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NCAA POWER 15 – 2013 WEEK 14

Baylor the week before & Alabama this past week! The BCS picture got SIGNIFICANTLY clearer if you believe that the 2 undefeated teams deserve to play each other for the national championship. On the other hand, the picture might have gotten muddier despite leaving 2 undefeated squads. The problem isn’t that a previously undefeated team was defeated, it was the fact that the previously undefeated SEC team was defeated!

Now chaos ensues over the strength of schedule debate as an 11-1 Alabama or a 12-1 Missouri or a 12-1 Auburn team would seemingly have much more difficult schedule than either Florida St. or Ohio State. It would seem all Ohio St. & Florida St. need to do is win and they are playing for a national title, but if Auburn beats Missouri, it’s going to be hard to deny a 12-1 Auburn team a chance to play for the national title.

The best outcome for everyone is for either FSU, Ohio St. & Missouri to win which I think makes a Ohio St./Florida St. matchup more plausible, or you have to hope that either Florida St. or Ohio St. loses in their championship game. If both Ohio St. & Floida St. lose while Auburn wins, we could be looking at an Iron Bowl rematch in the BCS National Championship game. I for one am rooting for that outcome!

#1 In one of the most stunning wins you’ll ever see as a football fan, Auburn’s Chris Davis attained legendary status by returning a missed Alabama FG 100 yards to beat Alabama 34-28 with no time on the clock in the greatest Iron Bowl ever played. At 11-1, Auburn to me is the #1 team in the nation. Both Ohio St. & Florida St. lose night games in Baton Rouge. I don’t want to hear otherwise.
#2 See what missing 4 field goals will get you? I can’t drop Alabama lower than #2. They lost to Auburn on a fluke play at the end of the game. Sometimes crap happens. The only bad part now is that the loss might screw the SEC out of a chance to play for a national title unless Auburn can jump FSU or Ohio St. in the polls. I’m rooting for Duke & Michigan State because I want to see Iron Bowl 2!
#3 How dominant has Florida St. been this year? Their closest margin of victory is 14 points. Over their last 4 games they’ve outscored their opponents 235-27! The only problem I have with FSU is their schedule. Outside of Clemson they haven’t played anyone & if you want to know what kind of down year it was in the ACC, note that Duke is in the ACC Championship game! That isn’t because Duke is so wonderful.
#4 Like Florida St., it’s very hard to deny Ohio St.’s dominance but their schedule has been so awful it’s hard to think they are really a 12-0 team. The defense isn’t fantastic having given up 30 points or more on 4 different occasions. If I’m the Buckeyes I’m making an argument that 12-0 deserves to be in the BCS but I’m also arguing that my 12-0 is better than FSU’s 12-0. Ohio St. v. Auburn works for me.
#5 On October 26th, Missouri held a 17-0 lead over South Carolina in Columbia. In one of the most remarkable comebacks this season, SC scored 17 unaswered in the 4th to tie the game 17-17 and then won 27-24 in double OT. A 3-point loss to the 10-2 Gamecocks is what separates Mizzou from 12-0. If the Tigers beat War Eagle in the SEC Championship game, they deserve a shot at the title.
#6 A big defensive effort in the 4th quarter gave the Cardinal a 27-20 win over visiting Notre Dame & pushed Stanford’s record to 10-2. Stanford is playing for the Pac 12 championship & most likely Stanford will wind up 12-2 on the season. Two road losses by a combined 9 points kept them from BCS glory. They are the one team I wish was playing Auburn/Alabama in the BCS Championship game.
#7 The only team to beat Missouri this year, South Carolina did it in Columbia and they are the only team not named Florida St. to beat Clemson. SC’s BCS at-large bid hopes are still alive although they won’t get one. Jadeveon Clowney finished the year with 3 sacks! How amazing is that stat considering all the hype surrounding the DE at the beginning of the year? Clowney went out with a loud thud.
