Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winding down the CFB season...

With years and years of the SEC Championship game being one of the biggest of the season, this years game looks pretty insignificant. With all the big wins LSU has (@BAMA, Oregon, Arkansas, etc), even with a loss in this game they will likely stay in the top 2 and play for the national title. In a game where you would assume UGA would play as if they had nothing to lose, LSU seems like they could play that part instead.

I still think that the voters will all have OSU #2 or #3 with a win over OU next week, even if VT avenges their only loss. There is a chance at OSU knocking out Bama, but when ESPN gets an agenda like Bama/LSU rematch, they usually get their way.

Before I rank 'em this week, here is my Heisman poll as of this morning and BCS projections:

1. Andrew Luck
2. Trent Richardson
3. Robert Griffin III
4. Montee Ball
5. Matt Barkley

BCS Title Game: LSU vs Oklahoma St
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs Houston
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Louisville
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs Oregon
Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs Michigan

1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma St
4. Oregon
5. Stanford
6. Arkansas
7. Virginia Tech
8. Houston
9. Boise St
10. South Carolina
11. Georgia
12. Michigan St
13. Oklahoma
14. Wisconsin
15. Kansas St
16. Michigan
17. USC
18. TCU
19. Baylor
20. Nebraska
21. Penn St
22. Notre Dame
23. Clemson
24. Texas
25. Tulsa

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rivalry week predictions and discussion...

There has been plenty of BCS discussion here, and before we look at this weeks games, I want to point out that BCS-Guru Brad Edwards can figure out the BCS formula, but there is one thing he can't calculate that has a major impact on the standings...The human vote.

Call me crazy, but even with Alabama's .9491 average, I still think that Oklahoma State (even at .8408) can jump the Tide on December 4th. Regardless of what happens in the Iron Bowl, a majority of voters around the country are cringing at the thought of 2 SEC teams playing for the championship, as every other BCS conference is tired of the leagues dominance in the big game.

If OSU beats Oklahoma on December 3rd, when Bama is idle, I think enough voters will bump OSU up ahead of Alabama and that, along with the computers love for the Big 12, will get OSU in the BCS Title game.

Lots of game with significance this weekend, here is a quick breakdown with predictions.

Texas A&M 26 Texas 17 -
TAMU has not had the season they expected, but they get some revenge in what should be a very high-emotion game.

Tulsa 41 Houston 38
- Tulsa has a really good team with the balanced attack that will match the Cougars point-for-point. The Golden Hurricane won in Houston last year, albeit w/o Case Keenum, but look for Tulsa to run for 250+ and throw for 250+ in the upset.

LSU 31 Arkansas 17 - This one is usually close, but the Hogs have struggled a bit on the road this year. LSU establishes the power run game early, and wins this one easily.

Alabama 35 Auburn 21 - The Tigers were blown out on the road against Arkansas, LSU, and UGA, but should come out stronger at home in their rivalry game. AU makes it interesting early, but Bama pulls away in the 2nd half.

Georgia Tech 31 Georgia 30 - The Jackets have been so close in this game and come up short the past 20 years, they are due to squeak out a close one at home, a place they haven't beaten UGA since 1999. UGA's defense does a good job slowing down the GT run game, but loses the turnover battle and makes 1-2 special teams mistakes.

Clemson 24 South Carolina 21 - South Carolina is small favorite at home, but Clemson was definitely looking ahead to this game last week. USC's QB issues and mounting injuries gives the Tigers a slight advantage.

Michigan 28 Ohio State 17 - Talk about being due in a rivalry game. The Buckeyes have won 9 of 10 and 7 in a row in this one...look for Big Blue to take this years contest.

Florida 17 Florida St 16 - A defensive struggle, the Gators find a way in their finale and salvage a little from a disappointing season.

Wisconsin 31 Penn St 14 - The Badgers steam-r0ll PSU en route to a re-match with Sparty. This could be a week for Montee Ball to get to NY for the Heisman ceremony much like RGIII did last week.

Stanford 35 Notre Dame 24 - Stanford gets a 2nd quality win and puts themselves in the running for a top 5 finish.

Virgina 24 Virginia Tech 21 - Mike London is incredibly high-energy and he gets his team up at home against a Hokie team that thinks they can play for it all.

Should be an entertaining week...don't forget if you are using these predictions to help place bets, that you always take the Lions it tomorrow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

BCS in complete chaos

I guess we can throw out all the previous scenarios discussed on here after the unreal results of this past weekend. Enough craziness went down that even #11 Houston is coming up with ways this morning that they could play for the title.

