan Taylor only contributed a meager 41 yds on 15 carries.  The Badgers did well to stay in the game without a dominant performance by him.

This correspondent believes that Ohio State will secure the final play-off spot with this win.  The only other team that has any argument with such a choice would be Alabama. Even though Alabama has only the one loss to Auburn, as opposed to Ohio State’s two, it cannot be forgiven of Alabama to have had such a weak schedule.  Of the 4 ranked teams that they played, only 2 were away games, and they lost one and barely won the other. FSU was ranked 3rd the first week of the season when Bama beat them at home, but we all know that the Seminoles fell precipitously from that point, concluding with their worst season in 40 years. The most contemptuous ploy by Bama, that the Crimson Tide fans attempt to ignore, is that their schedule only had 4 away games.  Enough said, they do not belong in the playoffs! NEWS FLASH!!!!  Alabama was just afforded the 4th spot. We are aghast to hear this. Now it will become the norm to schedule patsy teams to pad the resume. Sad!

The rest of the Story

  • Playoff predictions:

Clemson should defeat Ohio State, in the semi-final.  Only severe injuries to Kelly Bryant, Hunter Renfrow, Travis Etienne, and the defensive front four could possibly derail them in that game.

Oklahoma and Georgia is a pick-em game.  A great challenge for both of these teams. The coordinators of both teams will be drinking a lot of 5-Hour energy drinks between now and Jan 1st to prepare for this game, and simultaneously recruit high school athletes.

  • Championship final prediction:

Clemson will win against either Oklahoma or Georgia, and become repeat champions.

  • Heisman Talk:

There is no talk.  Brash Baker Mayfield wins the Heisman in a rout, regardless of his boyish antics.  The only other candidate is Lamar Jackson, and no one will consider him because Louisville is off the radar. That is a shame, because he is the best player in the country.

  • Coaching nonsense:

Head coach hiring drama is in full force.  Jimbo Fisher signs for a guaranteed $75M over 10 years to coach Texas A&M. The math says that he will be paid $20,500 per day, 365 days per year, for life! Does anyone else in the world find this insane and obscene?

Tennessee athletic director John Currie makes a total mess firing Butch Jones and then trying to hire Greg Schiano. Currie gets deservedly fired, and Tennessee still doesn’t have a coach, although they are on the hook for $13M.  Does anyone else in the world find this insane and obscene?

  • FSU chaplain called out:

Clint Purvis, FSU chaplain for life, has been called-out by athletic director Stan Wilcox and university president John Thrasher to present reasons why he shouldn’t be fired. Obviously he hasn’t been praying hard enough, or inspiring the players to pray hard enough, as FSU had its worst season in 36 years, Jimbo quit with his first-ever losing record of 5-6, and the fans hate everybody.

  • Quote of the Year:

FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox quoted on November 16: “Jimbo is here forever.”

  • Irony of the Year:

University presidents are responsible for hiring football coaches, yet their salaries are one tenth as much as the salaries of the coaches they hire.  Of course coaching football is much more important than running a university, and so much more stressful.  Pundits are so giddy to make a case that a certain coach is worth the million of dollars they are paid. No one ever makes arguments that university presidents are worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they are paid. Am I the only person in the world that finds this insane and obscene?

  • PAC 12 overlooked:

The champioship game for the PAC 12 was a nail-biter until the end.  USC QB Sam Darnold and running back Ronald Jones II racked up 465 yds, which is 165 more than the entire Stanford offense. Too bad for these teams that the Pac 12 has been considered irrelevant, and thus overlooked all year.

  • Tough Guy of the Week Award:

This week we have a repeat winner. Bryce Love of Stanford limped all night long, but he carried the rock for 125 yds on 22 carries.  Kudos to you Bryce!

  • Game of the Year:

UCF and Memphis played the most exciting game of the year for the American Athletic Conference Championship. It was a slugfest with undefeated UCF pulling out the win 62-55 in 2 overtimes. Each team tallied over 700 yds of offense. Incredible! Riley Ferguson for Memphis and McKenzie Milton were throwing the ball all over the field, and it was as exciting as a football game can get.  The Golden Knights will probably earn a birth to the Peach Bowl on Jan 1st, against Auburn. They could really stamp credibility on their season with a win here, and a perhaps a Top 5 final ranking.

  

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Fast Eddie’s Fabulous Forecast

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Published each Sunday afternoon, all season.

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Week 13 News (Details following Top 10 analysis)

 

  • Playoff picks:  1) Clemson  2) Oklahoma  3) Wisconsin  4) Auburn
  • No More “Irrefutable Evidence” 
  • Bielema finally gone
  • Game of Week UCF vs. USF
  • Coach of the Year Scott Frost
  • Gators sink further
  • Heisman talk
  • SubUrban Meyer is Despicable Me
  • 2-Point conversions the rage
  • Tough Guy of the week Bryce Love
  • Head coach salaries obscene
  • UCF not a top 4 team
  • Jimbo Fisher desperate
  • Heisman favorites 2018

 

Top 10 Analysis

No. 1 Alabama / Auburn  14-26  The mighty Crimson Tide finally were taken down from their precarious perch atop the standings for the first time since they lost last years championship to Clemson.  No surprise here. Auburn is the hottest team in the nation now, but not necessarily the best team in the nation.  Fans and pundits have short memories, and few are dispassionate, like the host of this site. Alabama is usually expected to be on top, but there were some huge holes in the argument for them to be number one all year.  This correspondent has repeatedly warned, with stats and sarcasm, that they were essentially the emperor with no clothes.  They simply did not have a record to warrant an aura of invincibility.  Yesterday was only the 4th game they played in their opponents house. Yesterday was first time all year that they played a very good team.  Nick Saban said after the game that they deserved to be in the playoff. WRONG!  They do not deserve to be in the playoff as of this time. The only possible scenario that they could creep back in, would be if both Wisconsin and Oklahoma were to lose their respective conference championships next week. Crimson Tide fans will have to settle for one of the other bowls this year without tremendous help.

No. 2 Miami / Pittsburgh  14-24  By nearly the same score as Alabama lost by, the Hurricanes were downgraded to meer tropical storms by the Pitt defense. Pittsburgh, which ended the season 5-7, has been a giant killer before, as they were the only team to beat Clemson last year. They are an enigma. One of their wins this year was in overtime against lowly Youngstown State. It is not surprising here that this upset occurred. You can check the posts from the last two weeks to see that we did not include Miami in the Top 4, although nearly every other pundit and organization did. The analytics that fuel this blog simply did not show that Miami was good enough. They were undefeated, and that is quite an accomplishment, but they never showed that they were a superior team. What was shown was that Mark Richt did a great job of resurrecting this once-proud program to lofty levels. They won too many games by a last-minute miracle play to be considered as dominant. The Turn-over chain was a cute idea, and it motivated the players to buy into the program and create turn-overs, but it wasn’t enough to score more touchdowns. Maybe next year they will institute a TD-chain. We will hear much more from the Hurricanes in the near future.

No. 3 Clemson / South Carolina  34-10  The reining champions are back on top again with a good win over a top 24 team in the second longest continually played rivalry in the nation. The previously 8-3 Gamecocks, who won their last 5 games, were ready to take the Tigers down in Williams-Brice Stadium.  However, the stifling Clemson defense was up to the task, and they neutered any offense that SC tried to mount.  It looked to be an easy shut-out for Clemson until the fourth quarter, when a few mistakes were made with third-string players getting some experience.  The runner-up for this week’s Tough Guy award on this site is Hunter Renfrow, or as this site likes to call him: Mr. Sticky Hands.  His 4 catches were all big plays, as he is Clemson’s supreme weapon on clutch plays, evidenced by his game-winning catch in last year’s Championship game. One of his catch-and-run TD’s yesterday will be replayed decades from now.  But, it is not for being an elusive sure-handed receiver that he almost won our award this week. He was seen throwing some significant and effective blocks on guys twice his size. Good job Mr Sticky Hands!  Kelly Bryant showed championship form through most of the game. Although known for his great running skills, he relied instead on the deep stable of Clemson running backs, and threw accurate passes to the proper target all night long. Making good decisions and avoiding catastrophic mistakes are what makes good quarterbacks and teams great.  Clemson looks primed for the playoffs.

No. 4 Oklahoma / West Virginia  59-31  The Sooners, behind the obvious Heisman winner Brash Baker Mayfield, dominated the Mounaineers from start to finish, amassing nearly 650 yds of offense.  Aside from their inexplicable home loss against Iowa State, their resume warrants their lofty standing now at No. 2 for the playoffs. They whipped then No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus, and everyone else put before them, including TCU by 22 points last month. So, unless TCU pulls a major upset next week in the Big 12 championship, Oklahoma and Brash Baker will be shooting for year-end honors.

No. 5 Wisconsin / Minnesota  31-0  It was a day at the park for the Badgers to secure the Paul Bunyan Bowl in the longest continuously run rivalry in college football.  Wisconsin has had a weak schedule, so this site and others have discounted their undefeated record. This site now puts them at No. 4, because they haven’t faltered, and they have not had any close games. The interior line on both offense and defense are ominous. Their running game is brutal with Jonathan Taylor leading the way. Alex Hornibrook showed great poise yesterday, as it was one of his few games without an interception. It will take a big, tough, and fast team, with a slick offense to take them down. Everything rests on next week. If they shut down SubUrban Meyer and the Buckeyes, they will have all the credibility that they will need to go into the playoffs with supreme confidence.

No. 6 Auburn / Alabama  26-14  Normally on this site, no comments are made on the second team in a Top 10 match-up, as it would be redundant. However, since all dialog above was about Alabama, we will now give Auburn it’s due.  The Tigers beat Alabama because of only one reason, they are a better team. From the opening kick-off to the final play they dominated the game. Jarrett Stidham, who was a high school QB lst year, was masterful in throwing and running, and avoiding mistakes against a tough Bama defense. Kerryon Johnson ran into and through the front 4 of the Tide’s defense like no one else has this year.  This is one tough team, and worthy of being in the Top 4 now, even though they have two losses, one of them against Clemson, where they were held to 2 field goals. But, that was before Stidham had the experience that he now has. In 14 days Auburn has beaten (2) No. 1 teams. That makes for a formidable resume.

No. 7 Georgia / Georgia Tech  38-7  Most teams struggle defensively against the triple-option offense of Georgia Tech, because they only see it once a year, if ever.  The Bulldogs had no such trouble. They bounced back from the beating Auburn gave them two weeks ago with solid wins against Kentucky and GT, but what happens next week will be the final answer to the SEC puzzle this year. The championship game will be a return match against Auburn, with all the chips on the table. The winner will be in the playoff. The loser will not.

No. 8 Notre Dame / Stanford  20-38  The Stanford Cardinal pecked the eyes out of the Irish last night in California. The leprechauns from South Bend had a lead early in the fourth quarter, but Stanford blew their doors off with 21 unanswered points after that. It boiled down to the steadier QB. Brandon Wimbush had some long spectacular completions, and some fine runs for ND, but he sometimes made poor decisions and got picked, and he showed the desperation of inexperience when the heat was on. Conversely, KJ Costello was cool as he threw for 4 TD’s with no picks, and leaned on his banged-up Heisman-candidate teammate, Bryce Love, to grind out 125 yds on 20 carries. Notre Dame is finished in Top 10 considerations.

