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NCAA Games of Week 14 2013

RIVALRY WEEK! For the most part we are now down to 5 teams who have legitimate shots at winning a national title. The undefeated teams of Alabama, Florida State & Ohio State are obvious but I also think you have to throw in Auburn & Missouri in the mix. If either team wins out they’ll be 12-1 and SEC Champions. Even with a pair of teams that are 13-0 such as Florida State & Ohio State, the problem will be a 12-1 Auburn/Missouri team will have such an overwhelming strength of schedule in comparison that is it difficult to envision a situation where a 1-loss SEC champion doesn’t get a chance to play for the national title. If you like chaos, then this week could provide an insane amount of drams should Florida State, Ohio State & Alabama all lose their rivalry games. Keep in mind that all 3 play on the road! Should be a fantastic weekend!

Lost in Florida’s brutal 4-7 season to date is how effective the defense has actually been. The Gators rank 16th in the nation, allowing just 19.6PPG. The other side is that Florida simply hasn’t been lucky this season. They are 0-4 in games decided by 7 points or fewer. That 4-7 record could easily be 8-3. If there is a way to salvage a season it would be to welcome in the #2 ranked 11-0 rival Seminoles & ruin their BCS championship season! Florida St. has a chance to win this one HUGE but I think the Gators keep it a little closer than expected. As for the Noles I think it’s interesting that the Jameis Winston stories haven’t had much effect on the team. On the other hand, FSU hasn’t played anyone as athletic as Florida outside of Clemson. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle an uber-talented albeit disappointing Gators squad.
This feels fairly similar to the FSU/Florida game. Ohio St. comes in undefeated with national championship hopes on the line against a rival that by all accounts is having a disappointing season and would like nothing more than to ruin the Buckeyes’ chances at winning a national championship. The only difference is that unlike Florida, Michigan doesn’t have a particular unit that is dominant. Also like Florida, Michigan has been a bit unlucky. They are 7-4 but 3 of those losses have come by 7 points or fewer. It would be a lot sexier if Michigan was 10-1 & Ohio St. 11-0, but the game should still have enough juice to make it pretty interesting & when a rivalry is as heated as this one, anything can happen. I’m dying for Ohio St. to get exposed as a charlatan but I’m not sure the Wolverines are the team to do it.
In one of the most odd standings configurations you’ll ever see, the Duke Blue Devils are winning the ACC Coastal right now & a win in Chapel Hill this week will seal them in the ACC Championship to take on Florida State! What’s even more amazing is that if Miami-FL, Virginia Tech & North Carolina win, the ACC Coastal will have 5 teams all tied at 5-3 in the division. Here is how that all plays out. If Duke loses & VT & Miami-FL win, the Hokies win the division. A VT win & a Miami-FL loss puts the Hokies in the championship game. If Miami wins & VT loses then Miami win the division! If both VT & Miami-FL lose then Georgia Tech wins the division. For this game specifically if Duke wins they are in. If UNC wins they can’t win the division, BUT they can at least prevent the hated Dukies from winning it! How is that for rivalry spite!
The most anticipated game of the week given the implications! This Iron Bowl looks to be incredible seeing how Alabama comes #1 in the nation at 11-0 & Auburn comes in at 10-1 ranked #4! Here is a scenario that not many people are talking about but could happen. Back in 2011, Alabama lost to LSU 9-6 in OT. It would catapult LSU into the SEC Championship game, but when the dust settled Alabama at 11-1 was still #2 in the BCS. Let’s assume Auburn beats Alabama 13-10 in OT. Auburn wins the SEC Championship and is 13-0 while Alabama was 11-1 as it was in 2011. Ohio St. would have to lose to either Michigan St. or Michigan while Florida St. would have to lose to either Florida or the Coastal winner, but if those 2 squads go down & Auburn upends Bama by the closest of margins, do we get Iron Bowl 2 in the BCS title game?