Boise State is a failed 2-point conversion from being a clear favorite to take on LSU. For the second time in a month, OU decided not to show up on defense. Clemson went from dark-horse to Barbaro in one half. Oregon ran into a hungry USC with a hot QB and couldn't come back from an early deficit.

So, what now? It is likely that the polls and the BCS standings will have the same top 3 today/tonight:

1. LSU
2. Bama
3. Arkansas

All three from one half of a conference? That's what you get when 3 of the top 5 in the BCS Standings go down for the 1st time in 10 years. That year was also the last time a non-conference champion played for the title (Nebraska). I know the University presidents and BCS officials really do not want 2 SEC teams in the title game, but they are running out of other options.

The only 1-loss potential conference champs from BCS conferences not named the SEC are Oklahoma State, Stanford and Virginia Tech. However, Oregon would have to lose to Oregon St for Stanford to play for their title, VT has to beat UVA and Clemson (who smoked them in Blacksburg earlier), and Oklahoma St still has to play Oklahoma.

The question is, can any of these 1-loss teams jump a 1-loss non-conference champ in Alabama. I still think maybe, depending on what happens in some of these games.

Biggest loser from Friday night? Okie St
Biggest winner from Saturday night? Okie St

The Cowboys will probably not fall out of the top 5 and have a chance at getting back in the mix by beating OU in 2 weeks.

Here is how I would rank the top 25 this morning if I had a vote (which I should):

1. LSU
2. Bama
3. Arkansas
4. Oklahoma St
5. Oregon
6. Stanford
7. Virginia Tech
8. Houston
9. Boise St
10. South Carolina
11. Georgia
12. Michigan St
13. Oklahoma
14. Kansas St
15. Wisconsin
16. Penn St
17. Michigan
18. USC
19. TCU
20. Clemson
21. Baylor
22. Notre Dame
23. Tulsa
24. Nebraska
25. Auburn

One final scenario: Oregon wins the Pac-12, OU wins the Big-12, LSU beats Arkansas, Auburn beats Alabama, UGA beats LSU, Clemson beats VT, MSU beats Wisconsin/Penn St. All of the BCS conference champions would have at least 2 losses. Would Houston or Boise St get a shot here, would LSU get in with just 1-loss, would UGA have a shot?

There is total chaos now, but it has a chance to get even more crazy...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

BCS Mess

With the Pokes going down last night, the most likely BCS Title Game match-up is now off the table, the debate can begin.

Oregon now has the inside track. They can win style points tonight by beating up on USC, and then will get a chance against ASU in Eugene on December 3rd to make their final case. The fact that they have a marquee name, are a conference champion, and have their only loss to the undisputed #1, they are the pick if they win out.

If Oregon loses 1 of these games, the Bedlam winner will still have a shot, although the Pokes have lost some steam. If there was ever a year for Boise to get in, this was it...

Bama will still argue that they belong, but it just isn't fair for them to make it to the game unless many things happen, beginning with Arkansas beating LSU. Why punish LSU for beating Bama and making them play another tough game in Atlanta on December 3rd, while rewarding the loser is a bye to the Title Game?

Now for the way things can really get messy...although not likely, lets say UGA beats unbeaten LSU in Atlanta. Now, the SEC champion is out of the mix, who can sneak in?

How about Clemson? If Clemson routs South Carolina and then routs VT in the ACCCG, they would have a lot of momentum if things shake down on December 3rd. Lets say OU beats OSU, UGA beats LSU, and Oregon loses to ASU.

1. Oklahoma
2. Clemson
3. LSU
4. Alabama
5. Houston

Would Clemson have enough star power in the minds of the voters to move ahead of the SEC teams? Oklahoma St, Oregon, Stanford, VT, Boise, and Arkansas would all be out of the mix because if a non-conference champion gets to the Title Game in this scenario, it would be one of the SEC teams.

Want an even more crazy shake up? Try and rank your teams in this sceario: Auburn beats Alabama, Arkansas beats LSU, UGA beats LSU, Oklahoma St beats OU, ASU beats Oregon, South Carolina beats Clemson, Clemson beats VT, and Tulsa beats Houston.

1. Oklahoma St
2. Arkansas
3. Stanford
4. Boise St
5. UGA

Imagine that debate...non-conference champions Arkansas, Stanford, and Boise all with the chance to be back in the top 4. I actually hope this happens and Bobby Petrino lobbies on TV for Arkansas to get in, only to see Luck and company get the nod...