No. 9  Ohio State / Michigan  31-20  This much-anticipated game was exciting for several reasons. The hopes of the Buckeyes to stay in the playoff picture were paramount, and Jim Harbaugh’s tenure with the championship-starved Wolverine fans played big in this match-up.  It was a one point affair early in the fourth quarter, but OSU’s replacement QB Dwayne Haskins was actually more productive than JT Barrett, finding his rhythm quickly and completing 6 of his 7 passes for nearly 100 yds. The Buckeye running game out-gained the Wolverines by more than a 2 to 1 margin, and that was the difference. John O’Korn, the much maligned on-again, off-again QB for Michigan, never seemed to get comfortable or consistent.  He looked like a deer in the headlights. Michigan certainly needs to find a QB if they want to perform at a higher level next year. No team needs a great QB, although it is a supreme advantage, but no team can achieve greatness without a competent QB. Best example is Jalen Hurts of Alabama, steady as a rock, a great runner and decision maker, and a competent passer yet not a phenom. Ohio State was whipped by Oklahoma at home, humiliated by Iowa, and beat Penn State by only one point at home. This is not a playoff team.

No. 10  Penn State / Maryland   66-3  The Nittany Lions eviscerated the Terrapins.  Nothing can be said other than it was total domination in all aspects of the game. Trace McSorley, next years favorite for the Heisman, in this correspondents view, fired-up awesome stats again with 2 passing TD’s and one on the ground. Mike Gesicki, the Rob Gronkowski clone, hauled in another 2 TD passes. Saquon Barkley ran for 2 TD’s with less than stellar numbers once again.  This site rates Penn State higher than Ohio State, because both of their losses were away, and both were close, a one point loss to the Buckeyes, and a field goal loss to Michigan State. Unfortunately for them, they have no recourse of a Big Ten Championship game to boost them in the rankings, as Ohio State does.

 

Now the Rest of the Report for Week 13

Playoff picks:  1) Clemson  2) Oklahoma  3) Wisconsin  4) Auburn  This was the easiest week of the season for making the Top 4 picks.  As Alabama and Miami both fell, Clemson and Oklahoma moved up commensurately by attrition.  The silly arguments by commentators such as Kirk Herbstreit, to make Auburn No. 1 are not valid. Herbstreit is focused on Auburn’s 2 huge wins in the last three weeks against two No. 1 teams. Granted that is great, but he fails to consider that of Auburn’s 2 losses, one was against Clemson, where they did not score a TD, and only kicked 2 field goals.  Wisconsin has a light schedule, but they win decisively against everyone they play.  Next week will stamp their ticket if they beat Ohio State as this site predicts.  Auburn beat No. 1 Alabama and No. 1 Georgia, so they are the number four pick here. If all four of these teams win next week, the standings will not change on this site. However, on sites that are motivated by money, ie ESPN, etc. there will be shenanigans to create the most profitable scenario for them.

No More “Irrefutable Evidence”  This correspondent has noticed a change in the way replays have been decided.  Calls are being reversed without irrefutable evidence to the contrary. The Virgina / Virginia Tech game saw several calls reversed that never would have been in the past weeks and months.  Additionally more questionable reversals yesterday were given mumbling lip-service by commentators that were obviously shocked by the calls. More scrutiny needs to be levied on this situation.  Look for concrete changes in officiating next year.  We are probably being subliminally prepared now for these changes.

 Bielema finally gone  You have read it here in satirical fashion all season long. Perhaps you were not paying attention.  Brett Bielema was finally let go by Arkansas.  It is too bad really, as there is no coach in America, or the rest of the “Free World,” that looks more like a razorback hog than Bielema.

Game of Week, UCF vs. USF  In case you missed it, the game of the week was played Friday night, and it was between undefeated UCF and one-loss USF, a 49-42 thriller. This was the proverbial barn-burner. It was a heavy weight slugfest, one knock-out blow after another. The game see-sawed every quarter with momentum shifts that did not stop until the final ticks of the clock evaporated.  The game seemed to be over with 2 minutes left after UCF scored a TD.  USF then tied it up when Quinton Flowers immediately connected with Darnel Salomon for 85 yds, the first play after the kickoff. USF then tied it with a 2 point conversion. UCF returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yds for the winning TD. Three TDs in 53 seconds!  Quinton Flowers passed for 503 yds and 4 TDs, and rushed for another 102 for USF. Wow!

Coach of the Year Scott Frost  This was easy. Scott Frost guided the Golden Knights of UCF to a 11-0 record so far this year, before next weeks final American Athletic conference championship against Memphis. The team went 0-12 two years ago. A perfect reversal of fortune!

Gators sink further  The Florida Gators have sunk to unforeseen lows. Yesterdays loss to FSU secured them their second losing season in 36 years.

Heisman talk  Talk has been suspended on this subject. There is nothing to talk about. Brash Baker Mayfield will be the Heisman winner. Lamar Jackson, equal or better in performance and statistics, is an afterthought to Heisman voters because Louisville is not prominent enough. What hogwash!  The best player should be awarded the trophy regardless of how the rest of his team performs.  If Lamar Jackson played for the Sooners they would be undefeated!

SubUrban Meyer is Despicable Me  SubUrban Meyer is one of the most despicable and ruthless coaches on the planet.  No need for this correspondent to list all of the dastardly moves that he has shown in his career. Most fans are so blind that they only consider results, without understanding motivation and process, so they don’t care. Yesterday Meyer pulled another one of his awful moves. He called for an “All-out” investigation to vilify, and destroy a cameraman and his career who was doing his job on the crowded sidelines, because JT Barrett hit his ankle on the cameraman’s gear. What a mean-spirited, vile, narcissistic, vain, pompous, arrogant, despicable, selfish, low-life SubUrban Meyer is!  Perhaps I am going a bit easy on him.

 Two point conversions the rage  The only time that a team should go for a two-point conversion, assuming that they have a capable kicker, is when they have to. The new trend is for teams that are down 2 points after scoring a TD, is to go for two.  It makes no sense. If the team in front by 2 scores another TD they are now up by 9, or 2 scores. If a team scores a TD when up by 1, they are still only up by 8, or 1 score.  It is simple math that most coaches today just don’t understand.

Tough Guy of the Week Bryce Love  Stanford’s star running back and longshot Heisman candidate wins this site’s Tough Guy of the Week award.  He has been severely hampered by an ankle injury all season, and the way he looked yesterday, he should not have been playing. Coach David Shaw said there is no way to keep him off the field.  Although limping all game long, he pounded the Notre Dame defense for an average of almost 6.5 yds per carry, with 125 yds on 20 carries. Good job Bryce!

Head coach salaries obscene  Most FBS head coaches make between $2M and $11M per year. Does anyone beside the staff at this site find that obscene and offensive?

UCF not a top 4 team  For you UCF fans I am going to tell you one time only: UCF does not belong in the Playoffs, even if they beat Memphis 99-0.  When they start playing and beating the big boys, then they will be considered.  Enjoy your fine season, but please be realistic.

Jimbo Fisher desperate.  Jimbo Fisher is a madman at the moment.  Our reports state he wants to win the make-up game with U Lousiana Monroe so bad, that he is near a nervous break-down. A win and he can avoid his first losing season and send FSU to a bowl for the 139th season in a row.  He won’t be coaching the Tuesday night bowl game against 4-win U Mass, but he doesn’t care. All he wants is a $65M contract to coach the Aggies at Texas A&M.

Heisman Favorites 2018  This site projects that the Heisman favorites for 2018 will be: 1) Trace McSorley, QB for Penn State  2)Jarrett Stidham, QB for Auburn

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Fast Eddie’s Fabulous Forecast

Always there, always invisible.

Published each Sunday afternoon, all season.

Please add us to your Favorites, if you dare.

Week 12 News (Details following Top 10 analysis)

  • Playoff picks: 1) Alabama  2) Clemson  3) Oklahoma  4) Wisconsin
  • Tough Guy of the Week:
  • Cupcake Week:
  • ESPN and Steve Wynn sue NCAA, SEC, and ACC:
  • Heisman Talk:
  • Game of the Week, Wisconsin / Michigan:
  • Kirk Herbsteit, Booger McFarland split suits on camera:
  • ESPN Commentators laugh until we change the channel:
  • Reverse incentive clauses for coaches salaries:
  • SEC ticket prices crashing:
  • Best QB matchup of week:

Top 10 Analysis

No. 1 Alabama / Mercer  56-0   In their first week back at the top, after Georgia’s crushing loss to Auburn last week, the Crimson Tide wasted no time in dispatching the grossly overmatched Mercer Bears. It must be noted for the sake of context though, that the Bears lost to Auburn in September by a score of 24-10.  Only 2 weeks previous to that Clemson beat Auburn 14-8. So, the Bears scored only 4 points less than Clemson against Auburn. Yesterday though, the Bears were totally shut-down, producing a paltry 161 yds of total offense against an injury-plagued Alabama defense.  Coach Saban used the opportunity to give playing time to his bench-warmers, as he used 9 different rushers, and 10 different receivers caught passes. QB Jalen Hurts was relieved of duty after the first half. Basically the game was used as a scrimmage for next weeks Iron Bowl with Auburn, a most significant game in developing the SEC Championship and final playoff teams.

No. 2  Clemson / Citadel 61-3  There is no doubt that the Tigers were deflated in the final 2 minutes of the game when Citadel kicked a field goal to get on the board. Clemson rarely tallies a shut-out, unlike Alabama and Ohio State. All the non-scholarship players got playing time, as they should, and Clemson gave the starters a break, so they would be in peak condition for their intense rivalry match next week with the Gamecocks in Columbia.  Dabo gave 3 kickers a chance to show their stuff, as the kicking game this year after the loss of Greg Huegel, has exposed Clemson’s achilles heel. Reinstated former walk-on Drew Costa will probably lose the free meals that Dabo provided him for the last month, as he missed an extra point try. Christian Groomes did make a 36 yd field goal, and that might be the longest of the year for the Tigers. It is reasonable to assume that Alex Spence’s status as the number one kicker will be in jeopardy in the final weeks of the season.

No. 3  Miami / Virginia  44-28  The Virginia  Cavaliers came into Hard Rock stadium with something to prove, and they did in fact make a statement, although they botched the hoped-for final result. Virginia QB Kurt Benkert put the Convict faithful on upset-alert by immediately picking apart the Miami defense. The Cavaliers were quickly up by 2 TDs and appeared to be taking total control of the game until head coach Bronco Mendenhall got way too cocky and called for a bonehead play. After the second TD of the first quarter he called for an on-side kick. HUH? He must have been drinking his bathwater the night before, and he was experiencing digestive disturbances that were affecting his judgement.  Miami recovered the kick with excellent field position, and when Mendenhall called for an ill-advised review of the play, it was further found that Virginia committed a penalty, and that was added on. Miami got pumped-up and immediately scored, and the air began to seep out of the confidence balloon for the Cavaliers.  Next week the Hurricanes go to Pittsburgh to face the hapless Panthers, and then to Charlotte for the ACC Championship game against Clemson.

No. 4  Oklahoma / Kansas  41-3  One-win Kansas didn’t put up much fight, actually they hardly gave a wiggle, as the Sooners rolled over the top of them.  I don’t quite understand exactly what head Coach Dave Beaty does to justify the $1.6M salary that he collects.  That is $4,383 per DAY, 365 days a year. And he gets a $3M buyout if Kansas wants to fire him for doing a bad job. How much money are you getting paid?  Baker Mayfield performed as expected. He threw 20 completions on 30 throws for over 250 yds and 3 TDs. Kansas piled up almost 150 yds of total offense to counter that. Wow! Three more cheers for Dave Beaty and his program.

