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2011 NCAA Football – Week 9 Best Games

Week 9! Can you believe it!? How fast is this college football season going this year! Wow! Last week I said it was going to be a ho-hum week as I thought all the undefeated teams would win. Obviously I was wrong as Oklahoma & Wisconsin went down! With the season getting late, I think more teams are susceptible to losing because I think the BCS has a way of working itself out. This week I think we’ll see Kansas St. go down from the ranks of the undefeated. Although I think you definitely have to think Clemson & Stanford are favored to win, both are on the road against fairly tough teams. Stanford might be hitting USC at the wrong time & Clemson’s defense could betray them against a Georgia Tech offense that could do a good job of keeping Clemson’s skill position players off the field! A good week ahead indeed!

ROAD ANALYSIS HOME
I’m not sure this would have been the best game of the week if not for how USC played against Notre Dame in South Bend last week, but all of a sudden the Trojans look like a top-15 squad and pose a decent sized threat to the Stanford Cardinal. USC could pose a problem especially because of the leadership of QB Matt Barkley. Barkley played an exceptional game, and I think you’ll see another quality effort from the kid. Remember that all the spotlight is on Andrew Luck for the 2012 NFL Draft, but I think Barkley is going to be a tremendous NFL QB. I think Stanford wins, but it’ll be tough. Stanford (-7.5)
Oklahoma now has to rebound off a horrific loss to Texas Tech in Norman. This week they travel to Manhattan to take on the 7-0 Wildcats, but I think this is a story we’ve seen before. Bill Snyder was always good at getting Kansas St. to 10-2 or 11-1 seasons, but never good enough to play for a national championship. You almost get the feel that KSU is on that same path this year. Sure they might be able to finish 9-3, win a bowl game & get to 10-wins, but never really get close to a championship. I think Boomer Sooner ends the unbeaten streak with authority this week. Oklahoma (-13.5)
Very tricky game for Clemson this week. Georgia Tech typically plays the Tigers pretty well in Atlanta, and let’s not forget that Clemson’s defense isn’t exactly setting the world on fire. The Tigers have given up 83 points in their last 2 games, with their rush defense has allowed on average 5.2ypc over the last two games! Obviously the Tigers offense is scoring almost 60ppg in those 2 games so they’ve won handily, but GT has the kind of team that can control time of possession with their running game. We’ll see how it goes, but Clemson’s defense is going to have to make a play. Clemson (-3.5)
Wisconsin & Ohio St. showed how to beat Nebraska, and I think Michigan St. actually has a better defense than either the Buckeyes or Badgers. Remember too that William Gholston is back this week, but keep your eye on LB Max Bullough who has played like an All-American all season long. The Spartans most likely don’t have a chance to play for a national title, but how much respect can you give the Spartans. They are 3-0 in their last 3 against Ohio St., Michigan & Wisconsin. This team isn’t nearly getting the respect they deserve at 6-1. If they get to 12-1 then they have to be top-3. Nebraska (-4)
Wisconsin’s loss last week to Michigan St. makes this game a lot more interesting. Wisconsin can’t take their eye off the ball because they can still win the Leaders Division, get back a shot against Michigan St. in the Big 10 championship game & finish 12-1, playing in a Rose Bowl. It wouldn’t be a bad outcome & who knows? If every team loses a game, maybe the Badgers get back into the mix especially if they & Michigan St. meet each other in Indianapolis at 11-1. As for Ohio St., they showed a little something against Illinois so you can’t count them out. They are still mad talented. Wisconsin (-7)
Sort of an interesting game because BYU is 6-2 while TCU is 5-2. What is sort of interesting is that despite the teams being a combined 11-4, neither squad has played anyone really tough & came away a winner. BYU lost to Texas & Utah. TCU has lost to Baylor & SMU. So why is the game important? It’s important for Boise St. Boise simply can’t afford for TCU to lose more games. TCU loses this one & they look like an average team. As for BYU, it’s important for them to get some type of decent win as their independent status almost requires it for any national respectability. I think TCU rolls. TCU (-13)
That was a quick fall from grace for Illinois. They started 6-0, but have lost to Purdue & Ohio St. in their last 2 games to drop to 6-2 and somewhat of an afterthought in the Leaders division. Penn St. on the other hand has to be the quietest 7-1 team in the nation! They are 7-1 and ranked 21st in the nation!? Remember that Penn St.’s only loss came to Alabama, and in retrospect, the Lions played the Tide tough losing only 27-11! This will be a really interesting game. You can argue PSU hasn’t played anyone outside of Bama, but their last 4 are tough which will show just who Penn St. is. Penn St. (-5)
With Florida down, this is an opportune time for Georgia to get a rare win in Jacksonville in the world’s greatest cocktail party! There aren’t many meaningful games in the SEC this week, but this is definitely one. Remember that Georgia only has the 1 SEC loss and a win here could propel UGA to 10-2 (7-1) which probably makes them SEC East champs. You really can’t say that’s a disappointing season at all although the loss to SC hurts their 11-1 bid & a possible national championship appearance. Florida is still Florida. Can they really lose 4 straight games and fall to 4-4!? That’s crazy! Georgia (-3)