Monday, November 14, 2011

BCS Title Game Scenarios

Ok, we are down to 2 weeks of the college football season before the craziness of Championship weekend. Barring any major upsets, there are only a few scenarios left after seeing the latest BCS Standings. Want to know who may play for the crystal ball? You can bet it will be one of these match-ups (In order of likelihood)...

1) LSU vs Oklahoma St - the current #1 vs #2 control their own destiny and have passed all their road tests (only Iowa St and Ole Miss remain) but OSU does not have the Championship game hurdle that LSU does. Alas, both will be favored to win out and play for it and even if LSU loses to Arkansas, this will still be the match-up as long as LSU beats UGA. Bama will pass LSU in the BCS standings, but LSU won't fall more than 5 spots behind Bama and won't fall past Arkansas, giving the tie-break to LSU as it would revert back to the LSU-Bama result.

2) LSU vs Oregon - With Oregon sitting at #4 right now, they can win out and have the best argument to get a re-match with LSU over Bama. Oregon has 2 home games with USC and OSU before the Pac-12 Championship game, which should be in Eugene, likely against ASU.

3) Oklahoma St vs Oregon - If LSU loses to UGA and Oklahoma St wins out, look for Oregon to get a shot as the Pac-12 champions. Even if Bama is ahead of Oregon going in to Championship weekend, an Oregon win will have the humans voting Oregon ahead of Bama before the final poll, just like they did in 2007 when they voted for conference champions ahead of non-conference champions.

Remember, history has shown us that you can throw out all previous polls when it comes time to vote for the final poll that influences the BCS Title game. Those voters who think conference champs should be in the game will bump an Oregon over Bama, even if they had Bama 3 and Oregon 4 for 3 straight weeks.

Oregon has a good argument over Bama here...We both have 1-loss and it was to LSU, we are conference champs, and LSU beat you at your house...

4) LSU vs Oklahoma - If OU wins Bedlam and Oregon loses to ASU, the momentum of winning on the road against the #2 team in the nation will jump OU over OSU, Oregon, and Bama into the #2 spot.

5) Oregon vs Oklahoma - If UGA beats LSU and OU wins Bedlam, look for conference champions Oregon and OU to play for it.

Ok Alabama fans, how have you been left out as a 1-loss SEC team with the brand name like you have in scenarios 3 and 5? Well, here is the scenario where you get in as I believe that a 1-loss conference champion from the Big-12 and Pac-12 will get in over a non-conference champion from the SEC, even if it is Bama...

LSU loses to Arkansas and Georgia, Oregon loses to ASU, then...

Bama vs Bedlam winner - In this scenario, there would be a few more teams that would be holding press conferences the night of December 3rd to plead their case, (i.e. Arkansas, Clemson/VT winner, Houston, Stanford, Bedlam loser)

Bama getting in as a non-conference champion makes sense here as they would have a much stronger case than an unbeaten C-USA champ, 1-loss ACC champ, 1-loss non-conference champ from the Big 12/Pac 12.

Can a 2-loss team get in? The best bet would be UGA, as they would be riding an 11-game win streak and a win over #1...For that to happen...

UGA vs Bedlam winner - Oregon loses to ASU, Bama loses to Auburn, you could make a case for 2-loss UGA over ACC winner, Bedlam loser, LSU, Stanford, and Houston...

Best team not mentioned? I still say Wisconsin, who dominated MSU in their stadium only to lose on a freak hail mary, then had a hangover against OSU the next week. They could easily be in this mix if things bounced their way a little more...

Prop bet of the weekend...who keeps the score closer?? Ole Miss at home vs LSU or Georgia Southern playing in Tuscaloosa??

Sunday, November 13, 2011

RSM Poll 11/13

1. LSU
2. Bama
3. Oklahoma St
4. Oregon
5. Oklahoma
6. Arkansas
7. Michigan St
8. Stanford
9. Kansas St
10. Virginia Tech
11. Clemson
12. Houston
13. Boise St
14. South Carolina
15. Georgia
16. USC
17. Wisconsin
18. Nebraska
19. Penn St
20. Michigan
21. Notre Dame
22. Florida St
23. Southern Miss
24. Tulsa
25. TCU

Sunday, November 6, 2011

College Football notes...

One theme of the 2011 college football season remained strong this week, no conference champion is a clear favorite (outside of LSU now), and who will appear in conference championships is totally up in the air in most conferences.