No. 5  Wisconsin / Michigan  24-10  The Wolverines not only made a game of it, they were leading with less than 4 minutes to go in the third quarter. Brandon Peters led Michigan with a solid performance until he was injured and the much-maligned John O’Korn came in. The difference in the game was rushing. The stout Wisconsin defense held the Wolverines to less than 60 yds on the ground, while their star Jonathan Taylor racked-up 132 yds on 19 carries. Alex Hornibrook played his usual unspectacular game as QB for the Badgers. He completed less than half of his passes and of course threw an interception, one of his 13 for the year. Here is a stat that really matters though: Wisconsin has won an incredible 17 times in a row with Hornibrook as the starting QB. Quinn Nordin, the embattled place kicker for Michigan, was given his well publicized “last chance” by Jim Harbaugh, after missing his 3 previous attempts last week. He made his one attempt from 39 yds.

No. 6  Auburn / Louisiana Monroe  42-14  The game was tied after one quarter, and Auburn led by only one TD at the half. Let’s just call it sluggishness and over-confidence when playing a minor opponent with a losing record. Nevertheless, Jarrett Stidham had a nice game going 18 for 24 for 235 yds with 2 TDs and one pick. Kerryon Johnson ran for 137 yds on 22 carries, a workman-like performance. Auburn has positioned themselves to be the most interesting team going into the last few weeks of the Playoff Rankings. It is understandable that they are positioned to be the first 2-loss team ever to make the playoffs if they beat Alabama next week, and then repeat as victors over Georgia the following week in the SEC Championship.

No. 7  Georgia / Kentucky  42-13  The Bulldogs shook the dirt off of themselves after last weeks thrashing by Auburn, and did what they do best, run over the top of their opponents. With Nick Chubb breaking records and scoring  2 TDs among his 151 yds, and Sony Michel scoring 3 times on twelve carries, the Bulldogs totaled 381 yds on the ground. D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien put in some big runs also.  Kentucky was simply outgunned in Sanford Stadium.  With only one loss, and with a birth in the SEC title game, Georgia could very well find themselves in the Playoffs if they win in two weeks.

No. 8 Notre Dame / Navy  24-17  The Irish barely hung-on to beat the Midshipmen and their determined triple-option offense. Wins are always good, but a close win against Navy at home, did nothing to burnish their credentials in the mind of the committee. Of all the top 10 teams this week, Notre Dame is the only team that could possibly slip a notch. QB Brandon Wimbush played a solid game, rebounding from his debacle last week against the Convicts from Miami. A relief for all Irish fans.

No. 9  Ohio State / Illinois  52-14  In typical SubUrban Meyer fashion, the Buckeyes dismantled and humiliated the Fighting Illini. Ohio State compiled a total of 543 yds and 7 TDs on offense, while Illinois gained only 105 yds TOTAL.  Illini QB Chayce Crouch went 4 for 14 passing for the grand total of 16 yds.  In contrast, the Buckeyes had 7 different receivers that caught passes of at least 12 yds. They also gained 325 yds rushing on 59 carries. It seems incredible that Illinois scored 2 TDs. Meyer has a track record of humiliating opponents.  It is fitting when he gets crushed, as Clemson did to him in the playoffs last year, 31 to nothing, and as Iowa did to him this year beating him by 31 points as 18 point underdogs.

No. 10 Penn State / Nebraska  56-44  This was no dominant Happy Valley win by the Nittany Lions. After opening up a 42 to 10 half time lead, they had to scramble to salvage a win as the underperforming Cornhuskers battled back and scored 34 points in the second half, of which 20 came in the last frantic quarter. Saquon Barkley had one of his best performances in this free-wheeling offensive match, with 225 total yds from over 600 that Penn State amassed. Trace McSorley had a very good day for the Lions with 325 yds while completing 2/3 of his passes. Tanner Lee of Nebraska surpassed Trace, throwing for 399 yds on 26 of 41 passing with 3 TDs and no picks. The Cornhusker run game was anemic though, and that was the difference. Mike Gesicki, the Rob Gronkowski clone,  snatched only 4 passes from McSorley, but they were brilliant and he scored 2 TD’s.  The end of this game might make the committee wonder what the result would have been if the game was played in Nebraska.

 

Now the Rest of the Report for Week 12

 

Playoff picks: 1) Alabama  2) Clemson  3) Oklahoma  4) Wisconsin

No changes this week as it was what is called Cupcake week. No team on this list, except Wisconsin, played a credible team.  But the Badgers did solidify their position ahead of Miami, who did not make anyone exude confidence after their shaky win against Virginia.  Wisconsin showed that they are very formidable. Not just because of their crushing defensive line, but because they can throw the ball enough to compliment a good running game. The next two weeks will decide it all, so even if you disagree with this assessment, so what?

Tough Guy of the Week: Benny Snell Jr. running back for Kentucky gained 94 yds from 22 carries against the awesome Georgia Bulldog defense.  Many may think, “why pick a guy who gained less than 100 yds?” It is because of the way he did it. Benny rattled the bones of all his defenders. He isn’t one of those shifty scat-backs, like a Shaquon Barkley who gains a lot of yards if he gets into the open field, but goes nowhere in close quarters. Benny Snell, Jr. pounded the ball up the middle and knocked guys around from the opening kickoff to the final whistle. Good job, Benny!

Cupcake Week:  This was the most uninteresting week of the year in college football. Most top teams chose to pick rivals that don’t even play in the FBS. The top 2 teams especially. In Clemson’s defense, they had the second toughest schedule up until yesterday in all of football, so they can be excused. Alabama on the other hand, has had an awfully easy schedule, and they have played at home in all but three games.  Outside of the previously mentioned Top 10, we had a few competitive games. No. 11 USC had it’s hands full beating UCLA 28-23. No. 13 Oklahoma State, behind a furious 20 point 4th quarter comeback engineered by QB Mason Rudolph, almost caught-up with the big lead Kansas State put on them, but they fell 45-40.  No. 16 Mississippi State barely bested Arkansas 28-21. No. 18 Washington almost fell to Utah at home, but they prevailed 33-30, to preserve an exciting Apple Bowl next week against Washington State.

ESPN and Steve Wynn sue NCAA, SEC, and ACC: Due to the uninteresting games mentioned above, ESPN and Steve Wynn, owner of the Bellagio, Wynns Resorts, Beau Rivage, Treasure Island, etc., are suing the NCAA, SEC, and ACC for lost revenue from both advertising and gambling. It is believed that famed litigator David Boies will be handling the case.

Heisman Talk:  The Heisman winner will be Brash Baker Mayfield.  No one likes to listen to this punk, but he is one of the two best football players in the country. He had another fine day yesterday to add to his nearly flawless resume. He now has thrown for 3816 yds with 34 TDs and only 5 interceptions. He has rushed for another 5 TDs and 240 yds.  The only other candidate worth mentioning is current Heisman winner Lamar Jackson. He has quietly compiled the following enviable stats: 3273 passing yds with 23 TDs and 6 interceptions, and he has rushed for incredibly another 1287 yds and 17 TDs.  This correspondent would vote for Jackson if he had a vote.  Remember, it is all about the money, and Jackson cannot generate the revenue for the NCAA and ESPN this year, like Mayfield can, because Louisville is not front and center, and Oklahoma is. Sad, but true.

Game of the Week:  Wisconsin vs. Michigan was easily the game of the week. It had the most potential impact on the standings, and it was a smash-mouth exciting affair until late in the game. This doesn’t make Wolverine fans happy, but not everyone can go home happy from a football game. Mr. Khaki-pants, Jim Harbaugh, may be sitting in some hot water this off-season.

Kirk Herbstreit and Booger McFarland split suits on camera:  Both of these guys split their suits from armpit to waist on yesterday’s broadcasts when they lifted their arms to wave at the camera. What is with the ESPN-required announcer uniform of skin-tight suits for it’s ex-jocks?  Notice that the non-athletic commentators do not wear these ridiculous skin-tight costumes. They look so bizarre, besides being uncomfortable.

ESPN commentators Laugh until we change the channel:  Late in his career, the now-retired Verne Lundquist started a terrible trend of laughing with an uncomfortable guffaw because he had nothing to add to the conversation. It was a way to fill-up air space. Now most of the ESPN commentators, especially on the College GameDay program, laugh with uproarious volume whenever any of them makes a comment. It is not funny, it drowns-out  whomever was speaking, and it is totally disingenuous.  Laughing at what they think are inside jokes is nothing more than noise. It makes for a predictable and poor production.

Reverse incentive clauses for coaches salaries: Nearly all college football coaches have huge incentive clauses and buyouts to increase their salaries when they win games, and protect their salaries when they don’t, and when they need to be fired.  That is crazy!  If they get huge raises for winning extra or special games, it is reasonable to think that they should have commensurate amounts deducted from their pay when they lose these same games. It is totally illogical that they get bonuses for winning, and bonuses for losing. Here are a couple that immediately come to mind: Brett Bielema of Arkansas, Jimbo Fisher of FSU, and Mike Riley of Nebraska.

SEC Ticket Prices crashing:  The SEC has become a bit boring, and the constant game delays because of feigned injuries and official time-outs has finally taken its toll. This past week, as reported on the ESPN College Football Scores website, the following game tickets were available for $2 – $5 —— Alabama, Mississippi St, and Missouri. For $10  —— Auburn.   By contrast, USC / UCLA $78 and Stanford / California $92

Best QB matchup of week:  No doubt about this one. Sam Darnold of USC vs. Josh “Chosen” Rosen of UCLA gave us the finest viewing pleasure of future NFL QBs.  Both of these guys are fine athletes, and each knows how to play their position.  Rosen stacked-up the best stats of the day, but Darnold took home the win.

Referees looking for corporate sponsorship:  Referee timeouts have become so long, that the refs are now in the cameras eye longer than any QB during each game. This correspondent has learned from an unnamed source that the Referees Union, a subsidiary of the Teamsters, is now negotiating with several companies/organizations for sponsorship, and thus logos on their uniforms. It is rumored that the NYPD, LAPD and the NSA have the most interest in getting their logos out in the eye of the viewing public.  Since all are about authority over others, they seem to be a good fit. These same organizations have no interest in advertising in the NFL, for obvious reasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast Eddie’s Fabulous Forecast

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Published each Sunday afternoon, all season.