#8 The Cowboys were on a bye week this past week, but it is worth mentioning why not many peopl are talking about a 1-loss Oklahoma St. team playing for the BCS title. The problem is the loss. They lost by 9 to West Virginia. Auburn lost to LSU. Alabama lost to Auburn. Missouri lost to South Carolina. That’s a bad loss although a win over Oklahoma this week puts the Pokes in the Fiesta Bowl. Not bad.
#9 It’s weird to think that defense was the key to winning when that unit gives up 38 points but 2 pick-6s from the Bears defense gave Baylor what it needed in a 41-38 win over TCU. If Baylor beats Texas this week & Oklahoma beats Oklahoma St., then Baylor at 11-1 would head off to the Fiesta Bowl. Even if OSU doesn’t win, a win this week puts Baylor at 29-9 over the last 3 seasons! Art Briles can coach!
#10 LSU needed a last minute TD to escape with a 31-27 win over visiting Arkansas, but this game had the feel of LSU mailing it in. This year’s LSU squad wasn’t vintage LSU. The defense hasn’t been this bad since 2008 when the Tigers went 8-5. RB Jeremy Hill was a monster this year going for 1185yds & 14TD averaging 6.8ypc! Just a sophomore, I hope he comes back next season. Kid is a beast.
#11 Oregon has really let down after the disappointing 26-20 loss to Stanford. They got the benefit of playing Utah at home after the loss but then got HAMMERED by Arizona on the road & needed everything they had to beat Oregon St. in Eugene. Oregon probably isn’t getting into a BCS bowl but still has a chance at 11-2. In his first season as HC, Mark Helfrich has to be pretty pleased!
#12 Arizona St. actually finishes the year with the best conference record of any Pac 12 school at 8-1. The Sun Devils can actually make a pretty good argument with their strength of schedule. They have wins over UCLA, Arizona, Washington, Wisconsin, USC & Oregon State. The two losses came at Stanford & by 3 points to Notre Dame. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see them playing in the Rose Bowl.
#13 Clemson didn’t end the season so well losing to South Carolina 31-17. I’m not going to say Clemson was exposed but the two best teams they faced all season (FSU & SC) beat them by a combined score of 82-31! They did beat Georgia but it was by only 3 points in the season opener. Who has Clemson really beat? The scheduling dynamic for these teams (outside of the SEC) is paramount.
#14 Michigan St.’s resume is EXTREMELY SUSPECT. The Big 10 Legends division was a joke this year with Michigan & Nebraska being down & Iowa being shaky early in the season. Northwestern was even a lot worse than we thought. Sparty avoided Ohio St., Wisconsin & Penn St. from the Leaders division. The 11-1 record is EXTREMELY SOFT but I’m still hoping they beat Ohio St. in the B1G title game.
#15 Even with USC playing with extreme confidence & the fate of Ed Orgeron, UCLA left no doubt going into the Coliseum and hammering the Trojans 35-14 to end the regular season 9-3. It’s really hard to rip the Bruins for losing back-to-back road games to Stanford & Oregon. The other loss was a home loss to Arizona St. by 5 points. UCLA had a GREAT season & positions themselves for even bigger things!
#16 I wanted to add Wisconsin here even though the loss to Penn St. at Camp Randall was a disaster. Wisconsin at 9-3 is interesting because they were 0-3 in close games meaning they won the other 9 convincingly. A “worst” case record of 9-3 is a fantastic mark. The other 2 losses were by a combined 9 points on the road to Arizona St. & Ohio St., two teams who are a combined 22-2. I love Gary Andersen as a head coach & think Wisconsin is going to be a POWER under him. Sure the loss cost them a BCS at-large shot this year but they should still get to 10-3. That’s a great season for a 1st year HC.

December 3, 2013 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Florida St., Georgia, LSU, Michigan St., Missouri, Ohio St, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 15, South Carolina, Stanford, Week 14, Wisconsin

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