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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