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fullsizeoutput_630Week 11 News (Details following Top 10 analysis)

  • Playoff picks: 1) Alabama 2) Clemson 3) Oklahoma 4) Wisconsin
  • Worst fans of the Week: Iowa State and Wisconsin
  • Tough Guy of the Week
  • Worst avoidable penalties
  • Convicts vs. Catholics
  • ESPN accuses this blog of Fake Satire
  • ESPN calls for 5 timeouts per half
  • Mark Richt has offered University of Georgia $2M
  • Arkansas head coach Bielema challenges Ed Orgeron to a slam-down
  • Notre Dame president seen gambling in Hard Rock Casino
  • Players considering taking a knee at college games
  • Interesting Stub Hub game-day ticket prices
  • Heisman Talk
  • Florida agrees to terms of buyout settlement with McElwain
  • Best thing about 2017 college football broadcasts

Top 10 Analysis for Week 11

No. 1 Georgia / Auburn 17-40 It was an exciting run for Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs from Athens, GA, winning their first 10 games of the year, and being named No.1. Obviously that is over now. Gus Malzahn had his Auburn Tiger defense cranked-up and fine-tuned like a brand new Apple iPhone. The vaunted and irrepressible rushing attack of Georgia was stuffed away like a broken toy in the back of a closet. Georgia’s seemingly inexhaustible stable of running backs was held to 46 yds. That is only 138 FEET! GA QB, Jake Fromm, was held to only 13 of 28 passing. Those stats aren’t good enough to beat Baylor! Auburn’s offense was well-balanced with 251 yds in the air, mostly from Jarrett Stidham, who threw 3 TD passes and 16 completions from 23 attempts, and no picks. Their rushing game was powerful, gaining 237 yds, 167 of which were tallied by Kerryon Johnson on 32 carries. That was enough for Johnson to go over the 1000 yd mark for the season. Georgia can still climb back into the Top 4 playoff picture with a victory in the SEC championship game against the winner of the Iron Bowl: Alabama, or Auburn.

No. 2 Alabama / Mississippi State 31-24 The Crimson Tide performed like everyone has come to expect from them. It was a workman-like game for Nick Saban’s charges. The Bulldogs from Starkville were tough from the start, trading punches with Alabama all game long, and leading at the start of the 4th quarter. It was a turn-over free game, with solid rushing from both teams. Alabama gained 202 yds, 93 from only 8 runs by Damien Harris. Jalen Hurts added 40 as well, and another 242 yds in the air on 10 of 19 passing. Aeris Williams was the workhorse for Mississippi State with 97 yds on the ground from 22 carries. Nick Fitzgerald was steady, passing for 158 yds on 13 of 24 passing, and he added 61 yds with his feet on 21 rushes. This game was a solid win for Alabama, especially since it was not played in the confines of Bryant Denny Stadium, where they play most of their games. This was only the third of four road games this year for the Tide. That is the big knock on their record, and it also shows how they are vulnerable the rest of the year. The Iron Bowl is played at Auburn in two weeks. If Alabama wins that one, they will be the undisputed No. 1. If they lose, there will be great turmoil and endless shouting throughout the college football community.

No. 3 Notre Dame / Miami 8-41 The Convicts from Miami (more on that subject following Top 10 Analysis) beat the Catholics from Notre Dame like that neighbor of Rep. Rand Paul of Kentucky beat him this past week, smashing his ribs. The Irish were stomped from the opening kickoff until the clock mercilessly ran-out of ticks. Brandon Wimbush, the QB for ND, received an unheard of QB Rating of only 5.2 on 10 of 21 passing with 2 interceptions. He lost a fumble also. Ian Book came in, in relief, and he threw a pick as well on only 6 attempts. The new “Turnover Chain” that each Hurricane player gets to wear after securing a turnover has really gone from a gimmick to an iconic trophy. Mark Richt and specifically defensive coordinator Manny Diaz deserve much credit for this novel way to motivate their team. It is working marvelously! Travis Homer ran over the top of the Irish defense, recording 146 yds on 18 carries. Malik Rosier was steady as she goes, connecting on short passes to pick-apart the ND defense, and running 9 times when necessary, for 44 yds. Notre Dame will now tumble out of playoff consideration, but the Hurricanes have vaulted into the top 4 or 5, no doubt.

No. 4 Clemson / Florida State 31-14 Clemson wins again, this time against a struggling team that opened the season at No.3 and which may not get a bowl bid without winning-out the rest of the season against some cream-puff opposition. However, it must be noted that both Clemson and FSU have so far had the toughest schedules in college football this year. This game appeared to be a day at the park for the Tigers for almost 3 quarters. Their fearsome defense sacked 6′ 5” 169 lb stick of a QB James Blackmon five times, and repeatedly drove him into the ground after passes. Most viewers began to look away each time he was hit. It was nearly as torturous as anything the CIA could dream-up. Then Clemson seemed to lose focus after their defensive back Trayvon Mullen committed 2 huge 15 yd pass interference penalties, which negated two fourth and long situations. Each helped sustain a long drive for FSU’s first TD. The sense of Clemson’s domination of the game ended there, and they seemed to be playing to “not lose” until the end. Clemson QB Kelly Bryant is a tough-nose guy, who runs the ball extremely well. He connect on short routes with consistency. However, he has not completed a pass downfield for the last 2 games. He misses all his long throws, and it appears that he is tentative when looking downfield, showing no confidence with his long-ball ability. Freshman Travis Etienne has progressed throughout the year, and yesterday he was showcased as the No. 1 back. He scored twice and collected 97 yds on only 14 carries.

No. 5 Oklahoma / TCU 38-20 Brash Baker Mayfield, Rodney Anderson and the rest of the Sooners dominated TCU at home. With 533 yds total offense and no turnovers, The Horned Reptiles had no chance. The score was 38-14 at the half, and TCU scored the only points of the second half for either team with a 4th quarter TD. Mayfield once again threw-up Heisman numbers with 18 of 27 passing for 3 TDs and 333 yds. He also ran 11 times for 50 yds. Rodney Anderson ran for 151 yds on 23 carries. It should be noted that TCU linebacker Travin Howard made 13 tackles, 8 solo. He is one tough customer. Oklahoma is an exciting team to watch. No doubt that the viewing public will want to see them in the playoffs, especially with Mayfield leading the charge.

No. 6 TCU / Oklahoma 20-38 See Oklahoma above

No. 7 Miami / Notre Dame 41-8 See Notre Dame above

No. 8 Wisconsin / Iowa 38-14 This was a game that perhaps punched Wisconsin’s ticket to the playoffs. The score doesn’t show it, but this was as bad a beat-down as you will ever see in any football game, anywhere. Iowa was coming off a thrashing of Ohio State just last week by a score of 55-24. Yesterday they amassed a total of ONLY 66 yds of offense. Yes, you read that right! 26 rushes for 25 yds, and 8 pass completions for 41 yds. Defensive back Joshua Jackson made 2 interceptions of Alex Hornibrook, and ran them back for 95 yds total and 2 TD’s. That is how Iowa scored. If not for Hornibrook throwing 3 picks, the game might have ended up 75-0. What would happen if Wisconsin were to play against the awesome defenses of Clemson, Auburn, or Alabama? That is what we have to decide as we find a spot for the Badgers in the playoff choices. Yes, they are tough, and undefeated, but how good are they really?

No. 9 Washington / Stanford 22-30 Washington looked like the Pac-10 team to be represented in the playoffs. Not this year. There will be no representative from that conference. Chris Peterson’s Huskies will have to improve and try again next year. Stoic David Shaw led those brainiacs from Stanford to a second half comeback and dominated Washington until the end. Jake Browning was accurate completing 17 0f 23 throws with no picks, and Myles Gaskin rushed for 120 yds on 18 carries. But the Huskies could not put enough stops on longshot Heisman candidate Bryce Love, who ran for 166 yds and 3 TD’s on 30 carries. Stanford QB KJ Costello was efficient enough on 16 for 27 passing and 211 yds to balance Love’s running attack. Washington probably will not even make it to the Pac 12 championship now.

No.10 Auburn / Georgia 40-17 See Georgia above

Now the Rest of the Report for Week 11

Playoff picks: 1) Alabama 2) Clemson 3) Oklahoma 4) Wisconsin

The number one pick from last week is not going to change. Alabama is undefeated and they have lost one game since 2015. The number two pick is simply a matter of attrition. Clemson looks very vulnerable with no long passing game, and a weak kicker, but they are still the champs and they find ways to win or not lose. The ACC championship game will be definitive regardless, either Clemson or Miami will be in the Top 4. Oklahoma is the most spectacular team in the nation, with the most spectacular player. That is why they are number 3. Enough said. The fourth and last spot goes to Wisconsin. They are undefeated and they annihilated Iowa this week, a team that embarrassed SubUrban Meyer and Ohio State the previous week. Miami proved yesterday that they are probably one of the best 2 teams in the country right now. Their fans may feel slighted by being placed 5th here, but it doesn’t really matter. If they beat Clemson in the ACC championship game there will be nothing left to argue about.

Worst fans of the Week: Iowa State and Wisconsin

No. 21 Iowa State lost a hard-fought battle with No. 15 Oklahoma State yesterday 49-42. This correspondent is not surprised. I’ve heard more noise in an ancient history lecture than at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IO yesterday. Why do those fans even bother to go? They just sit there, and stare.

A picture of a Wisconsin fan last week surfaced on Twitter. He was wearing a convict uniform and a President Obama mask with a noose around his neck. The sick nose-picker was finally escorted out of there.

Tough Guy of the Week

Joel Lanning of the Iowa State Cyclones is this week’s toughest Tough Guy. He has played QB, Linebacker, and on Special Teams. He scored a TD with 22 seconds left in the first half. He made a spectacular tackle in the 3rd quarter. He is one tough dude! Runner-up: Johnny Stanton of UNLV. He converted from linebacker to QB, and yesterday he completed 20 of 33 passes for 325 yds and he rushed for another 31.

Worst avoidable penalties

If I were a head coach I would severely penalize any of my players who commited either of these two penalties: Block in the Back, or Hands to the Face. Both are entirely unnecessary, and usually negate a very fine play, or stop a scoring drive. Perhaps sitting on the bench, or better yet, wearing a Buffoon Chain, similar to Miami’s Turnover Chain might teach players to never do it again.

Convicts vs. Catholics

The Brooklings Institute, a Dallas think-tank, has recently published a study that concluded that by a margin of 4 to 1, more Catholic priests have been convicted of felonies than former University of Miami football players. If the crime was perpetrated against a minor, it is 20 times more likely to have been by a priest. CNN has reported that this study was most likely funded by the Kremlin.

ESPN accuses this blog of Fake Satire

With a salacious posting on Twitter, ESPN has accused this blog of publishing Fake Satire. The editor of this blog has responded with a three word comment: “Isn’t that redundant?” The Tweet has subsequently been deleted.

ESPN calls for 5 timeouts per half

The NCAA rules committee has received a letter from ESPN requesting a rule change for the 2018 season. Citing a need to extend games to 4 hours from the current 3 ½, ESPN strongly recommended that each team be granted 5 timeouts per half. Each of these timeouts would be reportedly worth over $75,000 to the ESPN bottom line.

Mark Richt has offered University of Georgia $2M

Miami head coach Mark Richt has offered the University of Georgia a $2M rebate on his $20M buyout clause that was exercised on his 2015 termination, for not winning a championship. Richt is so happy to have a chance to win a championship this year, that he says he owes it to Georgia for giving him this opportunity.

Arkansas head coach Bielema challenges Ed Orgeron to a slam-down

After losing to LSU yesterday, Brett Bielema has personally challenged head coach Ed Orgeron of LSU to a Zydeco-Rap Slam-Down. Since Bielema’s request to challenge sumo wrestler Akinori, and hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut have been rebuked, he is struggling to try to win anything. He certainly can’t win any football games. What did Arkansas expect for $6M per year?

Notre Dame president seen gambling in Hard Rock Casino

Reverend John I. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame University, was observed at the $1,000 minimum-bet baccarat tables at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL on Friday night. Wearing a turtle neck, instead of his clerical collar, Reverend Jenkins was surprised to have been recognized. Asked where he got the money to play such an expensive game, he responded it was from the money he saved by hiring Brian Kelly as head coach.