After losing in back-to-back weeks to Oklahoma St. & Arkansas, Texas A&M has won 3 straight games and is getting a bit more respect nationally than when they fell to 2-2. In a way I can see it because if you believe Oklahoma St. & Arkansas are top-10 teams, then you can’t bang A&M too badly for losing to them. The win at Texas Tech looks exceptional now that the Red Raiders beat Oklahoma in Norman. Still, I believe Gary Pinkel is an excellent coach & a win over Missouri elevates the Aggies a bit more to me. A&M could still make a lot of noise nationally & I hope they do. Texas A&M (-10)
Purdue got a huge win over Illinois last week which was very unexpected, but this game of course is about Michigan & Brady Hoke trying to erase the memories of Rich Rodriguez’s era of futility. Remember that over the last two years, Michigan has gotten off to great starts only to lose to Michigan St. and have their season fall a part. I would have thought the Purdue game would be easy, but beating Illinois shows some life. Can Michigan avoid a precipitous fall after starting 6-0!? I don’t think expecting a 9-3 season is too much for Michigan. It starts here against Purdue. Michigan (-13.5)
I don’t think Baylor has much of a chance to beat Oklahoma St., especially in Stillwater, but Baylor QB Robert Griffin is a special talent who can take over games. The thing here is if Oklahoma St. has an off game while Griffin plays the game of his life. If that happens then it’s possible for Baylor pull an upset because this is sort of what happened in Week 1 when Baylor played TCU. The only problem here is that Baylor’s defense is horrible so even an off game by the Cowboys equals about 55 points! Can Griffin match that kind of offensive firepower!? Not likely. Oklahoma St. (-14)
This isn’t going to be much of a game, but I almost feel as if Oregon should be put in the unbeaten category because of how dominant the Ducks have been. If Oregon runs the table and wins the Pac 12, that would put them at 12-1. If the only other team in the nation who is undefeated is an SEC team, then I think it’s difficult not to think Oregon should get another shot especially if the undefeated team is LSU. It would be a tough because it would essentially be a rematch which nobody really likes, but Oregon would deserve it. If LSU is #1 then Oregon can claim they are #2 with ease. Oregon (-35)
Remember all the controversy surrounding the Hurricanes program before the season began. Miami-FL had a tough time going 1-2 to start, but outside of a 3-point loss to Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes are now 3-1 in their last 4 which includes a road win over UNC & a win over Georgia Tech. Remember too that Miami-FL’s “BEST” case record is 7-0 if you include the 8-point loss to Maryland! Miami-FL can’t play in the ACC Championship unless Virginia Tech loses 3 in ACC play which is unlikely. UVA beat GT too & Mike London is having as big of an effect for Virginia as Al Golden is for “The U!” Miami-FL (-14)
Very tough game for Notre Dame with Navy coming in to South Bend this week. On the one hand Notre Dame is looking at a best case record of 8-4 to finish the season assuming they lose at Stanford at the end of the year which seems like a good assumption. They can win a bowl and get to 9-4 which is one game better than last year’s 8-5 record. On the other hand ND is facing allegations of USC players saying they quit at the end of their game, plus ND’s rush defense didn’t look so hot against the Trojans & Navy can run. Hopefully ND comes out salivating! Notre Dame (-21.5)
Sort of interesting game in the Big East. West Virginia is 1-1 in conference while Rutgers is 2-1, so one hand the Big East conference schedule really hasn’t started whereas in the SEC you have some teams who have played 5 conference games already. With Cincinnati starting 2-0 & looking very good, they are in the front, but I still like Dana Holgorsen even if they did get blown out at Syracuse last week. Some games you simply can’t explain. West Virginia can still roll to 10-2 and get to a BCS bowl. Rutgers could do the same, but they lost to Louisville. That’s pretty thin. West Virginia (-7)
Very solid CUSA game between SMU (3-1 in conference) against Tulsa (3-0 in conference). You can’t help but love what June Jones is doing at SMU & the Mustangs are one of the rare schools in a non-AQ conference that helps college football by being good. Tulsa on the other hand is a pretty darn good 4-3 team! Remember that Tulsa’s 3 losses have come against Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., & Boise St.! If you believe all 3 teams are top-10 caliber than maybe so is Tulsa! Tulsa is the one team that could ruin Tulsa’s season and it’s always interesting to see how good they are. Tulsa (-3)
Not really an interesting game, but gets here because the Cougars are 7-0 and one of only 8 teams left in the BCS that is undefeated. Rice actually isn’t a horrible team and is very experienced, but I don’t think it’ll matter with Houston. Houston’s offense centered on QB Case Keenum is pretty tough on good teams let alone a team like Rice. Houston should get to 10-0, but in their last 2 games they play SMU & Tulsa. If they get to the CUSA championship game they’ll likely play Southern Miss. No they aren’t in the Big XII, but if they go undefeated, they’ll have earned it. Houston (-27.5)
Yes I’m a homer. The train wreck that is called Indiana football comes back to Bloomington this weekend to play Northwestern. With Purdue showing up against Illinois, you almost figure that Indiana can’t even count the Purdue game a possible win which leaves Northwestern? Simply put, if Dan Persa plays then IU is screwed, but maybe he gets hurt & Northwestern plays like garbage? I suppose it could happen. More importantly for IU, it’s another shot to see how true freshman QB Tre Roberson play who was pretty darn good against Iowa last week. Northwestern (-9)
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October 27, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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