Big 12

Oklahoma State is the favorite here, and with no championship game, just has road games against Texas Tech and Iowa State before bedlam. Oklahoma still might be favored on the road, even without Ryan Broyles, but this game will be the biggest in the series history. K-State almost made this race a big-time mess late last night...

Favorite: Oklahoma
Sleeper: None


Clemson controls its destiny in the Atlantic division, just having to beat Wake at home and win at NC State. The Coastal has a big match-up this Thursday, where the winner will have an inside track at winning the division.

Favorite: Clemson
Sleeper: Wake Forest

Big 10

Now for the real mess...Michigan State leads the Leaders division, but they look far from safe up top after struggling against Minnesota yesterday. With road trips to Iowa and Northwestern still on the schedule, they control their destiny, but if they slip up, Michigan/Nebraska/Iowa can all jump up and take the division.

The Legends division has Penn State on top at 5-0, but still has to play OSU/Wisconsin/Nebraska. The Nittany Lions need to win 2 of 3 to clinch, but if they lose 2 or more, Ohio State and Wisconsin move back into the mix.

Favorite: Michigan State
Sleeper: Ohio State


The Stanford-Oregon winner will take the North Division, and be favored in the championship game, but who will they face? USC/ASU/UCLA are all tied at 4-2 right now, but USC is not eligible for the division title. ASU has the easier schedule, with Wazzu, Cal, and Arizona (2 at home) while UCLA has road trips to Utah and USC and hosts Colorado. Needless to say, the UCLA upset of ASU yesterday has thrown another wrench in the title chase.

Favorite: Stanford
Sleeper: UCLA


LSU has the inside track, but must win at home against Arkansas. The Hogs have struggles on the road this year, but this game always seems to be close. In the East, UGA has home games against Auburn and Kentucky that can win them their side, but if they lose one, USC can win the East by beating Florida at home.

Favorite: LSU
Sleeper: UGA

Big East

As usual, we have no idea who will represent the Big East in the BCS at this point. Cincy has the lead at 3-0, and L'Ville has been a surprise and sits in . If Cincy can win 3 of their last 4, they will be in, but even with 2 of 4, they can still win the conference.

Favorite: Cincinnati
Sleeper: Rutgers

Conference USA

Southern Miss has their last true test next week at home vs UCF, and should have no problems on their way to winning the East. The West will be won the day after Thanksgiving, when Houston and Case Keenum travel to Tulsa to take on GJ Kinne and a very good 6-3 Tulsa team (losses are to Boise, Oklahoma, Ok St)

Favorite: Houston
Sleeper: Tulsa


The MAC is a complete mess at this point after NIU's win at Toledo Tuesday night. The East may come down to Ohio-Miami (OH) on 11/22, but Temple and Bowling Green still have a fighters chance. The West is now NIU's to lose, and if they win at BG next week, they should win their side.

Favorite: Northern Illinois
Sleeper: Ohio


This one is the easiest...whoever wins the TCU @ Boise game next week wins the league.

Favorite: Boise State
Sleeper: TCU

Sun Belt

Just when you think you have this conference figured out, something happens...The Arkansas St-L-Lafayette winner next week will be the favorite, but it is hard to bet against Western Kentucky right now. The Hilltoppers are 5-1 now, winning 5 in a row including 2 OT games and their last second FG yesterday to beat FIU 10-9.

Favorite: Arkansas St
Sleeper: Western Kentucky


Another conference that is wide-open, even without unbeaten Nevada sitting on top at 3-0. Even Utah State at 1-2, still has a shot at winning the league. Tons of big games are left before any true prediction can be made.

Favorite: Nevada
Sleeper: Louisiana Tech

As for the big game last night, LSU winning puts them in a great position to reach the national title game. The fact that this game was so well-played and went to OT gives Bama more of an argument to get a re-match if the cards fall right. Oregon is also in good shape, because if they win out and Oklahoma State loses, they will be in the same boat at Bama with 1 loss to LSU, but they will be a conference champion...

RSM Poll for 11/6

1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma St
4. Stanford
5. Boise State
6. Oregon
7. Oklahoma
8. Arkansas
9. Michigan St
10. Penn St
11. Clemson
12. Kansas St
13. Virginia Tech
14. Houston
15. South Carolina
16. Houston
17. Georgia
18. Auburn
19. USC
20. Wisconsin
21. Texas
22. Georgia Tech
23. Nebraska
24. Michigan
25. Cincinnati