Players considering taking a knee at college games

Through Facebook postings it has been discovered that many players of top-tier teams are considering taking a knee before future college games to protest the racial conditions in this country, especially the incarceration rates for black men, the tremendous amount of police-killings, and the for-profit prison system that is prevalent now. One current Heisman candidate was quoted as saying: “What can they do, fire us.”

Interesting Stub Hub game-day ticket prices

LSU / Arkansas $10

Oklahoma State / Iowa State $16

Georgia / Auburn $181

Clemson / FSU $91

Iowa / Wisconsin $79

Alabama / Mississippi State $63

Notre Dame / Miami $142

TCU / Oklahoma $10

Ole Miss / Louisiana $2

Michigan State / Ohio State $38

Virginia / Louisville $3

Maine / U Mass $40

Tennessee / Missouri $12

Heisman Talk

The conversation surrounding the Heisman candidates for this year is condensing. Now that Shaquon Barkley and Sam Darnold are no longer in the running, especially after Barkley’s 2.5 yds per carry yesterday, we can talk about the few candidates left. Certainly Baker Mayfield is distancing himself from the field after the last few weeks. Lamar Alexander, who should be head-and-head with him, is given no consideration because Louisville loses too often. I disagree with that, but let’s face it, it all boils down to money, and Alexander is not generating much revenue for the NCAA or ESPN. Bryce Love is back, and Friday’s game where Stanford beat Washington will help him. But, he is a west coast running back, so he will be severely discounted. Josh Adams of Notre Dame was held to 40 yds on 16 carries yesterday against Miami. JT Barrett had a better game this week than his debacle last week against Iowa, but he still threw 2 picks yesterday to go along with his 2 rushing TD’s and 2 passing TD’s on 14 of 21 passing for 183 yds. Not Heisman numbers. Mayfield is this site’s pick.

Florida agrees to terms of buyout settlement with McElwain

Jim McElwain was offered the full price of his $12.9M buyout on one condition. For two years he must wear a muzzle in public, or he must live in Puerto Rico.

Best thing about 2017 college football broadcasts

The best thing about broadcasts this year is that viewers no longer have to listen to the incessant and annoying guffaws of retired commentator Verne Lunquist, which he used to fill airtime when he had nothing interesting to say.

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Fast Eddies Fabulous Forecast

Always there, always invisible.

Published each Sunday afternoon all season.

Please add us to your Favorites, if you dare.

Week 10 News  (Details following Top 10 analysis)

  • Playoff picks: 1) Alabama  2) Georgia  3) Clemson  4) Notre Dame
  • Why there is a playoff committee.
  • No Byes this week.
  • Buyouts for head coaches.
  • Kickers greatest scorers of all-time.
  • Most disappointed teams.
  • FSU on record path.
  • Penn State lights out.
  • Zoom-in ads ruining viewers’ pleasure.
  • Tough Guy of the Week.
  • Five-person injured player escort.
  • Florida sinks to new low.
  • Syracuse’s Dino Babers doesn’t get it.
  • Inconsistent pass interference calls.
  • Heisman Talk.

 

Top 10 Analysis for Week 10

No. 1 Georgia / South Carolina  24-10   The Bulldogs led by Kirby Smart retained their hold on the top spot by staying in control throughout the game with the Gamecocks. Strangely though, the stats for the game are very odd.  Although SC only rushed for 43 yds and passed for 227 with 2 interceptions they were not blown-out. Georgia’s incredible stable of rushers, led by Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, combined for 242 yds, and Jake Fromm threw for almost another 200 with 2 TD’s and no picks. This game could have been an embarrassing blow-out.

No. 2 Alabama / LSU  24-10  The top 2 games, both with only SEC teams playing, had identical scores.  The Tigers from Baton Rouge tried to make a game of it with the Crimson Tide, but they were simply not good enough. Alabama QB Jalen Hurts only connected on 11 for 24 passes, but his field command and running when necessary, was enough, along with the formidable defense, to subdue Ed Orgeron’s Tigers. No secrets or tricks here, just dominant football. Maybe Auburn or most certainly Georgia will give the Tide a must needed work-out before the playoffs.

No. 3 Notre Dame / Wake Forest  48-37  With combined offense of 710 yds. the Irish hung-on to beat Wake Forest, who had (only) 587 yds of offense.  John Wolford led Wake throwing for 331 yds on 28 for 45 passing with one interception. Brandon Wimbush of Notre Dame threw for 280 yds on 15 of 30 passing. He also contributed another 110 yds on 12 carries for a Heisman-like performance. I am not suggesting he is a candidate though. This was an uncharacteristically high score against an Irish defense that had not allowed more than 20 points in any game this year. Wake does have a potent offense though, so we will not harshly condemn the Notre Dame defense for it’s inability to stop Wake.

No. 4 Clemson / NC State  38-31  It took until the 3rd quarter before Clemson appeared to be the best team in this match-up in Raleigh, NC.  Kelly Bryant led the Tigers with 20 for 38 passing for 191 yds and one pick. He also contributed 88 yds on 20 carries. This was Bryant’s first game in a month that he looked 95% healthy after his ankle injury and subsequent concussion, although his passing was off the mark through most of the first half.  Tavien Feaster let the crowd know that the Wolfpack was not going to have an easy day when he ran for an untouched 89 yd TD.  Once again Mr Sticky-Hands, Hunter Renfrow, saved the day for the Tigers with a crucial 4th down catch and wiggle-free run for additional yds. late in the game. He has saved the day for Clemson many times, including the final TD against Alabama in last year’s championship game. Ryan Finley was pin-point in his 31 for 50 passing for 338 yds and 3 TD’s for the Wolfpack. He completed his first dozen throws, and they all looked like they were laser-guided. Clemson’s vaunted defense did not look like it did in the first half of the year. Defensive coordinator, $1.7M Brent Venables, seems to have reached another point in his life. The loss to Syracuse looks to be the turning-point. Now he is less animated on the sidelines, and so is his defense. Opponents used to see multiple looks on each play, with complicated blitzes and variations. Now they line-up for most plays, don’t shift around to confuse the offense, and look like the defenses from the Frank Howard era of 50+ years ago. This correspondent is puzzled. Clemson, although still one of the top teams in the country, is an enigma.

No. 5 Oklahoma / Oklahoma State 62-52  They call this game the Bedlam Bowl, and yesterday was no exception.  It was 55-52 with one minute remaining. Both QB’s, Brash Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph, threw bombs all day long, totaling well over 1000 yds. Rudolph was 28 for 54 with 5 TD’s and 2 picks totaling 448 yds. Mayfield was even more devastating than that, with a game that the Heisman committee shall not forget. He completed 24 of 36 passes for 598 yds and 5 TD’s with 2 picks. That is an incredible average of 25 yds per completion. Both teams rushed at will also. Rodney Anderson collected 111 yds on 21 carries for the Sooners, and his teammate Trey Sermon added 81 on only 10 carries. For the Cowboys, Justice Hill carried the rock for 228 yds on 30 carries. This game had over 150 offensive plays. It was a shoot-out, and it was certainly Bedlam! In the end though, the Sooners take home the prize as they most often do. We will see Mayfield again in NYC in December, probably lifting that most-prized of football trophies.

No. 6 Ohio State / Iowa  24-55  This was the game that no one saw coming. Ohio State was an 18 point favorite and they lost by 31 points. That is the same amount of points that Clemson beat them by last year in the first playoff game.  The 49 point differential between the point spread and the actual score is the largest by any team this year, eclipsing the 44 point differential when Howard beat UNLV the first week of the season.  This game is now tied for the worst drubbing that SubUrban Meyer has ever experienced in his career. This will also be the game that will be remembered as deflating JT Barrett’s aspirations of winning the Heisman trophy. He was flustered by the Iowa defense all day and completed 18 for 34 passes for only 208 yds and 3 interceptions. The Buckeye rushing attack was stymied also, gaining only 163 yds on 30 carries. JK Dobbins only gained 51 yds, not his usual self. Iowa gets tons of credit for their stout and relentless defense. The Hawkeyes QB Nathan Stanley was surgical hitting 8 different receivers for 226 yds and 5 TD’s. The rushing attack overwhelmed the Buckeye defense as well, racking-up 243 yds on 38 carries. Akrum Wadley netted 118 yds on 20 carries, James Butler 74 yds on 10, and Toren Young 47 on 5. This loss eviscerates all chance for Ohio State to return to the playoffs this year. They still are in contention to play Wisconsin for the Big 10 title though.

No. 7 Penn State / Michigan State  24-27  Nittany Lion fans had big hopes to make it into the playoffs at the end of the year. Those hope were dashed on a stormy afternoon in East Lansing as the 10 point favorites went down to the run-stopping defense and the marvelous throwing clinic that Brian Lewerke put on. The Spartan QB threw for exactly 400 yds on 33 for 56 passing and 2 TD’s with one pick.  Once again though, a great game was decided not by a QB or a rusher. It was decided by a kicker.  Matt Coghlin scored all of the Michigan State points in the second half, including the game-winner as time expired. The game was a simple match of throwing, as neither team gained over 74 yds on the ground. Trace McSorley nearly matched Lewerke in stats with an almost identical yardage total of 401 yds, on 26 for 47 passing. Unfortunately for him and Penn State, he was intercepted 3 times. Saquon Barkley, the former Heisman front-runner, was basically corralled for most of the contest. He gained only 63 yards on 14 carries, and most of that was on one carry of 36 yards. That seems to be what he does. He usually makes one big spectacular carry per game, but he gets stopped continually if he can’t find space. He is certainly not a power runner. Both Penn State and Michigan State are in the running for the Big 10 championship against Wisconsin, although Michigan State controls it’s own destiny.

No. 8 TCU / Texas  24-7  The Horned Reptiles easily handed the 5th highest paid coach in the country, $5.25M Tom Herman, and his Longhorns their fifth loss of the year against only 4 wins. Texas rushed for a total of 9 yds. Is that all you can get from a $5M coach with a $20M buyout clause?  Herman went back to benched QB Shane Buechele who threw 21 completions from 44 attempts and 254 yds. Meanwhile, the Frog-like Reptiles racked-up 177 yds on the ground, 99 of which came from Darius Anderson on 18 carries. Kenny Hill was accurate with 18 of 26 completions, but for a modest 166 yds with no TD’s and no picks. Next week TCU faces Oklahoma. That game will determine how far they will go this year.

No. 9 Wisconsin / Indiana  45-17  The undefeated Badgers had no trouble handling the 3-5 Hoosiers, even though the Hoosiers were leading early in the second quarter.   This game, like all of Wisconsin’s games so far, was decided in the trenches. They beat Indiana everywhere but on the soles of their cleats. Jonathan Taylor rushed for 183 yds on 29 carries. All five rushers for Indiana recorded only 40 yds, 143 less than Taylor alone. Richard Lagow tried hard to keep Indiana in the game with 20 for 34 passing and 2 TD’s, but his 2 picks were his undoing. Alex Hornibrook threw for 158 yds on 13 for 20 passing for the Badgers. He had 2 TD’s and one pick. The Badgers have 3 games left before the Big 10 championship. Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota remain in their path, all capable teams, especially after Iowa’s unexpected stomping of Ohio State yesterday. Wisconsin needs to go undefeated to be considered for the playoffs. They haven’t beaten any explosive or daunting teams yet. Until they do, they will languish just below the signature teams.