Obviously this is a rivalry game, but there is a lot on the line here. At 9-2 the Gamecocks are hoping for a win to push them to 10-2. They are currently ranked 10th in the BCS but a win over Clemson should at least move them into the #7-#8 range even if Missouri beats Texas A&M. If Mizzou drops then SC is the SEC East champions are are likely knocking on the door of the top-5 or top-6 of the BCS. A loss in the SEC Championship game probably knocks them down a bit but at this point SC is fighting for an at-large BCS spot. The same can be said for Clemson. They can’t win the ACC Atlantic because of FSU but a win here gives Clemson an 11-1 record with their only loss coming against a potential 13-0 FSU squad playing for the championship! That should be good enough for an at-large BCS berth.
Stanford has already locked up the Pac 12 North so this game actually doesn’t matter all that much. At 9-2, the Cardinal can’t play for a national championship and a loss in the Pac 12 title game probably costs them an at-large BCS bowl so essentially it’s win the Pac 12 title game & go to the Rose Bowl or bust. I’m sure Stanford would love to finish 11-2, in the top-6 or so & Rose Bowl champions, but if they finish 10-3 & Rose Bowl champions is it any different? No matter what happens, Stanford’s season is defined by 9 points, the total points they lost by in 2 games against Utah & USC! Notre Dame has to feel a bit remorseful too. Now that the season is almost over, losses to Michigan & Pittsburgh look bad. Even the Oklahoma loss doesn’t look fantastic but this is a team that could be 10-1/11-0 now if Everett Golson had played all year.
Missouri is playing for A LOT here! Forget the SEC East for just a minute, Missouri has the potential to play for the BCS Championship even if Ohio St. & Florida St. win out. A Missouri win here would push the Tigers to 11-1. Right now Missouri is #5, but if Alabama beats Auburn then the Tigers have to move to #4. If Clemson wins today then the pollsters could keep Clemson at #4 & Mizzou at #5 but the computers would definitely have Mizzou at #4. The big problem in my mind is if Missouri beats Alabama. If that happens & Missouri is 12-1 then is it enough to leap a 13-0 Ohio St. team? That would be the question. Of course if Ohio St. or Florida St. mess up and Missouri wins the SEC then the Tigers are in. On the other end, if Missouri loses today they likely won’t be in a BCS Bowl at 10-2 and they will not win the SEC East.
This game got a lot less interesting after UCLA lost to Arizona State last week, giving the Sun Devils the Pac 12 South title. What is somewhat interesting about this game is that Ed Orgeron is coaching for the opening of the USC HC job. It would be an interesting hire and one in which I hope USC makes, but USC is one of the best jobs in not only college football but potentially all of sports. There should be plenty of candidates knocking at the door. I think perspective is also interesting. I’m not saying Lane Kiffin should be the HC at USC, but what if Arizona St. beats Stanford & plays for the Roses? Does that loss look that bad seeing how it was in Tempe? Closes loses to Notre Dame & Washington St. keep this team from being 11-1 right now. It’s interesting to be sure and a win here puts USC at 10-3! Not a bad season!
I COULDN’T LEAVE OUT MY BELOVED HOOSIERS! You can’t find much more of a meaningless rivalry game. The Hoosiers come in at 4-7 with opportunities squandered to get to a bowl game. in Darrell Hazell’s first go around in West Lafayette, he has the Boilermakers a robust 1-10 with their only win coming against FCS Indiana St. 20-14! Indiana beat Indiana St. 73-35! That sums up all you really need to know. Indiana is setting all kinds of records this year offensively and rank 23rd nationally, scoring 36.8PPG. Unfortunately the Hoosiers rank 117th in scoring defense allowing 39.1PPG! Purdue’s defense is horrible but their offense is even worse meaning Indiana could put 60 on them. I’d expect Indiana to win & get to 5-7 but wow if HC Kevin Wilson wants to be a bowl team, they have to fix that defense. At least a little bit!

November 28, 2013 - Posted by | Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida St., Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Previews, Purdue, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Week 14

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