No. 10 Miami / Virginia Tech 28-10 This was a signature win for the Hurricanes. For the first time this season they beat a ranked opponent, albeit barely at No. 20. As only 1 point favorites in their new stadium, the Hurricanes needed to show all skeptics that they belong in the conversation regarding the year-end playoffs. Well, they finally inserted themselves.  Bud Foster, the Hokies’ defensive coordinator is well regarded as one of the great defensive geniuses in college football. The Hurricanes cracked his defense 4 times in the final 3 quarters, to take command of this game. Malik Rosier conducted the onslaught with less than stellar numbers connecting on 10 of 21 passes for 2 TD’s, but he also completed 3 passes to Virginia Tech defenders as well. Rosier however, kept the Hurricanes moving with his feet, which did not fail him when his arm did. He gained 84 yards on 13 carries, and often when they needed it most. In total, Miami out-gained the Hokies 439 yds to only 299 yds. Virginia Tech coughed-up the ball 4 times, 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions.  It was not a pretty game. Braxton Berrios, at 5’9″, is a cocky mighty-mite that does so much for the Hurricanes with his enthusiasm, speed, grit, and skill. He caught 3 passes for 50 yds, rushed once for 9 yds, and passed once for 17 yds. He is also a spark plug on the sidelines, revving up his teammates. A coaches delight.  Next week is the game of year for the Hurricanes, and fortunately for them, it is at home against No. 3 Notre Dame.  If they win that game, they will win the legitimacy that they so seek.  If Clemson beats FSU next week, then the showdown in the ACC championship game will punch the ticket for one of these two teams to go to the playoffs. Since Miami’s schedule has been so week, and some of it’s games so close, they cannot get into the playoffs with one loss. For those of you that study my blog weekly, and remember what I have said, you know that I am an avid fan of Mark Richt.  Unfortunately for him though, it is mandatory that he finish the season undefeated, so that he may humble those whiners that fired him from his last job at UGA.

 

Now the rest of the Report for Week 10

Playoff picks:  1) Alabama  2) Georgia  3) Clemson  4) Notre Dame  The top 4 from this site have not changed since last week. Although we are very nearly aligned with the “Committee” we have two slight variations. First is Alabama at the top.  It is understood why the committee chose Georgia number one, but this correspondent weighs the data slightly differently. Alabama has lost one game (last year’s championship against Clemson on a last second TD) since early 2015. Their schedule this year has been very soft, and they don’t play away games, but they also have not produced a hiccup. Until they do, they stay numero uno.  Clemson is above Notre Dame for virtually the same reasons.  They lost one, Notre Dame lost one, but Clemson’s body of work this year is better than Notre Dame’s, as they have beaten 4 top 20 teams, and they are still the champs. The biggest movement on my chart is Miami, who will jump all other contenders into the No. 5 spot after a good win yesterday against No.13 Virginia Tech. Sorry Oklahoma, you are back to No. 6.  Miami and Clemson will meet in the ACC Championship game. If both teams win-out the rest of the season until that game, the winner will be at least No. 2 or 3 in the playoff, not No. 4.

Why there is a playoff committee.  Many people cannot understand why the committee jumbled the standings from what the AP and Coaches polls have been saying all year.  The purpose of the committee is different than the other polls. Their purpose is to decide who are the best teams now, and in what order. The other polls are really popularity contests. This is a good system.

No Byes this week.  Now that we are are in the home-stretch for the race to the bowls, nearly every team is done with their bye weeks. This was the first week that all Top 25 teams played since the first few weeks of the season.

Buyouts for head coaches.  Buyouts for head coaches has escalated to unfathomable and obscene levels. Dabo Swinney of Clemson, and Jimbo Fisher of FSU have $40M buyouts if the universities want to fire them for anything less than murdering the university president’s daughter.  Let me put a little bit of context on that figure, as some of you rabid fans think that Dabo or Saban or whomever your favorite coach is, is never paid enough.  $40M is what 400 professors making $100,000 a year get paid.  Football is not as important as that! Here are a few more buyout terms for other coaches: Saban, $27M; Harbaugh, $20M; Suburban Meyer, $20M; Tom Herman, $20M; Chris Petersen, $30M; Craig Bohl – WY, $9.4M; Chris Ash – Rutgers, $7.4M; Yet, a fine coach of a team with only one loss, Charlie Strong of USF, gets only $192,000. for his buyout  What is going on here?  USF can get a top flight coach for pennies on the dollar, but these other public universities think they need to give vast fortunes away to hire someone that will be probably hated by the fan base within a few years. It doesn’t make sense.

Kickers greatest scorers of all time.  Here is the best kept secret in all of football. In the NFL, every one of the top 20 scorers of all time are kickers.  In college football, 11 of the top 20 scorers of all time are kickers. This correspondent has preached for years that the second most important player on the team is the kicker. Not many head coaches are smart enough to realize that.

Most disappointed teams. Every team that doesn’t go undefeated is at least somewhat disappointed. However, expectations can be valued on the traditional bell-curve that illustrates how perception and reality reflect each other.  The teams that have most shattered the expectations of their respective fan-bases this years are: Florida, Tennessee, FSU, Michigan, Baylor, and LSU.  Please add your choices to our comments page.

FSU on record path.  FSU was No.3 on most polls at the beginning of the season. They have not had a losing season since 1976, the first year that Bobby Bowden was head coach. Their close win at home yesterday over Syracuse brought their record up to 3-5.  Only with wins at both Florida and Clemson, and a home win against lowly Delaware state, will they be able to avoid a losing season, and be bowl eligible.

Penn State lights out.  The lights went out in East Lansing, MI yesterday when a lightning storm moved over the stadium, as Penn State led Michigan State by a TD.  Several hours later when the game resumed, the Spartans changed the momentum, took the lead, and hung on for an upset of the 10 point Nittany Lion favorites.

Zoom-in ads ruining viewers pleasure.  Replays have become worthless to watch on TV as ESPN has that insidious zoom-in ad that starts small and zooms toward the viewer, and takes over the whole screen. In the process, it obliterates the end of play, which is usually when a player either makes a catch or is tackled.

Tough Guy of the Week: Today we are introducing a new feature to this blog. Eric Dungey, the QB for Syracuse is our first recipient of the Tough Guy of the Week Award . Dungey’s uniform was grass-stained and soaked with sweat as he threw, ran, dove, jumped, crashed, and otherwise sacrificed his body all day against a relentless and inspired FSU defense. Eric, you are one tough guy!

Five-person injured player escort.  Contrary to the award mentioned above, the five-person troupe that walks with a supposed injured player as he departs the field after a prolonged delay is a disingenuous charade.  If there is a delay of the game for a injury, that player should not return to the game until the next period. PERIOD!

Florida sinks to new low.  Florida in a free-fall. They lost by 42 points or more (45 yesterday) back-to-back for the first time in 100 years!

Syracuse’s Dino Babers doesn’t get it.  Dino Babers proved on TV yesterday during halftime of the FSU game that he is not ready for primetime.  When asked why he didn’t kick a field goal on the last drive, to add to the momentum from the previous TD drive, he said: “You can’t come down here and beat FSU with field goals.”  Well, Dino proved to this correspondent that he doesn’t know much about football history, as more games are won or lost by field goals than any other type of play.  Hopefully he learned something yesterday, as he lost by a field goal, and all the FSU scoring in the second half was from field goals.

Inconsistent pass interference calls.  One annoying aspect of a football game is the inconsistency of the calls by referees. Instant replay, although time-consuming, has improved officiating immensely, and taken much human bias out of the calls. However, there is still so much inconsistency on pass interference calls, that the outcome of many games is often changed by these calls. Work needs to be done by the NCAA in the off-season to make it easier to make calls more equitable.

Heisman Talk.  The Heisman field is developing.  Bryce Love from Stanford is back, but he didn’t do much yesterday. Saquon Barkley proved once again yesterday that he is explosive and versatile, but he is not a reliable back that can get 3-5 yards when needed.  JT Barrett crashed and burned yesterday with 4 interceptions against Iowa. Josh Adams rushed for 22 of Notre Dame’s 380 rushing yards yesterday. Lamar Jackson had a bye, but his numbers are Heisman-like all year, even for an under-achieving team. Brash Baker Mayfield keeps playing hard-nosed winning football. This site endorses Mayfield and Jackson as the only two men standing at this time.

Fast Eddie’s Fabulous Forecast

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Week 9 News  (Details following Top 10 analysis)

  • Playoff picks: Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Notre Dame
  • Alabama and Clemson declare independence.
  • FSU collapses.
  • Oregon State fumbles-away Stanford upset.
  • IMG Academy football factory.
  • Allstate Good Hands logo blocks viewers.
  • TCU mascot is a sham.
  • Ohio State uniform boring and ugly.
  • Injured player crisis.
  • Ivy league upheaval.
  • Tennessee scores TD.
  • U Mass does it again.
  • Blue field.
  • ESPN Zoom logo.
  • USF suffers first Loss.

 

Top 10 Analysis

No. 1 Alabama  Bye week

No. 2 Penn State / Ohio State  38 / 39   James Franklin had the Nittany Lions primed for big time. Shaquon Barkley took the opening kickoff 96 yds for a TD.  It seemed like that set the stage, and Penn state dominated every minute from there on for three quarters. Everything was going wrong for the Buckeyes and the multiple looks of consternation on SubUrban Meyer’s face showed throughout the first 3 quarters. Many people climbed aboard the Shaquon Barkley Heisman train and they were crowing loudly now. But, as this correspondent has reported all season, he is not a viable Heisman choice. He is explosive and exciting, but he is really only an open-field runner. His stats for running from the line of scrimmage are very weak, and this game was no exception. He can break a big run, but he can’t get the 4 or 5 yards when then they are really needed. He ran for 36 yards on one play, after that he gained an additional 6 yds on 20 more rushes! Stop talking about him, NOW!  Penn State’s QB is a winner though, Trace McSorley. He had a tough day but gained 192 yds passing on 17 for 29 attempts and 2 TD’s. He also gained 49 critical yds on 13 carries.  That was enough as the Nittany Lions were leading by 15 points at the start of the 4th quarter. But, JT Barrett, a ligitimate Heisman candidate, was amassing 328 yds passing on an incredible rate of 33 for 39 passing with 4 TD’s. He also contributed 95 yds rushing on 17 carries. Make no mistake about it, JT Barrett carried the day for Ohio State. JK Dobbins added another 88 yds rushing on 13 carries and KJ Hill caught 12 passes for 102 yds. Austin Mack, Dixon, McLaren, Baugh, and Saunders also made big gains when needed. Mike Gesicki, the tight end for Penn State, and the heir apparent to Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots, was the only other star for Penn State hauling in 6 critical passes.  Ohio State is now the hands-down favorite to represent the Big 10 in the playoffs.

No. 3 Georgia / Florida  42 – 7  Georgia dismembered and dismantled the Gators in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.  Deemed the world’s biggest cocktail party, it usually is a cause for celebration for the fans from Gainesville.  Not this year. Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb pounded the Gator front line for over 200 yards and 3 TD’s on only 19 carries. Jake Fromm only needed 4 for 7 passing and 101 yds to compliment them in this easy effort.  The Bulldogs are easily no. 2 in the country now, and positioned well to be in the final 4 of the playoffs.  Florida is in a tailspin and Jim McElwain was a blubbering fool at the post-game press conference.  What to do with his $4.4M salary and his $12.9M buyout is a problem that the Florida hierarchy are dealing with today.

No. 4 TCU / Iowa State  7 – 14  The Horned Frogs were eviscerated by the Cyclones of Iowa State. This is the second Top 5 team that the Cyclones have beaten this year, Oklahoma being the other. It looked like the”doinked” field goal miss by Iowa State at the end of third quarter would be their undoing, but they hung-on by intercepting Kenny Hill late. Kyle Kempt managed a good game as QB for Iowa State with 202 yds passing and 2 TD’s.  The Reptiles outgained the Cyclones, but turn-overs were the winning margin.

No. 5 Wisconsin / Illinois  The tough as nails Badgers played another one of their patented “beat-em-with-a-club” games. They play retro football, ala Bo Schembechler, Bear Bryant, Frank Howard, Woody Hayes.  Smash-mouth, no finesse. Both teams combined for 19 of 50 passing and 287 yds.  High schools throw for more than that now. Wisconsin used 9 different rushers that averaged only 3.7 yds per carry.  Michael Delter is the epitome of Wisconsin football. He is a 300 lb colossus that rumbled 4 yds for a TD!  They are still undefeated, but I don’t know where they are going besides a bowl game. They aren’t going to any play off.

No. 6 Ohio State / Penn State   Reported above.

No. 7 Clemson / Georgia Tech   24 – 10  Clemson QB Kelly Bryant returned after a bye week to show that his concussion and sprained ankle were much better. He ran the ball with panache and threw accurately, although this correspondent noticed a slight hitch in his giddy-up late in the game. At least Dabo put the third string QB in for the last series of downs.  Clemson could go back to the playoffs if they get a new kicker. Alex Spence made a kick from 29 yds and Swinney was jumping for joy.  Several of his extra point kicks were not down the middle, and that means he will miss a field goal or two in future games that could sink the Tigers.  Dabo called-up a former walk-on kicker from 2 years ago, Drew Costa.  The Greenville Times reported that Dabo said: “Costa is doing great!  Walk-ons get to eat, so he is loving life.”  Wow, how generous from a coach who is making $23,287 per DAY as head coach. Indentured servants are great when you can get them, and all you have to do is feed them! Reminders of pitch-fork Ben Tillman, one of the founders of Clemson.

No. 8 Miami / North Carolina  24 – 19  Miami and Mark Richt escaped UNC with a very ugly win. If not for the 3 interceptions that Nathan Elliott threw for UNC, Miami would have gone down to the one-win Tar Heels. Malik Rosier threw for 356 yds, but from 16 for 38 passing attempts. That is not good.  Cherish the moments now Hurricane fans, because it seems quite impossible that you will go much further. Coach Richt has engineered some incredible close wins this year, but you just can’t imagine these Hurricanes going on forever.

No. 9 Notre Dame / North Carolina State  35 – 14   The Fighting Irish have a real good team this year. Head Coach Brian Kelly, whose $1.7M pay is a lot less than those public school coaches get paid, but he still out-coaches his peers. Why is that? Maybe because Notre Dame is run like a business, and businesses can find great coaches without giving piles of public money to them. The Irish gained 318 yds on the ground against NC State’s vaunted defense. Josh Adams alone gained 202 yds on only 27 carries.  Notre Dame held the Wolfpack to only 50 yds rushing and QB Ryan Finley to only 213 yds from 17 of 37 attempts passing. Those numbers won’t win many games.  Right now it looks like Notre Dame has a very good chance of making the playoffs.

No. 10 Oklahoma / Texas Tech  49 – 27  “Brash Baker” Mayfield and company throttled the Red Raiders as expected. His numbers weren’t that great though, not quite as good as his opponent, Nik Shimonek.  They both had 4 TD’s and 1 INT, and their completion ratio was nearly identical, but Nik added an extra 40 yds.  Mayfield gained more yards on the ground, but that is because he wasn’t sacked as often as Nic was.  Cee Dee Lamb was Mayfield’s favorite target with 147 yds from 9 catches. Mark Andrews and Marquis Brown had their share of catches also. TJ Vasher and Keke Coutee both had over 90 yds in receptions for the Red Raiders. Oklahoma is good, and they will probably go to a New Years Bowl other than the playoffs.

 

Now the rest of the Report

Playoff picks.  1) Alabama  2) Georgia  3) Clemson  4) Notre Dame  Number one and two are obvious.  The next two I will find many that disagree. That’s great, we need to debate.  Clemson is there because of a great body of work and strength of schedule. No other team has faced 3 top 15 opponents in September. And, they are still the champs!  You gotta take down the champs to be the champ. It hasn’t happened yet. That little slip with their crippled QB at Sysracuse can be forgiven. The achilles heel of Clemson is kicking. If they do not get a real kicker very soon, they will go down again. Kicking affect points scored, preparation, strategy, and playcalling. Notre Dame is playing like a polished team. They are beating good teams easily, and they are showing no chinks in their armor. That one point loss to Georgia is actually giving them serious credentials.  Ohio State barely pulled-out their win Saturday at home against Penn State, and they lost to Oklahoma, so they need to wait for one of the teams ahead of them to lose. Wisconsin is not even in my condsideration because they are simply a hard-nose running team. When they play a real good team with balanced passing and running they will be in a tough spot to win.

Alabama and Clemson declare independency. Stuart Bell and James Clements, presidents of Alabama and Clemson, made an unusual joint announcement today that in effect would void each university’s involvement with the state in which each is located.  The written statement said: “Our proud university football teams have been supporting both the state of Alabama and the state of South Carolina for far too long. During the Christmas Holidays we will begin the process of extricating ourselves from the onerous state bureaucrats that have been spending our hard-earned money for far too long.”

FSU collapses.  The great legacy of Florida State football has taken a terrifying hit to its prestige this year. Not since 1982 has FSU started a season with a 2-5 record. Unless ESPN and its partner, the NCAA, changes the rules for bowl games, and makes an exception for this team which end up with less than 6 wins, FSU will miss playing in a bowl game for the first time in 35 years. This site believes an exception will be made if FSU wins 3 more games.

Oregon State fumbles-away Stanford upset. Those Beavers from Corvallis, OR had the Stanford Cardinal dead to rights. They forced themselves to invent fumbles on plays that didn’t even need for the ball to be carried, so that they could extricate a loss from an almost guaranteed win.  An unnecessary fumble by Darrell Garretson with 5 seconds left in the first half, led to Stanford kicking a field goal.  With 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the game, and victory virtually assured by running out the clock, Ryan Nall gave the ball away to set up the last second TD by Stanford to win 15-14. Some teams just need to lose.

IMG Academy football factory.  A Bradenton, FL high school named IMG is a football factory for the NCAA and NFL.  95 of 115 graduates since 2014 have gone on to NCAA football programs. IMG is a for-profit school, and the tuition is $75,200 per year.  Two of the best  prep schools in the country, Deerfield Academy and Phillips Exeter, charge $58,050 and $49,880 respectively.  IMG was recently purchased by WME Talent Agency for $2.4 Billion.

Allstate Good Hands logo blocks viewers.  ESPN and Allstate Insurance company teamed-up to harass football fans at the University of West Virginia game against Oklahoma State this Saturday, as well as the tv viewers. The screen that is hoisted for extra points, so that the home team doesn’t lose a ball to the fans, was embroidered with a huge Good Hands logo that prevented viewers from seeing the kick. We are in good hands all right!

TCU mascot is a sham.  The science-based university Iowa State scored big by taking down the science denying No. 4 Texas Christian University football team.  The mascot for TCU is a Horned Frog.  Well that is just impossible!  There is no such thing as a Horned Frog. What their mascot represents is a Texas Horned Lizard or Phrynosoma cornutum. A Horned Lizard is a reptile, not an amphibian.  One would think that the halls of higher education would cater to science, not fairy tales.

Ohio State uniform boring and ugly.  As recently reported on this site, the University of Florida uniform that was poorly designed to look like an alligator skin was the most hideous uniform seen in a long while, and it was rightly consumed in a bonfire at the 50 yd line. Well, Ohio State tried to rival that uniform last night. I fear that after the outcome of that game that it will not be the last time we see this ugly and boring uniform.

Injured player crisis.  It is past time to rewrite the ridiculous rules regarding time-outs for injured players on the field.  Not long ago, injured players walked, hopped, or crawled off the field, so the game could go on.  Now it seems, that many players feign injuries so that the cameras can be directed on them.  If a player is indeed injured, then care should be taken of him. And, if a player is injured, he should not be allowed to return to the game for at least 5 minutes, maybe longer, to protect him. That will take care of the Hotdogs and Fakers.

Ivy league upheaval.  The Ivy League was the birthplace of football. And yes, they still play the game, although they do not get the attention they once did. Last night a great moment occurred there. Cornell, picked to finish last in the standings, beat Princeton thanks to a last second missed field-goal. They have now beaten both Harvard and Princeton, picked to finish one-two this year. Go Big Red!

Tennessee scores TD. It happened last night!  Tennessee scored an offensive TD for the first time in 15 quarters.  It wasn’t enough to win the game though. Kentucky won 29 – 26.

Massachusetts does it again.  Behind head coach Mark Whipple, the U Mass Minutemen beat Appalachian State 30 -27 in overtime. It is the second win in a row for the Minutemen. This is the first time in 11 years that they have won 2 in a row.  Obviously John Currie, athletic director of Tennessee is keen to these developments, as he wants Mark to replace Butch Jones, but Butch has a buy-out clause for $8.15M and that is a hard pill to swallow.

Blue Field.  Wyoming, New Mexico, and Troy are suing Boise State because of the blue field that they play on.  They have a good argument. They claim it cost their team a win, because with the matching blue uniforms that Boise State wears, it is difficult for many people to even see the Boise St players on the field.  Many people suffer from color-blindness, astigmatism, and other maladies, which prevent them from easily seeing a player that is the same color as the field. Imagine if Penn State painted their field white during their White-out game a week ago. Or, how about if Clemson painted their field orange, and they wore their totally orange uniforms. It simply isn’t fair.

ESPN Zoom logo.  ESPN has been getting away with a nasty ad insertion that they think nobody is bothered by. It is the zoom-logo for ESPN or SEC, or other advertisers that zooms in at the end of a replay. The 11.5 minutes of action in a 3 1/2 hour football game is small enough already without ESPN taking away the ability to view an entire replay. It simply isn’t viewer friendly.

USF suffers first loss.  Although undefeated, USF did not get a ton of respect with their No. 17 ranking.  That really bugged USF fans.  Well, they don’t have to grouse about that ranking anymore, as beleaguered Houston came to Tampa and beat them 28 – 24.  USF still has a nice team though.

Until next week, eat your betting money, don’t bet your eating money!

 

 

 

 

 

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Week 8 Recap  (Details following Top 10 analysis)

  • No upset week.
  • Butch Jones replaced at Tennessee.
  • Ticket prices crash at Alabama and Texas.
  • Luck of Irish.
  • USC offensive line misses plane.
  • FSU’s Jimbo Fisher breaks down in tears.
  • Arkansas’ Brett Bielema challenges Joey Chestnut.
  • Hot dog beats Houston.
  • West Virginia’s Holgorsen on strike for pay raise.
  • Gentle Giant hurt.
  • Mike Leach straightens out Luke Falk.
  • Heisman talk.

 

Top 10 Analysis

No. 1 Alabama / Tennessee  45 – 7  Since Tennessee has devolved into being a community college level team, nothing was learned or accomplished from the scrimmage that took place in Bryant Denny stadium. The efficient workman-like Crimson Tide simply and quietly played one down at a time and scored 6 TD’s and a field goal, while slipping enough to allow the Baby-Back Razorbacks to score one time.  Alabama needs to schedule some games against the Big 10 or ACC if they ever want to lift their game to another level. The SEC is crumbling, perhaps because of the Crimson Tide’s perpetual dominance.

No. 2 Penn State / Michigan  42 – 13  The White-out worked! Michigan was overwhelmed from the first minute of play. The 110,000 fans, nearly all in white, suffocated the Wolverines with noise all night. It didn’t take very long for head coach James Franklin to rebuild the Nittany Lions into a fearsome force. After the severe sanctions that the NCAA put on PSU after the Jerry Sandusky debacle, no one thought that Happy Valley would be happy for a long time.  Now they have a juggernaut built that will withstand the challenge from any team that this correspondent has seen so far this year, and everybody is happy! There is constant chatter about running back and special teams receiver Saquon Barkley as the leading Heisman candidate.  I’m not quite on his bandwagon yet, although I admit he is an explosive star. To me it is rather puzzling that Lamar Alexander is hardly being considered as a repeat candidate. His numbers are once again phenomenal. It appears to me that there is a prejudice against Alexander for two reasons. First is that many people thought that after his slight meltdown in the last 3 games last year, Deshaun Watson deserved to win. Second, Louisville doesn’t win enough. Forgive my digression. this is about Penn State. Another reason I am not yet on the Saquon Barkley train is because I see Trace McSorley, the Nittany Lion QB, as a leading candidate himself. He is a field general that does all the right things over and over again. He scored 3 TD’s and threw for another. He led the offense to rack-up over 500 yds against a defense many considered to be the best in college football. This lad is a winner, and without him, Penn State would have at least one loss this season, maybe two. Without Barkley, I think they would still be undefeated.

No. 3 Georgia  Bye week.

No. 4 TCU / Kansas  43 – 0  Much like the Alabama game, nothing was accomplished here. The hapless one-win Jayhawks barely put up a fight, so the game was simply a way for the Horned Reptiles to stretch their legs, work on their timing, and prepare for next week when they travel to Ames, IA.  The resurgent Cyclones of Iowa State, who beat Texas Tech yesterday, to go along with their win over Oklahoma, are now an unexpected force in the Big 12.

No. 5 Wisconsin / Maryland  38 – 13  Wisconsin is so old fashion in their style of play that it is quaint.  Knute Rockne would be pleased to see how they play football.  Pound the ball up the middle, rush the passer, tackle properly. They do the fundamentals correctly play after play. No fireworks, no acrobatics, just in-your-face hard nose football. Yesterday their longest pass completion was 30 yds. and their longest run from scrimmage was 20 yds. That is pretty unusual for a Top 5 team. Alex Hornibrook was steadfast and efficient. He threw for 225 yds on 16 for 24 passing with 2 TD’s and one INT.  Although his longest pass was for only 30 yds, his average completion was for 14 yds.  So, he isn’t just dumping-off short throws to the flat. The Badger defense held the Turtles to 104 yds in the air, and 143 on the ground. Not many games are won with those paltry stats.  Can’t wait until Wisconsin takes on Ohio State or Penn State.

No. 6 Ohio State  Bye week.

No. 7 Clemson  Bye Week.

No. 8 Miami  / Syracuse  27 – 19  The U notched another groove in the win column with a slightly shaky win on a slippery grass field in Miami. The Orangemen, fresh from the upset of year against Clemson last week, were trying to establish themselves as more than a one-win wonder. They tried hard, and they showed that they are a developing team, but they will have to keep relishing that win against the Tigers as their defining moment. The Hurricanes played a steady game in which they led throughout, and the home field advantage was probably the deciding factor in their win.  The normally sure-handed Ahmmon Richards dropped 4 passes early, which slowed the Hurricane momentum.  Richards and Dungey both provided the best film clips of hurdling defenders that we have seen in a while. Richards showed highly technical hurdling form, while Dungey simply jumped high in the air and almost knocked his defenders head off. Miami is now in the picture for year-end honors, but they have a few tough games to get past, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame on Nov 4 and 11 will define their season. No excuses for them, as both games will be played at home.

No. 9 Oklahoma / Kansas State 42-35   There were no upsets in the top 10 this week, but this was one of two near-upsets.  78 yr old head coach Bill Snyder had his Cougars playing flawless ball to build a 21-7 lead in the first half. But, leave it to the irrepressible and flamboyant “Brash Baker” Mayfield to light-up the sky with 32 for 41 passing and 410 yds, and dance the jitterbug for 2 rushing TD’s to lead the Sooners to a win with only 7 seconds left.  Kansas State kept answering the Sooners, but they barely fell short. Alex Delton, the sophomore QB for K State starting in only his second game, played masterfully. He was 12 for 14 throwing for I TD and 142 yds. He had 144 yds rushing and 3 TD’s also. Poor old Bill, he was really despondent after the game. Afterall, how many chances will he get to avenge this loss in Manhattan?

No. 10 Oklahoma State / Texas  13-10 Overtime   Playing in Austin, TX Tom Herman tried to show why the administration at Texas lured him away from Houston. Well, he is trying, although his efforts keep falling a little bit short nearly every week this year. His stout defense put an end to the Cowboy’s relentless scoring habits though. And Mike Gundy, The Cowboys head coach, was so shaken by not being able to freely move the ball, that he opted to go for a field goal on 4th and 1 late in the game, and deep in the Longhorns territory, playing it safe and going for the tie. Wow, what a reversal of tactics! If not for the sometimes shaky decisions that young Texas QB Sam Ehlinger made, and his mis-reads of defenses, and his failure to see open receivers, and his inexplicable OT interception throw, The Longhorns would be boasting of their victory today. He is young, and he can develop, but you can’t replay losses.

 

Now the rest of the Report

No upset week.  This happens every year. After a week or two of turmoil during mid-season, last week especially, the standings settle-in for some slow-moving on the Top 10 and Top 25 charts.  There were NO upsets in the Top 25. That is really not incredible.  It happens most years. A few scares did occur, like No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 23 West Virginia, and No. 25 Memphis. But, that is all.

Butch Jones replaced at Tennesse.  Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones was unceremoniously fired today by athletic director John Currie.  Mark Whipple, head coach of U Mass, which won its first game of the year this week and 12th game in 10 years, was introduced by Currie on Twitter. Currie said that any coach that can win with U Mass is a lot better than who we have at Tennessee. The tweets have since been deleted.

Ticket prices crash at Alabama and Texas. The prices for tickets at Bryant Denny Stadium this week for the Tennessee game were widely publicised for sale at $5.  Tickets in Austin, TX for the Oklahoma State game were $2.  Although prices for Penn State / Michigan were $240, and USC / Notre Dame $135.  It appears to this correspondent that Alabama and Texas football are considered boring. One for winning too easily, and one for losing too easily.

Luck of Irish.  One might think that the Luck of the Irish has finally returned to the Notre Dame football team lately.  Head coach Brian Kelly says: ” Heck no”!  They aren’t any luckier than Dreamers waiting to be deported from the USA.  He says winning comes from hard work and the hundreds of millions of dollars that Notre Dame spends on its football program. Good advice there for anyone that is listening!

USC offensive line misses plane.  The USC offensive line was so excited about Sam Darnold’s mother giving them a duffel bag full of chocolate chip cookies, and then devouring them in the LAX airport terminal, that they missed the team flight to South Bend .  There was great confusion as what to do, because head coach Clay Helton confiscated their cell-phones two days before the big game, so that none of them could Tweet. Finally one of the big guys asked a Sky Cap what to do.  For $50 the Sky Cap told them to go to a ticket counter and book tickets on another flight.  They got to the stadium in time for the second half. In the first half, with the second string line blocking for the running backs, USC compiled a modern-day record of MINUS 5 yds rushing. Game was over before the big guys suited-up. Sam Darnold can’t beat Notre Dame alone.

FSU’s Jimbo Fisher breaks down in tears.  After the heart-breaking, and avoidable, last-minute loss to Louisville at empty Doak Campbell stadium, a fan yelled at Jimbo Fisher to fire somebody.  Jimbo was so shattered by the loss, which will prevent FSU from going to a bowl game for the first time since 1982, that he broke-down in tears and begged the fan to stop picking on him and his team. He sobbed that they were trying real hard, and that they all needed love, not heckling. The fan then apologized and they hugged.

Arkansas’ Brett Bielema challenges Joey Chestnut. After rotund head coach Brett Bielema’s challenge to Sumo champion Akinori was rebuked, coach Bielema challenged the 10-time Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Champion, Joey Chestnut, to a duel in Fayetteville.  There is no doubt that Bielema has been practicing for this previously unannounced challenge all year, instead of preparing his team for its games.

Hot Dog beats Houston.   Another stupid penalty, this time “Taunting” by Garrett Davis of Houston, paved the way for an important momentum-saving TD to help the Memphis Tigers overcome a 17-0 halftime deficit, and beat Houston 42-38. After a first half of sleep-walking, Riley Ferguson cranked-up the Memphis offense to score 6 TD’s in the second half. Riley threw for 471 yds on 33 for 53 passing. Memphis only added 30 yds rushing, but it was enough to best Houston’s balanced attack of 239 rushing and 315 passing.

West Virginia’s Holgorsen on strike for pay raise.  Dana Holgorsen, head coach of West Virginia is mad!  He stated to our associate in Waco, home of the one-win Baylor Bears, that he was going to teach the university president and board of trustees a lesson. Dana is sick and tired of only getting paid $70,000 per week. He said how could he live like a head coach if there were still 3rd world countries with a GDP larger than his salary? So, he stopped coaching in the fourth quarter, and Baylor scored 23 unanswered points to almost pull off the upset. If not for a missed two-point conversion, Baylor would have tied the game with 17 seconds left.  The Mountaineers had 4 drives of less than 2 minutes in the fourth quarter, not trying to score, run the clock out, or protect their lead. It was a deliberate attempt by Holgorsen to throw the game.  The NCAA has refused to comment if there will be an investigation into this farce.

Gentle Giant hurt.  Fan favorite, 6’9″  370 lb Gentle Giant, Cody O’Connell of Washington State was helped off the field in Pullman, WA early this morning during the rebirth of the Cougars. We will monitor his progress for you. He is the modern-day Paul Bunyan.

Mike Leach straightens out Luke Falk. Washington State held the Buffalos from Colorado to only 157 yds total offense, and shut them out 28-0.  Mike Leach straightened out the “off-the-rails” performance that Wazzou showed last week in their miserable collapse vs. California. The most important thing he did was tell his QB, Luke Falk, to only throw the ball to players that had the same color uniform on that he was wearing. It worked! Luke said afterward: “Why didn’t you tell me that last week coach?”

Heisman Talk.  Everybody loves to talk Heisman this time of year. It becomes more of an advertising campaign than a real analysis.  This site has made numerous comments regarding this matter, and we stand on our comments and warnings. The first thing that we remind ourselves each day, and we suggest you try to emulate, is to not get too hyped by the process. Let’s let the season unfold, and surely one to three candidates will sift through the data and cyber-noise to emerge as the best football player in the nation. When it happens, we will all know who it is,  even if we won’t admit it, muuch like happened last year. Lamar Jackson rightfully won, even though everyone wanted Deshaun Watson to win.